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Swamp Ape IPA - Florida Beer Company

Not Rated.
Swamp Ape IPASwamp Ape IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

123 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 123
Hads: 486
Avg: 2.89
pDev: 53.98%
Wants: 9
Gots: 84 | 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: 123 | Hads: 486
Photo of NateeB
4.95/5  rDev +71.3%
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.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.82/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've read the other reviews and had several of the Florida Beer Co.'s offerings over the years, dating back to the Ybor City days and Gaspar's Porter (nee Ale). Admittedly, the beers are not standouts but they seem solid MOR options with consistent quality. And they are fairly on-style (unlike Sam Adams). Well, we all have our opinions. Here's mine.

Arrives a clear golden color with a white head that has no real retention, just a ring of foam.
Smell is citrusy and piney hops notes with light malt and pepper flavors. Not a hop bomb, a more balanced mixture.
Taste is pine, malt, citrus, ginger and a sweetness reminiscent of cane sugar. The ginger note is unexpected but works for the style.
Full bodied with a medium plus carbonation. Finish is dry with a lingering evergreen aspect to it. As expected for an IPA. I liked this beer and while I'm not a big fan of IPAs in general, I'm finding the Double/Imperial IPAs to be quite good. Having more to it than a dump truck load of hops is a good thing in my opinion.

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
2.71/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought this beer for $17.00 as a fore pack and thought it way overpriced, but I live in Maryland and the high alcohol tax is just a killer. Anyway the beer poured a clear, medium copper brown. The creamy light tan head build about one finger high and dissipated slow, leaving some lacing.
The smell was a very earthy, grassy flavor with booze and some caramel character.
Tasting the beer I first thought of swamp water. But all those earthy, grassy flavors eventually weren't as bad as the first sip promised. It is a sipper and maybe not what you expect, but interesting, at least for one time.

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Photo of barczar
2.39/5  rDev -17.3%
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...

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Photo of DavyTheFatboy
2.86/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of pixieskid
2.48/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Didn't ever bother picking this up from the grocery store at $10 4pack but my dad came back to the condo with it and what the hell, it's here, gotta try it. I was intrigued to try it after reading all of the reviews, cracked it almost immediately after reading a dozen or so reviews.

The reviews are all over the place for this thing and I really can't see why. Not a good beer, I always go into a beer with an open mind and usually think that it can't be that bad, I don't like bashing beers but this thing is a mess. Between the odd flavor profile, lack of aroma, and the astringent alcohol, I don't know how we'll get through the rest of the 4 pack...

My intention is to give as solid and informed review as possible so people know why it's all over the place.

Appearance: looks good, bright orange with a frothy white head, lingers for some time actually.

Nose: there's really not much there just like others have said. A touch of citrus, honey, and alcohol.

Taste: strong alcoholic bite, vegetal notes, smokiness (on closer look, their website states that it's brewed with cherrywood smoked malts), and some citrus.

Mouthfeel: slick and medium bodied.

Overall; frankly it's a boozy mess and has an odd flavor profile. Would have been happier with another sixer of jai alai at the same price...

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2.4/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

First, let me start off by stating that this beer packs a little punch at 10% ABV.

Swamp Ape IPA has a very bitter hop taste. It was a chore to continue drinking, due to the taste, but as the bottle emptied it began to taste better (more than likely because of the high ABV rather than acquiring a taste for it).

It really is not terrible, but it's flavor is lacking. It has a very bitter taste and while at first you can taste multiple flavors, the bitterness begins to dominate everything rather quickly.

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Photo of katan
3.69/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz into a pint

A - Deep gold in color, perhaps a little bit orange. Light head formation, almost none actually. The pearl white film is all that you can see. Very hazy and opaque.

S - All kinds of hops here, mainly a citrus start with a rather earthy and piney background. It seems to be sweet, but when you inhale deeper you can detect a pretty hefty hop body.

T - Starts off with just a hint of malts, but that is immediately bombed by all the hops. Citrus, sweet at first - then in the middle gets rather bitter and resinous. Finishes even more better - lighting up the outside of the tongue.

M - Full bodied but not enough carbonation to bring it back to balance. Thick and sweet, clingy, with a big oily aftertaste.

O/D - An over the top kind of citrus hop bomb - perhaps a little too monotone for me. Generally a slow sipper, and the high alcohol will roll you.

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Photo of BMMillsy
2.47/5  rDev -14.5%
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.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.01/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of noisepollution6
1.95/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Saw this one in the grocery store. The packaging got me as I was born and raised in Florida and I'm usually pretty optimistic about beers sold in 4-packs so I picked it up. Wish I could return it after one sip.

A - Pours a brilliant medium gold color with about an inch of head that dissipates at a fairly moderate pace and never seems to completely go away.

S - The malt definitely dominates the hops in the aroma as is usually characteristic of a double IPA. Unfortunately, that malt smell is masked by a strong scent of alcohol. The smell has me afraid to take my first sip.

T - The bitterness comes through first although it's not as much as you'd expect from a double IPA. Seeing as it comes in at a whopping 10% ABV should prove that this beer has some serious balance issues between the malt and the hops. The taste is not characteristic of the aroma as the hops seem to dominate the malt although slight notes of malt are lingering. Unfortunately, once again, this is all overwhelmed by a nagging alcohol flavor that makes this beer almost undrinkable.

