Sagefight Imperial IPA | Deschutes Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
20 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 77
Photo of BEERchitect
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beer has a long linage of spice exploration for the perfect offset for the residual sweetness of barley. Now that we've all agreed that hops are the preferred spice, brewers aren't quite ready to pass up the spice cabinet just yet. Those at Deschutes reach for both powerful sage and juniper berry for their latest fall-style IPA.

The coppery beer carries a creamy, feathery froth and spills over with an autumn perfume of citrus, spruce and sage. Expecting a leg-of-lamb at anytime, the sage scent leads the aromatic charge with its strong, licorice-like grassiness and peppery, fruity quality. The first sip leaves a trail of caramel and granola on the tongue.

As the ale develops, the malt sweetness lifts and the hops charge in with pink grapefruit, fresh orange, a hint of lemon and tea. Juniper adds to the mix with its own sprucy, berry-like, tangy currant bite. Sage comes late but eventually dominate the tastebuds with that same anise, pepper, grape and dark berry taste and its potpourri counterparts. Bitter with pine resin, citrus peel, peppery bite and sharp herbal botanicals, the finish adopts a spicy bite over the common smooth hop bitterness.

Medium-bodied, the spices and hops make it easy to overlook the imperial strength and the lingering sweetness of the strong ale within. But the spiciness of alcohol highlights the juniper spruce character and the sage's grassy bite. A hint of solvent and gin add curiosity but distraction from the hops that seem to pale in comparison. A long aftertaste of sage and bitterness outweigh the beer's other, even strong flavors.

 1,589 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Copper colored with a fingernail of tan head. Heavy lacing. The aroma is a gentle blend of juniper, sage, and piney hops. I'm tasting a mixture of juniper, piney hops, and sage. The mouth is lightly sticky and chewy.

 221 characters

Photo of 98green
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to snifter. Nice unique IPA. The combo of the sage and juniper provide a bit of a medicinal and menthol note, in a good way. Plenty of citrus hops notes at the edges as well. The ABV is very well hidden, carb level high. Overall a good change of pace. I wouldn't want this all the time, but it is fun

 307 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.64/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoy by date of 01/06/17

Appearance - Pours slightly hazy and is bright copper in color with a sandstone, near finger width head. Fair retention, resulting in a thin, broken layer of suds across the top. Good amount of lacing, with broken webbing and some spotting patterning the side of the glass.

Smell - Sage and juniper berries dominate the aroma. Almost minty in a way. Slight hint of caramel and citrus sit beneath.

Taste - Follows the nose upfront, with herbal sage character and some fruity berry notes. A touch of mint. The back end is dominated by bitter citrus pith; orange and grapefruit. Faint toast and caramel malts that come through near the finish. Aftertaste lingers with pith and lesser sage still holding on.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Slick texture with a semi-dry finish.

Overall - Well made, but this is not my cup of tea; in fact I'd expect most of these flavors in my cup of tea. I find the sage too overpowering upfront, when it should probably play more of a complimentary role in the flavor profile. I bought a sixer, and frankly I found it difficult to drink more than one before wanting something else. It's unique, but not in a way that pleases my taste buds.

 1,222 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.46/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an IPA glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Big two finger off white head that settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A juicy and spicy hop driven aroma with a scent of citrus fruit, sage, and juniper. Citrus hop scent of orange peel, grapefruit, and mango. Earthy and herbal hop hints of pine resin and grass. Solid herbal hints of sage along with some juniper. Malt hints of caramel, cracker, and biscuit along with yeast. A pretty nice aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a juicy and spicy hop driven taste with notes of citrus fruit, sage, and juniper. Upfront citrus hop notes of grapefruit, orange peel, and mango. Herbal and earthy hop notes of pine resin and grass. Herbal notes of sage. Also some nice notes of juniper. Backing malt notes of caramel, biscuit, and cracker with some yeast. A very nice juicy and herbal taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Juicy and pretty smooth. Alcohol is hidden very well.

Overall: A very nice twist on an IPA. Good citrus hop flavor with some nice sage and juniper notes.

 1,132 characters

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

Interesting Imperial IPA with the citrus hops, sage, and juniper. The aroma is dominated by the juniper with its fruity notes. There is a slight note of pine in the background. The flavor has a heavy dose of sage with its distinct savory taste. I could see this beer complimenting a lot of foods but not sure how much I could enjoy on its own.

 343 characters

Photo of LBThiele3382
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unique and great tasting DIPA. I love IPAs with Junipers added, but never had one with Sage. I love it. Of course the Junipers add their distinct flavor and the sage adds its own special nuance. They work well together. Piney, citrus and sage bitterness. Delicious!

 271 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with a hefty head of foam.

Very bitter nose due in part to the abundant sage. Grassy and piney as well. A bit of lemon peeks through.

Tastes as bitter as it smells. The sage up front, backed by grass and pine(juniper berries) Minimal malt here; just a hint of bread.

Mouthfeel is fine.

I enjoy this DIPA but I reckon those who aren't fans of the flavour profile will find it very difficult to drink.

 428 characters

Photo of HopDagger
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I'll never forget a mountain bike trip I had in Alaska - bear with me - the alpine air with all the conifer scents, bright and crisp. At one point we stopped at this hippy fair. Rolled sage burning at the base of towering pines. That's what this awesome DIPA gives you but doesn't overpower. That and great orange color with ample head. Some lingering bitterness. Great fail choice.

 384 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark copper red color, thin lacing, bright white ring.

S - Strong whiffs of sage, juniper, a hint of some citrus.

T - Sage, juniper, some caramel malt citrus, and a lingering juniper and citrus bitterness.

