Swamp Ape IPA - Florida Beer Company

Not Rated.
Swamp Ape IPASwamp Ape IPA

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

475 Ratings
THE BROS
69
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 475
Reviews: 135
rAvg: 2.98
pDev: 26.17%
Wants: 9
Gots: 76 | 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: 475 | Reviews: 135
Photo of kylehay2004
2.62/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Single finger foamy head. clear amber with golden hues.

S: Sweet, grapefruit, little hops.

T: Very malty and piney but where are the hops? The initial taste hits hard. Some what bitter with some citrus and caramel at the end that drops off rapidly. It almost finishes like a whiskey but not as tart.

M: Moderate carbonation. Medium to Full bodied.

Overall: I can get why so many posts gripe about this beer. Its unique but a poor representative of its genre.

Photo of brentk56
2.7/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a nice head that leaves several strands of lace

Smell: Smells like a barley lollypop with a bitter edge

Taste: Candy-sweet on the front end with a growing bitterness that builds both before and after the swallow; no citrus or pine - just bitterness; the finish, however, has a lot of residual sweetness; overall, a boozy mess

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; a bit slick with a lot of warmth in the gullet

Overall: Recent reviews being more encouraging about this beer, I wanted to see what the fuss was about and after two or three sips I have made my determination and am done; no need to ever come back to this again

Photo of womencantsail
2.59/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: Pours a very clear golden orange color with a finger of white head and some sticky lacing.

S: Much sweeter than expected. Most of the aroma is reminiscent of sugar and candy. Some light fruitiness, maybe some grass. Not much hop aroma, though.

T: Very minimally bitter. Intensely sweet. Sugary and candy-like without much balance or depth to the flavor. No real hop flavor to this beer either.

M: Medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation.

O: It could be worse, but there's really just very little going on other than the sweetness.

Photo of zeff80
3.31/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Tap 42 in Fort Lauderdale.

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a one-finger white head of bubbly foam. It left some sudsy patches of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled malty and piney. Not alot of depth here.

T - Spicy and little hot with some strong pine notes. Good roasted malt flavor, but the hop bite seems unbalanced.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium bodied ale with a hot alcohol punch.

O - This is an okay Double IPA. I feels like it need more balance to be good.

Photo of nickfl
3.7/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - The beer pours with one finger of dense, white foam on top of a clear, amber-brown body. The head has good staying power and it leaves moderate lace as it settles.

S - Sweet, caramel malt with some brown sugar and sweaty orange flavored hops.

T - Thick, dark caramel malt up front with notes of molasses and toffee. Some pine and grapefruit hops come out in the middle with more dark malt that brings up spicy, mustard like notes in the hop profile. Things finish up with more spicy hops and caramel malt.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a fairly sweet finish.

D - This is a pretty nice, if unremarkable, east coast IPA. The hop aroma is pretty well put together, and the malt more than keeps up with it. There is a lot of sugar character in the flavor profile with an intense caramel note. The finish has just enough bitterness to keep it balanced while the spicy hops match the toffee. I would like to see more hop character for a DIPA, but its pretty drinkable.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.76/5  rDev +26.2%
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 Rifugium
2.71/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

First had: bottle at Riverside Market Cafe, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Copper colored pour, clear, with a thin white cap that mostly dissipated, leaving a bit of lacing on the glass. Aroma was pretty strange, sweet malts, caramel apple, overripe melons, not much in the way of fresh hops. The taste reflected the nose. There was something off here. There was a bit of piney hop bitterness, but it hovered in the background, never really coming out as it should (considering it's supposed to be an IPA), caramel malts and more overripe fruit sweetness, with a bit of booze, though no real heat was felt from the higher ABV level. About medium in body, awkward and sticky, not undrinkable, but not really what I'm looking for in any kind of IPA.

Photo of MasterSki
2.57/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Obscure Florida brew courtesy of Beerlando. Batch 0001?, served in a Russian River tulip.

A - Pours with half-finger of white foam that settles to a thin ring and a few patches of bubbles on top, but negligible lacing. Transparent golden body. that is pretty attractive.

S - Booze, apples, dorm carpet, some mild vomit. Not much in the way of hops here. Pretty dismal.

