Alaskan Imperial IPA (Pilot Series) | Alaskan Brewing Co.

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Alaskan Imperial IPA (Pilot Series)Alaskan Imperial IPA (Pilot Series)

Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by JohnGalt1 on 03-13-2011

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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 126
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looking forward to this beer. It's a tad old, but that's what comes of hauling beer back to Australia from the US. Purchased from Star Grocery in Berkeley, CA.

Pours a burnished coppery orange colour, brilliantly clear, with a firm and solid head of just faintly off-white. Lacing is speckled, but the retention is good. It really looks like a very suitable and stylistically good IPA.

Nose is herbal and sharp with clear American hoppiness, with a touch of strained dust and plastic too it, perhaps an example of the age. Earthy, slightly musty pepper characters come through as well, but not any genuine spice or piquancy. Interesting.

Taste is very sweet, almost wort-like, without a great deal of bitterness to pull it back. Caramel and barley sugar entry with a lingering hint of cough drops and menthol. Hops do appear mid palate, but they only lend a herbal twang and a slight citric astringency that again gets overwhelmed by the malt.

Not quite there, to my mind. Alaskan does some great brews, but this is heavy and thick without a huge amount of purpose. Of course, the aroma hops have probably died a little with the age, but that doesn't explain the under-attenuated body. It's still a decent brew, but I've had better from Alaskan, and better IPAs.

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Photo of hardy008
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark amber with a 1 + finger of off white foam with good retention and spotty lacing. The aroma is light and sweet with oranges, pine, and caramel malt.

Tastes just like it smells with oranges, pine, and caramel malt. Sweet with a good deal of bitterness for balance. I can see where some would think there is too much malt and not enough hops, but this beer works nicely for me as it is.

More than medium bodied with nice carbonation. Feels very smooth and easy to drink. I like this beer quite a bit because it is not just your standard IIPA that most other breweries make. I would gladly buy this again.

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Photo of ebrauser
4.43/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a heady, medium-toned amber with a wet beige head composed of thick and sticky bubbles.

Aroma: Biscuity malt with a slight sting of hop bitterness. Raw hop oils become more fragrant and flowery.

Flavor: Bittersweet entry, reminiscent of the tartness of an apple. This leads to a bready and almost syrupy sweet middle. There s a yeasty spice left in the back of the through as the bitterness lingers through the finish.

MF: Thick and syrupy, with large flavors that allow you to take your time on this beer. Conducive to drinking slowly and thinking about the textures that develop.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up about a week or two ago at Monument Wines and Spirits.

Appearance- golden amber color, thick foamy head, nice lacing

Smell- citrus and piney hops

Taste- citrus and piney hops, well balanced

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- I thought this was very good. I definitely will have it again.

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Photo of welldigger888
4.31/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a honey golden garnet hue with a nice pillowy white head that leaves a blanket of lacing.

Huge caramel malty nose here with ample biscuity and dark bread tones. Not a whole helluva lot of hops but some grapefruit citrus are noted.

Clean bittering hops are the show with some northwest citrus bringing the noise, that being said the malt bill holds it's own with a nice grainy biscuity breadiness.

Way creamy full bodied dry brew that is anything but cloying. Very refreshing for the abv, wow.

I would be willing to aquire this regular, Drink up!

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Photo of harrymel
3.12/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours amber ale with hazy appearence. Single finger caramel head falls to sheet of same quickly. Spot lace.

S: copper and crystal malts. Some pIne and citrus hops. Hint of copper.

T: sweet malts. Grapefruit. Bitter. Nice.

M: hi body and hi carb. Nice.

O: decent.

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Photo of SpdKilz
3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A big thanks to DarthKostrizer for this extra. Cheers!

Appearance – Pours a rather darker hazy amber color into a tulip. Slight off-white head is achieved with a moderate pour that leaves spotty lacing.

Smell – Slight hops, mainly sweet caramel, bready malts, and floral aromas.

Taste – Taste is dominated by the sweet malts and bread flavors. Just a hint of hops and pine, with a little bit of grapefruit citrus. Overall, dominated by sweetness.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, decent carbonation, a bit harsh.

