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Independence Pass Ale I.P.A. - Aspen Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Independence Pass Ale I.P.A.Independence Pass Ale I.P.A.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

17 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 17
Hads: 97
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 21.65%
Wants: 5
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Aspen Brewing Co. visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Seanibus on 08-24-2008

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (13) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 17 | Hads: 97
Photo of woodychandler
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another of my approved pics acCANpanies this beer and The CANQuest (tm) forges ahead as a result! I am running through my backlog as fast as I CAN and this is a good addition to the madness.

From the CAN: "Drink In the View"; "Brewed & CANned at 7822 Ft"; "Unfiltered - Perishable - Ale"; "This our highly hopped, high altitude rendition of the classic India Pale Ale redefined as 'Independence Pass Ale.' Like the high mountain pass, this copiously hopped brew is not to be trifled with. Our IPA marries generous amounts of Palisade, Columbus, Cascade and Simcoe hops - the floral and citrus flavors are perfectly balanced by our secret malt recipe. Don't pass this one up."; "Brewed and [CAN]ned in Aspen, [CAN]orado - downstream from nobody."

The Crack! revealed another brimful craft CAN and so I was off and running. I CANducted a gentle Glug, creating a finger of fizzy, tawny head with moderate retention. Color was a Golden-Amber (SRM = > 5, < 7) with NE-quality clarity and I welcomed the Gelt Gang - Midas, Croesus and Mammon into my kitchen for a taste. Nose was minty, like Evergreen and very tantalizing. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was very minty, not really bitter at 62 IBUs, but quite satisfying. I am guessing that the secret malt recipe included some caramel malt since I was getting an underlying sweetness to go with the hops. Finish was dry with even a slight alcohol burn in the throat. At 7% ABV, it was pushing the upper limits of the style. Man, I was beginning to sweat while drinking this one!

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Photo of habaceeba
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

The first sixer I bought of this led me to rate it a 3.92. I will refrain from describing it other than saying it didn't have the floating particles. This could be my go to beer, but 4 out of 6 sixers I've had have the particles. It's almost not the same beer.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Amber hued with great clarity. A fingernail of white head rests on top. Light Brussels lacing. Sourdough aroma with a piney hop note. There's much more pronounced piney hop flavor. There is a coppery malt taste that is a minor player. The mouth has a hard water note as there is slight grittiness.
Appearance: 3.75
Aroma: 4
Taste: 4

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Photo of GilGarp
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

12 oz can served cold into a pint glass.

Independence Pass has a golden amber color with a slightly hazy appearance. It has thick head at first but settles quickly to a thin layer with spotty lace.

Aroma is hoppy and fresh with lots of citrus fruit.

Flavor is bold but balanced with more of that great hop character. Malt adds some sweetness up front but there is some good hop bitterness to balance it out.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall an underrated IPA and certainly one worth trying.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.04/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz can from a sixer that cost $8.99. Appearance was terrible, cloudy orange with chunks floating off the bottom. Aroma was sort of grainy with mild hop hints. Flavor was grainy malts and then some fruitiness from the hops. Overall a disappointment and I wonder if it was old?

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Photo of Beaver13
2.33/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz can. Pours hazy golden orange with some floaties. It has a big fluffy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet bready malts with some piney, grassy, slightly metallic hops.

The flavor is sweet bready malts with a little tropical fruit and a fairly sweet sugary finish and a little bitterness in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and a bit watery.

Overall, overly sweet and bready. More English IPA than American. Needs more hops.

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Photo of blindtiger24
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into a pint glass.

A: Hazy copper with a two knuckle head that is sticky on the side's of the glass. Carbonation is active upon first pour but dissipates quickly.

S: Pleasant but not overly complex aromas - piney, sticky caramel.

T: Smells like it tastes. Big hop bitterness that is earthy and mellows out with some resinous sweetness.

M: Clean at the start, but that hop flavor creates a significant drying effect on the mouth that is somewhat tempered by the finishing sweetness.

