Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Beer Word: Imperial

Imperial (adj.) 3.a. Having supreme authority; sovereign. b. Regal; majestic. 4. Outstanding in size or quality. source: dictionary.com Seems like the fourth definition at dictionary.com could be the closest in describing how the word 'imperial' is being used now to describe beers of unusually big, wild, and over-the-top beers. The word is most commonly being tossed in front of IPA and stout. I tend to think of it as meaning 'more', 'bigger', 'stronger', and/or 'fuller' (in flavor or body). So, what does it mean to you? Does it have a well-defined, structured meaning? Or is it more of a marketing term to entice you into wanting to taste the beer? It will be interesting to hear your thoughts. Hoppy trails....

2 comments:

jjk said...

The only beer-related context in which I have heard 'Imperial' is 'Imperial Stout'. And I have assumed, like you mentioned, that it was a marketing plot and simply meant 'Extra Strength Stout' or some such nonsense.

It would be interesting to see if it has a more precise meaning than that, or if different brands use it different (but uniformly within each brand).

Bryan said...

Looks like a "spirited" conversation (as usual) over at BeerAdvocate.com regarding the Imperial branding.

http://beeradvocate.com/forum/read/728820