Conductor Imperial India Pale Ale | Steamworks Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Conductor Imperial India Pale AleConductor Imperial India Pale Ale
Very Good
Conductor Imperial India Pale AleConductor Imperial India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Steamworks Brewing Co.
Colorado, United States

Style: American Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 139
Reviews by BadRockBeer:
Photo of BadRockBeer
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type Sampled: 22fl. oz. brown crown top bottle. Features freshness date.

Appearance: Golden amber, crystal clear. Dense 1 finger head leaves nice lace after its demise.

Smell: Spicy, piney and citrus hops, to me they smell like Chinooks maybe. Very pleasant.

Taste: More of the same. Very nice hoppiness. Not to over powering or bitter. Mild sweetness with an underlying toffee flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body and carbonation.

Drinkability: Very good, I find this to be an easy IIPA to drink. I enjoy it a lot. I think this is a great example of style as well. I obtained this brew from the local brewery rep. after I had a bad bottle of their beer. Steamworks customer service is A+.

 709 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer review from BA Mag Nov 2007.

American Imperial (Double) IPAs have become a common style within the US craft-beer industry, but we're not complaining at all ... we love hops, so bring it on. A chant we heard at this year's GABF was "If it ain't got hops in it, it ain't beer."

Crystal-clear amber color, some bubbles floating to the top. The head retention is no surprise; the effect of all the hops leaves a sticky, spiderweb-like trail down the glass. Smells of freshly cut wedges of ruby red grapefruit, mandarin oranges and blonde tobacco from the hops and hints of peach from the alcohol, shortbread from the grain and faint nuttiness from the yeast. A clean-cut whopping 96 IBUs wipes the palate from virtually all other flavors to start. Then the hop character turns citric with orange and grapefruit flavors with a pungent oily flavor that goes a bit minty and herbal. Some maltiness comes through with a sweet biscuity flavor. Alcohol is a little deceiving with a slow-to-start warming of the throat. Clean all around; house yeast seems to be hidden from all of the hops. Long bitter hoppy end that lands semidry.

Pretty damn good--right to spec for style. Enough balance for what it is and clean all around, not over the top which you don't see that often with American Imperial IPA's.

 1,302 characters

Photo of Bighuge
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best by July 2008.

Appearance: Radiant scarlet red. Thin cap of bubbly ivory white head. Lace is quite full.

Aroma: Nice cannabis and hop resin smell. Pineapple and mango mix in beautifully.

Flavor/MF: Warrior, Tomahawk and Simcoe. Good combo in my book. The beer has a juicy hop flavor. Dripping with the hop resin and passion fruit goodness. Also, kind of a grundgy, oily presence as well, which I like. Nice hop contributions. The malting is solid enough. This beer is medium bodied and moderately carbonated.

Drinkability. Quite good. I've had 4 fresh, new samples today from a brewery I had never tried and I am somewhat impressed. Very consistenly good product. This beer isn't gonna blow your socks off, but it's quite enjoyable and one I could see drinking a lot of in one sitting if given the opportunity.

 821 characters

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle tried 22 Mar 2009.

Poured in a DFH shaped pint glass. Medium fluffy yellowish head. Medium carbonation. Hazy dark copper color. Aroma is light, smells sweetly soapy. Taste is full of resin, sweet caramel, almonds. Fairly sweet, finish is slightly citric and bitter. Aftertaste is sweet and sticky. Medium body. Ethanol leaves a bit of a burn at the back of the throat.

Overall decent IIPA, one of the better offerings from Steamworks that I've tried.

 467 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Wilbur's in Ft Collins.

Pours from 22oz bottle(best by Feb 2007) a clear gold with a nice thick head of foam that's a very slow shrinker. Lots of lacing and the foam is there for the duration.

The smell is grapefruit to the max but some malt sneeks in there as well.

The taste on first sip is...huge on flavour. Big citrusy hops literally explode on my taste buds. Big notes of grapefruit and some grass give me an intial impression that here's no malt to be found here but...there *is* some malt. The more I sip, the more I notice that malty sweetness in the background and it's doing a good job of trying to put some real balance in this DIPA. Yep, the caramel is there and I can taste it best when I swish the beer in my mouth but even without doing that, I can taste that malty goodness. That's pretty much what I've grown to *expect* from the style; Big hoppiness followed by a more than ample malt presence. And this one did not disappoint in that regard. In fact, I'm really happy sipping on this 8.5%abv(found on their website) because I think it's a very good example of the style.

