Sagefight Imperial IPA | Deschutes Brewery

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Sagefight Imperial IPASagefight Imperial IPA

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-22-2011

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Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 202
Photo of Wasatch
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. Bottle
Best By: 03/29/17

Poured into a tulip a hazy dark golden orangy color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy two-finger off-white head, which also leaves some very nice thick/creamy small islands, and some very nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, citrusy, with some slight sage/juniper berries. The taste is really not that bad, I like it, hoppy, kinda malty, citrusy, with some nice touch of sage/juniper berries, nice sweetness. Medium body, ABV hidden pretty well, with a nice dry/bitter finish. Overall, a pretty tasty brew, surprised me, turn out pretty good to me.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deschutes Brewery "Sagefight Imperial IPA"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "BEST BY: 02/23/17" and sampled on 02/22/17
$2 @ Wegmans, Collegeville, PA

Notes via stream of consciousness: "Sagefight"? It might as well have been "sageFRIGHT" for me - will this work? I was going to pass it by except that it's made by Deschutes and they've never let me down. So, OK, somewhat hazy deep amber/copper with a reddish cast beneath a rocky yellowed off-white head that looks like melting ice cream and has left thick, creamy lacing alongside the glass. The aroma is apparent at a short reach. It's easy to say sage, but I also get caramelish malt and some fruit. Is that the Juniper? It's also citrusy with orange. It's really not that much different than some other beers I've smelled in the past, but it's seems rich. I'm hesitant.... ahhh, not bad at all. The Juniper is very clear, and it's fruity and spicy, and the sage follows it, especially in the finish. It is, overall, a little bit of an herb bomb, and I'm not sure how drinkable it will be in the end. The 8.0% alcohol probably won't help with that, but I don't think the bitterness will be an issue. It's listed at 75 IBUs but it doesn't come off like that. Let me give it another shot... the aroma is fascinating and I could probably just sniff at it for some time. And I hate to say it, but really, everything about this screams Dogfish Head rather than Deschutes to me. Except for the malt, it's got that intensely rich maltiness that only Deschutes can pull off. OK, flavor... very much exactly as I described it earlier. I get apple and pear, berries, and the spiciness but it's also quite floral, even more so than herbal in my opinion, at least until the finish where it becomes 'massive herbal'! As I work through it I'm just sipping at it, and that seems to be where it lies for me, as a sipper after dinner, or while watching TV or reading before bed. The pause between sips allows it to erode, or at least fade a little bit from the palate, and then you're ready for another sip. To do it any other way I think would be overwhelming - although I'll say that the alcohol has little to do with that, it doesn't really show, it has a presence but it doesn't come right out as alcohol, and it's just the herbs that will really build on you. Fortunately the fruitiness helps cut through that as well while it's still in your mouth. The malt is also good. I can't imagine it working as well as it does if it didn't have that medium-dark caramel to balance the sage. Overall it's kind of take it or leave it for me, but I appreciate it. Oh, I just noticed, incredible lacing. It's a solid sheet with rings that mark each sip I took; and the surface still has a fairly complete surface covering. Full to full-medium in body and creamy smooth. Unusual, and certainly unique.

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Photo of MizzouBrew
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This pours a beautiful mostly clear dark orange with a thick white head. Nice spotty lacing left on the glass. The sage and juniper really taper the hops and 8% abv, which make this a very drinkable iipa, with enough lingering hops to satisfy. Not as good as fresh-squeezed but definitely worth trying.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I enjoyed this from a Deschutes teku poured chilled from the bottle.

The color is medium amber with slight haze bordering on copper with thick cream cap and average bead with decent retention. The smell is very herbaceous with sage adding a mix of floral/pine-like scent to the hops which are complimentary and a subtle yeast ester adds fruit elements with light sweet malt in the nose. The feel is great -moderately high bitterness and resinous texture from hops with spice adding the balance countering the malt sweetness with mild alcohol and semi-dry finish.
to be continued

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Photo of Suds
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours an almost orang, burnt gold color, very clear, with a white head. The aroma has fruit, hops, and pale malt in the background. The taste has a notable herbal ( I really get the sage) flavor, although I don't get juniper. There is a pronounced bitterness in from the latter part of the foretaste through the finish. Full and resiny. This is surely an interesting beer.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
2.74/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Tasted in a Spiegelau IPA glass from a 12 oz bottle on February 5, 2017. Best by: 04/12/17. Not so much a fight, but more of a beat down. Sage wins by knock out. I'm not a fan.

