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Retribution - High Water Brewing

Not Rated.
RetributionRetribution

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

104 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 104
Reviews: 46
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.39%
Wants: 3
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
High Water Brewing visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: womencantsail on 02-05-2011

Retribution Imperial IPA is brewed for the true connoisseur of all things hoppy. We brew this beer with one theme, go big... or go home... Layers of bittering, finishing, and aroma hops all combine to result in a truely unique beer.

9.5% ABV 95 IBU
View: Beers (9) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 104 | Reviews: 46
Reviews by Philousa:
Photo of Philousa
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Imbibed at Burger on 2/3/13.

Pours a clear copper amber with a thick quarter finger off white head that laces well. Lots of grapefruit followed closely by pine hop aroma, very strong. I also get some maltiness underneath, mostly biscuit but not heavy. This starts somewhat sweet with biscuit, moves to slight baker's chocolate. Pine and grapefruit dominate the palate as well, with a great deal of earthy, coppery bitterness at the end. Feel is balanced, finish tends towards dry. This is one harsh beer, not for the timid. Great treat to have once in a while.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.57/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber almost brown appearance, ever so slight ring of head to it with little lace accumulation. Aroma was nice and hoppy in the grapefruit realm.

Taste, just a weird aftertaste on this one, heavily bitter. I really wanted to like it, as I loved the brewer's work while at Valley, I loved the name, but alas, this one was a relative miss for me. Alcohol was up there on this one.

Photo of McD0uche
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle into a pint glass:

A: Appears as a normal IPA, with dark amber hues and good amount of carbonation. There is not much head, but what's there shows considerable lacing as it subsides.

S: Crisp hops, pine, lemon, and grapefruit. It smells good, but isn't out of the ordinary.

T: Definite hop profile with a big grapefruit bite. Cream, toasted malts, almonds, lemon. The taste is pretty good.

M: Light, creamy, smooth. Finishes bitter and dry as it should.

O: This wasn't a bad DIPA at all. I'd like to check this out in the future.

Photo of augustgarage
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap @ Library Alehouse; served in a 5oz taster glass.

A sort of burnt-orange liquid with great clarity and a snow white head which is thin but lasting. Paint/batter - like lacing coats the sides.

Sweet caramel aroma backed by a fresh citrus/herbal/resinous blast of hops.

Bitter melon, grapefruit, black pepper, and mint on the palate. Punishingly bitter with a drying earthy finish. Malt adds a touch of honey, while the alcohol gives a substantial kick as well. Pungent flavors, but abrasive profile overall.

Creamy, medium-bodied, warming (not quite hot), and moderately carbonated.

The spicy bitterness and alcohol force you to slip slowly; as a fan of the IPAs he brewed for Valley, I'm happy to see Steve back in action - but this beer is aptly named and makes me wonder what my palate ever did to deserve such a harsh revenge.

Photo of 33nickadams
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hophead247 for this extra!
Translucent amber-orange color with about a finger of sticky white head. Smells of really piney hops with some hints of mango and other citrus fruits. I do pick up a sense of caramel in the nose. Taste is really hop forward, with the pineyness taking the driver's seat. The malt backbone doesn't really supply the support of the bitterness. At 9.5%, the alcohol is barely there. The mouthfeel is on the medium side, so this one goes down rather quick. Leaves the mouth dry, like other west coast DIPAs I've had the fine privilege of enjoying. Nice for an extra, and I doubt I'll ever get another chance to have it again.

Photo of bashiba
3.11/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a deep clean amber color with a huge sticky off white head.

The smell is mild with a light toasty bit of grain and some mild juniper hop notes.

Starts of big and syrupy sweet with some biscuit notes. The hops take over in the finish with a nice even blast of juniper bitterness with a touch of mint. The hop bitterness is there, but the hop flavors are a bit lacking.

The mouthfeel is thick and oily, lots of resin leaving a long lasting bitter coating.

Nothing special here, just your average malt bomb trying to be balanced out with a ton of bitterness, not terrible but a long way from great.

Photo of BerlinBomber
1.68/5  rDev -55.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Just had a 22 oz. Bomber

Had never heard of this, but figured let me try something new

Really didn't have any expectations - Not all that impressive

Definitely not that hoppy - more malty than I like

Alcohol was masked, but that wasn't enough to give this a high grade

Would not buy this again

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No freshness info available. Served at 50F in to CBS Snifter.

A - Medium translucent orange with half a finger of cream coloured head that quickly receded to a few bubbles.

S - Pine, peppery/spicy and light citrus aromas up front with a bitterness that is not overwhelming but is definitely present. A sweet malt backbone is also present in the nose.

T - A massive, almost abrasive bitterness up front with pine, citrus and earthy/floral notes. There is also a big, sweet caramel malt backbone - bigger than I expected for a west coast DIPA, but it is necessary to cut through the massive hop bitterness. The finish is dry and puckering.

