Retribution - High Water Brewing

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RetributionRetribution

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BA SCORE
84
good

46 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 46
Hads: 104
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 10.51%
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
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Reviews: 46 | Hads: 104
Photo of BeerBaronD
5/5  rDev +34.8%
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. (262 characters)

Photo of NorCalYeti
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
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 (456 characters)

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
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. (1,007 characters)

Photo of gregk
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The hop character of this beer is amazing. Really nice bittering and aroma hop character. Finishes really smooth without that "in your face" bitter experience that some IPAs hit you with. Color and mouth feel are on point.

Highly recommend it to any hop head! (261 characters)

Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
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. (2,998 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.26/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber (22-oz.) bottle into a pint glass. Color was dark caramel, more like copper. About a finger of head. Good lacing with sporadic bubbles that dissipated but still lasted for the duration of the pour. Sporadic film on the sides.

Smelled of citrus hops as you’d expect. Grapefruit seemed to lead the way. Kind of a sweet sugary smell, too.

First taste was a strong alcohol bite. Also some citrus notes, but not as much grapefruit as I thought. More lemon zest. Bitter aftertaste with that alcohol still coming through. Pretty smooth would with a good kick.

Medium body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Smooth finish.

Really enjoyed this beer, especially as it went down. It got better with each gulp. Smooth and crisp. (747 characters)

Photo of Trilogy31
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
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. (345 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy copper-orange color with a thin finger of frothy off-white head atop. The head fades down slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of citrus hops and rich sweet caramel malts. There is also some herbal notes, some mint, and a touch of booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of strong grapefruit and herbal hops and lots of bitterness. There is also a bit of super sweet and rich caramel malts. Through the middle, more herbal hops come through with more bitterness as well as some booze flavor. The finish is a mix of herbal and citrus hops and bitterness, rich sweet malts, and some alcohol flavor that linger together.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. The beer feels a bit syrupy with some thick resiny feelings left on the tongue.

D - Very drinkable. Very much a hop-forward beer, and the hops flavor pretty much trumps everything else. The bitterness is nice and strong and does not seem to ever give up. (960 characters)

Photo of facundoCNB
4.16/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a deep orange (yet clean) pour with lots of visible carbonation down the center of the glass, 2 fingers of head that left behind a sloppy massive pile of lacing! no sign of the high abv in the scent, mostly grapefruit, citrus, caramel, slight hint of pine. piney/grapefruit and earthy bitterness up front.. quickly killed off by a sweet caramel-like malt profile. an earthy burnt tire-like bitterness builds up for the rest of the pour. this is an excellently balanced IPA, with a slight alcohol taste but nothing major (but still oh so subtle for 9.5%). medium body with moderate carbonation, creamy mouthfeel with a nice sticky resin left behind on the lips.

i see a lot of shitty ratings/reviews for this one. i'm guessing people got old bottles of it, so I can't blame them because it happens to me sometimes as well. i think those people with the low ratings should give a fresh bottle a try though and see the difference. (928 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
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. (694 characters)

Photo of nataku00
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
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. (1,113 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a light orange with firm medium white head, leaving good lace.

S: Complex hop nose, with a lot of citrus and pineapple.

T: Classic pine and citrus mix. A fairly malty beer for a West Coast IPA. Light tropicality.

M: Medium-bodied, resiny, sticky, creamy at times with the soft frothy carbonation.

O: I haven't really been impressed so far with High Water and the high prices they carry. But this is a pretty darn good Double IPA. Worth a pickup. (482 characters)

Photo of GabrielM
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ultra-fresh bottle from Baker. Thanks!

A - a very bubbly golden bronze color with an inch of white head on top. Looks really nice.

S - a huge blast of garlic and cat piss. Not much else is able to get through.

T - a hop explosion of garlic, leather, some citrus. A huge bite to it and even some alcohol burn, which is holding this one back a bit.

M - puckering and strong. Nice carbonation but a bit of chewiness to it.

O - a nice brew but definitely a little too garlic-y for me and the alcohol is a bit too present. Glad to finally try it! (549 characters)

Photo of jvillefan
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A deep golden yellow color with a two and a half finger head that lasts the entire length of the beer.

