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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.
very good

140 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 140
Hads: 410
Avg: 3.9
pDev: 19.23%
Wants: 14
Gots: 44 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 140 | Hads: 410
Photo of ColdPoncho
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Clear amber body, on the lighter side. Nice fluffy eggshell head.

S - Prominent tropical fruit, light citrusy and piny hops. A sweet thing too. A nice nose, but a bit small for Imperial.

T - Some bitter and astringent notes, but A nice hop profile. Sweet tropical fruits, and then some bitter perfumy astringency. It's close to great, but not quite.

M - A biting feel from the bitterness and the carbonation. A little bit more intense than I like my IIPAs.

O - This is good, but not great. One of the more tropical fruity IPAs I've had. But, it does not live up to White Rajah.

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

22oz bomber, secret santa 2011

appearance: served in great lakes tebow-mas chalice, very clear, light golden-orange body, light beige film lace

smell: light and clean floral hop presence, tropical, grassy

taste: a pleasant, relatively light-bodied DIPA - nice simcoe hop presence, lush and tropical, grassy, bright citrus with low bitterness, orange zest, earth. This was good - not overwhelming, but no complaints

mouthfeel: clean, a touch light, not much booze

overall: nice

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Photo of bigbluebeerguy
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber bottle (looks newer than one pictured above). Thanks to beerhan for this one! No dates appear on the bottle.

A: Pours a cloudy, hazy orange color. Minimal white head that ends really quickly. Some lacing on the glass on the swirl. Good carbonation from bottom of glass.

S: I get malts, breadiness, and some piney hops. There is some fruitiness behind the malt but mostly bread.

T: You get a nice clean hop bitterness on the tip of the tongue. The taste is better than the middle of the mouth. You get sweet fruity hops. And a crisp piney hop finish with a dry close.

M: Medium bodied with a good mouth coating.

O: B+ for this one. It's a solid offering. The taste is actually better than the nose. Pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2011-10-10 in Columbia, PA

A - Clear golden-orange with a 1.5-finger off-white head and excellent lacing.

S - Tropical fruit, hop floral, sweet and pleasant. Smells like a better batch of Simcoe hops than when I had it on-tap.

T - Strong pineapple, mango, hop oils, pine, citrus, biscuit malt. Clinging aftertaste features fruit sweetness and significant bitterness. Just a little sweeter than I like but not cloying by any means.

M - Light-medium body and carbonation. Resinous and prickly.

O - This is one tasty double IPA. I like it a lot.

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Photo of antlerwrestler19
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An extra in a trade with Brandie, thanks for another outstanding beer!

Pours golden amber with a creamy white one finger head that hangs around but once I start sipping it leaves behind excellent weblike lacing with some neat patterns on the glass. Smell is sweet and tangy like mango and grapefruit but then a mixture of bitter resinous hops and caramel malt shine through. The flavor is a complex concoction of sweet and bitter hops up front followed by a major takeover of bitter oily hops and sweet caramel malt - delicious. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth drinking for a 9.5% brew - dangerously drinkable with only the slightest sting of the alcohol. This beer is a definite hopbomb - a big complex hoppy beer that any hophead would love.


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Photo of ColForbinBC
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a snifter

This beer sits an orange infused amber with a one finger ecru cap. The head falls to form some spider web lacing and a thin layer of foam.

The aroma isn't as bright as I would hope, but still solid. Fresh simcoe hops lend a nice tropical fruit aroma. Passionfruit, apricots, mango and pineapple with a sturdy caramel malt backdrop.

The flavor profile is a little brighter. Tropical fruit domination with caramel malt holding down the back end. Lighter on the malt than the aroma and color would suggest, but not enough separation to put this in the upper eschelon.

Smooth, slightly chewy medium body qith a mild lingering bitterness.

I feel like this beer is close. Solid iipa, would drink this again in a heartbeat. But then again, I enjoy the simcoe.

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Photo of Jesse13713
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Laundry 101 in Kent.

Appearance - A well-carbonated golden straw yellow.Slightly soapy lacing that hugs the glass well. Almost a sickly neon green color under certain light here.

Smell - Smells of fresh grass fields and hops. Slight citrus on the nose.

Taste - An excellent Imperial IPA. Very fresh and natural-tasting. the hopes are the perfect amount of sweet and bitterness. Wheat and grain linger throughout the otherwise citrusy taste.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - Very drinkable for the percentage. Goes down smooth and refreshing, especially after a long day at work. The Brew Kettle really impresses with this one. Medium bodied, crisp and slightly tart. This is the best non-pumpkin beer I've had so far this fall. I definitely prefer the tap over the bottle, though.

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Photo of hippityhophead24
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Color is a nice light orange color. Very pretty and clear. Small head, not much retention.

Smell: Malts brings a sweet aroma to the nose, followed by floral, almost per fumy smell. Yeast lets the subtle, clean aromas come out.

Taste: I am very fond of the taste. It has a great taste for a 9% I.P.A. Has a slight sweet taste, not too wet, not too dry. Nice bitterness with subtle floral notes. Very well balanced. The semcoe hops definitely pull through!

Mouth feel: Slightly smooth flavor, medium body. Has a little bite on the tongue. Not over carbonated, but not perfectly carbonated.

Overall: All together, this beer from a small brewery in Ohio, is great. It has all the things I look for in a smooth, good tasting I.P.A. Not too heavy or sweet for 9%. And not too boozy tasting.

Glasswear: Bomber poured into Pint Glass

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Photo of spitInTheOcean
4.62/5  rDev +18.5%
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.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.23/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of siege06nd
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of readbaron
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of fear025
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
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

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Photo of Brez07
4.77/5  rDev +22.3%
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)

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Photo of Cresant
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of CliffBrake
2.96/5  rDev -24.1%
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.

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Photo of Greencoat
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of boomer31
3.1/5  rDev -20.5%
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.

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Photo of seeswo
3.04/5  rDev -22.1%
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.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Old 21 Imperial IPA from The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
87 out of 100 based on 140 ratings.