Decadent Imperial IPA | Ska Brewing Co.

Decadent Imperial IPADecadent Imperial IPA
845 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 845 |  Reviews: 367
Photo of ktrillionaire
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a brassy copper hue, and is capped with a big off-white head. The brew offers big bitterness, with hoppiness in the floral and jasmine spectrum. The malt is light and sugar cookie-esque; I prefer the lighter bodied DIPAs. The nose is a bit subdued and not much above average intensity or dynamic, although it is still nice by any measure. Quite nice tasting though; it is a deft balance of dank, floral and lightly sweet, and the ABV is nowhere to be found. The feel is just about at-medium; softly effervescent. Overall, this is a nice DIPA, and I certainly have it again.

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Photo of TenHornsProud
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber to darker orange with some pale head that dissipates quickly.

Smells of piney hops but more so of bready malt. A sweet, straightforward aroma.

Taste has some up-front bitterness that is not too overwhelming...thinking cascade type hop profile, with a big wave of malt coming in the middle with that sweetness in the end.

Mouthfeel is heavier but not too thick. Medium to heavy with a smaller amount of carbonation.

This is a great beer with a nice hop character that gets dominated by the malt. Is it a DIPA or a Barleywine? Who cares. It's damned good, and well worth the money.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

604th Review on BA
Bottle to Tulip
Waxed and Capped 650ML
Best by 6/6/12

Thanks to a vendor of mine for sending this bottle to me while HE was on vacation.

App- A dark orange with a bit of golden amber with some gold and even some browns. A very quick to recede two finger head with a nice bit of leg and lace.

Smell- Very old over ripened fruit with just a ton of malt behind it.

Taste- The taste follows the nose. A gigantic malt bomb with no balance to it. Some citrus, some hops would be good. When I 1st tasted this I thought it was old then noticed bottle seems pretty fresh.

Mouth- Medium bodied and Medium carbonated. Leaves just a thick malt kinda candy like coating on the mouth.

Drink- I was really hoping the reviews would be off and this would blow me away. No dice. Big malt bomb. Not my favorite type of IPA. For someone who doesnt know beer for a business associate I am very appreciative.

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Photo of bark
3.37/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The colour is deep red with a tint of brown (15 EBC), the liquid clear. The two finger head sinks rather quickly, leaving very little lacing.

The smell is hoppy rather than all-out bitter. Sweet honey, quite a lot of caramel. Oranges, fruit candy, fresh flowers and a touch of vanilla. It is a bit thin.

The taste is bitter with a hint of a sour lemon flavour. Quite a lot of honey-sweet malts. Dried apricots and bananas, caramel and toffee, roses and flowers, rye bread and just a slight touch of butter. The aftertaste is a bit dry with an elegant medium strong bitterness. Notes of bitter herbs, butterscotch and dried fruits in the aftertaste. Some alcohol in the finish.

The carbonation is mild; the few small bubbles are fresh. The liquid is sticky.

This beer has probably passed its peak hopwise, give it another year and it will probably turn into a decent American barley wine.

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Photo of DavidST
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice amber color, a decent light head which had good retention and lazing. The smell is first pine like or hoppy and then a little malty at the end. Decent mouthfeel, there is some alcohol burn on the tongue. The taste is pretty good, there are definitely some hops present, with a malty aftertaste but not bad, not a bad alcohol burn for the ABV. Overall not a bad double IPA but not my favorite either.

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Photo of chicagoabbot
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Clark Street Ale House, along with a few too many other beers last night! Bright golden body with a decent head for 10% ABV and decent lacing as well. Strong hop aroma, but not as strong as some big IPAs from the West Coast. Lots of hops to temper the big malt on the tongue. Goes down way too easy for how much booze is in it. Pretty good.

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Photo of Phelps
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a wax-topped bottle into a shaker pint.

Dark auburn and slightly hazed, with a one-finger head of creamy off-white foam that sticks around for a long while, eventually receding to a thick, soapy top layer. Some Swiss cheese lace decorates the glass.

