Decadent Imperial IPA | Ska Brewing Co.

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Decadent Imperial IPADecadent Imperial IPA

Brewed by:
Ska Brewing Co.
Colorado, United States

Style: American Double / 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

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Reviews: 360 | Ratings: 825
Photo of spoony
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a bomber into a tulip.

A-Murky with orange tones. A one-finger, nearly white head dissipates into a thick ring/collar. There were visible streams of carbonation.

S-Some pine and hops, but not "hoppy" in the traditional sense. I got a lot of citrus, some floral notes, and a touch of honey.

T-Similar to the nose. Some hops, but not terribly complex. No spiciness or intrigue. Grapefruit, lemon, and honey. It was quite sweet overall.

M-Creamy when cold and drinkable. As it warms you notice the alcohol. At the end of the bomber, it was quite boozy. The alcohol kind of dominated.

O-Not a bad effort. I liked it colder, which seemed to produce more floral and citrus notes, and mask what I would call an unpleasant alcohol taste. There are better IPAs out there, but this isn't something I would turn away.

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Photo of timjr2500
3.22/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer falls smack dab in the middle of the scale of what an IPA should be. It doesn't do much to stand out in any way. Medium color, nice crisp, floral smell, tastes of a solid blend of hops and a standard pale grain.

Don't get me wrong, I would drink this beer every day for the rest of my life, but I just wouldn't use it to celebrate a new job or welcome home an old friend. Its just too average. Drinkable; tasty but drab.

One thing I really do appreciate about this beer above others in its category is the price. A bomber generally goes for $5.50 and in my book that's a steal for such a high alcohol beer. You're likely to spend double for a beer as average as this, so do yourself a favor by a couple to keep around for those times after the great beer is gone and you still want more, just don't expect the best beer you've ever had.

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Photo of tdm168
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pale orangish amber with a thin layer of pure white head that has decent retention

S - faintly herbal, piny hops

T - bready, faint birthday cake sweetness, piny, bitter, citrusy

M - warm, well carbonated, medium bodied

This is a solidly malty, hoppy DIPA. It's bitter but balanced. Flavorful, enjoyable, drinkable. I'll definitely have this again.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a tulip
Red wax 2012?

A- Hazy golden orange with a one finger off white head. Nice looking alcohol legs as well. Little retention from the head.

S- Very piney and citrusy, lots of orange and some dark fruits as well. A sweetness and light malts smell.

T- A light bitterness up front, followed by an unfortunately underwhelming hop character . I get a bit too much alcohol taste from this one. The hop flavor Is citrusy and has a lot of west coast qualities. The malts are sweet but really light.

M- A lot of alcohol feel in this one. Aftertaste is dry and bitter. Beer itself is rather light and not too hard to drink assuming you can get past the burn.

O- Had not heard anything about this beer before I bought it. Its honestly a little disappointing but then again, I may have hyped it up in my head more then I should have.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.46/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Brewery FRESH!!! Bought 5/25/12 at SKA
Dated best by - 4/20/13 - Poured into a Southampton Snifter.

Nice, simple, one finger, white foamy head, looks very tasty. Great golden orange clarity. Lots of ambers and reds too. Spotty lacing remains on the walls of my snifter glass.

Very pleasant smooth fruity fullness. Lots of pineapple, orange and grapefruit. Scent is light airy and full. It's not over done like many West Coast IPAs, but it's a very enjoyable scent on a hot day.

Awesome, smooth, creamy, and minimally bitter. Lots of light sweetness mixes with very light (airy) bitterness. No heat and at 10%, that's impressive. Carbonation fits the brew, nice and mellow.

Hands down one of the best DIPAs I've ever had. Perfect for a warm summer evening. Very delightful and well rounded. Quite a surprise for a DIPA. Another killer brew from SKA; well done, keep em' coming. Can't wait for the new Stout Can Series...

I'm not sure Decadent would be as good in a year as it is fresh, but very nicely done! Spot on!

