Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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
Reviews: 85 | Hads: 270
Photo of tempest
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Man Hopworks is awesome. They're about the only organic brewery I've sampled that only happens to use organic ingredients.

Anyways, the beer holds a nice tall white and looks a clear amber. There's a big, floral bouquet of herbal citrus rind and lemon zest with mild toast, perfume and garden aromas. The flavor starts with a fresh-squeezed orange note and then dives into spicy, earthy (like a fresh root) tastes. There's a hint of citrus-flavored hard candy and leafy grassy notes. The finish is big and bitter, but doesn't knock out your palate completely. This brew does a great job of mixing fruit and natural hop flavors. Damn it's good.

 644 characters

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.

 2,178 characters

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.

 810 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a light amber color with good carbonation and a nice white head

S: Plenty of citrus, pine and floral notes here, an Earthy nose too

T: Pine, floral and grapefruit, lighter orange peel, booze is a kicker, Earthy

M: Pretty warm, just right on bitterness for me, balanced

D: After having another brewsky before prior this beer put a hurt on me.

 355 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from 3/2011 notes. Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a rich medium red orange amber. Nice color. Light head and lacing. Intense hop aroma with light fruit and malt. Pleasant medium body with sweet malt, grapefruit, light and dark fruit, a hint of caramel and like the aroma, intense floral hops. The base approaches a barley wine. Nice intense bitter aromatic hop finish. Well made and enjoyable. An absolute must buy each year.

 445 characters

Photo of Derek
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden bronze with a white head, ring of retention, nice lace.

S: Lemon, citrus rind, tangerine and pine, cotton candy fruity esters and a little sponge toffee.

T: Lemon rind, tangerine, sponge toffee, pine, solid bitterness, candied pineapple.

M:Moderate body has a light residual sweetness, some hop acidity and a slightly drying alcohol finish.

D/O: Easy drinker for a DIPA of this strength, nice balance, well-crafted.

 429 characters

Photo of wordemupg
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle poured into tulip april18 2011

A clear deep amber with a couple random bubbles popping up from random places, just a short lived film for a head though and no lace left behind

S big citric hops with some guava, a little toffee and some booze

T lots of rind and a little more booze then I could smell, caramels come out a little more and there's some pine I couldn't smell, pretty nice tasting DIPA

M full bodied for the color and there's more carbonation then what was visible in the glass, slightly sticky on the lips with a big bitter bite and a aftertaste that lingers for a long time

O no real issues with this brew, quite the hop bomb going on here the booze could be better concealed but the heats not unpleasant just noticeable

looks can be deceiving, doesn't look that great but I don't taste with my eyes, pretty expensive here in Alberta at 14$ for a bomber but that being said I'm not upset I bought one

 933 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Taken from notes on 3.11.11

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

I love the hidden skull on the playing card.

A - Pours a slightly reddish-orange with a thick 2-finger creamy head.

S - Smells of piney hops and grass.

T - Pine up front with a nice citrusy finish and after taste.

D - Nice bitterness and ver creamy and smooth.

O - Loved it!

 347 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If this ain't becoming one of my favorite breweries in the world. . .

Big orange pour, looks great, perfect 1.5 finger head gets all clumpy. Aroma was so great, as close to perfect as one can get, amarillo, maybe summit and simcoe as well throughout. Big pine and citrus all over the place, nose, palate etc. . ..

Same with the taste, on par with anything from the all time greats just about. Hid the alcohol extremely well. Was so refreshing every drink, I found myself quite under the influence after this one. Chased it with a Pliny. Would trade Pliny for this since its almost twice as expensive. I really loved this beer, the keg of it was crushed at Hopfest, just as good if not better than the bottle version.

 719 characters

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.

