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.
very good

139 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 139
Hads: 406
Avg: 3.9
pDev: 19.23%
Wants: 14
Gots: 42 | 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: 406
Photo of WesMantooth
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, it is a hazy, copper orange with an almost brown, fluffy off-white head.

Smells good. Solid bready malts Also some citrus, and a strong earthy /musty aroma.

The flavors I taste are mainly sweet caramel malts, and some slightly herbal/medicinal/dankness matches the musty aroma. Some slightly zesty ripe fruit. Seems more sour than sweet. More lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange rind.
Noticeable ethanol.

Body is excellent. Moderate resin feel. Full, but not filling. Pretty smooth and somewhat creamy texture. I wasnt expecting this to be the strongest aspect based on aroma and taste, but I think it is.

This is a very good imperial IPA. However, there are just so many better that I am not likely to pick this one up again. I recommend trying it for sure though.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.16/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - dark hazy auburn color with a slight white head but good lacing
Smell - grapefruit citrus floral smell
Taste - similar as smell with a great malt back bone
Feel - light carb medium body
Overall - really good!

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours lightly hazy bright orange color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, apricot, lemon zest, orange peel, light pine, light caramel, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/tropical hops and moderate malt notes; with good strength. Taste of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, apricot, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, light caramel, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, apricot, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, light caramel, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/tropical/piney hops and moderate malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, sticky, and lightly creamy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming lingering after the finish. Overall this is an excellent DIPA. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/tropical/piney hops and moderate malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of car2052
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to snifter.

A: Hazy burnt orange with a thin off-white head.
S: Lots of pine, grapefruit and orange aromas.
T: Lot of pine and grapefruit hit the palate first, then some bready malts enter, followed by some bitter orange, as it goes down. The pine and grapefruit stick with you the whole time.
M: Medium. Subtle aftertaste.
O: This is a great DIPA, with hop flavors that don't let up.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color. The head is around two fingers high, with a bubbly texture and a vaguely off-white shade. Retention isn't fantastic, but because the head is so creamy, it leaves behind a decent amount of webbed lacing on the glass. (4)

Smell: This shows off Simcoe pretty well. The hops are producing notes of tangerine, pine, melon, and dankness. It has a bit of that juiciness I enjoy - though it should be said that the hoppiness seems to fade as it warms up. It's replaced with some caramel malt sweetness. On the other hand, the alcohol is concealed nicely. (3.5)

Taste: Malts hit the palate first with notes of caramel, toffee, and even a touch of table sugar. It stays rather sweet up to the finish, albeit with a nice upsurge of dank, piny Simcoe goodness. Let it warm up, a slight spicy prickle will also appear on the back end - this helps to temper the sweetness slightly. All in all, this is a bit too sweet for me. (3)

Mouthfeel: Big and heavy, it does have a crisp finishing bite...but also a lot of sweetness throughout. This is up there with DFH's 90 Minute as far as 'chewy' DIPAs go. Natch, carbonation is somewhat concealed by the heft. Also concealed by the heft is the alcohol presence. (3.5)

Overall: This one is definitely on the malty side for a DIPA. While that makes it too sweet for my personal tastes, I can see this one catching on with those who don't like IPAs. I think my problem here is that I expected a bigger White Rajah, and instead got something balanced and approachable. Damn me and my scorched earth tastebuds! (3.5)

3.3/5: Don't expect Double Rajah here...DO expect a beginner-friendly DIPA, though

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Photo of KYGunner
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Gorgeous golden color yields a bright white and foamy head. The aroma is light and grassy, earthy and dank with some whole cone and floral components. The flavor is earthy, floral, and bitter. There's a nutty malt and honeycomb flavor with a piney bitterness. This is a bit dank and earthy for my taste but it delivers a lot of flavor.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.25/5  rDev +9%

12 fl. oz. bottle received in trade from a non-BA member that I sampled on August 20, 2014.

It pours a slightly cloudy medium amber with a tremendous cream colored head.

The aroma is a lovely balance of toasted caramel and toffee malts and hop bitterness but more earthy than floral or citrus.

Medium, smooth body.

