Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Swamp Ape IPA - Florida Beer Company

Not Rated.
Swamp Ape IPASwamp Ape IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

122 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 122
Hads: 483
rAvg: 2.89
pDev: 26.99%
Wants: 9
Gots: 81 | 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: 122 | Hads: 483
Photo of Augustiner719
3.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a 12 ounce mug

Appearance: This pours a nice rich copper amber color with a small yet noticeable head that leave some nice faint lacing down the glass. Decent clarity.

Smell: The smell is not overpowering at all. As the label reads its an IPA and really what i was looking for in an IPA. The aroma is crisp and refreshing with lemony spicy floral notes.

Taste: The taste is very very sweet and not up to my standards. i also did not realize that this was a DIPA and 10% abv! this really hides the alcohol but the sweetness sucks.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel although sticky and overly sweet is not harsh at all in terms of alcohol bite. NIce feel to it, drinks like a lower abv beer but sweet beer.

Overall this is a ok beer. i really didn't expect the flavor off of the aroma but i guess it is what it is. Really misleading label. (846 characters)

Photo of Jammies
1.86/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A - Pours a deep gold with about two inches of foam. Head retains well.

S - light and slightly smoky.

T - Tastes awful. Finishes like a wet sock. I will absolutely never try this again. It actually tastes like an ape in a swamp.

M - light and watery, with a horrible coating.

O - Undrinkable. Probably the worst beer I have ever had in my life. (348 characters)

Photo of stakem
2.9/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (1,608 characters)

Photo of Lutter
1.26/5  rDev -56.4%
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. (651 characters)

Photo of Holland
2.68/5  rDev -7.3%
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. (336 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
2.78/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (450 characters)

Photo of bierbrauer
2.72/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle, purchased as a single and brought back from visit to Florida. No date, but marked "FL56AB i" on bottle neck. freshbeeronly.com states that Florida Beer Co. marks bottling date on the shoulder, but there is none present. Red flag--this may predate the date-marking process. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Clear, gold, with 1" fast-falling, off-white head that leaves very sparse lacing.

S: Pleasant light apple, vanilla & peach.

T: Hot alcohol and strong, sweet caramel/toffee, small traces of hops w/ very mild lingering bitterness.

M: Very thick feeling, with some light carbonation; omnipresent alcohol.

O: In my experience, this is not a typical American DIPA. It definitely got my attention -- though not for the best. Too much alcohol & malt, not enough hops to balance. At 10%, it's a definite sipper, but offers scant reward. I couldn't finish it. In fairness, it must be very old, but one never knows without a brewer's bottling date. I checked the company's website for info about the code, but did not have success. I do like the name, graphics and mythological connotations and hope I sampled an old bottle. If I ever try it again, it will be at the brewery or with a freshness date that is recent. (1,228 characters)

Photo of DrinkinBoy
2.25/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Swamp Ape IPA pours a golden orange. The head is extremely tiny small (not matter how hard you pour it or swirl it). The retention is also lacking.

Its smell is faint, however there are a handful of disguisable notes: malty (similar to malt liquor) and apricot.

The taste starts of somewhat tame with slightly sweet tones. After skipping over any type of middle body, the beer lives up to its name with a big Donkey Kong slam on the tongue. The fairly long finish is a mixture of bitterness and alcohol heat. There is little to no balance.

Its mouthfeel is on the heavier side of medium, with a small amount of carbonation (unusual feeling for the style).

Overall, the lack of quality with this beer was surprising. It is the first beer I have had from the Florida Beer Company, so I cannot judge the entire brewery by it. Also, the lack of carbonation (contributing to little head and unusual mouthfeel) may characterize a bad bottle. This beer would not be top on my suggestion list. (990 characters)

Photo of GarrettMD
2.35/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a crystal clear light orange color with little to no head on a fairly aggressive pour. Tiny carbonation bubbles rising to the top and forming a white ring around the glass.

S - Booze and hops. Some slight citrus hops but for the most part very floral and earthy with a healthy background of caramel malts. Can definitely tell this is high ABV from the smell.

T - Not a typical taste for an IPA... Very sweet, even with the abundance of alcohol. Not too bitter at all. I definitely wouldn't classify this as a DIPA. There's not enough hops to even consider it a single IPA. Maybe a Double Pale Ale. While there are hops, they are secondary to the caramel malts. The hops are mostly citrus in the taste with some slight bittering hops.

M - Medium bodied, thick and sticky. Finish is sweet and sticky with the same caramel taste lingering.

