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Ballistic IPA - Ale Asylum

Not Rated.
Ballistic IPABallistic IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

86 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 86
Hads: 285
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 18.58%
Wants: 35
Gots: 31 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ale Asylum visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: rockwell on 03-07-2009

Ballistic IPA is a fully loaded American-style IPA. The use of American Amarillo hops give it explosive citrus aromas and aggressive bitterness with a smooth finish.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 86 | Hads: 285
Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a six-pack at Stein's Liquor in Rhinelander. The bottling date states it's still good for another two months. Poured right from the fridge into my Lakefront pint glass.

L: Pours a vibrant copper, crystal clear, with about two inches of off-white head that sticks around for a while, falls to a healthy film, and leaves nice lacing on the glass. Moderate visible carbonation present.

S: Citrus--blood orange and grapefruit--and pine hop notes are the most prominent. There's definitely a bread-like and slightly sweet malt presence. There's also a bit of tropical fruit and earthiness coming through. A pleasant but not especially assertive nose.

T: Sweet bready malts with a touch of earthiness right up front. On top of these come some nice citrus and tropical fruit--most clearly pineapple--hop notes. Just a bit astringent at the outset, the hop flavor mellows a bit throughout the course of the taste. The middle brings in some cracked pepper and a bit of a grassy quality to go along with the aforementioned earthiness and fruity hop notes. The malts maintain a healthy presence throughout the taste, affording a well-rounded flavor. The back end brings some nice hop bitter that has both a citrus zest and pine quality to it. No substantial lingering aftertaste to this one--just a bit of that citrus/pine hop bitter.

F: This one is on the lighter side of medium-bodied. As mentioned, it has an astringent quality at the front, and this is then followed by some nice creaminess from a very solid level of carbonation. The back end brings a little bitter, but this one finishes quite cleanly. Very little in the way of stick.

O: I enjoy Ale Asylum's Hopalicious, but I really think Ballistic stands head and shoulders above it. Some have commented on the overly sweet quality of this beer and what they perceive as too strong a malt presence, but I didn't find that to be the case. I enjoyed the malt flavors and found they complimented the hops quite well. If you're looking for big bitter from your IPA, you might be a bit disappointed. But this one has great flavor, complexity, and balance. I definitely recommend giving it a try.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Ale Asylum beers all seem to veer towards the sweet to very sweet. This is no exception. Big malt that the hops struggle to rise above. Well made, easy drinking, but nothing notable.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, date stamped smudged a bit 10/08/2015 (?). I had this a few years ago and loved it. Great to see it available in my area now!
A - deep caramel colored body with a thinner ivory head that fades to a thin foam
S - sweet and malty nose with caramel and bready malt, juicy & piny hop
T - sweet and super juicy, loaded with caramel, orange and mango with some notes of bread crust, toasted grain, grapefruit, and pine; faint hop spiciness
M - medium body, modest carbonation, finishes fairly bitter with a residual caramely sweetness - toasty grain and pine linger
O - love the focus on the Amarillo hops! This is a great IPA. Glad I finally found it again aftet about 6 years since having it last.

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Photo of Maryobeerian
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I really like Ale Asylum beers and find them very recognizable -- the round mouth feel, deep honey color, bready mango smell -- all of which is the case for Ballistic. It's almost as if they a single color on a scale -- Velveteen Habit - Bedlam - Ballistic, dark to light. Well, not quite, but all from the same hue. Maybe they should mix it up a bit more, but in any case, this is a very nice beer -- perhaps my favorite from Ale Asylum. Well integrated, though the flavor progresses from sweet and malty in the front and then straightens out and lightens up to a nice, citrusy hop, a hint of alcohol, clean. Will get again.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Ale Asylum Ballistic I.P.A., Best Enjoyed by 12/31/13. India Pale Ale, Net Contents 12 fluid ounces, Ale Asylum, Madison, WI. No ABV given.

There's a sexy silhouette of a woman shooting a hop cone in our general direction. Sharp graphics, and design, as always.

Vastly clouded, deep amber hue, white head of froth, leaving a little lace.