Overall – Somewhat disappointed with this, and would like to see the brewery try this again but with MORE hops and LESS sweet malty caramel backbone.

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Photo of colforbin73
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

i haven't researched it -- but is it the PILOT SERIES because it is just sort of an experiment for sale? i will try other offerings from this brewery, but i probably won't buy this again. generally, in california there are too many great IPAs and IIPAs to choose from to buy a "B" twice.

pours a good filtered rich amber color with a decent head. the smell is the first indication that this beer is not quite there -- nothing jumps out at me -- mostly caramel malts in the nose -- almost no hops.

the bitterness level here is good, but not quite IMPERIAL -- this is like 1/2 of an IIPA -- the malt base is good if a tad on the rich and caramel side -- it is a very complex malt base and i think it is really flavorful and there is a dance going on with the hops here, and there IS adequate bitterness -- but it all sums up to a different, good, but OFF-STYLE beer for me.

well made -- but not a great IIPA. somewhere between an IIPA and an IAPA, or even an IESB.

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Photo of dragonWhale
3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle in Portland to bring back east to share with peoples.
A honeybell color with a tight little head and a bit of lacing. The head retention is spot on.
I bring the glass to my nose and citrus, grass, caramel, and booze greet me in a muted bouquet. Nothing too out of balance. Nothing too strong either. Strange that it is all so muted, but the beer has had a ways to travel. Who knows when it was bottled. I guess the brewery would know, eh?
The flavor is much more vibrant than the nose. A strong bitterness is balanced by a rolling sweet caramel malt base, fading into citrus and pine hops. The bitterness lingers throughout, though the beer is sweet, and provides an excellent counterweight. There is a bit of the strong booze flavor that has been mentioned in prior reviews, but it seems to have faded by now in my bottle into something supportive and fairly tasty. I can see how that can be a distracting turnoff, but it's working out right here.
A very good beer from the fine folks at Alaskan.

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Photo of shaunb81
4.44/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got this while on vacation in Juneau. Been holding it for a couple of weeks and I'm REALLY looking forward to cracking it.

Appearance - Pours a beautiful and rich red/copper with a nice one inch, off white head. Bubbling is medium and after a couple of minutes, there are some "tiny islands" floating on the top. Lacing is SUPERB in my snifter...

Smell - A little toasty and sweet on the front. Nice nose!! Me want more!! I get some earthy tones and a little citrus. Hops smell great. I want to swim in it...

Taste - I'm really digging the sweetness on the front and after about 2 seconds, the bitter, citrus hops kick in. I get a little sourness off of it too (not bad though). Me likee...

Mouthfeel - Carbonation is nice and there is a medium body to it. After about 2 seconds on the palate, there is a slight creaminess to it. Good God!

Overall - This Imperial IPA is one of the best I've ever had. Smooth, semi-sweet, and still glad that the hops aren't too overbearing. I love hoppy beers, but this one is just right. The drinkability is friggin' insane. Just wish I had a couple more to finish the night off. If you can get your hands on this one, don't sleep on it. Just reach out and buy...

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Photo of Gambac
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. Good carbonation, nice head from the outset

Golden amber, two fingers of head that took awhile to dissipate. Some lacing, really impressed by head retention

Hit with hops right away, caught some malt aroma on the backend. Definitely a smell in line with other IIPA's

Lots going on for taste, starts with a nice malt feel, continues all the way to some spice right at the end. Definitely more spice as the beer warms up, a nice touch

Thinner than I expected for mouthfeel, but surprising for 8.5%. Alcohol is muted to nonexistent, definitely a beer to share and surprise

Good to try once, might have another if offered to me. Still, a solid example of an Imperial IPA, and a good reflection of the style

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Photo of The3rdbeer
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a stemless wine glass. Haha don't judge me I was at a friends BBQ.

A- Golden peachy hue, gotta mean its gonna be a good I. IPA, little off white egg shell head that runs away fast.

S- Hops, with some citrus notes, grapefruit, some nice malts in the back ground here and some spices.

T- Wonderful I.IPA, Starts off tropical from the hops used, warms from the booze then rolls down to malt, it finishes great in the mouth and the spice at the very very end.

