Old 21 Imperial IPA - The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works

Not Rated.
Old 21 Imperial IPAOld 21 Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

139 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 139
Hads: 401
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 6.39%
Wants: 14
Gots: 41 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: aracauna on 06-06-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 139 | Hads: 401
Photo of maximum12
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to miketd for this bomber, rec'd in a recent trade. From a brewery new to me, & brewed with my favorite hops, Simcoe. Expectations are rising.

Split with my wife. Pours is pure IIPA, see-through bronze with a bit of orange spit polish. Smells...like Simcoe hops. Roll me in them & call it cologne.

Old 21 is steady as she goes. The Simcoe hops are up front, but held back from a taste of greatness by a cannonball of malts. The hops then drown in the ensuing cascade, & little to no bitterness, citrus, or anything else comes through in the aftertaste, which is all heavy sweets.

I need to admit I have a problem. I don't prefer my IPAs or IIPAs balanced, I'd like them to crush my tongue with a bruising handshake. This one's nicely balanced, which makes it...good. But it coulda been a contender. Good brew. (821 characters)

Photo of schwemjw
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: A finger of head on a hazy copper brew.

S: A touch of tropics surrounded by sweet caramel malt. Orange juice and butterscotch immediately hit the nose. Pretty bready and malt forward for a DIPA

T: The hops are prevalent in the taste but nicely balanced with the malt. Sweet caramel and butterscotch at the tip of the tongue followed by orange and dry grapefruit. Earth characters dominate the middle. The finish starts out with a buttered biscuit that morphs into a citrus and a bitterness that hangs around.

M: Lighter bodied for a DIPA. a little warm in the end. surprisingly filling.

O: Pretty good stuff but nothing outstanding IMO. Very malt heavy for a double IPA. Definitely one everyone should try and at the price one i'll definitely pick up again. /86 (770 characters)

Photo of beerwolf77
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes to pimpmyporter for this extra.

Bomber split nd poured into my pint glass the beer is a golden orange hue with solid two fingers of thick white head. Good retention. Tons of sticky lace left around the glass after settling.

The aroma is mainly citrus hops. Plenty of grapefruit, oranges, and lemons. Light hints of pine can be picked out as well. The malt backbone is fairly strong and helps to balance the nose out.

The flavor is much more malt forward than the nose. The sweetness of the malt is very assertive. The hops are present in the form of piney bursts and a good bit of citrus. A bit sweeter than I had expected.

Medium creamy body. Moderate carbonation.

Overall a decent DIPA. The sweet malt makes this beer a bit hard to get through but nothing I can't swallow. (792 characters)

Photo of lochef81
3.72/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up on a buying trip to Ohio. Was searching for its little brother White Rajah and grabbed this one as well. Not dissappointed that I did. This ale pours a hazy dark amber color with a small off white head that gives way to a nice film and lacing. The nose is a balance of citrus/pine hops and roasted malt sweetness. The flavor far out weighs the nose. It is delicious and balanced. Overwhelming with a hoppy bitterness followed by a rich malty sweetness. It sips smooth but heavy and resinous in the mouth. This is a very good beer but nothing that isn't found in hundreds of other dipas. (601 characters)

Photo of bigbluebeerguy
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz (undated) bottle into a tulip.

Pours a semi-hazy golden butterscotch in color, with a 2+ finger white head. Decent retention with a nice thin layer of lacing down a good portion of the glass.

Citrus aromas hit the nose first-grapefruit & orange primarily. Some pine aroma, and a definite, fleeting hint of cat urine.

Taste features the tropical fruit, some fairly sweet caramel malt in the middle, backed up by an oily hop takeover on the end.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Medium chewy body, lower carbonation, dry and bitter lingering finish. Alcohol is well hidden.

Overall, a very solid beer. Given the price, about 4.99 for the bomber IIRC, I will certainly pick this up again on my next trip to Cincy. (713 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Half Acre tulip.

A- pours a hazy lemon color with a 2 finger white head. Small bubbles and trails of lacing remain on the glass.

S- honey, caramel, sweet citrus, slight grassy aroma.

T- very sweet caramel and honey, some brown sugar, lemon, oranges and pineapple with some citrus rind bitterness.

M- medium body and carbonation. Creamy, gritty, syrup and semi-dry finish.

O- not a bad dipa, but very sweet. Not sure the age on this, may be older and turned more Barleywine like? Would like to try again fresh just in case this bottle is old. (580 characters)

Photo of meatyard
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks again to AltBock for this generous gift.

