Imperial IPA | Legend Brewing Co.

very good
46 Reviews
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Imperial IPAImperial IPA

Brewed by:
Legend Brewing Co.
Virginia, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This intense and substantial Imperial India Pale Ale boasts 8% ABV a meaty malt backbone, and a huge hop character! Aged three months and dry hopped for two weeks, this big orange monster is allowed to mellow while it picks up about as much hop aroma as any beer can realistically hold.This popular brew is available on draft only and it won't last long.

Added by altctrlsdelete on 01-30-2005

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Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 61
Photo of argock
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Purchased at Market Street Wineshop (Charlottesville, VA) for $5.99.

A: Deep amber with 1-finger light beige head with decent retention and a nice strip of lace around the top of the glass.

S: A big time Columbus hops aroma with pine, grapefruit pith, and resin with the signature meaty, pungent herbal aroma. Maltiness is moderate caramel but mostly clean slightly bready pale malty aromas.

T: The flavor of this brew was surprisingly very good with smooth earthy and grapefruit citrus hops flavor, some pine and resin too. The hoppiness is pretty complex and well-integrated. Again very telling for a dominant Columbus character. The maltiness is very subdued but well-done with a more light caramel quality. The maltiness is "meaty" as they describe, but I think this is bolstered by the high oil content and earthy flavor of the Columbus hopping. The alcohol is very much in the background, and there is no fusel quality which I can't always say has been the case with other Legend products. This brew is very smooth and drinkable.

M: The feel is very slick and solid -- body is medium, possibly more, and the carbonation is smooth and supports the chewiness that comes on with working through the bottle.

O: I did not have high hopes for this beer, but it definitely surprised me in a very positive way. If you are a Columbus hops fan, it is a must-buy. I can't say I have always been the biggest fan (see reviews of Sixpoint beers) but this beer is starting to make a believer out of me. Great job Legend.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear lightly copper tinted amber with small cap of white soapy froth, decent lacing. Scent is lead by decent floral and grapefruity hops but quickly eaten up by nutty malts. Taste is like scent in that a pleasant hop profile leads before nutty malts take over, hops definitely not aggressive enough to justify the dIPA tag. Medium bodied, good carbonation and lightly drying. A good IPA, but clearly not a dIPA with the moderate hop profile.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on 2011-05-02 in Columbia, PA

A - Caramel/mahogany color with a light tan head and pretty good lacing.

S - Very fragrant even from a distance. Caramel, earthy spice, some citrus, mild bread.

T - Interesting combination of flavors. There's a barrel-aged, wine-like flavor that mixes with the strong caramel/toffee and citrus fruit. It's initially pretty sweet but it finishes with quite a bit of lingering grapefruit bitterness once it starts to dry out. I also notice a touch of sourness and black pepper in the aftertaste. Fairly boozy for an 8.5% ABV brew.

M - Medium-heavy body and medium carbonation give a thick, creamy and oily feel.

O - This is a good but not great DIPA. The flavor profile is more malty and earthy than citrus and so isn't where my heart lies but I enjoyed the new flavor experience.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle split and poured into a New Belgium Globe glass.
8.5% ABV, no date.

It's disturbing how often I whip my tick out around Beerwolf77. Thanks for sharing Todd!

A - Great clarity right off the bat shows off the ruby bronze color with a nicely formed and well-retained, slightly off-white head. Pinches of lace are left behind on the glass.

S - Juicy citra hops have a nice grapefruit and guava citrus aroma backed nicely by caramel and amber malts. Woody and earthy undertones give the aroma a very nice depth and uniqueness.

T - Smooth, round caramel and toffee malt profile in the background that is a bit more powerful than it should be. Is this old and the hops have faded in flavor? Maybe not because they're certainly potent in the nose. Odd juicy fruitiness pairs with a deranged type of earthiness to it.

M - Medium-bodied and smooth with an almost creamy finish that's lacking a good hop bitterness for a double, another reason it may be a little past it's prime...hmm.

O - No alcohol is perceived in this at all, it goes down very well but needs a larger hop presence in both flavor and bitterness assuming it's not a bit old. Otherwise, as the grade would reflect, it's still quite a good double IPA.

