Feb 10, 2009

Anderson Valley 20th Anniversary Imperial IPA

This past weekend, a buddy of mine came up to hang out for a bit. Amongst the tasty beers he brought with him was this 20th Anniversary Imperial IPA from Anderson Valley. The wife and I enjoyed more than our fair share of the brewery’s Winter Solstice Seasonal — easily one of the best winter seasonal brews I’ve had — so I was really looking forward to this celebratory beer.

Beer Label: Anderson Valley 20th Anniversary Imperial IPA

When it comes to anniversary brews, especially one celebrating a 20th year in business, I expect it to be something truly special. My buddy and I found the Imperial IPA to be a tasty and smooth brew, but both felt that the brew was just sort of there, never really wowing or surprising us. In the end, we agreed that it turned out to be a really smooth, well balanced and drinkable beer.


The IPA pours relatively clean, mid-amber in color with a decent head that left fairly persistent lacing.


A slight hoppiness with subtle citrus notes combine with a pleasing piney presence for a well balanced nose. When compared to other imperial IPAs that I’ve had in the past, this one is rather subdued — never pulling me into a too sweet or too hoppy extreme.


It took a few sips to get a full grasp on what this beer had to offer. Upfront, it’s well balanced and smooth with a great blend of hoppiness and citrus fruitiness. The pine notes come in toward the finish as a light bitterness wraps up each taste.


The Imperial IPA may not have been as unique or distinguishing as I would expect from a 20th anniversary product, but it is quite a drinkable and enjoyable brew. It’s a well crafted beer that definitely has a chance to make its way into my fridge again, if I find it in my area.

Rating: 3.5/5

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