Pours a clear pale amber with considerable carbonation streams. The head is a 1" white color with pretty thick lacing and decent retention.
The smell is a bit of pineapple from a distance when poured but upon a closer smell it's definitely more of a citrus (orange/grapefruit) aroma with a dose of sweet malt.
The taste is fairly balanced between the citrus hops & sweet malt flavor. I get no bitterness at all.
Mouthfeel is a solid medium, sweet and well-carbonated.
Drinkability: If I'm going to drink a 9.5% DIPA, I want less balance and more hops so in that regard it leaves something to be desired. This is still a pleasant drinking beer that a 22oz bottle is suitable for a short session. If you're not looking West for a hop fix, I recommend trying this one. (814 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Undated bottle at 40 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma of conifers
Head average (3 cm), off white, frothy, mostly lasting
Lacing poor – few small islands
Body medium orange, hazy
Flavor begins moderately bitter with piney goodness; bitterness decreases and a faint tropical fruitiness appears. No alcohol, no malt, no diacetyl
Palate medium, oily, soft carbonation

A good IPA – unfortunately the poor lacing detracts from the appearance. However, the piney flavors hide the alcohol well. Overall, pretty tasty. (520 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An OH IIPA focused on Simcoe. The label says "A big, bold Imperial IPA. The clean malt plays a supporting role to the straight up Simcoe hops through and through that give this variety hop bomb its bang."

The beer is crystal clear, light copper color, with a few fingers of foam that lace in a nearly solid sheet on the galss. The aroma is strong Simcoe, sticky pine resin-like. Some sweetness from the malts, the non-carameliness of which I appreciate. This is a DIPA where the hops shine. The flavor is nearly abrasively hoppy, although the pale malt bill must be huge as the sweetness tomers the hops, bringing it near (but not over) the barleywine line.

Thick bodied for the style, lending more credibility to the barleywine comparisons. Adding the high ABV to the thick mouthfeel limits the drinkability a bit, still pretty good. (837 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This bottle is stamped but I have no idea how to read the long line of numbers.

A - Pours a bright medium, clear copper gold color with a generous one fingered head with little to no carbonation.

S - Faded apricot, pine, citrus, and passion fruit. Overall, the nose is really lacking.

T - Faded apricot resin, passion fruit, citrus, earthy caramel malt buried underneath and finishes with a piney resin bitter finish.

M - Heavy medium body, velvety smooth with almost lack of carbonation on the palate.

O - Some alcohol effervescence but for 9.5% the majority of it is well hidden, very hop forward but still comes off as balanced. Good but doesn't stand out, I love D-IPA's but prefer White Rajah to this. (712 characters)

Photo of macrosmatic
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Bradaplast for sending this one! Reviewed from (old) notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into an Upland pint glass.

A: Hazy, fairly dark gold. A half-finger's worth of white head that doesn't stay around, and medium visible carbonation.

S: Pine and grapefruit hops up front, a touch of tropical fruit, bready sweet malts with mild caramel character. Nothing to get excited about - a pretty standard DIPA profile.

T: Resin, grapefruit pith, vegetal and herbal with a little melon as well for the hop profile. A big malt bill as well – sweet, bready, and caramel flavors. A sweet hit of ethanol. Orangey citrus and an unflavored alpha bitterness in the hang.

M: Medium body for style, carbonation sensation on the low side. It's fairly boozy but not completely obnoxious about it - still, quite noticeable.

O: I just don't think caramel malts mix with American hops, especially the fruit-forward varieties. There's nothing truly wrong with this beer – but nothing to make it stand out from countless other DIPAs that the brewery down the street makes…wherever you happen to be. Nothing to avoid if you happen across it, but nothing to seek out. (1,160 characters)

Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy copper orange. Creamy, off-white head; one and a half fingers with good retention and sheets of lace. Fresh american hop cone aroma; chinook and cascade like grapefruit and citrus/floral. Pale malt sweetness and slight crystal flavor with a touch of chocolate malt. Huge citrusy cascade and fruity chinook flavor wash over concealing the sweetness. Resinous aftertaste, with a good dose of alpha hop bitterness. Light-medium carbonation and medium full body, would be dry if it weren't quite so oily. Finishes somewhat dry, but more slick than anything. Fairly well put-together, but a little over board on showcasing hops without a balancing amount of malt. (671 characters)

Photo of readbaron
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Schwaeh for the awesome extra. Pours a clear golden orange with tons of light white carbonation. Excellent lacing.

Lots of grapefruit and pine present in the nose. Dank, resinous and hoppy. There's something just a bit off at the end - almost a grainy/lager finish.

Taste is pretty good - very hoppy - bitter, piney, maybe a hint of citrus. The hops hit you like a hammer - not a lot of subtlety - almost hard to tell if there's anything else going on. As the palate adjusts more subltelties show up - some caramel malty sweetness, before again finishing lots of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is good. Medium bodied, maybe a touch sticky.

