Friday, July 12, 2013

Feature Beer Friday! - New Belgium Rampant Imperial IPA

Picture taken from
And finally, after appearing in the Louisiana market in early April, it's our first Feature Beer Friday! to feature New Belgium Brewing.  Most people think about Fat Tire when they think New Belgium, but they are about far more than just their signature amber ale. They have put several other year-round releases into the local market, as well as seasonals and several of the Lips Of Faith series.  The Rampant Imperial IPA is one of their year-round offerings, and probably the "biggest" of the year-round beers.

Their take on the 85 IBU, 8.5% abv beer: "A burly and bitter Imperial IPA, Rampant pours a pure copper and carries the sheen of a rightly hopped beer. The Mosaic and Calypso hops bring stonefruit to the front seat, and the addition of Centennials nod towards citrus for a well-rounded aroma. The taste expands these hops with heavy peach tones and a profoundly bitter bite. There is some malt sweetness to stand this beer up, and Rampant's finish is bone-dry."  

Reviewers: Eric Ducote (BR Beer Scene), Brenton Day (, and Dustin Davis.

Serving: 12 oz. brown bottle.

Appearance: Deep gold to amber color, thin white head.

Aroma: I just wrote "hoppy and delicious." Brenton thought it was "citrusy, a touch of cat piss." Dustin thought it was piney more than citrusy.   

Taste: I was let down by the taste... the nice hoppiness on the nose turned into a more harsh bitterness on the tongue without a strong malt backbone to support it.  Dustin agreed, writing, "not as flavorful as I hoped.  Just bitterness." 

Mouthfeel: Too harsh on the bitterness for me.  I like hoppy beers but this one was too out of balance even for me. 

Overall: I want to give this one a chance to redeem itself, but this tasting wasn't impressive at all.  We all agreed that it was a little TOO far on the bitter side, and enough so that we didn't want to drink any more of the Rampant.  I feel like it's deserving of another shot though, as taste buds change and sometimes get really distorted when we're sitting down reviewing multiple brews. 

Overall Rating: 63.67
My Rating: 59

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