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Slipknot Imperial IPA (Brewmaster Reserve) | Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

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Slipknot Imperial IPA (Brewmaster Reserve)Slipknot Imperial IPA (Brewmaster Reserve)
174 Ratings
Slipknot Imperial IPA (Brewmaster Reserve)Slipknot Imperial IPA (Brewmaster Reserve)

Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Oregon, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A Brewmaster Reserve release - Spring 2008

Added by sinistersteve on 02-25-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 174 |  Reviews: 149
Photo of Tupperwolf
2.97/5  rDev -18%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a rather hazy, slightly glowing amber with a thin yellowish head; Little carbonation is visible in the murk, and the head fades immediately to a thin ring that leaves basically no lacing.

The scent is a mish-mash of strong hop aromas - very resinous and marijuana-like, it doesn't take on one aroma over another - there's grapefruit, pine, grassiness, and floral aromas, but they're all muddled up together so that the pretty colors of the smell are just kind of greyish brown. Very hoppy, but a bit unrefined. Heads hoppier than I might find it more pleasing.

The taste is similar - hops are dominant, and there are a lot of flavors there, but they are so mixed up as to just come across as oily, resinous, and bitter. This is how I imagine a regular bone-stock IPA tastes like when run through Randal. As it warms, a few caramel malts peek through, but bitterness beats 'em down.

The mouthfeel is somewhat interesting - this is the first beer I've had that actually does feel like it's stripping the enamel off of your teeth. It's slick and oily, and makes your jaw clench up reflexively with the sensation of the hops. Alcohol is also dominant, not in taste, but in perception - this is the first beer I've had that tastes warm when served at 45 degrees. It literally doesn't feel cold at all, it feels like it's lukewarm in your mouth. Swallowing, oddly, reminds me of swallowing toothpaste. The oiliness foams up with the agitation of swallowing, and it gets all fluffy.

For a beer, this is merely okay. For a double IPA, it's below par. Sorry, Full Sail.

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Photo of bobarito
3.79/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a nice golden-orange color with a decent layer of foam. The viscosity of the beer could be seen in the CO2 bubbles rising slowly to the top. The beer is quite clear - possibly a bit light for the style I believe, but I personally love the color. The beer has a decent hop aroma, but not a whole lot going on. Nothing that really yells Double IPA. Slightly citrusy and sweet. The viscosity of the beer can be felt immediately with the first sip, and the beer sits on the tounge nicely, perfect carbonation. It seems well balanced (for a double IPA) and the hop profile works well. Not extremely bitter at the end and the beer actually passes down the gullet smoothly. The alcohol level is apparent but definitely not overwhelming.

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

Deep golden amber colored body with a full foamy head that went a bit light on lace as it was consumed. Odd herbal smell with a weak citric hop bitterness. Light malty notes. Flavor started off with the weird herbal notes that seemed out of place and followed with some citric and piney hop bitterness. Some malt sweetness balanced the hops out. Light bitter prickliness on the finish. Solid enough body. Easy enough drinking but not quite as flavorful as I like my double IPA’s. Not bad just an average DIPA.

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Photo of unklesyd
3.08/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hmm... I didn't really care much for anything about this brew, although I've had last years (2005) and thought it was better.

Overly pale for a beer its size. Very pale amber.

Citrusy hop nose, but very faint.

Extraordinarily unbalanced to the hops. Even for the style, this was way overloaded, to the point that the bitterness was astringent and cutting rather than crisp.

Because of the (lack of) balance, this tires the palate too much. It did mellow as it warmed, but not enough. Much better blend last year.

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Photo of jamesdergen
4.82/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a golden, honey color with a one-finger just off-white head.

Smell: I could smell this beer before I held it to my nose to take a whiff. Sweet, grassy hop aroma with hints of alcohol and honey.

Taste: Fantastically smooth hop explosion. Very grassy, but also with a nice bitterness to it. Perfectly balanced with a nutty, sweet caramelly malt backbone. Alcohol is very well-hidden.

Mouthfeel: Unbelievably smooth for the style and ABV. Light-to-medium bodied and perfectly carbonated.

Drinkability: I can't think of anything to improve the drinkability. Goes down easy, very smooth and well-hidden alcohol combined with a great tasting hop festival in my mouth!

I am obviously quite impressed with this brew, another find on LiquidSolutions.biz. I wish I could find this around here because it would become part of the regular rotation. If you can get this in your area, I am very jealous of you.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.09/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright amber hue topped by a creamy white head, with little carbonation in the bottle. Nice, sweet aroma of fresh, fruity hops, with a ton of grapefruit, white grape, and grass blended with a touch of light malt. Palate is well-balanced between light malt and fruity hops up front, becoming strictly hops on the dry, bittersweet, lupulin-laced finish. Mouthfeel is very dry, but conveys the flavor quite well. Very drinkable for a beer of this stature.

