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PseudoSue | Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

511 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
Iowa, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This single hop ale showcases the Citra hop. Named for the largest T-rex fossil ever discovered, she roars with ferocious aromas of grapefruit, citrus, mango and evergreen. Delicate in body with a mild bite in the finish.

50 IBU

Added by emerge077 on 08-17-2011

User Reviews
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Reviews: 511 | Ratings: 3,695
Photo of thetravelguy01
1.65/5  rDev -63.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.75

Hopefully the beer I drank was from a bad batch. I'm a fan of a citrus beer but this was horrible! I've only poured two beers down the drain because I couldn't finish them and this was one of them. The other beer I poured down the drain was a strong German Eisbock. The first drink of this beer wasn't horrible, grapefruit, grapefruit, grapefruit and some more grapefruit. There was some hop bitterness on the aftertaste on the first drink but nothing crazy. As I continued drinking this beer the grapefruit was becoming so intense and obnoxious it wasn't enjoyable at all. The aftertaste was very funky and long lasting. I have no idea how this beer is ranked 100!! I bought two bottles to share with two of my friends and neither of them could finish it as well. I was so excited to try this beer and it was a total failure in my book. It's hard to say because this is a loved beer by many but this is one of the worst beers I've drank. I'm going to give it another shot, maybe in the brewery.

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Photo of HoosierBrew
2.69/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

I want so bad to like this beer but just can't. The best part is the look and smell. I like the other TG offerings much more. Have had Sue a couple times now and see it as no more than average at best. Sorry TG. I just don't see it.

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Photo of Beer-Ninja-Guy
2.81/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had 2 fresh cans with similar results. Not good. Maybe a problem with the new canning process? I've drank my weight in Sue and it's one of my favorites but I think I got some suspect cans. Really disappointing.

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Photo of Efeswasmy1st
3/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at tasting, poured into 4 oz glass.

Appearance -cloudy yellow with little head.

Aroma--lots of grapefruit, grass and hop.

Taste-- very bitter to me, almost ammonia-like. Tasted like the smell of cat urine--to me anyway. I work at a vet clinic so this is commonplace smell for me.

Palate--dry, good carbonation, lightly sour on the back of tongue.

Overall, I didn't care for, many other patrons had pints after the tasting. Just can't get over the ammonia I taste/smell in the beer.

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Photo of jcattey
3.12/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

I've had Sue a few times dating back a few years and always enjoyed. However, I just had two cans that were extremely fresh, and something is definitely amiss. The flavors are muddled and muted. The nose was nearly non-existent even after pouring vigorously out of the can into a tulip. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.31/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Translucent gold, with a large, soft but quickly dissipating head. Light champagne-like carbonation.

Orange rind on the nose.

Flavors of biscuit and crackery malts balance out the hop bitterness very well.

This reminds me a lot of White Rajah. I actually like White Rajah a tad better than this--it's a slight bit more substantial, less filtered, but I can see where this got its notoriety from.

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Photo of breadwinner
3.47/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Terribly, even shockingly, watery. No pop at all to the flavor, incredibly muted. Maybe a bad batch I got? Although with all the changes at TG, it sounds like this beer's (apparent) glory days are numbered.

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Photo of NYC-IPAnAPA
3.53/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I almost feel bad reviewing this beer in its current form, as I've never had it in the 22oz format that was actually produced by Toppling Goliath. I have had it 4 or 5 times though from a couple of different batches since production was moved to a contract brewery in Florida, and it now only shows up in the 12oz bottles used by them. It's a real shame because King Sue is one of the best tasting beers I've ever had when it's fresh and brewed by Mike Saboe. I wish he would take control again of production of Pseudo, b/c I can taste enough there that I know it's likely a phenomenal beer when done right, but the batches from Florida have ranged from a solid basic pale to a drain pour. It really is a shame to create such a universally acclaimed product and then shift production elsewhere and have it slowly eroded...Please fix this beer!!

