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Apocalypse Cow - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Apocalypse CowApocalypse Cow

Educational use only; do not reuse.

475 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 475
Hads: 2,016
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 19.33%
Wants: 622
Gots: 301 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mdm46410 on 11-23-2008

9.5-11.0% ABV, 100 IBUs - This complex double India pale ale has an intense citrus and floral hop aroma balanced by a velvety malt body which has been augmented with lactose milk sugar. With this different take on an IPA we have brewed an ale that is both pleasing to drink and, once again, “not normal.” Cheers! June release.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 475 | Hads: 2,016
Photo of pdoran10
1.73/5  rDev -58.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Made a trip to visit family in Illinois last weekend and were having a nice afternoon of sampling great beers. We decided on this bomber mid afternoon to split among the five of us.

I poured this beer into five glasses and it came out a slightly hazy golden color with about a half a finger of white head.

Smell is horrible cooked vegetable. Badly infected with DMS smell. overpowering. Don't even really want to taste this beer.

Maybe the taste isnt as bad as the smell. Had a few sips and its slightly better, but again clearly infected with horrible cooked vegetable, and sulfur like flavors. hops and malt barely come through. We wrote the brewery about our infected bottle.

Nice mouthfeel, creamy and lively carbonation, but the taste even effects giving this category a proper rating.

Drainpour, would love to try a non infected bottle, strange that there are no other people that reviewed an infected bottle.

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Photo of DearthVader
1.95/5  rDev -53.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Bomber courtesy of iadler. Thanks for hitting this want Isaac!

Poured to my Portsmouth tulip.

As always with my DIPAs, I poured rather aggressively and was pretty disappointed by the reaction. Only a tiny 1/4" inch loose head of bubbles was produced and it faded really quickly. Very thin lacing was left after the first sip but that was all for the whole beer. The body was an extremely translucent orange with very few visible carbonation bubbles rising to the top.

Smell is mostly of booze and sweet caramel malt. There is some peach? melon? not much citrus characteristics at all.

Taste does actually have some unexpected hops present. Still not as much as I'd like in my DIPA's, but I'll take any I can get. Still almost no citrus present, but there comes the booze again. Heavy alcohol notes and the sweet malt backbone are by far the most noticeable characteristics in the taste.

Mouthfeel is fairly full bodied. Quite creamy with little bite of carbonation and alcohol heat.

Definitely not impressed much by this. It's possible this wasn't a fresh bottle. I will be sure to try and get one as fresh as possible whenever it's brewed again and hopefully be able to change my review in a positive way.

Regardless of whether I liked it or not, I'm glad I got to try it. Thanks Isaac!

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
2.18/5  rDev -48%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

This review will be short and sweet because this was a drain pour. There was nothing wrong with my apocalypse cow. I just don't think milk sugar and IPA mix well. At all. Boozy, milky, hoppy.

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Photo of BIN29
2.64/5  rDev -37%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Creamy, very sweet, yet boring dipa. It's interesting and unique nevertheless. I would call this beer disappointing. Doesn't deserve the high rating but everything 3 floyds make is highly rated. I had way better dipas than this one. I think the only reason people like this one is because it's easy to drink for such a high alcohol content beer. But for me this one lacks the complexity of hops that this beer should offer. It doesn't taste, feel or smell like dipa.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.66/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Pours a yellow, light orange color that is hazy with a one finger head and no stick on the sides of the glass. Pretty nice looking.

S - This smells very sweet and malty, bit of caramel and something that comes accross like apricots. There are hops present, but it is not hoppy like I would want a double IPA to be. A little citrus an floral, but the hops take a back seat to lactose sugar (didn't know it was lactose until later, but huge sugar if nothing else).

T - I don't like this at all. It is way too sweet and sugary. A little bit of hops, and a little bit of bitter. The alcohol is way to present in this beer, and the malts and strong sugar smell kill the hops, which might be present, but are very overpowered.

M - Sugary, too thick for a DIPA, syrupy, good amount of carbonation.

D - Wow, this drank really hot. Between the sweetness and the hotness, it was a pretty bad combination, drank about 12 oz's of the bomber, and then just could not finish it.