Light aroma. Caramel, overripe oranges and biscuits are all I get. Very barleywine-like.

Either the brewers are off in their designation of this beer, or this is an older bottle. It’s extremely malty, with flavors of heavy caramel, biscuits and orange juice melding with hints of herbal basil and LOTS of booze. Again, it’s more like a barleywine than a DIPA — though it’s not a completely bad-tasting barleywine.

Syrupy medium body with prickly carbonation and very, very light fizziness. Some alcohol burns the tongue, but it’s far more noticeable in the flavor.

Well, this is too malty and not hoppy enough to be a DIPA. Tone down the booze or relabel this as a barleywine, and maybe I’ll bump the score a few notches.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma has a lot of toffee notes as well as a little bit of pine mixed in. The flavor is more of the same. I get some toffee and caramel malt as well as some bread and pine notes. There is also a little bit of orange citrus in the flavor. Low bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of BigDub
3.54/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz Bomber Served up in a Pint glass.

A- Really nice dark amber. Very small initial head after the pour

S- Intially a nice blast of hops then mellowed out a sweet almost molassas smell. A note of caramel as well. A tinge of alcohol

T- The first sip is a nice hop filled one. The later seemed to shift more towards a malt flavor. Kind of nice. Sweet in flavor as you progress through. A little bit of alcohol sneaks in too.

M- Not really thick but heavy.

O- Not too shabby a little on the sweet side for me personally.

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Photo of biggred1
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'll start by saying this was probably the hardest work to open a bottle I've encountered, the wax is more like hard plastic and took some pretty deep knife cuts to get the job done. I hope it was worth it...

Pumpkin orange with a creamy tan head that shrinks to a filmy skim that leaves spotty lace on the glass. The aroma is candied orange peel, butterscotch, minty hops and a touch of alcohol. The flavor is brashly alcoholic and sweet up front with some hop bitterness and heat in the finish. A little more hop flavor would improve this beer for me. Medium full bodied and slightly sticky with mild carbonation. A silky smooth brew but a bit of a letdown for me, more hop flavor and less alcoholic heat would make it more to my liking.

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Photo of Fillpott
2.71/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance-Darker than average (copper-red-brown) DIPA w/ a small off-white head that doesn't linger or lace. It looks thick and syrupy as I swirl it in my pint glass, but...
Smell-the smell tells me that this has some good hop bitterness, as I expect. However, the hops don't smell fresh (i.e. the difference between fresh, whole, dry hops and hop pellets that have sat in the freezer too long). Hop dust? Also has a mild "soapy" smell that I may be confusing with the caramel/hop smell.
Taste-Cloying. The hops are bitter, but they don't add the freshness that I would expect. Additionally, the balance seems off between the sweet maltiness and the hop bitterness. Finally, the finish has a mild alcohol burn.
Mouthfeel-Like eating a caramel-pecan w/ hop pie. It has a significant fullness that is cut a little by the carbonation and alcohol.
I don't dislike this beer, and I will likely finish the bottle. Decadent is definitely an apt name for this beer.

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Photo of betsona
3.44/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a shaker pint. No freshness info.

A- Deep hazy golden amber color. One and a half finger of off-white that has some retention. Some lacing on the glass as I drank it. This had to be one of the darkest thickest looking DIPAs I have had. The smell and taste seem to be on, but I wouldn't mind having some bottling information.

S- A hop presence hits the nose right when the bottle was opened. It mellowed out quite a bit and was replaced with a sweet burnt sugar smell.

T- This is more malt forward than say Modus Hoperandi, but some floral tasting hops are present. A lot of sweetness takes over and completely controls the palate. Tad sweet for a DIPA. Would be much better if there was a bitterness at the end.

M- Somewhat medium to heavy mouthful. Nothing really lingers on the palate. It is an extremely easy beer to drink which might be its redeeming quality.

O- I might check my sugar levels after drinking this one. A friend and I enjoyed splitting the bottle, and that is the only way either of us could imagine finishing one. I will definitely try it again if I can ensure the freshness of the bottle.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From 22oz bottle to nonic pint glass on 5/13/11
*From notes

A: Dark for a DIPA, it looks a bit like an amber. 1.5 finger head on a good pour, sticky lacing climbs the walls of the glass.

