Back East Imperial IPA

Back East Imperial IPA
750 mL bottle, $8++, 9.5% ABV

Purchased at the brewery, Bloomfield

bedipaImperial, imperial toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Imperial, imperial toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

That sounded stupid, huh? So why do some breweries use “Double” and some use “Imperial” when it comes to describing their stronger IPA’s?

I’d never really thought about it before now. Imperial IPAs and Double IPAs are the same exact thing. When you abbreviate to IIPA, it looks kind of funny, right? So the “double” IPA is actually referring to the two I’s and not “double the ABV” or “double the hops” as most people assume.

It’s more like how St. Ides malt liquor was the “crooked I” – this is the “double I.”

I think “double” is kind of dumb, because it gets confusing with the dubbels of the world. But it does allow for clever names like Big DIPAh at WilliBrew.

Back East says:

beipa One of our premium offerings, our Imperial IPA is shamelessly hopped with American hops from the Pacific Northwest. This Imperial IPA has a medium amber appearance with a robust hop aroma. We know you will enjoy its bold, but balanced flavors as much as we do! Imperial IPA is unfiltered and bottle conditioned.

And isn’t is stupid that a W is called a “double u” in English but in the only other language I know, a W is “doobleh-vay” which is, of course, the more accurate “double v.” There must be a reason, right?

There sure is… And I’m about to make your day*.

*Especially if you’re a lonely guy not afraid to enter the murky world of Russian brides. But wait a minute, let’s have some of this beer. Damn, it’s good. Super smooth, super easy to drink.

This is kind of dangerous actually. A 9.5% beer that drinks like a 5% IPA. Very well balanced; hoppy but not a hob bomb. I detect some fruit notes in here too, but that may just be me. Orange peel maybe?

I downed this stuff pretty quickly and immediately felt the slight buzz that comes with doing such things. I recommend you do the same before you go down the rabbit hole I’m about to share.

Back to my question – why are w’s called double u’s? I’ll let this video explain it – and it DOES explain it, very well actually. Whatever videos you continue to click on after this (totally SFW) one, is up to you.

My homework answer: Suede. Boom.

Overall Rating: A
Rating vs. Similar style: A

Back East Brewing
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