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Ironbound Ale - AleWerks Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ironbound AleIronbound Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

44 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 44
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.19%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: dedrinker on 05-02-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 44 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by hoegaardenhero:
Photo of hoegaardenhero


4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle number 0951 of 2008

a: deep ruby/mahogany with light fluffy off-white head and nice light lace pattern

s: caramel; swedish bitterness; light tobacco; light bouquet of piny flowers and hops

t: caramel; swedish bitterness; light tobacco; bitter hops and light medicinal flavors

m: smooth medium body with light carb

d: an interesting and bitter DIPA
bottle 965 of 2008

same beer almost 2 years later

a: amber/dark rust body; tight round bubbled head that is thick and fluffy with great retention; some tight small bubbles; murky in the center lighter and more translucent; light abv

s: very light fragrance; fruity with hints of toffee; some light sour apple;

t: mild toffee hits first as well as as the final aftertaste; middle of sip is filled with that syrupy taste that comes from lots of hops then is followed by bitterness from the hops; mild but grows

m: medium body, lightly cloying; med carb

d: still good; definitely milder

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2010 02:33:42 | More by hoegaardenhero
More User Reviews:
Photo of Drknight


3.75/5  rDev +3%

09-18-2013 19:17:21 | More by Drknight
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New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +3%

06-26-2013 14:52:51 | More by petermethot
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3.75/5  rDev +3%

02-21-2012 00:25:00 | More by jfcaa193
Photo of GolamKovach


4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

12-25-2011 02:39:05 | More by GolamKovach
Photo of Mora2000


3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to someone for sharing this at the May Freetail bottle release.

The beer pours a dark copper color with a small white head. The aroma has a lot of resin from the hops, but I also get some brown sugar notes. Not quite what I expected since the beer smells more like a hoppy American Barleywine than a Double IPA.

The flavor is more of the same. There is a lot of toffee and caramel as well as some bitter pine notes and some brown sugar. The alcohol is definitely noticeable, giving the beer a barleywine-like flavor.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. The beer is still good, but with the age it now has on it, it is not really an IPA at this point.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2011 20:35:33 | More by Mora2000
Photo of tchenery


3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

0158 of 2008 Limited Release.

A - The beer is a deep, deep amber color which is almost brown. It's much darker than I expected. It doesn't really support much of a head, but the bubbles present are large and off-white.

S - Very rich raisin notes that come across to me more as a barleywine. The hop presence has probably died out of this beer as it is a few years old. It smells a bit smoky as well.

T - A strange smoky, chocolate flavor at first. It almost tastes like mild chocolate covered raisins. Very malt forward and very musty. There is little to no hop flavor again as they have probably long gone, so I won't hold that against the scoring. Very rich and full flavors.

M - Big heavy beer. It has a weight to it that will indeed make it a sipper.

D - One time affair. It's a nightcapper for me.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 01:02:49 | More by tchenery
Photo of JetSmooth


3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This review will be of a brewery I recently discovered on a trip to Williamsburg, Virginia. My wife and I were at a local restaurant in Williamsburg and found some beers from Williamsburg Alerwerks on tap. When we checked out, there was a pamphlet announcing brewery tours. Well, it didn't take bt a glance between us to know what we were doing the next day. This bottle was purchased on-site at the brewery and hand-carried home to be placed in my bar for later. Each year, Williamsburg Alewerks sets aside an equal number of bombers to the year and individually numbers them. This bottle was 390 of 2008 (which means it was bottled in 2008).

Eyes: Ironbound Imperial India Pale Ale pours with a deep ruby/caramel color that develops a thick, golden, almost souffle-like head. It took three pours and some painful waiting to fill the Williamsburg Alerwerks glass we also picked up during our tour. The color is rich and deep, but not dark.

Nose: The base of the nose is caramel; supporting a sweet malt and hoppy perfume. Somewhat resiny without being overly of pine. Maybe a little other-woodsy?