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Photo of denver10
2.83/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.25

Pours a dark gold with full off white head. Aroma is nice with some fruity citrus hops, a touch of bread, and some sweetness from the lactose sugars. Not a fan of alcohol showing itself in IPA's and there is a ton present here, makes it hard for me to notice much else in the flavor like the citrus, florals, or sugars. A creamy mouthfeel. Overall, maybe a result of my personal preferences but the alcohol presence in this was a killer for me. I typically stay away from any (I)IPA that is 10% abv or greater because of the heat they can bring, but gave this a chance because of the inclusion of the lactose sugars had me curious. Bad choice on my part, not a fan at all and dumped most of my bottle.

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Photo of tlery
3/5  rDev -28.4%

A - Cloudy, deep orange hue with a retaining head that leaves lots of lace around the glass;
S - Citrus forward with a sweet, malty backbone;
T - Balanced hops with a malty finish, clean and no real alcohol heat, very drinkable for the style;
M - Crisp upfront, fades to that mouth coating reminiscent of milk stouts (it's the milk sugar, duh);
O - Subtly different expression of the same idea that's come to epitomize FFF Brewing: pale, hoppy, drinkable, and reliable, yet ultimately boring. I can't give too much credit to a brewery that fails to (ever) surprise me.

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Photo of codysjb
3.02/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Three Floyds Apocalypse Cow
From a Bomber into my Duvel tulip
A: Pours a nice orange with a decent head.
S: Orange, lemon, zest. Smells like an IPA or Farmhouse ale that has a lot of citrus notes.
T: Watery, some lemon, not a lot going on here.
M: More of the same, a slight note of hops.
O: Very unimpressive, although this bottle may be a little older.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.08/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Nice amber color with a little less than a finger of head even with a fairly hard pour. Smell is very "bright" (if bright was a scent!), not much in the way of hops really. A bit milky and light. The taste is similar...very sweet hop profile with a milkiness that is distracting. On the full side of medium bodied and fairly sticky, this one is really just not that appealing. I won't be buying this again.

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.1/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into my Duvel tulip. Thanks to BarrytheBear for this awesome extra.

A - Bright, glowing orange body with a small white head on top.

S - A bit of a citrus hop smell with a hint of pine. Not especially pungent.

T/M - Really malty for a DIPA. Slight citrus hop presence up front before giving way to a sweet body. Can't specifically pick out the lactose notes but this is pretty sweet. Bit of a syrupy feel. with a light carbonation

D - Something about this just doesn't agree too much with me. I'm not sure what it is but I am struggling with a bomber of this. Maybe a 12oz serving of this would be the way to go. Not awful by any means but not amazing either. Worth trying for the novelty I guess but the bottle art is the best part of this beer.

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Photo of bound4er
3.2/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From a bomber.

Pours hazy with a golden orange color producing about a finger width of white head with spotty lacing. This beer's aroma is strong - I can smell it from the table it is sitting on next to me. Lots of complexity here - licorice, resinous hops, biscuit and some alcohol. It really invites you in for a sip. Unfortunately, the taste is a let down. Some booze, funk and a building, taught hop bitterness all work against this beer. A smooth, full bodied feel makes up for some of the taste letdown. Not the most drinkable or likable beer in the world. I guess I was expecting more from FFF. I need to get my hands on some Dreadnaught - I have a feeling it will be more to my liking.

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Photo of 321jeff
3.26/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slighly hazy amber with some golden edges with a finger of white head. Leaves some nice sticky lacing.

Aroma is filled with hops, but I get some fresh cut grass or bubblegum that I'm finding kind of off putting. Also a good dose of caramel in the background that is saving the day and evening things out.

The taste is focused on sweet caramel and that same hop profile pops up again, kind of killing the party for me.

Mouthfeel is relatively thick with a decent amount of carbonation. It goes down fairly easy for a big DIPA, but some of the flavors are off-putting to me and I won't be seeking this one out again.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.28/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

As a big Three Floyds fan I was excited to try this version of an IPA and was hoping to have another Dreadnaught type experience. I am sad to report that didn't happen. Overall, too cloying and sweet. Certainly some fun stuff happening, but just too goopy..

Nice creamy white head forms atop a bright copper beer with excellent clarity. The color is startling and very nice. Some lacing forms and the head does fade rather quickly.

Aroma is bright and a true balance between the citrus hops and floral notes and the bold sweetness. It's right here that you get your first sense of what is to come.

