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Propeller IPA | Propeller Brewery

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65 Reviews
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Propeller IPAPropeller IPA

Brewed by:
Propeller Brewery
Nova Scotia, Canada | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Not for the faint of heart. True India Pale Ales had to withstand long sea voyages before quenching the thirst of cranky British troops stationed in India. Our IPA is true to this style, it’s bracing, bitter and higher in alcohol (6.5% ABVl) and made with the trademark Propeller quality. It’s full-bodied ale for full throttle beer lovers!

68 IBU

Added by Mandrake on 03-12-2006

User Reviews
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Reviews: 65 | Ratings: 134
Photo of VelvetExtract
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Poured a lighter amber color. Aroma is balanced but has its needed hoppiness. Caramel sweetness as well. Flavor has a pretty strong hoppiness that's nearly stinging. Floral and piney hops. Caramel maltiness, maybe a bit too much. Coarse feel. Some alcohol. Not a big fan.

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Photo of kevdemers
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Glad to get a few of these from my mother's trip. Just had a juicy IPA (Julius by Tree House), so my palate should be ready for more of a straightforward IPA!

Bottle dated 3rd week of July 2015 (~5 weeks old), poured into a Sam Adams curved glass.

Look: Golden color, slightly more brown than yellow. My pour did not give it much head. Looks slightly darker than Harpoon IPA in the glass. Cloudy but not murky.

Smell: Earthy, caramel, sweet bread, pine forest.

Taste: A ping from the hops up front, breadiness enters, and then the lingering piney bitterness takes over at the end. Nice malt sweetness in the background, but not too much to change the hoppy character of the beer.

Feel: Well carbonated, clean finish.

Overall: Good all around effort. Probably closer to an English style IPA than American IPA, but encompasses good aspects of each. I enjoyed this first one and won't hesitate to have my second bottle in the near future.

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Photo of JobiWanKenob
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really excellent beer, absolutely loved it. Strong but not overpowering. Very smooth finish, drank 6 bottles, no headache, no bloated feeling. Highly recommended!

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Photo of mick303
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass, clear brown, slightly orangey, with a really full off-white head, nice sticky lacing to it curtaining the glass.

S - Aroma has some semisweet grapefruit notes, banana and passionfruit, some bready malts with a bit of a caramel character, quite a citrusy and tropical fruit note, mango even, Strawberry.

T - again a rich banana/mango/strawberry smoothie, it seems uncanny, also exhibiting strong grapefruit notes, a pronounced malty undertone, a bit heavy on the crystal perhaps, and a stronger bitterness on the finish, with sticky resin hops and some spice. Smooth, fruity and quite tasty, though the hops do struggle to get above the sweetness in this beer, luckily there is quite a nice bitterness to balance.

M - Quenching, with a moderate body, some alcohol presence, standard medium carbonation, and a drying bitter finish. Walks a middle line while retaining the refreshing properties of a session ipa while verging into some heavier characteristics.

Enjoyable and quite easy to drink, this is quite fruity, and the fruit smoothie resemblance keeps popping into my mind. I think its a decent IPA but would not say it's my favourite, heavy malt sweetness and lacking a really hoppy zestiness, it drinks with quite a bit of a British IPA style, just with more bitterness.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.79/5  rDev -1%

Single bottle poured into a shaker pint glass. Orange-yellow amber hue with a small amount of off-white head draping the top. Smells like a classic English IPA with buttered bread and toffee, grape-like fruity esters, and earthy, green, forest floor hops. Only shades of that resinous pine-like character one expects in an American IPA, this element instead replaced by orange and tangerine marmalade, lemon rind, pineapple gummy candy, buttered toast, faint molasses. Starts sweet and malty but finishes crisp and chalky. Hopping at an intermediate level between English and American, truth be told ... Some herbal and tea-like elements asserting themselves over time along with tropical fruit and floral notes. A little diacetyl asserting itself. Good stuff although the malt-forward vibe never quite disappears. Body on the thick side for the style like its stablemate Propeller Bitter, low carbonation. Some nutty character. Enjoyable enough but perhaps struggling with an identity crisis style-wise.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the brewery shop.
Pours a crystal clear deep straw color with a huge tightly bubbled white head that leaves a huge a mount of stickies on the glass. Carmel, earth, and pine in the aroma. The flavor is caramel and earth again with a touch of resin and a hint of alcohol. Sweet maltiness with just a touch of hop flavor and bitterness. Medium body and a moderate level of carbonation. English style maybe, but really tame for an ipa, or too much crystal malt to let the hops shine through. I could drink this there's nothing wrong with it but it has a 90's old school feel to it.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Undated bottle at 45 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma very ephemeral - piney
Head average (4 cm), off white, creamy, slowly diminishing to 3 mm layer
Lacing good, nearly complete rings of small bubbles as well as islands
Body light orange, clear, with rising CO2 bubbles
Flavor begins with citrusy freshness which rapidly is replaced by a light bitterness which hangs on. No alcohol, no malt, no diacetyl.
Palate medium, watery, lively carbonation.

