We’ll keep this short and sweet, looking to two different encyclobeerias to get it right. First, from theworldofgord.com, the definition of an I.P.A.:
An IPA, or Indian Pale Ale, is a style of beer known for it’s hoppiness. Many years ago it was brewed in England and then shipped via the old sail ships to India to satisfy the troops stationed there. As beer can lose its flavour over time, this beer was heavily hopped to keep its taste over the long voyage. Hops are also an all-natural preservative which helped to keep the beer from going bad during the long, hard hot journey.
Now, to understand an Imperial IPA, BeerAdvocate.com says:
Take an India Pale Ale and feed it steroids. ….Expect something robust, malty, alcoholic and with a hop profile that might rip your tongue out. The Imperial usage comes from Russian Imperial stout, a style of strong stout originally brewed in England for the Russian Imperial Court of the late 1700s; though Double IPA is often the preferred name.
A Friend of DIA recently ran across an Imperial Pilsner made by Uinta Brewery of Salt Lake City called Tilted Smile. “It is wonderful,” he reports. Feel free to comment (below) with your own IPA find.