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Photo of RoyalT
2.47/5  rDev -31.4%
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 lackenhauser
4.27/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale orangeish color with a huge fluffy white head that goes rather quickly. Nice lacing. Strong, citrusy and piney aroma. The tongue stripping hop presence sneaks up on you. Very solid malt profile at first. A solvent like hop presence comes in behind the malt. At first I thought it was alcohol burn but it is the hops for sure. Sticky and resiny mouthfeel. Very enjoyable and I find myself plowing through the bottle. Found this in NC and know nothing about the brewery. 6 bucks a bottle is well worth it.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.35/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a beautifully labeled bottle with red wax (ala maker's mark) poured into a pint glass. a clear amber pour with a finger of fluffy head which stays for most of the pour. insane amounts of sticky lacing fill the glass as i drink this delicious nectar. smells of caramel, tree sap, pine, fresh cut grass. a very sweet, bready, metallic taste up front with one of the most bitter after tastes i have ever gotten from any bottle of beer.. it literally tastes like burning tires. notes of caramel, spicy yeast, plum, honey. this one is on the border of medium to full body with a very boozey chest warming sensation, sticky lacing coats your facial hair as the creamyness of the beer coats the roof of your mouth. you are pretty much trapped in this beer... i capped mine with a resealable cap i got from anchor's christmas mammoth size beer bottle and i feel like it's not going to last. my mouth is already prepared. i went through all this work, and now i feel the need to finish.

this is an excellent iipa. not a complete palate wrecker until AFTER you take your first sip. that bitter aftertaste lingers until you drink enough that your mouth gets coated in its creamy body. a great beer to go back to, for sure. i'll be looking out for more of this later this year!

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Photo of ghostwalker
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Body is red-orange. Thin white head, little lacing.

Nose is sharp, bitter hops and too much sweet malt. This is likely to be a sweetness bomb.

Flavor is sweet and hoppy, but not as bitter as I expected. Sweet and thin on the finish.

Mouthfeel is slick and smooth.

A weird DIPA all around. Overall drinkability is pretty good, but it's just not what I am usually looking for from a 10% DIPA.

Glad I tried it, I love the wax on the neck.

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Photo of emerge077
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft serving in a smallish 10 oz. goblet.

The pour is a murky reddish amber with offwhite tan foam that lasts for awhile. It fades to a ring with spotty lace as the glass is sipped slowly.

Sweet caramel toffee and resiny hop greenery, more malt heavy and sweet though. Flavor is similar, heavy and sticky caramel with a moderate hop bitterness and plenty of heft to it. Alcohol starts to creep out a bit, and it gets to be fatiguing on the palate halfway through. Mellow carbonation, slightly viscous and sticky on the lips.

Not really a fan of this super-heavy barleywine-esque DIPA. Something to warm up on the coldest of winter nights, but not with the 80º March weather we're having...

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Photo of Juner03
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

an IPA for those of us that don't want an uber bitter IPA! caramelized color, sweet but pungent with an overall hops effect that easily disguises the ABV. I agree with another review here about white grape notes and even sweet grapefruit notes.
The bummer here for me was the package, the end of the bottle is too much. A beer like this deserves a little less like colt 45, a little more like a 12 oz lambic bottle to capture it's freshness

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Photo of Lawl3ss
3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lightly chilled 22 oz. bomber poured into a stemmed tulip. Bottling date is half rubbed off, but it looks like 12.21.11 or so.

Look- Clear orange/deep amber with two and a half fingers of dense off-white head. Good retention. Thick film of speckled lace remains as the glass empties.

Smell- Caramel, white grapefruit, white grape juice, and a hint of alcohol. Swirling brings out a flowery/perfume-like aroma. Subtle.

Taste- Solid German-seeming malt backbone; crisp citric hop character at the start, fading to a hint of grassy bitterness at the end. Reminds me of caramel apples for the most part. On the sweet side. Ryelike toasted grain flavor towards the finish. Aftertaste is a bit grassy and herbal. Alcohol is well masked. Flavors get bolder as the beer hits room temp, but nothing new develops. As the beer goes down, a vague marmite-like flavor builds, but it's never too noticeable, probably some vestige of the yeast strain they used.

Mouthfeel- Sharp carb comes out on the sip. Body is light to medium, a bit chewy. Finish is clean, slightly dry. Moderate warming. Drinks like heavily steeped herbal tea.