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Photo of blackie
3.3/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: served in a wide chalice, the beer is a deep amber in color, floating a finger-width off-white head that falls down to a wispy layer

s: toasty caramel malt, fermenting fallen apples, brown sugar, wet fall leaves, some diacetyl-like buttered apple, oxidized orange juice, grainy graham cracker, no fresh hop aromas to be found, gets a slight bump in score for carrying some interesting components despite a weak status as a "dipa"

m: carbonation hovers just around moderate, the body light-medium with a slight sugary malt weight

t: leafy, toasty malts, caramelized sugar, hops muddled - more oxidized citrus than the great fresh rind you might expect, no hop vitality, fermenting fruit, grainy graham cracker, a dried grass bitterness grows slightly to moderate in the finish, vivid hop flavors are greatly lacking here and sorely missed, alcohol slight but intoxicating

o: it's not a "bad" beer, but it's a wimpy, sweet dipa with hints of the off character that plagues a few Legend beers, tends towards the English side of the dipa spectrum, if there is such a thing

bomber from WF, Arlington

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Photo of beerwolf77
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes to billab914 for this bottle. It was mixed in with a ton of beers he sent me recently. Thanks Bill. Split into tulips.

A: Amber gold, solid finger of cream hued head. Sticky lacy left behind. Nice cap remains.

S: Solid hop profile citrus fruit and fresh cut grass. Hint of wood and a touch of vanilla. Smells a bit like good bud.

T: Very smooth flavor. Grassy and piney. Woody with a malt presence to balance things out.

M: Medium to fullish body. Mild carbonation.

O: A nice DIPA. I don't drink much of these anymore and it's a nice change of pace from all the sour power.

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Photo of billab914
3.16/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip. It poured a deep amber/copper color with a fluffy, inch thick foam filling the top of the glass. The head settled some, but left a nice covering over the beer as I drank it. Really nice color to it.

The aroma shows a mix of sweet malty and hoppy citrus. I get some biscuity and caramel malt flavors coming out as well as some lemon and grapefruit to the hops. I get a bit of a candy, orange like sweetness also. Not as intense on the hops as some of my favorite DIPA's, but not bad.

The taste starts off with some of the sweeter, malty flavors along with a bit of the citrus hops. Midway I start to get some of the bitter, grapefruit, citrus rind like hoppiness that continues through the finish. The malty flavors came back in the finish as well and give it a good dose of candy like sweetness. The hops showed more of bitter, rind like quality to them overall.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is moderate. Overall it was a decent beer, but not an outstanding one of the style. The hoppiness just wasn't as bold and in your face as much as I'd like out of a DIPA. It was a little too sweet for me as well. Not a bad beer, but probably not one I'd buy again when seeking a DIPA.

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Photo of rapidsequence
2.81/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle. $5.85 from Pints O Plenty.

Appearance: Brilliant, clear orange with a thick, dense head and impressive staying power. Some spotty lacing.

Smell: Candied orange, cut grass (the clumps under the mower), Glade plug in, and grainy malt. This is a weird and weak smelling DIPA.

Taste: A little better than the smell at first, but not quite good. Sweet, with restrained bitterness. Citrus and pine hops. Crackery malt. As I make my way through the bottle, the flavor gets weirder and weirder, sort of like artificial fruit flavors and plastic.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is right. The body is a little thin.

Drinkability: I would not recommend this. Its just not very good. I don't like it. Weird.

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Photo of Seanibus
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very tasty - possibly my favorite in the lineup from this modest little brewery.

Pours a deep golden with a big lively head and a torrent of carbonation. The aroma is strongly citrusy and floral, but without any sweetness, grapefruity and sharp and pleasantly sour. The flavor follows, with hardly a trace of sweetness, but a delicious citrus character, like a dry grapefruit or a slightly bitter blood orange. The bitterness on the back end is a little too dry and astringent, but that is a minor defect. The mouthfeel itself is pretty dry.

All in all, a tasty, almost sessionable DIPA.

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Photo of JayQue
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My beer store guru said this beer was the best thing Legend has put out. With the possible exception of their Barleywine, I agree with him. Pours a rich,clear orange color with a big, slightly off white head. Good retention and lacing. Strong aroma of citrus hops, but not the usual Avery Majaraha style grapefruit. Mango was the predominant aroma and flavor here. Very unusual.

Taste was excellent. The Mango and the bitterness were somewhat offset by some mild malty balance.

Mouthfeel is rich and crisp, just right. Drinkability was excellent. I shared the bottle, but I am planning to go back and get more just for me!!! Excellent!!

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Photo of tchenery
2.93/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a rich red color with off white head.

Smells like grapefruit and biting, piney hops. It's not as over the top as I had expected on the nose.

Taste is mostly hops I guess, but I'm not too impressed. It has this buttery weirdness to it and something else going on that I can't really put into words. It tastes heavy and chewy.

Mouthfeel is almost too smooth. Oily is probably a good word for it.

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Photo of jdb8507
4.44/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The smell has the hop/grapefruit hints like most excellent IPAs. The taste is good, clean, hoppy. Has a decent bite, but not too burnt.

I have been trying a lot of the hop beers recently. Although Hopslam is well above most, this is still an incredible beer- especially for a local beer (for me).

