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Ace Of Spades - Hopworks Urban Brewery

Not Rated.
Ace Of SpadesAce Of Spades

Educational use only; do not reuse.

85 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 85
Hads: 270
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 17.03%
Wants: 68
Gots: 24 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hopworks Urban Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Docer on 08-26-2009

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 Ace Of Spades Alström Bros
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Reviews: 85 | Hads: 270
Photo of dgilks
3.11/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear golden colour with a creamy, off-white head. Fair head retention.

Malty sweet aroma with some floral hops. A bit light on the aroma hops.

Smooth malt with a hint too much sweetness. Good bitterness and some citrussy hop flavour.

Medium full body with moderate carbonation. Fair.

An okay beer but as an IIPA it is too thick and malty.

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Photo of beagle75
3.2/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint glass.

A: Slightly hazy, light reddish-amber color with less than one finger of off-white foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass in the form of a narrow upper band, but little else.

S: Rich, clove-spiced fruitcake occasionally suggests cola, vanilla, and orange zest. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins off-dry, with grainy caramel malt and dark orange citrus hops aromatics. Other early flavors include muted baking spices and umami. While never entirely absent, aromatic coniferous foliage takes a few beats to develop, but ultimately comes on strong by the end. Faintly smoky cherry fruit emerges in the sweeter middle but does not stay long. Moderate bitterness is featured in the finish, with crystal malt and grapefruit peel to linger on the palate. No alcohol is detected.

M: Medium viscosity, syrupy and acidic on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: While not in possession of what might be considered a clean sensory profile for the style, specific yeast influences are not evident in this rather schizoid DIPA. Not really a hop-bomb, it seems to try to cultivate sophistication from the breadth of qualities it displays, but doesn't really own any of them.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.37/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. A generous gift from ramnuts. Thanks, Frank! Shared at a tasting.

A: Pours a clear amber with some tall white head. Retention is short, leaving a thin collar in short order.

S: It's slightly solventy, with an overall barleywine aroma. Pine hops, some floral perfume, and a fair amount of grapefruit rind.

T: Following the nose, there's a lot of pine backed by perfumey roses. I pick up grapefruit peel, orange rind, and tangerine. Strong caramel malt in the backbone.

M: Surprisingly solventy. Good flavors, but the balance leaves something to be desired. I pick up a lot of bitterness in the aftertaste.

D: Granted, I had this toward the tail end of a tasting, but it felt so heavy and boozy that I coudln't bring myself to finish my glass. Definitely rough on the palate. As far as West Coast DIPAs go, it's pretty skippable.

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Photo of coastiefish
3.42/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

"100+ IBUs"

If it weren't for a 20% discount I receive at the store that carries this brew, im not so sure I would've bought it. After chatting up the beer guru at our store, he comforted me its worth [at the discount price].
Im a pretty big IPA fanatic. Ill drink all across the board, and take them for what they are. I have been taken back by this beers claim to be 100+ IBU (what does that even mean?) because this brew to me didn't even reach 70. 100+ IBU can mean /something/ there is a certain point when IBU's are that high...
This is *not* one of those beers.
I love HUB.
I love explosive over the top IPAs.
I think "100+ IBUs" in this case needs to be rethunk.
I drunk, & methinks while this beer is tasty, I will not agree that number should have been slapped on the bottle. Im disappointed in that; not the beer itself.
Worth a try, but not at retail price.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.52/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3


Thanks! I've been looking forward to this one since it won gold at GABF in 2009. On the bottle I see "ORGANIC BEER" and "SUSTAINABLE" in bold typeface, yet sadly...no bottle date. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't care what you brew it with or how sustainable your process is if you don't respect the beer enough to bottle date it. ESPECIALLY an Imperial IPA. But, enough about my views on the importance of IPA freshness. Printing "ORGANIC" on the label is ostensibly more important than meaningless information like how long the beer has been sitting on the shelf. I feel so much better about myself after having read those words that temporal triviality is no longer a concern.

