Ballistic IPA - Ale Asylum

Not Rated.
Ballistic IPABallistic IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

82 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 82
Hads: 262
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 6.08%
Wants: 34
Gots: 25 | 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: 82 | Hads: 262
Photo of msubulldog25
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
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! (2,054 characters)

Photo of koopa
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

received a couple of 12oz bottles in a trade with kmadison. I really appreciate having been given the opportunity to try this fantastic IPA amigo!

Appearance: Definately quite red...almost like a peach iced tea or raspberry iced tea. Off white head with good retention and lacing.

Smell: loads of grapefruit and pine resin...mmmm pine resin!

Taste: loads of grapefruit, pine resin, and toasted malt. Not quite caramel which I'm happy about. More biscuity. Really tasty stuff!

Mouthfeel: Not too heavy or sticky. Good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Not the best because of the loads of citrus hops but still good. (624 characters)

Photo of GbVDave
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into two white wine glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist! Extra special thanks to neubernie for the hook-up!

A: Pours an interesting mix of hazy ruby-red and tarnished copper. Very creamy light-tan head that's chock full of bubbles and lace leaving abilities.

S: This absolutely REEKS of Amarillo hops! I love Amarillo hops. Tons of citrus, spice, and toasted malt, as well.

T: Boatloads of citrus (grapefruit and orange) with fresh-cut pine bough, toasted malt, pineapple, and a touch of mint in the finish.

M: Very sticky and juicy. Awesome hoppy bitterness with touches of sweet caramel and dry spice.

D: Very, very impressive. This, and Tyranena's Bitter Woman IPA would so be my everyday IPA's if I lived in the WI! (759 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle received in a trade with MilwaukeeCrusher. Poured into a New Belgium goblet.

Ale Asylum touts their Ballistic IPA as 'unfiltered' on the label, but the clarity on the burnt amber body suggests otherwise. Still, it's attractive and the custard-colored head heaps on the lace as the beer level drops. Might be a little past its prime, but this IPA still kicks with minty hops and boatloads of tropical fruit from the Amarillo. Malts are sweet and rich with caramel and amber notes. Very enticing so far.

The front of the sip is sweet with cotton candy and amber malt, but quickly turns to the hops as a restrained bitterness and tangy, tropical hop flavor hits mid-sip. Finish is a bit lackluster for me, however, with a stale bitterness and malt profile. Again, not sure how long this bottle has been on the shelves... Mouthfeel is chewy and medium-thin in consistency with a mild carbonation level. Somewhat listless on the palate. Not a bad IPA, but with a name like "Ballistic" and touting a "mountain of Amarillo", I was expecting a bit more from Ale Asylum. (1,076 characters)

Photo of seeswo
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Homer review coming as I used to live about 5 minutes away from this brewery (which is a very chill place to visit, by the way).

Pours a translucent dark golden, light brown color with medium head. Definitely one of the darkest IPAs i have poured. Smells of citrusy hops, identified as Amarillo on the label. Had to give it a little work to coax that smell out, though the beer might be a bit too cold to be fair. Taste is a bit different than expected. The hops primarily hit the finish, leaving some of the bitterness that sits on the back middle of the tongue. Interestingly, this is not the entirety of the hoppy finish I come to expect from an IPA, like they have removed one of two ingredients that leave hops on the tongue. Anyway, the front of the flavor is a bit limited, definitely shining as it makes it's way down. Mouthfeel is a bit heavy for an IPA, but then again, this is almost a DIPA. Certainly appropriate for 7.5%. Extremely drinkable with an enjoyable half-lingering of bitterness as discussed above.

This is one of the better IPA offerings out of WI, which might not be saying a whole lot, but ballistic is very enjoyable. (1,148 characters)

Photo of portia99
3.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Pours a cloudy, copper color with a quickly dissipating 1/2" off-white head. Recedes to a skim coat of bubbles and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. Slight attempt at lacing.

S - Citrusy, spicy hops and a solid caramel malt aroma come through prominently, some breadiness too. Nice balance.