Anyone looking to try an IPA from an unconventional brewery I would recommend this one.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber coloured body with orange and ruby tints throughout. Nice tan head tops the beer perfectly. Aroma of perfectly fresh high a.a. hops citrus, alcohol, apricots and caster sugar. Medium to Full-bodied; Strong bitter hop flavour with caramel and dry malt throughout. Aftertaste nice and fresh - some hops linger, alcohol and malt there too. Overall, a really well made Imperial IPA-good flavour-not too sweet or too hoppy.

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3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter. The body is somewhere between ruby and copper with red-orange highlights. It's really a deep, beautiful color. The head is ample with an off-white color, great retention, and average lacing. Very active stream of bubbles going right up the middle.

My first impression of the aroma was resiny, but many varied aroma notes soon became apparent. There's some mild light fruit, which I can't pin down as either yeasty or hoppy. Seems like a bit of both. There's also buttery, toasty malt in the nose. Overall nice and complex nose.

Green fruit & light citrus notes hit your tongue first, giving way to a malt profile with more caramel than the nose, some heat as well, and finishing on some grassy & hot peppery notes. Bitterness and heat from the finish linger for quite a while. There are other, more subdued flavors in this one; maybe some piney hops in addition to the grassy, spicy, and citrusy ones.

It's got a substantial body. Carbonation is neither flat nor overpowering. You notice the bubbling action taking place on your tongue, but it doesn't get in the way of any of the flavor. Coats your mouth and finishes mostly clean.

With an IPA this big, drinkability inevitably suffers. I actually went through this one pretty quickly, mainly trying to figure out exactly what all I'm tasting. One bomber should be the limit for almost anyone. The lingering flavors get nearly sickening and the 8.5% ABV will put you in a pretty good place.

Overall, this is one of the more impressive offerings from Legend. It far surpasses their Golden IPA and even Hopfest. I would recommend it.

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Photo of chilly460
3.4/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice deep amber with a two finger tan head. Head was persistent, and slowly grew for the first several minutes after pour...nice looking beer. Beer is clear and crisp looking.

S - Peach and grapefruit, very clear and quite potent to the nose. Couldn't really pick up much of the malts.

T - Hop profile was much different then expected. More of a spicey, grassy English style...some pepper. Hop profile is very low key. Caramel malts hit pretty early and easily balance the hops, finishes with a taste of plain toast. Pretty subdued beer.

M - Definitely thought it was highly carbonated and a bit thin for the style, like my DIPAs a little thicker bodied.

D - Very mild DIPA, really tasted more like a beefed up English pale ale. Easy drinking, but wasn't much there to keep me coming back for another one.

No bottle dating so I have no idea how old this beer was, going to the brewery in a couple weeks and I'll have another sample there...gut feeling is this may have been a bit older beer and lost it's hops punch.

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Photo of MrOH
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rich, clear amber with a fluffy white head. Good rentention.

Toffee and caramel, banana, and citrus. Malt aroma and yeasty esters with the hops? Must be going for a more english style. It works really well, though.

Same as the smell, the toffee and caramel coat the tongue, the banana fills the mouth, then the grapefruit and pine from the hops rinse it all away. If you're looking for a classic IIPA, then this isn't it. Definitely a double English IPA, and damn good too. Very well balanced. The hoppiness fades as it warms, though.

Mouthcoating and definitely on the heavier side of medium bodied. Doesn't quite finish clean despite a lingering bitterness.

As much as I have enjoyed this, I couldn't imagine having more than one bomber, or even a pint from draft. Not so much a palate wrecker as a palate confuser, but in a good way, like a Kubrick movie in beer form. I might even buy another to share with the old lady.

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Photo of Deuane
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not sure how old this one was that I found in my cellar...wondering how it will have survived.

A-Orange-tinted copper with a CRAZY (uh-o, is it infected?) off-white head that settled down to a solid cap. Of course all that foam left a healthy dose of lace.

S-Dank, sweet caramel with a bit of citrus hops and some spiciness. So far so good.

T- Whoa...holy citrus hops. Nice! Certainly not infected and it hasn't faded much. A nice dose of spicy citrus hops with a good backing of honey sweet caramel malt.

M-Medium body with a good lasting hop bitterness.

D-A big surprise. A very tasty brew...I never imagined it would have held up this well. or would have tasted this nice in the first place. A citrus kissed DIPA that really came through.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, this is going to take forever to pour. Into my Duvel glass, pours an icy, coppery amber, the head being pretty much enormous, which is kind of nice cause now its warming to where I like it.

The aroma is hard to get at through all that foam, but there is certainly some good leafy hops, some citrus and herbal qualities, not much malt besides a vague sweet caramel malt.

