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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
87
very good

382 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 382
Reviews: 137
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 14
Gots: 39 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 382 | Reviews: 137
Photo of spitInTheOcean
4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

persistent off white head. gold color, copper tinge. crystal clear. huge lacing, there are clumps of suds hanging to the side of the glass.

smells of hops first off. citrus primarily, grapefruit, lemon. grass. pine. caramel and toffee are there as well, and of course the smell of alcohol. the aroma of alcohol seems just to contribute to the overall bouquet rather that detract from it.

taste of caramel malts initially. huge hop flavors through. citrus, grass, pine. big hop flavors and bitterness in the finish, though the bitterness is not overwhelming.

medium-heavy bodied. soft carbonation. finishes sweet.

this is about as good an ipa ive ever had. i think i paid $5 for a 22oz bottle. $6 at the most. its an amazing buy. i will definitely be having more of this.

Photo of PDXHops
3.23/5  rDev -17%
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.

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to drgonzo3705 for this as an extra.

Appearance: Deep, clear gold with a bright-white head. Massive amounts of lacing stick to just about everything. The head dwindles quickly, but never completely disappears.

Smell: Simcoe hop explosion! Loads of grapefruit coupled with something that borders on green onions, with a touch of that lovely cat pee aroma. It's all thrown over the top of a very bready malt base with a touch of caramel thrown in for some sweetness. This is a hop bomb for sure. I'm not getting a ton of depth, more an up front hit followed by some thinner notes on the edges.

Taste: Tastes like a stale hit from a bong filled with pine water. It's delightful. Loads of piney goodness fill the mouth with a straight up citric rind bitterness on the back. That lingering green onion flavor is there, but it's quickly covered up and forgotten. The nose is but a distant promise of what the taste holds. Malts play a minor role, adding some sweetness to the whole experience, which is greatly appreciated.

Mouthfeel: What a DIPA should be in my opinion. Nice and full without becoming syrupy. It wants to be dry, from the obvious Simcoe dry-hopping, but just cant. There's too much in there to be dry. Solid and appetizing. Lacks a little in the smoothness, but that's the only downside.

Overall: It's dank, it delicious, and fresh, it's well worth it. I can see this turning over in a couple weeks and becoming less desireable. A very solid extra and an enjoyable experience.

Photo of siege06nd
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served out of a bomber into my Jackie O's tulip. Picked up on a recent trip to the greatest city in our fine country, Cleveland, OH.

A: Wow, this beer is gorgeous. A good inch of white head rests gently over a crystal clear, orange gold deliciousness. Seriously, the beer practically glows goldenrod. Just lovely. Good lacing on the sides that lingers. As the beer sits, the head calms down to a nice half inch, ever so slightly off white.

S: Smells fantastic. Hops assert themselves nicely with a strong burst of pineapple and orange zest. Very well-balanced on the nose, with the citrus notes pairing nicely with the bready sweet malts.

T: Whew, this beer is a little hot. Hops are very strong, so much so that I can't pick up on much else. Strong, piney hops with a hint of lemon and orange. Not bad, but could be a little more well balanced.

M: Besides being a little hot, this beer sits nicely on the palate. Carbonation is perhaps a little light, but it has a nice depth and medium body.

O: This is a nice DIPA. I had high expectations after the appearance and the smell which the taste let down ever so slightly. Could use a little better balance, but the flavors are right and it becomes more enjoyable as it warms. I really enjoy this beer and look forward to the other Brew Kettle goodies I have in my cellar.

Photo of readbaron
3.67/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Photo of superspak
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip. Pours clear golden amber color with a dense 2 finger off white head with great retention that reduces to a fairly thick lacing cap. Plenty of sticky lacing on the glass. Aromas of huge pineapple, mango, grapefruit, pine and a bit of caramel. Mostly huge simcoe aromas going on here. Taste of big pineapple, orange, grapefruit, and caramel; with a big, and fairly smooth bitterness on the finish that lingers for a while with pine and citrus flavors. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied. Very smooth drinking for the alcohol level, but it is quite a sipper. No alcohol in the taste and a fairly strong warming on the finish. Definitely a huge hoppy brew, a little harsh at first with a clean palate, but it smooths out a ton. Overall, an excellent DIPA from Brew Kettle, definitely would have this one again.

Photo of fear025
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma:Smells nice, mostly sweet malt, but a little grapefruity hops too.

Appearance:Light amber in color. Low amount of head, but what's there is thick with tiny bubbles and good retention.

Taste:Tons of hops dominate the flavor of this beer. The hops are mostly piney flavored, with a little citrus. The malt backbone of this beer compliments the hops well. The hops linger on my palate through the aftertaste (and beyond).

Mouthfeel:The body is medium to heavy, with ok carbonation.

