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Ram's Head India Pale Ale - Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery

Not Rated.
Ram's Head India Pale AleRam's Head India Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

57 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 57
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 10.92%
Wants: 2
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: oberon on 06-10-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 57 | Reviews: 44 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by kasper:
Photo of kasper

New York

4.15/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can accidently aged about a year in my fridges and the result appears to be quite positive.

A: Pours the shade and opacity of an amber stone with an huge, soapy orange cream colored head that leaves nice globs of sticky lacing as it seeps slowly.

S: Aromas of pungent orange rind, carmel malts, and hints of cocoa/chocolate in the background. Odd.

T: Much like the smell, orange rind from beginning to end but balanced by a smooth malt background with flavors of cocoa and carmel. Bitterness is mild for an IPA and only slightly noticable on the finish.

M: Medium bodied, low carbonation, but fairly smooth and coating without being sticky, syrupy or overbearing.

D: I'm presently surprised by this brew. It's really not that bad and rather tasty. Never really had anything with so much orange flavor mixed with chocolaty malts. Would drink again.

Serving type: can

03-11-2009 01:59:54 | More by kasper
More User Reviews:
Photo of Griffith


3.5/5  rDev -2%

02-26-2014 15:22:25 | More by Griffith
Photo of Treyliff

West Virginia

3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Top of the Hill

A- pours clear and golden with a nice creamy white head with good retention, thick lacing the entire way down the glass

S- piney hops, sugary malt, mineral water

T- piney hop up front mixes with a sweet sugary malt that balances it out, dry finish with a hop linger

M- medium body and carbonation, prickly mouthfeel, smooth finish

O- It's sweet for an IPA, but has some nice piney hop notes, high drinkability

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2014 22:45:24 | More by Treyliff
Photo of 2dogbrew


3.25/5  rDev -9%

02-05-2014 02:47:44 | More by 2dogbrew
Photo of Mantooth

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -16%

12-21-2013 20:11:44 | More by Mantooth
Photo of richardjay

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev +19%

06-09-2013 19:45:17 | More by richardjay
Photo of JohnK17


3.25/5  rDev -9%

06-05-2013 17:21:21 | More by JohnK17
Photo of BigGingDrinker

North Carolina

2.75/5  rDev -23%

05-01-2013 16:12:34 | More by BigGingDrinker
Photo of napetry

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -2%

04-06-2013 00:11:50 | More by napetry
Photo of nmann08

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev -2%

02-17-2013 01:49:30 | More by nmann08
Photo of EricdPete

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -2%

01-13-2013 03:34:57 | More by EricdPete
Photo of danoeltico

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -16%

07-13-2012 23:34:53 | More by danoeltico
Photo of PEIhop


4/5  rDev +12%

07-10-2012 18:04:51 | More by PEIhop
Photo of VncentLIFE

North Carolina

3.23/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hm Gold Medal winner here. On tap at the brewery.

Pour is deep goldenrod. No head, but I drank it last out of all of them. Smell is loaded with bitterness. I get loads of alpha acids upfront. Not really pleased, I want more dry-hopped flavors. Its all slick alpha acids and hop oil extracts. All bitterness with no backbone. For 65 IBUs, its insanely bitter, and leaves your mouth wrecked. NO balance at all, not terrible, but not that great.

Serving type: on-tap

05-11-2012 00:52:32 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of BigTrubble

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -2%

01-28-2012 18:48:29 | More by BigTrubble
Photo of jak

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -2%

12-27-2011 18:26:46 | More by jak
Photo of nickd717


3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Top of the Hill.

Pours a mostly clear amber color with a very small off-white head.

Citrusy and floral hop aroma with some sweet malty notes.

Flavor also has caramel malt on the base, rather standard hop profile that is mostly fruity/citrusy.

Body is medium, maybe somewhat syrupy, and carbonation is average.

To borrow from "Beerfest," if you can drink Ram's Head, f**k you can drink anything. Just kidding - this beer is fine. Go Duke and GTHC!

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2011 23:15:22 | More by nickd717
Photo of BeerAdvocate


3.05/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine May 2007.

Another canned craft beer (and an unfiltered canned beer at that!). This one is part of Top of the Hill's "Carolina Collector's Edition." It's great to see a brewpub still getting their beers out there in a unique way.

A foamy little can it is, with 12 ounces of liquid foaming enough to fill a 20-ounce glass all the way to the top. The foam shows good retention as the head stays with us for a long while. Mildly hazed amber becomes a bit clearer as it warms up. Freshly cut grass and blonde tobacco from the hop aroma; light biscuity notes from the malt. Timid medium body lets a quick rush of crispness through, with smoothness in the end. Right from the start, the hop bitterness lays in with a solid bitter bite, a juicy nugget of herbal. Some hemp seed and evergreen flavor from the hops bursts in the middle. The malt character struggles to give its share, each time getting pushed back down by the sharpness of the hops. Finishes bitter and dry.

Damn, this IPA does not hold back. Is it off balance? A little. Would a hophead enjoy it? Probably--or at least deem it worth a try. Throw it at some spicy chili spiked with super-hot peppers and see what happens.

Serving type: can

09-27-2010 18:30:07 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of mklinger

North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this served from the cask at the brewery/restaurant. Nice fluffy head with minimal carbonation, just as cask ale should be. Left lots of nice lacing behind, too. Color was a bronze/amber and was quite clear. Nice looking beer.