M- Medium lite mouth feel here, not bad for the 8.5% ABV. medium carbonation.

O- A good I.IPA would drink this again. On the top category of DIPA and I.IPA

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Photo of kawilliams81
2.64/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a 16 oz snifter.

A- light copper/orange color. Little head with some lacing.

S- spicy/herbal with some sweet malts.

T- spice and earthy/piney hops come through upfront with sweeter malts, and grassy/weedy bitterness.

M- rather thin for a Imperial IPA.

O- pretty weak attempt at the style. Would put this in the lower half of DIPA's that I have had (and the list is large). Would not try again or recommend.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.31/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Excited to try a new DIPA that rolled into to town and well I just don't see it having much success here in SoCal.

A: Pours a hazy burnt caramel color - almost orange in hue. Nice 2 finger khaki tan head with some minimal lacing.

S: Real spicy nose. Herbal. Earthy and floral pine. Aroma is pretty muted here.

T: Nice big hoppy bite but rather sweet. I think the hops do eventually win the fight. Hops are very earthy pine, spices, and floral herbs. Caramelly sweet malt is in full effect though. ABV's make an appearance and it does crisp up a little on the finish.

M: Overall creamy texture with a medium heavy body and some decent bitterness. This is definitely a big brew.

D: Drinkability was pretty low with the big rich chewy filling malts and while the hops are abundent I would have liked a bit more fruit flavor and aroma with a much lighter body.

Glad to have tried but at $8 a bomber there are much better offerings available to me that I would rather spend my dough on. In the end just too sweet and not my fav in hop profile.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Almost clear copper. Lots of near white head, TONS of lingering lace.

S - Tangerine and malt. Very light overall.

T - Nice malt bitter mix. Thinner than I would have hoped and not as hoppy.

M - Simple for a double IPA. Just saying.

D - Masks the ABV well and very easy to drink.

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Photo of dwilson01
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a bottle into my arrogant bastard pint glass, a pale orange-ish golden coloration to the body, and a thin sandy off white head to top it.

The scents are unmistakably hoppy, a pinnapple citrus type fruit aroma combined with a nice pale malt backbone to round it out.

The flavor is pretty solid, it starts out smooth and sweet almost like an orange cream dessert and then breaks into the more bitter hopiness of the brew which has a good citrus-pine taste. The back end is rounded out by a sweeter malt aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is great, very solid and smooth at the same time, a nice balance to the pungent hops.

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Photo of Rutager
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a slightly hazy, deep amber with a finger of sticky, pale yellow head.

Smell. Grapefruits, pineapple, caramel, some toasty grain.

Taste. Toasty grains and caramel, grassy hops, pine and tangy grapefruit are present. Alcohol there, but not out of control.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium-low carbonation. A little syrupy.

Overall. Not too shabby an IIPA. Lots of tropical fruit and hops.

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Photo of sholland119
3.66/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a clear apricot with tinges of gold a frothy tan head and great lacing.

S-Not much going on here. A bit of soapy hops, some light malt.

T-Better than the nose. Nice citrus hops with some good earthiness, nice malt backbone.

M-Medium bodied, moderate dryness, good carbonation

O-Yeah, pretty decent overall. Not all that memorable, but not bad.


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Photo of arizcards
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber today from Total Wine for $7.99. Best before 08/13/11.

Beer poured with a bubbly white head that is floating on top.

Nose is inviting, bready malts and floral hops.

Taste is dominated by bready malts with a decent balance from grapefruit and pine hops. Not catching a lot of sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied but not overly smooth.

Overall this is a pretty decent beer. It drinks more like a double APA than IPA. This has not been in the fridge long and is drinking at 50-55 degrees which i believe is bringing out the flavor profile.

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Photo of alenonbeeradv
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a - dark and thick for an ipa. dark orange and rust color. pretty decent head half finger think nice and frothy and fluffy. large bubbles from the med - high carbonation.

s - tropical fruit and citrus. earthy and malty. slightly hoppy and bitter. sharp on the nose, yet still mellow.

t - tastes crisp and clean. tobacco and leather notes. not much translating from the smell. just a lot of hops. no real finish just the bitterness. i was expecting more.

m - again not much there. the majority of this beers essence is in the smell (and look while we're at it). relatively crisp and refreshing, ill give it that.

o - kinda disappointed but i guess hit or miss is name of the game here.

