About Imperial IPA

About Imperial IPA
Imperial IPAs, or double IPAs, are deep gold to deep amber in color and range in alcohol from 7.5-10%. These beers are medium-to-full bodied and are distinguished by prominent American hop aromas, flavors and an abrasive, lingering hop bitterness. These intense hop characteristics should be balanced by a rich malt backbone. Depending on the varieties of hops used, a wide range of flavors including tart citrus peel, pepper and earthy, pine-like flavors and aromas may be encountered. These ales represent a challenge to brewers in terms of balance and drinkability, and have exploded in popularity in recent years with many craft breweries producing a version of the style. Noteworthy examples of this style include: Moylan’s Hop Craic XXXXIPA, Rouge IP2A Imperial India Pale Ale, Stone Ruination IPA and The Alchemist Heady Topper.

Top Picks for Imperial IPA

Samuel Adams Rebel Rouser IPA
96 points
Old gold color. Herbal aromas and flavors of herb muffin, citrus scone, mango chutney, and pine blossom with a slightly chewy, lively, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, long finish displaying notes of peppered yams and greens and mint cream on fruit cake finish. A remarkably balanced, robust, and drinkable Imperial IPA that sets a benchmark for the category.
Deschutes Brewery Hop Henge Imperial IPA
93 points
Brilliant gold color. Aromas and flavors of pine cone and needles and grilled citrus and root vegetables with a satiny, tangy, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, intriguing, long finish conveying notes of tangerine custard, peppered greens, honeyed mint and radish, and chai finish. A vibrant, flavor-packed Imperial IPA that is nicely approachable and balanced.
Vancouver Island Brewing Ocean Sun White Sails Brewing Collab Double IPA
92 points
Bright copper in color, with bright aromas of plantain, spruce tip tea, and orange muffin. On the palate, crisp acidity brings golden raisin and grilled citrus flavors into a breezy, tingling finish. This bold and bitter brew packs a punch!
COOP Ale Works Alpha Hive Double IPA
92 points
Gold color. Aromas of dried citrus and mint, waxy orange blossom honeycomb, and grilled herb baguette with a chewy, lively, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, elegant, long spiced tropical fruits and melon, rapini, and pine needle finish. A brawny, chewy IIPA that will satisfy hop heads.
HopLore Milford Ditch TIPA
92 points
Dusty gold color. Interesting aromas and flavors of cannabis, grilled mangos and concord grapes, bunt cake, and szechwan button with a round, lively, dryish medium-to-full body and a long finish evoking accents of pepper, pine and coca leaf tea, honeyed grapefruit and kumquat peels, and white chocolate pretzel finish. A supple and satisfying IIPA with a few interesting flavor twists.
O’Connor Brewing Company Heavy Footer Double IPA
92 points
Brilliant deep amber color. Attractive aromas and flavors of frosted orange spice cake, macadamia nougat, and lemon zested lettuces with a supple, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, long finish revealing notes of honeyed roasted citrus and nuts, dried apricot, and peppered greens finish. A rock solid IIPA that is sure to please; try in beertails.
Unlawful Assembly Brewing Co. Double Justice Imperial IPA
91 points
Copper color. Aromas and flavors of dried mango, coriander, peach, and carnation with a satiny, crisp, spritzy, dryish medium body and a peppery, interesting, medium-length finish that exhibits notes of fresh parsley, sourdough, and black tea finish. An assertive IIPA that hits the nail on the head; brawny yet balanced.
Deschutes Brewery Sagefight Imperial IPA
91 points
Brilliant copper color. Green, herbal aromas and flavors of sage stuffing, moroccan orange spice cake, and floral herbal tea with a slightly chewy, vibrant, finely carbonated, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, very complex, very long finish that shows elements of rosemary mint jelly, artisanal cola, eucalyptus honey on pepper bread, and citrus zest and pine blossom finish. A fantastically rich and exotic excursion through a herb-laden forest of flavors.
Barley Creek Brewing Co. Superhop Triple IPA
90 points
Amber color. Citrusy aromas of kale salad with citrus vinaigrette, dried pineapple and mango, and mustard seed with a supple, finely carbonated, medium-full body and a peppery, interesting, long orange and grapefruit marmalades on rye, rapini, and pepper finish. A brawny bitter brew with a fruity center.
Revolver Brewing Mullet Cutter English-Style Double IPA
89 points
Brilliant medium dark red oak color. Aromas of fresh oak, fenugreek, red bean ice cream, and caramel syrup with a thick, soft, spritzy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, compelling, medium-length German black bread, leather, and caramel malt syrup finish. A very herbal, spicy Imperial IPA.