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Pick Axe IPA - Tommyknocker Brewery

Not Rated.
Pick Axe IPAPick Axe IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

276 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 276
Hads: 541
Avg: 3.52
pDev: 19.89%
Wants: 3
Gots: 34 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Tommyknocker Brewery
Colorado, United States | website

Style | ABV
American IPA | 6.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-14-2001

Formerly called "Pick Axe Pale Ale".

A classic American India Pale Ale dominated by pleasant hop bitterness and aroma. Dry hops impart unique aromas and flavors that add to the complexity of this ale. A blend of American hops melds into an award winning flavor that is our most popular draft in the pub.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pick Axe IPA Alström Bros
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Reviews: 276 | Hads: 541
Photo of gmoneyproductions
4.06/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this on tap at the brewery
pours amber/gold/orange
with a white head
smell hoppy and fruity with grapefruit for sure
taste is fruity hoppy grapefruit with slight bitter finish
went down smooth
liked this quite a bit and had it right after the nouveau ipa felt the pick axe was slightly more enjoyable

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Photo of jwc215
3.52/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by Aug 17 15:

Pours hazed orange amber with a thin lasting head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of caramel with some general (peppery?) spice.

The sweet malt is balanced by earthy, spicy, bitter hops. Leafy, bitter finish.

A bit on the thin side for the style., but holds together. Crisp.

To me the hops give more bitterness than aroma or taste. Spicy, though. Seems a bit of an "old-school" IPA. Probably would have enjoyed it a bit more years ago - American IPA's have come a long way in the last decade or so. Still it's nice for what it is.

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.54/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque, deep gold, producing 2 fingers of frothy, somewhat lasting, white head that leaves thin webs & streaks of lace. Aroma is thin caramel malt forward with a thin floral, tropical fruit, grapefruit & pine hop profile. Taste is a more balanced inverse mix of floral, grapefruit flesh & pith & pine hops, with the sweet caramel coming through in nearly equal quantity. Finishes caramel, pine, bitter & nicely peppery but transitioning to a lasting bitter & astringent aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, moderate carbonation, prickly, bitter & drawing.

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Photo of dcscientist
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Somehow this got reclassified as an IPA instead of an APA, but it's still very good. It's not super hoppy, so I'm good with it. Light and very easy to drink on hot summer days, and low enough alcohol to not get you in trouble at altitude. Definitely a solid beer.

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Photo of HamdenHector
2.81/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: slightly hazy; copper colored; with a moderately aggressive pour, I got a 1/2 inch off white head that receded almost immediately; very little lacing;

S: all caramel malt with a touch of pine;

T: not a lot of flavor; what's there is mostly malt with a bit of pineapple leading into a long lasting, moderately bitter finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: there are too many good (and really good) IPAs out there to spend time and money on this one.

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Photo of aquaderek
2.98/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

This brew pour a golden orange with a frothy off white head the breaks down in to slight tracing when agitated. Piney hops and caramel on the nose. Hoppy bite followed by a smooth round finish slight carbonation. Nothing special, kk run of the mill ipa, I like the brewery though.

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Photo of cbond
2.7/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

This beer tastes and smells of pineapples, I would love to sip this at Hawaiian themed party or on the beach. However for daily life I do not enjoy it very much.

It is also not as hoppy as I expected (though admittedly I have high hops expectations for IPA's).

Caveat -- I did drink this after eating something very spicy so I reserve the right to edit these statements.

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Photo of bark
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The colour is amber (20 EBC), the liquid is clear. The two finger head is off-white and compact. It sinks slowly leaving some lacing on the glass. The beer is bottle conditioned.

The smell is hoppy with toffee sweetness. Some onion/cabbage flavours. Chemical bitterness and some orange juice.

The taste is smooth with citric hops and some fruity sweetness: Oranges, mango, lime, pineapple. Mild bitterness, more like an APA than an IPA. Medium to full body. The aftertaste got a passing note of solvents and some harsh hops. Orange juice, lime, green apples and green plums. The finish got some solvents and rough alcohol.

The carbonation is mild to medium strong, the bubbles are long-lived. The liquid is mid-smooth and a bit dry.

Not enough bitterness, and some off-flavours. Well, well...

