Imperial IPA | Legend Brewing Co.

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Imperial IPAImperial IPA
Very Good
61 Ratings
Imperial IPAImperial IPA

Brewed by:
Legend Brewing Co.
Virginia, United States

Style: American 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 61 |  Reviews: 46
Reviews by Phatz:
Photo of Phatz
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of many DIPA's I had the opportunity to drink in the past week,poured a deep burnt orange with a big fluffy white head that settles in to a creamy top leaving sheets of lace behind,very piney aromas and they jump right out at ya a light herbalness beneath that is also there I decteded just a slight caramel note but it was faint.Very fresh tasting piney and very resiny and quite dry hust a light caramel malt note in the finish keeps it from being to dry but its close.A very good beer could use a little more malt but I am guessing the brewers were not looking for a big malt base when making this beer.

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Photo of merlin48
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle purchased from the Vintage Cellar cooler for $5.75. Label is somewhat generic, with a prancing unicorn framed by two sprigs of barley. "Fresh Beer-Keep Cool" printed on the side of the label.
This one disembarks from the bottle into a pint glass with a clear and radiant orange/copper amber body. The head is dense, longlasting, and ecru in color. Patches of lace resemble the continents and large islands on an inverted globe. Very attractive.

Aroma has a citrusy hops dominance, with orange, tangerine, and grapefruit esters in spades. Some pine needle notes quickly join the bouquet. Caramel malt accents are noted underneath.

Mouthfeel has a solid medium body, with plenty of tingly carbonation and some hop oil slickness.

The taste has lots of hops bitterness, primarily citrusy grapefruit, but with a hint of orange and a solid presence of pine oil. Caramel malt is barely noticed underneath but is solid enough to maintain an excellent balance. As it warms, some toffee notes emerge to lend an intriguing complexity, as some hints of pear and apple peel segue into the profile. Bitterness returns in the lasting finish, but has a softer, wetter, citrusy character.

A very interesting Imperial IPA here that has excellent drinkability. Well constructed, and has enough complexity to compete with some of the highly acclaimed examples of the style. I can easily understand why the Vintage Cellar has trouble keeping this one in stock. "Fresh Beer-Keep Cool", indeed. The abv is well concealed, so exercise moderation with this one.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A bomber courtesy of Pentathlete...thanks for the opportunity.
Pours a slightly worn copper color w/ a full two fingers of a tan head...looks like a milkshake sitting on top.
Nice aroma of sweet carmelized malt and piney hops...cherries and grapes mixed in as well.
The taste is great...a malt bomb with plenty of citrus hops to back it up.
Red plums and figs hit me as it warms...alcohol is slightly detected but definitely no burn.
Mouthfeel is quite thick, but not cloying...carbonation is possibly a bit high, but perfectly quaffable at 8.5% ABV. Beatifully bitter in the finish.
Great first impression w/ Legend...look forward to their other offerings.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An excellent post-Natty's choice while watching parts of American Beer and some Monty Python ("Can I just say this is the first time I've been on television?").

Legend appears well on their way to finding a warm spot in my heart. Having been less than wowed with most of their previous offerings, things are looking up, as the last few Legend beers have been very good. Given some of the comments from others who have recently tried this DIPA (anyone comparing a DIPA to Ruination [a beer I adore] is sure to get my attention), I was excited to snag 3 bottles from OUAV.

Color is a hazy coppery-orange in color. Busy-looking and lasting off-white head. Very nice lacing of the glass. Aromas are boisterously hoppy. Lots of citrus in here, dripping with pine sap. Very well-balanced flavor, with the malty-sweet backbone standing toe-to-toe with the citrus-piney behemoth. Smooth undercurrent of ABV warmth. Finish is laden with pine oils. Ever-so-slightly thin but still dangerously drinkable. Not quite up to Ruination, but a damn fine local substitute.

Notes: Cases of 12 bombers are $45 from the brewery. $3.75 per bomber would be a steal for this gem.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
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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Photo of JeffreyJDavis
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Sanchezrox23
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
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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3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
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 franksnbeans
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
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 blackie
3.3/5  rDev -16.2%
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 JWing
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of Rastacouere
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange pour, hazy reflects, the head is white and quickly diminishes to a ring. A very aromatic model, showcasing explosive orange, woody and floral aromatics of fresh and bright American hops. Their qualities don’t seem to be as energetic in mouth where the bitterness gains in importance, the aromas, on their side, die off a bit faster. Not much to say about the malts despite that they certainly serve as a good mouthfeel support, providing a medium body with creamy carbonation. Feels quite direct and citric in mouth, but otherwise quite pleasant.