 343 characters

Photo of claspada
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice slightly hazy dark orange/amber colors with a nice inch or so of eggshell head with nice bubbles and lacing on the sides of the glass.
Aromas begin quite dank with heavy doses of resiny pine and grapefruit hops. Some blood orange and lemon rind in the background. There some sweet bready malts also emerge but are very light compared to the copious green hops. Smells a little "hippie-ish" if you catch my drift.
The tastes begin different than I expected. I get a lot of the citrus hops flavors up front with the sweet mandarin orange, blood orange and grapefruit dominate here (as opposed to the pine that dominated the nose). As it warms the pine begins to join the party and actually dominate the lingering bitter flavors along with the grapefruit. All the while there is a really nice bready and slightly caramel malt backbone to help balance out the huge hops here.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. The finish is sticky and resiny but not palate wrecking bitter. It's definitely not your beginner's DIPA for sure and it probably higher is the bitter department, but still finishes pretty crisp and clean but definitely drys out the palate and sticky throughout.
Overall this was the most hop dominant, bitter DIPA I have actually enjoyed. It borders on being a palate wrecker and probably is for you introductory craft beer drinker, but if you are a lover of West Coast Hops, this will be a definite winner for you. I definitely recommend this to any advanced DIPA drinker, if you dislike extreme resiny/sticky beers, look elsewhere. Do I need to have it again, no, but I am very very glad I did try it. Oregon is slowly overtaking California as my favorite West Coast beer state as they continue to churn out winners.

 1,760 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. It's IPA Day, also, FU GABF

appearance: served in my great lakes chalice, bright orange-copper body, nice white film

smell: candied sugar, orange peel, sugared grapefruit, sweet malt

taste: potent - fiercely hopped, candied grapefruit rind, moderate to high bitterness, orange, pine resin, sticky and bitter

mouthfeel: big, heavily hopped, bitter

overall: enjoy this one - been through 2 bombers and a few drafts

 430 characters

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.

 1,532 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to egrace84 for sharing this brew! Thanks Elliot!

poured into duvel tulip.

Appearance: Golden orange bodied beer almost getting to an amber color. 2 fingers of white head that drops down quickly.

Smell: This beer smells of super potent pine and grapefruit hops. Smells really resinous.

Taste: This beer is a hop monster! High end of moderately bitter almost tipping the scales at high bitterness. Brutually big pine, grapefruit rind and more citrisy flavors. You dont get much from the malts in this beer the hops just overtake everything. The bitterness just lingers around for quite a while after taking a sip!

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. This beer is oily and resinous, but has a dry finish to it. ABV is hidden well.

Overall: If you are new to hops stay away. This beer will destroy you... For a true dedicated hophead that likes a big bitter hoppy beer that gets down to business fast... its a good choice. Its a hoppy palate wrecker!

 983 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.07/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a slightly cloudy gold-amber with a finger of sticky, pale yellow head.

Smell. Caramel and toasty grains, sweet grapefruit, honey and some tangerine.

Taste. Pine sap, bitter pink grapefruit rind, orange zest, floral grassy hops. Alcohol there, but not too offensive.

Mouthfeel. Close to a full body with smooth, medium-light carbonation. A little syrupy and a little warm.

Overall. A decent sipping beer. Good hop punch and bitterness.

 457 characters

Photo of gford217
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to hopburster for this 22oz bottle.

Pours deep, clear amber with a creamy egg-shell head that recedes quickly to a soapy cap leaving only bits of lacing on the sides.

Lots of citrus in the nose with grapefruit and pineapple, takes on a sweet juicy character. There is a light malt sweetness in there but it takes a backseat to the juicy hops.

Pithy, bitter grapefruit right up front on the tongue with a hefty alcohol burn that lingers through the finish as well. There is enough malty sweetness to keep things balanced but the bitterness of the oily hops is what I'll remember in the taste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and really stick with hop juice. Soft carbonation and a spicy alcohol coating on the palate.

For those of you who like their DIPAs pithy with grapefruit and don't mind some alcohol presence, this is a really nice beer. Since I put myself in that category, I have to say I enjoyed this one.

