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
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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 KYGunner
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

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. (336 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear copper color ale with a big foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma consists of quite bitter and slightly citrus hops. Taste is also dominated by some citrus and bitter hops with some medium caramel malt. Full body with good carbonation and no discernable alcohol. A bit one-dimensional for sure but well done nonetheless and better then expected. (384 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
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. (1,141 characters)

Photo of rudzud
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Miketd for sending me this beer. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice crystal clear copper/orange hue with an almost one finger white head that fades to leave a thin white blanket and thin side lacing.

S - Rather dankish. Not boozey though. Sigh; one gets spoiled with the likes of Heady Topper and hill Farmstead and the knee buckling aromas those bring to the table. This has some light malt sweetness, some biscuit, light pine, some almost faded citrus. Clearly, at one point this had pineapple aromas but this is quite faded now.

T - Taste is...dang. Far too sweet for my liking. Lots of honey like sweetness, some light booze, hop oil, slight pine, old pineapple and citrus. The sweetness though, that malty sweetness...gah!

M - Mouthfeel is pretty dark good for a 9.5% DIPA. While I dont know if one can gulp this back its still damn impressive, even with how sweet this is coming off now!

O - Overall its good, was probably really good at one point. The malty sweetness though I just really dont care for in a DIPA. (1,050 characters)

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 zac16125
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a snifter
no born on date

Thanks to BMart for sending this one my way!

A: Pours a somewhat hazy apricot orange with 1 fingers width of bright white colored head. Head dissipates down at a moderate rate and leaves a few small patches of lacing.

S: Aroma is sweet malts and sweet tropical fruits hops like apricot and pineapple. The malts are reminiscent of loads of butterscotch and some mild caramel. The hop notes seem faded, this one may be a touch old or maybe its just the hop profile, but there is very little resinous/piney/citrus/floral notes. There is a somewhat off aroma as well that I cant particular place. Not bad but could be better.

T: Hops immediately more prevalent on the tongue, with a biting piney bitterness from the first sip. I then get a good amount of citrus rind. Malt backbone is present but not to the degree that the nose implies, and certainly takes a back seat to the hops. I also dont get much of the tropical fruit notes in the taste. Bitterness is huge though, in a good way.

M/D: Full body, carbonation appropriate, ABV is very well masked, and drinkability is above average.

O: Overall, a nice DIPA. Aroma could use some improvement as the hop profile is muted and there is an off character, but the taste is loaded with hoppy bitterness and is quite good. Id drink this again if it were available to me, but I wouldnt consciously seek it out. Thanks again BMart for the extra! (1,440 characters)

Photo of Omnium
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (547 characters)

Photo of BrewUSA
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
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~ (263 characters)

Photo of sixerofelixir
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft sampled at The Brew Kettle in Strongsville, OH. Review from notes.

Super clear light orange. Head retains OK. Huge, cony hop flavor. Taste is very crisp, but with a surprisingly smooth finish. A bit warm and alcoholic on the end, but all in all a very nice brew. (269 characters)

Photo of WesMantooth
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
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. (798 characters)

Photo of Rhynes2
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a great IPA for sure. i had it on nitro at the local beer shop and while I normally like beers on nitro i think it dulled this one just a little too much. It looks amazing with its thick dense head and the smell hints at the citrus like hops. The taste just didn't quite live up to what i was expecting. The nitro made it taste a little creamy and took out the bite of the hops I would expect from an IPA like this. It almost had a citrus cream flavor. Decent beer but not one i'm gonna rush to get again. (513 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear deep golden color with hints of copper and a one finery ivory head that dissipates into a layer of foam, leaving little lacing.

Orange citrus hop and caramel bready malt begin the aroma, leading to citrus pith bitterness and a touch of pine.

Flavor is huge citrus malt initially, grapefruit, mouthwatering, then turning decidedly bitter, with a hit of spruce and resin at the finish. There's a background grassy hop profile that is also oniony. Malt ties the hop flavor together, providing a hint of caramel sweetness.

Body is moderately heavy, with moderate carbonation and slight alcohol warmth. There's a hint of astringency.

Overall, initially a citrus hop flavor dominated, but bitterness quickly took over and controlled the profile. Booze was somewhat repressed, given the abv. Hops could've been more complex. (835 characters)

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