Deadlift Imperial IPA | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

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Deadlift Imperial IPADeadlift Imperial IPA

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by msubulldog25 on 01-08-2010

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Reviews: 153 | Ratings: 237
Photo of afterforever
1.52/5  rDev -59.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I had this beer on tap at the Green Leaf Cafe in New Towne Williamsburg, VA. The Green Leaf has 64 beers on tap and I was looking forward to trying some fine ales. It looked nice in the glass highball glass? however it had what seemed to be a soapy flavor. It was different but in a bad way. Maybe it is the hops. I am a big IPA fan but I left this one on the table.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
2.22/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

SO nice to tip back a brew today...Pours a nice amber color - with a tiny bit of haze, hmmm, ok I guess. Not much of a head to speak of. This is kind of like your first girlfriend or boyfriend - you're not really sure what to make of it but you're certain that there's better out there. Aroma is kind of blank - not much going on. Flavor has something off in it...not sure what it is, but I don't like it. Problem is exacerbated by the fact this aforementioned off flavor (which is a weird bitterness that is part hops and part crap yeast, I think) carries through the long and dry finish. Not good, but well-priced at $6.99/4-pack so it's worth it, even though it's not great.

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Photo of mpensworth
2.24/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Looks good in the glass, nice orange color with a good head and nice lacing. Smells like it's not an IPA, almost no hop aroma, straight malts. The taste is what I would expect from Widmer making an "Imperial" beer, very bland. There is 0 hop flavor from this IPA.

For all the other Imperial IPAs on the market in the same price range this is a snooze. If you like hops, avoid it. Spend your money on some 90 Minute instead.

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Photo of 100floods
2.39/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Gotta give a shout out to Tom for providing me with again more beer, especially beers I would never thing to drink, but hey, he's got em. Definitely excited to try this seeing as how Widmer, for me, has never really gone past thinking about their Heff.

Poured into my 12oz stein. Golden pale (almost lager-esque) hue with a single finger head. I'm about a foot away from the glass and I'm already getting subtle wiffs of that hop aroma.

Creamy/medium mouth feel, not too malty, but you know it's there. Very subtle hop notes, really shy. I want to say something with grapefruit, a little pine, it's too hard to tell. The sweetness of the malt is far more apparent than the hops. The carbonation breaks up the maltiness The hops are almost there as a secondary ingredient (!). I can understand why it's 8.6%, but as far as labeling this an Imperial IPA, it misses the mark. This is more like a malty pale ale. I think the malt notes would be more enjoyable if there were more hop flavors present.

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Photo of SkunkWorks
2.66/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at the Lark in East Northport, NY. Served in a tulip glass.

Look: lightly cloudy, pale golden color, with a decent, two finger head that has good retention and leaves a little bit of lace. Good looking DIPA.

Smell: hoppy with citrus and pine, emphasis on the pine, with a bit of honey sweetness and a bit of malt. Not as pungent in terms of hops as I would like.

Taste: starts citrusy, yields to a heavy hand of pine, but finishes with a big malt flavor of pale malt, biscuit and honey. Not enough hops for me, I'm afraid.

Feel: crisp, fairly smooth, moderate carbonation, medium bodied.

Drink: easy drinking but given the alcohol content and that this isn't an exceptional DIPA, I couldn't see ordering a second glass.

Overall, nothing really too impressive about this DIPA. Not enough hops. I hate to be overly critical of this one but in a world where you have hundreds of different DIPAs to choose from, I can't see why anyone would ever choose this. Sorry, Widmer. Not impressed by this one. Cheers!

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.72/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #38 (Mar 2010):

The beer talk about this beer is that it uses the hops of New Zealand, the elusive Nelson Sauvin hop. And there's lots of talk --even AB-InBev uses it. Brassy amber color, clarity is fine, with a healthy head on top. Fruitiness from the hops and alcohol vary from ripe straw- berries to mangos and pineapple ... and a very fruity nose it is. Sure, it's hoppy, nearly soapy with a fruity wrap. Bitterness is there with a slow but light raking of the palate. Malt back- bone is not nearly enough to handle this fruit, hop and alcohol combo. Too clean. Fruitiness is all up front, and the malt drops dry in the end.

Very polished and clean, and wanting to be drinkable. While the body and crispness tell you to take another sip, the somewhat hollow malt base, fruit-focused hops and alcohol take everything over, and it soon becomes a chore to drink. Widmer is a day late and a dollar short for this style; too many brewers have already defined where it should be, and Deadlift misses its mark.

