Decadent Imperial IPA | Ska Brewing Co.

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Decadent Imperial IPADecadent Imperial IPA
857 Ratings
Decadent Imperial IPADecadent Imperial IPA

Brewed by:
Ska Brewing Co.
Colorado, United States

Style: American Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by RockyTopHeel on 12-30-2004

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 857 |  Reviews: 372
Photo of rquillin
1/5  rDev -72.8%

Photo of Hellpop65
1.5/5  rDev -59.2%

Photo of benito
1.78/5  rDev -51.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

I found this to be disappointing pretty much across the board. Poured a light, transluscent amber with very little head. No floral aromas or really any aromas that I could detect for that matter. The overall taste was underwhelming for an imperial IPA. The flavor dissipated quickly and left no aftertaste--sweet or savory. The hop punch was absent as were the heavy malt balances. The overall feel was so light that I could have mistaken it for an amber lager. Very drinkable, but for all of the wrong reasons.

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Photo of dakeller80
1.83/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Sadly, this it the first Ska I've had that was nearly undrinkable.

Appearance--reddish amber, almost no haze. Almost no head, some lacing on glass

Smell--apples, cherries, almost no floral hops. . maybe slightly piney. Shockingly phenolic. Alcohol evident. Does NOT smell like an imperial IPA.

Taste--Initial impression was that it was a well balanced although "fruity" phenolic beer. Not horrible, but odd for an imperial IPA. However, the more I tasted, the my surprise over the strange characters turned into disgust. When my girlfriend got a whiff of it and remarked that it smelled like a Red Bull and jaegermeister, that was it. . .I couldn't take it anymore and poured it down the drain. Floral hops are present in the taste but masked by the sweetness.

Mouthfeel--Actually about right for style.

Drinkability--I didn't finish it and won't be buying anymore.

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Photo of Longstaff
1.96/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had high hopes for this one since i dragged it back to Boston in my backpack from Denver - actually two of them - one for a friend who is not going to be impressed either.

No hop aromas was the first sign this wasn't going to be a good DIPA. But I did not expect the phenolic aromas which were off putting for the style. Phenolic flavors backed up the aroma and made this almost undrinkable. Even hop bitterness was missing. I suffered through a half pint thinking it would change as it warmed - it didn't. Poured the rest down the drain.

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Photo of HumanParaquat
2/5  rDev -45.7%

Photo of DoctorB2B
2/5  rDev -45.7%

Photo of specksnreds
2/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

$7 flat drain pour. No bubbles, flat, zero carbonation. Burnt orange color is nice, but w/o bubbles, it looks unappealing. I did at least taste it, but I was unable to recognize anything resembling an IIPA. It's hard to measure a beer when it's lacking a fundamental component of its make-up, but this is what I got for my money from SKA. And I call 'em like I see 'em.

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Photo of tatums1984
2/5  rDev -45.7%

Photo of bigsilky
2.05/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Good Lord. What a let-down. Almost no hop aroma. Thin bone-white head that seems to have the way of the aroma. Not really carbonated to a suffecient level. A slight dried fruit flavour on the first sip quickly rots through the alcohol dominated mid-palate. I really don't see what can be so interesting about this guy. Thie 10% is not well hidden at all, in fact it's the white elephant in the room with all the other elements turning a blind eye. This beer tastes cheap. The beer claims a rather high IBU level, not evident with no earthy or sprucy hop notes.

The second time I tasted this beer was worse than the first, b/c I was expecting it this time. Again from a bottle, different place, different batch. Still crumby. Why Ska? Why?

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Photo of GreenWBush
2.24/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Rubied tea in color, this beer exhumes from the bottle rather limpid and lifeless, with a tiny head. Somehow, phenomenal cling is produced on the sides of my wine-glass.

The nose of this beer is anything but vivid. Slight and tentative hop aromas are buried beneath a wall of sticky caramel and an aroma that reminds me of the beer that got spilled on me at a recent Cubs' game. After searching desperately for something resembling hops, I do get something analogous to oranges.

Again, the flavor profile here is super-subtle...the beer itself is rather raisiny and malt-forward which make me seriously skeptical about the DIPA branding. Seems kind of like a poorly interpreted English BW to me...rather stale all around, and if there's a hop flavor it reminds me of fake-watermelon.

