El Nino IPA - Fitger's Brewhouse

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El Nino IPA
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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

48 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 48
Hads: 125
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 8.23%
Wants: 7
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Fitger's Brewhouse visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tavernjef on 09-02-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 48 | Hads: 125
Reviews by sponberg:
Photo of sponberg
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured it out of a very full growler - very little head; yet it tastes fully carbonated, and laces like a m'f'er so go figure. Gold with a reddish hue. Smells like a Northwestern hop harvest soaking in sweet tea.

DAYUM!!! This beer is clear - I can see through it, nothing floating around - so how come I taste hop cones? Whole. leafy, fresh picked hop cones? It's the same flavor when I pop a hop of my vines and chew on it, with the added benefit of a toasty, autumn leaves, tea and caramel maltiness behind it. All kinds of grassy, leafy, resinous, citrus rind hops going on in here. Great bitterness on the tongue. The malt's there on its 10 HP MTD but can't hope to compete with the 26 HP turbocharged John Deere hop lawn tractor mowing my tastebuds down. Finishes with a dry bitterness and lingering tea-like maltiness. Nicely medium-chewy mouthfeel. Could drink several of these until my tongue is completely numbed.

Gracias to BA JeffKrenner for the growler!!! (975 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of joe1510
3.81/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

64oz Growler
$13.00
Fitger's Brewpub - Duluth. MN

El Nino is a surprising garnet red with crystal clarity. I could read a book through the body of this beer. The antique white head is rich and creamy leaving sheet lacing down the glass as I drink. The interior of the glass is almost 100% covered in foam. This is a great looking beer but I have to say I'm a little worried at how dark the body is. Looks like there's lots of malt.

There is a lot of malt, comparitively, in this IPA but it's nicely balanced with a big, juicy, sweet hop profile. Brown sugared grapefruit, orange marmalade, and wildflower honey all show up. The hops are basically citrus drivien and dripping with sweetness while the malt profile is big and biscuity with some lightly toasted white bread. I like the smell of this beer.

The flavor is nearly the same with biscuity malts and light toast laying a solid malt base. Big sweetened citrus is the highlight though. Candied citrus peel, sugared ruby red grapefruit, and honey drizzled candied orange... I don't know where this shit comes from but that's how it tastes. I wasn't all that interested upfront but as I dissect this beer it really starts to grow on me.

I'm met with a full figured body on each sip. It's all at once rich, full, and dense while showing a little stick on the backend. The bitterness grows but never past moderate and even though there's sweetness on the finish it gradually dries.

El Nino gets nicked simply because it's labaled an IPA by the brewery. If this was labeled as a hoppy red I would give it a much higher score and everyone, including myself, would have a much better idea of what they're getting into. The flavors are full & lush, the citric hoppiness is dripping & sweet, and the body is luxurious; I just don't see where this is an IPA... In Minnesota apparently. (1,837 characters)

Photo of Schlais
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of ryancl
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of NilocRellim
3.25/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of pat61
4.66/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours brilliant gold under a 1" white foam collar that persists and leaves sheets of lace. This is a hoppy full flavored IPA with big hops balancing big malt flavor. (165 characters)

Photo of D-town_brews420
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of ADR
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap, Autumn Brew Review 2003...

Slightly opaque medium bright brown, good speckly head. Aroma hops dominate the smell, range in the good old fashioned grapefruit with an unexpected grassiness. Malt is honey with slight caramel but the hops (double infused and dry hopped to boot) are like knives, almost slicing into the flavor profile with a bitter pithy grapefruit. Sharp and extreme, good for hop lovers no doubt. resiny finish. A little too unbalanced in tone for me, a kick of malty sweetness like in Dogfish 90 Minute would have helped. (548 characters)

Photo of rudylaw
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ShawnBGP for the growler. Served all day in a taster glass at Darkness Day.

Pours a cloudy amber with a fluffy head. Looks the look for sure.