O: A good but not great IPA. Decent aroma and taste. The mouthfeel sets this one back because of how dried out you feel halfway into the beer.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

new ipa to the Denver market, shared graciously by the wonderful staff at littles wine and spirits on downing, the best little beer shop in town! more of an amber ipa this one, light copper color with plenty of soapy patchy suds on top. big hop aromatics, palisade, Columbus and simcoe listed on the can, and the bitterness comes right through. malty sweet and bitter too, almost English in style for a minute there, before it starts to get bitter. the mouthfeel is almost unflatteringly bitter, especially as it winds down. drying and acidic, too much honestly. its a funny contrast to the sweet malt. not in love with the flavors, but the freshness is great, and the appeal to many will be obvious for me, its a well rounded beer overall, but lots in the crowd for me.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was served from the tap at Sneaky’s Tavern in Aspen, CO. It arrived in a generic pint glass, glowing a bright golden amber coloring. It held a half finger tall head of white foam, but its brevity was due to a full pour on the glass. This showed nice retention regardless, giving troughs and peaks of lacing. Carbonation was moderate, with no haze or sediment noted. The aroma gave your basic pale malts, white flour, mild toastiness, and rice adjuncts to the grain bill, while balancing sweetness came in the form of grapefruity hops, lighter nectary hops, skunky grassiness, faint lactics, and tin. Our first impression was that the flavoring gave nice piney and citric hops, and was very refreshing. The taste opened with grassy and piney hop cleanliness, without a lot of earthy, dirty bitterness. These flavors were actually a bit light, but appropriately so to match against those simple pale malts and light toastiness. The middle peaked with more citric hoppiness that showed a more exciting bite of rind bitterness, mineral, and buttered white toastiness. Washing through the finish were lighter airs of banana sweetness, sweeter pale malts, light metallic bitterness, and mild pear fruitiness and white sugar to balance even further. The final drop gave a rumbling of herbal clove spiciness, independent of any hop bitterness. The aftertaste breathed of pale malt crispiness, pronounced metallic bite, light herbal and citric hops, mineral, and powdered sugar. The body was lighter, but with big, frothy carbonation. The mouth had initial coolness, but this dried into eventual chalky astringency. The sip, slurp, cream, and froth were all nice and full, with nice juiciness on the finishing pop. The abv was fine, and the beer drank easily.

Overall, the things we liked best about this beer were the nice variety of hops through the flavoring, and just how refreshingly crisp it was. The hops helped to keep us juicy and flavoring through the flavoring, while the malts do their part at the end of the sip, helping to cleans and dry the palate. This was a nice and interesting contrast of flavoring that actually manifested through the feel and glug. The nose was comparatively weak in strength, but this was definitely a nice treat at 8,000 feet.

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Photo of rsdaugherty
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can into tulip
A – A good looking orange honey color, cloudy with sediment, appears mildly carbonated 1 finger head settled quickly to a thin crown, no lacing 4
S – I’m enjoying this bold aroma, citrus (more orange than grapefruit IMO) hops dominate with pine and a slight malt sweetness 4.5
T – The large citrus hop profile is smooth followed by mild grassy notes, sublime malts just disappear, nicely built 4.5
M –Velvety with moderate body and light carbonation 4
O – While not what I would consider a session beer, I want & will have another. This brewery is now on my to-visit list, as I don’t believe they have front range (Denver) distribution yet. A quality IPA all-around 4

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Photo of Knapp85
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a very nice deep yellow color with a light haze to it. The beer has a golden hue to it once it settles in the glass. The head retention is a good on this brew and the lacing was as well. The smell of the beer has a really nice hoppy aroma, plenty of citrus and pine notes. The taste of the beer is nicely balanced with a subtle malt sweetness with a really nice hoppy pop in the middle and bitter finish. The mouthfeel is nice, it's almost creamy. Overall this beer is very good and very enjoyable. Glad I was able to try this.

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Photo of minnesotaryan
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice pint poured at the Aspen Brewing Tap Room.