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Photo of Muddybuddy
4.13/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 Brewmaster Reserve Sampled on 1-24-06

Appearance: Very transparent amber color with a generous white head that dissipates quickly, but leaves a thin white layer. Very clear and free of sediment and debris. Looks appetizing.

Smell: Very malty with a hint of orange. Much sweeter smelling than I expect an IPA to be, but as this is a double, I don't really know what to expect. Slightly yeasty, but still appealing.

Taste:The first thing I notice is a very nice herbal hops taste with a bittering that stays in check with the slightly toasty malt flavor. I don't think I have ever had quite as tasty a brew. This, in my opinion would go exceedingly well with herbal Italian dishes, spicy Thai or Indian food, Sushi (when using wasabi...) or pretty much anything worthy of a good beer.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is apparently in a relatively thin liquid as the carbonation mostly left with the pour, but this also helps to keep the drink from being cloying and sticking to the mouth. This has a similar consistency to a tea but will kick up a little carbonation if agitated by pressing the tongue to your palate. Much drier than I am used to beer being.

Drinkability: I really like this, but it is a special beer which I will save for special occasions. This wouldn't be a great session beer because of the alcohol content and the fact that I want to just savor it.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

01/18/06- Purchased at Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa, CA

Presentation- 2006 version. 22oz bottle poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Perfect amber description. Full one inch head which quickly disapates to about 1/4 inch. Small rim remains throughout. Medium lacing left behind.

Smell- The first thing my nose catches is a nice toasted malt scent. Maybe a touch bready. Strong honeydew like scent along with some green apples. Plus the typical grapefruit. Not really any pine though.

Taste- Full bitter barage of apple, peach and grapefruit flavored hops. Nicely backed by a equaly amount of toasted malt flavor. Very nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel- Medium to a lower carbonated feel. Still have a slight bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- Not bad at all. One of the better balanced DIPA's I've come across. Dare I say a session DIPA at only 7.5 abv? Tasty and easy to drink. Not quite as flavorful as the premeire DIPA's though.

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Photo of czechsaaz
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Lots of floral hops. Not grassy fresh hops but mellow earthy and flowery. Light caramel malt backbone.

Amber, clear with a quick fading thick head. The small head that lasts leaves very nice lacing.

Interesting. For a quck second it's very bitter but then that fades almost immediately to the malt. Kind of Brown sugary flavor. Then mid palate it goes back to bitter and the aftertaste is malty and a little sweeter than I'd expect. But it makes for a nice balanced beer. Probably less hoppy than most people would want in a D/I IPA but it suits my tastes just fine.

Medium to full bodied with carbonation level is pretty low.

Nice well made beer. I would definitely drink it again. Not necessarily the first beer I'd go for but a solid choice.

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Photo of Gruntlumber
4.37/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Although I love beers that are competitively hoppy, I'm not always in the mood for "shock value". It seems Slipknot would be more accurately labeled as a Barleywine rather than IIPA. This is excellent beer! Looks good, smells good, and I could easily drink too much. Very well balanced between a citrusy hop bite and a slightly sweet malty background. When I say balanced I mean for an IIPA where usually it's hops hops hops. This bomber didn't last long.

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Photo of beerceller99
4.23/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle. Has an amber color with a huge frothy head. The medium strong hop smell is citrusy, flowery. Medium bodied and softly carbonated. A strong malty sweet grain flavor anchors and meshes nicely with a fairly strong citrusy hop taste.
A most tasty IPA.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This one poured a clear, brilliant orange in color with a huge, frothing head that showed great retention.

Smell – The big, complex hop nose is spectacular. The pine is big but unusually smooth and the citrus is equally luscious and inviting. The orange and grapefruit flavors work in perfect harmony here.

There’s a light caramel smell as well, but this does not have a big, malty backbone like a lot of ADIPAs. This one is just a symphony of hops.

Taste – Amazingly, all the big, smelly hops from the nose made there way to the taste buds. You get the smooth pine, creamy orange, tingly grapefruit, and a few other flavors that I can’t nail down. Again, the malt is well in the background here and consists mostly of sweetish caramel notes.

Mouthfeel – This one is only medium-bodied, which puts it on the light side for the ADIPA style. It’s very dry though with a creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability – If there’s such a thing as a session ADIPA then this is it. It goes down incredibly well yet doesn’t fill you up. I got a 2005 vintage so it is very fresh. I’m thinking you could cellar this for a few months to “malt it up” if you wanted.