Poured from a bomber, the beer is dark orange with a frothy beige head, good retention, and minimal lacing. The beer displays good clarity.

In the nose I find perfumy pine, grapefruit rind, and orange pith. There is a pretty decent malt foundation that provides sweetness, reminds me of caramel, and lends a candied quality to the citrus. Alcohol is evident but it's neither detracting nor distracting in the aroma. The beer smells awesome.

The taste exhibits vibrant hop flavors in the form of bitter grapefruit, orange pith, and pine resin. This is not a dry Imperial IPA, and the sweet malt is caramel in character. This has the makings of a good Imperial IPA flavor, if not for the ridiculous alcohol presence. The booze is overpowering, and that's not something that can be remedied with age because of the style. What you taste is what you get, and this is an alcohol bomb. This is the rare case where the beer drinks like one 2-3% higher in ABV. The underlying flavors are quite good, but the alcohol profile is brutal. The finish is a bestial onslaught of bitterness and alcohol burn. Ouch. The beer displays a moderate level of carbonation and a sticky mouthfeel.

I have difficulty believing this particular batch would have won gold at GABF. The hop aroma and taste are great, but the alcohol in the flavor is monolithic and distracting. I'm working my way through the first small tulip and I can already tell that this will be a bit of a chore to finish.

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Photo of seeswo
3.58/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish-golden light brown. Nose is tropical hops, malt sweetness and a bit of booziness. Another malt forward DIPA, this one uses the malt sweetness to balance against the juicy, grapefruit hops. Not as much of a tropical hop bomb as some beers, but the balance works pretty well. Again, my preference is for the malt to be in balance or trailing the hop flavor in a DIPA. This is a solid contributor to the spacious 2nd tier of good, but not elite DIPAs. This one just narrowly misses a really nice balance - demanding a bit more hop flavor to really excel. The mouthfeel is nice - a good head, good carbonation and some hop stickiness hangs out on the tongue, but isn't excessive. Overall, I could really see this beer potentially being fantastic when super fresh, but that is not what is in front of me. I can only assume that this is fresh enough, but with some additional hop flavor, it could really excel.

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Photo of zoolzoo
3.65/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ever generous oregonskibum for this one.

A: Clear burnt golden, bubbly, white frothy head

S: Pungent bitter hop aroma, piney and spicy. Pretty apparent whiff of booze as well. Big aroma, smells nice.

T: A sweet and resiny DIPA, same bitter hops from the nose backed up with bready caramel malt and a dash of tropical fruit. Gotta knock the T and D a bit because of the fusel alcohol presence in the back of my throat. This finishes really "sharp" with a killer lingering bitterness coupled with booze evaporating off of my tongue. Mouthfeel is coating, but finishes super dry.

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Photo of srhoadsy
3.72/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served chilled into a fluted tulip.

Pours a rich copper/amber color with a quarter inch of light beige head that quickly recedes leaving light surface layer and lacing.

Aromas of caramelized sugars and citrus.

Flavors of the aforementioned caramelized sugars along with candied orange peel. Hints of pine and floral notes, as well. A full range of hop flavors.

Moderate to heavy mouth feel with light carbonation and sweet finish. Lingering bitter aftertaste.

Overall a nice representation of the style, with a complex hop profile and sweet body.

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Photo of harrymel
3.8/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Vintage 2011, unknown bottle date:

A: Hazy toasted apricot ale is topped with less than single finger of white foam. This falls in moments to a sheet of the same. No lacing.

S: Lots of sharp citrus notes here. The amarillo's in this are a bit overdone IMO. Lots of grapefruit, some peaches, cat piss and onion. Can't say I'm impressed, but don't feel disappointed really. Just kinda, meh.

T: Super sweet. Super bitter. It's hard to address, but it is certainly both really bitter and really sweet simultaneously. The bitterness is resiny, citric peels, spicy (think raw peppercorn). The sweetness is peaches, malts, caramels, pralines. This is quite a complex IIPA.

