Imperial IPA (Pilot Series)
Alaskan Brewing Co.

Imperial IPA (Pilot Series)Imperial IPA (Pilot Series)
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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #4,138
Ranked #39,012
3.68 | pDev: 11.14%
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States
Very Good
Imperial IPA (Pilot Series)Imperial IPA (Pilot Series)
Notes: With three additions of Summit hops in the kettle and dry-hopped with Mosaic, Topaz and Simcoe, this fairly dry brew is extremely aromatic. You may detect notes of Asian pear, passion fruit and pine, with a maltytoasted nut and toffee aroma. The “juicy” hops taste combines with strong herbal notes, and complex tropical fruit to balance against the delicate malt build in this beer.

80 IBUs
Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 127 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of dd53grif
dd53grif from Michigan

3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours an orange-amber color with a minimal tan head that disappears quickly. Aroma is citrus and tropical fruit. Tastes of citrus hops and malt. Medium body.

Jun 08, 2018
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russpowell from Arkansas

3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Damn wish I would've seen the date, this is damn near 11 months old, wish I would've sussed that at the store...

Pours a hazed amber with a finger of cream colored head. Sheets of lacing & great head retention

S: Bready, leafy hops, pear

T: Bready, pears, some grapefruit & pomelo up front. some peppery hops as well. Pear, dryness & breadyness, a little mango & pomelo as this warms, some leafy hops. Finishes with a little figgyness, woody hops, dryness, & a little bready & a touch of grapefruit

MF: Medium body, fairly firm carbonation;. Body thins out as this warms

Drinks alright, I am sure this was more awesome new; a pity they could make their bottling dates a little clearer

Oct 18, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Professional appearance, decent clarity, colors running from gold to auburn throughout. A full inch of white head on the top. Aroma was lacking in the dry hop department.

Taste was an old school 100 ibu throwback type of imperial ipa that goes all sledgehammer with the bitterness and crystal malt excess. Definitely a copper like bitterness in the mouthfeel that lasts the entire beer and comes out more as it warms. Shitty bomber format, expensive price per oz.

As usual, this is an imperial ipa that is not as good as the regular single ipa. Might as well be a blend of a barleywine and single ipa.

Aug 11, 2016
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ZAP from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11/28/15 date on bottle...not sure if that is best buy or born on. A bit dated but tastes good still so I will rate it.

L-Deep Oak colored....

S-Caramel, spicy hops...

T-Nice caramel maltiness...hops add spicy herbal notes, as well as light tropical fruits..

F-High side of medium bodied...

O-Enjoyable beer. I'm guessing the hops are more assertive when fresh but still enjoyable.

Jun 13, 2016
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Beginner2 from Illinois

3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I did not see the 80 IBUs listed on the label.
Since that is well above my threshold for a sipping beer, I held this for the right opportunity and pulled it out when we went to an Indian BYOB restaurant.
(But of course, the food came on Indian time and I had drunk over half the bomber.)

The beer looks good in the glass and the lacing sticks. And all those hops do give it a bold, fruity aroma.
While the hops take their toll on the tongue, the finish is dryish (also not a favorite sensation.)
Fortunately the spicy food came and overpowered the hops.

Jun 02, 2016
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oberon from North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a deep burnt with large billowing light beige head that gets creamy as it settles leaving a full ring of lace behind.Pine in the nose along with sweet caramel malts.A real creamy feel for the style,it slides down easy.Pine and tangerine upfront on the palate with some caramel and breadiness in the finish.The more I drink the more I like,I even like the malty never get's to sweet for me.

Oct 30, 2015
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jwc215 from Arizona

3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours orange amber with a thin lasting white head that leaves trailing lace.

The smell is of citric and tropical fruit - not so much grapefruit, more mango, pineapple, pear. Caramel mixes in.

The taste is of soft fruit - especially pear and a general citric tang. Caramel and alcohol mix in. It has a soft, fruity, not too bitter finish.

It is on the lighter side of the DIPA spectrum, but is smooth despite noticeable alcohol.

Other than the abv, it is a milder, softer DIPA. Enjoyable enough and pretty easy to drink.

Oct 16, 2015
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Mdog from Minnesota

3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Clear gold, good head.

Smell: Mild fruitiness, seems a little oxidized (cardboard) despite not being particularly old.

Taste: Mild sweetness, fruity, gives a spicy black pepper note. Not bitter, balanced flavor.

Overall: I picked this up from the "new arrivals" section at the store since I've enjoyed Alaskan's specialty series before. This DIPA doesn't quite hit the mark though, not a big blast of flavors like most big IPAs.