Aroma was OK but fairly mellow for an IPA. Some nice citrus and piney character but not as much as I would expect with an IPA.

Flavor was better than aroma in many ways. Nice malty character with a bit of caramel sweetness. Some good hop flavor though a bit of astringency that I didn't find so enjoyable. Reasonable but a bit underassertive bitterness going on here, too.

Mouthfeel was great though -- love the cask conditioned character -- creamy but not much carbonation. A beer with some strengths and weaknesses. Next time, I'd like to try this off the ordinary tap just for comparison sake.

Serving type: cask

08-09-2010 16:43:28 | More by mklinger
Photo of thegodfather2701

North Carolina

3.28/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours an orange/amber color with a white head that dissipates quickly leaving no lacing.

S-Some grapefruit hops and caramel malt.

T-Just like the nose caramel malt and grapefruit hops with a lingering bitter aftertaste.

M-Pretty good mouthfeel, but a little on the watery side.

D-Nothing exciting or complex which makes this a session beer all the way.

Overall, this beer was slightly above average but lacked the hop presence to really be an IPA in my opinion. I liked the caramel flavor, but there needed to be more hops, it drank more like a Pale Ale.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2010 19:17:04 | More by thegodfather2701
Photo of callmemickey


3.3/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice medium-amber body. Large creamy egg-shell white head. Good retention and some spotty lacing left down the sides. Quite a bit of carbonation flying up from the bottom. Some floaties.

S: Grassy and floral hops. Quite a bit of caramel malts are present here.

T: Again, some grassy and floral hops are upfront. Only the slightest hints of citrus. Mostly malt, but not particularly rich or complex. Somewhat grainy.

M: Lighter bodied and somewhat thin in places. The finish is a bit muted and not particularly crisp or bitter.

D: A decent brew. But not something I am likely to seek out in the future.

Serving type: can

04-17-2010 18:25:54 | More by callmemickey
Photo of srandycarter


3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Murky amber with HUGE off white head, massive retention, lots of cling lace.

S - Better as it warms. A little grainy, but some nice malt shines through. Hops aren't as pronounced as I thought they would be.

T - Solid malt center, nice hops finish. Uncomplicated and tasty.

M - Medium body, good carb, ok balance.

D - Pretty nice and easy to drink.

Serving type: can

01-24-2010 07:37:46 | More by srandycarter
Photo of Kegatron


3.3/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy coppery amber, with 2+ big foamy fingers of off-white head. Retains with a thin layer of froth that leaves some pretty sizable sticky lacing behind. The aroma is floral and mostly earthy with a bit of spice and a fairly thick layer of toasted and grainy caramel malts underneath.

The taste is much the same, with the bitterness being more mellow and earthy up front before laying an extremely dry and spicy feel on the tongue. Citrus and malt arrive with a flush in the back, along with a nice roasted texture to the grains. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a soft and creamy feel to the carbonation that then gets a bit pricklier on the out edges of the swallow. This actually goes down pretty decently for the most part.

This lacked a bit of the pop that this had fresh on draft at the brewpub but this is was overall a decent stab at an English IPA with plenty of spice and earthiness. Plus this gets bonus points for being I believe the only establishment in NC that is currently doing cans. Win!

Serving type: can

01-14-2010 17:06:02 | More by Kegatron
Photo of nms1987

North Carolina

3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A...Brownish bronze, almost opaque. Huge foamy head that doesn't go around for awhile but doesn't give much lacing.

S.. Oranges? This can doesn't smell especially fresh. I remember this being much better. I'll have to go to the brewpub sometime and get it fresh to be sure.

T.. A little bitter but fairly balanced. hop profile. Not as great tasting as I remember, merely average right now.

M... Thick, malty mouthfeel actually. Kind of resembles a less sweet DFH 90 in mouthfeel. Not a whole lot of hop bite.

D.. Fair. I'll have to try it on tap again because I remember this being very good but its only decent right now. Still definitely worth getting sometime, especially at only 6.50 for 6 cans. But I remember it being great with a more biting hop attack.

Serving type: can

01-24-2009 05:54:28 | More by nms1987
Photo of kkipple

South Carolina

3.28/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed some of these a while back at Greenlife in Asheville. Local beer in a can? I can dig it.

A. Unfiltered dusty rust-orange. Small tight head sticks around for a while in my glass. Looks rustic.

S. Smells like an English pale to me... at least the malt bill and lack of prominent hops is giving that impression... sweet and mild, bitter hops in a supporting, not dominant, role. Caramel and a pleasing toasty character are here, along with a little musty grandma's basement sort of smell that's not as offensive as it could be. Muted, creamy oranges...

T. Yeah, English pale / IPA here... bitter hops pile on an astringent / medicinal (alas!) quality to some otherwise smooth drinking sweet malt. Touch of brown sugar. Mostly soft and inoffensive. Not a lot to write home about, this is a perfectly serviceable, though mis-named Pale.

M. Actually pretty good, decently full and light, spritzy carbonation lends to big sips. Finish is toasted sweet grain and generally bitter, slightly metallic hops. Ok.

D. I'm having no trouble drinking this, but it's not something I'd really seek out, either...

Ram's Head has the beginnings of a pretty good session beer here... I'd tweak the hop bill to add more bitter character or at least lose the medicinal quality... more earthy, English hops and a rebranding as a classic pale or some such would help this beer a lot.

Serving type: can

11-20-2008 16:36:42 | More by kkipple
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Ram's Head India Pale Ale from Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.