1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Ace Of Spades - Hopworks Urban Brewery

Not Rated.
Ace Of SpadesAce Of Spades

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

241 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 241
Reviews: 81
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.52%
Wants: 64
Gots: 16 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Docer on 08-26-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Ace Of Spades Alström Bros
Ratings: 241 | Reviews: 81 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, black and white poker imagery. I feel like I've been in a casino indeed, after having shelled out close to 15 bones for this bottle alone. Sing it, Lemmy!

This beer pours a clear, medium golden amber hue, with one finger of densely foamy, rocky, and bubbly ecru head, which settles at a slow, even pace, rendering a jagged island profile of lace around the glass in its briefly mourned wake.

It smells of zippy grapefruit and orange peel, juicy tropical fruit, pine resin, and muted sweet caramel malt. The taste is more sweet caramel/toffee malt, bitter domestic and exotic fruity citrus (ok, grapefruit, orange, lime, kiwi, pineapple, and gooseberry - is that enough?), mild chalky notes, a musty, somewhat dirty hippie earthiness, and some edgy, bristling warming alcohol.

The carbonation is on the low side, just a plain and able frothiness prevailing, the body medium-heavy in weight, smooth and a tad sugary. It finishes still malty sweet, joined by a sturdy complement of leafy citrus bitterness, and rising alcohol heat.

A decent and well-rendered west-coast DIPA, lots of the usual you know what, and whatzit, and all, with a certain, well, green-ish character. The organics, maybe? Sure, but how would this particular northern carnivore really know? Certainly worth it for the flavour, but not the dear shelf sticker, I'm afraid.

Photo of stakem
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber into a pint glass, thanks to psiweaver for the opportunity to try this generous extra via a recent trade. No freshness dating to be found and it appears to be filtered/no sediment in the bottle.

This brew appears a clear copper orange color with a finger of yellowish head. Lots of bubbles rise to the surface in support of the head which lasts with fairly decent retention. As the cap fades, it leaves a ring of lacing that droops forming a leggy pattern about the glass.

The aroma of this brew is quite fruity with hops. A little bit of a floral component mixed with some fusel alcohol and some citrus rind and herbal notes. Some caramel malt sweetness continues to accent and build up the fruity sweetness of this brew's scent as it warms. A light amount of grassy notes are evident across the back mixed with orange zest.

The taste is modestly bitter with some herbal hoppiness. A sharp spicy hop bite is present which mixes with the fusel alcohol before becoming mildly sweet across the back from a bit of residual sugars from what seems to be caramel malt. The aftertaste is grassy with hops, somewhat herbal and catty. At times it gets a little clingy with oils but it brings out some fruity rind flavors like orange and grapefruit. The alcohol is fusel in flavor across the back which exaggerates the bitterness of the hops.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Fairly decent representation of the style and well balanced across the board. A noticeable amount of maltiness provides some hints of sweetness that get crushed by the hoppy oils and bitterness. The 9% alcohol is felt throughout and not that hidden but it is enjoyable.

Photo of seeswo
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

Photo of gford217
4.33/5  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.

Photo of loren01
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear reddish/orange color, nice head with great lacing
S: Malty, dark fruit, citrus scents
T: Dark fruitiness up front with citrusy hops, lots of booziness at the end.
M: Medium bodied beer, good amount of carbonation
D: This is an interesting beer, not what I expected. Seems like this is more of an American style barleywine. This would make a great winter sipping beer.

Photo of oberon
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drinkin this beer in celebration of JV's no hitter!Poured into an imperial pint glass a lighter shade of bronze with a thinner white head atop,big hop oils in the nose,very green citrcic qualities,piney and pithy it exudes hops.Its not a hop onslaught but more of a melding of hop flavors,citric and pithy mixed with some booze and overripe tropical fruit.Although the booze is noticable its still quaffable and not to sweet,a top notch beer of the style.

Photo of benpopper
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Stolzle Beer Glass a great bright amber with an inch of off white head that fades fast leaving behind only the faintest signs of lacing.

Smelled fantastic and Strong! There are a lot of differnt fruity smells in there but the one I got most of seemed to be grapefruit esk. made me want to swim in it.

Taste is very similar, but very surprised and happy to to get a whole lot of alcohol. Sweet malt taste surrounded by fruity hops.

Feels pretty good in your mouth. Drinks easily with a little heat on the tail end. Bitter finishing, but not so much you don't want to go right back in.