Comments – Because this doesn’t have a big malty backbone like a lot of other examples of the style, some may “pooh-pooh” this effort by Full Sail. However, the hops profile here has taken things to a whole new level.

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Photo of alexgash
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Mandarin brass body. Quite clear and clean looking. BIg, creamy, light khaki head. Nice lacing. Pitchy, douglas fir sap, citrusy, Northwest hop bill aroma, with a candied fruit and toffee malt backbone. Not as over-the-top hoppy as I would expect from an Oregon brewed DIPA. Hmmm...balance? Yessir. Taste starts with brief malt sweetness, it's very quick so it's hard to tell, but seems fruity. Big astringently bitter hop bite crashes down. Jesus. Numbingly bitter, but there's not much taste. Minor pine and citrus notes, but mostly just bitter. There's a big alcohol burn acoompanying the hops that is just too much. It makes this 7.8% brew taste like a 12%! Medium bodied, decent mouthfeel.

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Photo of charlatan
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beer sampled on tap at the Basement Pub (recommended for scruffy types) in Portland. This was a Monday night so I was fortunate enough to receive a proper (imperial) pint.

Head stuck around for a while, but left little in the way of lacing on the glass. Colour was difficult to assess in this dingy establishment, and my sniff test was affected too, but I did detect a sweet, citrusy whiff.

Syrupy sweet grapefruit flavour with a tinge of apricot gradually gave way to more bitter aftertaste. Alcohol was rather more apparent than is desirable, but the beer went down pretty easily. I could have happily gone for a second. The India Pelican Ale (available at the same venue) is a little more to my taste though.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.16/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aged penny in color, this beer sits in its vessel already starting to form a modest lace.

The nose is rich, deep, and not surprisingly pretty hoppy. Reeks of alcohol at cold, but the smells wrap around the woody hop eventually.

Toasty rich grain maltiness aligns well with mellow "near noble" hops. A medium mouthfeel leaves a little to be expected, and its lack of serious hoppiness and overzealous presence of alcohol make this one only a middle of the road offering.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.35/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out to a very hazy orangeish-copper, forming a tall soapy and creamy off-yellow head with excellent retention and gorgeous lacing, as expected for an oily Imperial IPA. Aroma is wonderful...piney, fruity, resinous and oily hop bouquet that doesn't burn the nose, and smells like it's nicely in balance with chewy amber malts, fruity esters, and a clean ferment. Carbonation is moderate. The taste is a nice representation of the aroma, starting with sticky and oily hop resins...tastes like some Mt.Hood, Amarillo, and Northern Brewers hops in there. The up-front hop taste isn't caustic and is nicely balanced with chewy malts and lots of fruity esters. Bitterness is peacefully moderate in intensity and has an interesting peachy/banana twang towards the finish. The finish is both wet, in the sense that it goes down easily and has a smooth feel, but with a slight astringency in the edges of the mouth. Cleanly fermented with no appreciable off-flavors or perceptable alcohol.

This may not be as forceful or intense as other Imperials IPA's, but this is good news in my book. Don't get me wrong, this is rich and potent, but also nicely balanced for the style and not like drinking pine needles stewed in bile. At $3.99/22oz bomber, this is a pretty good deal and I would gladly buy it again. Very good stuff, and it totally gets you messed up. Seriously.

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Photo of bditty187
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2003 Reserve

Clear, golden-red in hue with a tawny influence, minimal animation lazily danced towards the foamy white head. At the apex the head was a finger and a half in height, after a few moments it faded to a small but tight cap. This IPA has a truly lovely color. There was no subsequent lacing. The nose is hoppy but it doesn’t smell “Imperial” to me. The citrus notes are a little muted; the caramel maltiness is sturdy enough to cut into the hoppy bouquet. I detected stray pine aromas mixed with spruce. There is a moderate amount of spice and heat with some fruity notes. I am not impressed with the bouquet as it is very ordinary. It is inviting, not based on potency of the aromas but just the tickle of hops I detect. I listen when hops speak. Thus I drink. The palate is better than the nose indicated, mainly because the alcohol livens up the flavors, significantly. There is little doubt that this beer is 7.80% abv. The heat adds a pleasant layer of complexity, at first (read on). As for the hops, this is an IPA after all; I like the juicy citrus flavors. There is also a good amount of raw bitterness (which plays very lovely with the alcohol). At the back is a good amount of fruitiness, melons mainly. For an IIPA the malt backbone is not only big enough for support but fairly flavorful. The aftertaste is hot and bitter. The more I drank the more it became harsh. This hurts the drinkability and my need to drink it in the future. Medium/medium full in body, low carbonation, the mouthfeel is good, if not ordinary. This is a fair IPA, nothing special really; in fact there are more negative things I can say about it than positive. Usually I-IPA are fun to drink, this one is not, as it is somewhat boring yet harsh. I bought a bomber of this in Loveland, CO. One was enough for me, more for you?