Aroma: bright ,fresh and zesty. Pine needles and grapefruit. Just want you want in an IPA. Beautiful.

Taste: The citric hop assault really delivers on the tongue. Slips effortlessly over the palate, leaving trails of fruity bitterness in it's wake. Medium bodied, long, bitter finish. Not too heavy, not too light. I have to guess about the ABV, probably 6-ish or so. West-Coast-style with a Mid-West sensibility. Plenty of juicy malt holding it down. A session-er for the dyed-in-the-wool hophead.

Hey, I found some gobbledygook!
" This American-style IPA has a mountain of Amarillo hops for explosive citrus aromas and aggressive bitterness with a clean, robust finish. Ballistic is brewed with passion and is best enjoyed that way."

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Photo of macaddict06
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Easily one of my favorite IPAs. Huge delightful beta acids, low on the alpha acids. Great notes of grapefruit and other citrus flavors. I always buy the store out when Ballistic show up.

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Photo of stouts4me
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

At Ale Asylum new taproom/brewery, served in a pint glass.

Has a real unique nose,real malty/rye nose, not sure.

Taste is slightly sweet,malty, can taste the strength.

Glad I tried it, but not a favorite.

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Photo of jwc215
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%

Pours slightly hazed amber with a lasting creamy head that leaves lacing.

The smell is of a robust citric aroma from plenty of amarillo hops.

The taste is of bitter citrus and some peach balanced by a firm caramel malty sweetness. A bit of alcohol shows in the finish.

It is creamy and smooth despite a bitter, spicy bite.

This showcases the amarillo hops well while keeping enough balance to it to be smooth and very drinkable. Alcohol shows a bit, but is well-integrated. An excellent IPA!

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Photo of ArchaeoFiero_TheDelorean
4.8/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Although not as near to my heart as Ale Asylum's Hopalicious, this is still one incredible IPA. It's very bitter and citrusy, but with a balanced sweetness that Ale Asylum always seems to get right. And, oh what glorious hops! If you are an IPA lover and can find this one locally, it should be in your rotation.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep orangeish amber with a soapy white head. Very pleasing citrus aroma of orange and grapefruit along with a bit of alcohol. In the taste, more citrus and caramel notes. Grapefruit rind and ample bitterness. Well rounded ipa flavors of citrus and pine. Medium to full bodied ale, bitters and citrus in the finish. Overall, a solid drinkable hop-forward brew I would certainly have again.

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Photo of martyl1000
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A beautiful pour into a tulip glass. A rusty, murky orange, with a khaki head and prodigious lacing.

Oh, my, what a sweet aroma. Ripe navel orange and bubblegum. Some malt stiffening the piney twinge.

The flavor in the mouth doesn't follow the aroma. There's almost no sweetness. It's a pleasing bitterness, both citric and floral. Finishes dry and clean. But disappointing that there's none of the juicy sweetness or malt promised in the aroma.

Smooth on the palate, with moderate carbonation that makes it quaffable.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass. The color is medium caramel almost brown. There is a small off-white head on this.

The aroma has some sweet melon. There is a hint of mint noted.

This has some mild malt sweetness that leads to a grassy, slightly melony hop finish. There is a nice balance here.

This has a nice medium to full body, with sharp carbonation. This is decent enough; not the type of IPA I seek out but one that I do enjoy from time to time.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured to a pint glass, sent recently by Madison-based BA BarrytheBear. Bottle stored in the cellar; it's a milder day in late February (low 50s), so let's call this 'cask temperature'.

Label: "This American-style IPA has a mountain of Amarillo hops for explosive citrus aromas and aggressive bitterness with a clean, robust finish. Ballistic brewed with passion and is best enjoyed that way".

Label design is varying shades of green, image a Bond-like silhouette of a woman firing a round - a single hop cone. 'Best Enjoyed By' rectangle at the lower left is a blank white space, so I'm left to wonder...

