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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: 403
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: 403
Photo of nrbw23
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a golden orange color with a thin head leaving little for retention. Decent amount of lacing.

S- Smells of quite a bit of citrus & floral hops. Bready and caramel malts are also in there. Just a touch of booze in there too.

T- Quite a bit of hops with a very strong hop back bone. Very good balance here and not at all what I expected. Orange and grapefruit dominant with a very strong malty backbone here.

M- Meduim to full in body with the carbonation that seemed to be about right on.

D- First brew from here and I like it. Give it a shot for sure. I really enjoyed this one. (594 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a pint glass. Much different logo, with the Ohio State Route 21 sign surrounded by gold & green colors. Listed at 9.0%, also.

Pours a crisp, clear copper color into the pint. Great clarity with just the right amount of carbonation visibility. The head, while seemingly short-lived, recedes to a fat patch of blotchy tan bubbles that latch on to the edge of the glass as the beer level recedes. Simcoe-riffic aroma, rife with musky pine and tropical fruits (papaya, mango, pineapple). Very floral and organic-smelling. The malts chime in with a hefty dose of caramel and sweet toffee nuttiness.

Let's see how she tastes. Interesting...changes pace from a smooth pale-aleish type beer with caramel malts on the front of the palate, and then quickly switches gears to a hop-forward IIPA with Simcoe hops crashing the tongue & roof of the mouth with piny, skunky goodness. Lingering kiss of resinous, bitter hop oils in the finish. Very sticky and borders on a chewy mouthfeel, but the body is thankfully light enough to make this one drinkable. Could use a bit more body and carbonation, however. Overall, a solid IIPA that could stand a few tweaks here & there, but is otherwise on the right path to hop nirvana. Kudos to the Brew Kettle! (1,255 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 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 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 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 GRPunk
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had to get this in on my 3rd Ba birthday. Thanks to my brother-in-law for picking this up on a recent trip to Cinci.

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- A normal pour left a 1-finger, khaki head that dropped to a foamy film that left lots of stick. The body was a hazy, golden-orange with light carbonaiton.

S- Initially the hops come through with a floral presence that balances the sweet malt characteristics. The hops become a little earthy and piney. It's a little subtle for a DIPA.

T- The flavor was well balanced. There's a sweet cereal malt with somewhere between citrus and pine from the hops. The hopping has a drying quality that becomes very grapefruity as it cleans up the finish.

M- It has a slightly grainy feel. There's a one-two punch from the the alcohol and hopping that causes a pleasant burn.

D- It isn't huge in the ABV range (though it sneaks up on you a bit). That, paired with balance and clean flavors makes for an easy drinker. At the same time, I kind of like a DIPA that's a real sipper and makes you appreciate all the nuances as you drink. This one comes off as somewhere between a regular American IPA and a Double. (1,160 characters)

Photo of bamadog
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to beerman207 for cracking this one over the weekend. Review is from notes taken on 3/27/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: A solid light coppery color that starts with a one finger white head that fades to a thin and full skim; body is clear; very little carbonation and it moves slowly in thin streams; spotty washes of lacing hold firm to the sides of glass.

Smell: I get some orange and juicy citrus hops and a slight malty balance; the nose is pretty strong on this and I can appreciate that. I'm digging the juiciness coming from the smell of the hops and I feel that this one is going to be quite refreshing.

Taste: Very tasty, simple and good! Juicy citrus orange hoppy bitterness owns this one and there is a mild malty backing that adds just enough sweetness to balance it out; simple, solid and straightforward -- hides nothing and you get what you expect and want from this DIPA.

Mouthfeel: Quite nice, not much weight with a mild and soft carbonation that comes across very smooth; a nice stickiness is left on the roof of the mouth.

Drinkability: All day, baby! Nice and refreshing bitterness and a fairly light body would allow me to feel OK about getting through a couple of these - granted, the ABV seems a bit high, but it didn't feel all that bad so I think if I nursed it, I'd be glad to get through a couple. (1,368 characters)

Photo of joepais
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to Csmiley for the treat I poured the bottle into a tulip glass and it produced a nice two finger head that stuck a round for a while and had a nice lace that followed the beer down the glass. The body of the brew was a nice color of golden orange.

