Imperial IPA

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The Maharajah

Avery Brewing Co. ABV: 10.24%
Taking its name for the Sanskrit words for “great king,” the Boulder, Colorado, royal double IPA, or DIPA, presents an intense scent of grapefruit and molasses. This late winter/early spring release slides down sweet and creamy, with 102 IBUs of regal, tongue-coating bitterness. Also divine: Avery’s September-released duganA IPA, which the brewery deems a more drinkable version of Maharajah— well, as drinkable as a sticky, mercilessly bitter, piney 8.5 percent DIPA can be.

Pliny the Elder

Russian River Brewing Co. ABV: 8%
If double IPAs held a popularity contest, Pliny would win hands- down. Brewmaster Vinnie Cilurzo’s cultishly beloved DIPA is a velvety, aromatic wonder packing a forest- fresh piney profile and a sweet- and-bitter balancing act. Whenever friends visit from California, we beg them to line their bags with Pliny bottles, like a beer version of a drug mule. In certain parts of the country, Pliny the Elder can double as liquid currency.

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