O - Not what I was expecting from a DIPA. This could just be an old bottle, or poorly shipped since I am drinking this in NY and it's from FL. I'll attempt to get a bottle I know is fresh, but for now I have to review it as is. (1,078 characters)

Photo of tchaos
2.08/5  rDev -28%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Grabbed a 4-pk one day at Total Wine by mistake -- thought I had grabbed a 4-pk from Swamp *Head* to send in a locals mix. Still sent off 1 or 2 of these as a gag.

A - deep honey colored, with bubbles...past experience makes me think it's possibly beer.

S - smells like hooch, as in, Turner and...

T - burnt-sugary failure, with a hint of "citrus" air freshener

M - Not entirely unpleasant, with mild carbonation

D - Slash the price, package it a loud-colored can, and re-brand it as _Extreme Ape Sweat_; sell by the palette to freshmen. (542 characters)

Photo of mszuch
1.56/5  rDev -46%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Rec'd this for trade.
I always keep an open mind with new beers and regions.
Unfortunately, this one disappointed.
Smell was not recognizable, with taste being hot and full of sugar and alcohol.
Maybe 20 years ago, this would have been extreme, but now its disappointing.

Ended up pouring out 3/4 of the glass, since there is no way I can go on after first two tastes.

This beer should be labeled barleywine without the barley. (434 characters)

Photo of JayS2629
2.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This poured a clear golden color with a great white head that stuck around and left nice lacing.

The aroma was a little hot with orange marmalade, grapefruit, apples and dark caramel with a touch of honey. Alcohol smell not well hidden.

The flavor is a little hot and clashes with a hop profile that is astringent and tangeled. Its a bad mix of citrus, pine, and medicinal flavors. Very band-aid like.

Mouthfeel is fine, crisp and medium bodied.

I wouldn't buy it again. (474 characters)

Photo of BigHop
4.7/5  rDev +62.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I pretty much drink only IPAs, mostly doubles. My two go-to brews are Dogfish Head 90 Minute and Stoudt's Double IPA. I also like HE'BREW Lenny's Bittersweet, which has some malt balance. All these beers are around the A range on beeradvocate.com.

I don't understand why Swamp Ape gets a C. It's a way groovy drink! Lotsa hops. Some malt, to give it that wonderful bittersweet feel. Maybe some BeerAdvocate people blame Florida for the current state of our nation. Or perhaps the IPA people just like pure hops, to burn their tongue. Whatever. In my opinion, Swamp Ape is a great brew!

BTW, this is my first review. I typically agree with the ratings, so I don't bother to add to them. But this one seems unfair. So it got me to play. (737 characters)

Photo of mixcat
3.7/5  rDev +28%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is more of an amber malty ale mixed with an IPA. Its sweet and not as bitter as it should be for an IPA.
Im also from Florida and enjoyed this beer but give it a B-
I reviewed this beer on Youtube under the user of Mixcatcom you can see the amber / gold color in HD.
I did enjoy it but it was not my favorite IPA.
All the best,
Mixcatcom (354 characters)

Photo of doughanson78
2.93/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to dimenhetfield for this one.

A: Nice copper color. Slight haze. One finger, slightly off white head, that is very creamy and has great retention. Very sticky lacing.

S: Apples. Maybe a light peach. Caramel, toffee and honey. Light vanilla. A lot of alcohol.

T: Alcohol dominates the flavor. Has a tad sweetness up front, more toffee and honey than caramel. A piney bitterness that is smashed out by alcohol. Light apples in the finish that comes together for a super fresh cut grass aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Very hot. A burning in the throat and stomach.

O: Not a great beer. If the alcohol was toned down a bit it has potential. The grassy aftertaste is good, but again, alcohol kills everything this beer could be. (791 characters)

Photo of fsvan
1.54/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a bottle into a New Belgium globe.

A- Dark, yet shining orange. Barely off white head, but not much.

S- Tons of hops. Very sweet. Some alcohol clearly present. The combination of these reminds me of over ripe oranges that have fallen off the tree and began to ferment. I'm from Florida, what can I say. The hops you'd expect are certainly present, just overpowered by the sweetness.

T- Holy shit. I've only known one person who has had this beer, and they told me it was a little sweet. It's a little sweet like Liberace was a little gay, or Sofia Vergara is a little hot. That's to say it's very, very sweet. This is a very hoppy beer, but the sugary sweetness pushes it all back.

M- On the heavy side of medium, but honestly, the sweetness makes it impossible to appreciate.