Oct 11, 2015
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant copper amber with a 1.5” cream colored foam cap that takes 2 minutes to recede to 1/3 its original size. The cap has a very fine bead and produces extensive lace. S: Some forest floor aromas with light fruit, a hint of citrus, light malt sweetness and some light resin. The hop aromas are medium to medium high, the malt aromas are medium to medium low, clean fermentation aromas. No diacetyl and no DMS. T: More fruit on the palate than the aromas would suggest. Above average hop aromas. Light to moderate levels of malt provide a layer of sweetness topped with a layer of hop based fruit, primarily melon and tropical. No caramel flavors but definite malt character. Has a bitter, lingering fruity finish. Excellent balance between the hop flavors, bitterness, malt sweetness and the alcohol. F: Very creamy, luscious mouth filling texture makes the medium to medium light body feel larger than it is. The medium to medium high carbonation is very fine and soft. O: An excellent, very well balanced beer.

Oct 10, 2015
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superspak from Ohio

3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 11/29/2015. Pours slightly hazy orange/amber color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, peach, pineapple, pear, lemon zest, orange peel, pepper, pine, honey, light caramel, toasted bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of juicy citrus/tropical/piney hops and moderate bready malt sweetness; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, peach, pineapple, pear, lemon zest, orange peel, pepper, pine, honey, light caramel, toasted bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Moderate amount of piney/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, peach, pineapple, lemon/orange peel, pepper, pine, honey, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/tropical/piney hops and moderate malt sweetness; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from bitterness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, moderately sticky/resinous, and lightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a very nice DIPA style. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/tropical/piney hops and moderate bready malt sweetness; and very smooth and easy to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Sep 26, 2015
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Best by 11/28/15.

Pours a murky dark golden-orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus fruit, citrus zest, grapefruit juice, and earthy hop aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest, grapefruit juice, and slight tropical fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a solid mix of citrus and tropical hop qualities.

Serving type: bottle.

Aug 20, 2015
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MattyG85 from Minnesota

4.19/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a deep golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Big three finger off white head which settles into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A juicy, earthy, and floral hop forward aroma with a scent of citrus, grass, and caramel. Citrus hop hints of grapefruit, orange peel, lemon, passion fruit, and melon. Earthy hints of grass and pine as well as some floral hints. Malt hints of caramel, toffee, grains, and yeast. A pretty good smell.

Taste: Like it smells, a juicy and earthy hop driven taste with good notes of citrus, grass, and caramel. Upfront citrus hop notes of grapefruit, mango, orange peel, melon, passion fruit, and lemon. Earthy and floral hop notes of grass and pine resin. Backing malt notes of caramel, toffee, cracker, grains, and yeast. A very nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Juicy, chewy, and fairly drying.

Overall: A pretty solid take on an Imperial IPA. Good juicy hop flavor with a solid sweet malt backing.

Aug 05, 2015
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Celtics17 from California

3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not very hoppy, but very malty and bready. I do get the herbal notes, and a small amount of floral notes. The aroma is average, and overall this doesn't wow me.

Aug 01, 2015
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mikeg67 from New Jersey

4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery. Pours amber with foamy, long lasting, white head. Aroma is of sherry, citrusy hops, biscuit malt, orange marmalade and hint of alcohol. Body is full and tangy. Taste is similar to aroma. Finish is long and dry. Well made Imperial IPA.

Sep 05, 2013
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gatornation from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a white head. Smell is fruity with citrus . Taste has citrus orange , with lemon and grapefruit some caramel malts in finish. Medium carbonation nicely citrus hopped.

Jan 09, 2013
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Beerandraiderfan from Nevada

3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid dark gold to light tan with ample white head, 1.24" in size. Aroma was seemingly Cascade hops coming out of it, they went old hop school here, it seems to be only the C hops of old, nothing proprietary hopwise going on. Well maybe Simcoe, but that's just because its so bitter.

Yes, bitter. And it has the malt body to not make it poor in taste, it simply doesn't impart the hop mouthfeel/flavor. I know, its something I write over and over, but I think it really gets to the point when you say an ipa (especially double) is really bitter but not imparting hops. Like they dry hopped with pennies as much as hops. Thankfully, this isn't thick resiny sticky, which also many of these bitter bombs seem to indulge in moreso. Astringent instead of imparting any notions of fruity like hop flavors and aromas. Of course Alaskan doesn't seem to bottle date in any discernable sense for the average consumer, so who knows if freshness was an issue.

The single IPA Alaskan makes is so much more aromatic and enjoyable.

Sep 25, 2012
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vandemonian from Maryland

3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Alaskan Imperial IPA was disappointing. It wasn't especially hoppy and it tasted oxidised.

A: Orange colour and not much head 3.5

S: Sweet malty nose with some citrus hops. 3.5

T: Piney citrus hops and a good malty base. Oxidised aftertaste. 3.5

M: Undercarbonated. 3

O: 3

Sep 13, 2012
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Gavage from Nevada

3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a clear dark orange color with a one finger head. Thick surface coating lingers through the drink.