The aromas' of Simcoe hops were right out front I due like them so it was really enjoyable. The flavor was great as well nice and balanced being hop forward a bit but not so bitter that you wouldn't want to session this brew. It had a swolid meduim feel in my mouth with ample carbonation to keep me coming back for more

I could easily session this brew like I said earlier. A good DIPA worth seeking out for the try, and a brew a local should be proud of (721 characters)

Photo of UA8
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a crystal amber with with a thin white head which settles into pools of lacing.

S- big big citrus notes of grapefruit and orange peel, caramel malts, and a touch of heat in the background that I'm guessing is brought on by this being served at cellar temp.

T- candied orange peel, grapefruit, caramel, bitter piny and herbal hops, a touch of heat.

M- syrupy hop oils and a viscous body with moderate carbonation.

D- a potent and big dipa definitely west coast in style with powerful hopping and bitterness. A hop heads delight. (540 characters)

Photo of sitarist
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a orange/copper color, with about a finger of white head, the head fades quickly to a top coat and ring with lots of lacing.

A lot of citrus aromas, lemon and orange lead the way, with hints of pine, and biscuits.

The taste is well balanced with the citrus leading the way.

Medium to full bodied, with a fair amount of carbonation.

Drinkabilty was high. This beer left me begging for more, was refreshing, and went well with BBQ.

All and all a great beer. (466 characters)

Photo of movingtrain
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bomber sampled from a a 12 ounce snifter.

Color is classic imperial ipa. Not much of a head on this one...very light. Amber/copper in color.

Aroma gives off hints of grapefruit, pine, heavy citrus, creamy malts, and potent hops.

Bitter hops in the foreground of the flavor profile, giving way to caramel sweetness and bready malts. Some piny notes, and slightly astringent undertones, as well. The overall flavor of this one is bitter, but is well balanced and a relatively drinkable ale. (500 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11eye for sharing this bottle.

Pours golden yellow with a white head. The aroma is resiny pine. The flavor is more of the same with the resin bordering on extreme. You also get some grapefruit and pine as well as some citrusy orange. Thin-medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. (290 characters)

Photo of kels
4.31/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Glad to see these among the expanded distribution from Brew Kettle. Grabbed one when I was back home in Cincy.

Pours pretty clear, bright coppery-orange. Light carbonation rises throughout, feeding the thin, watery, extremely bubbly white head. Loads and loads of sticky white lace lines the glass, and spots of lace stick around tenaciously after the rest is gone.

Get a good punch of citrusy hops in the nose, with an undercurrent of crisp, dry grain and rubbing alcohol. The alcohol is a little too pungent.

Very flavorful and juicy-bitter IIPA. Great big sappy and citrusy hop presence is both earthy, even floral, and juicy in the taste, drying and clean in the finish. Malts are present, but don't interfere with the bitterness. The are crispy and dry and complement the overall taste and feel very well. Feel is pretty well carbonated, mouth-filling but light on the palate and refreshing.

Very good and highly drinkable Imperial IPA. Would definitely love to get these regularly where I live - dirt cheap and delicious. (1,033 characters)

Photo of giblet
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow! poured this beauty from a bomber into my 24 oz glass. light orange color with about one and a half inch of head. steady carbonation. the smell...that lovely smell of hops. this is an excellent hoppy beer that has a nice finish. the hops are strong but not too much to make it unbalanced. a perfect example of why i love beer!

my first from this brewer but certainly not my last!

suckem up and movem out.

giblet (418 characters)

Photo of wingman14
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My bottle graphics are different, and it only says the brew kettle, no ringneck, and it is only 9.0%.

