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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: 404
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11%
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: 404
Photo of BeerBelcher
1.7/5  rDev -56.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I've visited Brew Kettle numerous time (my mother-in-law lives nearby) and always enjoyed their beers and my visits. And I bought this one in Columbus at Blacklick Liquors, with high expectations. It was a new item to Blacklick (I visit there regularly), and given this and the proximity of Columbus to Strongsville, I assumed this was a guarantee of freshness (although with no date code I have no way of knowing). And I believe I was mistaken - my experience with this beer stands in stark contrast to the other reviews on this site. This beer was not what I was expecting, and i would describe it as rancid. A dark gold/amber color with nice head and a clear body (so far so good). However, aroma was cereal-y, grainy, diacetyl, and a touch spicy, but not at all hoppy. Flavor was far worse. I got no hop presence off this beer in the taste at all. It tasted awful, and for me it was a drain-pour. I will happily revisit Brew Kettle, but I'd be hesitant to pick-up other bottled products of theirs based on this experience. (1,026 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.82/5  rDev -27.9%
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.

(2,361 characters)

Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.88/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

No freshness dating. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a fluted pint glass with the designation that this glass was from, or should be filled only with Harpoon IPA. Pours very clear with a mostly white head of about one finger in size. A good dose of lacing clings to the glass.

Aroma is fairly weak for a Double IPA. Super earthy. This seems like an English IPA if you ask me. I know the bottle says "Simcoe through and through", but unless this is an older bottle, I get nothing but wet soil, slightly sweaty socks, and a touch of biscuit. Caramel malts play a pivotal role as the beer warms, giving me a not-so-warm feeling about this one.

Flavor is similarly English. Fairly sweet up front with minimal hop kick in the back. Sticky and nearly cloying with loads of caramel malts. Slightly fruity.

Although Brew Kettle says they hop this with Simcoe, I have the strictest confidence that this bottle is either out of date or the beer suffers from underhopping and "English masking". I didnt particularly like this one either; rather sweet. If one wants real Simcoe flavor, try Double Simcoe from Weyerbacher. The bottle asserts this beer has 90IBU. I object, your honor! If only the brewery would date their goddamn beers. A real shame. (1,240 characters)

Photo of mcallister
2.93/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Deep mahogany with a small head again a culprit of the bad pour. And again very crisp and clean look. No lace. What head is there is very whispy.

Whiff of caramel malt and a slight hop aroma. Otherwise hard to even generate a smell.

What I would consider a weak effort at an IPA. They should have took this on the longhaul and tried to make it a barley wine. But even if it were that would be very weak. Bit malty caramel and slight pine hop. No length or depth.

Malty and thin and not that drinkable. (511 characters)

Photo of CliffBrake
2.96/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Fairly bright medium amber color with a small head and light lacing.

A bit of fruit - maybe sour cherries and some spicy bread (rye bread) on the nose. Taste is of stewed fruit with perhaps a bit of pine in the middle. Bitterness gives way to a long sweet finish.

Heavy body with a cloying sweetness. Difficult to drink except in small sips, in a small quantity. Might be nice as a dessert if splitting a 12 oz bottle between a few people. But a bomber is a lot of this beer. (477 characters)

Photo of seeswo
3.04/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clean golden copper with a nice cap of head on it. Looks really good. Smells is an extremely generic combination of hops and malts. Nothing really distinguishing comes from the simcoe - maybe just a shade of pine or something, but not really. There is nothing about the nose that makes you want to pick it up and give it a big drink, though it doesn't smell bad. The front of this beer is like a big Maibock - sweet and malty. As it carries through, it dries out a bit with a somewhat bitter finish. The hoppiness in the end is again a pretty generic bitterness mostly devoid of actual hop flavor. The front and the back don't come together to balance each other out - it is just over malt/sweet in the front and flavorless, drying bitterness in the back. I am not a big fan of this one at all. The mouthfeel is pretty sugary, with good carbonation. Overall, this just doesn't seem like a good go at the style. (918 characters)

Photo of Ricochet
3.1/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer , I guess I'm not a big fan of IPAs. It was a very hoppy beer and explained that way. "Big Bold and Hoppy". A dark amber color and a good aroma. The flavor was very very strong, alcohol was way present but buried in the flavor of the beer. There was a distinct raisin flavor while going down and left a black licorace flavor.

Mouthfeel and taste just seemed average, but it's average for microbrews. I had a sample of Dogfish Head 90 Min. IPA, and that was much more rounded and better finished than this beer. I had to finish this one slowly, so it's not very drinkable, maybe as the last beer of the night and slow so you can really appreciate the taste. (670 characters)

Photo of boomer31
3.1/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to jampics2 for the extra!

A - Pours a bright clean gold with a thick white top. Tight bubbles. Some cling to the glass

S - Nose is unimpressive. Mostly malt...not sure the bottle date on this. Perhaps a hint of pine, but not much

T - Much of the same as the nose. Nice malt backbone, finishes dry. a touch of mint ans some grass. A bit of a alcohol bite at the end.

M - Dry. Nice high carbonation.

O - Not sure on the freshness here but still a nice beer with muted hops.

As an Imperial IPA not very good. As an aged American Barleywine, pretty solid. Nice malt backbone and finishes dry. (603 characters)

Photo of PDXHops
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber from Ryan011235, poured into a Duvel tulip.

Hazy light amber with gentle bubbles of carbonation continuously feeding what’s initially a finger or so of off-white head. Decent retention and lacing. A little heavy-handed with the caramel for my taste, but they’ve got the hop end of the equation figured out pretty well. Citrus seems to start out slowly but build in intensity and juiciness. Midswallow, things turn more aggressive, with a fair amount of pine bitterness and a vague sort of dankness. Moderately boozy. On the thickish side of medium-bodied, but there’s ample carbonation and a nice stickiness in the finish. Worth a try. (650 characters)

Photo of mwa423
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Clear and attractive gold with two fingers of soapy off white head.

S - Slight citrus flavor, some burning hop, some steely hop, and some alcohol

T - Hops have faded in this bottle, leaving a very harsh and biting steely hop that punishes the tongue. This is far better fresh from the tap.

M/D - Mouthfeel is harsh and biting. This is a good beer fresh from the tap, but I won't be buying any more bottles. (414 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle thanks to jampics2. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate golden coper color with a white head. Some carbonation is visible. A bit of lacing. The nose brings citrus, tropical, and grassy hop notes as well as a bit of light grain. The taste isn't nearly as hoppy as the nose would suggest, and is quite boozy underneath the hops and accompanying bitterness. Mouthfeel is boozy, for sure. Drinkability is okay. Nice nose with a good flavor profile, but overall just way too boozy. (486 characters)

Photo of TheRemyLeabeau
3.31/5  rDev -15.3%
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. (352 characters)

Photo of degerbah
3.33/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy amber with about two inches of thick eggshell colored head. As the head dissapates the head leaves thick lacing around the side of the glass. The aroma is hoppy, but not as hop forward as I would have expected for a IIPA. The hops are definitely present in the taste with a very floral presence. The aftertaste is sticking with me for a long time which I'm not totally sure whether I like or not. After a few gulps there is a slightly gritty feeling on my teeth. After a little while, the flavor is starting to grow on me. I like it ok, but its not my favorite IIPA. (588 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.33/5  rDev -14.8%
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 (1,702 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)

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 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 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 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 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 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 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)

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