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Retribution - High Water Brewing

Not Rated.
RetributionRetribution

Displayed for 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:
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

(Beer added by: womencantsail on 02-05-2011)
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Ratings: 104 | Reviews: 46 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of EClayton08
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of avaldivia
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of brewandbbq
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle.

Pours dark copper with an inch-plus head of beige. A solid skim coat and short sheets of lacing throughout the glass.

Aromatics are heavy on the pine and grapefruit, but theres quite a bit of wet cardboard in there also. Dusty malt and stale pellets follow through.

Medium bodied with a crisp, tacky mouthfeel.

The palate starts off with a swipe of bitterness and a heft of malt. Aged pine sap and dried grapefruit rind follow through along with wet papper and cardboard.

Finishes with a lingering bitterness and stale hop pellets.

This beer is either old or was just never that good. The nose is faded and oxidized and most of whats left for the palate is bitterness and stale malt.

Photo of GabrielM
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
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!

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 Ryan011235
2.85/5  rDev -25.2%
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 flannelman808
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Bright copper in color and topped with an off white head which has ok retention and good lacing.

S: Hop pollen greenery, orange peel and caramel malt.

T: This more or less tastes how id have guessed. A zap of herbal bitterness followed by bitter orange pith. Starts pretty bitter but finishes with a good amount of sweetness. Lots of biscuity malt and toffee throw this out of wack. There is a sort of odd bitter finish on the beer reminiscent of onion. oops.

M: Carbonic syrup

O: This is more of a hoppy barleywine than an DIPA. The flavors, while not all bad, are overly sweet, making for a just ok at best DIPA.

Photo of beagle75
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
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 biglobo8971
2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured from bottle into RR tulip. The best thing about this beer is the smell. Very floral and aromatic, nice hop presence with a faint smell of sweetness. The rest, is ok. Nothing fantastic, the lacing, lasted the whole glass, which was impressive. Everything else, was ok. Nothing bad, just ok.

Photo of bashiba
3.1/5  rDev -18.6%
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 ngeunit1
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Photo of ShogoKawada
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +5%
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.

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

On tap at Toronado. I remembered liking this far more than Hop Riot, so I got it again and was pleasantly surprised to see my memories affirmed.

A: Pours a lightly hazy orange-amber with a finger of off-white head that retains to the point where I get it from the grubby Toronado bartender's hands.

S: Bright: citrus notes dominate, and they are tempered by floral characteristics with a touch of mint. Great aromatics here. A nice caramel backbone gives the bouquet some character, and cuts through the vile stench of the Toronado itself.

T: Caramel malt is pronounced; this is fairly unusual out of the DIPAs I've been drinking lately, and it immediately commands attention. Grapefruit and orange flesh, lemon peel. A touch of passionfruit and peach. Quite vivid fruit flavors. The finish evokes a flavor of mint that is unusual; I think the only other beer that brings out this characteristic is Alpine's Nelson. Mild bitterness. Very nicely done.

M: A touch of booze brings the mouthfeel down. It's nicely sticky. Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: The standout of the two IPAs coming out of High Water right now. But it seems like every batch is different, so I'm not going out of my way to recommend this.

Photo of brotherloco
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
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 womencantsail
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
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 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.

Photo of flexabull
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
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 HopHead84
2.25/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

6/4/2011

Bomber opened by me and poured into a snifter. Thanks a lot.

A: Reddish orange with a substantial beige head that exhibits great retention. Lacing is everywhere.

S: This is malt heavy, with strong caramel and bread notes. The malt subjugates the hop profile, which consists of onion, pine, and grapefruit. Alcohol is evident in the aroma. Way too much malt, while the hops are feeble and muted. Bad.

T: Again, malt heavy. Caramel and bread coalesce with onion, pine, grapefruit, and booze. There's also a metallic note that is somewhat off-putting. Bitterness is at an upper moderate level and is astringent at times. Bad. It tastes like a 6 month old Double IPA.

M: Medium in body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky and dry.

Overall: Bad. I don't know what happened with this bottling run, but this is a pretty terrible Double IPA. The growler I had from the earlier batch was pretty good, so hopefully this recipe gets dialed in. My drain drank deep of this.

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 SubpoenaDeuces
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
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 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 Trilogy31
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
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 illidurit
3.85/5  rDev +1%
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.

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.

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