M: Medium on heavy for the style with moderate carbonation. Dry finish. Not quite what I look for in the style, but certainly fitting for the beer's personality.

O: I'm really torn on this beer. The appearance is far from impressive. The smell is not particularly good, almost dislike. The mouthfeel is forgettable. The taste, the taste is really nice. I would like to see more reviews on this beer to see if there is something I'm missing about this, if I got a chill haze beer, or what. It's good, not great and far from exceptional. Adjust the aromatic hop additions and we'll see how this beer improves.

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Photo of djbreezy
3.82/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had this both on tap at the brewery and out of a bottle. This review is observed from a 22oz bottle poured into a belgian-style stemmed glass. Even had a foil cap on it from the release...nice.

appearance - pours with a nice head, leaves some lacing on the glass, transparent orange/amber

smell - piney and resinous hops on the nose, very earthy smell

taste - incredibly piney hops, some caramel malts back this thing up, but as you continue to drink it the hops dominate, finishes with an alcohol and bitter taste

mouthfeel - medium, silky, light carbonation

drinkability - while the hops dominate this beer and make it very delightful, the alcohol is really strong and i get wasted just thinking about the beer

I have to warn...in the two times I've drank this beer it has given me a horrible hangover. I'm rarely destroyed by beers like this so don't be surprised if you experience a similar situation.

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Photo of cbros
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type- 22 ounce bomber poured into a snifter.

A- This beer pours a dark orange color with little carbonaton activity present or head. There is a small less one finger white head and no lacing to speak of. Overall not a great looking beer but standard for IPA's and DIPA's.

S- To me this is a weak smelling beer. For a DIPA I am expecting massive hops, piney, and bitterness however I am not picking up on any of these. I am getting rather mellow notes coming of the top of this beer. Smell is not this beers strong suit.

T- The muted nature found in the smell carries over, to a lesser degree, in the taste. I am picking up muted flavors and a small bitter aftertaste. Nothing overwhelming or outstanding in the taste of this beer. Don't get me wring I think the taste of this beer is fine however when I compare this beer to other DIPA's I have had in the past this beer seems to be a weaker version. Overal an average tasting beer that leaves a lot to long for.

I recieved this from madhombrewer and unfortunateley this beer does not live up to other Hopworks offerings. This is a decent tasting beer and maybe Hopworks is a victim of its own success. I will certainly try an other beers from Hopworks I can get my hands on but I don't think this will be one.

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Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the brewpub today.

The beer pours an amber orange color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose I get a considerable amount of green tobacco, pepper and citrus, coupled with some noticeable malt and alcohol. This smells as if it will be a good size DIPA, which of course it is. Flavors replicate the nose in this DIPA, with the beer showing a bit more sweet malt then I expected. The beer also has considerable bitterness in the finish, but the sweetness and noticeable alcohol detract just a bit from the beer's drinkability.

While this is an impressive DIPA, I have to confess that I preferred the regular IPA offering. There's just a bit too much alcohol and sweet malt in this beer, which I think is a distraction. Still, this is a pretty impressive DIPA from this excellent brewery.

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Photo of squaremile
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had the first batch in growler, this is the latest on tap. The closest thing I can compare this to is Fish 10 Squared. This has a nice hop profile but has a ton of the sugary malt and booze. Clear dark orange color. This is almost barelywine-esque on tap, the first batch felt lighter. It has a depth to it with the pine balanced by the trademark Hopworks sugar cookie backbone, significant alcohol in the nose and on the tongue. Touch of biscuit and bread long into the aftertaste. Very good, not great.

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Photo of mjl21
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade...thanks Mike. 22 ounce bottle poured into a SA perfect pint glass. Comes in at 9.5% and 100+ IBUs. No bottling info is given.

A-Pours a crystal clear amber color and it has a one finger off white head that dissolves quickly into a bubbly ring. Bubbles can be seen rising from the bottom. Not much lace is left in between sips.