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Photo of kevosbob
2.8/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Widmer Brothers Brewing Company capitalizes on brewing well balanced ales, using unfamiliar hops, and producing a lineup of “feel good beers” that everyone can appreciate. Deadlift Imperial IPA is no exception to the Widmer style but, this imperial beer may be a few pounds light of a good workout. With a unique citrus quality, well balanced body, and an 8.6% alcohol by volume, this “deadlift” won’t mess up your back but you may wish you had more than a four pack to show for it.

This beer pours a beautiful butterscotch/orange color into a average pint glass. The head appears a seafoam white that dissipates relatively quickly. The Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand brings a beautiful aroma of citrus fruit and berries to this beer. The slight astringent note gives me the impression that this beer will be big and bold while the citrus notes gets the hops lover in me excited.

Tasting this beer makes me think that it’s not imperial ale, it tastes too smooth and mild. The Nelson Sauvin hops are interesting and I appreciate the new style but I feel they leave a slight chalky taste underneath my tongue. However the the malts leave a wonderful caramel taste blending well with the lemon-grass/citrus notes also found in the hops. “Not too fruity, no too much citrus, a very hoppy balance of flavors and qualities.” The light body lends to a great lingering flavor but sadly dies off quicker than I would like an Imperial IPA to do.

This is a great beer if you are just starting to workout your taste buds for big hoppy beers. Unfortunately, you’ll have to do a lot of ‘deadlifts’ before you’re ready to lift a big imperial ale. This is a drinkable beer because it doesn’t pound your taste buds into submission with alcohol and hops, but that’s also what makes big beers fun. This beer just isn’t exciting enough for me to give a high recommendation, however it is good enough for me to enjoy time after time.

My Beer Rating: 2.8

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Photo of CBlack85
3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Duckworths, served in a pint glass.

Pours a light amber color with copper highlights. The smallish white head recedes quickly, leaving behind a moderate amount of lacing, a little less lacing than I would expect. Appearance is fairly typical for the style.

Lots of fruity notes in the nose; Pineapple, grapefruit, mango, and maybe a little orange zest. Some piney and floral hop notes as well, a slightly soapy aroma is present as well. I get just the faintest hint of caramel malts, but not nearly enough to even attempt to balance this beer out.

The flavor is very similar to the nose; lots of sweet fruity and hoppy notes up front and a bit of bitterness and grainy malts in the end. Fortunately the soapy aroma does not translate to the taste. Unfortunately the small malt presence is not enough to stand up to the hoppy and fruity notes that dominate this beer. Medium bodied and appropriately carbonated. Drinkability suffers from the lack of malt presence to help balance this beer out, this is not a beer that I could drink several of in a sitting.

Overall, this is not a bad beer but it seems to fall short of what it could be.

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Callahan's, San Diego.

Pours a slightly hazy copper color. White head with decent retention. Very minimal aroma... a hint of hop spices and some malt. The taste is rather indistinct at start, but turns to some malts and is eventually a bit bitter with some hop spicyness. Slightly lingering aftertaste of malts and bitterness. Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. A decent DIPA, but not the most interesting where the flavor is concerned.

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Photo of keith712
3.21/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a nonic tumbler....

Appearance: Medium amber and fairly clear. Head goes thick but fades a bit, leaves a nice spider web on the glass.

Nose: Some pine, floral hops, kind of sweet. Malty for sure on the back end. Not real exciting and a bit lackluster, I want/expected more of a hops presence.

Taste: Hops start out, but a malty presence comes on and kills the bitter really fast. Not sweet, but certainly less hops character than I expected. For an imperial IPA, this seems a bit...plain? Not enough hops to balance out the back end maltiness. As it warms, the malts become more pronounced and over ride the hops completely.

Mouthfeel: Medium thickness, not a lot of carbonation and a bit flat. Not much hops bitterness sticks to the inner cheeks. OK, nothing special.

Overall: Well, for an imperial, I expected more. In this class of craft beer, this is not a standout. I give it a 3.5 and given a choice of several other IPA's (Stone, Sierra Nevada, Avery), I would not drink this one again. Far better than cheap pissy beer but weak in the category it claims to exist in.

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Photo of hopstradamus
3.22/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A. Pours a hazy, bright copper color. Very little pure white head that dissipates almost immediately. This looks like a good beer at first glance. It would look like a great beer if it had more head and less haze.