This is a pleasant, easy drinking, IPA which hides the 6.5 % abv well. It is not a session beer but can certainly be consumed for a couple of rounds before switching to something else.

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Photo of SebD
3.59/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice semi-hazy golden/orange color to it. It has a nice thick off-white head that dies down moderately slow and leaves lovely lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of floral hops, some grass, sweet caramel and bready/buiscuity malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some floral hops, a grassy bitterness, some caramel and bready/buiscuity malts.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by decent flavors and aromas.

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Photo of Dna_Infinity
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to glass

Appearance - Golden amber colour with lots of carbonation. Nice fluffy white head

Smell - Grassy aroma, some floral tones as well, hops are definitely present though

Taste - A somewhat sweet start has some caramel and maybe biscuit notes? Bitter but not unpleasantly so. The finish has hoppy with some tropical fruits

Overall - A good year round IPA from Propeller. Hoppy enough to have some flavour but not so bitter its unpleasant. Good, but doesn't set the world on fire

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Photo of PorterPro125
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type: 341 mL Bottle

My First India Pale Ale and what a great experience it was!

A- Poured a beautiful Honey Gold hue with 1 1/2 fingers of a lumpy white head. Lots of Lacing on the glass.

S- Lots of Floral notes backed up by a maltiness and a smidgen of citrus.

T- Like the bottle said, this definitely is a "full-bodied" ale! Quite citrus-like to start off and then moves to a hop-bomb that is nice and bitter. The after taste has a honey-like characteristic that is quite refreshing!

M- Average carbonation. Very crisp and refreshing!

O- Coming from someone who avoided IPA's altogether due to the style's apparent unbearable bitterness, I have to say I really enjoyed this brew. Contrary to my previous belief, this IPA did not possess an overpowering bitterness and was actually served quite well as a session beer (I drained a six pack in a night). If you are thinking about diving in to an IPA but you can't seem to muster up the courage to do so, take it from me; I highly recommend Propeller's India Pale Ale to anyone who has not tried it, regardless if you are familiar with the style or not.

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Photo of souvenirs
3.54/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

650ml bottle split with my Dad, bought at the NSLC in Windsor, NS. My first east coast IPA (unless you count Keith's...).

A: honey-coloured and clear, with a couple fingers of head.
S: floral, just a hint of citrus, pale malt.
T: more bitter, but kind of lacking in the more complex hop flavours I've come to expect, based on west coast IPAs. Pale malts are more prominent than hops... not to my liking.
F: perhaps a bit overly thick.

It's certainly not bad, but I think I prefer the hop complexity of the West Coast IPAs I'm used to. A solid beer, but I won't buy it again.

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Photo of ssmack
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.75

A clear, bright gold with half inch of fine, white, hilly head and good lacing.

A floral aroma with sweetness in the malty smell with a hint of hops.

The taste of sweet honey at first that slowly flows into a grassy, resiny hops taste. Lots of bitterness over a sold malt back bone.

An oily mouthfeel.

I agree that this IPA is definitely British and not American. This brew is unfortunately short of an enticing aroma and is not complex.

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Photo of Watershed
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

First of all, I'm not sure why this is categorized as an American IPA when, from both the taste and the info on the case (it references the sea-voyaging British history of the style), it is clearly trying to be an English IPA -- as is usual for many of the brewers in Canada's maritime provinces, which engage very effectively with British styles.