Pours a golden light orange with very little white head with a vigorous pour that leaves lacing, a very crisp and clear beer, pretty phenomenal. The smell is hoppy, sweet, with grapefruit and other citrus notes. The sweet hoppy smell hits hard and is super inviting. The taste hits hoppy and sweet with the citrus notes coming through, followed with some slight bitter, and a smooth hop aftertaste. There is not much bitter going on, but plenty of hops. The bitter comes through as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is smooth, could have some more carbonation, but what it has is sufficient. This one is a great beer, very drinkable, the alcohol content is not very noticeable, could creep up on you. (799 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"When I was as you are now, towering in the confidence of 21, little did I suspect that I should be at 49, what I now am."

--Samuel Johnson

Dried apricot orange with butterscotch colored edges when backlit with morning sunshine. There goes my theory that 100% pale malted beer can't be darker than gold. The pastel orangish beige colored crown is both bubbly and sticky. Thick sheets of BB-shot lace look good enough to earn the big score.

One rarely runs across an American DIPA that uses only four ingredients. This one includes pale malt, Simcoe hops, water and yeast. The nose isn't a gobsmacker, but it has plenty of tropical fruity goodness... and no toasted maltiness to get in the way.

The Brew Keeper's Old 21 Imperial Pale Ale is better beer than 4 C's Pale Ale. That said, it isn't significantly better and may not deserve a higher taste score. Before jumping to any hasty conclusions, let's see what the rest of the bomber has to say for itself.

Considering color and flavor, I'm positive that something darker than pale malt was used. Caramel-crystal is almost a certainty, assuming that my eyes and taste buds are in good working order. Maybe TBK changed the recipe along with the label. The new label looks much better than the picture seen above.

The flavor profile delivers sugar cookies drizzled with melted caramel, a bit of butterscotch, pink grapefruit peel and bitter orange peel. In the end, the borderline abrasive hoppiness (90 IBUs) is winning me over. At least this isn't one of those overly malty, sappy, sticky, insufficiently hopped versions of the style that seem to be all the rage these days.

The body-mouthfeel finds that often elusive sweet spot between too light and too heavy. It's easily medium-full and has a creamy smoothness that is complemented by an ideal amount of hard-working bubbles.

Given the new label, Old 21 refers to the former Ohio route 21, which (I think) was in the vicinity of the brewery. Keeping with the theme, Old 21 Imperial IPA is a road well worth traveling, especially if like your beer to be both big and hoppy. (2,087 characters)

Photo of Clydesdale
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a mildly hazy orange-amber color, with fine bubbles cascading to the surface. The tall, orange-tinted head has a dense, foamy, frothy texture. Retention is excellent, and lacing is very attractive.

S: A mild backbone of malty sweetness, with biscuity and faint caramel notes. Hop aromas are fresh, juicy, and fragrant, with strong notes of citrus (orange/grapefruit) and less robust aromas of tropical fruit (passionfruit and pineapple). A somewhat resiny pine aroma is also available.

T: An appropriately straightforward malt presence here. Primarily biscuity, with some mild caramel sweetness, as expected for the style. Hop flavors are readily apparent, with tropical fruit, citrus zest, and a bit more pine resin than the nose initially suggested. Bitterness is firm but not out of control, and it slowly builds as the rest of the beer's flavor gradually fades. Perhaps a slight hint of alcohol, but it's well-hidden for 9% abv.

M: Medium-full body. Carbonation is medium. An oily, resiny initial hoppiness fades into a standard dry finish.

D: A very good imperial IPA from the Brew Kettle. There is a malt presence, although it deservedly takes a backseat to the hop bill, which is filled with citrusy/tropical flavors and a pithy, piney bitterness. This is nicely polished and rather smooth around the edges all things considered. It avoids some of the harshness and over the top-ness that many imperial IPAs struggle with. Definitely recommended if you can get ahold of it. (1,498 characters)

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle purchased at the Root Cellar. Heard good things about this one from PWoods so I'm eager to try it.
Pours a crystal clear copper in color. A little shocking, not what I was expecting. There's a nice "soapy" head that forms on the pour.
Smell is beautiful simcoe hops. Very floral and citrusy. Just the way I love them.
Flavor is more of those wonderful simcoe hops. I can't tell you how much I love these hops. This beer nails the mouthfeel for me as well. Just a little "soapy" and light at the same time. No malts need to get in the way between me and my glorious simcoe hops.
Well done. I could drink an awful lot of this. Time for a road trip to drink this on tap at the source! (688 characters)

Photo of Ryan011235
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bodega in Columbus, OH on 11/13/09

A - Sharp-looking burnt orange/amber color. Poured with a thin head leaving little for retention; ok lacing - it seems both would have been pronounced with a better pour.