T - Citrusy hops, orange and strong grapefruity flavors - maybe a little lemon too. Sugary sweet malt has enough presence to balance and blends well with the bitterness of the hops. Bitterness lingers well into the aftertaste.

M - Slightly thin, a little watery in feel. Light to medium carbonation tingles the tongue subtley - a little bit creamy feeling.

D - Goes down very easily. A very nice IPA that I could have another right now. (795 characters)

Photo of CrellMoset
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle courtesy of a great BA from a recent trade - cheers! Poured in to a cervoise.

Appearance: Pours an absolutely turgid burgundy, full of yeast and hop haze and all sorts of other floating goodies. One thing of note - this one slides out of the bottle with so much ease it was difficult to get a vigorous enough pour to yield any sort of substantial head, but half a finger of creamy taupe foam does manage to form even with my weakass dump. Retention is nice, forming a quasi-caldera with a thick, milky rim and a uniform, dense surface layer. The lacing on the sides of the glass is fantastic - incredibly fine, thin, delicate, soapy, forming a nice thin haze all over the sides of the cervoise. If the brewers could find a way to improve the clarity and color of the body on this one while maintaining the quality of the head and lace, we'd really be on to something here.

Aroma: Pure, resinous hops, wave upon wave, thick, spicy, fruity, and juicy. Amazingly, there are very few acidic astringencies here - the aroma of this one reminds me a lot of SN Torpedo, actually, as if the hops have been purified and softened prior to making this one.

Taste: Big, bold, and flavorful. The malts on this one are toasty, wholesome, chewy, full of caramel and dark toffee, glassy, very bready. Very roasty, and tending towards the sweet side of things, and with the small amount of hop astringencies present there's plenty of opportunity for that to come through. The hops are only minimally bitter, and the real star is the quantity of flavor - tons of leafy, spicy, spritzy mint, estery flowers, earthy, dirty tobacco, and a boatload of citrus, from lightly tart lemon to chewy, pithy, juicy grapefruit. A very fully flavored and enjoyable tasting brew.

Mouthfeel: A thick, chewy body with a good amount of carbonation for a really creamy, slick, oily body. Surprisingly even, a result of the not-excessive amount of effervescence and the viscosity of the body, I imagine.

Drinkability: A surprisingly well made ale, incredibly flavorful. Most remarkable is how smooth it is. In retrospect, I'll comment that this is perhaps in some ways a detriment, as the lack of bitterness and hop astringencies (which many of us have grown very fond of after having consumed as many IPAs as so many of us have) reveals the "nasty underbelly" of excessive hopping (that soapy, chemically note), though this is something it did take me a while to notice and actually think about enough to put in to words, so it's obviously not that large a detriment. At 7.5%, though, this beer is pretty high for an IPA - borderline DIPA, I'd say. Regardless, it's definitely one to seek out, and is every bit of deserving of its high average. Recommended. (2,739 characters)

Photo of crossovert
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with no date.

Pours a dark brown cider color with a nice foamy off-white head that leaves a ton of lacing.

For a standard American IPA this one smells above average. It smells very sweet but like hop candy. The hops have an acidic, grassy, raw tone to them.

I like my IPAs hoppier than this but it is a decent beer taste-wsie.
Their hop selection is good, but it needs more of it. And Amarillo isn't particularity the best of the hop varieties, it would be nice if thy accented it. The malts kinda fall short here, they are up front in the taste but aren't complementary to the hops.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin on carbonation, too little carbonation for the style, though the drinkability is higher.

Overall it is a middle of the road ipa with a good scent to it. (782 characters)

Photo of pmarlowe
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to seeswo for this. Stamped 110?11, where ? is a 1 or 3 or something. 12oz bottle to wine glass.