S-Off the bat the aroma reminds me of some of the better Midwest DIPAs that I have smapled. There is plenty of tropical fruit flavors such as pineapple and mango. Grapefruit is also prevalent. It has a sweetness to it that gives the beer a candied fruit aroma. It also has an earthy/dusty element to it. As it warms it gets more and more resiny.

T-Lot of hop flavor in this one. It is quite resiny. Midway through each sip it hits the tongue with bitterness and booze. The tropical fruit flavors are more noticeable in between sips. It has a big malt backbone and caramel sweetness lingers.

M-Thicker bodied with a creamy mouthfeel.

D-This seems stronger than 9.5%. I had this beer after a big dinner and I started to feel it after the first 10 ounces. This is one to sip on.

This is a really big DIPA. I would like to see some of the booze toned down. The hop profile is really nice. Hoping to try this on tap.

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Photo of jdense
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle from John's Marketplace PDX poured into Piraat snifter 5.24.2010.

3/4 finger white head, medium dissipation with minimal lacing. Orangish amber body with some visible carbonation. Nose is fruity sweet. Taste is of stonefruit, peaches mangoes, malt is subsumed by the hop bill. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, with some noticeable effervescence. Need to be careful re drinkability at this ABV. Actually I prefer the tap version, which is quite a bit more brighter and less fruity.

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Photo of mactrail
3.94/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Slightly hazed golden amber color, with plenty of foam in the Stella Artois goblet. Really interesting aroma of passion fruit mixed with the smell of a grapefruit being peeled. Hot and oily mouthfeel. I can feel it on my lips.

Grapefruit aromatics (it's hard to improve on the Bros. concise review of this). Quite dry finish and hot with alcohol; it reminds me of a very dry sherry on the tongue. This is different from the southern California tropical fruit bomb DIPAs. But it's just as sippable. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Chuck's 85th St. Market in Seattle for $7.59.

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Photo of billab914
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip glass. It poured a hazy, darker amber color with a thin off-white head clinging to the edges of the glass.

The aroma has a very pleasant, juicy, fruity hoppiness to it. I get a good dose of grapefruit with a little bit of a pineapple and peach fruitiness to it. A sweeter, malty base compliments the hoppiness nicely.

The taste shows a lot of bitter grapefruit and citrus rind flavors to it. I get a little bit of a fruity, pineapple and mango like flavor to it as well. The malty base again provides some nice complimenting sweetness to it.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side for the style with carbonation being a little below average. Overall I thought it was a pretty nice beer. It had some nice hoppiness to it that I really enjoyed.

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Photo of vkv822
3.99/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into snifter.

The appearance is a clear amber with slight copper hues and a nice foamy off-white head.
The aroma is a delicious mix of fruity citrus, resiny pine and floral hops. The flavor is similar to the nose, though a nice bit of malt sneaks into the beginning, but is soon taken over by strong hop notes. There is a decent amount of alcohol presence, but does not become over-powering. The mouthfeel is oily and medium bodied with a very nice amount of carbonation. This is a very drinkable DIPA, though it does seem a bit stronger than 9% alcohol.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours moderately hazy deep orange copper color with a 1 finger dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of mango, pineapple, peach, tangerine, grapefruit, orange peel, floral, grass, light pine, caramel, candi sugar, and floral earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity of hop notes with a balanced malt profile; and good strength. Taste of mango, pineapple, orange peel, tangerine, grapefruit, peach, floral, light pine, caramel, candi sugar, and floral earthiness. Light pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, tropical fruit, floral, light pine, caramel, candi sugar, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity of hop flavors; with a well balanced malt backbone and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a slick and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice DIPA style. All around good balance and complexity of hop and malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle generously shared by El Douchous, or as we call him around here, Duane.

Pours a slightly cloudy medium orange with slight retention and some stick.

Smells of caramelized apples

Tastes much the same with a lingering bitter rind finish along with smack of blood orange. Malts serve as a healthy support system by propping up the firm fruits.