This drinks great. Much closer to a very hoppy IPA than the double I'd say. Wanted more of it, but there were different bottles to be drank!

Photo of hopluva1
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle bought from the brewery, served in a snifter.
Deep hazy orange in the glass with a 1/2 finger off white head that fades quickly. Man, this is a hop bomb! The aroma is huge citrus hops, grapefruit, maybe a little peach. This beer really showcases traditional west coast hops well. It has good clean hop bitterness with just enough malt sweetness to make this really drinkable. It is easy to keep adding hops to a beer and call it a IIPA. This was constructed with a finished product in mind, well done.

I am going to let one bottle sit for a couple of months to sweeten up a little more.

Photo of BarrytheBear
4/5  rDev -4.8%
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

Photo of wordemupg
4.22/5  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

Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to an HotD tulip on 4/13/11.

Pours a beautiful golden amber with two fingers of frothy off white head that dissipates quickly leaving almost no lacing. Not very much head retention in this beer but it looks very nice post pour before the head disappears.

Smells of carmel malts and then the hops hit you. Tons of hop notes to pick out for my underdeveloped nose... Citrus grapefruit and others. This really made my mouth water.

Taste is a lot of the same. I get the sweet malt taste that comes through very well but then a nice mix of fruity hops. Still has some booze flavor but very delicious.

Mouth feel is a medium weight. It goes through the palette smooth with some alcohol burn on the backside. Some resin that leaves a little of hops bite left over.

Drinkability on this one is high. Takes a little hit because of the alcohol burn but the juicy hops and malt balance is great. Well balanced and hey! Its organic and certified carbon neutral according to the bottle which I can dig. Good beer I will definitely be asking for this one from my Portland trading partners.

Photo of ottovon
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: a clean copper color with an off white head.

S: citrus hops at first. then you get some nice melon flavors, some peach, orange peel, and some nice piney aromas. just a really nice and clean hop aroma.

T: just like the aroma. citrus, peach, piney, and some caramel. it is dry and bitter.

M: has a good medium-thin mouthfeel with good carb for the style.

O: this is a solid offering, that I wish i could get more.

Photo of OakedCanuck
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into cervoise.

A - Pours a clear, deep amber. Very little head formation, almost none. Minor lacing remained. I would have liked to see a nice rocky head, but no big deal.

S - The whole gamut of hoppy bitterness smell here. Mostly tropical fruit, grapefruit, tangerine, papaya, lemon. Pine and juniper as well.

T - Hop bomb here. Lots of flavour exactly like the nose. All kinds of juicy citric hops. Grapefruit, orange and some grassy graininess to it. I picked up very minor, almost non-existant, malts.

M - Slight heat at back of mouth due to high ABV, sticky, very drying.

O - This is an awesome IIPA, a true hop lovers beer. It would have been nice to have a touch more maltiness, but really not a big deal as this beer is all about the hops. Delicious.

Photo of grittybrews
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a rich sunset amber into a tulip with a finger of quick-receding off-white head. Juicy aroma of grapefruit, orange, and pine with just the slightest hint of boozy warmth.

Moderate carbonation and a thick, syrupy, resinous mouthfeel. Lots of grapefruit and orange citrus up front followed by just the right amount of sweet caramel malt that lingers for quite a while before the pine bitterness shows up towards the finish.

A little sweet but with plenty of hops to balance and just enough alcohol warmth to keep things interesting. Really a treat.

Photo of kitty66
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tastes like a souped-up hopworks ipa. Great hop tang, very piney and oily. Kind of a straight-shooter, would be more interesting with bigger malt body.

Overall a good choice for the cooler days of spring in the rainy northwest, sweet but not syrupy, a kiss of caramel to soften the booze.

Nice artwork on the bottles, might become popular with rock bands.

Rock on ace !

Photo of Kakaraht
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crisp amber with a finger of light tan head than has good retention.

S: Wow, super malty with raisins and caramel, The hops have a very floral and bitter like aroma.

T: Almost like a barleywine, the delicious malt body has sweet brown sugar and caramel flavor, and the bitter citrus like flavor of the hops balances it out perfectly. The alcohol and a nice warm burn to the beer as it warms.

M: Heavy body, medium carbonation and a warm round character.

