Double IPA

Glassware: Updated pokal
  • USA
  • Ale
  • ABV = 7.5 – 10.0% (High)^
  • IBU = 60-120
  • SRM = 6-14

A strong, intensely hop-forward and bitter pale American ale.

More alcohol and hop character (bitterness and flavour) than English or American IPA. Lacks the rich, complex maltiness, residual sweetness and body of an American Barleywine. Also, typically not as high in gravity/alcohol as American Barleywine, since high alcohol and malt tend to limit drinkability. Drinkability is an important characteristic of the Double IPA; this should not be a heavy, sipping beer.


  • Colour^ = Gold to dark amber
  • Clarity = Good; unfiltered dry-hopped versions may be slightly hazy

Key Aromas & Flavours:

  • Malt = Low; clean malty sweetness may be found in the background
  • Yeast = None to low; fruity, if present
  • Hops = Moderate to high; citrus, floral, pine, resinous, spicy, tropical fruit, stone fruit, berry, melon, etc. Most versions are dry-hopped and can have an additional resinous or grassy aroma, although not required
  • Other = Some alcohol can usually be noted, but it should not have a “hot” character
  • Malt = Low to moderate; clean and grainy, low levels of caramel or toast are acceptable
  • Yeast = None to moderate; fruity, if present
  • Hops = High; citrus, floral, pine, resinous, spicy, tropical fruit, stone fruit, berry, melon, etc
  • Perceived Bitterness^ = Highly assertive
  • Balance = Towards the hops
  • Other = (Optional: A light, clean, smooth alcohol flavour)

Dry to medium-dry finish; should not finish sweet or heavy.  A long, lingering bitterness is usually present in the aftertaste but should not be harsh.


  • Body = Medium; smooth
  • Carbonation = Medium
  • Alcohol warmth = Restrained, smooth alcohol warming acceptable

Characteristic Ingredients/Processes:

  • Malt = 2-row malt
  • Yeast = American ale yeast with a clean or lightly fruity profile
  • Hops = American or New World hop varietals
  • Other = Sugar/ sugar syrup may be added to increase attenuation

Historical Development:

An American craft beer innovation first developed in the mid-late 1990s reflecting the trend of American craft brewers “pushing the envelope” to satisfy the need of hop aficionados for increasingly intense products. Became more mainstream and popular throughout the 2000s, and inspired additional IPA creativity.

A showcase for hops, yet remaining quite drinkable. The adjective “double” is arbitrary and simply implies a stronger version of an IPA; “imperial,” “extra, “extreme,” or any other variety of adjectives would be equally valid, although the modern American market seems to have now coalesced around the “double” term.

Commercial Examples:

Stone Ruination IPA,  Firestone Walker Double Jack, Russian River Pliny the Elder

^Sourced from the Cicerone Certification Program’s International Certified Beer Server Syllabus.
All other information is sourced from the BJCP 2015 Style Guidelines.

Discovering Beer is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Cicerone® Certification Program.

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