S. Wow! The resiny, pine-like hop smell makes my nose pucker. Sweet caramel malt lurks in the background, but hops are the star of the show.

T. The taste is an utter letdown after the smell. The intense, resiny, pine-like smell is in reality very bitter with a muted hop flavor. The sweet caramel malt is weak at best, and the beer has an overall dishwater- like quality. It is not undrinkable, just disappointing.

M. Thin and under carbonated, the mouthfeel is average in every way. The 8.6% alcohol is not overwhelming.

D. What started out great turned out to be just average. Not a favorite, but not the worst beer ever.

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Photo of vacax
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an orange-copper color with half a finger or so of white head, decent retention and lacing. The aroma is peachy with some tropical fruit to it such as pineapple or passion fruit, and a plentiful dosing of caramel malts. The flavor begins with a nice floral sweetness, lots of caramel on the midpalate and some resin and pine in the peak of the full bitterness that comes. The finish has bitter geranium hoppiness and an excess of cookielike sweetness.

I am happy to see such a large brewer putting an Imperial IPA out there, but this could tone down the sweetness and up the level of aromatic hops for some easy improvement. Appropriately medium-thick body for a DIPA with a moderated carbonation, maybe could use a bit more prickly carbonation to help with the bitterness. Overall this is a decent attempt at a DIPA, especially from a larger brewery, but falls terribly short from the high mark.

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Photo of obrike
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

4 pack of this DIPA at Specs in Round Rock going for 5.99 today.

Decent hue, spider web lacing. Above average.

Fruity...very fruity, strawberry, other assorted berries....did not catch much malt...just an assault of fresh fruity hops. I like it, but did i mention this was a fruity smelling beer?

Hmmm...well, the stawberries certainly come out front and center in this one, a bit of mango as well..followed by bitter pine hops...would be a lot happier if there was some malt backbone.Not bad, but it could be so much better.

Pretty easy to drink...hides the nearly 9% abv quite well, but too unbalanced to have more than one per sitting.

Many better DIPAs in this wonderful world to choose from my friends. In a's a Maharaja wannabe.

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Photo of jifigz
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass

Beer is a slightly hazy burnt orange color with a small head. It dead leave some decent lacing on the glass as it was being drank. The aroma is slight hop floral/citrus with alcohol present in the nose. The flavor is malty up front which gives way to some honey like sweetness and a touch of hop flavor. The ending is some hoppy bitterness and alcohol. The MF is pretty light and wet in the mouth. The beer doesn't finish all that dry.

This is a pretty average Double/Imperial IPA. It leaves a lot to be desired and I will never buy a case of it again.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is a darkish gold color, almost copper, with a dense, very white head. Heavy malt aroma backed with very piney hops. Initial dominated with thick, sweet malt, it slowly gives way to citrusy hop flavor, but bitterness is distinctly lacking. It remains sweetish throughout, finishing with an overripe fruitiness. Body is heavy, almost syrupy texture.

Very disappointing double IPA.

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Photo of popery
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From notes, 7/11/11. Nelson IIPA version. Appearance is fine. Mildly cloudy, bright orange. A dissipating head that stuck around for awhile as a thin film of bubbles. The aroma is grassy with tropical fruits - more kiwi/papaya than pineapple, like some hops. A bit grapey, too. Not quite strong enough for my taste but pretty good. On the palate, it starts out with some hop resin flavor with an alright crystal malt backbone, but the finish mars things with a big booze note that goes particularly poorly with the grassy bitterness. Mouthfeel is, well, hot. Plus, the beer is a bit sticky. Didn’t much like this one, despite the hop choice.

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Photo of BucBasil
3.26/5  rDev -14%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a large snifter.

A: The beer is a dark hazy amber/orange color with strangely little to no head. What was there was offwhite.

S: Fruity hops and citrus rind unsurprisingly dominant with a sturdy malt backbone.

T: Malty/bready first sip with a bitter, drying midpalate of mostly citric hops. There is a somewhat syrupy caramel note in there somewhere. Finishes somewhat balanced with hints of citrus and a creamy sweetness in the back.

O: Not bad but there are so many better ones out there. Unspectacular.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.26/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bright, golden and clear, head is short but lacing is decent. The smell is fantastic at first but then the alcohol takes over. Its like a real nice west coast floral and tropical fruit with ethanol added, too bad. The flavor is almost exactly the same, too much alcohol. I think they could probably have a fantastic IPA if they took the ABV down a point and let the hops shine.