The mouthfeel feels right and the carbo is lightly done and the finish? To me, it's yet again a fine balance of malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness. I'm pretty impressed with what Steamworks has done here. Would I buy it again? You betchya!

Further notes: I read some of the reviews saying that it was on the "hot" side when fresh and could probably benefit from some aging and...I did that(drank my sample 7 months after best by date). I think you guys were spot on and thank you for throwing that suggestion out there. I wouldn't be surprised if more aging would give even better results....

Btw, if on my next trip to Colorado I can find some more, who amongst my traders would like a sample? I'll do my best to get you some. ;^)

 1,844 characters

Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear golden color on the pour from the 22 ounce bottle, a light haze till it warms to the room, brilliant white creamy head that is at least 3 fingers, and as it disappears, the lace forms a fine veil upon the glass. Big hop nose, citrus like, grassy and quite pleasant, also a nice malt backing. Start is somewhat sweet, decent malt presence with a light to medium feel at the top. Finish is purposeful in its acidity, the hops big in their spicy bite, still sweet at the end, dry long lasting aftertaste, but not what I expect in an “Imperial”, almost but not quite there, nonetheless a fine beer that enjoyed drinking.

 624 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - a sunny albeit cloudy orange pour, a finger or so of sticky cream-colored foam above. Plenty of thick lace to go around on this.

Aroma - deep and fruity citrus. Pineapple, mango, in line with the DIPA style. Good resilience, too.

Taste - short but tasty caramel malt at the fore; hops show up piny and spicy at first. Some florals appear mid-palate and then take a dryer, more medicinal turn. The abv makes for a warm aftertaste without amplifying the medicinals, so I like the balance there. Finishes with orange and grapefruit rind.

Mouthfeel - some good body to this beer, carbonation feels a little ramped up as well. Not the full-on hop slickness I like, but it works.

Drinkability - a lighter DIPA, and a little more quaffable as a result. Still a sipper to me for the huge hop profiile - wouldn't want to gulp your way around all that flavor. Big thanks to BGThang for the bottle, very nice!

 915 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazed, pale orange color, lovely, long-standing, 1/4" head.

Gorgeous aromatics, note-perfect for style, tickles the nose with pithy pine and citric esters.... grapefruit and mango, lemon peel. Brilliantly bitter.

Taste: plump and brash at once, jumps into the mouth with full force, then gets creamy and mellow. Big time fruit and hop bitterness, getting more intense and electric as it washes down the throat. Intense buzz on the palate.
Gets a bit hot and fierce on the way down, as well, perhaps the alcohol speaking up a bit.

Another sip, another trip to the lips, and it all comes together again, the flavor, the smooth, then the heat...and isn't that what a good Imperial IPA should be all about?

Tasty, tasty...I've got to remember to stop underestimating these guys.

(Noticing my score much higher than other, perhaps I can chalk it up to being freshly tapped? It's good to me, man!)

 908 characters

Photo of tavernjef
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep and solid ambery orange with a partial golden edging. Firm capping of a finger high sits well in its dusty ivory thick and bubbly foamyness. Lots of thinnly placed sheeting lace sticks all over the glass like rain on a dirty window.

Moderately juicy and fat(or is it phat) aroma of tropical goodness and hops. Pineapple gooey stuff from the underside of pineaplle upsidedown cake, mango slices, dark red grapes, and some twisted in bittering of well-rounded yet dullishly applied citrus of darker orangey things.

Whoa!... this grows on ya quickly as its hoppy warmth settles into the throat with a warm gooey tropical girth spiced with a wonderfully leveled orangey pithy bitterness. Its flavor profile is muted in a big malt ease and hop toned ooze of pleasing hop grease as it glides through each sip with glee. It gains way more perspective in its delicate hop complexity and warmth as it finishes with all sorts of warming tropical notes of orangey oils, mango jam, and slight woodish bite. This has a load on the finish which makes the easy front end seem so empty, its hard to put a number to, but its solid and impactful, perhaps not as complex or clean as I like out of Impy IPA but its well worth every sip due to its wonderfully ample drinkability and warmth.

