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Deadlift Imperial IPA | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

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very good
154 Reviews
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Deadlift Imperial IPADeadlift Imperial IPA

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

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: 154 | Ratings: 238
Photo of hopluva1
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. served in snifter

I think this is one of the better everyday DIPAs that i have tasted, it has allot of resiny hop flavor without being terribly bitter. In my personal opinion its flavor is that of Maharaja, and Hop stupid, just not as refined.

I am lucky that this is always on the shelf.

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Photo of Homebrew35
4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice creamy egg shell colored 1 and a half finger head. Pale golden color, quite clear. Smells quite big of floral, citrus, fruity hops then quite a bit of carmel sweet malts, some bready notes and some pine. Tastes very sweet and carmel at first, a very complex citrus/pine/floral/honey flavor. Very well put together. Light carbonation, medium/full bodied. The finish is some pine and citrus hops, quite a bit of sweet honey and carmel malts. Quite drinkable for 8.6%, very well hidden. Overall this is an awesome double IPA. The highlights are a plesant hoppy, citrus, fuity smell. Some balancing bitterness mid palate, a medium dry finish with a nice honey flavor. $3.20 a single, even at this price I'd pick this up again any day of the week

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Photo of clayrock81
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clearish golden brown with decent caronation and minimal head. Somewhat bland but noticeable aromatic balance between some citric, piney hops and fruity grape notes; touch of sweet caramel malt. A little too juicy for a DIPA as a watery sweet grape/tropical fruit falvor passes my tongue and the bite is muted as the hops are undermined. A tad of grainy dryness from bready malt, dry malt and hop bitterness is apparent and gives a slightly crisp finish but for while I will say this is a decent beer I just don't think it's very representative of style.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap. Pours a dark amber color with a thin layer of head. Good amount of lacing. Nice citrus hops aroma. Slighlty sweet. Taste is a nice bitter citrus up front. Bitter aftertaste along with some orange peel. I'm not a big fan of Widmer Bros but this beer is definitely a stand out for them. Overall this is a solid choice for an Imperial Ipa that is somewhat easier to locate on tap. Worth grabbing again for sure.

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Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear red to Caramel colored ale with a small white colored head.

Smell is strong C type hops with an extra strong grapefruit aroma. Fair aroma of pine, cedar and eucalyptus. Not much going on malt wise just a little sweet smell.

Starts out medium sweet with lots of grapefruit flavor. Tastes like it smells, strong cedar flavor like salmon cooked on a cedar plank. But that is about it for flavor, not super complex.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is good. Good beer but not a great one, worth a try.

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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 msubulldog25
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tried this beer several times, both from the bottle and on draught, when it arrive last spring; now it seems to be a 'regular' in the Widmer stable. This is a 12 oz. bottle from a 4-pack picked up at new Seasons today; ' FEB 16 11' on the label (so about 4 weeks old).

Beneath the cap: 'A PROST: To Free Samples'

A: Pretty-looking butterscotch/orange, almost clear as it stands, but with a sultry depth. Nice head, a stacked off-white foam that's dense and approaches 2-finger before receding to a thin skim. Sticky seafoam lace, long lasting and elegant. Hardly any flaws with this DIPA - maybe a little more carbonation, if I'm nitpicking?

S: Those Nelson-Sauvin hops have an interesting aroma, that's fer sure. They're like lemon sorbet in a glass, a mildly pungent, slightly grassy note underscoring the otherwise pure citrus. It's plenty strong, and it's an aroma I truly like, so... 'good'?

T: There are two aspects to this beer: one I enjoy, one not as much. The winner is the lemon-herb part, a 'green' flavor with a fairly mouth-coating citrus, covering a notably sweetened caramel malt. To its detriment, there's some medicinal bittering that builds and seems to hold firm after a few sips; it's tangy and chalky all at once. Maybe I just need to get used to these hops...

M: A little disappointing. On the thin side, which isn't the norm for a beer that approaches 9% abv. Smoothness is nice, carbonation is subtle and soft. Generally, it sips well but the body fades really quickly... but a trailing hop bitterness lasts a while

D: Tough call here... not as awful as some have made it out to be, but well short of the 'greats' of the style. Drinkable because its alcohol isn't so tongue-beatingly pronounced and because its flavors are balanced ; not as drinkable because it is quite simply not as 'exciting' as some of the biggest and boldest of the style. Still, good enough to enjoy again - and the under $7/4-pack price point doesn't hurt either.