S - Packed with citrus & floral hops. Orange & grapefruit. Some maltiness & booze in the background.

T - Dense & resinous hop flavor. Bitter pine tar with potent swaths of orange & grapefruit. Decently spicy. Light toasty malt in there; hints of caramel as it warms.

M - Rather full bodied with moderate carbonation. Despite the resiny grit, it has a penchant for slickness.

D - Pretty darn tasty. Though drinkability is not at all bad, the beer went right to my head - it's certainly potent enough. Worth a shot. (734 characters)

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 kirok1999
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mild gold with a ton of rising head and lacing that sticks like glue. A nice ring of lace is left after every sip.
Smell is nicely sweet and hoppy with lots of caramel malt backbone.
Taste is very hoppy, somewhat bitter in the finish. Sweet in the middle and finish which plays well with the bitterness. Juicy hops play very well with the caramel from the malt.
Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. It gets better as it warms and becomes a really drinkable beer. (464 characters)

Photo of blackie
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: snifter serving, brightly glowing copper in color, the frothy head gradually recedes but is easily revived with a swirl of the glass, light lace

s: a tropical fruit salad of hop aromas rises from a body combining pale and caramel malts; sweet pineapple, kiwi, orange, mango, and passionfruit; grainy, warm bread dipped in honey

m: carbonation light to moderate with a medium body, soft and creamy

t: balanced pale and caramel malt body supporting a similar hop load to that found on the nose, sweet, juicy tropical fruit hops move towards a bitterness that's deceivingly average at first, but soon begins to build to nearly numbing level with each successive sip, young pine and spicy fruit rinds linger

d: not even in question - the balance, clean finish, and invisible abv create an extremely drinkable imperial without any compromise in character; scoring this one was tough, it's far from the most complex of the style, but the near perfect malt balance and vivid fruits make it one to remember

bomber from Chuck's Fine Wines in Chagrin Falls - no mention of "ringneck" on my entirely-different-looking bottle, whatever the hell that is, but it seems I'm in the right place (1,185 characters)

Photo of Natural510
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, listed as 9.0% ABV & 90 IBU

Pours the prototypical dark gold with orange hues, with a thick white head and quality lacing.
Nose is somewhat different for the style; fresh hop with pine note, but grapefruit element is toned down and the floral quality is backed by a more lime-like citrus.
An aggressive hop with quite the leafy, earthy, forest-like quality backed by a surprising brown sugar biscuit-malt. Expected grapefruit-citrus element is minimal; this one chooses to go in a different direction.
Crisp in the mouth, and only the slightest bit thin in body.
This DIPA states its case well without attempting to clone the more popular offerings out there. I prefer mine a bit juicier and slightly stronger hop bite, but overall I find it to be a high-quality take on the style. (795 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.65/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Part of the 'happy birthday to me from me' beer purchase from Dilly Deli. I turned 45 on Friday, which is a very, very old 21. So let's crack 'er open!

Appearance - clear, dark orange/caramel pour. Two fingers of eggshell foam on top, excellent stick as thick walls of lacing drape the glass most of the way around. Even a smooth, slow bead from underneath.

Aroma - bready, biscuity base with a spicy, pungent hop nose.

Taste - nice caramel base, slightly sweet. Some early citrus goes pungent and bitter on the swallow with lots of robust hop bitterness. There's still a vein of mango sweetness in there, great hop flavor throughout. A bit warming as it goes down, too. There is a touch of medicinals on the aftertaste and into the finish, but it doesn't outdo the great flavors.

Mouthfeel - good, viscous, and smooth. Lighter carbonation, the beer feels great.

Drinkability - what a winner for my first taste of Brew Kettle. A beer that would cellar wonderfully and quite the value at $6 per bomber. (1,006 characters)

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