Feel is very nice with fullish body and a slick gooeyness of malts laced with all sorts of tropical fruityness and spiked with big warming hop spices and smoothly lasting bitterness. Impressive finishing attributes as it warms the throat. The hoppy textures and tones get complexing as hell with a semi drying tropical bite and a load of warmth and bitterness that really sits for an amazing hopitude in your throat and gullet.

This has amazing drinkability! Very easy to down at first until the warmth and 8.5% catches ya, then it tends to sink in a bit slower for finishing off the bomber. But damn if this didn't hit the spot! Good stuff!

 1,920 characters

Photo of HardTarget
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Great West Coast citric hop nose, citric and fresh, with a light toasted sweetness underneath.

Appearance: Copper glass, thin head, but laces solid sheets.

Flavor: Hops are what it’s all about. A bit one sided, not a lot going on besides showing off what Citric hops taste like.

Mouthfeel: Some bitter pucker, medium body, little oily.

Overall Impression: A good IPA, but not very complex. Still, enjoyed drinking it and grew to like the candy element in the finish as it warmed a bit.

 498 characters

Photo of ElGordo
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright orange color, topped by a half-inch of creamy, off-white head. Aroma of lightly sweet, bready malt with a touch of honey, along with a big whiff of grapefruity hops. Palate is aggressively bitter up front, with a great floral character. Mellow, bready malt balances things out towards the finish. Not much in the way of a lingering finish, but there is some definite residual warmth.
Body is full and robust, avoiding any stickiness. Not a particularly impressive or overwhelming beer, but a decent offering nonetheless.

 536 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a hazy copper color with a short one finger head that breaks apart quickly to some big surface bubbles.

Smell: loads of pine, grapefruit, and caramel sweetness is easy to pull from the glass.

Taste: this one follows the nose as caramel, green grapes, pine, and grapefruit are well balanced with a strong bitterness. Alcohol is mildly noticeable too.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lighlty crisp to start, smooth and dry at the finish. Aftertate is very long as the flavors especially the bitterness linger on the tongue.

Drinkability: this was a well balanced hop bomb which made this easy to drink. A few of these will catch up to you, so one bottle may be enough here.

 695 characters

Photo of arizcards
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from Bevmo in late April for $4.99. Best consumed by May 2008.

Beer poured an amber orange with a decent long lasting off white head. Nose is of floral citrus hops that are a sure sign of what is ahead for the palate. Taste is a blast of citrusy and slick resiny hops ending with a slight citrusy sweet malt backbone. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth sliding across the old buds. Overall drinkability is good, not as well balanced as the better 2IPAs but very smackable in its own right. Would recommend to the hophead to try.

 558 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.12/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Best by Date of January 2007, Sampled March 2007
Pours with a brilliantly clear, markedly reddish, copper color that is topped by a frothy, initially three-finger thick, light tan colored head that has some staying power to it. The aroma has a bright, clean, hopped up, candied fruit character to it. Notes of sweetened peaches, tropical fruit, apricots, lychee, candied orange peel, and super ripe tangelos are quite descriptive of the aroma. I don't know why but it almost seems to clean, but at least if you dig around a bit you can some nice toasty / caramelized malt notes in the aroma.

Strangely this beer does not have much taste as it first hits your tongue, I get a sense of bitterness, but it is not until I start to swallow that the fruity hop character becomes noticeable. The hops are accentuated by a lightly caramelized malt sweetness, and even a touch of alcohol accentuates the sense of bitterness in the finish. This beer is very clean, in fact too clean, a lot of the flavor seems to have been filtered out of this brew. It is not nearly as big and hoppy as I was expecting, even though there seems to be enough malt here to get this to a Doubly IPA hopping level. Bright notes of sweet citrus, lychee and tropical fruit are definitely the biggest flavor contributors here.

This beer just ends up leaving me dissatisfied. What is really disappointing is that this should have been an explosion of hop flavor, instead the brewer seems to have filtered this beer into a flabby, flat shadow of a Double IPA.

