Session beers are definitely having their time in the sun, as are goses, low-ABV fruity wonders that are perfect for summer days at the beach or relaxing with friends on the back porch.
We love the low-ABV trend, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a huge place in our hearts left for the high-ABV gems out there as well. The term “Imperial” traditionally refers to a beer (most often stout or IPA) that comes in at over 8% ABV.
13 Amazing Goses To Kick Your Summer Off Right
While a ton of awesome imperials clock in at just 8% (we’re looking at you Pliny) or a little over, there are quite a few that have ABVs much higher. Check out the gallery, above, for a handful of amazing Imperials that land at 10% ABV or higher. They’re perfect for sharing with a friend (or let’s be honest, maybe four).
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The Bruery's Chocolate Rain clocks in at a mesmerizing 18.4%. This brew pours almost black in the glass, with hints of vanilla and cocoa that make it the perfect boozy dessert or nightcap.
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Dogfish Head's 120 Minute IPA is 18%, and even though it comes in 12oz. bottles, it is going to be one of those beers you want to share with friends rather than finish all by yourself. This hoppy wonder is hard to find. If you do snag a bottle or two, try aging it for a bit, you won't be disappointed.
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3 Floyds Brewing Company's 15% Dark Lord is such a special brew it gets its own day: Dark Lord Day. Many enthusiasts line up outside the brewery to pick up their bottles the night before its release, a line that quickly turns into one of the best bottle sharing parties around.
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Clown Shoes' A Fistful Of Unidragon is a Russian Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels. The 14% brew is made with mesquite smoked malt from Blackland Malt Company, and is a bourbon barrel aged version of the Clown Shoes' The Good, The Bad and The Unidragon.
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You'll need a few friends around to finish Evil Twin Brewing's Molotov Cocktail Heavy. The Imperial IPA clocks in at 17.2% and is so boozy you might even think that ABV is a bit higher. It didn't get the term "cocktail" in its name for nothing.
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Drake's Brewing Company's Hopocalypse Black Label is a 12.5% version of its Hopocalypse IPA. This boozy triple IPA is easy drinking, perhaps a little *too* easy drinking...
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Odell Brewing Company's Jolly Russian is a cool 13.3%. If you finish this whole bottle, you'll likely be pretty jolly as well.
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Firestone Walker Brewing's Parabola is a 14% Russian imperial oatmeal stout that is aged for a full year in a blend of bourbon barrels from Elijah Craig, Four Roses, Pappy Van Winkle, Woodford Reserve, and Buffalo Trace. If you see this one out in the world, pick up a few bottles for me.
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Saint Arnold's Bishop's Barrel 14 is a higher ABV than most wines at 21.1%. The Russian Imperial Stout is aged in bourbon barrels, giving the brew an awesome bourbon flavor that will keep you coming back for just one more sip.
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Alpine Brewing Company's Exponential Hoppiness is one of my personal fave Imperial IPAs. The 11% is high enough to earn it that Imperial label, while low enough to make it something you can safely drink alone at home. Not that I've done that....