Hoppy, malty aroma has a strong yeasty overtone, not what I expect in an IPA. It pours a somewhat hazy cola brown with a fairly thick pale tan head that leaves substantial lacing. Hoppy flavor has subtle notes of caramel and grapefruit, and a whisper of fruity sweetness that offsets the bitter and sour tastes. Smooth flavor has decent body and a fair amount of fizz and life, leaving a hoppy and caramel undertone. Extreme? Maybe not, but recommended to IPA lovers.
Sampled on 2/26/2010. This Imperial India Pale Ale pours a medium amber copper color from a 600ml bottle. Medium sized white foamy head. The aroma is piney, reisny and herbal. A medium to full bodied Imperial IPA. The malts are caramel and fruity with a touch of bread. The hops are reisny and piney. Nice carbonation. The hop flavors are kind of mild and this beer already seems to be metamorphosing into a barley wine. There is also a slight hint of oxidation but in a good way. Hides the alcohol well. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and crisp. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.
Pours with a clear, deep amber body topped by a medium thick ehad with a good amount of lacing. It’s slightly sweet with notes of caramel as well as nice piney hop notes and some alcohol esters. Full bodied and smooth yet warming.
Bottle: Poured a deep brown color ale with large dirty white color head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of bitter hops with notes of caramel malt. Taste is also dominated by some bitter hops with some citrus notes but lacking some grapefruit which I hold very dear to the style. Malt body is quite substantial with some great dry caramel malt notes. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well done but definitely not as good as the hype surrounding this one.
20.3 fl oz bottle. Pours a reddish amber with a frothy off white head that diminishes to a thin film that laces the glass.
The aroma is strong fruity citrus (tangerine, apricot and peach) hops with some caramel malt, pine and alcohol in the background.
The flavor is sweet caramel malts with lots of juicy fruits (tangerine, apricot and peach again). The finish is a pretty subdued bitterness for a DIPA and is alcoholic. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly watery - the carbonation that is there is pretty sharp.
Overall, a little too sweet and fruity and low on hops for a DIPA to me. This is almost a fruit beer.
Poured a deep orange color, very nice pillowy, even rocky head, excellent retention, getting larger over time if anything, nearly continuous lacing, much like a nitrogen induced head. The aroma was full floral hops, some citrus, caramel, tea bags. Flavor followed the aroma, full bitter finish, tingly carbonated touch to it all, again quite bitter, unfortunately a tad boozey too. Full bodied mouthfeel, definitely a worthy dIPA bitterness and full malt bill, but not my preference of flavors. Holy cow, did I really pay $14 for this thing? Makes me want to rate it even lower!!!
600ml bottle; First USA release; Sampled November 2007
The beer is quite well carbonated and forms an initially almost four-finger thick, full tan colored head that leaves quite a bit of layered lacing as it slowly recedes. When held up to the light the beer shows a very pretty, brilliantly clear, ruby hue, otherwise it is a dark reddish amber color. A rich mix of malt and hop aromatics greet my nose upon the first draught of the aroma. Sticky, caramel coated citrus aromas, notes of toffee, a rich berry aroma, lots of toasty malt, caramelized bread crust notes and perhaps a touch of butterscotch like diacetyl. The hop character in the nose here has been coated with a rich, caramelized malt character; this tends to make the hop aromatics smell more like a dense, sweet, holiday spice cake that has been heavily spiced by a mix of grapefruit, tangelo and Curacao orange peels as well as a touch of lychee and peach aromatics. There is also a touch of sharper hop notes here in the nose, I get touches of pine, a light menthol note and at times a woody, herbal note. Compared to the typical American example, this has a really rich malt backbone to it that is actually quite nice; it makes for a much more balanced aroma than one usually finds.
Sweet malt flavors, rich caramelized malt notes that stick to the mouth, and some warming, almost hot, alcohol notes are what I immediately notice about the first sip. Those notes were noticed not because the hop character in this beer is slight, but because the malt contribution is once again much bigger than one usually sees in American examples of the style. The hop flavors are of course here, once again coated in a sweet, sticky malt character, they evoke thoughts of candied orange peel, sweetened Earl Grey tea with a super kick of bergamot, fresh spruce tips, candied-freshly picked - young pine tips, . Once the sweet malt character fades from the finish, a concentrated citrus oil character, menthol, distinct pine notes, a spicy - turpene driven - green hop flavor, and a slightly astringent, solid bitterness tends to linger on the tongue for a very long, extended finish. This really helps to dry the sweet malt out, making one ready to take another sip of this brew. The texture of this brew is exquisite, perfectly suited for the cooler months; chewy, slightly sticky, soft and velvety (despite the prickly carbonation); yet in the end it is dried out just enough by the lingering hop character and warming alcohol notes. Somehow the mix of warming alcohol and the hop / malt interaction of berry driven flavors evoke a certain brandy like quality to this brew.
As an American, oft-times, hop head, this really does not seem like a double IPA to me. It really seems to me like a hop focused Winter Warmer; the rich malt focus, tempered by an exuberant, fresh hoppiness. The perfect beer for curling up with a good book in front of the warming embers of a fire on a cold winter’s night. I really like this beer, I was disappointed at first that it was not my idea of a super hoppy, west coast style double IPA, but the malt character is so rich, adds such a great complexity, that one really doesn’t miss that one dimensional hop focus. Having said that, this beer could easily be changed into a super hopped up Double IPA, it certainly has a substantial malt base that could easily stand up to a two fold, if not three fold, or even more increase in the amount of dry hops used (an unlikely circumstance given the worldwide hop shortage that we are / will experience for the next few years). In the end, the fact that this is note what I think of as a double IPA, only makes this beer better; it combines a flavorful, complex, layered hop character with a rich, deeply varied, unifying malt character. Interestingly enough, through the first quarter of this beer (& even my expectations going into this beer), I thought this was a good beer, but not necessarily great; somewhere though in the last half to quarter though, I have found a really deep appreciation for, and enjoyment of this brew. Don’t approach this beer as a typical American Double IPA, it is a very different animal, but an incredibly complex mix of hop and malt.
Hand bottled Dec 19th 2006. Amber colour with small beige head. Aroma is big time flowery hops with some salted licorace, caramel . freshly cut wood and spices. Flavour is wooden (coniferous woods), grassy, fruity hoppy and some salted licorace lurking in the background. Extremely wellbalanced brew, and one of the best IIPAs I have had.
NorCal tasting Apr 07 - Another huge thank you to Papsoe and Aspidities for getting this beer to us. Pours out a brownish/clear amber color with a nice one-finger white head. Aroma that really stood out was the grassy hops. Reminded me of cutting my lawn. It also had this candied hop nose which I really liked also, sweet and nicely balanced. Mouthfeel is soft yet intense somehow with a sticky resinous I enjoyed. Flavor was also really grassy, nicely balance (there's that B word again) with the hop attack and the mal support. A really nice DIPA.
courtesy of Papsoe; unlabelled bottle; bottled in Feb. 2006 - hazy reddish in colour, little unstable foam with big bubbles; generous hoppiness showing notes of biscuit, portwine, almonds and candi sugar; solid malty, oily body; massive bitterness and a very dry, bitter hoppy finish with notes of pine needles and peach - an extreme yet somehow balanced hop bomb; what a beer !!