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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 LazyL
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A bright amber with a thin white foam. The nose however is great. Citrus, marijauna and reminds me of their prickly pear from a while back. There is a sweetness with a bit of spice here too, maybe clove. On the taste there is a sweet honey flavour with a mild bitterness and a bit of heat on the finish. Its dry with little carbonation and leaves a nice malty sweetness on the finish. I must include that I am sitting on Venice Beach during this review and could probably go through three big glasses of this right now as the sun heats my face and I watch the strange characters walk by. The beer fits the location and the ABV isnt hurting either.

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Photo of CraftBeerBarney
5/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deadlift is one of my top 5 favorite Imperial IPAs!!! Widmer brothers really nailed this one. The imported Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand really gives it a unique berry-like taste that really finishes nicely! The tap handle for Deadlift is also my favorite!

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured really nice, it gave me a really smooth poor and a nice two finger head. The head is pillowy, not soapy, and it's hanging in there pretty well! The body is dark orange in color, or orange if you hold it directly in the light. I'll give this beer credit on it's looks, it looks good. On the smell you get a huge hop burst on the nose as you would expect from an imperial IPA, but there is also a bad smell to, I pick of a tiny skunky smell, almost more like what a real skunk would smell like, rather than the "skunk" clear bottles gives a beer. It's hardly noticeable, but it is for sure there. I dunno, smell is good overall, but I am worried, hah. Man, that's a unique taste. The first thing you get is an intense sweetness, then you get a little malt and then a little hop. Frankly, there just isn't nearly enough hops or malts for this to be considered an imperial IPA, the taste is generally dominated by that sweetness. I mean it tastes decent, it's not by any means outstanding, or the tastiest beer I've ever had, but it's not bad. It just doesn't fit the description really, it's not hoppy enough. Good news is you don't get any of the skunk taste I was picking up in the smell, instead you get a lot of sweetness, which isn't much better since there is so much of it. Mouthfeel is ok, pretty normal for an IPA. I do have to give them credit on the drinkability though, this beer is 8.6% alcohol, and they mask that very well, you don't taste much alcohol at all in this beer, making it pretty drinkable. Overall a decent beer.

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Photo of HugePlume
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint...

A- A bronzy gold color, a little yellowish on the edges. Poured with a minimal white head that quickly dissipated and virtually no lacing.

S- The nose is its strong point, very fruity hops. Reminds of a fresh hop ale.

T- Fruity hops up front with a dry bitter aftertaste that comes on too early. After the midway point the aftertaste has built up and masks some of the hop fruitiness. No malt. Aftertaste is not bad, it just dominates.

M- More carbonation than expected. Its the reviewers opinion that the higher than normal carbonation is an effort to keep the fruity hop notes present as the aftertaste builds. Almost as fizzy as a naturtal soda. It works, but its weird.

D- Its a one and done for me. Would work well as a pairing with some spicy food, but I don't think I will be trying this one again. Better strong AIPA's and even stronger IIPA's out there.

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Photo of Durge
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found at My Place in Newtown, CT this DIPA shows a clean clear light copper color with a big off-white colored head and plenty of lace to follow. The aroma is delightfully full of crisp grapefruit bite with a subtle biscuit undertow. The flavor brings an intense fruit blend of orange and pineapple with lots of hop bitterness, but it's mellowed a little bit with a caramel/brown bread sweetness that mixes quite nicely. This is solidly mid-bodied or better with subtle but sufficient carbonation. The feel is smooth and quenching with fair drinkability for the style. A safe choice for any hop lover, fairly balanced while catering to the bitter edge. Nice.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes out of the tap a hazy, dark honey-like golden with a creamy, pale yellow head. There was not much foam, but this was apparently an artifact of the pour. Aroma is strong and mainly evergreen with a hint of grapefruit. Flavor is seriously hoppy, mainly evergreen with hints of resin and sour citrus and minimal bitterness. Edgy, fizzy texture leaves behind a persistent tingle.

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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 DaveHS
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A-Pours rusty orange/amber with 3/4 inch of off white head. Leaves rings of sticky lace.

S-Citric and sweet. Orange peel, tangerine juice, pine needles. Nose suggests this will be fairly malty.

T/M-Grainy, with a dry, astringently bitter backbone. Not the most diverse hop profile, but more assertive than I expected from a Widmer beer. Drinks nice and easy for an 8.6%ABV. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

D-Nothing special.

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Photo of HopDiggityDawg
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at the Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay.
Appearance was pretty good, a light colored body with thin head, nice but thin lacing.
Smell was citrus
taste - this DIPA was creative and different. nice hop bite with citrus/fruity sweetness.
mouthfeel was good, a bit thin but nice.
Although I only had one the drinkability seems to be high, even though abv is high, it is not a big heavy thick DIPA.