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Photo of tigg924
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear, golden brown in color with 1/3 inch head. Taste is big sage, lemon, and melon. Slightly bitter, medium bodied and carbonation. The sage in this beer really comes out as it ages. I think I prefer having this fresh when there is more citrus...However this is a great IPA that holds up until its expiration date..Solid like all Deschutes beers, but I prefer some of their other IPAs. Unique amongst all other beers I have tried which alone is an accomplishment.

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Photo of Gavilan
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful mahogany Cole
Smell: you can really smell the sage with a hint of smokiness
Taste: as it smells with a bit of sweetness in the back
Feel: a bit of viscosity
Overall: not a bad beer at all will certainly try again!

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.46/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured 12oz bottle into glass. 8% abv

Appearance- Pours a dark mahogany red/brown. Almost a ruby hue. White/light tan head. Nearly opaque.

Smell- Citrus orange, spicy sage and some pine.

Taste- A toasted crackery start with a citrus grapefruit taste coming next. Spicy notes of Sage come through as well and become intense. As the name implies so does the pine like resinous flavor of the juniper. Blends with the bitter finish from the hops so it is complimentary however the spice notes are strong.

Mouthfeel- Medium heavy in body with medium carbonation.

Overall- A spice blast here between the sage and juniper. Strong to say the least however the hops are well done on this double so that helps to balance out these flavors.

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Photo of jwc215
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle:

Pours orange-tinted copper with a creamy white lasting head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of soft citrus, caramel, a hint of sage and a touch of juniper.

The taste is of citrus, caramel. Sage gives an herbal character and dryness in the finish. Juniper shows a bit, but more in the aftertaste. Alcohol is very well-hidden.

The sturdy malt backbone and well-hidden alcohol make it smooth and easy to drink.

Overall, it's a pleasant, unique Imperial IPA.

Paid about $12 a six pack at Safeway in west Bremerton, WA.

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Photo of DallasK
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear dark amber with a 1 inch head that sticks to the glass and is slow to fade and leaves considerable lacing. Smells of herby hops and citrus. Taste is a rush of herby bitter hops with a sweet malty finish, more than expected, and a lingering hop aftertaste. Another home for Deschutes.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served a golden yellow color with a billowy white foam head. The head has a nice level of retention, fading over time to leave streaks of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell –The aroma of the brew is strongest of herbal hop smell with a strong presence of sage and a bit of juniper. Mixed with these aromas are some cracker like smells and a little bit of a tangerine hop. Overall it has many aromas characteristic of a gin.

Taste-The taste begins with lightly grapefruit sweetened crackery taste mixed with a decent showing of an herbal hop. The herbal flavors are rather in descript at first, but start to take on heavier flavors of sage and juniper as the taste moves forward, getting more gin like in character. Toward the end the gin tastes are now more pronounced and are joined by some pine hop and a little bit of earthiness to give a rater crisp and dank hopped gin taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is on the average side with a carbonation level that is average as well. Overall the feel is decent as it keeps the brew crisp and easier to drink, but upholds the herbal flavors rather well and keeps the 8% abv. brew for being too easy to knock back.

Overall – This would be a really nice pairing brew for some kind of game meat like venison or elk with those nice herbal/pine/gin flavors really complementing well. Overall it was a rather tasty brew and one I rather enjoyed.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.95/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Anytime Deschutes releases a new six pack, I'm always happy to buy.

BOTTLE: 355ml format. Brown glass. Magenta label art. Branded pry-off crown cap. Best by: 01/06/2017.

8.0% ABV. 75 IBUs. Bottle conditioned. "Imperial IPA" "brewed with sage and juniper berries."

Served cold into a nonic pint.