Overall - not as subtle and hoppier than I'd like, but a solid DIPA. (713 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, with a finger of foamy bright-white head. This retains with roughly a ¼ finger of creamy froth, leaving back some good looking swathes of sticky lace. Floral hops and tropical fruit blow up in the nose, with notes of pine, grapefruit, spice, and a light dankness working themselves in as well. Grains had a soft doughy feel across the back. As this warms, the tropical fruit and herbal character picks up some strength.

The taste is aggressive with grapefruit bitterness and pine, which mostly controls the profile the whole way through into a strong finish of dry spiciness and a deep resinous feel that penetrates the tongue. A sticky blend of sweet fruit, malt, and herbal tones helps to soften things a bit from underneath but the hops definitely have some power here. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied and sharp on the tongue, with a slick firm creaminess that spreads out into the mouth. Unfortunately you start to feel every inch of that 9% ABV as this warms, which kept s back immensely on the drinkability of this after it sits for a while.

This was pretty darn decent initially, with some powerful yet fairly well balanced hop power to it but that big ABV eventually started to rear its ugly head and ruin the party. My advice is to pop the cap and drink this within the half hour or so. (1,364 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. The label on mine is boring, but much less hideous than the one in the pic featured.

4.0 A: Clear light orange color. Two fingers of frothy/creamy white head. Retention is good and a tall ring of lacing is left.

4.0 S: I could smell hops as soon as I popped the cap. Plenty of hops in the form of floral, citrus, spicy, and sugary with plenty of dankness. Malts are clean overall with just the faintest touch of breadiness. Enticing.

3.5 T: Soft bitterness. Floral and citrus are back with emphasis on orange, but not as spicy as I expected. Pine enters the scene. Again, malts are clean and for the most part stay out of the hops way. Good, but lacking depth of flavor and intensity. Alcohol well hidden.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Could use a bit more creaminess. Slight warming booze on finish.

3.5 D: Good brew, but this isn't going to wow anyone's palate. (908 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Cleveland. Orangey colour with lasting significant whte head, 3/8" inch. Very mild hoppy aroma. An orange taste, about middling mouthfeel. One imensional, slightly off-note. Its the style, a high IBU, its drinkable, but its marginal compared to what else is available. (280 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pub glass. Cheers and a thank you to Kegatron for gifting me with a bottle of this. It takes a hearty pour down the middle of the glass to produce a head about a finger strong that looks off-white and rapidly dissolves to a thin film across the top. Rising bubbles of carbonation help sustain the cap a bit and a light swirl revives. The brew sitting underneath is clear with a copper color.

The brew smells of caramel malt mixed with a bit of buttery toffee. Then the onset of hops comes into play which smells floral and fruity. It is a little strange to take note of the malt character of a DIPA first, but im not gonna like, I actually really like the way the caramel sweetness intertwines with the floral and fruity qualities of this aroma. It really works well in an atypical sort of way.

The taste is no shocker when compared to the aroma. It contains a toffee to caramel-like sweetness before the onset of fruity and floral hops. The hops are juicy and full flavored before the bitterness settles on the tongue. Once I pick up on the bitterness and focus on that, it becomes a bit more herbal and borderline piney with a bit of a mineral inclusion. there is a mild note of alcohol showing through on the backend which is a bit solvent almost like a neutral spirit like vodka. It is interesting that this is the only point in the experience where that 9.5% abv starts to show itself.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. For the most part it is clean and easy drinking for a 9.5% brew. This was a nice departure from the DIPA norm but honestly it isn't something I would want to buy a bunch of if I was looking for a hop bomb assault. Overall this is an easy approaching and enjoyable middle of the road brew. (1,768 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

big thanks to TheBeerologist for sending this one my way. bottle label seems to have been updated since the current photo displayed, but this is defitely old 21...also says Simcoe TBK on the label. poured into an urthel tulip.

a - brew poured a crisp transparent orange witha generous offwhite classic frothy ipa head. some visible carbonation could be seen and the foamy head hung around looking chunky and creamy. lacing was fairly sticky.

s - nice citric hops could be smelled upon pouring the beer. closer inspection revealed some earthy graininess as well. lots of malt backbone.

t - much like the nose...lots of malts and simcoe. not sure on the age, but the bottle boasts about the malts as well as the simcoe so seems spot on. tastes nice, but for an imperial ipa, i tend to like more of a citric or sweaty sweet hop. the blend of the hop and malt works nicely and it feels kind of like juice. there is a toffee-ness to the malt that compliments the hop for a sweet pleasurable flavor.