Carbonation on the low end with a medium bodies feel makes this drink a bit syrupy

Overall, a pretty good double

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Photo of brewandbbq
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Pours clear gold with a one inch head of beige. A few streaks and dots of lacing with a partial skimcoat throughout the glass.

Aromatics are fairly pungent but not abundantly floral or hop-laden. Heavy on the pine with traces of grapefruit coming after, with ripe malt and crisp gypsum following through.

Medium bodied with a crisp but tacky mouthfeel.

Plenty of zingy, bracing alphas start the palate, with plump malt in support. Loads of resinous pine with grapefruit oil under, and a mild sting from the bitterness.
A slightly drying mineralness keeps the sweet malt in check, as does the stiff bitterness and bright alcohol.

Finishes with a lingering, chaulky bitterness, a sting of high alpha hops, and a warmth in the throat.

Tasty beer. I prefer a much more pungent, tropical, floral nose, and more hop complexity on the palate. A pretty straightforward IIPA.

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Photo of snaotheus
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a large snifter shaped glass

Pours brownish amber, pretty clear, very little head, but looks like a lot of small, slow, fine carbonation going on in there. Smell is honeysuckle sweet with a lot of piney hops, some orange blossom floral. Smells good, but a little muted (maybe not the beer's fault -- I'm a little congested).

Taste is very bitter, lots of grapefruit rind flavor, overpowers most everything else. There's some of the floral and honeysuckle sweetness in there somewhere. Opens up a little as you get into and it warms up a bit.

Mouthfeel is quite dry. Overall, a good beer.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared this with my BA in crime andrenaline
A - slightly hazy copper orange, thumb of head with decent retention, not much lacing to speak of
S - piney and bright citrus, light herbal note and mild woodiness
T - nice citrus hop start, then a herbal and resiny charater, sweet caramel malt backbone throughout, and lightly musty
M - Medium bodied, smooth start that finishes with a pleasant dry bitter, with sweetness lingering
O - a very solid double IPA, classic flavour and very easy drinking with well hidden alcohol, worth a try but probably not a regular for me

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Photo of ccrida
4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into my large St. Feuillien goblet, Ace of Spades is a bright bronze, with a small, tight off-white head leaving scattered, foaming lace. I either like very pale DIPAs, or red ones, like this, opposed to that thick, murky orange middle ground (in case you were interested).

Smell is bright citrus hops, fairly aggressive but not quite hitting me over the head with a hammer like a expected. Still, quite nice. Picked this out of the cooler from my local whole foods. The resinous stays strong through the bomber letting you know this is no joke.

Taste is similar to their regular IPA, but cranked up a notch. Bit maltiness, nice bright hops, but really not as exciting as I'd hopped. The alcohol is strong but clean, I guess I really just expected a more gratuitous hop display, but then again, this batch has been out for a month plus IIRC. Still, as I work through it, my respect grows. Probably just a bit jaded from the 10 Barrel IPA I had, expecting this would someone be double that!

Mouthfeel is oily, bone dry (ABV), tongue-coating resins, medium bodied.

Drinkability is okay, a tasty hop bomb, but strong enough for you to check yourself and take your time. Their regular IPA is my favorite available locally, on fresh draught. I'd like to try this one that way as well to get the complete experience, but for now, color me a bit disappointed. Maybe it's just the biggest IPAs in town have reached such hop saturation, that doubling the malt to crank up the alcohol can only take away from the purity.

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Photo of kevinmkirk
4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nearly clear, orange-amber liquid from the magnum into my favorite tasting glass with a strong two fingers foamy head, not much in the way of retention, but decent lacing as the glass empties. The nose is big, pine hops, citrus rind, herbal flowers, and caramel malt notes. Flavors include, but are not limited to oily pine hops, grapefruit rind, caramel malts, and a pretty boozy finish. Mouthfeel is slick, with appropriate carbonation. A very tasty sipper that'll whoop yer ass if you're not careful. I like it, though the boozy finish is a wee much for my taste.

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Ace Of Spades from Hopworks Urban Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 85 ratings.