Overall- Malt-forward, decently well balanced, if on the sweet side. Falls short in the hop aroma and flavor department, fair amount of bitterness without much of anything interesting to back it up. This specimen isn't as fresh as it could be, however. Pleasant enough, hides the ABV, but it's not going on my short list.

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Photo of Durtdiggler
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into snifter from bomber bottle.

Amber/Orange hue with huge head. Ton of lacing.

Smell is very citrus oriented, sweet, less of the floral big time hop presence. Bready/Malty.

Taste is very subtle for an imperial style though tastes very good. It's a high ABV but not much complexity you'd probably expect from a DIPA, more of a malt versus a hop profile. A bit off balance, can use more bittering. Clean finishing.

Mouth feel is good. Muted carbonation, very soft feeling, medium body. Very easy to drink.

The beer tastes great, it's just not very complex and leaves the hop heads wondering. I would choose this DIPA for someone who is off put by massive bittering flavor and hop aroma. A bit surprised given the Modus Hoperandi and how awesome that is. Good but better choices in this style.

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Photo of 2378GCGTG
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pure white head over a golden body, showime some filtrate, good lacing.

Nose: Golden raisins, sweet malts, cereal grains and citrus hops.

Taste: Bitter resin (but not over powering), vanilla, sweetness and malt with citrus hops and a slightly boozey finish.

Mouthfeel: Very drinkable, it definitely feels sessionable, it flows on the palate.

Overall: This is a good double ipa, especially given the price. I would certainly buy it again.

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Photo of shanblur
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased recently in St. Louis. Best by date obscured but can make out 12 as year. Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip. A - Brilliant clear orange color with an off white head. Extensive lacing that lingers with plenty of bubbles on the side. S - Subdued spicy and citrus style hops. T - A nice bitter hops bite up front but not overpowering. Does not taste boozy. Some spice to the flavor. M - A smooth medium bodied mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation. A nice easy drinking IPA.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.17/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

13 oz. pour in a snifter on 1/14/12 at Trimity Brewing in Colorado Springs. Red amber and clear. Short live head with some lace. Lots of tropical fruit in the aroma with a healthy dose of caramel. Pineapple, caramel, with a medium bitter finish. Perfect amount of carbonation leads to a soft mouthfeel.

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Photo of Nerudamann
4.07/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass.

Look – hazy light brown or light amber color, with about half a finger’s worth of foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell – clove-like smell which is pre-empted by a strong, pungent smell akin to muskiness. It almost takes your breath away, literally.

Taste – again, a clove taste is prominent, as is a musky, biscuity quality. It seems to have a lot of body, which is made bitter more toward the finish. Slightly bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel – pretty well balanced, not leaning more toward the watery or creamy ends.

Overall – very interesting brew to think about while tasting. Not a bad taste in and of itself either!

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Photo of WoodBrew
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The Decadent Imperial IPA from SKA is a very BIG beer...almost rude. The beer pours a dark copper, fairly murky, thin white head that is lacing. The scent includes malt and lots of bitter hops. The taste is an explosion of hops and bitterness with powerful Alcohol. The mouthfeel is fullbodied with good carbonation. Overall it is just to bitter and rude for me. 8oz glass is all I would want in a sitting.

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Photo of Koufax21
4.17/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Doing this one as my 50th review. Purchased at the Copper Penny in Farmington, NM. This is an old favorite of mine. Pours a deep dark orange with about 3/4" of nice white head that laces the glass nicely. Somewhat hazy in appearance. There's a huge malt aroma as well as citrus, tangerine like aromas as well. This is such a tasty beer. I imagine the hops and malt in a rock'em - sock'em robot ring. These guys are battling it out. Ultimately I think hop wins. I never would've guessed that with the 10% on the bottle. Super smooth for this medium bodied ale. Finishes rather dry, but the hops just linger forever while your lips become sweet and sticky from the massive malt backbone. Another great beer from a solid brewery.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Orange amber glass holds a thick collar that leaves impressive tide marks of lace.

Smell: Light earthy pine floral hop nose on a sweet crystal malt base, seems a bit malt forward.

