The Strong and Bold Flavors of Double IPAs

The world of craft is constantly evolving and pushing the boundaries of what is possible. One style that has gained immense popularity among beer enthusiasts is the , or Indian Pale . Known for its bold hop flavors and higher content, IPAs have become a staple in many beer lovers' fridges. But if you're looking for an even stronger and more intense experience, then the strong IPA, also known as the double IPA or DIPA, might be just what you're looking for.

A double IPA is essentially an amped-up version of the traditional IPA. It takes everything that makes an IPA great – the hop bitterness, the aromatic flavors, and the refreshing character – and cranks it up to the next level. The result is a beer that is not only bursting with hop flavor but also packs a punch in terms of alcohol content.

While the average IPA usually hovers around the 7% ABV mark, a double IPA can range anywhere from 7% to 10% ABV. This higher alcohol content is achieved by adding more to the process. Malt provides the fermentable sugars that converts into alcohol, so by increasing the malt bill, brewers can create a stronger beer.

But don't be fooled into thinking that a strong IPA is all about the alcohol. The key to a good double IPA lies in the delicate balance between and malt. Hops are what give IPAs their characteristic bitterness and aroma, and in a double IPA, they are typically added in abundance. This results in a beer that is not only intensely hoppy but also has a higher level of bitterness, measured in International Bitterness Units (IBUs).

One prime example of a strong IPA is the legendary 120 Minute IPA from Dogfish Head Brewery. Clocking in at a staggering 15-20% ABV and boasting a whopping 120 IBUs, this beer is truly in a league of its own. It has been dubbed “THE HOLY GRAIL for hopheads” and is often considered the biggest IPA ever brewed.

It's important to note that while a strong IPA may sound enticing to hop enthusiasts, it's not a beer to be taken lightly. With its high alcohol content and intense flavors, it's a beer that should be consumed with caution. Sipping and savoring is the name of the game here, as the strong IPA is meant to be enjoyed slowly and appreciated for its complexity.

The strong IPA, or double IPA, is a beer style that takes the beloved IPA to new heights. With its higher alcohol content and intense hop flavors, it offers a more robust and flavorful experience for those seeking a stronger brew. However, it's important to approach this style with respect and moderation, as the higher ABV can catch up with you if you're not careful. So, if you're a hophead looking for the ultimate IPA experience, give a strong IPA a try and prepare to be blown away.

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What Is A Strong IPA?

A strong IPA, also known as a double IPA or Imperial IPA, is a beer style that is characterized by its high alcohol content and intense hop flavor. It is a more robust and powerful version of a regular IPA.

Here are some key characteristics of a strong IPA:

1. Alcohol Content: A strong IPA generally has an alcohol by volume (ABV) ranging from 7% to 10% or even higher. This higher alcohol content gives the beer a stronger and more pronounced flavor.

2. Hop Intensity: Like regular IPAs, strong IPAs are heavily hopped. However, in a strong IPA, the hop character is amplified. This results in a more pronounced bitterness and a greater depth of hop flavors and aromas. The hops used in a strong IPA often impart citrus, pine, resin, floral, or tropical fruit notes.

3. Malt Balance: Despite the higher alcohol and hop content, a well-made strong IPA maintains a good balance between the hops and malt. The malt backbone provides a slightly sweet and caramel-like flavor that helps to counterbalance the intense hop bitterness.

4. Bitterness: Strong IPAs tend to have a higher International Bitterness Unit (IBU) range, which measures the bitterness in a beer. The bitterness in a strong IPA can range from 60 to 100+ IBUs, depending on the recipe and brewing techniques used.

5. Body and Mouthfeel: Strong IPAs often have a medium to full body, which gives them a rich and slightly viscous mouthfeel. This fuller body helps to support the higher alcohol content and intense hop flavors.

6. Aroma: A strong IPA typically has a strong and enticing aroma due to the generous use of hops. When you smell a strong IPA, you can expect to detect a variety of hop-derived aromas, such as citrus, pine, floral, or tropical fruit notes.

A strong IPA is a bold and flavorful beer that showcases the intense hop character and higher alcohol content. It offers a more robust and complex taste experience compared to a regular IPA, making it a favorite among beer enthusiasts who enjoy a stronger and more hop-forward beer.


Strong IPAs, such as double IPAs or imperial IPAs, offer a bold and intense flavor experience for hop enthusiasts. With their higher alcohol content and increased hop and malt profiles, these beers provide a robust and complex taste that sets them apart from regular IPAs.

The strong IPAs are a balancing act, carefully crafted to ensure that the hop bitterness and malt sweetness are harmoniously blended. While they may have a higher ABV ranging from 7% to 10% or even higher, it doesn't necessarily mean that they will overpower your palate with an excessively strong taste. The skillful combination of hops and malt creates a well-rounded and enjoyable drinking experience.

One standout in the strong IPA category is the 120 Minute IPA, boasting an astounding 15-20% ABV and 120 IBUs. This beer is often referred to as the Holy Grail for hopheads, as it represents the pinnacle of hop intensity. It's a true testament to the artistry and innovation of craft brewers.

It's important to note that while strong IPAs offer a delightful sensory experience, they should be consumed with caution due to their higher alcohol content. These beers are meant to be savored and enjoyed responsibly.

Strong IPAs provide a unique and exhilarating drinking experience for those who appreciate bold flavors and hop-forward profiles. Whether you're a seasoned hophead or simply looking to explore the world of IPAs, trying a strong IPA can be a rewarding and memorable experience. So go ahead, grab a bottle, and embark on a hop-filled adventure!

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.