A: Orangey gold, nice white head, excellent lacing.

S: Citrus and piny resinous hops, slight hint of malt, but it is a very hop forward/focused beer.

T: Slight sweet start but the hops kick in pretty much immediately. wonderful citrus and big piny notes. some malt with hints of caramel and toffee, really nice flavors, have not had an IPA quite like this.

M: Somewhere between the thick and medium mouthfeel, very carbonated. Very nice dry finish.

O: A good beer in a ski town dominated by BMC. Lots of hops and unique enough to stand out in a sea of similar products.

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

Pours a half finger of nearly white head over a light rust liquid. Smells classic grapefruity hops (cascade). Some pine and a little bit of baby aspiriin. Not much malt to speak of and esters are very mild (maybe pears).

Tastes very nice. Grapefruit pithy with some lemon. It has a nice grassy hop character to balance and is also supported by just a dash of non-descript malt sweet. The current trend for IPA is, to me, very artificial. Breweries that add isomerized alpha acids to their finished beer get a very clean hop bitter. Garbage. The hop bitter in this beer is a bit messy from use of actual hops and that adds the complexity I'm seeking.

Md light body and medium carbonation. Quite drinkable.

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Photo of merryjoulton
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at the brewery in Aspen. Little to no head upon serving, but lacing was heavy down the glass as I drank. Smell was piny, grapefruity, maybe a tad grassy. Taste was overwhelmingly bitter, not even a hint of malt. Carbonation was high for my taste, which added to the sensation of bitterness. Overall a great IPA.

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Photo of Yetiman420
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at La Cantina - a tasty coastal Mexican joint a couple of blocks from the brewery in Aspen.

Served in a Hoegaarden style tumbler glass. It was St. Patricks day and I had to insist they skip the green food coloring for my beer. I know, Debbie downer.

Hazy peach color with an extremely thin head with a crater-like surface of different bubbles.

Very strong, piny and citrus aroma. A distinct variety of hops is used in liberal quantities late boil in this beer. Perhaps Simcoe or Amarillo.

Thick hoppy flavor. This IPA has the hops covered on flavor and aroma. It's unbalanced to the hop side (less malt profile) which is fine by me for an American IPA.

Very well done and I look forward to drinking more of these while in town on vacation.

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

A: Lightly clouded amber color. Poured a 2 finger fluffy white head with fair retention. Heavy, clinging lacing.

S: Big piney floral hops with a light, lasting cirtussy pinch.

T: Bready malts. Long, lingering floral hop flavor that coats the mouth and tongue.

M: Big beer; fills and coats the mouth. Carbonation is there but won't cut the lingering floral hops.

D: Lingering coating mouthfeel keeps me wanting morer, but 7.5% abv cautions me to savor and enjoy.

I had this at the brewery - I tried 5 beer, and all of them were well done. I had another at the rib joint in Aspen...oh yeah, goes great with bbq.

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Photo of Seanibus
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An amazing offering from such a young brewery. It is a gorgeous beer - bright, radiant amber with a fluffy white head that falls to good lacing. The smell is near perfect - a blast of piny and grassy hops, like a walk in the alpine forests of Aspen. The flavor is huge, vast mouthfuls of piny and herbal hops. The mouthfeel is nicely clingy and viscous, fixing that piny finish to your mouth. This is a star, well worth the trip to the brewery and a worthy competitor in a state already saturated with great brewers.

Update: I am taking a second pass at this beer on a subsequent trip to Colorado (February of 2010) and I still think it is an excellent beer, but I am reconsidering my review slightly (I'm gonna drop it to a mere A, I believe). Either this beer has gotten hoppier or my tastes have shifted in the last 18 months. I find the aroma and taste so overwhelming that it becomes a palate killer. It is a delicious beer, but too intense for an enjoyable session beer, yet such a blast to the tongue that it is hard to shift to a lighter-character beer.

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Independence Pass Ale I.P.A. from Aspen Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 17 ratings.