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Old 11-21-2010, 11:03 AM   #1
donjonson
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Default What does imperial mean?

I see this term in front of all kinds of styles what properties does a beer need to be dubbed worthy of the prefix imperial?

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Old 11-21-2010, 11:16 AM   #2
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It denotes that a beer is more highly hopped and has a higher alcohol content than standard version of that beer.

It comes from a time when the English would export, hoppier, stronger stouts to Russian Imperials.

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Old 11-21-2010, 12:58 PM   #3
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from what I've read the reason for the hoppier,higher alcohol content is so it would survive the long boat trip half way around the world....

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Old 11-21-2010, 01:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BrookdaleBrew View Post
It denotes that a beer is more highly hopped and has a higher alcohol content than standard version of that beer.

It comes from a time when the English would export, hoppier, stronger stouts to Russian Imperials.
Beers were high gravity and hopped higher to survive the long sea voyage to the troops in India (not Russia). India was part of the British Empire at the time. Shipping standard beer in wooden kegs resulted in a lot of it turning to Vinegar.
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Old 11-21-2010, 01:43 PM   #5
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Usually, it just means "bigger", though it often doesn't make a lot of sense; an "Imperial Mild" is a brown ale, for example. Russian Imperial Stout has significant history behind it, and Imperial IPA makes some sense, I guess, but I prefer "Double" to "Imperial", as it seems more intuitive. Still, it often just moves the beer into another style category.

And yeah, IPA is India Pale Ale to survive the harsher climate and longer storage times it encountered- higher alcohol and more hops help prevent spoilage. IIPA is a recent invention, which is not meant to age for long at all, as it's really about the experience of the massive hop aroma and flavor.

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Old 11-21-2010, 01:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Calder View Post
Beers were high gravity and hopped higher to survive the long sea voyage to the troops in India (not Russia). India was part of the British Empire at the time. Shipping standard beer in wooden kegs resulted in a lot of it turning to Vinegar.
You are thinking IPA. The I in there is for India, not Imperial.

Imperials were made strong so they wouldn't freeze during shipment into Russia. http://www.merchantduvin.com/pages/5...ial_stout.html

elkdog, I agree that in the modern sense, it just means a bigger, stronger, hoppier beer. I think it should be reserved for use in the more traditional sense (Imperial stout) and we should use 'double' and 'triple' for most of the stuff we brew, but to each his own. Imperial just sounds better, you have to admit.
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Old 11-21-2010, 02:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by iron_city_ap View Post
elkdog, I agree that in the modern sense, it just means a bigger, stronger, hoppier beer. I think it should be reserved for use in the more traditional sense (Imperial stout) and we should use 'double' and 'triple' for most of the stuff we brew, but to each his own. Imperial just sounds better, you have to admit.
Yeah, it does sound snazzy. Of course, "double" and "triple" get confusing in relation to belgian and german styles, so maybe we should just call the red ale I'm brewing next month a "Jacked Up Amber."
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Old 11-21-2010, 02:43 PM   #8
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I think it's getting used too much these days. Sorry, but an "Imperial Mild?' Give me a break.

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Old 11-21-2010, 02:48 PM   #9
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I think it's getting used too much these days. Sorry, but an "Imperial Mild?' Give me a break.
My mild goes to 11. It's like your mild, but more.
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Old 11-21-2010, 02:51 PM   #10
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I was thinking about using Extreme or Supreme or some other eme ending word in my beers. Maybe Emperor. Emperor Blondes, and Supreme Porters..... lol

Imperial Mild is a bit of an oxymoron, isn't it?

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