Taste: I was quite wrong, the hops come full force with a light tea quality with lots of orange citric west coast goodness. A mix of hop flavors, bit earthy, pine, citric, tasty. Sweetness pokes its head in at the end of the sip to mask any alcohol that may be going on.

Mouthfeel: Oily, as to be expected, body is medium light with a modest carbonation level. A bit numbing over time.

Overall: What it says on the tin; Imperial IPA. Monster beer that masks all sins with fresh juicy hop goodness.
I've not been giving Ska enough love, need to visit these more often.

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Photo of DelMontiac
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 22oz bottle, this beer is a nice burnt orange color making a single finger of eggshell head that hangs around for about half the glass and produces scant lace.

This thing smells a little weak for an IIPA, but you still get a malty backbone with citrus and piney notes that make your mouth water.

Taste is more sweet malt than I expected, but that doesn't hurt the overall flavor. There is the oily hop presence that balances the line of pine and bitter orange peel. Some honey roaming around in there too. These flavors tend to tug at one another rather than meld.

Feel is a bit sticky producing a moderate+ body. Would prefer some more CO2 in this one.

Overall enjoyable. The guys from SKA never let me down.

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Photo of abrand
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Waxed bomber poured into pint glass. No date on bottle and I have no idea how fresh this is.

Pours a deep amber almost copper color with a quick fading white head that leaves some good lacing on the glass. Smells of alcohol, subtle hops, citrus fruits, and raisins. Taste is mediocre. Somewhat watered down. Taste has some hops and citrus. Straight forward and really nothing special. Mouthfeel is thin. Overall, this is just ok. Nothing really stands out at all.

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Photo of tjkinate
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Visited my mom this weekend and she had a bunch of brews in the fridge for me, this being one of them.

A: 1+ plus fingered head with some retention topped this amber colored brew. It dissipated into a thin film leaving some lacing after each sip.

S: Floral hops are backed by loads of malts. Sweet candy secent follow and are quite pungent.

T: Loads of malts followed by floral hops leaving a strong bitter aftertaste. Flavor in general is quite potent, too much so when drinking a bomber solo.

M: Medium to heavy bodied, odd for the style, but combined with solid carbonation kept this mouthfeel so pleasant.

O: My first beer from Ska brewing is a good one, may have to check out others from this brewery.

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Photo of isitsavage
2.7/5  rDev -25%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked this bottle up on while vacation in Duck, NC. Don't see anything from Ska in DC. Couldn't find a bottling date anywhere and I had this sitting for about a month so take that into account with this review.

Poured into a pint glass, a bright orange/copper. Minimal white head, fading fast. Spotty lacing.

Not much in the nose, traditional IPA aromas, nothing extra or interesting going on here.

Kind of sweet, resiny, and sticky mouthfeel, little carbonation.

Nothing very interesting in the taste with the first few sips, nothing really standing out for me big time. Not crazy hoppy, which is weird for a DIPA (maybe attribute this to the amount of time it sat). Some pine and citrus, more sweetness than anything else I think. Upon further sipping the citrus reveals itself specifically as orange, coupled with all that sugary sweetness, it's almost like an orange Jolly Rancher. Gets a touch more bitter as it warms.

Overall I wasn't very impressed by this beer. I wish I had time to try this a little sooner after I bought it, I think this may have tainted the taste a bit. So again, please keep that in mind for this review. Would like to try a bottle that I knew was fresh.

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Photo of DoktorZee
4.07/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared from a bottle with the beer tasting club. Poured into a schooner. Didn't check for best before date.

A - solid copper color, slightly cloudy with really no head, and very slight lacing

S - solid hops nose with both grassy and citrus elements

T - very solid but not excessive hops attack with lots of grassy and citrus bitterness right at the initial attack; smoothed out by some slightly sweet malt, but doesn't fall into the trap of some of the Imperial IPAs of having too much malt; seems like just enough

M - relatively heavy with some oiliness that coats the entire mouth

D - surprisingly drinkable; big and brawny with lots of alcohol, but nothing overpowers the balance

One of the better Imperial IPAs i've had in the last couple months. Lots of power, but not excessive. Definitely would recommend again.

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Decadent Imperial IPA from Ska Brewing Co.
3.6 out of 5 based on 825 ratings.
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