Tongue: Less-bitter than other IPA or Double IPAs I have had recently. I think the malt backbone of this compensates for the hops, which are definitely there and strong. There is no solvency or excessive alcohol, which is good for a 9 percent ABV beer. The caramel is so creamy, it's almost milk-chocolate-like.

Mouth: Chewy and full. There is plenty of residual malt to this beer, which gives a mouth that masks some of the hoppy "tooth enamel stripping" characters in other hob-bomb beers. There is also a fullness that I also experienced in their coffee-house stout. I would have initially put "smoky" in the flavor category, but there is an after-mouth of smokiness that doesn't really present in the flavor. Not chalky. Difficult to describe. It leaves you wanting to follow-up with another sip.

Overall: This is a beer for autumn! The colors are evocative of piles of leaves waiting to be jumped in, just like I can't wait to jump into another pint. The Unfortunately, this was the only bottle I grabbed. Next trip to Willamsburg, I am stocking up!

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2010 00:53:11 | More by JetSmooth
Photo of drabmuh


3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled shared by the other Matt last night at his place. Bottle 128 / 2008.

Beer poured into a tulip glass. Beer is brown and hazy, forms a thin head of medium and small bubbles that leaves very little lacing on the glass.

Beer almost smells like Sierra Nevada bigfoot or Double Bastard, its super malty, slight sulfur in the nose.

Beer is sweet and malty, its not a bad beer but its super big and chewy. Heavy body, almost no bitterness, just a big heavy beer. Like a young barleywine or something else that leads with malt. No detectable hop character, anything that was there is faded or eclipsed by the malt. For an IPA its bad, for a strong ale or a barleywine, its average. I won't have it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2010 16:38:44 | More by drabmuh
Photo of dirtylou


4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, #1125/2007, sent by Bert - owner of old hops

appearance: poured into my hopleaf tulip - very dark amber-mahogany body, light tan head with little retention

smell: aroma crosses over to the barleywine world - brown sugar, bitter hops, lots of pine, syrupy, caramel malts

taste: syrupy and full flavored with lots of alcohol present - dipa morphed into barleywine, or maybe it had these traits to begin with...chewy caramel, lots of pine and hop bitterness, sweet red fruit. interesting - would have liked to try fresh

mouthfeel: thick and syrupy, stinging bittnerness, moderate alcohol

drinkability: fine

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2009 01:56:43 | More by dirtylou
Photo of Mebuzzard


3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazed up copper/caramel pour. Semi bright topped with a medium head that produced some rockiness.
Pine and light caramel aroma. It has a mix of strong resinous and slight sweetness smells to it. seems balanced, or about as balanced as an IIPA can get.
Pine is the prominent hop characteristic. Malt is hidden, but does come through at the very beginning with a hint of sweetness that leads to a thin caramel pressence. Then the hops hit. Resinous and sticky. alcohol is noticeable.
Good bite to it and this would be very drinkable if poured only a half pint. Strong abv.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2009 04:12:27 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle 559 of 2007

Appearance: Pours a hazy caramel color with a rocky beige head; a bit of lacing left behind

Smell: Rich caramel malt aroma, with hints of burnt brown sugar and pine

Taste: Sweet and piney, up front, with a slightly medicinal element, though it is very resinous; lots of caramel after the swallow, although the resinous elements persist throughout

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy, with moderate carbonation; rather sticky

Drinkability: Two years of age have transformed this into a barleywine and while it remains drinkable, it is just a bit too resinous and sticky for my palate

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2009 21:19:28 | More by brentk56
Photo of CrellMoset


3.03/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber, bottle 1368 of 2008, split and poured into a cervoise.

Appearance: The segmented pours - the first a transparent copper, replete with fast average sized carbonation, the second a muddy, darker, opaque morass - are both capped by an impressive two fingers of tan, spongy white head. Retention is impressive, and the lacing stacks up as well - frothy, foamy, and swiss cheese-like. The hue is a little dark for my liking, but that's a small quibble.