APPEARANCE: Head occupies 90% of the glass with off-white foam. Fluffy and coating, but not as soft or robust as would be ideal. Retention is nice - ~8 minutes. Body colour is a clear copper of nice vibrance. Clean and filtered.

AROMA: Juniper berry bitterness lends this aroma a unique character, but the dryness of juniper isn't there (luckily). I don't pretend to be able to recognize sage, but it does have an herbal aroma that works well with the berry. Pale malts lend enough sweetness to keep it seeming balanced based on the aroma.

Aromatic intensity is average. Suggests an interesting imperial IPA with good balance and some unique junipery flavours.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Bitter from the juniper berries, but not egregiously so; the pale malts tame most of the juniper bitterness. The juniper does lend its signature dryness to the mouthfeel, though, making this bitter ale drag on the palate. Not the juicy refreshing texture I hoped for, but not egregiously off the mark.

Medium-bodied. Not oily, gushed, hot, astringent, boozy, or harsh, but it does have a rough coarseness that gives it a scratchy presence on the palate. Well-carbonated.

The scraping bitterness is hard to get past balance-wise, but there is some nice herbal character (I guess from the sage) along with a bright floral hop profile. Decently built for what it is, but it does lack the depth and complexity of flavour one would find in the best expressions of the style. Hop pungency needs scaling up, and the beer could be more vivid and expressive with its flavour(s). I'd like to see them lose the caramalt and stick to pale. Some almost red ale-like amber malt toastiness accents the herbal hop flavours nicely. Hints of candied orange peel flavour nod towards Belgian ales and winter warmers.

OVERALL: Drinkable enjoyable fare from one of the most consistently well priced breweries in North America. This isn't up there with Deschutes' finest brews, but I appreciate that they're trying to do something unique instead of chasing tropical hipster hops like every other IPA producer seems to be doing. I'll enjoy polishing off the six-pack but I wouldn't buy it again. It's worth noting that I hate gin but I like sahti, so those with an aversion to juniper berries may do well to still give this a shot.

High C (2.95) / AVERAGE

12/30/16 2nd impression:


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Photo of BeerGuy8315
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had this on tap at the taproom on 12/3.

A: Pours a clear reddish-copper color with a one inch, cream colored head with good retention. Thick, cream colored lacing throughout.

S: Earthy and piney aromas with huge notes of the sage and juniper. Some very light citrus and toasted malt notes are evident as well, but the others definitely hold the stage.

T: Earthy, piney, and light citrus notes. Sage really comes through. Caramel and biscuit malts. Orange rind, lemon, and grapefruit notes come through more as it warms.

F: Medium bodied, smooth, and crisp with moderate carbonation

O: Overall a good DIPA. Interesting addition of the sage and juniper. Definitely a different take and was worth a try, but I don't know if it is something I'll revisit personally.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very reminiscent of Mammoth's 395 DIPA. Solid brew. Good dose of sage & Juniper berries upfront, followed by slick & oily hops in the back. They work well together. Balanced well. The Sage & Jumiper Berries are the star, but not overdone. Almost too easy drinking for the 8% ABV. Nothing mind blowing, but another well executed widely available DIPA. I must say for the record, I do prefer Mammoth's 395 to this, but this is close.

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Photo of schoolboy
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a disappointing brew. It opens so beautiful, with a perfect IPA head. Tons of lacing.

The aroma is sublime. A hop smell like they are meant to be. Unfortunately the taste then is dry and one dimensional. The malts don't show enough through the bitter hops, or they work with it to a dry and bitter end.

Ultimately this is a great ale, but from the aroma and look you expect a fuller taste than what you get. Recommended.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Here's an interesting beer. Pours a golden and copper color, leaning more copper than dark gold. Good 1/2" white head on the top. Aroma imparts hops and sage, as advertised.

Good amount of sage drives the taste, the hops come in nearly in equal measure. The bitterness is there, I would guess around 60ibu. Alcohol hid pretty well too. The body and mouthfeel are not heavy, but also not a dry clean finish by any means either. Does come across more of a toasted bread malt aspect instead of caramel.

I like it, similar to Mammoth 395 dipa, but this one has the malt dialed back, not as dark in color and maltwise. But the sage is there, for sure.