Overall:I enjoyed this IIPA a lot, it was well balanced

Photo of Brez07
4.77/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed in the Blind Beer BIF #5. Served into a pint glass

A: Light copper hue. 2 finger white fluffy head. Some lacing (4)

S: Lots of grapefruit, orange and melon (not quite artificial strawberry, but close). What a lovely nose. Not much malt. Leaning towards a standard IPA vs. DIPA (4.5)

T: Very tasty. Super hoppy. However, it is more balanced with malt then the nose. Brief bitterness from the hops. Real grapefruit flavor. “Tastes like eating a slice of grapefruit” – the girlfriend (5)

M: Full bodied. Pretty bitter, which lingers on the palate. Carbonation might just be a touch high, but no complaints (4.5)

D: Damn, I really love this beer. Unfortunately so did my girlfriend so I ended up splitting the bottle. Bit greedy with good IPAs, haha (5)

Photo of Cresant
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served this 22 oz. brown bottle in a Sam Adams glass. No date. Different label than the one picture. The body was bright apricot with a light haze. The head was pithy and off white. A pillowy cap remained and deposited bits of lace too.

The smell was orange marmalade. Oily pungent hops.

The taste was sweet with brassy, oily hops. Grapefruit pith bitterness. Sublime Simcoe.

The mouthfeel was medium to dense. The carbonation was moderate. Pretty good overall.

Photo of CliffBrake
2.96/5  rDev -23.9%
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.

Photo of Greencoat
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours to a brilliantly clear amber with a thin, white head composed of large bubbles that dissipates quickly.

S: One of the few times I've been able to pinpoint the exact hop used before reading the label. This thing reeks of the one, the only - Simcoe. My arch nemesis. I won't let my distain for the hop effect my review, though. This does have a pretty pungent hop aroma, I'm not pulling any malt scents outta this guy.

T: I'm not big on Simcoe hops, and as far as the label reads, this is a single hop IIPA using only Simcoe. But - it works very well. The malt bill is balanced enough to bring out the hop's bold flavor. This guys just border the fine line between balance and too sweet - but stays on the right side of the fence. This is a well made IIPA.

M: Sweet malts are quickly scrubbed by hop bitterness, which lingers. Medium-low carbonation.

O: A IIPA that focuses on the Simcoe hop via balance and non-offensive bitterness. I'm sure I'll drink this one again in the future, but I won't be actively seeking it.

Photo of boomer31
3.1/5  rDev -20.3%
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.

Photo of seeswo
3.04/5  rDev -21.9%
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.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old 21 Imperial IPA makes it clear on the label that it pretty much hits you with on hop variety aka Simcoe. It's hard not to compare this to Weyerbacher's Double Simcoe IPA. Dank mary jane, pith of Grapefruit with the peels, super pungent hop nose here. A bit of sugar coated malt backing this label states there's 90 IBUs and 9% abv. This beer isn't messing around. Besides the lighter copper golden color this beer appears to have it pretty much mirrors the Simcoe DIPA from Weyerbacher. Full thicket of off white head forming thick bands of lacing. Flavor is super bitter with an earthy grapefruit/dank marijuana/earthiness that doesn't exist with any other type of hop out there. Super big malt layer stands up to the onslaught of Simcoe hops but just barely, again these guys are awesome homebrewers gone pro. They understand the brewing process and I'm excited to try the next variation of the same beer that they produce. Mouhfeel is medium bodied with a evident alcohol infused base that hasn't been there in any other variation of this style, pretty hot if you know what I'm saying. At least their small brewing operation can ferment out to this level, resinous oily texture from the hop additions brings on a full mouthfeel compared to most single to double IPAs old 21 isn't messing around it's a display of what this brewer is capable of. Overall drink more Brew Kettle beer if you're lucky enough to find it then you should be drinking it. I know that Premium Beverage out of Columbus has distribution rights but I demand to see more of this near my beer store in Steubenville OH, considering the great bomber prices people will try these beers and be thoroughly impressed.

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Photo of steve8robin
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one on a trip to OH. 22oz bottle...

A: A nice crystal clear scotch color with a small white head that fades at a decent pace to a lace atop the brew. Good.

S: Can smell from the table. A floral hop upfront quickly followed by a unique iced tea scent. Kind of a bready apple scent on the backend. Unique, but strange. Decent.

T: A very strong apple / iced tea flavor upfront with some hints of sugary malt and then a bitter earthy hop wall in the middle. Not really an IPA IMO. This should be labeled as an American Barleywine. They need to cut back on some of the malt backbone to get more into the IPA category. Either that or up the hops. Good.

M: Medium body with a very well hidden carbonation. A sugary malt finish. Good.

O: I'd say this brew is good, but not great. Not really a DIPA as advertised on here. More of a Barleywine type flavor / scent. If you like barleywines and have access, then give this one a go, you may enjoy.

Photo of UMNbeerhunter
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber on 2/28/11 into a Darkness tulip.

Pours a dark clear golden color with 2 fingers of foam that dissipates to leave moderate lacing on the glass.