 1,530 characters

Photo of akorsak
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Shady McGrady's prior to the Beer Wars premiere.

A: The DIPA is a golden copper color, very clear with little haze due to the serving temperature. A white head of nearly a finger didn't last long.

S: The aroma is grapefruit heaven, thick and practically dripping with citric bitterness. The caramel malt base keeps things in check.

T: Mmmm hops. The bitterness is delicious, citrusy with a firm sweetness. Grapefruit and pine needles jostle for attention, leaving an oily finish that is very prickly. Caramel malts are subtle, low-key behind the hops.

M: The hops are strong but not dominating. Compared to the Moylan's Hopsickle that I also had, this is much MUCH better with a far more balanced body.

D: Two pints really hit the spot. A welcome addition to the PA lineup.

 795 characters

Photo of Crosling
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark colored Double IPA, a reddish brown with a full developed, well lasting foam. Fairly nice hops nose; oily, pine-like with spruce notes and tropical fruits, peaches and herb. Also a bit of malt as well. Flavor is well balanced, clean, nicely flavored and also has a nice finish. Fairly intense bitterness, but also hop flavors of citrus. Overall, it's pretty nice.

 368 characters

Photo of Beaver13
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, dated best by 10/07. Pours a reddish golden orange amber with a thinnish creamy white head that quickly diminishes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is strong tangerine hops with sugary caramel malt in the background.

The flavor is sweet sugary caramel malt with tangerine and melon leading to a decent earthy grassy bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium with low carbonation.

Overall, a pretty nice DIPA. Not my favorite hop flavors. The bitterness and sweetness are both strong (especially sweetness - it becomes a little cloying) and don't balance well. But this is definitely the best Steamworks' brew I've had. I didn't realize my bottle was slightly old - I'd like to try a fresher sample.

 757 characters

4.97/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've never tried any "Steamworks" beers, but was blown away by the fantastic taste of this Imperial IPA.

The beer poured beautifully into a pint glass (of course, had to keep "adding" to it, since the bottle was a bomber). The head was reminiscent of a nitrogen delivered beer-- very thick and creamy. It disappeared too quicky for me, but the taste of the beer made me forget all about that.

Hops and more hops-- balanced perfectly with malt. Not overly sweet and highly drinkable. Would love to know what the ABV is-- didn't taste much more that 7%, but I'm sure it is.

I would buy this by the six pack if Steamworks would sell it year round! Love the hops!

 668 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Polished pumpkin with 24-karat gold trim. A single stream of lazy bubbles points the way to a pastel orange crown that is firm, bubbly and sticky. This is the sort of hop resinous head that deposits gobs of lace... which is just what is beginning to happen. The appearance doesn't qualify as eye candy, but it's very nice all the same.

The nose is tremendously citrus fruity and is absolutely bursting with juicy orange. Has to be the Simcoe. The other two hops are Columbus and Warrior, neither of which is orange or tangerine-like. My eyes and nose say that this is a 'pale only' DIPA. Good.

Conductor needs a few more boxcars worth of hops, notwithstanding the stated 96 IBUs. Since the 'best by' date hasn't yet arrived, I can only conclude that the malt sugars have neutralized most of the alpha acids. That theory may not hold up, but something has to explain the lack of aggression.

As expected, the malt is no darker than sugary pale. Sweetness is at least as evident as bitterness, maybe even more so. That's fairly common in DIPAs (doesn't mean I have to like it). Tropical fruit flavors include orange, pineapple and pink grapefruit. Too bad the raspy bite that all hopheads crave is nowhere to be found.

The mouthfeel starts out on-track and then comes close to getting derailed at the finish when it eases up too quickly. Carbonation is a little more lively than lackluster.

Conductor could be a runaway locomotive of a DIPA if the brewers would stoke its engine with more hops. As is, it's merely pleasant beer with a lot of unrealized potential. It's too bad, but I can't give the 'all aboard!' recommendaton.

 1,629 characters

Photo of SwillBilly
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to my brother in law for bringing this back from Denver.

