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Swamp Ape IPA - Florida Beer Company

Not Rated.
Swamp Ape IPASwamp Ape IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
69
poor

463 Ratings
THE BROS
69
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 463
Reviews: 128
rAvg: 2.97
pDev: 26.6%
Wants: 9
Gots: 68 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Florida Beer Company visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: CampusCrew on 09-05-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 463 | Reviews: 128
Reviews by wchesak:
Photo of wchesak
2.16/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a great divide yeti sniftrr glass

A - transparent copper color, small amount of white head that leaves some decent lacing, reminds me of a Brooklyn monster ale

S - smells a bit like it looks, a barleywine, booze, some vanilla, where are the hops, maybe catching some light earthy, grassy hops but the sweet caramel and alcohol are masking them

T - oh hey English barleywine, loads of malt that is pretty one dimensional, booze is riding high again, bitter and astringent aftertaste that has an element of hops to it

M - semi-thick, low carbonation

O - not an Imperial IPA, dont mind a boozy beer if there is flavor behind it like jw lees harvest, hops are lacking completely, had higher hopes but with so many other options in thus style I won't be buying this again

More User Reviews:
Photo of Nedry
3.82/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I like this beer a lot. I don't really understand the low rating. I didn't expect much when coming here but I expected it to be higher than 70.

The only thing about this beer that isn't 'great' about it is the color. It looks more like a weak pale ale than a 10% big IPA.

The smells coming out of this beer are great. Lots of amazing hops with a tad of malt. I like to compare this to Dogfish Head 90 minute because it has a similar mouth feel but the hop aroma and taste are much different. A tad more bitter than the 90 minute.

The taste doesn't match the smell exactly, but still has a very nice unique hop taste. Unlike other Double IPAs I've had. It is not a hop bomb, to me it seems like they are more going for balance.

Overall, it's very good, but being priced higher than DFH 90 minute is a problem. This is a local beer where I'm from as well, so hard to understand why it's $0.50 - $1.00 more than a 4 pack of 90 minute.

Photo of Chrisbreeze
1.36/5  rDev -54.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer is not borderline un-drinkable, it is un-drinkable. Hoppy-ness is lacking and the alcohol dominates. One of the few times I've actually poured a beer out.

Photo of RoyalT
3.22/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance – This is a nice, murky, orange in color with a modest head.

Smell – The malts are sickly sweet at the nose with some rich caramel mixed with stiff orange rind and light pine. The hops are actually pretty substantial here but they are dwarfed by the sweetish malts and easy to overlook.

Taste – The monster sugary malt hits hard at the taste. I get some cane sugar now with enough sweetness to cause a “sour face.” The “three Cs” are out in force here as well.

Mouthfeel – This is huge, almost full-bodied, with some bittering that would be harsh but again with the sugars it’s all evened out. Carbonation is wanting, however.

Drinkability – I didn’t care much for this beer but for different reasons than most of the other reviews. Everyone is complaining about the sweetness, but this is a local preference so I wasn’t bothered much by the huge sugars. The lack of bitterness and carbonation was the problem for me. Obviously you don’t want your DIPA bubbling like Alka-Seltzer, but this was almost flat and for all the hops lacked that bitter aftertaste characteristic of more sophisticated efforts at the style.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #46 (Nov 2010):

The head reaches high off a moderate pour; retention is great as well, as is the pale amber clarity of the brew. Pungent, hoppy nose meets a big twang of estery alcohol. Smooth, creamy and a little bitty. The alcohol and hop pro- files are a one-two punch to the palate. Some toasted grain comes through, but the sweet fruity and peppery alcohol esters push it aside. Hop bitterness is a little pungent with a thick, leafy, herbal tone that casts some citric and mint on the taste buds. Esters and a veggie-like hop cling on and make the beer a bit of a chore to drink. Not half bad.

Photo of Everything_Belgium
4.02/5  rDev +35.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm not sure about the negative reviews here. I thought this beer was very good. Very nice balance of taste and smell. It leaves a nice hoppy smooth aftertaste. I like a little bit of alcohol bite and this has that. Of course it doesn't compare to a Dogfish Head 120, but what does? Definitely worth a try. I would buy again and again.