D: A little expensive at $25 dollars a bottle, but ohh so tasty.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of BDTyre
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Vibrant cloudy coppery-orange with a dense white head. Sweet, citrus fruit smell with some sugary malts. Very pleasant and aromatic, almost floral. Grapefruit, orange, brown sugar and raisins in the taste. A really good blend of sweet and acidic, almost like a fruit cocktail. Very smooth with no hint of alcohol even though it is 9.5%. Drinkability is limited only by ABV and bottle size.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pristine persimmon with a lovely roseate glow from the rising sun behind the pint glass. An eye pleasing crown of toasted almond colored foam sits atop the beer and looks like it will hang around for quite some time. A thick collar of finely stippled lace is starting to stick as well.

The nose is a hophead's dream come true. The brewers did an outstanding job choosing the little green cones: Amarillo, Cascade and Centennial. Only the addition of Simcoe could have improved things. Thankfully, it doesn't smell like malt will add much on the flavor front.

Ace of Spades India Pale Ale is damn good beer, but it isn't as good as Hopworks's IPA, which is called, oddly enough, Hopworks IPA. This beer isn't hop flavor forward enough and the alcohol isn't completely buried. Both of those are why I prefer American IPAs to DIPAs in all but a few special cases.

The malts aren't 100% pale, but have a toasted-caramel malty contribution that doesn't impinge on the hops too much. There's an impressive amount of juicy orange (Amarillo) and almost as much white grapefruit (Centennial). This big brew still tastes impressively green and the hop resins are building in cumulative fashion on the tongue. No reason to doubt the 100+ IBUs at the time of release.

The mouthfeel is big beer beautiful. It was impressive right out of the gate and is firming up and smoothing out as mid-bomber approaches. Slightly sparkly bubbles add just the right amount of energy without crossing the line.

The name Ace of Spades seems more suited to a roasted malty Imperial stout than an American DIPA. Nevertheless, this is enjoyable beer that, in a perfect world, would be available down at the corner store. Deal me in.

Photo of zeff80
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with red highlights. It had a one-finger, khaki colored head with good retention. It left thin rings of lace.

S - Great aroma. Grapefruit and bubblegum dominate this one with a mix of tropical fruits and caramel.

T - It taste of bubblegum, grapefruit and sweet caramel. Good bitterness from the hops balance out the sweet fruits and caramel.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale that hides its high ABV quite well.

D - Simply put - fabulous aroma and a really good tasting DIPA.

Photo of chumba526
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale appears light orange with a two inch off colored white head that dissipates quickly.

It smells like a big bag of dank bud. There is a potent tropical fruit/ pineapple smell. It smells dank and slightly skunky but not in a bad way. There is a subdued caramel sweetness. I could sit here and smell this beer all day and night.

It tastes very fruity: there are hints of orange, pineapple, and other tropical fruit. There is a pleasant mild sweetness that comes with the fruity flavor. There is also a bud like dankness to the beer as well. All of these unique flavors lead to a palate wrecking bitterness. The bitterness however is not one dimensional. Traces of the citrus fruity flavor linger with the bitterness quite well. I am really digging this IIPA. The bitter citrusy dank flavor lingers for awhile on the palate. It is quite complex ale.

The carbonation is moderate low. It has a really nice mouthfeel that adds smoothness to the beer.

Though the alcohol is quite high this is very drinkable though it is very much so a sipper. It is one of the most complex IIPAs I have had for a while.

Though I have like most of the stuff I have had from HUB this beer gave me a new respect for HUB.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of goatgoat
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Sam Adams pint.

Pours a hazy burnished copper and gold. Moderate tan head with no lace. Big hop aroma, a slap of citrus, grapefruit and some pine. Taste starts strong, the bitter comes in quick, big and clean. Feel is resiny, chewy. Tasty.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of ElGordo
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a Gordon tulip glass. Body is a a pretty orange-amber color, topped by just a thin ring of creamy head that doesn't leave much lacing. Huge aroma of hops, hops, and more hops. Grapefruit and weed are the primary notes, balanced by a bit of sweet caramel malt.
Palate is sweet up front, the caramel malt blending with a slightly vinous hop character. The citrusy character comes through towards the back of the tongue, bringing out grapefruit and weed. A decent amount of heat makes its way through on the finish and builds long after the swallow.
Body is thick and full, alternately sticky and creamy. For something this super-hoppy and strong, it goes down pretty easily. One of my favorite brews each year, the Ace is difficult to trump.

Ace Of Spades from Hopworks Urban Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 241 ratings.