M - Medium body, slight carbonation. Nice tongue coating hop oils.

O - Delivers as advertised - a huge hop bomb but didn't come together perfectly. Got better as my tongue adjusted to it.

Photo of nataku00
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a nonic pint glass. Dark hazy orange with a finger of off white bubbly head. The head mostly dissipated, leaving no lacing. Good amount of carbonation visible through the beer though, small bubbles slowly rising to the surface.

Nose is a nice combination of citrus and pine hops, bitter orange peel, fresh pine, sweet citrus tangerine, and caramel malt. The bitterness is balanced by a fruity and malty sweetness.

Taste follows the nose mostly, orange and grapefruit peel bitterness with only a hint of pine in the aftertaste. Good sweetness from the fruity citrus flavors and a light caramel malt. Flavor balanced, with a nice lingering citrus and pine bitterness on the tongue.

Medium bodied with good light bubble carbonation keeps the tongue from getting overly dry. Only a light hop dryness that goes away after a minute or so, inviting the next sip for your taste buds to experience the beer all over again. Alcohol is well hidden and not detectable at all. If not for the bold initial hop profile and strong malt back bone, it would be hard to tell that this is just under 10% abv.

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My wife picked this up for me.

Appearance- copper color, very thin head

Smell- piney hops, very nice

Taste- hops, slightly bitter finish, light for a double IPA but still very good

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- very good. I like it a lot.

Photo of largadeer
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had to adjust my ratings because this beer has changed dramatically. First two batches were excellent beers, newer batches are decent but very different and much less impressive.

Original review:

4.5
5.0
4.0
4.0
4.5

Draft at Gourmet Haus Staudt.

Appearance: Pale burnished copper, brilliantly clear with a frothy white head that shows solid retention.

Aroma: This one takes a minute to open up, but it's got an amazing nose when it does. Heavy on the citrus fruits, namely tangerine and grapefruit, with undertones of peach and pineapple. Alcohol is present at a low level, buried beneath the hops.

Palate: Juicy, ripe tropical fruit flavors hit the palate first. Pineapple, grapefruit, a bit of peach. Malt is present at a pleasant level for a DIPA this big; it brings a light balancing sweetness that highlights the hop flavors without overwhelming them. There's an alcohol kick, but the beer is highly quaffable regardless. The finish is bitter and punchy, but ultimately clean. I'm happy to say that this beer exceeds any IPA Steve brewed with Valley. If there was a less noticeable alcohol on the palate, it would be an A+ beer.

Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Highwater Brewing Retribution Imperial Pale Ale 9.5% ABV

A: Looks good, golden and amber notes, a burnt orange throughout, very similar to Pliny the Elder, suspiciously Pliniesque.

S: I love it when Imperial IPAs go the citrus route over a super heavy tomahawk/pine forward approach, it’s that genteel white glove treatment that keeps my bitter zones from being too skiddish on the first date. This has a more muted citrus profile than the best, but it is still present and accomplish. It smells like if Alpine Duet was vigorously scolded as a child or grew up in an oppressive Presbytarian household or something. Let those citrus notes free.

T: This has a fantastic taste of sweet drying orange rind on the first sip with a satisfying finish throughout. The problem it feels like listening to you favorite album on ipod headphones. You want to tell it to let loose and embrace its hop profile. The tastes are there they just aren’t “big” enough, if we can break Kantian conception of time space. I mean, if you focus and seek them out, they are there but they just seem like they are up to malfeasance, curiously silent. You feel like something is up with these hops.

M: Fan. Tastic. I love the drinkable character of this beer and the crisp thin nature is satisfying. I know some people will comment about how I slammed Dogfish Head’s Boring Baton for being too thin but this is a whole different story. When the hops deliver, albeit in a silent abused way, the maltiness doesn’t have to be the breadwinner of the family. This isn’t the maltiness show, the hops can pitch in around the house too once in a while.

D: The thin character with the nimble acidic hops give it a great get up and go. I love how it quenches and demolishes your taste buds at the same time. It is drinkable in the way spicy cheetos are edible, you keep drinking, harming yourself, and seeking more as a cure. I hope someone picks up this brewery on distribution because they are cheap and very well done. It may be that they get infected with Alipinitis and we see people swapping 24 packs of Furious for these sooner rather than later.

Narrative: “AND IF I EVER CATCH YOU PLAYING WITH THIS DAMN CHEMISTRY SET AGAIN REUBEN, THIS BELT IS COMING OFF!” The door slammed and little Reuben just clenched his jaw. Oh sure, sodium bicarbonate made in his own house, who was Reuben kidding? He sat there, conscious of his genius but rolled over on his Thundercats bedspread and wondered if anyone would take the time to read his algorithm that created a move paradigm for Magic: the Gathering cards. Everything that he touched became clearer and more accessible, if only his parents could see that. “NO MORE LINUX DISTRIBUTIONS REUBEN!” He remember his father’s words so well. Now when people asked Reuben what he was working on he would just shrug his shoulders and mutter “justacoldfusionreactorohitsnothing.” His genius remained latent for that one fertile bed of appreciation to accept him.