Smells like a bouquet of hops. All the players are here... pine, citrus, floral. Seems like there's going to be a lot going on!

I get a ton of pine in the taste and a good deal of malt. It's very good but nowhere near as tooth-melting as the aroma suggested.

It's fairly smooth and not at all prickly for an IPA. Needs more carbonation! Still, fantastic drinkability as the growler didn't take long to go bye-bye.

All in all a darn good IPA from a brewery I hope to get more accustomed to. (646 characters)

Photo of LXIXME
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Snow81
4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Cloudy copper

Smell: Citric with notes of pine

Head: Dissipates quickly

Taste: Citric right up front then a small pine note comes in, after that the back of the palate and the cheeks get inflamed with grapefruit so yummy!

Weight: Some maltyness but not to much weight

Finish: Grapefruit stays in the cheeks, very nice (334 characters)

Photo of socon67
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of dirtylou
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on-tap, had on both recent visits to Fitger's

cellphone notes

appearance: served in a standard pint - deep copper-amber body, oily beige suds

smell: very nicely hopped - grapefruit zest, floral hops, light caramel malt

taste: This is a great IPA - aggressively hopped but maintains great balance. The hop profile is fresh and pulpy with an emphasis on punchy citrus like grapefruit and tangerine. This double-hopped IPA (one less than miller lite i guess) really delivers - do not miss it when in Duluth

mouthfeel: oily hop resin, just the right hit of bitterness

drinkability: good (588 characters)

Photo of Cooper
4.75/5  rDev +15%

Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

They call it “double-hopped,” I’d say it just makes it big IPA. The first IPA this reminds me of Surly Furious for the long-lasting hops flavors. The malt profile is surprisingly still present with a creamy caramel taste. The hops complex comes off like variations on grapefruit hops. Definitely a must-have at Fitger’s. (324 characters)

Photo of BigAl18
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.6/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Originally reviewed February 4th, 2006. On tap at the brewpub. Pineapple and Kiwi aromas. Beautiful velvety brown color. Very fruity and sharp. Super hoppy, typical of an IPA. Finishes with pine and grapefruit. Smacks tart and a little heavy on the resins. Predominate use of Cascade and Centennial. (299 characters)

Photo of Fr0stb1te
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of morimech
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of yamar68
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep copper orange with a healthy dose of milky, off-white head and nice lacing and beading. The nose is big on sweet citrus, honey, caramel, really nice. The taste brings waves of all kinds of bitter: grapefruit, orange peel, spruce, some booze, pretty complex, multidimensional. Pretty low drinkability given its comparatively high bitterness. But all around, a terrific beer. (386 characters)

Photo of bigbeers84
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Hopsiam14
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of blackie
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: creamy head atop a coppery medium-amber beer, well retained with good lacing

s: nice malt-hop competition here, fruity caramel thinned with a bit of pale malt holds up well to a vivid green pine hop nose, fresh and sappy, pungent orange and grapefruit citrus, very nice

m: smooth bodied, moderately carbonated

t: pale malt body with a nice level of fruity caramel, powerful green pine hops with some sweeter orange flavors, the finish contains a harsh, sappy bitterness - just the way I like it, some booze pulls out towards the end

d: no problem, a great IPA from Fitger's

pint at the brewpub, consumed with a delicious beau burger (640 characters)

Photo of GrizXTKEX519
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of mwilbur
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from growler into shaker pint glasses (cap says 9/21...from 2008).
A: Dark cloudy honey in color with 1/2 inch white head. Very nice.
S: A wonderful mix of hops...floral, citrus, and a hint of pine. Beautiful aroma.
T: Piney citrus with good caramel malt balance. Not as hoppy as the aroma suggested.
M: There is still a sharp hop bite, but much smoother than you'd expect given style.
D: Very drinkable summer quencher. In my opinion, this is the perfect ABV for this style of brew. Paired well with burgers and steak on the grill. Seek it out! (552 characters)

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El Nino IPA from Fitger's Brewhouse
91 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.