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Sierra Nevada Big Little Thing Imperial IPA*Packaging may vary

Sierra Nevada Big Little Thing Imperial IPA

Imperial / Double IPA /9% ABV / California, United States

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Product details

Category
Imperial / Double IPA
Region
California, United States
Type
Craft, Independent Craft Brewer
ABV
9%
IBU
45
Calories per Serving (12 oz)
254
Carbs per Serving (12 oz)
15
Suggested Glassware
Snifter/Goblet/Chalice
Suggested Serving Temperature
45-50° F

Product description

Big Little Thing defies brewing logic. A monster ABV and booming hop character, but tame sweetness and a clean finish? This anomaly of imperial IPA starts with the mash. More than just using a huge volume of malt (and we do fill our mill to overflowing), we mash our grain aggressively to yield a higher ratio of fermentable vs. unfermentable sugars. This allows yeast to metabolize nearly all sugar, which both boosts the ABV to 9% and cuts the malt sweetness. At the same time, yeast and hops collaborate on their own magic. Dry hopping during active fermentation sparks biotransformation: yeast cells alter the chemical compounds in hops to unlock entirely new aromas—like the tropical wave that washes over Big Little Thing.

View all products by Little ThingCalifornia Residents: Click here for Proposition 65 WARNING

Community reviews

4.76 Reviews
5
(102)
4
(20)
3
(6)
2
(1)
1
(0)
Newest
  • Alexander
    Verified Buyer
    Verified Buyer

    I've enjoyed the Hazy Little Thing and thought I might enjoy what appears to be the bigger brother version... unfortunately the flavors were wildly different with this one having a very metallic and somewhat bitter taste. Maybe it'll grow on me, but initial reaction was that it is a completely different and the taste was not palletable

  • Marcos Reato

    Sierra Nevada Big little thing IPA Is just another reason why I love this brewing company I don't think there's something they make I don't like Most ipas for me get heavy and are two bitter this finishes clean taste light is filling but not excessively thank you again for another home run Sierra Nevada

  • Steven
    Verified Buyer
    Verified Buyer

    Not bitter for having a high abv(9%) Smooth taste

  • Tim

    PAUSE… Take a deep breath… This is the FINEST IPAs I’ve ever tasted. This is one of the most ‘seasoned’ IPAs I’ve ever tasted. This is, by FAR…. by FAR + 9.0 the STRONGEST IPA squeezed into a 19.2 oz. can (hence, less calories) for three bones. $3 maybe $3.50 at the local, corner store. I don’t work for these guys. I’m solo father of three kids taking the time to tell IPA ? homies that this is THE ANSWER to all the IPA questionnaires out there. If you disagree, I look forward to your replies… your subjective and objective replies; both different perspectives, please. Us IPA fanatics gotta keep up with the passion to not permit this BULLETPROOF (the flavor + to the maximum strength within + to the mind boggling RETAIL piece of $3.29 on my local website! 15,quarters, including California… I have DUUBLE it in my car’s ashtray…. This is an A+ A+ A+ … no brainer I look forward to all replies (with a modicum of integrity as the ONE caveat, not to be forgotten, is the NON-NEGOTIABLE request: please submit, to me (on this website) your two replies: Your subjective answer (pure LUCID & PRUDENT opinion …. AND …. your OBJECTIVE opinion … so I know if you’re sipping or sober when you reply ???????????

  • Steve
    Verified Buyer
    Verified Buyer

    Solid as always. Not too hoppy, not too juicy, just the right ABV. Sneaks up on ya if you're not careful.

  • Robert
    Verified Buyer
    Verified Buyer

    Worth it.

FAQs

The Imperial IPA is designed for IPA lovers who crave even more of that bitter kick and rich flavor; Imperial IPA (also called Double IPA) recipes tend to double the normal amount of hops, delivering high gravity brews with equally inflated IBUs (International Bitterness Units). You can thank American brewers for this distinctive style — the U.S. craft beer industry tends to push boundaries and break from tradition, and well-known Russian River Brewing is credited with inventing the indulgent style, winning several awards with their release of Pliny the Elder Double IPA. Today, most well-known craft breweries offer several takes on the Double IPA, carefully balancing the sweet, toasted malt with a whopping amount of hops.
While often surpassing an 8% ABV, Imperial or Double IPAs lack the malty notes and general sweetness associated with other high-alcohol styles; instead, the overwhelming amount of hops in the recipe lends to the final product’s substantial bitterness and bright finish. To achieve the Imperial IPA’s distinct flavor, brewers will add double or sometimes triple the number of hops they’d typically use for a standard American IPA. Double IPAs are often served in a tulip-shaped glass, much like a Belgian tripel or equally boozy pour — the stemware’s elegant lip allows you to appreciate the impressive aroma, much like you would a glass of wine.
To craft an Imperial IPA, there is no minimum threshold for its alcohol content, though you’ll likely find a range between 6-10% ABV with some triple IPA varieties pushing 12%. The quintessential foundation of an Imperial IPA is its overwhelming amount of hops; most brewers double their hop blends in the recipe, which contributes to the final product’s signature bitterness. However, it’s a balancing act —to deliver such a high IBU, the recipe must include a corresponding increase in malt grains; the malt contributes the sugars to the IPA’s fermentation process, which consequently leads to higher alcohol content.
To achieve a truly gluten-free beer, brewers need to employ gluten-free grains (such as quinoa, millet or buckwheat) and abstain from using any other traditional gluten grains (like wheat or barley) in their facility to avoid cross-contamination; understandably, this is a tall order for craft brewers trying to balance the already complex flavors in an Imperial IPA. However, because an IPA-style beer relies more on bitter hops and other creative flavors (like citrus and pine) rather than the toasted sweetness of the malt grains, there are some successful gluten-free Imperial IPAs on the market. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the millet and sorghum-based brews, though it may be tough to track them down.
Whether a standard, hazy, double or triple-style brew, any IPA variation is considered an ale and not a lager; the fundamental difference lies in the strains of yeasts used in the fermentation process. While both ales and lagers use malt grains, yeast, water and hops in the recipe, ale yeasts thrive in warmer environments, leading to the generally higher alcohol content in the final brews. Ales, like the boozy and bitter Imperial India Pale Ale, rely on a top fermentation method by which the yeasts remain at the top of the malty, sweet wort, whereas lager yeasts sink to the bottom and require a longer process.
Imperial/Double IPA recipes double and sometimes triple the number of hops in the brew, compelling craft beer makers to add an equivalent dose of malted grains to balance out the harsh bitterness. Accordingly, the final nutritional counts are significant, especially with many Imperials IPAs delivering a 7-10% ABV; higher alcohol content means more calories after all. While the counts can range dramatically depending on the alcohol content, a 12-ounce serving of an Imperial IPA with an 8-9% ABV will likely clock in between 250-300 calories and roughly 15-20 grams of carbohydrates — it’s the type of beer you’ll want to take your time with.
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