Aroma: Dark amber malts - caramel-like, doughy - with a lot of high, estery notes that are marginally hoppish in origin if not in presentation. Faintly soapy in the aroma and faintly fruit-like, more on the tropical fruit side of things. Not sure what this bodes of.

Taste: Blergh. Not very good. A moderate amount of bitterness and a lot of faded hop notes - mostly leafy, tobacco like, borderline-vegetal - and an underlying mineral presence with a lot of faint, not quite sweet, marginally wholesome and heavily roasted but not quite toasted malts. It just doesn't taste like much.

Mouthfeel: Relatively thick but not syrupy or cloying with a decent amount of fast effervescence making for a body that rises fairly quickly, stays fairly even, and would have done a good job of enhancing what I'm sure were at one point a decent handful of flavors.

Drinkability: I'm assuming that - because this was a 2008 bottle - it is dead. Alas, as there are some makings of a solid (if very, very abnormally dark) DIPA, a favorite style of mine. If they make it again, I'll give it a shot, but I wouldn't recommend anyone buying a 2008 bottle at this late stage in the game.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2009 04:50:39 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of blackie


3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: snifter type glass, shows a full and thick khaki head above a deep orange-amber ale, excellent retention and nice lace

s: nose packed with dark, oily pine resins, supportive malt body of toasted caramel provides some balance but doesn't really add much complexity as it struggles beneath the hop deluge, aromas of soggy grain, light metallic note wears off after breathing for a few minutes

m: soft carbonation around medium, body on the full side

t: malt body of caramel, toffee, and toast - the weight might suggest sweetness but it seems to be under control, hops are all pine and totally dominate the malt - and to echo the reviewer below there is little cohesion or harmony between the malt and hop components, big flavors of pine bough tea linger long into the finish with a high but not oppressive bitterness

d: a satisfying drink, but limited...the monstrous hop presence makes for a nice experience, but costs valuable points in complexity and balance; like its presumed namesake the CSS Virginia, the armour of hop resin proves difficult to pierce

bomber from Arrowine, Arlington, VA...bottle 1818 of 2008

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2009 03:26:53 | More by blackie
Photo of TheMistler

District of Columbia

3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 1413 of 2008.

Opaquely hazy, a rather dark caramel color. Expansive, puffy, cream-colored head. Sticky lacing, nice retention.

Lots of citrus hops are slathered on top of the not insubstantial caramel malt presence, so far as the aroma. Caramel malt. Grapefruit, lemon.

Hops to the taste are less citrusy than I expected. Lots o' pine, sharp, building towards an incredibly dry finish. Given the pine quality, I'm surprised that it isn't particularly sticky. There is both solid malt sweetness and hop bittering, but I feel that they don't entirely meld, with each existing somewhat independently. Hence they don't really compliment each other, but they do nicely coexist. A little bit of alcohol warming, hints of pepper at the end and - more noticeably - ethanol notes. Nonetheless, ABV is well hidden. Bitter aftertaste.

The carbonation starts off prickly for a split second, but then becomes creamy very quickly. Medium bodied. Fairly easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2009 01:53:05 | More by TheMistler
Photo of wchesak

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1079 of 2007 poured into an Allagash chalice

A - big white head with a tint of tan, nice brown opaque color

S - caramel malt smell with earthy citrus hop notes

T - malt begins but is quickly overtaken my citrus hops that are nice and bitter,leaves a great hop flavor afterward that lingers and makes you want to take another sip

M - between medium and full bodied, good carbonation, finishes quick and smooth to a hop aftertaste

D - glad I held off for a year for this one, I mostly notice lower ratings for people who purchased 08, patience is key, certainly fits perfectly into the definition of an Imperial IPA

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2009 22:35:45 | More by wchesak
Photo of mizzoueng


3.03/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle 1665 of 2008.