T - Taste is slightly better than the aroma, with cookie, lightly browned sugar, and a strange mid-palate astringency. Still pretty bad, and still very little in the way of hops.

M - Soft texture, medium body, lower carbonation - drinks smaller than the listed 10%, although there is a bit of warming after a few ounces. Not as bad as the rest of the brew.

D - This is just not very good. Did this really need to be 10% - the bottle calls it an IPA (and not Imperial or Double) which implies these guys don't really know what they are doing. In any case it'd be a struggle to finish 12oz of this one.

Photo of drabmuh
3.03/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was a DIPA? I am not afraid to admit that I only drank this because of the label. Badass, I hope the picture gets posted soon.

Beer is copper with almost no head, carbonation low, no lacing.

Aroma is mildly hoppy with a lot of caramel malt character. IPA...really?

Beer is really sweet and boozy, mild hop presence but ultimately it falls flat. It's pretty not good for an IPA. I wouldn't have it again, unless they come up with an even cooler label.

Photo of stakem
2.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz brown bottle with no indication of freshness. Poured into a pint glass, this brew appears a clear color of light orange. A finger of white froth sits atop the brew and quickly recedes down to a thin film. Rising bubbles of carbonation maintain a thin film across the top and a light swirl agitates a few bubbles out of solution. As sips are taken some small spots of lace stick to the glass.

The smell of this brew includes some mellow fruity hops that have a bit of citrus inclusion somewhat reminiscent of grapefruit and other citrus zests. A bit of mellon character exists through the middle as well as a bit of dank character emerges and mixes with a bit of stinky almost cheesy grain inclusion. More smells reveal some solid alcohol character that is lightly solvent that has some acetone. This is one of those brew that doesn't smell too bad while it is cold but as it warms up it turns.

The taste is as much hoppy as it is grainy. Hops are present with a flavor that is lightly pine-like and cheesy character is present with a musty grain inclusion. The alcohol is quite bold and solvent and imparts a bit of plastic character that gets increasingly noticeable as the brew warms up. The aftertaste is primarily plastic and solvent alcohol which just isn't that enjoyable.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a light amount of carbonation. It is smooth in the feel and the alcohol, while not as aggressive as some at this level, is still noticeable for double-digits. Overall I felt like this brew needs some work. It has some nice points about it but the plastic character has got to go.

Photo of smakawhat
3.01/5  rDev +1%
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 Georgiabeer
2.1/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

For some reason. my wife brought me one of these home from Tampa. I would have preferred something from Cigar City, but so be it. This is a throw away beer for me. Why would I bother to drink this- at 10% yet- with so many good beers out there. It's overly sweet and grainy and with a chemical aftertaste, and raw alcohol comes through quite strongly. No thanks,

Photo of GarthDanielson
2.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured on-tap and served in a pint glass, the beer is a bright, hazy orange-copper coloring with a steady flow of bubbles and a thick, light, frothy white head that settles quickly. The nose is super-citrus lemon/lime with overtones of dark, wet hops. Smells like an IPA mixed with Sprite. Syrupy malt backbone with lots of peppery-noted hops bouncing off. The aftertaste is spicy and slightly citus sweet again. Smooth finish, despite the heavy booze influence and flavors.

Photo of Rhettroactive
2.93/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 3/3/11

A: Crystalized honey-orange in color. 1.5 finger head with underdeveloped lacing.

S: Lavendar and extreme alcohol esters.

T: Can you say booze? I feel like I'm back in college - it's like slamming a shot of vodka with a hint of gin's juniper kick. No hops, no malt. Just pure alcohol.

M: Surprisingly nice. It's fairly creamy and well carbonated, with good weight.

O: I read Garrett Oliver's review of Florida Beer Co's Swamp Ape a while back, and he mentioned this drank more like a barleywine. I can't seem to disagree, as it's exrtremely hot, and could use some serious time in the cellar before I'd even consider returning to it.

Photo of flagmantho
2.87/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich orange hue with a moderate haze and a moderately strong effervescence. Head is a thick finger of frothy ivory foam with a bit of an orange cast. Pretty attractive!