O- I hate to pile on with the bad reviews, but this beer is a wreck. I hate to drain pour beers, and probably won't the last half of this, but I am considering it. (959 characters)

Photo of wallaceandvomit
3.42/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a- pours a somewhat dark caramel color with a little beige had that doesn't last long and fades to minimal lacing
s- sweet caramel malt with just a hint of alcohol and hoppy pine scent
t- exactly like the smell, this is basically a hoppier version of Earthquake high gravity.
m- like a slightly more astringent malt liquor.
this beer is definitely not worth ten dollars for a 4 pack even with the 10%abv. when i had this on tap before they released the beer i recall it being hoppier. (485 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
2.62/5  rDev -9.3%
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. (465 characters)

Photo of GHC
1.39/5  rDev -51.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

A - Pours a murky orange, copper color with a white one finger head. (By far the best thing about this beer)

S - Vegetable aroma with a slight hint of caramel.

T - Very sweet for a DIPA. The best way to describe the taste is a combination of alcohol, carrots and vomit.

M - Mouthfeel has a certain creaminess. Sweetness is big and has a sticky feeling.

O - I am not a fan. I will not be asking my brother to send this from Florida again nor will I recommend anyone drink this. I ended up drain pouring the remaining 3/4 of the glass. What a disappointment for my first review. (581 characters)

Photo of Kinanik
3.75/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Total Wine & More had a vendor who was giving samples of this. I thought it was interesting and picked up a 4 pack of it.

According to the pamphlet they had at the table, the malt used in this beer is 2-row malt, Europ, and Cherry Wood Smoked Malt; the Hops are: Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, and Tettnang.

Apparently they brew this with Rock Sugar, so that the yeast "releases a bunch of esters." This seems like an odd tactic, but it makes for a unique beer.

The appearance is a deep gold/amber with a decent head. The smell is not too strong, but the bottle I have now is pretty cold, which may be suppressing it.

You can taste the esters, but I think it works pretty well. The sweetness is balanced out at the end by the characteristic Cascade grapefruit.

The mouthfeel is a bit thick for my taste. It IS an imperial IPA, and the mouthfeel is probably the only point where you can tell. The taste and mouthfeel don't mesh too well.

Overall, I'm glad I grabbed this beer. The sweet and bitter balance pretty well, but you expect a bit more bite from an imperial IPA with this thickness. If it had a bit less gravity, it would be a great mild-imperial IPA, like 90 Minute. (1,193 characters)

Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance -- Pours a ruddy basketball orange with a finger of creamy parchment head. There's some lacing, but nothing outstanding.

Smell -- Lots of caramel malt and dried apricot, along with a modicum of pine resin and leafy vegetation.

Taste -- Again, quite malty. There's a honey and apricot flavor that is very singular. Hop bitterness is very mild, a sort of outdoorsy pine flavor and a touch of green bean. Finish is apricot and leafy vegetal bitterness.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full in body with somewhat light carbonation. Feels slightly syrupy.

Overall -- Not a terrible beer, I guess, but really not much of a DIPA. Nothing terribly offensive, save for a little bit of green bean flavor, but really sub-par overall. (725 characters)

Photo of sweatervest27
1.56/5  rDev -46%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Grabbed a 4 pack of this while in Tampa on a hot day full of packing a u haul. I needed a refreshing hit from an ipa and figured this was worth a try. I was wrong.

This poured like any other ipa, a dark gold with egg shell lacing and didn't smell too bad, just a little malty. All signs point toward at least an average experience but the taste was far less than acceptable. I imagined an actual swamp ape locked in a cage somewhere running on a treadmill and some dudes in lab coats siphoning off its sweat only to bottle and sell it to unsuspecting victims at the liquor store, me being one of them.

If you come across this run away like its the plague! It's nothing short of vile and disturbingly yucky. The taste is so bad I can't with good conscience rate this any higher than a 1 overall. (797 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
2.73/5  rDev -5.5%
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. (474 characters)

Photo of wchesak
2.16/5  rDev -25.3%
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 (783 characters)

Photo of BrewCrew2010
2.57/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark orange body with a thin, fast receding, white head.

S: An odd mix of earthy hops, vanilla, caramel malts, and booze. Smells like an American barleywine.

T: There is no way this is an DIPA, otherwise this is a hot mess. Definitely a malt bomb. Syrupy caramel sweetness along with notes of brown sugar. Not getting a lot of hops.

M: Thick and sticky texture; medium body; light carbonation.

O: If this was a different style, I probably would have given it a higher rating. Very sweet and very malty. Not a typical DIPA and I am very curious into the thought process of this one. I don't see myself getting this again. (628 characters)

Swamp Ape IPA from Florida Beer Company
69 out of 100 based on 122 ratings.