So this needs to be reviewed as a British IPA. With that established, this pours a bit light in colour even for that style -- honey-toned with very slight reddish highlights. The aroma provides the first clue that this isn't an American IPA: the malts are too strong, almost cloying, and the hops far too subdued. Still, it smells appealing. Taste-wise, this is an almost perfectly balanced English IPA, with grains, fruit, and citrus mingling so that it's tough to tell which flavours are coming from malts and which from hops. Don't get me wrong, the flavour is very full (and you can taste the ABV), but there's a subtlety here that's lacking in your average IPA of either style. The sweet-sharpness of the hops really lingers in the mouth, too, so that I find myself wanting to sip this quicker than perhaps I should.

Overall, this is a solid, solid beer that provides further evidence of Propeller's status as one of the most reliable brewers in Canada. This might not blow away any hop-heads, but anyone interested in the wide spectrum of British and American varieties of the IPA style will want to give this a try.

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Photo of GodOfBeer
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is definitely one of the the nicer Canadian made IPA's out there. Pours a light brown/copper with a nice head.

Smells of hoppy goodness with some grainy malts.

One of the best tasting IPA's I've had in a while. Lots of flowery, fruity hops balanced almost perfectly with some bready malts. This beer is alive, and it's hard to find an IPA this well balanced. Leaves you with a wonderfully hoppy bitter aftertaste!

This is a beer I will stock up on for sure!

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

341 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO. I tried Revolution earlier this year and was a pretty big fan, so I'm hoping I've found another winner from Propeller. Served only slightly chilled, and poured into a big wine glass.

Pours a nice golden-amber colour, bright and transparent, topped with one finger of dense, creamy white head that hangs around for a good long while. A decent swath of stringy lacing is left clinging to the glass as it gradually recedes into a thin, smooth, even cap. The aroma is light and enjoyable, with notes of biscuits, toffee, honey and leafy hops. Lightly earthy and herbal; seems a little more English to me but enjoyable nonetheless.

Tasty stuff, and much more balanced than most American IPAs. There is more than enough crackery, biscuity malt, honey and butterscotch sweetness to deftly counter the modest wallop of tea leafy, earthy hop dryness that surges forward in the finish. The ethanol isn't a major factor in the flavour, but the piney aftertaste helps make you well aware of its presence. Medium-bodied, with a modest oily slickness left behind on the palate following each sip. Restrained carbonation that provides an appropriate crisp bite. Not something I'd care to drink quickly, and two bottles would probably be enough for me in a night.

Final Grade: 3.96, a very high B+. Propeller IPA isn't a mindblowing example of the style, but it's still a well-made one that I (and the friend I split this pack with) enjoyed considerably. Unlike a lot of IPAs, the malt profile is what shines here, at least in my opinion - not that the pleasant hop dryness doesn't provide a mixture of piney, earthy goodness that most hopheads should find highly agreeable. This stuff is well worth a try for anyone in the mood for a more restrained, balanced, (dare I say) English sort of IPA, although I have a feeling it would really shine on tap, or perhaps simply closer to the source out East.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

341ml Bottle from the Nepean LCBO - 13$ for a 6-pack

Appearance - Clear light copper with an average size fizzy off-white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 3 minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts, caramel, grass

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel, malts, and earthy hops. There is also some very light grapefruit and some grassy notes. It ends with a malty earthy aftertaste.

Overall – Blah.. it's okay I guess, just don't expect any 'american' IPA flavours.. or any vibrant citrus notes, or pungent hops. It's an average east coast IPA.. or even a pale ale.. or even an ESB.

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Photo of smcolw
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber-dirty copper color. Mild haze. Modest head that leaves a blanket of lace after each sip.

Decent malt-hop blend to the nose. The hop is floral, but mild. The malt is relatively dry.

Peppery hop bite shows up quickly in the taste. The body is thin for the style, but the carbonation is appropriate. Despite the bitterness, the aftertaste is short--a mid-length period of time.

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Photo of samueladams76
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Visiting family up in Nova Scotia, thought I would try a local IPA. Craft beer does not seem to have caught on in NS (great wines up here) but Propeller makes some decent brew.

From the bottle, poured into an ale mug.

Appearance: light amber. The head pops up nicely off the bottle pour and the beer laces the glass on the way down.

Smell: notes of berries, very mild hops, and maltiness of a Canadian beer (maple syrup lovers anyone?).

