Upslope Brewing Company was founded in 2008 by Matt Cutter and Dany Pages in Boulder, Colo., with its first publicly released beer being a pale ale.

A few years and a few beers later, they now offer five regular release beers year round, with some limited release beers sprinkled in when the season is right. Upslope’s beers are only released in cans, as the owners feel it fits their style of active and environmentally conscious individuals.1 One of those regular release cans that towers above the other 12-ounce plebeians, is the Imperial IPA that only comes in a 19.2 ounce royal pint can.

Upslope Imperial IPA can

Cutter had this to say about the beer on the brewery’s site:

“We took our time to develop a unique brewing technique for the Imperial India Pale Ale. Our brewers developed a process for adding hops to the beer, that maximizes the hop flavor and aroma without producing astringent or grassy flavors, typically associated with a highly hopped ale.”

While I enjoy overly hoppy IPAs occasionally,2 his description put me in a good mood for this review as I wasn’t too excited for a hop-bomb tonight. Cracking open the giant can, I poured half of it in my glass and was impressed with the crisp, clear, bright orange color. A thick white head built up to around a half an inch before settling down to a small film about a minute later. Breathing deeply through my nose, I’m greeted with a delicious aroma that’s fruity, with some light sugary malts and a ton of hops, while completely lacking any bitterness or resin on the nose.

Upslope Imperial IPA

Taking my first sip, the first thing that strikes me is the almost complete lack of bitterness, especially for a 90 IBU beer. The notes that first hit my palate are bright hops, tropical fruits that include pineapple and mango, some sweet caramely malts and a very interesting spicy peppery kick at the end. The finish is long, with a short continuation of the light pepper that fades into a longer resiny coating on my tongue. The mouthfeel is light without being water and has a medium amount of carbonation that works perfectly with the weight.

Upslope Imperial IPA
BREWERY: Upslope Brewing Co.
LOCATION: Boulder, Colo.
STYLE: Imperial IPA
ABV: 10 percent
IBU: 90
PRICE: $6.99
AVAILABLE IN: 19.2-ounce cans
Once again I find myself running across a brewery that I’ve previously not been privy to trying any of their beers, so I really didn’t know what to expect going in. The good news is that I’ve found another company that makes an exceptional imperial IPA, which I particularly enjoy drinking starting around this time of year. The high-ABV beer ends up being quite smooth, easy to drink, and features a fantastic profile of enjoyable flavors that aren’t ruined by trying to cram a ton of hops into the profile. The size of the release is a little odd, having to split it up in a glass or letting it warm up if you’re drinking it out of the can. Of course the alternative would be to split it with a friend, but trust me, after you try this you won’t be too keen on the idea of sharing it with anybody.
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