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.6/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The bottle enjoyed earlier tonight was from my work buddy Dan... But this bottle is from a great trade with doughanson78.. Pours mostly clear light golden with a decent white head with no real retention... Tropical fruit/melon/tangerine hops and pale maltiness in the nose... Flavor is sorta muddy and the hops are lost in the pale malt.. VERY drinkable, but this is just a good fruity pale ale.

If this was brewed anywhere in Oregon or Southern California, no geeks would have ever given it the time of day.. Pretty nice APA, but Oh sooo standard in THIS neck of the woods.


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Photo of JoeyStats707
3.61/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I love citra hops but I just didn't really get them in this beer, it was mostly wheat flavor throughout. Great citra smell, just didnt come through to the palate.

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Photo of IpaBeerDrinkers
3.66/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I wasn't overly impressed with this, although I did get one of the 12oz bottles that aren't brewed in Iowa. Smell is slightly off-putting. Taste is very much citrus forward, albeit too sweet for my liking. Mouth feel is fantastic and is the strong point of this beer. I'd drink again, but wouldn't seek it out. Quite a bit overrated in my opinion

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Photo of tone77
3.67/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a golden/orange color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of pine, herbal, citrus. Taste is citrus, biscuit malts, pine, tasty, but not what I expected. Feels medium/full bodied in the mouth and overall this is a good beer, but I was anticipating so much more.

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Photo of indurTheB
3.73/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A good beer no doubt, but not sure if it's worth the current rep it has, or if this is really worthy of even being a bomber beer. Would love this in 12oz for fishing or pool. Poured from a bottle at a beer share.

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Photo of BltByKrmn
3.74/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Can dated 1/5, into a snifter.

Incredibly disappointed, this is average at best. While I acknowledge I don't drink this type of Midwest IPA anymore, ZD crushes it. Way too much crystal malt, pretty one dimensional.

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Photo of bound4er
3.75/5  rDev -17%

This is my first TG beer as they just became available at my bottle shop. Appearance is straightforward - dark straw to light amber appearance with a fairly fast breaking head. The nose is all about citrus and tropical fruit - pineapple, mango, citrus rind and grass. Taste displays more grass, some pine, pineapple and citrus hops with just a hint of bready malt. Mouthfeel is lighter in body which is the way I like my pales.

This beer reminds me a lot of how FFF Zombie Dust tasted to me the first time I had it on tap which is to say epic. It comes across fresh, fruity, easy to drink and incredibly well made. I hope this stays available in my area - can't wait to try more of their beers. 4.5 Rating

EDIT: As this beer warms it is getting more vegetal on both the nose and palate. Not sure if this is normal or if I have a bad bottle. Not undrinkable but not great either. 3.75 Rating

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Photo of stakem
3.78/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks Kegatron for the hookup on this one. 12oz bottle into a tulip pint glass. The brew is a hazy copper color with white cap that is quick to fade leaving patchy lace.

Aroma is cheesy at first with some sulfur and citrus notes. It smells good but kinda disappointing that cheesiness leads the way then a nice citrus hop zip.

Taste is citrus hop forward, than herbal grassy and cheesy. Moderate bitterness with nice fruity hop flavors and little to no malt/alcohol backing.

This is medium bodied, modestly carbonated and overall very enjoyable. Would not mind trying this again if it was super fresh but as is its pretty solid.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.83/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Currently #33 on the Top 250 list. It has a perfect 100 rating. Expectations are sky high. 22 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing well-drawn label art and unbranded pry-off pressure cap acquired in a trade with the extremely generous Duff27 (thanks so much!) and served into an Avery stem-tulip in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Reviewed as a pale ale because the label clearly identifies it as such.

Served cold - straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of white colour. Decent thickness and creaminess. Okay frothiness. Complexion could be smoother and more even. Complexion is typical of the style. Head retention is above average - about 3 minutes. Uneven inconsistent lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a clear translucent pale copper of above average vibrance. Excellent clarity. Very clean; no floating yeast particles are visible. Appears adequately carbonated.