Smell: rich, sweet malt with a bit of a hot alcohol note. Not hoppy at all in aroma, so it doesn't really fit the category. It's not off-putting, though.

Taste: malty, but kind of muddled and uninspiring. Sweet, with a moderately strong and raspy bitterness at the end, but not at all as hoppy as the style ought to be. It's not disgusting or anything, but it's bland and doesn't fit the style at all.

Mouthfeel: plenty of body with a good carbonation; relatively creamy. Not too bad.

Overall: this beer just doesn't seem like a DIPA (or even an IPA, really) to me. Maybe a strong ale? It's malty and bitter, but hop character is pretty absent. I won't be trying this one again.

Photo of cjgator3
3.75/5  rDev +25.8%
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 thagr81us
2.73/5  rDev -8.4%
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 cpetrone84
2.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light orange, mostly transparent with a touch of haze, and a tight cream colored head and a few large bubbles mixed in. The nose is a bit grainy for an imperial IPA. There are notes of citric orange with some nail polish type acetone. The flavor is a bit hoppier, thick syrupy feel, rather sweet with some citirc hops, the grains are lighter and more balanced, assertive carbonation, semi dry finish and fairly present alcohol and bitterness.

Photo of RoyalT
3.22/5  rDev +8.1%
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 barczar
2.39/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear copper color with a dense one inch cream head that slowly dissipates and leaves spotty lacing.

Aroma is sweet caramel malt, almost raisiny, with significant alcohol. There's a bit of a stale character, and slight dank hops. A note of grapefruit becomes evident.

Flavor is very hot, with a fairly sweet malt backbone and a tar-like finish. Resiny hops subdue the alcohol, leading into a bit of grapefruit citrus and a fairly bitter finish. The tar quality aforementioned is likely phenolic, and it diminishes as I drink more, becoming like smoky bacon.

Hottest beer I've ever had. Burns as it goes down the throat. Body is moderate, with moderately high carbonation.

Overall, it seems to me that they may have used stale hops, and the alcohol is not all malt derived. Likely used sugar, as it burns like cheap liquor. Flavor improves the more I drink it...or maybe I'm catching a buzz...

Photo of Pencible
2.22/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: This poured a clear dark gold with moderate off white head.
S: It smelled like bready malt and some faint citrus hops.
T: It tasted like sugary sweet honey and bready malt, with a little apricot and copper hops. It had a cloying sweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with some carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was a poor IPA. Maybe super fresh it was different, but this had no clean hop bitterness. The scent and taste were bad, and the body wasn't much better. The finish was harsh, so it wasn't that easy to drink. Not recommended.

Photo of Holland
2.68/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: looks light gold with a small lacing in my pint glass.

S: sweetness, bitter hops

T: tastes very sweet, some malt, and bitterness. Not a complicated beer, and too sweet.

M: too sweet, not enough carbonation, not a super thick body but the sweetness was killer

O: paid $7.50 for a pint at Tall Paul's in Gainesville. Never again.

Photo of scottfrie
2.03/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks for the tick, Dan.

A: Pours a super light clear straw color with basically no head or lace.
S: I’m not getting very much hop aroma on the nose, and what hops do come through are pretty rotten smelling. I get what smells like burnt malt as well.
T: Watery booze. There is almost no flavor at all except some bitterness in the aftertaste, a touch of sweetness, and harsh booze. Hops are rank.
M: Body is on the thin side of medium, and the alcohol isn’t masked at all. Thin carbonation.
O: An atrocious dipa and an awful beer. Avoid the swamp-ass.

Photo of BMMillsy
2.47/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.25

Pours copper with small head. Smells stale, little to no hop presence, with big sweetness--though the aroma overall isn't very present. Way overly sweet flavor, muddled caramel malts and staleness. No hop presence. I could not finish the 12 oz bottle. This was not really up to par, but a nice Florida tick. I have been told they are supposed to be making adjustments and water improvements. This really is one of the worst DIPAs I have had and was terribly disappointing as it was one of the first Florida beers I tried.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.96/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Swamp Ape IPA from Florida Beer Company
69 out of 100 based on 475 ratings.