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

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72 Reviews
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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 waltersrj
3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Two Bells Tavern Seattle next to the famous "Tavern Burger."

Pour: deep orange/amber, somewhat syrupy looking with a very minimal bubbly white head that quickly dissipates into itself and leaves a small oily ring around the edge of the glass. The lacing is like cobwebs around the glass which must be from it's oily pour.

Nose: Slight pineapple, lemon grass, minimal pine and slight citrus orange zest.

Taste: Not what I expected. It starts out like those pineapple candies that have jelly inside a hard shell. Transitions into lemon grass, slight wheat tinge, lemon zest and slight grapefruit rhind. Everything seems dull compared to most IIPA's but that pineapple candy taste is strange and won't leave my mouth. The aftertaste is half candy half soap.

Mouthfeel: Not bad, on the oily side of IIPA's and minimal carbonation although I see bubbles rising up.

Overall: Not the best IIPA, pretty boring really and one dimensional. That weird candy/soap taste won't leave but I needed to try this one. Decent but not worth buying in a bottle IMO.

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Photo of Derek
4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Copper-bronze with an off-white head, good retention & lace.

S: A pleasant aroma, though not at all over-powering. Grapefruit rind, pine, tangerine, toffee,

T: Grapefruit rind, nectarine, pine, lemon-grass, slightly metallic, sponge toffee, candied pineapple, pleasant bitterness, hints of alcohol warmth.

M: Well-attenuated, moderate body has a light hop acidity and a crisp finish.

D: Very well-crafted. So balanced it seems more like an IPA and a half than a DIPA, yet it does have the strength. I could easily session this, then seriously regret it.

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Photo of vitALEity
2.78/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - light amber

S - kind of metallic, a bit too much alcohol, mild pine

T - too sweet for a double IPA, metallic after taste and a bit too much alcohol comes through

M - sharp/carbonation

O - an ok imperial but doesn't compare to west coast CA doubles that I'm used to

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Photo of NWer
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a beautiful dark golden color into my chalice. Nice head retains well and settles into a typical DIPA foam layer - thin and clingy around the edges.
From there, it's down hill but not drastically. It would make a good IPA but barely makes it as a DIPA.
In a word, it's rather boring. I expect more from a good DIPA.

edit: as the beer warms a little and the flavors unfold, I am growing to like this beer more. I moved my original scores up a notch to reflect this. It definitely improves as it warms.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz poured into a Tulip

A- Bright, clear orange with a huge fizzy off-white head. Good lacing.

S- Grassy and Pine

T- Citrus, but also a bad metallic taste.

D- Huge carbonation and good mouthfeel.

O- I really wanted to like this one. Did I get a bad bottle. I tasted off, but not terrible. The metallica aftertaste made my teeth hurt. sad

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Photo of FosterJM
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

424th review on BA
Bottle to tulip
22 oz.

App- A very dark orange with a one and half finger head. Small clings line the top of the glass

Smell- Fresh grapefruit with some lingering malts. A bit of fresh picked and cut green apple.

Taste- Way too much of an apple juice taste behind it. Slightly acidic with deeper malts. Was a bit different than expected but not in a good way. Was too in the middle of fruity and piney.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonation with a residual green apple taste.

Drink- It's a very new DIPA. Not really piney or resiny or fruity. Just in the middle. I probably won't come back to this one.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Slightly hazy tangerine liquid with two fingers of active beige sponge. Good retention, and sticky/messy lacing.

Light pine, faint citrus, and woodsy bitterness in the nose. Restrained C-hops throughout.

Moderately bitter, earthy/spicy/herbal palate entry, which grows sweeter from malt, then drys out in the finish without any astringency. Faint citrus and pale malt (?) in the aftertaste. Has a mild NW IPA profile overall. Some esters from alcohol come forward as the beer warms up.

ABV is well hidden. Well carbonated, medium-bodied, and vaguely creamy.

Not bad, but not especially impressive example of the style. Works well with food (in this case, it paired well with broiled asparagus, broiled salmon, couscous with parsley) in any case.

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Photo of azdback
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Spaten glass. A very transparent copper color. Medium carbonation bubbles. Head is two fingers of bright white that quickly diminished into a bit of lace.