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Photo of weeare138
3.74/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to zrrbrrt for bringing this one to the tasting...
Appears a lightly hazed orange/gold with a small white head. Streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, spices, pine, and citrusy hops. The aromas are actually very addictive.
Taste is of a slightly astringent version of the aromas. There is a mild, unrefined grain presence, along with mixed sugars, fruit, and bitterness.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, grainy, sugary, and bitter. There's balance there but it's just a bit loose and not held together...if that even makes sense. Basically, the bitters and sugars are standing on opposite corners of the room, when they should be mingling in the middle somewhere. Overall, not a bad brew though.

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Photo of arguemaniac
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orange amber color with a creamy, orange-tinged white head with that lasts and lasts. Nothing but pungent citrus hops in the aroma. Same for the palate really; huge, spicy hoppiness. And, while it’s fairly layered, grapefruit flavors come through the most. The intense but rounded bitterness and rich, clean hop flavors are a hopheads dream. Some bready malt makes its way through here and there, but is mostly eclipsed by hops. If you like double IPA’s, you’ll love this one. Highly recommended.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.72/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out a clear copper color with about 3 fingers worth of light tan head. The head stays afloat leaving rings of lace around the glass as this is consumed. You can smell the huge hop aroma as soon as you crack this one open. Big piney and citric notes as well as a strong floral presence as well. Its like the bottle is crammed full of hops, simply stunning. Taste is as you would expect from the aroma, a big huge blast of hops. Grapefruit and piney notes dominate the flavor with a bit of mild earthiness lingering in the background. There is a bit of noticeable malt sweetness but it is hardly detectable. A good amount of bitterness leaves your tongue dry and tingling after each sip. Mouthfeel is just about full with the hop prickliness thing going on. Drinkability is great, it goes down really smooth for the strength and hop kick it has. Alcohol is not really detectable in the nose and mouth either. This was a huge surprise from a brewery I am used to sub-par beer from hopefully this is a sign of things to come. Highly recommended.

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Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle obtained via trade with pentathlete. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" beige head over the clear amber brew. Frothy head lasts nicely, with ample delicate lacing, leaves a "milk mustache". Standout appearance for the style. Aroma is juciy fruit maltiness. Taste is piney and grapefuit hops bitterness combined with a overwhelmed but still substantial grain bill. Light alcohol warming at the close, and the booze leaves behind slightly sticky lips. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both appreciated. Another great Legend beer here.

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Photo of dhchatfield
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I will never forget how I came to get a case of this beer. I discovered a sales rep for for a lead generation company in Richmond, VA was a beer enthusiast and instantly talked him into getting me this beer if I paid the shipping. In the course of our conversation, I also discovered that this guy was a "professional' wrestler". No shit. And not just any wrestler, but Lindsay J. DuPont III, was the 2- time 7+ year reigning national "inter-gender" champion! Inter-gender, started by Andy Kauffman, you know....he wrestled chicks....

Anyway, poured into my Duvel tulip on an unseasonably warm Friday after work. About 60ish degrees.

A - Slightly cloudy dark peach color. Nice carbonation, not a lot of lacing. Prettty nice head recedes to an eigth inch or so and sticks around.

S - Like the color, a peach presence. When I first got my case of these bombers, they where a week fresh. This beer has mellowed considerably, and I actually like it quite a bit more than when fresh. Very little hop aroma at all.

T - Grapefruit tang, more peach, very subdued hop finish. Not overly bitter at all. Really an interesting taste. Again, remarkably different than few months ago. Very nice.

M - Nice. Creamy grapefruit finish. Leaves a coating on the tongue like no DIPA I've had to date. Full.

D - Time, albeit brief, has really improved this beer. I recall that it was quite brash a few months back, which is why this last bomber survived so long. Right now though, maybe 5 months into its' life cycle, this beer is a fabulous drinker. If I get more, I'll cellar it for 6 months before drinking.

This is really my first experience drinking a beer that I can honestly attest to having an exact feel for its' age. It is way cool to begin to understand the changes a beer can go through as it "ripens". I would strongly suggest to anyone seeking this one out:

Get two and put one away for 6 months or so and re-visit it.


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Photo of rfgetz
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
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 baklo
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

Photo of PGVG
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of objectivemonkey
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
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 Hanzo
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of chilly460
3.4/5  rDev -13.7%
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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Imperial IPA from Legend Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 61 ratings