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Photo of garthwaite
3.91/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber with slick orange/yellow label provided courtesy of skyhand - many thanks!

Pours a beautiful hazy amber with a perfect bubbly white head. Pleasant spicy fresh floral hops in the aroma, but considerably more subdued than I expected from the style. The taste is very complex & most unexpected. Nice malt backbone makes this enjoyably sweet, alcohol is evident along with flowery hops. Finish is mildly acidic with solid bittering & some fruitiness. Mouthfeel is full & crisp. To me, this is a very unique take on the style, not nearly as hoppy as I had expected or hoped for, but very complex & most definitely delicious.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a tall head of creamy white froth that imparts a bright, crisp aroma of earthen hop. This aroma is particularly fresh. The head soon recedes, revealing a clear, sunny-copper ale with infrequent large bubbles.

Slipknot is a nice drinkable IPA in a world full of nice drinkable IPAs, but there’s nothing here that grabs me. It features a biting bitter aftertaste that timid drinkers will likely shy away from and the mouthfeel is a touch gritty. Hearty but gruff.

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

Clear, orange-hued amber with a small white head that diminishes to a thin layer. The aroma is hoppy, but not as hoppy as I would expect from an Imperial IPA (The Tsar is not pleased). The brew has a thick, full mouthfeel, but the taste is similar to the aroma -- good, hoppy, but somewhat lacking. This isn't even in the same league as the Pelican Imperial IPA that I reviewed recently, or the Rogue I2PA that I sampled last week. Drinkable, but in a "ho-hum" way. Overall, it's not bad, it just is a 90 pound weakling on the Imperial IPA beach.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.79/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

New seasonal from my fav brewery..2003 reserve.Comes in the 22 oz brown bottle ,label is red and yellow.
Nice enough ale to look at dark amber with a good sized pure white frothy head.
Beautiful spicy fresh hop aroma.,
Taste however is a wee bit subdued..but certainlly the hops rule this beer..i detect the 7.8 % alcohol..and theres a curious soapy taste at the back of the throat.
all in all though this is pleasant on the palate...
Its a drinkable ale for sure..but I have had much better.

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

Sampled on-tap at Laurelthirst Public House in Portland. I was pretty disappointed by this imperial IPA. Alcohol taste was very strong, and hops were mild. Basically this just tasted like a normal pale ale (not IPA) with a shot of alcohol dumped in. The beer was a handsome darkish amber with good head. Malts were reasonably flavorful, if restrained. Hops were almost invisible. Mouthfeel fine, but again that alcohol reared its ugly head, made it seem less beer-like. The beer gave me a good buzz but ruined my chance of properly tasting any subsequent beers. Full Sail is so masterful at creating everyday session beers that a big beer like this is perhaps not what they are suited for. Not a complete failure, the pint was drinkable for sure, but again a disappointment. After reading sinistersteve's year-old review, I wonder if I might have gotten a similarly bad pour although I didn't notice any soapy notes to speak of. Hiro says it's good and he knows his beer, so I will give it another shot, hopefully poured properly at the Brass in the near future.

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.12/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slipknot Imperial IPA was a rich golden-copper color, with a white head and fine lacing. The nose was powerful and perfumey, with a clean lemon-lime citrus component and a sweet field flower hop boquet. An original take on the imperial IPA nose. The taste was good, with a moderately sweet honey-cantelope malt base with a lemon-lime transition into an assertive bitter finish with a lingering melon aftertaste. The body was smooth and somewhat resiny. I really enjoyed the melon and sweet flowery notes in this interesting interpretation of the style. Sure to please and intrigue fans of the style.

Served at the Full Sail tasting room in Hood River.

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

A new beer from Full Sail. I have no idea if this is a limited brew or a seasonal brew. The color of the beer is a standard amber color. No real aroma emanated from the beer. The taste was hard to pin down. Sorta sprucy, sorta soapy, definately taste of alcohol. I guess the best way to put it is that it is 'bitter sweet'. Very thin head..even when the glass got bumped and not a bit of lace. Hard to say if I'll get this one again from the same pub. I may try it elsewhere and see if the 'soapy' taste returns or if the bottle version is any different also.

**Update** I did try this beer elsewhere and obviously the first place I tried this beer at does not take proper care of their beer lines. Tried this one at the Horse Brass Pub and there was not a bit of 'soapy' taste to it and there also wasn't a strong taste of alcohol either. Still a good beer though.

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Slipknot Imperial IPA (Brewmaster Reserve) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 174 ratings
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