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Photo of whatthehull
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a New Belgium snifter

A - Golden orange, hardly a head (off white) and a nice lacing

S - Sweet oaky maltiness, really earthy, floral and sweet hops. Almost a butter rum smell

T - Almost an apple cider middle, Balanced sweet tropical hops, dirt, oak, rum, some slight berry and huge sweet malt

M - Very bitey, the malt and hop kick you on the side of the tounge

D - Nice, fluffy. Balanced hop and malt, but both are pretty big. The sweetness can get old

Final thought - This beer is awesome once and a while and awesome on tap always

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Photo of Rayek
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Yard House in Denver, CO. Served in a shaker pint glass.

A: Pale amber with nice clarity and light carbonation. A small eggshell cap quickly falls to a patchwork film. Leaves a nice amount of lace.

S: Hop aromas dominate. Citrus, pine and anise interplay well. Alcohol adds a light heat.

T: Again, the hops dominate. Bitterness hits right away with a citrus and pine bite that's strong but not overdone. Malts are in the back with a caramel sweetness. Alcohol adds a fair amount of warmth as the beer goes down.

M: The medium body is slightly oily and has the right fizz.

D: This is a nice Imperial IPA overall. Perhaps not my favorite member of the style, but a worthy beer in its own right.

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Photo of thedoubler55
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light amber in color, very transparent, good foamy head at the top that leaves a nice lacing around the glass

S: Citrus, with some sweetness, kind of scented like orange soda.

T: Strong taste of citrus and grapefruit up front, with some bitterness at the end.

M: Medium bodied goes down smoothly with a bit of carbonation as well.

D: I would say very drinkable for an Ipa, great job by widmer on this one!

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured aggressively, I get a clear, orangish golden ale with a medium white head that disappears very quickly. Scent is strong grapefruit and hops with some sweet caramel and other citrus aromas as well. Very sweet smell. Taste is initially grapefruit and sweet honey flavors followed by some sweet malt and other citrus notes. This bottle must be fresh, because the hops are really coming through and making this to be a very well-balanced and delicious DIPA. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and somewhat crisp at the end. Drinkability is high. I had some SERIOUS doubts going into this, considering it's Widmer and you see their Hef everywhere BMC is sold. I know they're expanding their "craft beer mind" a bit, and I'm glad to say that I loved this DIPA. I hope to see more good stuff from this brewery, because in a blind tasting...no one would guess this was made by Widmer. Great beer.

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Photo of sacrelicio
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent DIPA. Very tropical, pineapply in flavor and taste. THe mouthfeel is solid, as is the appearance. The drinkability is actually quite high, not bad for a DIPA. The alcohol is not evident in the taste at all really. Overall, not bad, but nothing to seek out. A good bargain option, or something to get if you want a DIPA on tap, and the restaurant only has this.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass

A: pours a nice medium golden/amber color with a nice amount of white foamy head, leaves a nice amount of lacing

S: beautiful sweet citrusy scent smells just like grapefruit

T: nice hop notes backed by a distinct depth that lingers on the pallet, slight citrus taste

D/M: nice depth of flavor makes it nice to drink, slight alcohol burn is not overpowering, medium carbonation tingle

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

I've had my eye on Deadlift, particularly because of the $7.99 pricetag for 4 bottles (for the DIPA that's a pretty good deal). From a 12 ounce bottle with the date of Dec 21 10 printed on the label (must be a born on date), on to the beer:

This is pale orange in color with a suprisingly clean body. The head on top has a semi-creamy texture and gives good sticking lacing to the glass. The nose is fine, smells like juciy hops with tangerine, mango, and grapefruit. Saltine cracker notes hit the nostrils. The overall intensity does dwindle quickly though.

The hoppiness is smooth, which is better than expected. The malt bill , though acceptable, has a few cracks in the foundation. Tangerine and mango flavors are tasted, honey and a snap of saltine cracker head onto the scene. A saltine cracker flavor can work if it's not too salty, here in Deadlift it's pushing it. It stays salty and a little bitter into the aftertaste. The alcohol, at 8.6%, is hidden remarkably well; I feared that it would be messy.

Overall, this is probably what I could have expected from Widmer. Not great, not bad. It certainly has its strenghts, and they're enough to have me put down the rest of the 4-pack with no trouble.

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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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Deadlift Imperial IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
3.79 out of 5 based on 238 ratings.
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