Overall, it's a good looking pale ale but I can't say it's unique or special. I'm looking forward to the first sip, but I can't see how anyone could give the appearance alone a perfect 5 out of 5.

Sm: Has a fresh, inviting aroma with bursts of pleasant citrus (grapefruit and tangerine) as well as accompanying esters. I also pick up on mango fruit, a vague tropical character, fresh floral character, and a kiss of pine. I'd like more of a dank resinous oily character as well as some nectary character, but the hop notes here are fresh and right up my alley. There seems to be good diversity and presence of flavour based on the aroma.

The malts are pretty predictable - clean pale malts and a dash of caramalt.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes are detectable. It doesn't have the off-putting soapiness of many hoppy beers.

Overall, I'm impressed by how seemingly well balanced it is - I don't detect any untamed hop bitterness and it doesn't seem too sweet either. It's a very enjoyable aroma of average strength.

T: The mango fruit is fantastic - and fresh as can be. The citrusy notes are very well balanced and integrated, with plenty of pleasant grapefruit but none of the bitterness or bite grapefruit hop character tends to bring. It has great floral hop character as well, but I'm not finding much in terms of oily, nectary, or resinous hops - though it does have some lovely pine. No matter, the hop profile is lovely as-is, and I find some of the unique tropical character I encountered in their yellow label Xhops. Candied orange peel. Some bubble gum. Papaya. Melon. Quite juicy.

All these diverse hop notes are near perfectly tamed by just the right amount of pale malt-induced sweetness. If caramalt was used, it barely comes through. There are some buried crackery malts too.

It's a clean refreshing flavour profile, and as such it avoids any yeasty character or off-flavours - including overt alcohol.

Balance is great here overall, to the point that the build feels not only cohesive, but gestalt; it's hard to imagine omitting any note without reducing the quality of the beer. That said, I've had more complex, intricate, and subtle pale ales. (Some of Alpine's offerings come to mind).

The unique tropical character lends it appreciated nuance, and I'm beginning to think that characteristic may be a common feature of Toppling Goliath's hoppy beers (at least based on the two I've had). Maybe these unique tropical notes are going to be to Toppling Goliath what floral hop extract is to Lagunitas.

I like it. Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. There's a lot going on here for a pale ale.

Mf: Overcarbonated, with a light crispness. Smooth and wet. Just a touch oily. Refreshing. Light to medium-bodied. Not too heavy on the palate. Good presence on the palate. Very approachable.

Not gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh. It's not real soft or creamy either.

Overall, this texture complements the taste well. They've tailored it nicely to the flavour profile they're after.

Dr: Absolutely an easily drinkable pale ale with some great hop notes. It's another solid brew from Toppling Goliath, and one I'd definitely get again. Based on what I've had so far, these cats deserve their impeccable reputation and I really look forward to trying more of their beers. I could drink this stuff happily all night, and would recommend it to friends and trade partners. I don't know how they got so much complexity and diversity of flavour out of the citra hop, but wow.

That said, I don't know that it's a world class brew per se or that it's the 33rd best beer currently being brewed. It's damn good stuff, but I'd stop short of calling it great. It's not perfect, but I'm a big fan.

Huge thanks to Duff27 for this rare opportunity!


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Photo of BierStein711
3.83/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap into goblet

Hazy orange color with two finger head

Smells: coriander, pine, hemp, bubblegum and resin

Taste: pine, medicinal, resin

Mouthfeel: just fine

Overall, this felt like a good hefe more than an APA. But, I enjoyed it. I cannot say it was great, but' it was worth going out of the way to try. I can't say I won't stop exploring this brewery though.

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Photo of beertunes
3.83/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to @NWer and his son Matt for this one. Cloudy orange-yellow color, thin cap of white head that quickly dissipated to just a ring, and left decent lacing.