M - Light to medium bodied with low to medium carbonation.

O - The alcohol aroma hints at the idea that this one should be aged. The alcohol flavor hints at the idea that this one should be aged. The 10% ABV hints at the idea that this one should be aged. Yet, I would not waste three square inches of cellar space to fit a bottle of Swamp Ape. This beer has some serious balance issues and if you're looking for a good IPA, avoid this one at all costs. Unless, of course, you enjoy the taste of alcohol with some added bitterness.

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Photo of brockdidntslide
1.58/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

more like ape piss than something worth drinking. i couldn't finish the bottle. as awful as a miller high life light i need to find someone i hate and give them a bottle of this. as good as jai alai is for florida's beer rep, this one sets it back. this must be florida's way of saying "stay away, tourist!".

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Photo of scottfrie
2.03/5  rDev -29.8%
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.

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Photo of hopfiend666
3.92/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A great IPa with a nice bite and a great amount of alcohol. Any more hops added to this brew and it would taste rotten. The taste is sort of like cannonball double ipa fron nor Carolina. If they were trying to get a hoppy taste fresh from the swamp, then they nailed it. I have enjoy a couple four packs on more than one occasion, though a little pricey.

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Photo of zeff80
3.31/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

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Photo of mntlover
2.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear burnt orange color with two finger cream colored head that falls slow to ring with some lace.

Aroma is kind of nice more barley wine like overripe tropical fruits mingled with caramel malts, stale tobacco leaves light alcohol notes. Maybe smells like an aged I2PA. Not bright and hoppy as most I2PA's.

Taste is malty caramel again tastes kind of aged with that overripe fruit notes mingling with the malt. Hops are more sticky tobacco like then anything, some fruitiness but really seems like that's coming from the malt? Some pretty good alcohol ester floating around it is noticeable but not really detracting per say. Bot sure whats going on here but not a double IPA. Label talks about a hop monster with 5 hops but if that's the case maybe its old, can't find date on it but it has recent reviews.

Mouthfeel is big medium with lightly peppy carbonation that fits the supposed style well.

Overall a bad I2PA but not terrible beer, kind of reminds me of some old I2PA's I tried to age before but not as good as those either?

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Photo of Dave1999
3.78/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a transparent amber with a white foamy head which disapeared quite quickly.

The smell was malts, with a slight grapefruit, with a good dose of alcohol.

The taste was sweet with a little bit of a bitter malty after taste.The hops are present but not as obvious as you would expect in a dipa.You can certainly taste the alcohol,kind of like a whisky but not as strong.

The mouth feel was creamy with a bit of a tingle from the alcohol.

Overall definately unexpected not enough hop taste, no citrus flavours just nothing dipa about this. But on the other hand a pretty interesting beer. I didn't think it was a bad beer but I won't buy it again. It was more like a spirit than a beer.

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Photo of C20Percent
3.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

*Review taken from notes*

A: Light tan appearance. Slightly hazy with a cream colored head.

S: Some grapefruit aroma, but crazy boozy.

T: A citrus taste that is overwhelmed by the alcohol. Nothing quite stands out. Plain.

M: Medium-to-heavy body.

O: Nothing especially outstanding here. I expect more flavor out of an Imperial IPA. Good attempt here, but I don't expect that I'll be coming back.

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Photo of thagr81us
2.73/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

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Photo of beergod1
3.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy golden amber, foamy short lived head, soft lace. Smell on this one is rather sweet, full of doughy sweet malts, oranges, and somewhat earthy/peppery hops.The flavor is big and doughy, pale sweetness on top of candied oranges, floral hops, earthy notes, and a peppery bite in the finish. 10% is hidden well. Several different flavors are swirling around this brew. A little confusing for a 2 IPA but, but pretty good.

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Photo of devinoconnor
2.96/5  rDev +2.4%
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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Photo of nofearbeerishere
2.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Golden orange with nice head and lacing.

S: Not much to it, but a faint spicy citrus

T: Ashy, malty (very malty for an IPA), biscuit, very slight citrus, fairly heavy alcohol towards the end. Not very desirable and especially not what I would expect from an IPA.

M: I actually liked the mouthfeel very much. Thick, frothy, and silky.

O: This ape needs to evolve a little more before I can even come close to recommending it. As a Florida native, I wanted another beer that I could rep! But it's just not the case....and it was expensive, too! $2.99 for a single bottle at Total Wine. Stick to Cigar City, for now...

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Photo of Chaney
1.96/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I had this on tap at the Yard House in Palm Beach.

A: Poured a clear, fairly translucent golden color (a tinge of haze), with very little visible carbonation. It had about a 1/3 finger sticky white head.

S: Muted citrus, candy sugar +++. That's about it.

T: OMG! This tasted like formaldehyde! Additionally, the aftertaste was very boozy, sugar-infused (+++!), and with a tinge of skunky sourness. Not good...

M: Swirly lacing, but I honestly didn't give a shit since the taste was so bad. Low carbonation. Sugar bomz r' us in spades!

O: This was by far the worst beer I've tried so far in 2012.

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Photo of BeTheBall
2.38/5  rDev -17.6%
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.

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Photo of Beer21
3.67/5  rDev +27%
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!

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Swamp Ape IPA from Florida Beer Company
69 out of 100 based on 123 ratings.