Smell is a floral and citrus hops with a sweet malt backbone on the other side.

Taste is of earthy grassy hops. Malt is sweet on the backside.

Mouthfeel has little bite and it moves smooth through the pallet. Little resin leaves a pine hops taste and a little of the sweet malt.

Drinkability is good. Goes down smooth, not tough to drink at all. Could use a stronger hop profile in both taste and aroma but in the end its a solid brew.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Body is a completely transparent vibrant but slightly dark amber hue. Pours with a 2-3 finger foamy white head. Plenty of lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Nose has an emphasis of spicy hops. Grassy hops and a decent amount of caramel malt are in the background.

T- Grassy hops, a hint of spice, a hint of grapefruit, and a mild caramel malt backbone upfront. The finish is more sweet than bitter-with juicy citrus rushing through and a mild caramel malt backbone-the citrus impressions soon fade and a mildly spicy hop character. Juicy citrus and a mild bitterness linger.

M-Low to medium carbonation and a medium weight body that is quite juicy and slightly oily.

O- This is a good DIPA overall. It is not as in-your-face or bright as a lot of them-but its very juicy and has a nice balance of citrus, spice, and caramel malt with just a hint of bitterness. I'd like to try this fresh at the brew kettle-I'm sure its a bit bright when its super fresh. Its good as is though.

Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

Photo of buschbeer
3.57/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Photo of dgugliuzza
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to pimpmyporter for this extra...Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a tulip.

A- Pours a beautiful orangy amber with bubbly tan head. Intense carbonation shooting from the bottom of the glass. Sticky lacing is rampant.

S- Smells of sweet piney hops. Loads of honey and fresh grapefruit. Fruity esters resonate in the nostrils. Very fresh and inviting.

T- Bitter hops up front followed by a slightly sweet honey finish. Lots of fresh grapefruit. Nice malt balance so that the hops do not overpower the palate.

M- Medium-bodied and insanely smooth. Not overly carbonated.

D- Awesome for an imperial ipa. So smooth and balanced. The 9% abv is a non factor. One of the more surprisingly great ipa's iv'e tried

Photo of TheHoppiest
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into an oversized snifter. I've had this in tap before at the brew kettle, and I've brewed their home-brew version of this in their brewery, so I'm curious to see how their bottled version compares to mine.

Pours a clear amber with a soapy white head. The clarity of the beer clearly indicates it has been filtered.

Has a wonderful hoppy nose, full of pine and white grapefruit. There's a subtle sweetness lying underneath the string hop aroma.

Has a spicy, peppery start, slightly sweet and warm, ending with a bracing bitter bite that leaves a warm trail down the throat and into the belly. Very pleasing tasting, this is not quite as warm, sweet or mellow as it is on tap.

Medium bodied, this beer leaves the mouth feeling bitter and dry.

This is an excellent brew, I definitely recommend you try this if you get the chance.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.88/5  rDev -26%
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.

Photo of AwYeh
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This tasting poured from a 22oz bomber into a 12oz snifter; no freshness date on bottle, though I would expect it to be 1-1.5 months old.

A: A beautiful beer; pours a crystal clear golden-amber color with a finger of foamy white head. Most of the head stays for the full glass, there's tons of lacing, and carbonation bubbles never stop flowing.

S: Sweet caramel and bready malts balance nicely with pine, floral, and citrus hops. None in particular really stand out, but all are present.

T/M: Sweet and hoppy- as this warms the sweet flavors really come out in perfect balance with the hop bitterness. More caramel, and almost a honey flavor; grapefruit, pineapple, and floral hops. Dry finish, with just a bit of lingering hop flavor. Medium body, well carbonated; smooth with just a bit of lingering stickiness. And, as a note, I assumed this was ~7.5% alcohol before I saw the 9.5 number at the top of the page. Completely undetectable.

D: A very drinkable beer; if The Brew Kettle had larger distribution this is a beer you would hear about often. Holds its own against some of the bigger-name DIPAs (Hopslam, Double Trouble, etc.), I would love to see a blind taste test between this and those. And, at $6 or less a bomber, I'll be picking this up again.

Photo of zimmerbloke
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Split a bomber and poured into standard shaker pint.

A: Two-inch off-white head tops a brightly translucent golden body. Solid head retention and a little bit of lacing.

S: Strong floral hop aroma with a mild malt sweetness backbone. Some citrus hop notes hints as well.

T: More citrus flavors in the flavor profile with a well balanced sweetness. Oily hops dominate malt profile, which is predominately very lightly roasted caramel; fades to a pretty abrasive bitterness. No real notes of alcohol.

M: Strong carbonation and very clean mouthfeel. No coating or cloying oily/sweet notes, which I appreciate.

D: The bitterness was a bit too strong on the aftertaste, which hurt the general drinkability. That being said, it did a lot of things right and was 90% to where I want a DIPA to be.

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Old 21 Imperial IPA from The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
87 out of 100 based on 382 ratings.