My review is a nice smooth IPA which is easy to drink and would match well with any meal or any occasion.

Photo of twitchasaurus
1.48/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.25

Pretty gross aftertaste. Literally leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

Photo of Beer21
3.67/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - This beer is average in carbonation and somewhat light for a typical IPA. It is clear with minimal to no head.

Smell - It has an overall sweet smell with minimal hop aroma. The degree of hops is less than I was expecting.

Taste - This is a sweet IPA that has a little hops flavor. It seems to be more pale ale and less india to me, however I do like it. It is good for being 10% alcohol.

Mouthfeel - This is a light IPA with a smooth consistency.

Overall - This is a good beer overall, but I have had better. I would rank it as an average IPA, and it is quite strong. A feature that I like! I am from Florida and will support this beer. However I have heard that the Florida bigfoot is know as a skunk ape, not swamp ape. Bottoms up!

Photo of Lutter
1.26/5  rDev -57.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Brought some of this back from Florida after visiting the 'rents a week ago.

I've had two out of the four bottles I brought home with me and have been trying to put my finger on the taste...

It pours a light amber, very clear. The smell is sickeningly sweet like a cheap High Gravity Ale with a big malt wiff on the tail end... I smell no hops.

It tastes like it smells... it tastes almost exactly like Hurricane HGA. It's honestly gross.

It will howecer get you buzzed after 1 bottle. But there are cheaper ways of doing that, honestly. Steer clear. Blech

Edit: I should add that Papa Lutter says its much better on draft... for what its worth.

Photo of SomethingClever
2.65/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

This beer is an absolute booze bomb the taste of alcohol permeates and crushes all other flavors.

Photo of secondtooth
3.74/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a crystal-clear amber in color, with a huge head of off-white bubbles. Big. loopy lace.

Aroma is potent, herbal, oily hops. I get citrus, pine, and tropical fruit notes. Very very nice.

Taste is more strong hops -- big assault of oily, acidic hop goodness, but it's all tempered by a substantial malt profile. The big 10% ABV isn't immediately noticeable, though the body here does seem heavy. The finish concludes with a lingering hops bitterness.

This is a tasty, balanced (despite the big hops bite), and deceptively drinkable imperial IPA.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.76/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Florida Beer Company "Swamp Ape Double India Pale Ale"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, no apparent freshness dating but coded "14275"
$2.63 @ Trader Joe's #766, Tampa, FL

Swamp Ape DIPA pours a very hazy deep golden body beneath a massive head of off-white foam that slowly settles to an 1/8" thick solid cap. The lacing is quite good as well. Subsequent pours, which rouse the lees from the bottom of the bottle, are quite cloudy with visible particulate in suspension.

The aroma is not nearly as strong as you might expect, but it does deliver some resinous and citrusy hops over a sweetish and bready malt base.

The first sip lets you know that it's a big beer because you can feel it in your mouth: it's full bodied and dextrinous. A moderate, very-fine bubbled carbonation leaves it creamy smooth.

Hops deliver in the flavor more than what they promise via the aroma, and it's loaded with sugary dried fruit, pineapple, orange, and pine resin. The malt is thick and rich, maintaining a straightforward grainy and biscuity character. The alcohol steps in and lends some spice, and in combination with a bold bitterness it finishes with some quickly fading residual malt followed by some longer-standing citrus pith, pine, and fruit.

If what you're looking for is an aggressive, strongly alcoholic, solidly bitter, and boldly hopped beer (at least for flavor), this might just be for you. Unfortunately, it is a little brutish (although that seems to work with the name pretty well). The aroma is dull, and the hop flavors are solid but not 'bright'; and with the alcohol coming through straight off the bat (and at only 10% !) it's more of a Mike Tyson than a Mohammed Ali - meaning that it hits hard but lacks finesse.

Photo of cjgator3
3.75/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Pours clear copper color with a nice off-white head.

S-The aroma is has a good dose of malt, more balanced than expected. Sweet malt and hints of caramel are in the nose with some citrus from the hops and some alcohol as well.