M - Big medium body with gentle carbonation, some oily texture.

O - A unique D-IPA, this works.

 309 characters

Photo of thebeers
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber color with gushingly-massive and long-lasting tan head that leaves thick webs of lacing.

Big aroma of sage and sweet malt with a cherry, black bread and caramel character. There may be juniper in there, too, as there is a gin-like tinge to it.

Lighter tasting than the nose suggests, but still sage-heavy up front through the aftertaste. The juniper and some of the malt profile is in there (put much less pronounced) mid-palate, and it's got a nice, mild lingering bitterness. Medium bodied.

Definitely a fun one to try, but probably not one I'll be getting a six pack or case of any time soon. Maybe if I was cooking a leg of lamb or something.

 669 characters

Photo of Spikester
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear golden orange with three fingers of bone color head. Rings and splotches of dense lace.
Aroma is hop resin juniper bready malt.
Taste is rich bitter hops caramel malts slight juniper influence no real sage detected. It just tastes like an awesome DIPA.
Mouthfeel is medium with plenty of carbonation. Finish is mostly bitter and medium dry.
Overall another excellent beer from Deschutes. I was a bit afraid to buy this with the juniper and sage components. I was thinking maybe a gin and tonic flavor with some turkey stuffing (sage). Do not fear the sagefight beer my friends. I found the juniper enhanced the hop character and the sage was not really tasted by my weary tongue. Buy some now.

 700 characters

Photo of ocelot2500
4.49/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear sunburst orange color with a tight, white head that leaves little chunks of lacing.

Smells of bright hops along with the juniper and sage.

Tastes of the bright hops layered with the herbs and malt sweetness. Hops lead off with notes of pine and grapefruit, as well as some tropical fruits. Malts add in with sweet, caramel and toasted bread notes. Herbal notes of sage and juniper add next to sort of dry it out. Finishes with a bit of herbs and hops.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a tasty DIPA where the herbs add some depth.

 597 characters

Photo of dcotom
4.62/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12-ounce bottle into a Riedel champagne flute. Beautiful pour, a dark orange color with a brilliant, thick, long-lasting white head. Lots of pretty lacing from top to bottom. Fragrant, "ginny" aroma, with a little citrus and sage and a lot of juniper. The sage begins to assert itself on the palate, taking its place alongside the resiny notes of pine and juniper. Bitter finish, with some mild tongue-coating resin. This is very well balanced, with the juniper and sage providing an almost natural complement to the hops. Nicely done, Deschutes!

 558 characters

Photo of jzlyo
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is sage, mild juniper berries and pine/citrus. The flavor is citrus, fruit, juniper berries, sage/spices, malts and a mix of honey sweetness and bitterness in the finish. Better than expected although not something I'll have again.

 239 characters

Photo of Hop_God
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: deep orange to reddish hue. Thin khaki to white head

S: sweet fruit. Caramel. Raspberry. Malt. Hops.

T: sweet dart fruit. Candied orange peel. Hops. Resin

F: full bodied and crisp finish

O: this is different. But enjoyable. Give it a try.

 248 characters

Photo of bsp77
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Citrusy and herbal aroma. Initially it tastes very citrusy with a caramel backbone. Then it turns herbal and bitter at the end of each sip, with pine, sage and a lingering gin flavor. The hops and the additions really do battle it out here. Dry finish, with a body that is more like a bigger IPA than a DIPA. Good, unique beer.

 327 characters

Photo of OregonGrown7
4.61/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I'm a big fan of the way these guys craft their dipas and ipas. This one certainly did not disappoint! Big citrusy hops meld with a warm herbal quality. I can't really get the sage, but I love how the juniper kicks in. Awesome beer, with some unique qualities to prick your senses if you're a little burnt out on the never ending ipas.

 335 characters

Photo of BB1313
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 1/6/17. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a burnt copper with nice clarity; fluffy light tan head that sticks around and slowly falls leaving great retention and very sticky lacing. The aromas are very nice and unique for the style. The sage and juniper berries definitely shine. Lots of flower notes. Malts are there along with some caramel. The flavors are bittersweet. Very earthy. The sage and juniper berries lead the way once again. Some subtle citrus notes. I feel like I'm picking up some chinook hops in the mix. Slightly syrupy. There's a subtle warmth in the finish, but nothing crazy. Alcohol basically goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with slick carbonation. It's smooth and dangerously drinkable.

This is a nice DIPA. It's unique and a nice change of pace for the style. They deliver with the sage and juniper berries. Well crafted. Very enjoyable stuff.

 892 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i know these guys do a ton of styles well, but of everything they make, its the hoppy beers i love the most from them. this is a cool one, a lighter (on the alcohol) imperial type ipa, heavy citrus hops to it, but also some pungent botanical properties from the addition of sage and juniper into the mix. in the aroma, i actually get more juniper than sage, the hops jump in before that element can really express itself. like a newly opened bottle of gin, this is highly aromatic and herbaceous. citrus and juniper go together great in the nose and they carry over nicely to the flavor, where the beer is less bitter than it is fresh and bright, the citrus is really prominent from the hops here, amarillo maybe, and some more classic northwestern varietals i would guess, woody centennial here too. i do get the sage now, it comes on real late, but has that distinct flavor, i think its an awesome compliment to all these hops and the bright pine in the juniper berry. impressive beer, seemingly a natural collection of ingredients but i dont know many beers that use them, and none that use them this well. great carbonation and not a ton of body or booze, an herbal imperial ipa i actually want to drink more than one of. an instant classic from deschutes, perfect for the fall!

 1,282 characters

Sagefight Imperial IPA from Deschutes Brewery
4.04 out of 5 based on 77 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!