Did a hard pour and got minimal head. Head was bright white and what was there and while it lasted it was thin.

No real hops in the nose. Other reviews asy otherwise, maybe I sat on this a little too long, but it was refrigerated until now.

The flavor was all malt, some sulpher, and carmalized tones. The hops, that were there, were subdued and had some pine, but mostly grapefruit was present.

The mouthfeel was "sticky". The flavor and the beer seemed to just stick to my tounge and linger around for a while. This is actually a good thing for me as it allowed me to savor the beer for a longer period of time rather than quickly swig it down.

I would try this again and it is interesting and does a very good job of hiding the ABV. But it is not the typical IIPA that I would think of.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2009 01:40:44 | More by mizzoueng
Photo of clayrock81


3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 1526 of 2008 poured a somewhat seethru darkish, copper brown with a mountainous head that left lace patches down the glass. A robust aroma of both citric, piney hops and some roasted and caramlized malt come through, in addition to a tad bit of spice. A wonderfully roasted malt taste with some sweet malts coming in. A well-balanced brew with a nice chunk of earthy, citric hops and a dry backbite thanks to roasted malt and hop bitterness. A little sticky on the sides and there are hints of sour fruits as well. A good bomber to relax with; definite sipper.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2009 18:16:08 | More by clayrock81
Photo of lackenhauser


4.55/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle 1651 of 2008. Very deep orange and coppery color. Some of the stickiest and gummy lacing I have seen. Huge pine aroma. Very sweet malt comes thru. Pine/resin/sticky/sweet/caramel all blend together at once for a huge, complex flavor. Somewhat earthy. Slick and full mouthfeel. Nice tongue blast feeling form the over abundance of hops. Really a great lipsmacker! Huge imperial IPA all around. Very well balanced IMHO. Tons of hops and a malty back that holds up great.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2009 01:10:46 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was number 736 of 2007 from a limited 2007 bottling that I have had in the fridge for a while. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, I enjoyed this one on 03/31/2009.

The pour was very nice with a very dark brown color and a really rich looking head of off white that came up over the top and settled down into a thin crown of lace that stayed with it throughout the session. Rich malt profile was mixed in with a nice hoppy note. Very well balanced here with a touch of alcohol before it warms up. Wonderful notes of caramel and rich biscuit like malts. Really very, very well done here as it warms and really lets it breath. Smooth, mellow carbonation and a nice warm body really let it shine. Solid dry finish with a sweet flavor that lasted well into the night.

Overall a very very solid beer even at a year old I would pay for this one anyday of the week.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2009 01:12:29 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of msubulldog25


3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Metalmonk for a 22 oz'er sent in the last week or so. Feelin' IPA-ish today so decided to crack this open and see what it's all about. Poured to a pint glass from a bottle marked '1720 of 2008 Limited Release'.

A: Hazy, very hazy. More rust-orange than expected, deep and dark - a hazelnut/acorn hue. Very little head, surprising as many DIPAs have frothy/fluffy caps two-fingers (or more). This never even reaches one-finger, dying down to a scant film. Fairly good lace

S: Smells sweet and grainy, like cereal/wort. Has an 'old' scent to it, like the hops have been tempered by age. Not necessarily a turn-off, as I like the more malty IPA, but this does have an exceedingly nutty/sugary aroma.

T: Hmm... Quite bitter: a dry, slightly tangy burntness and pithy citrus and 'bitter greens' grass/herb flavor. On the plus side: there's a nice candied fruit, oranges and earthy berries (fruitcake?), that fights through the charred malt and intensely hopped bittering.

M: Warming and reasonably smooth, though does show signs of the lofty ABV. Just seems sorta boozy, yet flat...

D: Wanted to like this, but found it kinda hard to finish. Too imbalanced, leaning towards bitterness (which isn't my favorite quality in a beer). Reminds me a bit more of a young barleywine, one I wish would age and mellow. Worth a try, I suppose, but one I don't need to have again...