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip; lovely IPA color, translucent orange-yellow, with a thin white head that leaves rings of delicate lacing.
Smell is slightly metallic, clean crackery malt, with a dash of hops. Probably a pretty old bottle, not much hop aroma. There are light hints of floral, grassy, and fruity hops.
Taste is about the same; clean malt and faded hops. I don't get much beyond a grassy bitterness, but there are slight hints of citrus rind and fruit.
Mouthfeel is well-carbonated and thin, good for the style.
Overall I'd prefer more hop flavor, but it was probably an old bottle so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

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Photo of EagleTalon
3.87/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Best by date: Nov 04 2013. Pours to a thin but lasting head and consistent but sparse lacing, Color is a hazy orange-amber. Aroma presents grapefruit, pine, dill, rose and crystal malt. Flavor is definitely hop-forward with 55 IBUs, but with a substantial malt backbone to keep it from being too harsh. Mouthfeel is medium-light and CO2 is moderate and unobtrusive. Overall, a balanced and flavorful AIPA.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The body was orange amber in color with a slight haze. The carbonation appeared lively, and the head was two fingers thick, and very well retained. The smell was deceptively honey like at first, but then gave way to herbal hops. The taste was very tropical, with Mandarin orange, pineapple, and mango flavors, The bitterness was atypically modest for the style. The finish however provided a good deal of hop based dryness. It was a little thinner than medium bodied. Nicely approachable.

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Photo of DenverHopHead
3.84/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle purchased at the brewery in Idaho Springs. Dated best by 12/23/13. Poured into a tulip.
Appearance - amber/orange. Carbonation builds an impressive, foamy white head. Leaves a ladder of foamy lace on the glass.
Smell- citrus, grassy, pine, some traces of biscuit and cracker, malt in the nose.
Taste - refreshing, but too light. The nicely blended hop notes in the nose aren't nearly as prominent on the palate.
Feel - doesn't have the bitterness I desire in an IPA. More of a pale ale.
Overall - underrated, if rated solely on the quality of the beer. I'd classify this as a pale ale, however.

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Photo of mactrail
2.46/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Looks nice enough, with the amber color. Brief head in the New Belgium snifter. Moderate carbonation and a slightly oily mouthfeel. Smell makes me think of vegetable broth.

I'll be brief. The murky malt sulks under the weight of the herbaceous hops. It's more like a bitter green tea flavor. Dirty and tannic with a metallic aftertaste. That's enough.

I have avoided Tommyknocker for some years, after repeated soured experiences with the Butt Head. This will keep me away for awhile longer. From the 12 oz bottle with the newer style label.

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Photo of Monalenard
1.76/5  rDev -50%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

brewed with farts. looks nice, smells...assy. mouthfeel is okay, actually kinda nice but, i think it might be something to do with what tastes like toasted malts that were over done or something, it just kind of tastes like the smell of farts. its got all of the right elements but they are arranged poorly, it seems.

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Photo of KajII
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

[Suggested Glassware: Tulip Glass]

The pour was a hazy orange with a nice reddish hue and an average (1-2 finger) off white creamy head that was mostly lasting, reducing to a thick puddled film and medium collar with excellent full sheeting of sticky lacing.

The aroma was of a light grain malt, pine hops and a soapy yeast with notes of caramel and citrus (grapefruit and orange peel).

The taste was bitter sweet and decently malty with a light touch of caramel and a hint of grapefruit early on, becoming a bit hoppier and having a slight citrus peel bitterness towards the finish. The flavor lasted an average duration following the swallow, with a mild citrus peel bitterness left behind to linger a bit longer on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was light in body with a dry, oily texture and a carbonation that was quite lively.

Overall this was a smooth and easy to drink IPA with a nice well rounded flavor. It was a brew that was not overpowered by an excessive bitterness, but rather blended together well with the caramel sweetness creating a pleasurable drinking experience...


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Photo of Omnium
2.86/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Pours a very hazy orange yellow color, minimal head, and thin or no lacing at all.
S - Sweet malts, very minute citrus hop smell, pine
T - The sweeter malts outweigh all the other flavors in this, and they're not even that strong. Very little hop presence in this brew.
M - Thin, very watery, bitter sweet malt clings for small time
O - This is a crap beer, and even worse IPA, this should be considered a lame pale ale at best. This has very base, weak flavors that give you nothing short of an unsatisfied palate. No hops to qualify this as an IPA.
Tommyknocker, could you for once please prove me wrong about your beer?

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.05/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Not sure how the IPA escaped me all those years on the east coast, but it's in front of me now. Get some! This stuff pours a clear bronze-copper topped by a finger of glowing off-white foam. The nose comprises grapefruit zest, light grass, and a backbone of sweet caramel. The taste brings on more of the same, but the backbone is now less sweet, the grapefruit has been turned inside-out, and there's a general sense of mentholated funk throughout. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a decent IPA...so long as flavor has nothing to do with it...