S: The smell is of fresh hops but is not that strong of an aroma. There are citrus undertones in the background.

T: It has a very better tastes in the beginning and has a sweetish finish. There are caramel and citrus tones as well.

M: The sharpness expected from the carbonation is not really there but the beer has excellent retention.

O: A solid IPA. If you like bitter IPAs you will like this. (506 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This caramelly auburn colour is a classic look for an IPA, double or otherwise, one of those things that's always in fashion. It is perfectly clear, despite a deeper tone, and gives off coppery highlights when held against the afternoon sky. Its head, although it becomes rather decrepit and seemingly incapable of it, marks the glass with its own graffiti-like tags.

For die-hard 'hop heads' the combination of pale malts and "Jesus" is all that's necessary. It's actually preferred. So chances are some of them would be upset by the fact that some malt is actually perceived in this aroma, despite that it's an overwhelmingly stinky, pungent, grassy, resinous hop character that occupies 95% of the air around the glass.

Me, personally, I don't mind a little caramel malt to prop things up, although I'd prefer it play second fiddle to the hops' lead. That's kind of the story here: there's lots of toffee-tasting maltiness, enough to feel as though it sticks to the roof of your mouth, but earthy, herbal resins and candied citrusy hoppiness slice right through it all as if it were Zorro.

The hops' more citrusy flavours taste remarkably like grapefruit and passion-fruit - they taste like pine needles too although that's neither here nor there at the moment - and they imitate those fruits' sharp acidity. Here's where that bready caramel comes in handy - it keeps the finish from being too acidic and also soaks up a lot of the alcohol, which is still detectable but manageable. (It's the vine-y, plant-like notes that linger longest.)

Some breweries, in a well intended effort to make their IPA stronger only end up intensifying certain ills (such as upping the bittering hops without adjusting accordingly in the flavour, or upping the alcohol without adjusting for it accordingly in the maltiness). High Water avoided those pitfalls - they've gone big without going wrong. Indeed, this is a DIPA you can't go wrong trying, especially if you're looking for a more balanced (read: malty) offering. (2,012 characters)

Photo of Philousa
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (561 characters)

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (252 characters)

Photo of arizcards
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from the LaJolla Whole Foods in Mid-February for $7.99.

Beer poured a copper-orange color with a smallish white head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is a nice lemon and grapefruit medley that is still strong despite how old this brew is.

Taste is well balanced, big caramel malt backbone holds up pretty well to the lemon grapefruit hop assault.

Mouthfeel is moderately carbonated and pretty smooth.

Overall this is a pretty tasty brew and a good representation of the style. G (505 characters)

Photo of amnesia85
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (1,138 characters)

Photo of ShogoKawada
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz into large tulip.

A- Golden yellow orange highlights.

S- Minty, zippy, green herbal blast. Boozy, malty aroma.

T- Good green flavors, mint, tea leaves, and pine needles. Alcohol is bold. Lots of malt, brown bread.

M- Hot, heavy, strong.

O- It wears on me. Tasty but hot alcohol lingers. (299 characters)

Photo of illidurit
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap in sample size at the 2011 Bistro DIPA Fest. Pours a brownish gold color with a sticky off-white head. Perfumey hoppy aroma, lots of tropical fruits. Pineapple, orange, and grapefruit to be sure. Flavor is similar but with a big alcohol kick and some pale maltiness. There's also a strange bready brown malt note that I can't really put my finger on. This stuff is good but too boozy. (391 characters)

Photo of McD0uche
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
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. (561 characters)

Photo of augustgarage
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
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. (845 characters)

Photo of armock
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Helm's Ale House in Tracy, CA

A - Poured a copper color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is mostly of grapefruit and piney hops

T - Follows the nose with citrus and pine hops with a decent bit of malt getting trough

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

O - I enjoyed this DIPA quite a bit good hop flavors that weren't overdone which made it very easy to drink to me worth grabbing if you see it around (457 characters)

Photo of flexabull
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
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. (597 characters)

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Retribution from High Water Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.