Flavor just grabs you with the bold sweetness. Some deep tropical fruits, citrus hops and certainly fresh, but the bitterness almost takes a back seat to the sweetness. There is a slight touch of alcohol, but again the sweetness takes over and masks this.

Body was a bit too thick and not creamy, but almost syrupy.

I didn't find this extremely drinkable, and was a touch disappointed. If you love overly sweet DPA's then this is your beer. It's just not mine.

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Photo of sbxx
3.31/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Deep, hazy tangerine color. 2 fingers of thick foam head. Great retention. Thick lacing.

Smell - Citrus, bread, slight herbal note

Taste - Weird. Probably the first FFF brew I can say right off the bat that I don't care too much for. Citrus and pine hop note up front is quickly overwhelmed by the malt and lactose. Odd aftertaste. Slight alcohol bite.

Mouthfeel - Med/heavy body, acidic, high carbonation, wet sticky finish.

Overall - Probably the most overrated FFF brew I've tried to date. Not bad, but not great either. Disappointed at what I spent on this bomber. So many great brews available for much less, even from FFF! Zombie or Alpha King 6 pack >>>>>>> Apocalypse Cow bomber, all the same price. Will pass on this next time. On the bright side, at 10-11% ABV, it gives you a nice buzz very quickly.

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Photo of Rhanson11
3.32/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My biggest liquor store option in the college town of Bloomington, IN suggested that I try Apocalypse Cow. I was surprised at the price, but purchased anyway (almost $13 for 1 bottle). I'm not really an IPA fan as of now, so that is probably why I didn't find this beer as good as some others I have had. Just like the description on the bottle, it has a sense of difference from other IPAs, which was a positive for me in this case.

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Photo of Gooball201
3.35/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good beer. Pours a cludy orangey/rust color. Taste is hoppy (not Arctic nor Zombie like) but not overly. This actually tastes like a Bell's Two Hearted. Although the bottle states 9.5 ABV I believe BA indication of 11.0 as you can smell the alcohol as it lingers in the tulip glass. Also feel the burn as it goes down.

Overall another decent FFF brew but far from there best. Keep it a seasonal and ramp up the Zombie Dust production so you can bring it to the East Coast.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.39/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Courtesy of lurchingbeast. Thanks, Frank. Our many trades have lurched their way into some of my favorites. <3

A: Pours a clear, golden amber (sap colored) body with a finger of off-white head. Great retention, with minor lace.

S: Pungent, bright citrus that tells me that this is a fresh bottle. It's a zesty tangerine character, with pineapple, grapefruit, and orange coming through. This: this is what I enjoy about IPAs. It has a touch of brown sugar (crystal malt?) and sweetness that I don't really want here, but I'll allow it.

T: Again, a beautiful cornucopia of citrus flavors. The horn of plenty delivers pineapple, orange tangerine, grapefruit, even a smidge of pine. I am enthused by all of these, but there is an unapologetic sweetness that lends a candied tint. I won't say it's bad, but after a while it wears on me, particularly with a sweet burn in the finish.

M: It is oddly heavy, so much so that I simply felt distressed and uncomfortable halfway through the bottle. Maybe I'm getting old, but there was a sweetness and body to the beer that just wore on me and made it difficult to finish.

O: It's too bad this doesn't come in 12oz bottles, as it would really benefit the consumer. Come on -- you package your most drinkable beer in 12oz'ers and your heaviest beers in 22oz bottles? More like Three Idiots. I'd have this again, but only with a second person present (which is getting increasingly rare).

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Photo of ehammond1
3.43/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottle (2013)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, Hugonaut13!

A gorgeous, sticky IPA. Cloudy dark orange with a persistent, creamy, big-bubbled, near-white head. Leaves the glass simply coating with sticky, irregular, messy spiderwebs of lace. Gorgeous.

Sweet, candied orange peel in the aroma along with biscuit and sweet caramel. A bit of alcohol is present in the aroma on deeper inhalations. Certainly hoppy, but this beer's heft and strength may become it's downfall. To go along with all those hops are big malt additions, lots of sweetness, and a definite booze presence. That being said, what is there to expect with an 11% ABV DIPA? Even the best of the style have some warming presence.