m - medium bodied, soft carbonation. smooth, juice-like.

o - overall this is a good beer, but in the crazy world that is imperial ipas these days, there are better options. i did enjoy it thoroughly, but for the style...it doesn't lead the pack. great local that i'd happily have again. (1,285 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a couple of inches of foam; the retention was stellar, with a few patches of lace sticking to the side of the glass

Smell: Smells more malty than hoppy, with a butterscotch character dominant; pith and pine, underneath

Taste: Very sweet, up front, with the butterscotch dominating the flavor through the middle, as well, though there is an assertive piney bitterness that builds; the hops finally win the tug of war, after the swallow, though there is a lingering sweetness on the tip of the tongue in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Overall: Perhaps this bottle is old (though I just bought it in a highly rated Cleveland shop), but I was surprised at the understated hop presence; given how much I liked White Rajah, I was doubly disappointed that this beer failed to live up to that beer's example (904 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle
Served in an imperial nonic glass

A - It pours an orange/amber with two fingers of off white head.

S - It gives off a nice citrus aroma.

T - The citrus is there with a bitter finish.

M - It seems awfully thin to me.

D - It almost tastes more like an IPA rather than an imperial. I like the ABV, but it lacks the fullness of flavor and aroma that I would like to see. (384 characters)

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a small bottle with no freshness date into a New Belgium snifter. Slightly hazy light amber-gold with a thin head. Not much retention, but decent lacing. Get a quick whiff of fruit, followed by more resiny, pine-like notes with a little bit of sweet caramel behind it.

The beer has a medium body and a firm mouthfeel. A fair amount of malt sweetness up front giving it a nice biscuity taste. Hops come in and join the sweetness, bringing the flavor more towards apricot and marmalade. The hops are not as aggressive as I had hoped for. Finish is a bit sweet and doesn't give much of a lingering bitterness.

Overall this is not a bad beer, but definitely too sweet for my palate. I'm not sure how old this bottle is, but I probably won't buy this again. I like IPAs and IIPAs to be much more aggressively hopped than this. (835 characters)

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Brew Kettle Old 21 Imperial IPA has a light orange body with a good looking off-white head. The retention and lacing are both quite good.

The aroma has a mix of malt and hops. Pale malt combines with a bit of darker caramel malt. The hops are pretty noticeable, with grapefruit peel, orange and a some resin.

Fruity simcoe hops are all over the place, with all kinds of citrus and a resinous, yet slightly grassy flavor. These hops are paired with a good bit of pale malt, but also some sugar-cookie and caramel flavored malt. There is a moderate amount of bitterness. The finish has a little bit of boozy warmth to it.

The body is surprisingly light for the ABV, but somehow it manages to avoid being out of place.

This is a pretty balanced IIPA. To be honest, I don't have strong feelings about it one way or the other. (829 characters)

Photo of oline73
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a layer of off white head that goes away almost completely.

Smell: Sweet bready malt up front along with a citrus peel bitterness.

Taste: The bitterness dominates, unlike the smell. There is plenty of sweet malt in the background, but the citrus peel hop bitterness wins. The finish is quite bitter.

Mouthfeel: The body is a syrupy medium with very mild carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: Not overly impressed with this one. It's not a bad beer, but not particularly interesting either. (586 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.42/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly hazy yellow to orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, pineapple and orange citrus hops. In the taste, dry pine like hops and a light malt, small notes of citrus. A small bite and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a dry pine and small alcohol in the aftertaste. Big citrus in the nose, but dry pine in the taste, nothing more than above average. (383 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.41/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Random find in a bottle shop outside of Cleveland, OH. Reviewed at Rising Sun CG, Glacier National Park, MT. Full notes taken to my phone when out of service last week.

A- Pours a muddled and very hazy dark orange caramel hue from the 12oz to a goblet. A white one finger head rises with a silky creamy consistency. Thick frothy ring leads to webs and sheets of lace.

S- Hops are the emphasis here but there is a substantial malt presence beneath that. Strong notes of stone fruits, pine and some zest with pale caramel in the backdrop.

T- Hops come in strong with a big bitterness to match the pine resin, citrus zest, orange, floral and stone fruit intensity. Malt base is fairly strong with caramel and sweet cracked grains.

MF- Thick bodied which help supports a bitterness that comes in very strong, perhaps a bit too much so, compared to othet similar DIPAs. Creamy and frothy texture fills up the palate with high end carbonation working off that.

I don't mind malts in a DIPA but in this one thetr is some harsh interactions between the caramel, huge bitterness and hops. Solid but this category is as competitive as ever and it falls short of many others. (1,169 characters)

Old 21 Imperial IPA from The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
88 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.