Photo of amnesia85
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

reading the reviews before this brew got to me made me wonder if I really wanted it in the first place! I am an IPA lover/hop head (background) this is my first official review. A 22oz was obtained through a good friend. I poured the fist half in my "alchemist sniffer" and drank it down. it was overall smooth and malty, could not taste the alcohol comming in at 9.5%. the last half was poured for this review.

A: clear filtered copper toned with a white head. head was thick with good creater formation. good lacing, some craters stuck to the side of the glass after the beer was gone.

S: malty at first then clean sweet brown sugar smell. NOT overpowering what so ever and I do not like sweet beer.

T: Clean malty upfront with a slight hoppy finish. not a fan of malty IPAs but this one ranks high on the list along with 21st ammendement.

M: clean, smooth, and great carbination with a good chilling goose bump after feel.

overall this beer was much better then what I expected from the reviews, but then again some beers I love dont get good reviews. def on the malty side of an IPA but not at deserving of a less then 4 rating.

Photo of Beeker
2.78/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into an over-sized wine glass. No freshness date indicated on bottle.

A - caramel color and amber hues

S - smells like a hop bomb with a blast of citrus

T - it got better as it warmed up, lemony-citrus on the front followed up by a slap-in-the-face hop-fest at the finish. Strangely, it had a bit of an acidic undertone - not sure how I feel about that. I did appreciate the caramel candy after taste.

M - light to medium mouth-feel with a heavy carbonation (serve warmer for a less sharp bite)

Overall - I'm not too impressed with this DIPA, I've definitely had better, smoother, and more flavorful brews in the past. Too pricey for the quality.

Photo of Ryan011235
2.84/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 9/23/11

Thanks to nickd717

Sunburst amber; medium-dark and faded around the edges. One finger head takes it's merry time dissipating. Retention is good. Impressive lace.

Notes of dry, dusty biscuit and caramel are prominent aromas. Interspersed there in are staccato hits of pine and a ghost note or two of citrus peel. Definitely tame on the hops. The abv is well-masked, though.

Tastes hoppier than it smells; with a sharp piney bitterness all the way through - not much depth in that respect. Solid malts, too - caramel and bread. A bit of alcohol warmth is noticeable; not bad, though. Tastes ok on the whole. A faint citrus layer emerges as it warms.

Medium-full body for the style. A bit slick as it warms up. Carbonation is a tad lower than moderate.

This one is decent enough, but it's too malt-forward and too tame on hops to set it apart from the top notch DIPAs around the country, let alone California.

Photo of womencantsail
3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The beer pours amber, almost copper, with an off-white head.

S: Lots of sweetness on the nose. Brown sugar and caramel are the big ones, but there is a bit of bread in there too. Some piney hops and a bit of tropical fruit, some citrus as well. Not quite as hoppy as I would have hoped.

T: The story is pretty much the same on the palate. Very sweet with lots of toffee, brown sugar, and caramel. Some citrus, fruit, and pine notes with a moderate bitterness, but not enough to counteract the sweetness.

M: Medium to full in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: Really a let down. Far too sweet and not really even that great of hop flavors.

Photo of flexabull
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright gold color, mostly clear, with a nice white head, and good lacing.

Aromas are resiny, orange, green, and floral. This has a pretty nice hoppy nose.

Taste is creamy, lightly sugary sweet, with some caramel, and light bready malts. Finish is dry, with some earthiness, tart and bitter citrus, and hints of alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel, is full, and pretty smooth.

Overall, a pretty solid DIPA. It's certainly more balanced, cleaned up, and refined than the bit off centered IPA from High Water. This is pretty good, I'd consider trying this one again. But I prefer others in the style.

Photo of FosterJM
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

532nd review on BA
Bottle to Tulip

App- A very dark orange with a nice one finger head. Spotted cling with some streaks and a bit of dots to cling. Color was quite clear as well

Smell- A bit citrusy which was a welcome deviant from the nose bashing pine/resiny DIPA. Had a bit of malts and a bit of hops as well.

Taste- It's not overdone. I was very happy to taste a DIPA, that didnt try to kill it. This was very balanced, tasteful and complex as well.

Mouth- Medium bodied and Medium carbonated with a citrusy malt punch.

Drink- A very tasty as mentioned above not overdone DIPA. It was well layered with some lush citrus and then some layers of caramel. I'd like to have this one again.

Photo of beagle75
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Slightly hazy, medium amber color with over one finger of turmeric-tinted foam head. Scant lacing remains and a veritable forest of fine-bubbled streams rise in the column.