A: Gorgeous beer! Deep semi-cloudy, 'bread crust' orange-amber pour - thick, alluring, dangerous in appearance. Head is tall and sturdy, almost 2 fingers of dense ivory foam, steadily ebbing but never coming close to dissolving. Excellent lace, too - garter bands of dense cobwebs with more foam than glass showing through. Minimal carbonation showing, but that's a forgivable 'flaw'.

S: Pleasing hoppy aroma, green grass and pungent herbs/bitters. I don't get so much 'citrus' from this more pithy rinds and dank, almost decaying, leafy wetness. Strength is modest, not as 'explosive' as promised...

T: Very nice balance... whatever juicy 'citrus' I could NOT smell showcases vibrantly across the tongue. Lots of orange, a little tangy grapefruit pulp and a brash bitterness that comes across as dry and chalky in the finish. And just when I think the finish is all dry, a glimmer of sugary sweetness appears - very clever, Ale Asylum.

M: Medium body, borderline thick... that juicy hoppiness and a grain-rich alcohol sneakily catches up while oils stealthily coat my tongue. Maybe a bit TOO gummy/sticky after awhile - a minor thing that may just be my personal taste.

O: Very nice IPA, this would play pretty well here in the Northwest. Although I have other local IPAs I prefer as 'go-to's, this is among the best new ones I've tried in a while. Glad to have received a bottle; thanks again, Barry!
Drink again? Of course!

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Photo of Knapp85
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured out as a hazy copper color with a white head on top. The retention is pretty solid on this as well as the lacing that sticks to the glass. It's a nice looking beer for the most part. The smell of the beer has a good balance of hops and malt sweetness. The taste of the beer is malty upfront, the hops come in much later, it's not a dominant hoppy IPA. The mouthfeel is decent, it's drinkable and nicely carbonated. Overall it's a decent IPA. Nothing too crazy or exciting but still a decent brew.

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Photo of bigbeard
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The hop aroma and flavor of this brew are a great example of a well-hopped American-IPA. What I enjoy most about the brew is that Ale Asylum brews it with only one hop variety (Amarillo I believe) so one can really appreciate and understand what that hop has to offer. Hopalicious and Satisfaction Jacksin are the same way, but with different hops.

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Photo of Ri0
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

poured 12oz bottle into snifter.

A - Hazy copper/amber color with a nice eggshell 2 finger head. Good amount of lacing.

S - Nice floral citrus smell. Orange, Pineapple, Grapefruit. Touch of nice sweet malt.

T - I really enjoy the taste of this. Slight pine bitter flavor is complemented by juicy fruit and citrus. This is how I want IPA's to taste. The bitterness gives way to some malt sweetness and finishes with the pine bitter.

M - Medium body with nice carbonation. Sticky and oily hops left in the mouth.

O - A very nice balance between hops and malt for an IPA. This one is best under 2 months old and the fresher the better the experience will be.

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Photo of Tuey13
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a opaque copper/honey color with an off-white half finger head..

The smell is floral, pineapple, grapefruit, and of course pine. I also get the sweetness from the malts on the nose as well.

The taste follows the nose, citrus and pine... very bitter... but with the sweetness from the malts this is very well balanced. I love that this is not over the top... perfect!

I love how rich and full-bodied this is..Ale Asylum always impresses me with their well crafted beers. I have yet to be disappointed with any of their offerings. A+

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Photo of Jparker37
3.59/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into an Imperial pint.

A - Hazy light amber color to it. The light tan head was small even from a vigorous pour.

S - Citrus hops right away but with a flowery smell to it. Slight touch of biscuity malt floats in the background.

T - Malt holds up well and is found throughout the whole flavor. Hops come in midway with a prickly piney flavor. Bitterness is mellow and rounded avoiding sharpness. Finishes pretty dry with hops lasting for a short while into the aftertaste.

M - Medium body, medium-light carbonation, semi-dry to dry.

O - The beer has a nice balance between hops and malt for an IPA. Head was a little disappointing. Smell lacked a little bit of pop to it, but a pleasant hoppy flavor to it. I would definitely drink this beer again but not necessarily seek it out.