Appearance: Pours copper in color with a thick,frothy 1 finger head that fades slowly to a sheer lacing. Thick lacing clings to the side of the tulip. Crystal clear. Looks enticing.

Smell: Very hop forward with plenty of citrusy hops in the aroma. The malt shows with an underlying sweetness with hints of dark fruit and molasses.

Taste: Starts with a nice juicy maltiness, brown sugar sweetness with a touch of fruitiness that is soon followed by a nice citrusy hop bite. Very well balanced between malt sweetness and hop bitterness. Hop bitterness lingers after the swallow but is not bracing. Alcohol well hidden for 8.5%

Mouthfeel: Medium to light in the mouth. The look and smell of the beer deceive the mouthfeel. I was expecting a big, full robust mouthfeel but was somewhat disappointed in the thinness though it leads to drinkability.

Drinkability. Conductor Imperial IPA is a very drinkable Imperial. Drinks more like a standard IPA than an Imperial. Little lighter in the mouth than I like for the style but its still good. Nicely balanced so your not scraping your tongue after drinking it. At 8.5 % abv, its dangerously drinkable. Definitely a beer I would have again. Seek and enjoy.

 1,270 characters

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Crosling for sending me two bottles of this brew. I am always looking to try new, "local" IPA/DIPAs and I was in for a treat. Bottle dates 12/06. Amber in color with a little head. Strong smell of hops which is more sweet than piney. Very nice blend of hops including Simcoe which is one of my favs. Mouthfeel is smooth & this is very drinkable. ABV is not listed. I am a hop head and this is a good DIPA.


 426 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy light amber color with a decent head that hangs around and leaves some splashy lacing

Smell: Lots of nose candy with a balance between rich caramel and pink grapefruit

Taste: Opens with a balanced sweet caramel and pink grapefruit aspect that grows increasingly bitter by mid-palate; after the swallow, the malt depth builds with some earthy flavors that add complexity; the finish has plenty of grapefruit but the residual sweetness lasts longer

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Nicely balanced if just a bit too sweet

 586 characters

Photo of BeerZack
4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear light copper color with a soap-foam cover that lines the glass well.

Lots of hops in the nose with sweet smells of pine sap, citrus and flowers (lavender).

First impression is sweet malt with the hops coming in immediately after that first hint of sweet. I get citrus but also tropical melon flavors. Nice sweet caramel breadiness comes out again to balance the finish.

Good amount of carbonation but still feels pretty soft and almost creamy; gets a bit thicker as it warms.

Overall a pretty nice and easy drinking DIPA that is pretty balanced but still slightly leaning to the hops. Just a bit too sweet as it warms up, but pretty nice stuff- one of the brews I would prefer to drink colder than warmer.

 716 characters

Photo of allengarvin
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Just arrived in Texas. 650ml bottle poured into an English nonik glass. The color is clear copper, with a large but quickly fading initial head. Lacing is adequate. The aroma is hugely, resinously hoppy, almost medicinal. There's some sweetness underneath, but the hoppiness is almost overwhelming. Flavor has some balancing malty sweetiness, but hops dominate, with pine-like, citrusiness. Bitterness is high but not off the scale, fortunately. Finish is very dry and the alcohol is noticible at the end.

Maybe a bit too one-sided on the hops, or perhaps because there are so many double IPA's these days, I found it a little boring.

 636 characters

Photo of GClarkage
3.26/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

03/06/09- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors in Mesa, AZ.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info found. Poured into a random pint glass.

Appearance- Darker golden colored pour. Bottle overflowed and gushed upon opening. Lots about 4 ounces on the counter. So, yes a very full head on the pour. A touch clouded and not really much lace but a few slight watery streaks.

Scent- Significant cardboard nose. Also lots of what smells like some stale malt. Not really any hops in the nose.

Taste- Fortunately the taste is ok. No cardboard. A pretty nice balance of hops to malt. Caramel roasted malt takes over, but the grapefruit and pine hops follow closely behind.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation level. Minor hop flavor in the aftertaste.

Drinkability- Think of a poorman's White Knuckle IPA. Maltier DIPA, think this one was past it's prime or slightly infected.

 870 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Conductor Imperial India Pale Ale from Steamworks Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 139 ratings