As with the aroma, the flavor is bold, big, and sweet. Lots of hop bitterness, sweet, candied grapefruit zest, caramel sweetness, along with some toasted biscuit, and a sightly astringent alcohol character. The flavors actually come together quite nicely, but the lingering finish is what detracts overall, for me.

Medium to full bodied for the style. Thick, sweet, and slightly syrupy.

I'm glad I got to try this, but it's not a devastatingly good beer, like I was hoping it might be. Solid, sweet, big, and bold are all words I would use to describe this beer. That being said, I will hungrily devour the entire bottle and be more than happy to do the same to another.

For the haiku portion of this review, I present to you:

Apocalypse Cow
Please come out and take a bow
You ain't no fat sow

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Photo of maximum12
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Three Floyds made a very sudden reappearance in Hudson Wisconsin, just across the border, so I made a quick foray to pick up a bottle of this. Love a good DIPA & need something to nurse after my Twins just absorbed a first game beating from the m*ther*** Yankess.

Anyways. Pours reddish, clear, filtered, no bunk on the bottom of the bottle or in the glass. Smells like a solid DIPA, nice waves of citrus, pine, & spring flowers. Also a dangerous amount of sweet malts.

The Cow...too much malts. The sweetness of the malts (& possibly lactose, though I detect little of it) swerve in front of hops & get all tangled up, resulting in a brew that's sweet up front with a nice bitter twang on the donkey's end. But for a DIPA, this is too gentle, too kind, too willing to hand out money to the poor. I expect a DIPA to kick the poverty-stricken. And the rich, too.

The lactose adverised on the label - which I dig, 3F can always turn itself into an art company if the beer thing doesn't work out - is felt more in the mouthfeel, in a creamy, soft, silky kind of way. One bomber split with the wife is good for me.

Pretty good beer, but wouldn't make it anywhere near my list of favorite DIPAs. More hops, less malt. This plays right into the "middle coast" stereotype of a DIPA.

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Photo of BB1313
3.52/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 7/2/14. 22oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy copper with a fluffy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves sticky lacing and great retention. The aromas have their signature hop profile, but in a very subtle way. Lots of malts with a good amount of citrus. Slightly floral as well. Some caramel. Some bread notes as well. The best way to describe the flavors is "bittersweet". Lots of caramel. The lactose obviously gives this beer a sweetness to it, but there's no shortage of hops going on. Lots of lemon and lime. Some hints of orange peel and grapefruit. There's even a very subtle spiciness to this one. There are some alcohol notes that are present. I'm not saying it's boozy, but there's a little heat. Mouthfeel is great. It's full-bodied and very creamy. It has active carbonation, but still remains fluffy. This makes a nice sipper and a nice brew to relax with. It becomes even more enjoyable as it warms up.

The craftsmanship is very impressive, but it doesn't get me overly excited. It's not really worth the price of admission, in my humble opinion. I definitely enjoyed my time with Apocalypse Cow, but it's not something I'll be dreaming about.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.52/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber purchased from Armanetti's for about $11. This beer is crystal clear and copper colored with a full froth that laces into small islands on the glass. The smell is all hops, resin and citrus. On second sniff that's not quite true, there are a lot of sweet aromas there too, this smells like it might ride the barleywine line. While the taste is definitely not barleywine this is much sweeter than I'd prefer for a DIPA. I appreciate the hops but the sweetness becomes cloying and gives me pause. I can taste the lactose in the aftertaste, which is pretty unique for an IPA. But it seems heterogeneous, almost a two-to-three phase system (hops, lactose, ethanol) where the individual parts contradict rather than compliment each other. Thick bodied and sticky (at least this complements the hop resin aroma) but hard to drink very fast. Just too much evident alcohol and clashing flavors. Worth a try but I won't get it again (and I almost had it on cask last night at the Map Room, wonder how that turned out).

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Photo of guityler83
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 6/27/14

A: Poured into the trusty FFF Teku glass, the head formed 2 fingers tall with a white, almost creamy color. Great sustain, it took over a minute for it to fall and left behind a coat of lacing with no dry spots on the glass. The beer is a murky orange color.

