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Swamp Ape IPA - Florida Beer Company

Not Rated.
Swamp Ape IPASwamp Ape IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

125 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 125
Hads: 493
Avg: 2.88
pDev: 53.82%
Wants: 9
Gots: 87 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Swamp Ape IPA Alström Bros
Reviews: 125 | Hads: 493
Photo of mike08054
4.16/5  rDev +44.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I discovered this one tonight on a trip to Orlando. What a pleasant surprise in an area where it can be difficult to find great craft ale.

This is a malty, hoppy booze bomb with some fruity tones. It's called a DIPA, but I would classify it as a good barleywine. It was served in a large snifter, and gets more interesting as it warms up.

I think it's comparable to the flagship DIPA's/BW's offered by some of the superior east coast craft brewers. Check it out!

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Photo of Pintofbrown
2.76/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Had this in a Becker pint glass. Thanks to Hawkeyenation for the try. Sweet bottle art too!

Glowing golden body with orange tinted highlights. The head is puffy and white, at least a finger's-width, good retention too!

Lots of sweet malt on the nose with a big dose of booziness. The hops come off as honey drenched orange and slightly herbal. Already starting to get messy.

The palate has a muddled and sweet maltiness with a decent bitter bite in the finish that is a little resiny. The hops are more herbaceous with just a hint of that same sweet blood orange flavor. This is so boozy there is almost a white grape like note to the finish. Just...entirely too boozy and sweet. for a DIPA.

The beer has a light-medium body and is a little more crisp than dry. Also appreciate a bit of watery run over the tongue. It would be nice if that cloying, grape-like finish did not stick around so long.

Swamp Ape is a sweet and boozy mess of a DIPA. There is really no reason to search this one out, unless you are a label art collector, then I would pick up a bottle of this. Otherwise, there are far too many other good beers to drink.

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Photo of BeerTwigs
2.73/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I purchased this beer while traveling to Orlando. Poured into a pint glass. I couldnt find the date on the bottle to confirm freshness.

A: This beer poured a gold/straw color with good clarity and a 1 finger head. There is very little head retention here.
S: Unfortunately this beer smells more bready or malty then hoppy. There are faint hints of citrus hops
T: Tastes sweet and malty with very little bitterness or hints of hops. I hope this beer is somewhat old and that the hops have dies out at this point. It actually tastes better as the beer warms up and is less offensive. The alcohol definitely dominates the first few sips.
M: Light to medium body with light carbonation.
O: I would like to try this beer on tap or fresh to get a feel for it. I would try it again under those circumstances. Otherwise this beer is ok to average, I wouldn't search it out. Cheers!

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Photo of HeHateHokies
3.58/5  rDev +24.3%
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.

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Photo of scotorum
4.29/5  rDev +49%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Single in a mixed fourpack from Knightly's Spirits in Orlando.

This was the favorite out of ten I tried while in Florida over the weekend. Usually I don't care for banana flavor in anything other than a banana, but this had just enough hint of it along with a lot of great caramel malt flavor and alcohol zing to create an exceptional taste with superior sippability.

Puzzled by the many scathing reviews here. I thought it was one of the best DIPAs I have had.

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Photo of Charlemagne
2.33/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a 16 oz tulip

A: golden brown hue with a thick white 1 finger width head. The appearance was far and away the best part of this beer. The review from here on out goes downhill faster than barometers here in Florida

S: VERY subtle hints of fruit (touches of pear, apricot). Reeks of sweetness.

T: This is where it took a turn for the worst. This, my friends, is a piss poor example of an IPA. Malty as all get out, little to no hops at the finish. Pretty sweet at the forefront with a stale expired beer taste at the end.

M: Feels like I took a sip of oil from my car when its needed an oil change for a month.

O: Pretty embarrassed that this hot mess came out of Florida. I would have been a bit more kind with the review had this beer literally not arrived at my store a week ago, thus freshness was not an issue. Just a bad beer. Phooey.

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Photo of flagmantho
2.87/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of jwdahl_91
3.99/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured into snifter as a gorgeous crystal clear amber-orange hue. Light to minimal carbonation with bubbles rising up the sides of the glass. Mild to medium lacing.

S: Citrus. Really ripe, sweet orange, mango, dried fruit, a lot of cherry and mixed berries (especially blueberries). Some light caramel malt, and medium floral notes.

T: Not as much hop as I had expected, although it does come out more as the drink opens up. Honeysuckle, mild amount of malt, sweet caramel, ripe plums, a lot of cherry, and a minute hint of alcohol. The after taste leaves a creamy feeling and the taste of caramel on the tongue.

M: Nice, easy drinking, medium bodied beer.