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Photo of budgood1
3.27/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours out a slightly hazed copper colour with a fair amount of foam retaining some lace. hefty juicy hop aroma...bubblegum and some spice. hard to pick out the malt...this one smells like a hop bomb. hoppy flavour...a bit soapiness up front with a touch of boozy spice. pale malt flavours seem weak and timid compared to the hop characteristics. aside from the soapy aspect to the taste, there is some tropical fruit notes that weave in and out with hints of resin and pine. very little back end bitterness. seems unbalanced, even for a IIPA. medium bodied for such a big beer...although the mouthfeel is pretty seemingly smooth for such a highly hopped beer. no grating bitterness on the tongue. it does have a fair degree of drinkability for the style, quite approachable if you might be new to the style.

overall i was disappointed...seems like a poor mans version of hop stoopid. tropical fruit flavour hop bill was a plus, malt bill and lack of bitterness was a detraction.

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Photo of josiahschlender
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Definitely couldn't resist trying Widmer's stab at an impy IPA for only $5.88 per four pack on sale in Portland. Cheapest of the style I think I've ever seen. Full disclosure, my general opinion of Widmer is that it's one of the worst in the crowded field of Portland breweries

Deadlift doesn't look too bad on the pour. Nice rich golden-amber color. Not too abundant head that fades fairly quickly and leaves little lace.

The aroma has sweet, fruity aromatic hops, but also a big sting of alcohol. 8.6 ABV isn't hidden at all on the nose, perhaps the least I can remember of this style. It only grow with warmth, too. Maybe some sugary malts. The alcohol isn't actually offensive to me, but's just not appealing either.

Flavor has a lot of hops: sweet, piney, fruity and bitter. Flavor profile improves with warmth for sure. With some warmth the bitterness mellows out some and allows a little bit of sweet pale malts to sneak in. Not a malt-forward DIPA though.

Feel is fairly slick with a medium body and low carbonation. Finish has decent length, but lacks anything to compliment the bittering hops.

I'm kinda sad. I wanted Widmer to succeed, but the standard for this style is so high. It definitely falls short of average for the style, but that aside, it's still a mildly drinkable and interesting beer. Not one I'm going to return to; I'd rather get a good IPA without the alcohol burn that has better flavor and still rings up cheaper at the cash register.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap in a pint glass at Hal & Al's on 10/1/11

Clear, scorched amber. One finger head. Thin, smooth retention. Impressive swaths of thick, drippy lace.

Hop oils abound in the aroma; slick and juicy. Dank and tropical; seems like Simcoe. Pineapple, peach, tangerine, mango. Smells catty, too. Not much malt, just a dry, grainy offset.

Tastes just as oily and slick. Not very boozy, though. Some pine notes and compacted tropical hops. Pretty good hop flavor without being too bitter. Grainy malts add body but don't influence the flavor too much. Bitterness builds over time.

Juicy upfront with each sip. Medium-full, slick feel. Carbonation is on the lower end of the spectrum. Finishes oily with residual cattiness.

Not too shabby. Good, but not captivating. 10-12oz would have been enough.

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Photo of illidurit
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. Ruddy bronze color with a nice lacy white head. Muted aroma, some grapefruit and sweet pineapple. Flavor is boozy and sweet, with tendrils of candied pineapple and crystal malt snaking across the tongue. Also a bit of moldy apricot and flabby caramel. Tastes better than what I’ve described but it doesn’t come together real well. An entirely average concept boosted up to ’decent’ solely by virtue of having Nelson hops.

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Photo of drinkiusmaximus
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orange honey color with a fingers width head that recedes quickly leaving sticky lacing. Smell of slight orange peel and malt. Taste follows the nose. Medium bodied and overall a moderately drinkable DIPA. Good choice if all their is on tap besides is macro swill.


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Photo of froghop
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a semi-cloudy orange with a small off-white head, and good lacing.

smell is of citrus, floral, malt, and caramel.

taste is creamy, caramel, malt, citrus, and some spice, ends a little dry and bitter.

overall a good IPA i wouldn't call it a bouble IPA.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Orange body is highly filtered and opaque. Moderate carbonation supports a spider web lacing head.

First pull and I'm already picking up a heavy fruity type sweetness. Balanced out pretty well by the raw almost wet hop style on the backside.

I'd buy this again but its below average to me.

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Deadlift Imperial IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 153 ratings.
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