Smell is sweet hops. I think it smells mostly like pineapple and orange or tangerine. No alcohol smell at all. Some yeast or bread smells come late.

The taste is not what I had expected from Alaskan for this style. Initially sweet malts, but not the hops I was anticipating. The yeast profile is bold and not so tongue loving (lin my opinion). Really kind of weak for a DIPA.

Minimal carbonation, a tad on the watery side, but not terrible. The hops, which are not very present in the taste, are definitely wreaking havoc on my tongue at this point. A slight nutty oiliness.

For the most part, I was a little disappointed in this one. Alaskan has put out some really solid beers. Their Baltic Porter and Barleywine, as well as the Smoked Porter, are all very good beers, but this one leaves a lot to be desired. That being said, I am still glad to have sampled it.

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Photo of Docer
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: (3.5)
- Pours a clear shiny copper penny. Spot on really. Nice couple fingers of white dense fizz.. leaves a nice thin blanket kicking around.

Smell: (3.5)
- I am really liking the smell. Very fresh floral and grassy notes. Touch of fruit, caramel malt.. it's not very revealing. Just fresh and mild in smell. I bet it's hiding a lot more.

Taste: (4.5)
- If you win points for balance as a beer, this one takes the cake. I am thoroughly impressed with this imperial ipa. I would have to say that this is one of my favorites to date. The balance is impeccable. Great light fruity touch to the hops, with a wonderful fresh grassy bitter hop flare. It's like that reintroduction to a crisp fresh lager that one would remember from a long time ago. Great biscuity caramel malt rides along simply and is not overpowering. Great beer.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Medium bodied, perfectly carbonated.. bit sticky but not too much. Lightly warming though not overly strong. Fresh taste leaves a fresh mouth feel. Lightly chewy.

Overall: (4.5)
- Like I said.. this is one killer imperial ipa. I hope this can be found over and over exactly the same as this bottle I have right here. It's perfectly balanced and has one of the best hop profiles for my taste. Get it!

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky orange color with a dark brown edge. Chill hazed, microbubbles pump up the foamy and full ecru head. Retention is great, lacing fades a little with age. Nothing to complain about here.

Fairly aromatic, although more personality never hurt an Imperial IPA. I get citric notes of grapefruit and orange zest, alongside a less dominant note of grainy, caramel-sweet malt. There is some heat, but I'd like more power.

This is muted all around. The melon and grapefruit notes are nice but could use a less acidic edge and more of a prickly potency. Carbonation is a bit high and lasts into the semidry finish.

Not bad, but this could be tweaked to be improved. I won't be getting another bomber.

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Photo of trappistlover
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(22oz bottle). Pours hazy copper color with 1 finger off-white head. Active carbonation. Aroma has pine, grapefruit, and papaya. Taste is sweet malt with hop bitterness. Medium bodied with an oily texture although the head adds a creamy element. The head still remains and the lacing is really more of a coating on the glass. I didn’t have much expectation considering their regular IPA (which is not an IPA), but I was pleasantly surprised. This is a pretty good beer. Nice job.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a glowing goldenish orange color with good carbonation leaving a nice white cap and some bubbles

S: Some citrus, zesty, Earthy, herbal

T: Has hints of fresh fruits; tropical and some citrus, Earth, some bread and caramel

M: Nice bitterness, medium body, good feel and taste

D: Average to good

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Photo of Beaver13
2.62/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle. Pours a dark orange amber with a medium frothy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is very subdued - a little sweet malt and some perfumey hops.

The flavor is subdued too - some sweet bready malts with some spicy minty hops. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, not very impressive for a DIPA. It's way too subdued.

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Photo of GilGarp
2.56/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bomber served cold into a pint glass.

Alaskan IIPA is a copper color with good clarity. The head is about an inch thick with a straight pour but it settles quickly. Some lacing is left behind.

Aroma is more boozy than hoppy. Not enjoyable.

Flavor is strong and bitter. There is some citrus but it's not fresh and zesty. The malts are more dominant in a sense because of how boozy it is.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with "hot" alcohol character.

Overall this is far below many of the others in this category. A big disappointment after spending $9. Never again.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a burnt orange with a light medium white head. Very good lace as the style should have, solid head retention.

S: Strong grapefruit and orange notes, a bit boozy, but a nice scent overall.