Thanks for sending this on it's cross-country journey, Jeff...it's the thought that counts, man!

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2009 22:34:18 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of Pencible


3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle 1626 of 2008. This poured a hazy amber with a bit of tan head. It smelled like dried and candied apricots with honey and raisin, and a bit of wheat. It tasted like apricot hops and caramel malt, with honey wheat and tea leaves and rusted copper. It was somewhat thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a lasting bitter metallic aftertaste. Overall this was a very big beer, but it didn't have as clean of a flavor as I wanted. It had a nice body, but the flavor was really metallic and overly bitter, so it was difficult to drink. The strange tea flavor was reminiscent of the casked Ruination I had recently, which isn't pleasant to me. This beer's smell was better, but the flavor didn't back it up. Maybe this beer is from 2008, so now it's a year old, and that's throwing it off? It's not that it was that bad; it just wasn't for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2009 00:35:11 | More by Pencible
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a glowing reddish sunset color, shades of burgundy/rust. Head is thin and getting thinner as I type, yet it never fully disappears, remaining at a skim the whole time (although I tend to shake/swirl my glass every few sips, so...). Absolutely great lace stickage, along with a ton of bubbles. I think it's beautiful.

Very boozy nose. Malt quantity seems generous, and the hops are definitely ready to rage, but the booze has the upper hand. It's actually enjoyable enough, has a real intense cherry hard-candy/cherry syrup thing going on, but the flavor veers into cough medicine territory.

Yep, the flavor is rough. Hops are prickly and bitter--no problem there--but the malt is wild and out of whack, resiny and even sour flavors work their way in, and the alcohol is intrusive. It's not all bad, and in fact has some nice cherry cough drop flavor happening, but then the medicinal vibe starts elbowing in too much. Lemonade-pucker starts appearing in the finish after half a bottle. Not a drain-pour at all, but certainly a shadow of what could've been.

The texture is lovely--round, gooey, full, thick, yet with enough carbonation to keep it lively...pretty much how I prefer my big-ass IPAs.

With the out-of-whack flavor and overall booziness, this is not one I'd revisit, although I'm glad to have given it a shot. Their Grand Illumination barleywine was MUCH better. Hopefully they'll bring that back someday.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2009 22:33:43 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of ZimZamZoom

West Virginia

3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle out of a 3-bottle gift set from the brewery. 1832 of 2008. I poured some of the bomber into a pint glass for this review.

Slightly hazy and very pretty red amber color. I can see through the glass and read the Capitol City logo on the other side, but there is a little bit of haze hanging around. Thick tan head stays around a bit and leaves a fair trace of lacing behind when it does finally decide to fade. Still a nice layer on top for the remainder of the pint.

A big does of citrus and pine hops in the nose. There is a touch of malt behind this but the hops do dominate. I would not call it balanced in the nose. A nice earthy quality to the hops gives it some nice depth though, and you can certainly tell it's not hop-water. Taste is big on the earthy hops, rugged and robust. The alcohol makes its presence known, intertwined with a sweet caramel malt flavor, and this all leads to a not-quite-as-bitter-as-it-could-be finish. Not much of an after-burn from the hops, and it ends a bit on the disappointing side.

Big thick body, not filling and not too hot. It's actually pretty drinkable for a DIPA. Above average effort I'd say but not among the better I've had.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2009 22:11:21 | More by ZimZamZoom
Photo of snaotheus


3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 1660 of 2008

Pours cloudy, thick, dark amber with a hint of red. Thick, heavy, long-lasting head and extremely strong lacing. Smells syrupy and musty, a little peat. Feels thick and yeasty. Tastes syrupy and bitter without much (if any) pine taste. Too bitter without enough going on to be an excellent beer, but still a worthwhile beer.

I can thank my little brother for this Christmas present.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2008 00:20:05 | More by snaotheus
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Ironbound Ale from AleWerks Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.