The malt character starts things out with a bang but it does not take long for the hop bitterness to roar in like a waterfall and take things over, lingering to the end. Liked it.

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

Never backing away from the hops, another stellar IPA crawls out of the depths of The Brew Kettle's brew kettle! This time with an old-world balance and hop character to take the taste back to the days of America's mircrobrewery roots... if only there were imperial IPA back then.

It deep and hazy amber hue sheds light on the malt additions that it takes to bring some semblance of balance to this hop bomb. Piquant aromas of citrus peels, torn pine needles, and an array of exotic grasses. But its drippy sweet taste is laden with toffee, peanut brittle and mild toast.

Its malty-sweet middle slowly gives way to growing hop flavor, going from bright citrus to the piths and peels of white grapefruit, under-ripened oranges and verbena. An estery background allows glimpses of mango and apricot to pull forth and give much needed complexity to the earthy hop flavor.

But resembling true IPA in finish, the sweetness lifts and the bitterness sets in, full of its chloropyll-laden glory- grassy, stemmy, leafy and somewhat brazen in its hop-derived astringency. Its moderate warmth is spicy and only exacerbates the hop's bittering power.

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Photo of cbutova
3.41/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of cratez
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The Brew Kettle Production Works Old 21 Imperial IPA - 9% ABV - Consumed March 21, 2013.

A: pours a clear amber hue with bronze edges, one finger of frothy white foam, lots of bubbles in the body, sheets of lacing on the pint glass. Nice look.

S: pine, hemp, bread crust, citrusy and herbal hops, grapefruit, honey, nuts, cotton candy, resin, navel orange, alcohol esters, and nectarine. Fresh and aromatic nose that falls just short of greatness.

T: juicy, citric, and orangey hops upfront, peach, caramel sweetness mid-palate, nutty malt, pine resin and bread crust to end. 90 IBUs make themselves known with some lingering heat in the throat. Good.

M: full side of medium-bodied, bordering on syrupy, with a spicy, citric and drying hop bitterness and lasting piney-bready afters. Consistent with the style.

O: a very respectable East Coast DIPA that I would gladly purchase again.

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Photo of lochef81
3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of TheBullsHorn
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A good example of an ever-expanding segment of American ales, this Imperial IPA uses a complex and flavorful hop (simcoe) and puts it on a pedestal. You get varying degrees of citrus, grapefruit, and tart green apple, complemented by toast and caramel from the malts, and the implied imperial levels of alcohol. I just wish for a touch more malt sweetness to balance out both the mouthfeel and flavor profile. Simcoe is a great, but left unchecked, it can overpower a beer. A good beer with a great hop, definitely drinkable, and hop aficionados will love it.

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Photo of mtomlins
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle and poured into a stemmed tulip glass.

Pours a clear amber with a big creamy, persistent head and a bit of lacing. The aroma is hop dominated by citrus with notes of pine. The taste follows through in similar fashion but the grapefruit really comes through as well as bitter spicy American bittering hops, but with a pleasant caramel malt backbone. There is sufficient carbonation and a medium body indicative of a DIPA. Overall, a very tasty and highly drinkable DIPA.

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Photo of TequilaTom
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice orange-bronze color with a quickly diminishing white frothy head. Leaves nice lacing throughout drinking. Moderate carbonation. Decent earthy aroma, maybe piney, but I did not pick up much citrus, which I prefer. Nice mouthfeel, not too heavy. Good flavor, but I noted a slight metallic aftertaste, not enough to really count against it though. Overall a nice offering from the Brew Kettle, which I hope to visit this spring since I only live about an hour away.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours a clear caramel, golden orange/brown topped by a foamy white head that laces and leaves a thin coating throughout drinking. The nose is predominantly perfumey grapefruit sweetness, a bit of citrus rind, and tropical fruit. Juicy grapefruit dominates the palate, but it's far more bark (aroma) than bite (AAs), and has a big malty backbone to support the generous amount of citrusy hops. This qualifies as a big DIPA with a medium body, adequate carb, and reasonable sweetness, but the booze and bitterness become a bit overpowering/tiring after awhile. The biggest limitation of this beer is its tremendous alcohol content, but my slight criticisms wouldn't cause me to avoid this beer in the future.