T: Dominated by a hop flavour of grapefruit and cantaloupe which is nice if not particularly intriguing. Just too boozy at times, the flavour is just OK. Not bad, but OK.

M: Medium-bodied, smooth and crisp, nice aftertaste, the ethanol makes it's presence known in the flavours but not here in the aftertaste and finish.

O: I finished the half pint fine, but that's really all I want.

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Photo of skridgeus
2.34/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I was going to do a proper review for this beer... but am not going to as it is not worth the effort. This beer looks fine. It smells fine. I thought that it was going to be fine until I tasted it.... This beer is not worthy -- just a big alcoholic mess. Don't walk, run away from this DIPA.

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Photo of ArrogantB
2.86/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle $9. Wow, I split this with two friends and we were unanimous that this sucked. It looked good, orange, decent head and lace. It smelled subpar for something that is supposed to be hoppy. The flavor was very alcoholic and unenjoyable, no hops. Maybe this doesn't travel well but for $9 I expect a lot more.

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Photo of Zorro
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear orange amber beer with a tall tan colored head.

Smells sweet with a perfume like odor of herbs with spruce being the strongest. Light scents of pine and coffee. Smell is on the light end for the style.

Starts out sweet and woody herbal, tastes of cedar and spruce. Fairly strong butter flavor here. Quickly becomes more Barley Wine than DIPA in flavor.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Good thick mouthfeel.

Drinkability is OK but I have 4 different beers in my refrigerator right now that I like better.

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Photo of zhanson88
3.61/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a pretty intense looking burnt orange with just a bit of haze and over two fingers of off-white head. Both retention and lacing are good.

Smell: Lots of citrus and grapefruit, with a slight amount of dank hops as well. There is a nice fruity component in this one, but fewer hops than I had hoped.

Taste: Lots of fruity notes in this beer. Orange and lemon zest, grapefruit, maybe a bit of mango. A moderate amount of hops and a definite alcohol burn on the back end. Juicy finish. It definitely isn't as hoppy as I had hoped, but the fruity components make up for some of that.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Medium bodied with an expected amount of fine carbonation. Nice feel. Overall a decent DIPA, especially if you like a lot of fruity notes. More hops would have been appreciated, but still a pretty solid effort from Alaskan Brewing.

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Photo of Aldenby
3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

S-bottle 22oz

A-very clear, nice bright orange with an off white head, better than average lacing

S-you get the malt and hops but you have to dig for it as this beer does not put off a huge aroma, you can smell the alc. as this is an imperial.

T-high alcc. is my first impression but cut next with fresh hops and a good malt flavor, leaves a sticky feeling in my mouth, good but cloying for me.

M-like I said starts dry and becomes a little sticky/cloying feel.

D-would not turn this down but could only have two or three pints at a time.

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Photo of ccrida
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Alaskan Imperial IPA is a chill hazed burnt gold / pale auburn with a small off-white head that leaves light lace.

Smell is spicy, resiny hops, some malt sweetness, not super intense. Earthy, a stemmy aroma, kind of a mix between potting soil and peanut butter. I kept waiting for this to open up as it warmed, but it never did.

Taste is really pretty malty, with not nearly the pungency of hops that I prefer in the style. It seems a little dirty from the alcohol, thick from the malt, kind of extract style.

Mouthfeel is on the drier side, but comes off as thicker, heavy.

Drinkability isn't too high for me. Not my style of DIPA, really more like a double pale, with lots of malt, noticeable alcohol, and unimpressive hops. Probably the most disappointing brew I've had from this otherwise top tier, very consistent brewery.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 picked up at the COOP yesterday... I think it was about $8. Poured into MNFG... fairly aggressive pour produced a 2 finger very long lasting sorta yellowish/lite tan head... the brew is very clear orange.... great crusty lacing for the entire glass.

Nose is punctuated by a big blast of citrus zest.... tangerine and meyer lemon... a little bit of malt sweetness.

Flavor begins with a brazing citrus oil hoppiness... resinous and bitter from mid palate to the finish... a lite malt sweetness makes me think crystal more than just residual malt... pretty balanced really.

Body is medium with a good standard carbonation.

I would have preferred this one to be a touch drier, but it is still very nice and bursting with fruity freshness right now.


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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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