 920 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #41 (Jun 2010):

Hop-hazed pale amber, it's not lacking head retention, that's for sure. Ruby red grapefruit and blood orange rind from the hops; alcohol shows some fruit and malt shows caramel, making for an awesome aroma. What you smell is what you taste, but add in a heavy hand of bitterness. Tobacco and leather. A scraping bitterness that's fresh and pungent. Alcohol warms and lends a tropical fruit flavor. Bitter end with some trace maltiness. This beer is brewed to style and pulls no punches. Superb.

 552 characters

Photo of andrenaline
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy copper colour, finger of soapy head with decent retention and no real lacing.

S - Sweet pine and citrus, sweet lemon iced tea and a touch of mustiness.

T - Sweet citrus off the top, with a slightly metallic oily resin on the finish. Caramel undertones linger alongside a solid bitterness. The ABV is incredibly well hidden.

M - Medium bodied ale that goes down smooth and finishes with a touch of dryness.

O - Fantastic DIPA with some great flavours and delicious hop/malt balance. Glad I took a bottle for a spin but at $15 a piece, I doubt I'll take down another.

 586 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When asking Craig at 99 Bottles which of the local IPA/DPA’s I had to pick up he quickly mentioned this as one of the choices. I really am glad he did. Shared this with a buddy last night and really enjoyed it.

Soapy off white head builds aggressively as you pour the beer. Very bright and clear brass/amber color with just a touch of carbonation escaping to the surface. Tons of soapy lacing clings to the glass.

Aroma was fantastic and bursting with juicy resinous hops. There was a freshness that was terrific and a melding of some bright citrus scents with some green grassy notes and a moment of floral pine.

Pretty complex flavor profile. All about the hops, but just below the surface there were some neat malty things happening. I was getting some almond at times, which I still can’t explain to myself. But it was very nice. There was a sense of the elevated abv, but in no way was this “hot?

A sticky, juicy mouth feel. Bright and fresh.

H.U.B. always does a great job and this beer is no exception. Excellent DPA

 1,034 characters

Photo of Florida9
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Darker amber in color with some orange highlights. Forms a rather smallish off-white head that reduces down to a creamy surface coating. Some light lacing. Clear.

S: Predominantly pone with some notes of peach, orange, and mango. Caramel malts and alcohol hang out in the background.

T: Starts off both sweet and bitter. Lots of pine with some pine resin and a little earthiness. Bitterness is strong, but fleeting.

M: On the heavier side of medium with good carbonation. Surprisingly clean in the mouth.

O: A good to very good IIPA, offering a nice balance of aroma, hoppy flavor and bitterness. Not overdone at all. Very nice. Easily drinkable.

 657 characters

Photo of KTCamm
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a perfect pint glass. 1/7

Pours medium amber, cloudy, some foam on top. Lots of lacing. Spiky pine citrus nose that bursts from the glass. Light sweet malt, subdued floral paired with a pine back.. All expertly balanced below the malt. Light and powerful. Excellent.

 302 characters

Photo of Tucquan
4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2014-01-01 in Columbia, PA

A - Mostly opaque dirty orange with a 1/4-finger off-white head and moderate lacing.

S - Fresh red grapefruit, pine, hop cone floral. A nice potpourri of hop aromas. It's not real strong but it is very pleasant.

T - Nice burst of orange citrus flesh and zest up front, light but balancing bread and caramel malt flavor, flavorful leafy-vegetal/tobacco. Finishes at first like an alcohol-infused orange candy drop but this quickly yields to significant but not overpowering bitterness. These flavors really work for me.

M - Thick body and light carbonation. Syrupy (not cloying), resinous, lightly prickly, substantial, coats-the-mouth in a great way.

O - I really enjoyed this holiday-gifted beer. Very satisfying and a great way to say hello to 2014. This is my favorite so far from this brewery.

 843 characters

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.

 1,279 characters

Photo of aquazr1
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy golden color with a white head. Some residual lacing in the glass. Nose is pine and citrus. Tastes is well balanced if slightly sweet from the malts.

 162 characters

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

 566 characters

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