O: I was surprisingly pleased. I feel other reviews were too harsh. As an IPA it was a bit of a let down as I was expecting more hoppy bitterness. With such a name, I expected more muskiness and bitterness, not such fresh and fruity characteristics. As a beer, it was very tasty and very easy to drink. Overall I was pleased but as an IPA i wanted more bite and bitterness.

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Photo of Shaw
3.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a nice honey color with a thick white head.

Sweet aroma if honey and hops.

Hot, harsh and hoppy. Buttery flavors mix with solvent alcohol and citrus-like hops. This one is all about the alcohol flavors.

Nice and smooth body, no doubt thanks to the high alcohol levels.

There are better IPAs (both double and regular) out there. I can't really recommend this one.

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Photo of Pencible
2.22/5  rDev -22.9%
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.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.74/5  rDev +29.9%
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.

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Photo of NiceTaps
4/5  rDev +38.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in a pint glass.

A- It poured an orange-copper color with a slightly unfiltered look. A 2-finger head , off-white in color, tapered to a film and left lots of lacing. Lively carbonation.

S- It has it all: clean hop aroma with lots of citrus and pine, some honey for sure and a bit of spice. Just a note of alcohol noticable with the malts.

T-Some pale and sweet malts, honey sweetness also. The citrus and pine hops are there but not prominent.

M- Big, full body and feel. Chewy, oily. There's a lingering hop finish that's not overly bitter.

O- Yummy. This is a flavor-first beer over the abv. Sure, it's sweet due to being 10% abv, but it transcends the sweetness to me. Dare I say that it compares to Hopslam? Yes!

I cannot believe that this beer is rated so low here on BA. It makes me wonder...

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Photo of gillagorilla
2.9/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
2.23/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Number 2 on the 2013 spring break tour.

Tarnished gold body, a rapidly disappearing white head that turned into an oil slick immediately. Good clarity. No lace.

Strong pine aroma. Leans a little too much to cleanser than fresh forest.

Big front load of malt, sweet like a dopplebock. Very low key fruit. Abrasive, abusive bitterness. Not in a good way.

Too thick mouthfeel. Needs more carbonation. Again more bock than IPA.

A major disappointment of an IPA. Great name though.

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Photo of brentk56
2.7/5  rDev -6.2%
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

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Photo of rorjets
4.5/5  rDev +56.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now this is an ass kicking beer! I got a 4 pack on a recent trip to Florida, and was impressed. Goes down easy, great tasting, and packs a wallop without too much of the alcohol burn. I really enjoy this Ape, and was ready to visit the swamp he hailed from after having 3 of these babies!

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Photo of JackMcAwesome
3.61/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle.

Look: It creates a one finger head that quickly disappears. The lacing is great, and almost spot on. The beer itself is a orange amber. Mine was crystal clear.

Smell: A very powerful aroma. I can't pick up anything specific though. I loved the smell, but I just couldn't identify anything in it. It was a weird experience. Normally I can pick up something, especially with something so powerful, but I just couldn't identify one particular note. I was tempted to see what others thought, but left it "as is" for now.

Taste: It has that signature "imperial" taste, but does a decent job of covering up the ABV. The balance needs a bit of work, I could use a bit more malt on the back end for me personally, but it's almost right. I'm getting something sweet at the end. It makes for an interesting combo, although I'm not sure I personally dig it.

Feel: Pretty well balanced. A bit slick, but the carbonation kicks in and makes it a light drink at the the right moment. I think I'd prefer a slightly lighter drink at the end. But otherwise a good enough IPA.

Overall: I don't seem to dislike it as much as other BAs, but it has a bit of wiggle room for improvement. A decent beer though that I'll revisit just to support the home team. I'm glad a friend and I swapped some beers so I could try this one. A good beer for an awesome style. I'll revisit in the future.

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Photo of ajpadre
3.79/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I gotta say I was surprised by the negative reviews when I visited BeerAdvocate because usually my taste buds are spot on with the majority of BeerAdvocate users.

I'm originally from SoCal, so the higher the ABV and the more bitter the better. And I gotta say this is my favorite Florida brew.

The color is a nice cloudy orange, nothing too out of the ordinary.

The nose is lacking somewhat, you expect it too be a flop immediately out of the gate.

The taste though I love. It has a great silky texture that compliments the bitter after taste. Could use a bit more of the roasted malt up front but still a pleasant light front. It is more chewy than the other Florida beers I have had, which is probably why I like it. The back end is a typical ipa with not too complicated flavors, a little citrus, a little pine. But enough to balance with the high ABV.

The finish is not dry at all, leaves your palate coated with a nice array of hop flavors. The flavor stays in your mouth for a while.