One half-bomber was too much. A major letdown, especially at $6 a bomber. I would never have taken a shine to DIPAs if my first foray were at all like this...

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Photo of Rozyravens
2.25/5  rDev -38.9%

Photo of lightindarkness
2.34/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22oz bomber acquired in trade with Hypnoz123. Freshness is somewhat in question, with little discernible information available related to batch number or date. I submit this review on the investigated assumption that it was bottled, purchased, traded, and tasted within a reasonably short period of time.

Poured a dull hazy coppery orange color with a nice creamy ivory head, leaving a fair amount of lace.

Smell is a bit peculiar, particularly for an IIPA. Somewhat weak on the nose, with notable pineapple and peach fruit, light malt, and soft bread, but there's also a chemically phenol smell that lingers of plastic or polystyrene.

Taste is soft and flat (taste, not carbonation...), off for an IIPA. A few pleasant discernible tastes of some dank hops with slight bitterness, weak mild malt and a hint of pine. Very fumy taste, again of burnt plastic or polystyrene. Has an overall strange weak hollow taste, not at all what I expected.

Feel is more or less consistent with the style, very slight stickiness and some oily quality with a smoothness to it.

I can't get past the weird synthetic taste and smell that's in there. I have to wonder how old this beer is, but I have no concrete way of knowing. It sits comfortably in the stomach, but I can't take 22oz of the taste.

*edit - I'm investigating the small illegible print on the bottle to determine date/batch, etc.

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Photo of champ103
2.43/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Pours a nearly opaque reddish/brown color. A two finger white head forms that sticks around for a minute. Light lace is left behind.
S: Big resiny and piny hops up front. A very strong bitterness with a candy like sweetness.
T: Tastes like thick, syrupy, pine resin. A very strong bitterness. There is some sweetness, but does little to balance out the huge syrupy and piny hops. There is some noticeable alcohol.
M/D: Incredibly thick and syrupy. Oily and soapy as well. Plenty of alcohol. Mix that with the huge syrupy, pine, and bitterness makes for a very hard beer to drink.

This is just a huge syrupy and piny mess. There is hardly anything else. I really did not enjoy this. Not something I would recommend.

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Photo of mjurney
2.46/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Deep bright amber color, clear. Lots of fine bubbles. Head looks pretty creamy, white color. Lacing looks nice on the glass.

Tea, herbal, a little citrus. I can smell the alcohol.

Herbal hops, leafy, tea-like, a little citrus. A little malt, but its not balancing the beer. Alcohol is very present. Very dry rubbery mouthfeel. Carbonation is light.

Rough finish, very dry, burning alcohol, nasty bitter aftertaste that lingers.

Overall Impressions:
Not a good Double/Imperial IPA. It's awful!!

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Photo of RoyalT
2.47/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance – This is a terrible looking beer. It is a sad yellowish orange in color with a Bud Light head that showed no retention and foamed down like a soda pop.

Smell – There’s some nice orange rind and pine in the nose but no malt at all.

Taste – The citrus notes are OK but I can’t believe they used any grain to make this beer.

Mouthfeel – Way too thin for the style with an uncomfortable bitterness.

Sinkability – You get the hop kick from this beer but otherwise it’s a far cry from being a quality DIPA.

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Photo of Zach225
2.48/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Overall a disappointment. Got it because it was $5 a pint so I took advantage of the price. Not worth writing a full review. The color was a nice amber/orange typical of the style. The noise was lacking. Seriously. Not much there at all, especially for what should be such a hop-forward beer. The taste was mainly that of some bittering hops, but still nothing too impressive. Not much for the flavor hops either. A little citrus, floral, and a sprinkle of spice. Malt characteristics were sweet but lacked depth. The balance of a good DIPA just wasn't there, although the ABV was fairly well hidden. I didn't find it very enjoyable, and this is one of my favorite styles. Would not recommend and would not buy again.