S: Pungent coniferous foliage and over-ripe pineapple suggest detectable hops as well as other estery contributions. A fine thread of whole milk blunts the hops a little, seeming out of place.

T: Begins off-dry, with soft malt that tastes of caramel and hop aromatics whose pine qualities are slightly artificial. Astringency develops early amidst fairly mild acidity. Flavors become drier and generally less potent in the middle before harsh and disjunct bitterness--aspirin-like--develops in the slightly boozy finish.

M: Medium viscosity, slightly syrupy on the palate showing some alcohol burn, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: Nothing if not consistent, High Water brewed what is truly the elder sibling to Hop Riot IPA. It struggles with continuity, transitioning between qualities clumsily. That said, it does yield somewhat greater appeal than its little brother, but appealing it is not.

Photo of BeerBaronD
5/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Steve Altimari did a excellent on this one. Perrys liquor in Livermore carries all of high-water brewing beer and they are amazing if you haven't tried the no boundary IPA I would recommend it. They made it with ingredients from all over the world it's the bomb.

Photo of NorCalYeti
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

taste- sweet citrusy hops

color- brown/amber

clarity- clear

smell- nice citrus, grapefruity hops

body- bitter finish, lots of lively hop bite, oily texture on the top of the mouth

appearance- nice, foamy slighty off-white head. active carbonation and good lace

overall impression- very representative of the style

notes and comments- well-balanced flavor profile

beer spy- the monk's kettle, san francisco ca, 3/19/11, $7.75, 10oz

glassware: tulip

Photo of Trilogy31
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty, clear Light amber brown with a creamy two finger of white foam leaving sticky lacing. The nose has a citrus custard note along with vanilla and oak(?). The taste brings pure hoppy bitterness, rich caramel malt along with candied orange peel. Very nice beer and well balanced for being at 9.5%. One of the better dipas i have had.

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Body is clear gold with a sudsy half inch head that forms pillows of foam and leaves thick curtains of lacing.

Very pleasant perfumy nose, with vegetal and fruity hops, light malt, soap and salt.

Tastes of caramel malt at first, with just a hint of fruit, then the more vegetal/floral hops present fleetingly, and are quickly overtaken by the bittering hops which provide the long bitter finish to this. The malt structure is pleasantly light and sweet. I might prefer just a bit more floral/aromatic hops in this, but I find the palate pretty enjoyable as it is.

Carbonation is moderate and round and provides a moderately creamy mouthfeel and is a tad sticky.

Overall, this is a very good DIPA that challenges some of the established offerings, though it is on the bitter side, and that seems to be Steve Altimari's preference as the Hop Riot IPA is also a tad bitter. The alcohol is not so noticeable in the taste, but I am starting to notice its effect as I finish the first pint. Sip, sip, sip.

Photo of brotherloco
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bomber. No apparent date, but it's a brand new beer so it can't be that old...

Pours a deep dark gold, a touch hazy. Finger of off-white foam. Fairly thick lacing.

Caramel apple aromas emerge. Some pear and orange too. Bready malt. Pretty mild.

Initial taste brings on mild citrusy fruit and sweet caramel malt. The hoppy bitterness doesn't emerge until late in the flavor. A real blossoming flowery bitterness in the finish. Finish is quite dry with an alcohol presence as well. Wow, bitterness really lingers on this one. Not too bad, a bit skewed from other DIPA's.

The body is on the lighter side of medium with good medium carbonation. Not much apparent alcohol until the finish. Pretty drinkable. Your enjoyment will be swayed by how super bitter you like your beer though.

Photo of Sideswipe
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1/13/12 update: Arbitrator sent me another bottle of this brew due to the recipe being tweaked by the brewer. After sampling it, I must agree that this is a much improved DIPA. The nose exhibits nice citrus fruit characteristics and the taste is a balance of fruity, bitter hops and a pleasantly biscuity malt backbone. The finish is semi-dry with a mildly bitter aftertaste. All better now. Scores raised accordingly. Cheers!

6/11: Bomber received in a great box from Arbitrator. Thanks Mihir!

Poured into a pint glass.

A- the beer is a translucent amber color with two fingers of white foam on top. Decent lacing.

S- Dank hops, bready malt, and a bit of pine.

T- It starts out balanced but things go downhill from there. Mid-palate a bready malt presence gives way to a floral hop profile. This is followed by a wave of intense bitterness. The finish is dry, lingering and overly bitter.

M- The beer is medium bodied with a nice level of carbonation.

O- There are aspects of this beer which are decent, in and of themslves, but they don't quite work together here for me. There is a strange quality to the aftertaste which I can't quite put my finger on, and that I find a bit off-putting. Glad for the opportunity, but not one I'd look for again.

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Retribution from High Water Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.