A blast of bright hops attacked as soon as the 12oz bottle was cracked open. The flavor and scent shared a hop forward/low malt profile. The beer was smooth and crisp, with a nicely dry finish. Drinkability was great, I woud drain these regularly if available to me.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.85/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Possibly known as the best American Pale Ale known to man, I had to try this.

Canned on : 1/15/16 (very fresh!)

Appearance is golden with tinges of bronze and orange, with a touch of haze. The head is large and towering, although the lace it leaves could be a bit more exotic.

Aroma is of onions and raisins, some old fruit peels too. Can't say I'm a fan of the onion craze.

Flavor is both underwhelming and absolutely amazing at the same time. I've had nothing like it. It starts off with water basked in pine needles, a bite of white onion; strikes a great balance of pale malts and grapefruity hop. Tropical and bright. My biggest gripe is that the profile loses steam quickly and grows boring. Could use more piney bite. The finish is of onion and rotted fruit rinds.

Feel is creamy and smooth, yet delivers a tight crisp feel overall.

Overall, my favorite American Pale Ale is still Mirror Pond. This one is really great though, and I would have it again. Nice work, TGB.

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Photo of 2Xmd
3.9/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz bottle received in a trade.

Pours a clear light amber color with a small white head. Strong Citra hop smell. Very fruity and citrusy on the nose. Mouthfeel is weak and somewhat watery. I have to say I expected more after the hype and this beer's 100 rating. It's not bad for a 5.8% abv beer but I really thought this would be on par with Zombie Dust. Not even close.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.91/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Date on the bottle of 8/10/15.

Appearance: Super hazy orange with about a finger of white foam.

Aroma: Dank/fruity/tropical citra hops. Touch of bready malt.

Taste: Quite clean with no depth in the malt department but it's not needed. I find citra to be quite palate-consuming when used for bittering and that comes there here with forceful bitterness. It's a pungent bitterness nearly masks the more subtle mango flavor that comes from late addition and dry-hopping with citra. At 5.8% ABV the depth of flavor is definitely lacking. Finish is smooth with a bit more of the fruity hop tones. Aftertaste of fading bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Thin to medium in body and over-carbonated. Good drinkability but a bit harsh.

Final Thoughts: Maybe my expectations were too high going in, but this one just didn't do it for me. Citra is my favorite hop and it just didn't shine in the expected way here. Still awesome to have gotten my hands on a four-pack and it beats out 9/10 of the other IPAs on the shelf. Would I drink it again? Yep, probably going to make the trip down to the taproom soon to check out the rest of the lineup.

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Photo of TheRougeBastard
3.92/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks again to Capt. Wisconsin for this one! To be honest, I'd never heard of this (they don't let me out much). In my opinion, "Sue" is an above-average pale ale, certainly top-tier, but, again, in my opinion, not "world-class". Perhaps it was a poor choice to try this after Zombie Dust!

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Photo of Phocion
3.92/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber pours into my glass a hazy, bright orange with a massive and retentive frothy white head. Huge, sticky lacing as the head finally falls (after about five minutes).

The aroma is a showcase for the Citra hop. Big, bright mango, blood orange, and grapefruit along with some orange zest. Pine cones and resin.

Flavor is very juicy. Grapefruit, pineapple, and mango. Slight danky resinous flavor in the background. A touch of indistinguishable grainy sweetness. Lightly bitter.

Light-medium body and moderate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy yet refreshing mouthfeel. Maybe just a touch thin.

Overall, Sue is a great beer. Worth the hype? I'm not sure. Delicious but very simple. Minimal malt backbone for an APA. TG's Light Speed is better in my opinion.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.94/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Clean golden color allowed a brilliant bright white foam to sit atop. Nose and tongue perceive the same elements of perfumes, flowers, musky cannabis leaf, earthy floral tones and whole hop cone. This is very dry, very crisp and super easy to drink. My palate seems to have found this differently than so many others but I see why there is a buzz as it's big, bold and daring.

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PseudoSue from Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 511 ratings.