S: A good hop presence on the nose. The alcohol burns the nostrils a bit, and is not well masked here. Slightly fruity, but I get a lot of sweetness, almost like a barleywine.

T: A good dose of malt, more then most DIPA's I can remember. It subsides slightly to a floral hop flavor that is awash in a big wave of sweet alcohol on the finish.

M: Really big. Luxurious carbonation really adds a good amount of body to this. Great substance and weight.

O: Not a half bad beer. Ska Brewing's Decadent DIPA comes off a bit more like a barleywine though, as it's slightly sweet and quite malty. I don't know if I'll seek out more of this, as I've had better within the style that I feel fit the flavor profiles I prefer.

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Photo of suspect
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into two Duvel tulip glasses. Split with mrmarmot. Thanks to DonD for the hookup. Best by date of 7/12/11.

A: Deep amber in color, aggressive pour leads to a 2 finger head that sticks around for a few minutes before disappearing to a thin ring. Strong lacing that sticks tightly to the glass.

S: Wonderful hop forward in the nose. Full of bitter/piney notes followed by floral scent that opens up the sinus cavity. This was the highlight of the beer.

T: I'm not sure if this sat for too long (I received it as an extra about 4 months ago) it had not passed it's best-by date yet, but the hops that were so ready to rip out my nose hairs were really masked by the malt and the alcohol.

M: Alcohol burn, no balance. Sticky sweet mouth coating.

O: Overall I was less than impressed by this beer. I know what Ska can do with IPAs as I really enjoyed the Modus Hoperandi. I would be willing to give this another spin with a fresher brew but I will not be actively seeking it out.

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Photo of SeaUrchin
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

have this one thanks to Dajtai007, poured into an unbranded tulip

appearance - pours a copper color, with moderate carbonation and a head that fades into a film on the top

smell - a pleasant mixture of citrusy and piney hops, a floral citrus is more dominant, grapefruit and lemon comes through strongest, a nice malt backbone, very sweet smell

taste - taste is resin up front followed by grapefruit and other mixed citrus' a sweet roasted malt middle and a mixture of sweetness and bitterness at the end with a hint of alcohol

mouthfeel - a bit thick compared to what i expected, the carbonation feels like it didnt do too much to lighten this one up, leaves an odd film feeling on the tongue, i grew to like it half way through

drinkability - easy to drink, would love to have had another

overall - overall its a solid DIPA, not the best iv ever had but still tasty

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Photo of emmasdad
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap last night at the Rackhouse (4 10 oz glasses). Pours a fairly crisp dark orange color with a little white foam on top. Lots of hops on the nose, very floral and piney. Medium bodied, with flaors of caramel malt, alcohol and floral/citrusy hop flavors. Better than the bottled version.

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Photo of zebco
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful color. Copperish. Orange/red. Soft, creamy head. Almost sticky looking. Strong hop aromas. Sharp, nose hair tingling. Decent sharpness of alcohol there. Pretty heavy on the florals but has some sweetness. Aftertaste is not overly bitter at all. The more this beer warmed, the more I enjoyed it. Not sure if that’s something about the flavors or maybe my palate just adjusting, but it’s pretty damn good. I liked it. Especially for $5.75 at my local Specs.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This beer pours copper with a rather small off-white compact creamy head that sinks into decent lacings.

S: Lots of tropical fruits; pineapple, grapefruits and other citric fruits. All this from the American hops (I'm guessing cascade and others), but there's also quite obvious pine. The malt is sweet caramell.

T: Sweet caramell malt, a bit roasted, syrup. Lots and lots of American floral and bitter hops gives this beer a piney and citric vibe, but still lovely bitter.

M: Alcoholic and full body with only mild carbonation. Aftertaste lasts for a while and starts sweet but then turns more bitter.

O: This is a nice DIPA. I think the balance between the sweet malt and the heavyness from the floral but also bitter hops is very nice.