T- The taste like the aroma is sweet and malty up front with some bitterness from the hops in the finish and some warming from the alcohol as well. This is a nice, well balanced IPA. Not sure why there are some of the really harsh reviews.

M- The mouthfeel is between light and medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, this is a pretty solid IPA in my book. It's not a world changing beer by any means, but a nice solid beer that I enjoyed. Recommended!

Photo of NateeB
4.95/5  rDev +66.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am from Cleveland and recently just moved to Florida. Although many local Cleveland and midwest brewerys I hold dear to my heart, I have decided to move on and explore other great southern brew. The Swamp Ape IPA is a really tasty Florida IPA that isn't too hoppy with a variety of flavorful hops this malty tasting beer is also very strong so watch out how many you consume. Overall a great craft brew.

Photo of HeHateHokies
3.58/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer has been reviewed by many others so I'm not going to break it down in typical fashion - this has already been done ad-nauseum. I would just like to say thay I do not feel it has been represented here entirely fairly. While I would admit that it should rate only fair AS AN IMPERIAL IPA, I do find it to be a very drinkable beer and I would certainly encourage anyone to sample it for yourself. I say this as a tried and true Imperial IPA fan (my favorite style). Perhaps one should take it in the spirit of Florida as a hot weather brew which perhaps should sacrifice a little purity of 'type' for drinkability. As a final note, I've drank this from tap in Florida and remember it as being better than the bottled version.

Photo of thagr81us
2.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Big thanks goes out to cmrillo's wife for sharing this one! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a golden yellow with a minimal white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, citrus hop, fruit, grapefruit, and kitty litter. The flavor was of sweet malt, fruit, citrus, citrus, kitty litter, and woody hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a fairly average brew. Just something about this brew was a little off-putting in my opinion. Not sure what was going on here but it was just a little weird. Worth trying if you are a ticker, but otherwise, I wouldn't bother.

Photo of nickmantia
2.71/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Murky with a reddish orange tint

Smell: Very sweet; caramel tones, but sugar overpowers the nose

Taste: I found this very hard to get past the overwhelming sense of sweetness here. For a double IPA, this has an abundance of sugary malt.

Mouthfeel: Plenty of carbonation; medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: I was not a fan of this beer. I took a few sips and ended up pouring this down the drain. Some may like the sugary overtones; I was hoping for something with a better hop backbone to it.

Photo of KYGunner
3.08/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The color is cloudy but as bright orange and Amber as the sunset in Florida. The foam atop was dense and thick, almost sticky, that left tons of lacing.

The aroma is malty, with some tangerines, apricot, fig and a strong alcohol like quality.

The flavor starts strong on the malt, with a barley grain malt, then turns to an apricot, pine, tangerine and Honey. Problem is you are bombarded with boozy alcohol.

The feel is thick and smooth for a time but the alcohol heat takes over the chest and palate.

I feel like this may be a good DIPA but the overwhelming alcohols ruin this at every turn.

Photo of gillagorilla
2.9/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a Flying Dog goblet

A: A quite cloudy copper color with a thick head that diminishes quickly and leaves a thin coating of tiny bubbles. The lacing is excellent though.

S: It is a mainly citrus smell that has something I can't quite place my finger on. It smells of overripe fruit. The smell is quite sweet.

T: It tastes of heavy and thick resin that coats your mouth. There are no citrus notes that I can detect. The taste is very straightforward and of a single note that is lacking in complexity. The resinous pine is very overpowering and all consuming.The aftertaste is that of pines and resin though, that clashes with the smell.

M: The mouthfeel is not my favorite, it is quite thick and viscous.

O: I'm not too sure of the date, but I am pretty sure it is quite fresh. It is decent but not too good either. The taste and mouthfeel are too heavy and thick.

Photo of Beejay
4/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A golden apricot color, the body it mostly clear with a full 2 fingers of off white head on top. The golden hue with the persisting head certainly look excellent.

S: Lots of hoppy goodness. Bright citrus nose, orange, lemon peel, and tangerine. There is a nice resinous quality to this, that melds well into the sweet caramel.