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Photo of beernads
2.5/5  rDev -32.1%

Photo of jophish17
2.5/5  rDev -32.1%

Photo of jbphoto88
2.52/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

First of all this bottle is a pain in the ass to open. I had to chip away at the wax just to get a bottle opener on the cap and then when I opened it I'm sure some wax fell in. What a beating. It finally pours a lovely deep garnet. Very pretty with it's fluffy white head. Damn decent retention too.

The scent is crap if this is an Imperial IPA. Where are the hops? The only scents I am getting is a estery apple scent. This one smells more like a poor Belgian beer then a double IPA. Hopefully the taste will be better.

Crap beer. That's the first thing that comes to mind after the first sip. This big beer is cidery and has nothing that points in the direction of a DIPA. Even the bitterness is lame, but at least it's present.

I don't know what else to say about this beer with out trashing it completely. So rather then describe what's bad I'll stick to what I do like... Review over.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.53/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle thanks to drabmuh. Served in a tulip.

Hard pour yields a copper-orange body with a minimal head and no lacing. Some large bubbles form a collar around the edges. Tue nose brings forward a good amount of caramel malt and accompanying sweetness plus a bit of booze. Some citrus and floral hops in the background.

The taste is quite sweet with a really strong booze presence and a lot of heat in the finish. Some bitterness and some floral hops are there as well. Feel is medium and boozy with lowish levels of carbonation. Not a huge fan of this.

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Photo of meathookjones
2.55/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours out clear orange amber with a quickly disappearing light tan head. Very mild citric hops come out in the nose with equally strong sweet caramel malts. Not much hoppiness here for a double IPA and pretty weak aroma overall. The flavor was lacking in the same manner with way too much upfront malt sweetness and only a mild bitter hoppiness to counter it. Alcohol comes out almost as much as the hops do. The flavor was disappointing to say the least. Body is solid. Drinkability is hindered by the lack of real Double IPA hop punch in the aroma or taste. One I could do without trying again.

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Photo of Sayson
2.58/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Amber color. Half-inch head some lacing present. Very clear.

S: Malty and sweet. Complete lack of hop aroma

T: Malty, some alcohol burn

M: OK. Evervescent on the tongue. Some bitterness in the aftertaste and something strange that I can't put my finger on.

D: This beer is not very drinkable, largely because it is so off style.

This beer doesn't fit the DIPA class. Avoid it.

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Photo of Sideswipe
2.58/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bomber into a pint glass. Hard pour yields a miniscule head which quickly evaporates. Sticky lacing remains. Cloudy amber color. Smells of caramel and sweet malts slight hop presence. Taste follows the nose. Big caramel notes, awash in hop bitterness and hot boozy alcohol. Tastes like Modus Hoperandi topped with vodka. The booze totally dominates the experience. Mouthfeel is full with low carbonaton. Drinkability is lost to the painfully evident heat of the ABV. I really wanted to like this beer. I love Modus Hoperandi, and it's legacy can be detected here. Unfortunately the awesome balance of it's little brother has been sacrificed on the alter of ABV, and the fault leaves much to be desired.

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Photo of PatrickJR
2.59/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into nonic pint glass.

A - Amber, with some slight haze and noticable floating particles. A couple fingers of off-white head dissipate fairly quickly, falling to a thick collar with a thin film. Lacing is pretty minimal for the style.

S - Nice DIPA aromas of pine and citrus, with an interesting hint of brown sugar that pulls things together nicely.

T - If I were blind folded and not given the chance to take a huge whiff of this brew, I would never know it was a DIPA. Sweet malt in the realm of brown sugar/molasses with some buttery notes is most noticable with what feels like a mere sprinkling of hops. A slightly piney and herbal flavor pulls through, but the malt still steals the show until late palate where a huge bitterness kicks in. At this point the 10% is more than obvious, contributing a lot to the overall bitterness and providing a rather nasty astringency to the whole thing. Finish is bitter and the aftertaste is pure ethanol.

M - Moderate carbonation is decent enough, but the body is way too thin. Huge wash of alcohol also contributes to percieved lightness of body.

D - This would be one of the last things I reached for when looking for a DIPA. The aroma is there, and it probably has a decent malt profile for the style, but the hop presence is far too minimal and the alcohol is way too in-your-face.

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Decadent Imperial IPA from Ska Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 857 ratings