What's an Imperial IPA (aka Double)? Think of it as a regular India Pale Ale on steroids—typically with a stronger hop presence and a higher alcohol content. Three of the Treasure Valley's latest arrivals offer different takes on the style.
Double Mountain Molten Lava Imperial IPA, $5.49-$6.99
Bottled in a 500-milliliter bottle, this Hood River, Ore. brew has an orange-tinged, golden pour with a decent head that leaves a light lacing. The hop presence is subdued for a beer weighing in at 90 International Bitterness Units. It opens with candied orange that has a sweet, floral quality. There's a core of smooth hops that play against mango and grilled plantain. The result is supple despite clocking in at 9 percent ABV.
Oakshire The Perfect Storm Double IPA, $6.99-$8.99
This Eugene, Ore. entry is bottled in a 22-ounce bomber and pours a hazy straw color with a persistent three-finger head. The nose is filled with smooth hop aromas—both ripe citrus and resiny pine—and there are big, bold hops from start to finish on the palate, with touches of fruit and soft malt. This brew weighs in at 8.7 percent ABV.
Oskar Blues Gubna Imperial IPA, $6.99-$8.99
Packaged in a 12-ounce can, this Colorado ale pours a light gold in the glass, topped with a thick, creamy, white head that collapses quickly. The aromas are a combo of grapefruit and pine-laced hops. Lovely tropical fruit and sweet roll flavors are balanced by smooth hops, which add a nice bite to the finish. This brew is too easy to drink at 10 percent ABV.