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Photo of brotherloco
3.11/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz Bottle. Looks like a best by date of 08/13/11

Pours a deep copper color, slightly hazy with some cascading carbonation. Finger of foam settles to a razor thin light beige head.

Smells on the citrusy side of DIPAs. Grapefruit and lemon zest. Bubblegum. Faint caramel malt. Fairly light though, doesn't smell like a hop bomb.

Hmm, taste is kind of the same. Nothing Imperial in the flavor until the finish where the bitterness kicks up and some alcohol comes through. Seems like an average citrusy standard IPA for the most part.

Body never gets above medium, some crispness from the carbonation.

I suppose if this was billed as an IPA the score would be a little higher, but this one doesn't really fly as an Imperial.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a large snifter

Pours a pretty ruby color, puffs up a big pail head, has a lot of very slow carbonation going on. Head fades fairly slowly. Not cloudy (fair amount of beer left in the bottle). Smell is bright and flowery, citrusy, sweet smelling.

Taste is a bit on the sweet side, definite hops presence, but a lot of honeysuckle flavor almost overpowers it. Meets the double/imperial IPA malt profile, but kind of shy on hops. Again citrusy and floral, a strange bitter aftertaste with almost a cough syrupy note to it (noticeable and not great, but not overpowering). For the style, I'm marking it down a little bit, but just as a beer, it's not bad at all. If I was looking for a super hoppy imperial IPA, this is not where I would turn, but it's a pretty good beer and I'm enjoying it.

Mouthfeel is thick and sticky.

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Photo of mactrail
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rich and surprisingly sweet strong hoppy ale.

Pretty golden amber color in the chalice. Sprightly on the tongue, though head is not long lasting. Very sweet, and rather acidic. Pineapple and sugar cane, but also tart apples and green papaya. The hops seem to accentuate the rich flavors but add a welcome bitterness. Aftertaste is more like a Belgian strong golden ale, kind of gritty and funky but more bitter.

Not the typical DIPA, and that's what I'm always hoping for. Difficult to pin this down to a style, but I find it delicious. More of a barley wine sipping beer. If your taste runs to the austere, piney, and heavy-hitter hop, give it a miss.

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Photo of mcallister
3.32/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep golden copper colored but with little movement. Nice head fluffy and resilient leaves sticky lace abound and doesn't want to fade to oblivion.

Sweet tarts, tropical fruit, light citrus and pine. Peach, pineapple, orange peel, and lemon zest. Caramel malts with some earthy tones and bready aromas.

Odd DIPA. Very easy going, not overly aggressive. Nice malt to hop balance. Caramel malts with bready undertones lead to citrus and tropical hop flavors with a hint of grass on the finish. Some orange marmalade in the middle, guava, lemon, and grass. A bit sweet on the finish as well. Carbonation lacking slightly hurts the body and mouthfeel.

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Photo of MADhombrewer
3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It looks like this 22oz bottle has a "best by" date of 08 13 11. Poured into a Laurelwood slender wine glass.

Appearance- Dark and hazy cooper color. Off white head with very good lacing. Not the best looking DIPA I have seen. 3.5/5

Smell- Lots of grassy hop aroma with, also, a lot of caramel malt to go with it. I am not to sure about this only because I tend to like my DIPAs on the drier side. 3.5/5

Taste- Lots of earthy flavors. Grass, (I hate to say this) dirt, and maybe some wood. There is some hop flavors but I think the malts over power them. There is very little citrus to it. At the end of each sip there is some sweetness to it. Too bad. 3/5

Mouthfeel- This is borderline grainy. Too thick as well. 3/5

Overall- I am a little disappointed in this. I really like Alaskan Brewery and was really looking forward to this beer. I thought it would be a lot clearer in color, more hop aroma, and a drier flavor. This will not turn me off from Alaskan by any means, I just don't think I will get this again. 3/5

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Alaskan Imperial IPA (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
3.62 out of 5 based on 126 ratings.
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