96 Hop Henge Experimental IPA, Deschutes Brewery (OR). 8.75% ABV (3/10)
Bright deep amber color. Aromas of warm orange and peach compote, pinecones and apricot butter on rye toast follow through on a round, rich entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium-full body with brown sugar, Vegemite, anise and char-roasted nut notes. Finishes with a citrus sour cream frosting accent on the massive woody pinecone, lemongrass and herbal hop fade. A monumental, earthy, imperial IPA.
93 Überhoppy, Valley Brewing Co. (CA). 9.5% ABV (3/11)
Deep amber color. Attractive aromas of peach butter, grapefruit marmalade and angel food cake with a supple, frothy fruity full body and a spicy apple-pear sauce, tropical fruit chutney, pink peppercorn, carrot juice and pine sap finish. Decadently rich and flavorful, yet—remarkably—seems sessionable.
92 Moylander Double IPA, Moylan’s Brewing Co. (CA). 8.5% ABV (3/09)
Rich amber color. Aromas of grapefruit, spruce and custard follow through on a rich, chewy entry to a dry-yet-fruity full body with deep flavors and peppery astringency. Finishes with an intense, lingering grilled grapefruit and singed pinecone accented fade. A bold, but balance strong ale with a pungent bittering hop character. Pair with atomic curries.
92 Imperial India Pale Ale, Rogue Ales (OR). 9.5% ABV (3/09)
Slightly hazy bright amber color. Aromas of grapefruit, white pine embers and peach custard follow through on a round, rich entry to a dryish medium-full body with great depth and a long peppery and astringent, grilled citrus and pine sap fade. A brawny, strong ale.
92 Imperial I.P.A., Garrison Brewing Co. (Canada). 7% ABV (3/10)
Deep amber copper color. Aromas of toasted fig bread, orange blossom honey and chocolate-covered nuts follow through on a rich, supple entry to a dryish medium-full body with grilled citrus, nougat, dried meat notes. Finishes with lots peppery spice and dried grapefruit on the long, lingeringly astringent fade. Exquisitely balanced and styled.
92 Gubna Imperial IPA, Oskar Blues Brewery (CO). 10% ABV (2/11)
Golden amber color. Huge, savory aromas and flavors of baked kumquats, peppered okra, raisin bread dough and dried pine needles with a crisp, chewy dry-yet-fruity full body and a long, baked honeyed yam, grilled root vegetable, pine sap and peppered-spinach finish. A big and brawny hop stew, not for the faint of heart.
91 Slipknot Imperial IPA, Full Sail Brewing Co. (OR). 8.2% ABV (3/10)
Hazy amber color. Complex aromas of peach butter on banana bread, tangerine marmalade and delicate spice are somewhat reminiscent of weizenbock and follow through on a round, supple entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium-full body with great depth and balance. Finishes with a long resonant wave of piney, minty and herbal hops, pink peppercorns and dried kumquats. A very serious beer that demands contemplative sipping like a Belgian triple would.
90 Hopsickle Imperial IPA, Moylan’s Brewing Co. (CA). 9.2% ABV (3/09)
Rich deep amber color. Interesting aroma of chocolate mint, spruce and honeyed citrus follow through on a rich, chewy entry to a dry-yet-fruity full body with toasted pound cake, cocoa dusted crystallized ginger and dried grapefruit peel notes. Finishes with a long, pleasingly astringent and bitter peppercorn and dusty pinecone fade. A rich, full-throttle imperial IPA for the thirsty thrill seeker. Pair with Indian food.
90 I2PA Imperial India Pale Ale, Rogue Ales (OR). 9.5% ABV (3/11)
Jasmine chamomile tea, thyme honey, apricot granola and grapefruit sorbet aromas with a chewy, supple dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a rich, smooth grilled root vegetable, kale and mint finish. Flavorful, elegant and very drinkable.
84 Samuel Adams Longshot Double IPA, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 9% ABV (3/10)
Curious aromas of singed rice cake dusted with cocoa, grilled peaches and oranges and toasted date bread have a soy accent and follow through on a round, satiny entry to a dry-yet-fruity full body with alternating impressive of savory meat and melted chocolate covered raisin notes. Finishes with a grilled citrus and roasted soy fade with a hint of mint leaf. Different.
84 Steelhead Double IPA, Mad River Brewing Co. (CA). 8.6% ABV (3/11)
Slightly hazy medium amber color. Aromas of escarole bean stew, hominy soup and pork fat with a thick, chewy, fruity-yet-dry medium-full body and a grapefruit curd, peppercorn, grass and pine finish. A good food beer.
84 Hop’solutely Triple IPA, Fegley’s Brew Works (PA). 11.5% ABV (3/11)
Aromas of coconut cream pie, pineapple-peach salsa and faint wood glue with a chewy, fruity medium-full body and a tropical fruit compote, green peppercorn and okra finish. A big, boozy and brawny IIPA; try with pan-Asian food.
80 Maggie Imperial IPA, Grumpy Troll Brewery (WI). 8% ABV (3/10)
Slightly hazy pale amber cast. Jumbled aromas of butter-toasted almond, honey and dried apricots have worty, wet grain edge and follow through on a round, smooth entry to a fruity medium-full body with globs of raisin and candied yam notes. Finishes with a sweet-hot lemon pepper and honey fade. Odd.