Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 139 | Hads: 403
Photo of jampics2
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ The Brew Kettle. Served in a 10oz snifter.

Old 21 is a beer that has been gaining a following around Cleveland lately. The beer is orange in color with some copper, amber, and yellow notes in the mix. There's just a film of a head and that hurts the score, but the color is great!

The smell is a Simcoe hop lovers dream come true. Peach and pine and a touch of catty scents come out of the glass, but, while the beer is a touch too cold, it's just too subdued. I'm assuming this beer is fresh since it's on tap at the source. But it's just not as big in the nose as I'd like.

Peach and pine from the nose carry into the taste along with juicy grapefruit. The malt is sweet, adding just a bit of pale sugary goodness. The flavor is much more powerful than the smell. It almost reminds me of Snapple peach tea :)

The mouthfeel is very good for this beer. Medium body with perfect carbonation, adding just enough bubbles to keep the beer feeling fresh and not sticky. There is some medium bitterness that lingers in the finish. This beer has great flavors but could use more expressiveness. I've had a batch or two that were just a bit more popping, but, even in the state reflected in the snifter in front of me, this is a beer hop heads should seek out. With just water, simcoe, pale malt, and yeast, this beer has a huge amount of depth. Beware of old bottles, go tap on this one!! It's certainly deserving of its recent buzz, head down to Old 21 and grab a glass straight from the source. (1,502 characters)

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 22 ounce bomber bottle emptied into a standard shaker glass. The DIPA appears a clear rich copper color with about two fingers of creamy off white foam. The head lingers for a few minutes before settling to a thin layer. No lacing to speak of. Aromas and flavors are of medium toasted grain, sweet malt, lemon, orange, and grapefruit, a good amount of pine and some alcohol warmth. A notch or two better than medium in body with ample carbonation. Pretty tasty stuff, and very reasonably priced. (497 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 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 JDV
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from trade with Crizay. Thanks dude!
Pours amber with a nice offwhite head that was short lived. Smell is really nice and fruity, with lots of pine and sap to go along with it in making a vibrant nose. Taste is fruity, hoppy and a touch of pineyness as well in the flavor. Extremely smooth with mild to moderate bitterness for the style, but amply flavored by the hopping. This to me, is a classic example of the style, while being slightly more drinkable than expected. Really good stuff. (496 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
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. (736 characters)

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

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Golden tan/yellow, monster 3+ inch head and alot of lacing.

Smell - Piney hops, grapefruit, light malts, lemon, orange, a little bread and floral. Not overly strong aromoa.

Taste - Its a dipa so, huge pineapple/grapefruit citrus hop kick at first swig. Orange and lemon make up most of the floral fruit flavor. Malts are present but are masked a little behind the hops, which they should be!. Some alcohol infact does come out in the swallow. Has a spice kick to it also. Very complex actually and balanced also.

Mouthfeel - Big, strong, hoppy!. Whole mouth gets coated with hops. Tounge gets bittered from the hops, then warmed from the alcohol. palette gets hops and alot of sweetness from the hops and added sugars. Aftertaste is thick, piney, resin coated tounge and alcohol warmed.

Overall - Very well done beer, I paid 4.99$ for this 22oz'er and that alone makes it untouchable. But, give the fact its really tastly and well done, its a must try from a killer brewery! The alcohol comes out a little bit much, and thats the only negitive about this beer for me. (1,112 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 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 Cresant
3.95/5  rDev +1%
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. (464 characters)

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of jmarsh123
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ninner00 for the bottle!

Pours a semi-clear orange with a thin white head and good lacing.

A little bit of citrus and tropical fruit hoppiness, but the nose is very subdued compared to others in the style.

Very impressed by the flavor after a non-descript aroma. Starts off with some very juicy tropical fruit. A touch of caramel malt balances out the hops and it finishes with a nice pine presence.

Good mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Very impressed by this one. It's not among the elite, but has some complex hoppiness to it and enough malt to balance it out. (579 characters)

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

Murky pale golden yellow body with loads of sticky lacing.