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Photo of BrewUSA
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Brew Kettle Old 21

Look 7/10
Smell 15/20
Taste 28/40
Feel 8/10
Drinkability 17/20

Overall 75/100

Much floral coming through. Wish it was in a better way. Not as hoppy or citrusy as I expected for an imperial IPA. Something is a miss, a revisit may be in order~

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Photo of Omnium
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Pours a nice golden orange, thin soapy half a finger of head, little lacing.
S - Big juicy citrus up front, then some really sweet candied fruit, some alcohol, other sweet malt, definitely a dank quality to the hops.
T - Not bad, the 9.5% doesnt really come through in taste which is great, a nice bitter and tart citrus punch in front, big sweetness in the middle, finishes on the drier side.
M - Very clingy sweetness, mild bitter aftertaste.
O - Solid double IPA that packs a punch, and is still a bang for your buck.

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Photo of jsurfs82
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Revisiting this beer after a couple years I think this is quite good. Definitely fresh and picking up on the dank hops like Simcoe. I'm finding my palate is gravitating to the older classic west coast styles and this hit me in the right spot on this last try. A great OH offering. Brew Kettle does hops well.

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Photo of TheRemyLeabeau
3.31/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Not a huge fan of this one. This beer makes no attempt to hide its high alcohol content and within the first sip it screams Imperial. The mouthfeel is a little too thick for my liking and the overpowering sweetness of this beer just kills its for me. White Rajah is one of my favorite beers and in my opinion a top IPA. But this one, not so much. Pass.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A - Light orange/copper. My aggressive out lead to over s finger of town head, fantastic lacing and retention.

S - Orange, resinous citrus hops, sweet, caramel under tones, smells fantastic. Nice malty sweetness a little light

T - citrusy with some floral notes, incredibly well balanced and rather sweet. Almost a little too mild for an oils at 9% but the balance and refreshingness is impressive. good flavor, well rounded and not overly bitter but a nice citrus resin flavor lingers.

M - shockingly light and refreshing. Perfect carbonation.

O - light refreshing bag heavy fantastic drinkability with s nice little choppy kick at the finish. I approve

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Photo of schwemjw
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
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

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Photo of kojevergas
2.82/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12 fl oz bottle with typical label art and yellow branded pressure/pry-off cap received today from michaellcoates as part of a trade; thanks again, man! Served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I've never had anything from this brewery before, but my trade partner implied it was good stuff by including it in his box. Self-identifies as an Imperial IPA, so that's what I'm reviewing it as. 9.0% ABV according to the label. 90 IBUs. Brewed with Simcoe hops. No obvious bottled on/best before date or julian code.

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

A: Pours a 3 finger wide head of beige colour. Slight cream. Nice thickness. Good (5-6 minute) retention for the high ABV. No bubble show.

Body colour is a somewhat vibrant clear copper. No yeast particles are visible.

Standard fare for the style, but overall appealing. No overt or obvious flaws. Looking forward to trying it. The head retention is a highlight.

Sm: Floral hops. Tropical fruit hops - I hate that in an IPA (mango, dirty pineapple, melon). Substantial caramalt. Maybe biscuit malt. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Limited hop bitterness. A moderately strong aroma. Not great for the style, but within conventions. I'm not real excited to try it now; the aroma isn't suited to my particular preferences.

T: Floral hops. Substantial malt in the body; caramalt, pale malts. The hop profile is quite simple overall; I don't get oily hops, citrusy notes, juicy notes, nectary character, etc. Just floral hops. Simple and timid. Balance is decent; the malts suit the hops, but both are underwhelming. No complexity or subtlety here. Likable and pleasant to drink, but of clearly limited quality.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Adequate carbonation. Okay thickness; maybe a bit overbearing for the lack of flavour. Decent presence on the palate. Suits the flavour profile in a general sense. Okay execution, but not unique or special.

Dr: A passable Imperial IPA that I wouldn't recommend to friends. I'll finish the glass with ease, but I wouldn't want another one. Drinkable but underwhelming. Not worth trading for by any means. Decent, but nothing to write home about. Hides its ABV decently.


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