Originally Posted by mdchiefsfan
Thanks, just getting into IPAs. At risk of sounding dumb, what is the difference between and IPA and Imperial/ Double?
Imperial/Double IPAs are hopped to an extreme amount. The amount of hops used are significantly higher than even in an IPA (which is already, as you know, a hop-forward beer style). Oftentimes this also means that the beer has a greatly increased malt bill to balance all the extra hops, which means more alcohol. Basically, 7% ABV is the tops for IPAs. Typically.
What's remarkable about Pliny the Elder is that it is hopped like a Double IPA, but doesn't bombard the beer with a bunch of caramel malts to balance it. It achieves tremendous hop flavor without much malt flavor. Compare that to Three Floyds Dreadnaught, though, and the experience is much different. Dreadnaught is incredibly hoppy, but it's also boozy and sweet.
Shitty double IPAs, usually from the East Coast or Midwest, will use too much malt, so the beer loses that juicy hop character.