I’ve reviewed a few different beers from the Widmer Brothers Brewing Company of Portland, Oregon in the past with mixed reviews. My father-in-law bought me this beer for Christmas among a few other beers. This is a review that has been sitting on the back burner for some time as I drank and wrote this review shortly after New Years. I’m finally getting caught up with beer reviews and I’m getting these old reviews flush out more quickly now. Now back to the beer. Nelson Imperial IPA is clearly an Imperial IPA, or IIPA for those of you who like abbreviations, and rocks in at an impressive 8.6%. O yeah, it comes in 22’s as well. Needless to say, this is a “you’re staying home tonight” kind of beer.
Nelson Imperial IPA pours a nice clear orange color and comes with a medium white head. The nose is full of bright hops that are a good mix of citrus and pine. Behind the hops you can really smell the malt sweetness on this beer. Higher ABV beers tend to be a bit thicker and generally smell the same. This beer has that type of feeling.
On my first taste my thoughts about this being a thick beer were correct. This beer has a chewy quality to it. The malt, while thick feeling, is very nice and has some light caramels. Just as the malt is getting overly sweet as good solid kick of hops come in to clean this one up. The hops have a grapefruit and pine flavor which interact well with the malt base. I would love to say more about this beer, but it is pretty straightforward.
This beer tastes exactly like what you would expect from an Imperial IPA. If you have had an Imperial IPA before, I don’t think this one will blow you way. That is not to say that this is a bad beer by any means, but I feel like this has more of a “standard” taste to it. I would put this beer down for the benchmark of what an Imperial IPA should be.