I enjoyed this beer very much. I have no idea how long its been in the keg at HopJacks, and the east coast isn't too friendly to DIPAs so it may have had some time to mature. But all and all I thought it was a solid brew.

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Photo of NoleDoc
2.17/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2

Very bitter taste. Definitely has a bite to it. Very bitter after taste which lingers in the palet for a long time. Sounds crazy, but the after taste almost taste like something off the grill. As a Florida resident, had to give it a try. Not one of my faves.

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Photo of mrfr33z3
3.79/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The color is a somewhat accurate depiction of what I've come to expect from a DIPA. Light copper and amber hue. The head is almost non-existent, though I wouldn't expect much from the 10%. Minimal lacing. The body is spot-on for me. Great mouthfeel.

Plenty of hops are present in this one. Quite a bit going on there that I can quite put my finger on. Reminds me of a homebrew I made when I went a bit crazy with different kinds of hops. The Amarillo and Centennial are noticeable, and there are some fruity, slightly boozy effects on the finish. Not overly bitter though, as there's enough sweetness to smooth things over.

I was eager to try this local brew, as I've sampled other from the Florida Beer Company in the past, and I'm a fan of the style (DIPA). I've since kept my garage fridge stocked with a 4-pack of this stuff most of the time. Overall, very drinkable. I thoroughly enjoy it. Not sure why it doesn't score higher. Different strokes, I suppose...

Update 10/25/2013:
After purchasing by the case and by the 4-pack here and there and sampling further, I can offer some additional info on this. I can now say that there is indeed some inconsistency in the profiles of this beer between batches. It's strange, but I can go from one batch to the next and it tastes different. I actually ended up with one case I can only describe as slightly "brackish", which has been rather unpleasant. I have also lowered my overall impression of this beer, as consistency is key to the production of any brew, and have been somewhat disappointed on occasion. Strange.

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Photo of ummswimmin
2.78/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

I poured this bottle of Swamp Ape into a tulip style glass. I received about two fingers of foam from the initial pour that didn't take long to die down. The lacing is decent from the halo of foam remaining. The coloring on this one is a vibrant orange.

The nose on this one has some flowery hops. I also pick up some minimal citrus hopping.

The flavoring on this one is really metallic. The feel on this one is pretty unpleasant. I have to make this one a "sink-pour."

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Photo of Lerxst
2.29/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours amber, semi hazy, with a tightly knit slightly off white head that has fair retention and left a few spots of lace.

S-Earthy, grassy hops are there, but somewhat tame. Hints of bready malt are there along with an off putting astringency that is very distracting.

T-Hmm, there is something wrong here. A sour, medicinal flavor overwhelms everything here and the longer I drink this the worse it gets. I can pick up the earthy, grassy hops from the nose along with the bready malt back but they are both overwhelmed by the unpleasant medicinal flavor. Not good.

M-Medium body and carbonation, slightly slick but finishes dry.

O-This one was tough to finish. And I love DIPAs. I soldiered through to the end in an attempt to give this beer a fair shot, but it never got better. If anything it got worse as I went along.
There is no way I would buy this again.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.71/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
3.26/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lightly chilled bottle into a stemless tulip pint. No decipherable bottling date.

Look- Medium amber with three fingers of pillowy head the color of ripe banana flesh. Good retention, well-developed lace despite the ABV.

Smell- Lemon-mango, floral and bready malt in the background. Sweet. Vaguely pear-like.

Taste- Hrm. Sweet, light toffee, mango and mandarin orange appear but fade quickly. Spike of booziness followed by a mild coconut and roasted marshmallow flavor that lingers for a while before rolling into honeyed tea. Aftertaste is herbal, minty. Not particularly bitter, medium to low perceived bitterness for the style. Nutty flavor comes and goes.

Mouthfeel- Chewy, low carbonation. Surprisingly clean finish, mild alcohol warming. A big beer, but easy drinking for 10% ABV.

Overall- Not bad, but not as flavorful as I'd expect from an DIPA. It doesn't appear to be marketed as such, however.... passable as standard IPA, if on the heavy side and boozy. Either way, it's fine but I probably wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of mooseisloose
2.9/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Popping the top this brew has a licorice smell. Pours to a yellow bronze with a foamy micro bubble head that laces. On the taste this brew is very sweet up front, closely followed by a sharp bitterness, then is balanced in the middle with a sweet and sour finish. Seems way too sweet for an IPA. The mouthfeel is very thick and syrupy. A tasty brew but way too sweet, maybe try this one on pancakes?

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Swamp Ape IPA from Florida Beer Company
68 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.