Taste: sweet maltiness is balanced with a generous addition of hops. This could be classed as an English IPA on account of the earthy hop profile, but the IBUs rock this to American standards. Nice and clean overall, toasty malt taste on the finish. Into my second, the hop resins are dominating nicely.

Mouthfeel: gets chewier on the second. Not a big beer, but heavy by Canadian standards (I've been drinking a fair amount of Keith's up here, talk about easy). Holds its carbonation well throughout. The hoppiness increases in intensity.

On the whole, should you find yourself in the Maritimes and want a beer with hops, go for Propeller.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to biegaman for this brew in our never ending sports bet! Pours with a big head which settles after a while. Not very hoppy in smell. Very smooth/subtle hops taste typical of an English IPA. Nice mouthfeel. A good example of the style. Cheers.

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Photo of Risser09
3.44/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a white wine glass · fridge temp · produced 3rd week of September, 2011

Appearance: Pours an orange, copper color with a nicely built, cream colored head. Decent retention with lots of sticky lacing.

Smell: Tons of caramel malt and biscuity aromas. Not a wince of hop aroma here. Did they even bother to dry hop?

Taste: A crisp hop flavor (yeah, hop flavor) hits right away. This beer, however, is tasting much more like an ESB or Bitter than an IPA. There is a decent bitterness in the finish that combines well with the 6.5% alcohol content. A malty tasting beer.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean, malty with a dab of hops thrown in. Some lingering alcohol. A smooth drinker, that's for sure.

Overall: I expected more bitterness, but was not dissatisfied with the brew. It drank cleanly and quickly, and I could easily drink another.

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Photo of sholland119
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Halifax Alehouse, 9/8/11.

A-Pour is a pale honey amber with a huge, frothy off white head and great lacing.

S-Sweet malt, earthy hops, a bit of diacetyl.

T-Nice example of the style. Medium hoppiness with a good malt presence. Just a bit buttery.

M-Medium bodied and a bit slick.

O-I am not a huge fan of English IPAs but this one is very nice.


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Photo of hopsolutely
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A clear, golden amber with decent head and mouthfeel. Malty aroma followed by predominantly caramelized malts in the taste, although notes of honey mixed in with the grains. A pleasant hop backbone yields a lingering finish.

Overall a decent example of the British IPA style. Glad to have tried it.

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Photo of tbeckett
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle my boss brought back from Halifax. Production date: June, week 1.

A - Pours with a nice three finger, fluffy white head. Golden colour with moderate carbonation. Great lacing with good rings and a great retention with a full rocky finger of creamy white head.

S - Smells of citrus and pine. Definate crackery malt evident. Citrus wins with orange and lemon rind.

T - Quite piney with citrus to back it up. A very clean, resinous hop profile with a crackery/biscuity malt profile. But unlike a typical English interpretation of the style, the hop profile is alot stronger. It's very clean, but the hops provide a nice punch, dominating the flavour. Quite nice.

M - Good carbonation a and a medium body. Finish is lingering bitterness and quite long. Good.

O/D - A delicious, easy drinking, bitter IPA from the East Coast. Well done Propeller. No complaints. Very refreshing and the depth keeps it interesting.

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Photo of liamt07
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from mmurphy525, 650ml bottle into a tulip. Brewed in the first week of April 2011, by the notches on the label.

Pours a dark orange brown, with a dense couple of fingers of snowy white head. Great lace and a good finger of solid head is retained throughout the duration of the bottle. Nose has some caramel, mild English hops, some earthy character. Taste is substantially bitter upfront, more earth, bread, and caramel again. Finishes somewhat dry and the bitterness does not subside. Medium feel and medium carbonation. Drinkable, but not overly so. Not as impressed with this one as I was when I had this over a year ago for the first time. Freshness doesn't seem to be an issue but, this was underwhelming.

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Photo of spree92
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear golden yellow. There was a nice white head that faded fast and didn't leave very much lacing. Aroma is a little weak, citrus hops and a little honey. Flavor is much the same. The sharp citrus hops are deep. There are also grassy notes. The taste lingers a while and sucks all the juices out of your mouth, leaving it dry. This has what I am looking for in an IPA, just not enough substance and depth.

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Propeller IPA from Propeller Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.