S: A moderate aroma with a candy like impression at first ( sweet tarts and juicy fruit ) The hops come through as pineapple, mango, guava and an underlying dank pineyness. Picking up a mild amount of booziness in the nose along with some thing that reminds me of milk ( i know there is lactose sugar in it but not sure if I'm detecting it or im tricking myself into detecting it)

T: Moderately firm pine and pineapple bitterness that mellows out after your taste buds adjust. The sweetness from the lactose follows giving the hops but not your palette. There is a mild level of bread crust malt flavor but its negligible. The hop flavors come back towards the end with more developed and over-rippened stone fruit. The balance is on the hop side but the sweetness provided by the lactose makes this a uniquely tasting beer.

M: Creamy with a moderate level of body and carbonation. Alcohol warming is moderate. Also picking up some harshness in the back of the tongue from the hops.

O: A unique beer for sure, but this beer fell short for me. The lactose provided to much sweetness for my liking and the booziness combined with the harsher hop bitterness made this less drinkable then many of FFF's other IPAs.

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Photo of lurpy1
3.55/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This was lugged back from a trip to Chicagoland by my wife. Unfortunately when we shared the first bomber, it was far too hoppy for her. Second bottle was split with a very ill friend. Unfortunately on that one, he is also diabetic, and after 2 sips, the sugar was too much for him, so it would be more accurate to say I drank the bomber solo. Notes are as follows.

Apocalypse Cow has your standard beer commercial pour, light amber of color, and plenty of near-white head.

The smell is a pleasant mashup of sugar and spicy (not bitter) hops. 100 IBU though? Really? I'd buy half of that.

First gulp. Nice. Hoppy. Complex. Second gulp. Picking up on more of the sugar. The hops are starting to drown. Man, this is as sweet an IPA/DIPA as I've ever had, and I'm not sure it's a good thing. Seems like the Floyds were going for balance and tipped the scales the wrong way.

But oh, this drink has a great consistency. As thick and frothy as a mug of root beer. Really great.

I found the sugar somewhat overwhelming, and that's the takeway from this beer. We wound up paying about $10.99 for this bomber, which is comically overpriced for the modest level of enjoyment I had from it. At this price, hell no, not recommended, but at a saner price, sure. But I would be more interested in trying other FFF beers first.

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Photo of drink1121
3.56/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A-Poured into my Duvel tulip. Bright golden orange with a little haze. No retention, but good lacing.

S-I think this bottle may be a little old because the hops arent what they should be. I smell mostly malt, little pine hops.

T-Similiar to the smell,malty and slight pine hops. Little disapointing from the other reviews. Slight lactose flavor.

M-Love the mouthfeel, the lactose creates almost a "base" feel, very slippery. Its fun and I like it.

D-Dissapointing, as the bottle is old. If they brew this again, I will try and get a fresh one and review again. However, I still liked it, so I can only imagine what it was fresh.

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Photo of Reaper16
3.57/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz. bomber poured into a tulip glass

Pours a very light-for-the-style color somewhere between straw yellow and lemon peel. There was a finger or so of white foam with no real lacing to speak of. Pretty 'meh' looking.

Interesting stuff coming out of the aroma. The hops dominate, of course. Pine and orange peel mostly. Some floral smells are in abundance. I feel like the aromas are muted, that this beer is past its prime, but the hops are still plenty strong. Some bready malt in informed by the unique cream cheese/buttermilk thing going on as a result of the lactose. It is strange but sort of works.

The taste of Apocalypse Cow takes the strangeness of the aroma and amplifies it. There is an initial floral & pine bite from the hops but it quickly cedes to sweetness. Bizarre, creamy, candy sweetness. The finish has some fresh flowers that linger but also a lot of residual sweet dairy flavor. Crazy stuff, this. I'm scoring it a 4.0 because of how fun it is.

The mouthfeel has a certain creaminess to it, as you'd expect from what is essentially a milk/sweet IIPA. If you've read my reviews then you know that I dislike thick bodies in my hoppy beers, and Apocalypse Cow suffers from that same problem for me. It is mitigated however by the fact that the beer's unique flavors wouldn't be as fully realized without such a large body. Drinkability has to be average for the style. The only thing compelling you to drink more is the novelty of it all.

This is a very innovative offering from Three Floyds. It is absolutely worth a try; it is a fun, original beer that the brewery should be commended for making. I actually like this a lot more than my scoring would indicate.

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Apocalypse Cow from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 475 ratings.