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Photo of arizcards
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from Craft Beer Hop Stop 10-1-16 for a sale price of $.99. Best by 1-6-17.

Beer poured orange with a beautiful white head that left some lacing behind.

Nose is citrus forward with sage being very prominent with the citrus.

Taste is citrus hops over a nice pale and caramel malt base with a well played layering of sage. A hint of botanicals provide some bittering at the end.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall the brewer did a nice job of layering the sage and juniper into a nice solid base double IPA. Deschutes does not get off of the beaten track often but they did well with this one!

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Photo of uwmgdman
4.58/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the most beautiful beers I've seen. Nose is definitely a mash up of citrusy hops sage and juniper--all are there none are overpowering. Flavor is wow--I mean wow. Citrus hops and juniper bite upfront, nice rich
Bready malts, and an undertone of earthy sage. This beer personifies what one would think of in a Christmas style IPA. Bitterness moderate and medium body. Another winner from Deschutes.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle - nice name, even if this isn't exactly my favourite herb of all time (now being prone to skipping typical Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner fare and all).

This beer pours a clear, medium copper amber colour, with a near-teeming tower of puffy, loosely foamy, and chunky off-white head, which leaves some high-flying snow rime lace around the glass as it very lazily and annoyingly recedes.

It smells of musty, herbal sage (the stuff I do dump into my Irish stew come St. Patrick's Day), gritty and grainy caramel malt, muddled domestic citrus rind, some booze-free gin essences, a twinge of unrequited yeastiness, and some edgy leafy, weedy, and piney green hop bitters. The taste is more gritty and grainy caramel malt, a less biscuity toffee sweetness, some sage and clover earthy spiciness, a weird sense of oaky woodiness that I might be imagining, faint black pepper aerosol notes, and more edgy leafy, weedy, and piney hoppiness.

The carbonation is quite understated in its basically insouciant frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and sort of smooth, that is if you find the guest spice worthy of your palate's forgiveness. It finishes off-dry, as the malt fades back, and the hops and spice fight it out Mortal Kombat style.

Overall, for a variant of my favourite style of beer, further flavoured by one of my least preferred spices, things go off rather well here - the spice keeps it nice and respectful, while the DIPA takes no prisoners. Good on ya, Deschutes, as always, for pursuing this particular vein.

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Photo of kitch
3.03/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A 355ml bottle with a best before date of 20th January 2017, poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass.

Appearance: It poured a clear copper amber colour with a two finger foamy off white head that had good retention and left nice lacing.

Aroma: Strong herbal sage, pine, orange zest and blueberries with a touch of juniper berry.

Taste: Bitter, medicinal, sage and pine upfront with a juniper, wood and herbal finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: I like cooking with sage and juniper berries, but it just doesn’t seem to work for me in the few beers I’ve had including this one.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a clear, deep ruby with a large head. The aroma is pine and herbal , with some tangerine lingering at the finish. The flavory is beautifully savory, with lots of sage, pine, a huge dose of bitterness, tangerine, grapefruit, and bay leaf. The mouthfeel is rich, with a middling feel, and sticky finish. Overall this is a lovely and different beer - not fruit dominated, is piney but not sweet, instead it is very savory. I would love to see more beers like this.

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Photo of K-Dog
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My boss have me a single bottle to try. Didn't know what to expect. I really liked this. There have been a couple of other beers with sage I've tried that have been a disaster but this was very unique and added a new twist to typical ipas out there now adays. Well done deschutes. Will be picking up a six pack of this in the near future.

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Photo of crob3888
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a darkish orange copper colornwith a light tan head. Aromas and flavors of pine, sage, earthy hops...basically a Christmas tree in a glass. Definitely unique but overall a success in my book.

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Photo of cambabeer
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep gold brown color, off white head. Hops in the nose, a little malt, a lot of sage, even more juniper a good amount of orange peel as well. Taste is mostly the juniper coming through and joining the hops to kill the malt flavors. Semi dry finish.

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Sagefight Imperial IPA from Deschutes Brewery
3.93 out of 5 based on 202 ratings.
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