Wow, talk about a strong beer: tonight I had the bottle of Rogue’s Imperial India Pale Ale that I got for Christmas. It comes in a 1 pint, 10 ounce (750 ml) black ceramic bottle (similar to the Imperial Pilsner that I also had), and weighs in at a staggering 9.5% alcohol by volume!
It was quite enjoyable, though. Here are my notes:
Appearance: Poured a hazy straw-orange, with a finger of slightly off-white head. Head retention was nice.
Smell: Hops! And alcohol. Perhaps floral? (That would likely be from the Cascade hops.)
Taste: Alcohol! It’s a strong IPA, with a powerful resiny residual hop bitterness. Any malt sweetness is offset by the hops and the high alcohol. Suspected Saaz hops were used, and I was right (according to Rogue’s notes).
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth only offset a bit by the carbonation. I think it’s just right for an IPA… but the high alcohol is surprising based on the mouthfeel alone.
Overall, an excellent beer, very very strong. This will not be to the casual beer drinker’s liking, however; you have to be serious to enjoy this beer.
BeerAdvocate agrees; they scored it an impressive 90 with 99% thumbs-up. This is definitely a beer you should buy, if you find it. But don’t plan on driving or doing anything productive for awhile after drinking it!