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Photo of mgo737
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If this beer was on the west coast, it would be rated up there with all the best IPAs, whether from Russian River or Ballast Point. Blasphemy, I know... Here in Wisconsin, Ballistic is kind of like when Marty McFly plays Johnny B. Goode and says, "I guess you guys aren't ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it."

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Photo of Zachtheporter
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a blue moon pint glass. Has a golden orange honey color that is almost an amber red. Very well carbonated Not to hoppy with a rich malty backbone that helps to bring it all together. The smell is more caramelly and malty than it is hoppy. Very crisp feeling. A very nice well balanced IPA.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had Ballistic IPA in a nonic pint.

Appearance- This higher alcohol IPA has a hazy, amber body with some copper highlights and many particulates floating in the beer.

The head is pretty forgettable, gets to about a finger's width of dense and white foam.

Smell- This has a sweet citrus nose with a little spice thrown in. I imagine pineapple, grapefruit, and some pepper thrown in would describe it pretty well.

Taste- The flavor starts slightly citrus with a piney back end. This one is very bitter and really holds on for the duration of the drink. Instead of pineapples I am mainly getting lemon and a little grapefruit. There is too much pine here and not enough citrus.

Mouth feel- A medium to light body that slides over the tongue. IPA's are always better suited when they have a little more lift and body, making for a much creamier beer.

Overall- This is a decent IPA that loses some of it's better characteristics on the palate to a bitter bomb and piney notes. The feel could also help out by having a bigger and creamier body.

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Photo of nickapalooza86
4.92/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Notes Jan 15 2012

Pours a hazy amber, looks very nice in the glass.

Smells of armerreto, faint tropical fruit, and a little pine.

Taste is bitter grapefruit up front, earthy, bready malt backbone, ends on more bitter grapefruit dryness.

Mouthfeel is a bit creamy for me.

A decent IPA, just not my favorite. If you like Armarillo hops then this is you IPA. But I found it to be a bit different and odd.

Re-review - Feb 2013

I have had to change my review because having re visited I have discovered that I love this beer, Fresh Citrus just burst from every sip, the smell and taste are so fresh. It finishes remarkabely clean with not an off flavor in sight!

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Photo of soze47
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown with some orange tones, a little frothy.

Aroma: Sweet and a bit musty, unctuous and floral hops. I'm not getting as much citrus on this as other reviewers, but it is still quite nice.

Taste: Floral and bright off the bat, then a nice rush of malt sweetness kicks in second. A pretty grassy bite kicks in on the linger that I like a lot.

Mouthfeel: This one is slick. Definitely on the heavy side of medium bodied, this guy goes down very easy. It allows for a quick drink.

Overall: I like this beer quite a bit. I love that Ale Asylum is getting such wide play in Madison. They are getting market saturation, meaning that almost any bar carries them. This IPA would be a great brew to turn to anytime it is offered up.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.31/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle form my friend in WI. Date 110311 - Nov 3, 2011??
Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Very deep orange. Murky with half a finger of cream coloured foam.

S - Grapefruit, pine and a big sweet caramel malt backbone.

T - Grapefruit, pine and some orange peel accompany a hop bitterness that is the dominant but there is a good balance in this beer. The malt backbone provides a sweet caramel balance to the bitter citrus hops.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation. A little too much carbonation for my liking.

O - A good IPA but not a memorable one.

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Photo of mobius387
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a founders pint glass

appearance: a golden honey colored, almost completely opaque which is pretty unusual for an ipa, 1" white foamy head

aroma: nice nose, typical pines and citrus

palate: fairly smooth for an ipa, lacks a bit of the classic kick, medium to full body tho, which makes it feel like a big beer

taste: a little light on flavor and no strong hop base to it, but the flavor it has tastes good. i get mostly grapefruit and some hints of pine

overall: a very nice IPA in a state that lacks quality in this category. i am new to this brew, and i really like it. one of my favorite ipas from this state. right up there with snake hollow, hop hearty and the rest of them. definitely a pick up if its in your area and you like ipas!

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Ballistic IPA from Ale Asylum
88 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.