The taste is quite bitter, though some malts come up, caramel and bready. Leafy hops are most present, citrus in grapefruits and some pine, quite dry and a bit bitter at the end. Most DIPAs I've had recently have a much larger malt feel to it, and its nice to have one so hop oriented. Its almost too much, really tip toes along that line, but stays within the good range.

The mouth is a bit thinner than I'd like, but I suppose that goes a long with the lesser malt presence. Lots of fine carbonation, a touch of warmth, dry toward the end, overall a pretty good beer, and a very nice extra from MuenchenerKindl.

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Photo of franksnbeans
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear as day ruby copper with a nice frothy head that dies quick. Lacing occurs in sheets. Smells of fruity hops, a little piney, nothing abrasive but strong still the same. Tastes as it smells. Big juicy but fruity hops. Also a very nice malty backbone. Very crisp and refreshing in the mouth. No abv apparant and an extremely sessionable IIPA.

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Photo of Phatz
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to SwillBilly for sharing this tasty treat at his tasting.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown amber with red legs and an ivory head.

Smell: Grassy hops, pine citrus, pine caramel sweetness.

Taste: Very sweet and malty, this DIPA with an extremely dry nearly astringent finish. The hops have big grapefruit orange peel citric bite of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It is a large medium body full of sweet sugary and bold bitterness, though not perfectly blended together that crossed my tongue pleasantly.

Drinkability: As DIPAs go this is on the sweet side with pronounced sugars and yet hop bite and vague astringent dry prickles. Overall: pleasant.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of timtim
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark reddish amber with a cream colored head that vanishes quickly and left little lace. pine and citrus aroma with maybe some cinnamon or something and a little sweet malt. hops aren't overpowering in the taste, but prevalent nonetheless. mild bitterness, mild sweetness. nice silky body. pleasure to drink. a fine beer in my second favorite style, but just not the cream of the crop. worth a shot though. btw nothing beats a super fresh ipa, so bonus points go for legend - always fresh and clean.

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Photo of ghostmech007
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big 22oz bomber poured into a tulip glass.

Deep amber pour with a ruby color halo around the edge of the glass. Beautiful in the glass. Nice solid two finger tall head.

Big hops in the nose. Nice fruit note as well, apples, pears, and orange. Very rich and deep blend of fruit.

Big citrus taste. Little bit of hop burn as well. Unbalanced but in a civilized manor. Very raw taste... it will kick your ass if your not careful. A great brew for hopheads but don't dare compare it too the 120-Minute from DFH. I mean the alcohol is there but not overpowering the brew and it has a wonderful finish to the brew. Fruity but clean... very clean.

Very big, bold brew... but enjoyable none the less. But at twelve dollars a pop for a 22oz bomber I might chose something else next time, but it was a very enjoyable experience.

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Photo of FenwaySquid
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz. brown bottle, the words "fresh beer - keep cool" on the label but no date of any kind, poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a clear light amber color. The head formed about 1 finger thick and faded into a thin layer along with some lacing.

Aroma: Citrus hops.

Taste: Citrus hops up front, lasting throughout. There's a little sweetness that comes through in the middle, but the finish is bitter and all hops. The alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Relatively smooth, the carbonation is fairly lively.

Overall: If you're a hophead, as I am, you'll love this. If not, best to give this one a pass. It is a great beer to end the evening with.

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Photo of phisig137
4.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber color, with a one finger head. Decent retention falls into a blanket of foam over the glass, while bubbles continue to rise from the bottom.

Aroma is dominated by citrusy hops, a touch of honey and mild malt.

Flavor is fairly well balanced, with a strong honey like malt presence up front. Great hop flavors from the usual suspects of the "C" hops blend very nicely. Bitterness is firm but restrained and smooth. Hints of apricots and peaches seem to pop up as well. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied. Drinkability is quite good.

Yet another Legend seasonal that far surpasses thier regular lineup. I don't understand how a brewery can have seasonal releases that are so good, and their regular line up is so boring. If only they had more capacity to produce beers like this regularly. This isn't my favorite of the seasonals, but it's still damn good and very well made.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Capital Ale House Innsbrook.

The description on the menu described the lengthy process of making this thing over-hopped, but then said at the end that it wasn't a hop bomb. Boy were they wrong. This is your pac-northwest blow your mind with hops DIPA. They are in there, they are potent, and they wreck your palate. Not saying any of this is necessarily bad, but be forewarned (I also think this might be a different beast on tap rather than in the bottle).

In any case, despite its overwhelming hoppiness, it isn't a bad beer at all. Kind of reminds me of Ruination.

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Imperial IPA from Legend Brewing Co.
3.95 out of 5 based on 61 ratings.
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