Pleasant aroma of tropical fruits... Pineapple, mango, and orange. Little malt presence.

A solid showcase of simcoe hops. Tropical fruit dominates the hop profile. Spot on with the bitterness.

Mouthfeel is sticky with low carbonation.

It's a solid DIPA and certainly quenches any hophead's craving. (365 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 aracauna
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

BIG hops. This is a beautiful combinatio of pine and citrus. There’s not much malt under all the hops, but where some beers that are heavy on the hops, but low on malt flavors come out unbalanced, this seems natural. I can’t really say it’s balanced, but it doesn’t taste wrong. A bit of sweet malt emerges as it warms, but at colder temps, it’s just the hops. (365 characters)

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have loved to support little Ohio breweries like this from day one. Unfortunately this is only my second offering from these guys. Ill have to change that.

A- First thing I noticed is that this beer is very clear. Strangely clear in fact. Its a crystal clear amber. The head is nice and tight and very stick with lots of lace, which is a plus.

S- Big on hops. Nice sticky Simcoe all over. Somewhere between citrus and pine. Malts are quite faint and take a back seat to let the Simcoe shine.

T- Again, dominant hops. Very resinous Simoes. Hops are more prevalent in the taste but they are nice and set back into the background. Pale malts with a little bit of crackeriness. Like someone else here said, the hops here really is where this beer shines. Bitterness is approaching aggressive.

M- Dry and sticky with bitter hop resins.

D- Easy to drink. Its not super big like I think an IIPA should be. It is a Simcoe bomb though. Quite bitter and nice. (957 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
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. (1,501 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 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 Wildman
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on tap at Bodega:

This beer poured a clear medium amber color with a small amount of carbonation. If formed a foamy off white head that coated the glass with lace as it subsided. An aroma of hops, citrus and pine. The flavor was of hops, citrus, pine and a hint of caramel. It had a medium body and an astringent finish. A pretty good beer. (341 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 TexIndy
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 650ml bottle into a tulip glass. No dating info so not sure how fresh. Was a slightly hazy light amber color with good carbonation from the etching. Had a good sized head that slowly settled into a thick collar and foam cap. Good sheeting with lots sticking.

The aroma was citric and pine hops with good mango presence over a solid malt base. Bitter. While the aroma was solid, the taste was much more subdued and watery. The moderately bitter hops lead the way with less of the mango showing up. The malt is there but way down the list. Sorta one-dimensional and watery. Mouthfeel was watery with good carbonation.

Overall, I was disappointed in this one especially after getting a friend's recommendation on it and after reading some good reviews. Not sure if aged bottled since they didn't date it or if this is just the way it is. It runs in the middle of the crowded ADIPA pack for me. Worth trying for sure. Not avail here in TX so shipped back from my Dayton trip. Rotation - good but worth shipping again. If avail near me, I'd definitely try one more time if I knew it was fresh. Other than that maybe a rare purchase [RS;RS] (1,152 characters)

Photo of BB1313
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I've had this one before a few times. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a clean transparent golden with a slight haze, eggshell white head fades, decent lacing and nice retention, nice looking beer. This one has some pretty dank aromas; Simcoe hops clearly dominate. Very tropical with lots of peach, mango, and pineapple. More tropical fruits in the flavors. Bitter, but there's a decent sweetness. Malt is there, but doesn't dominate at all and lets the hops shine. Juicy. I feel it could possibly use a touch of carbonation although it's there; somewhat flat and syrupy/resiny, but it actually makes for a smooth drink, I can dig it. Alcohol goes unnoticed, easy drinking and leaves you wanting more. Great DIPA..

If you experience this one fresh, it's extremely impressive. I'm really glad to see this one in 4pks now. This is a pineapple bomb, dank stuff! (868 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 drdiesel9483
4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - dark hazy auburn color with a slight white head but good lacing
Smell - grapefruit citrus floral smell
Taste - similar as smell with a great malt back bone
Feel - light carb medium body
Overall - really good! (215 characters)

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