Smell: grapefruit and pineapple dominate with some softer earthy hop bitterness.

Taste: nice malt presence with loads of grapefruit, some pineapple, lemon zest, a bit of pine and some earthy notes. Bitterness is hearty. Alcohol slightly noticeable.

Mouthfeel: medium- heavy bodied beer. Lightly crisp to start, smoother and lightly dry at the finish.

Overall: a decent DIPA that is citrus centric. Easy to quaff.

May 28, 2012
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Mora2000 from Texas

4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma if full of citrus fruit, with a ton of orange and pineapple notes. I also get a little bit of biscuit malt. The flavor is also very fruity. I get a ton of pineapple, orange and apricot notes, with just a hint of malt. The bitterness is fairly high due to the lack of malt in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Apr 10, 2012
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LiquidAmber from Washington

2.91/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review from 3/2011 notes. Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a clear orange amber. Half a finger head with light lacing. Aroma of light hops and malt. Nice citric hop and malt start, but a very astringent middle with an unpleasant almost metallic aftertaste. Medium bodied. I don't know why this was so subpar for me, maybe a bad bottle? An uncommon miss from Alaskan.

Mar 23, 2012
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mdfb79 from New York

3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 01/07/12 notes. Thanks to MrChopin on RB for sharing this one. 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a murky medium orange color with two inches of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hops, oranges, fruity malts, and light pine hops. Lots of oranges and fruity, pretty nice.

t - Tastes of oranges, lemons, citrus hops, fruity malts, and light pine hops. Not as strong as the nose, but still nice.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Not a lot of bitterness, pretty easy to drink for the ABV.

o - Overall a nice DIPA from Alaskan. Some nice orange and citrus hops to it, would certainly have it again.

Jan 25, 2012
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Jason from Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bomber with a freshness date.

LOOK: Hazed pale amber, excellent lacing.

SMELL: Candied orange peel, mint, figs, alcoholic esters, bready malt.

TASTE: Pulling hop flavor, leafy, medium body, smooth, mint, spearmint, cigar tobacco, orange cordial, warming alcohol, estery, dried tropical fruit, bitter finish.

Hits all the right bells and whistle to be a DIPA, good balance and a sipper. A bit cleaner and perhaps replacing or toning down the Amarillo hops with some other hop would have been better here.

Nov 07, 2011
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OleJohnnieAle from Minnesota

3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden Amber color, great looking beer!

Scent: Hoppy scent with floral and citrus aromas

Taste: Definately can taste the fresh hops but a bit of a boozy taste is coming through.

MF: Great flavors, well balanced

Overall: Good beer, fresh hop floral flavor but a little too boozy flavor for me

Serving type: bottle 9.99 1pt6oz

Oct 28, 2011
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sprucetip from Alaska

3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes.

Very good looking brew. It's clear, active, orange/amber, with a couple of fingers of white foam in the goblet. Leaves patchy lacing.

I suspect centennial is what I'm smelling most, due to the cat piss tinged citrus smell. I feel more than I smell the booze. It takes a swirl to find much of the complexity that emerges more later and includes some toffee/caramel malty notes. This is not a great smelling beer, but not bad either.

There is mild bitterness from start to finish. If you are looking for scorching hops, you won't find them here. The hop flavor is mostly citrus but with a dash of pine and floral flavor. I think some of the fruity taste is coming from the yeast. The malty sweetness is more evident than the malt flavor. Again, this isn't bad tasting, but it isn't anything special either.

Well carbonated, medium/full body, some viscosity, very gentle warming and a smooth finish.

This beer looks good, feels good, is pretty smooth and balanced, and smells and tastes decent. But it's not really what I think of as a DIPA. It certainly wouldn't be my example of what to aim for when you make one. Where Alaskan is the closest regional brewery to me that bottles beer and has the ability to make really great beers, this one is kind of disappointing to me. I was excited to try it, but it was a let down. I like the DIPA's I make much better than this.

Alaskan has shown that they can knock it out of the park (e.g. Baltic Porter, Barelywine, Smoked Porter). But they swung and missed with their Pilot Series Imperial IPA.

Oct 05, 2011
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jeff1973 from California

3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Maudite tulip.

A - Hazy light burnt orange. Off-white head leaves decent lacing.

S - Peaches, mangos, a little grassy, sweet malts.

T - Again peaches and mangos up front, then a grassy sweet taste (reminds of sweet tea). Dries out a little, but very little bitterness in this one.

M - Medium low carbonation that gives a nice silky feel. Medium heavy body, what a big beer like this should feel like.

D - Medium high. Carbonation and almost no booziness makes this go down easy.

Not a Hop Bomb. A very subtle Imperial IPA heavy on the fruit aspects of the hops.

Sep 18, 2011
Imperial IPA (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 127 ratings