T: Nice. Tangerine, orange peel, and a touch of grapefruit come out first, followed by malty sweetness. Slightly resinous with a nice malt profile backing it up. Good bitterness and a touch of alcohol riding the finish.

M: Medium in body. There is a slickness to this that I like, the finish is slightly dryer making it feel a bit lighter.

O: Overall I think this is a really nice beer. Good flavor, good mouthfeel, all around enjoyable.

Photo of nataku00
2.38/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle from a trade, poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a dark copper, but very clear. Barely half a finger of white bubbly head that quickly dissipated to a small and thin collar along the edge of the glass. The collar leaves some light lacing as you take sips. Decent amount of carbonation visible floating up slowly from the bottom of the glass.

Nose is sweet caramelized orange peel, and a bit of cognac like booziness. Not too much hops aroma detected, which isn't too good for a DIPA.

Wow, very very boozy, that it burns the tongue as soon as it hits. Very sweet on the tongue as well, caramel malt very apparent. Just a faint citrus peel flavor hidden under all the booze and sweetness. Really lacking in bitterness, though I did sit on this for a month after receiving it in a trade. However, I can't imagine it being stored at low temperatures for a month would degrade all bitter notes.

Medium body with decent carbonation to prevent it from being syrupy. However, it's just not a very good DIPA, not enough hops, too much booze, and too sweet.

Photo of smakawhat
3.01/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real nice colorful orange amber body, quite crystal clear also, just some faint haze, but a creamy and very even off white head that barley makes three fingers and settles into a one finger cap with some ring lacing. Pretty nice looking.

Nose is weak. Mild malt backbone but not much of a hop presence here. Nothing faulty or offensive, just a hint of juicy citrus but really reaching.

Taste is just weird. I don't know how else to describe it. Strangely malt forward with neither a hop action, but a thick sugary syrup maple sweetness and texture. Hop action seems to resonate some sugary bitter that doesn't stick around, with an almost sugar toffee finish. For the high abv this isn't very boozy at all which is a good sign.

Overall this beer is just too strange, and comes off as a sort of malty strong juicy ale with an angle that doesnt mesh in the DIPA realm. This just doesn't jive with me at all, it's too bizarre. It's not by any means awful at all, but in the DIPA realm this is just not delivering at all. Wont be having this again.

Photo of BeTheBall
2.38/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a dark amber color witha foamy head. Smell has some hops, but strong sort of rusty overtones. When just out of the fridge, the taste is worse. Like rusty water with some hop sting in tghe back. Not good. When it warms, the hops take over more and the rust sort of recedes, making it at least drinkable. Mouthfeel? who cares when the taste is wrong. I won't make that mistake again.

Photo of DavyTheFatboy
2.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a hotel tumbler.

A: Light Copper like a brand new penny, and crystal clear. Volcanic white mousse-like head that hangs around for a few minutes then leaves a thin layer and a ring.

S: Very muted, as others have noted, but not unpleasant. Grassy and backwards. This doesn't lend much to the nose.

T: Again, subdued. I went into this expecting to get clobbered by either hops or alcohol but neither one really dominates. On the palate it's a slightly unbalanced IPA. There are very piney citrusy hop notes but they don't destroy the malt, although they do run over it a bit. There is a pronounced sweetness. This beer is all in the finish. It sounds odd, but the main player here is pistachio, so help me this beer finishes with pistachio flavors. Behind this we have notes of leafy herbs, caramel, and finally candy cane.

M: Thick. Medium to light carbonation is a drawback here, as I feel the very dense and powerful flavors lurking in this beer could be brought forward with a healthy dose of CO2.

O: I do not regret my purchase. At $10 for a 4-pack this isn't cheap and someone looking for a simple, toss-back IPA will be very disappointed. But this beer invites slow sipping, not just to avoid a state of profound insobriety, but because when you take your time, the layers start to show themselves.

Photo of devinoconnor
2.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden orange with little foamy white head from the bottle.

Smell is bitter and citrus.

Taste is burnt orange. Yeah, sorta gross. It's bitter and unsmooth. Hops are overpowered by bitters.

Overall, a decent IPA especially considering the region.

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Swamp Ape IPA from Florida Beer Company
69 out of 100 based on 463 ratings.