Pours mostly clear, light amber/gold with some off-white head; minimal lacing and okay retention. Smells nice, mostly citrus (clementine, orange). Taste is similar, with a lot of juicy citrus character and almost no bitterness. Pretty dry. The taste is subdued, so you get nice hop flavor without thickness/body; at the same time, though, if you're looking for something with punch, this isn't it. Medium body and medium-high carbonation. Overall, this is a solid citrus-y IPA that I'd be happy to have regular access to. (626 characters)

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a darker golden color, and there wasnt in much for a head. Their was a more mellow smell for an IPA, but it was hoppy, and had grapfruit notes. The taste was hoppy, lots of grapefruit notes, but was very bitter; a very mellow flavor. Overall a pretty nice easy to drink IPA. (290 characters)

Photo of Zachtheporter
3.41/5  rDev -13.7%
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. (301 characters)

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle featuring a woman's silhouette firing a monster hop from a gun. Solid.

Hazy orange pour leaves a nice lacing along my tulip.

Tangerine and lemon on the nose. Very fresh.

Tastes of lemon pulp and rind up front. Pleasant bitterness follows and lingers at the back of the throat, along with sweet tangerine.

Nicely carbonated, but a tad thin and watery in body.

Disappears very quickly, absolutely an easy drinking beer for the abv. A touch too malty for my liking. (492 characters)

Photo of Vonerichs
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It poured a brown color with small suspended particles. I read a previous review that mentioned it looked like cider and I couldn't put it better myself. Head is almost non-existant and no lacing. It actually is a pretty pathetic looking beer. I'm glad to say it's shortfall stops there.

It has a very pleasant sweet and fruity smell, like candied apple. There is an array of citrus hops, mostly orange and a little bit of grapefruit.

It's a well-rounded ipa. Good malt presence of caramel. The middle is citrus and quickly turns into a bitter pine, which is what's left on the tongue along with some spice.

Mouthfeel is thin, but well carbonated. There's a little puckering and drying of the mouth. There is a filmly feeling left behind.

No issues with drinkability. This is a very good ipa that I had know knowledge of prior to buying it. I have had another Ale Asylum ipa that I enjoyed, and this was was another pleasant surprise. (942 characters)

Photo of kbutler1
3.16/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle. Poured into a DFH tulip glass a slightly cloudy deep amber/orange color with a 2 finger head that slowly recedes, leaving lace as it goes down. Metallic aroma in the nose along with citrus rind and some tropical fruit. Medium mouthfeel. Opens with a slightly swet caramel flavor that quickly overtaken by a fruit hop characteristic. Ends with a slight bitterness. No real trace of the 7.5% alcohol. Decent enough but not a stand out either. (448 characters)

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 2-25-11
Reviewed cold from a growler to a glass

A - Poured two fingers of foam, nice head retention, and clear copper color. Carbonation is present

S - Hoppy, citrus, not over powering, don't pick out much malt aroma just hops

T/M - Lighter bodied brew, taste orange peel and some malt but not much. Crisp flavored but smoothed over well

D - Very easy drinker. Would have this brew again and would recommend it! (427 characters)

Photo of deereless
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Light brown to copper in color, thin layer of head, minute amounts of sediment, a small amount of lacing along the interior of the glass - 4.00, S: An magnificent blast of Amarillo hops on the nose providing a strong citrus aroma - particularly orange and some grapefruit, some subtle tangerine sweetness is evident, there's also some nuts and slight caramel - 4.50, T: Strong orange rind and grapefruit along with some herbal and floral characteristics, sharp hop bite, the taste is very good but doesn't quite live up to the nose, alcohol is present but not disruptive - 4.00, M: Medium mouth feel with an every so slight stickiness - 4.00, D: The aroma is pure American IPA and a highlight of the beer, Ballistic would easily be on my shopping list if I had access to it, if you are a hop head I would encourage you to seek out this beer - 4.50 (850 characters)

Photo of Ri0
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
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. (663 characters)

Photo of martyl1000
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (522 characters)

Photo of sendsilk
2.48/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

NOt too good. The bottle and label look good. Kind of a retro James Bond or Charlies Angels logo/bottle.