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Photo of FanofHefe
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Loved Modus Hoperandi so jumped at the chance to get this. Pours a light amber color, mostly clear. Small off-white head that dissipates fairly quickly but leaves some scattered lacing.

Malt and hops in the aroma, not sure which is more prominent. The malt is caramel and sweet. The hops are grapefruit and other citrus. But, it's just a touch below other really good DIPAs I've had.

Similar tastes to the aroma. The hops taste a little more bitter in the flavor than the aroma would suggest. In this pour, the malt seems stronger than the hops, so overall it ends up a touch sweet for me for this style.

The mouthfeel is spot-on for the style. Just a little less favorable mix of flavors and aromas than the other top DIPAs I've had.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark copper, fairly murky, small near white head leaves fast. Lots of sticky lace.

S - Mostly malt. Now, I know the style and I am not grading on the style. I like malt.

T - Same here. Tons of sweet malt, barely enough hop to back it up.

M - Balance not there for a DIPA, carb a little low, light to medium body.

D - For 10%, totally easy to drink!

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

Good solid DIPA. Pours a hazy amber with a big slightly off-white head. Good retention and thick lacing.

Good, heavy-duty piney hops smell. Strong bitter IPA taste, piney hops and citrus hops. Not the most complex DIPA out there but worthy of a hophead's thirst.

Mouthfeel is crisp and bitter. No hint of 10% abv. This goes down easy for a lover of bitter hoppy goodness.

Overall a good DIPA.

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Photo of obrike
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice color...dark amber/orange with a decent head that doesn't last...nice streaks of lace that hang on to my 512 pint glass.

Sweet, tangy fruit smell...organges, grapefruit, maybe cantaloupe...a bit of pine. The sweetness is pretty evident.

Taste matches smell...very sweet, but...a bit dank. I like it, but it doesn't hold up to many other DIPAs I've had in the past. Aftertaste throws off a bit of a bitter twang.

Again, the mouthfeel is not as smooth as i would have liked. Medium carbonation...this beer does do a decent job of hiding the 10% booze.

A pretty good offerng from Ska, and at a very decent price for a bomber.

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Photo of wmtxbb
3.27/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into pint glass

Appearance: Dark amber gold with thick lacing.

Smell: thick malt, citrus, and floral hop scent.

Taste: Very strong citrus/grapefruit aftertaste; it's not bad, just - interesting. Moderate bitterness, citrusy bitterness. Alcohol, while present, isn't aggressive. Very earthy in the middle of a tasting.

Overall, a lighter body beer for 10 percent alcohol brew. Not a standout, but still interesting for a DIPA; great for the price ($6).

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Photo of longbongsilver
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Previously had their (canned) Modus Hoperandi and liked it. Saw this and figured "why not?". Pours a deep amber brown, slight fizz, w/ an inch of cream-colored head. The last slight layer of head sticks around.

First smell is melon-ish, surprisingly. A bit of lemon follows, then the familiar grassy-in-multiple-senses notes. Even a bit of caramel way in the back (mkay, another shock). Enough observation, down the hatch...

All the above comes in, plus what tastes to me like orange, behind straight-up hop-bomb spiciness. Goes down thicker than I expected for the style (I've had CREAM ales that didn't reach this consistency, ffs!). Weirdly, some of the head is still hanging around, which you don't normally see. Meanwhile...10%? Really? I taste half that, I could see this getting chugged if not for all the complexity to savor.

I thought MH was generally a simple yet refreshing IPA. Decadent takes that and boots it to Mars.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes 2/25/11.

A: Pours a hazy orange color with white one finger head. Great retention but only moderate lacing.

S: Bright citrus a good bit of caramel and toffee malt.

T: A little grassy, some citrus and floral hops. A lot of caramel and toffee malts with a bitter finish.

M/D: Medium bodied with good carbonation. You can taste a little of the alcohol and has a bitter finish. Moderate drinkability. Could not find a bottling date, but could be older than desired.

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Decadent Imperial IPA from Ska Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 845 ratings
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