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Photo of metter98
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy light amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that quickly died down and left some lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of caramel malts in the nose along with some faint hints of citrusy hops.
T: The initial taste has sweet flavors of caramel malts and transitions to some citrusy flavors of hops and a light to moderate amount of bitterness. Hints of spicy hops are also noticeable.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a good balance between the malts and hops and is an easy drinking IPA that isn't dominated by hops.

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Photo of GoldHorde
3.07/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Copper colored pour with a fairly heavy haze - not unexpected as I've noted more than a few hazy IPA's - but this was a bit more cloudy than any other and one ALWAYS expects this in a wheat beer. Nonetheless - it doesn't detract from my score. The sniff was floral but without a hop slap - no matter, that again is more prevalent in 2xIPA's. However - where it counts most for me is in the complex "flavor profile" that most recent IPA's deliver: a) strident sniff, b) mouth of edgy malt and c) a lasting after-sting of floral, herbal or citrus hop. This beer placed in "a+b" but did not deliver the "c".

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Photo of patpbr
3.12/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Copper Color with absolutely no head.
S- A sweet malt scent
T- All hops up front the malts add a nice sweetness, a bit bitter on the finish
M-moderate carbonation. A little watery
0- It got better as it went. A colorado beer bought in Ohio could explain its weak pour.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
2.92/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass. Served slightly chilled...

A) Hazy, really hazy, kind of an unfiltered wheat look to it. The beer itself is orangish/amber. Not much head, just a thin collar. A little bit of lacing noted.

S) The tropical fruit aroma is light, with a little malt sweetness. There was a hint of alcohol too.

T) I didn't get much citrus on the nose at all, but the flavor is white grapefruit and some pine. The hops/malt balance is off for my tastes. The lingering aftertaste is unpleasant.

M) A lighter medium body, with zesty carbonation. Perhaps a bit thin, but really it's a bitter piney, kind of chemically grassy aftertaste that disrupts the mouthfeel for me.

O) The aroma on this IPA isn't half bad, but the the rest of this is below average in my opinion. Sorry, but I cannot recommend this beer.

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Photo of TrappistJohnMD
3.24/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber color with white head. Tons of lacing along sides of Teku glass.

Smell is a little skunky. Tangerine hoppiness and honey notes. Also a little petroleum character.

Taste is sweet malt up front. Slight over-ripe citrus. Not great but o.k. Dull bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light and watery.

Overall this was fair at best.

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Photo of tylerprince
3.51/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at Tommyknocker after an easy climb up Bierstadt.

A: Unfortunately, the beer's strong point. Pours a nice ever-so-slightly hazy copper with a finger of white head. Moderate retention but beautiful rings of lacing.

S: Strong citrus, primarily grapefruit, with a bready malt in the back. Moderate strength.

T: Like it smells. Hop forward for sure, but not at all imbalanced. Hits the palate with tons of citrus, which then gives way into a subtle hint of pine. The pine is accompanied by some alcohol, and tastes better as it warms - I found this flavor to be rather astringent, almost gasoline-like, over the first few sips. The beer closes out with a fresh bready malt accompanying a hint of lingering bitterness.

M: Crisp and clean; light-bodied and drinkable. In my opinion, light-bodied IPAs need some resins to prevent the beer from feeling watery. Unfortunately, this beer has no stick to it and falls victim to this problem.

O: A solid, highly sessionable IPA, if slightly lacking in character. Drink a little warmer to ensure you get the pine and not the pine-sol/gasoline flavors this beer started with.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber with minimal white head, but decent residual lacing. Aroma of caramelized malts has pleasant "west coast" citrus undertones. The taste is initially sweet but transitions abruptly into a distinct bitterness. A pleasantly lingering bitter finish is preceded by almost what I'd call a "sharpness" across the palate. Still a decent beer, but not as well balanced as some.

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Photo of elgiacomo
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, best by June 18, 2012. Served at around 40F.

Pours slightly hazy amber/copper with a small one finger white head that leaves some nice spotty lacing and holds a light cap.

Aroma is mostly grassy and floral hops, a bit of orange citrus, touch of apricot, decent amount of bread and caramel malt. There is some sort of metallic note I’m getting as well. Good strength.

Flavor is grassy, floral and resinous hops, bready malt, some caramel and toffee, mild sweetness, decent bitterness. Minimal alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a bit oily, good carbonation.

A decent IPA, nothing groundbreaking.

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Pick Axe IPA from Tommyknocker Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 276 ratings.