That's the best part of this beer. To be fair, maybe this is an old bottle but there is no bottling date that I can make out.

S- Not too much there.

T- Perhaps I should keep smelling it, seems better that the taste. The taste isn't selling me. The more time I try to give it to re-think my evaluation, the worse it gets. Serious syrup taste keeps getting more overwhelming. This shit is not good.

M- Great, if you like a mouthfull of fecal syrup.

O- See above as I start to re-gurgitate this concoction. Perhaps I can feed my baby penguins from daddies upchucking.

Pass on this one unless you KNOW it's fresh. Even then, proceed with caution. (755 characters)

Photo of Vdubb86
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Sam Adam's Perfect Pint Glass

Thanks to TMoney2591 for this beer

This beer pours a orange amber color with a white foam head on the surface. The smell is strongly of amarillo hops with a touch of caramel malt in the background. The taste is a sweet lemon citrus grassy flavor. The hops are rather nice and balanced with the malt characteristics of this beer. I must say at this point this is a damn fine IPA. The mouthfeel isn't overly bitter and is actually quite pleasant. I would have no problem drinking this beer at any time of year. I really think this is a solid IPA and would have no problem recommending it to anyone. (640 characters)

Photo of andrewinski1
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
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. (448 characters)

Photo of Pintofbrown
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
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. (1,050 characters)

Photo of wheatyweiss
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into an imperial pint.

pours a light amber with a smallish cloud. Immense head leaves very ample lacing and legs around the glass. Very good looking beer.

Aroma is of the most floral hops I have ever smelled. There are rose hips in my nostrils with this beer. Geraniums and grassy, lewisite aromas. Honey peeks its head in and says hello. Wow, this is a piney, powerful aroma that is not JUST bitter, there is a depth here that is almost laboring. Malt is in the show and makes itself known, as it has a medium sweet, doughy aroma. Wet hops and grass on the finish, which just makes me think of freshness.

Flavor is off the chart amarillos, which is different. Not overly bitter, the hops give a toasty almost burnt flavor top the beer. Toasty malt lends itself well to the amarillos used. Burnt toast and over baked, burnt bread come through on the middle. There is a charred meat flavor sneaking in there, which most likely from the malt roast mixing it up with the hop variety. Absolutely no diacetyl flavor comes through in this brew. There is hardly any sweetness, this is as dry as they get. You think you've had piney??? Not yet my friend.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated. Slick and slightly oily...wow this is a refreshing beer.

Something different for the hop heads, it's not fruity like the Slam, but it has it's own characteristics that make it special.

I like it. (1,418 characters)

Photo of marcobrau
3.81/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An orange-amber IPA that is all about the Amarillo hops. Honeyish, tangerine aroma. Leaves some nice bits of lace with each sip. I'm sort of tired of Amarillo hops (bought this for the wife) but this beer is growing on me. The flavor is actually quite complex, with honey, biscuit, tangerine and marzipan sweetness. The hop bitterness is laid back and very smooth. Hop bursting? (378 characters)

Photo of Atron67
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 6'er at steves wine this afternoon.

A- poured a darker amber color than normal, crystal clear, a solid head on top and a almost white head on top that lasted for a bit, but faded down to a thin lave by the end. the glass was left with a solid light lace throughout however.

s_ super strong american hops. delicious and intense by all acounts. definitely a mouthwatering effect for the hop head. grapfruit, a little bit of lemon, maybe a little something else as zest.

T- a definelty hoppy brew. this is hoppy throughout. not exactly a 'balanced beer' but not overtly overboard. definiely contains quite a bit of amarillo, and i would gather quite the heavy hand of some soriachi ace. the fruity ness on top screams amarillo, however there seems to be enough lemon to suggest that the latter had to have been used.

M- thick, but not quite syruppy. tasty treat all around.

d- a solid drink all around, maybe a little more bitter, but definetly a great compliment in their lineup. hopalicious and this work great together to give two very different but both very good hop centric brews. (1,102 characters)

Ballistic IPA from Ale Asylum
88 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.