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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

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Reviews: 475
Hads: 2,014
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 19.33%
Wants: 622
Gots: 301 | FT: 14
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: 2,014
Photo of Bmoyer0301
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


Tonight I pulled out my trusty Sam Adams perfect pint glass hoping to really pull the most out of the aroma and taste on this great ale. I popped the cap (which if you never saw a Three Floyds cap, they are cool as hell) and was greeted by a healthy sounding loud hissing noise which is always a great sign. I started to give this beer a straight on pour and I noticed the head has developing quite quickly so I decided to tilt back a little bit to calm it down. This beer pours a beautiful peach color with some dark hay like tones when I hold it up to the light. There is a tiny amount of haze in here but that could be because it was just shipped across the county and the yeast might be all shaken up from the ride.


Mmmm, this smells like tropical fruit salad ! There is just loads of gooey floral and citrus hops wafting out of my glass right now, its almost euphoric. There is a faint nose of blossom honey and biscuit beady malts poking through with some nuttiness, even with all the hops it doesn't let one aspect of the aroma shine through and making everything work in synergy.


This is exactly what I have been waiting for in a solid double IPA, super sweet caramel layered with the citrus hops and more sweetness without any note of heat alcohol. The label notes that there is lactose sugar in this beer and it shows with a velvety creaminess that just glides through your mouth and down your throat. This baby is thick and chewy but not overly filling, I just cant get enough of it. Although for a double IPA it really isn't as hoppy as I was once predicting but like I said the sweetness and alcohol content are what push this beer into that style.


In my opinion this beer is world class when it comes to style and drinkability, well made and well presented from a great brewery. Three Floyds has done it again with this beer, I honestly can't think of a beer from them that I didn't like. This beer is hoppy and sweet but not overdone and I'd be willing to say this would appeal to a lot of IPA drinkers as well as people who are starting to become brave and venture out of their normal styles. If you are in the Midwest or if you can work a trade out with someone i would highly recommend that you jump all over this beer because its only the second time it was ever made

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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 Lintyfresh
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color was light yellow-orange with a nice haze to it. My dad held it up to the sunlight from the window at the Three Floyds Brewpub and noted that it looked like a more yellow version of Blue Moon.

The smell was excellent. It had all the usual aroma associated with a DIPA.

The taste was also exceptional. Like the Dreadnaught (my baseline for any DIPA), the high alcohol content was hidden very well. The strong hops definitely came out in this, and the lactose sugar was noticeable in the finish.

The mouthfeel was warmer than with most DIPAs I've had on tap, but the temperature was normal. I wonder if this was from the lactose sugar. It surprised me how well that went with the taste, as I usually like my DIPAs to be as cold as possible.

Again, the lactose sugar adds a nice finish that makes this more drinkable than a beer with this alcohol content should be.

Overall this is an excellent beer to try if you're a Three Floyds follower like myself. The bottle artwork is great, and this beer is great bottled. But it's even better on tap, with a smoother mouthfeel and a slightly stronger aroma.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Rick for hooking me up (again). Bottle purchased from the brewery and consumed fresh.

Apocalypse Cow is a slightly hazy beer with a light yellow-orange hue. There is an averaged sized white head that fades somewhat quickly, leaving spotty traces of lacing throughout the glass.

The scent is very similar to Dreadnaught, with hops at the forefront. I'm not sure if I could identify lactose in the aroma if this was a blind tasting. However, I can perceive it in the nose, knowing that it's there.

This is really a delicious beer and very well done. Again, I see many similarities to Dreadnaught. Apocalypse Cow has a slightly different feel and is noticeably different in the aftertaste, given the lactic aspect of this beer.

The feel is creamy and smooth, with the high alcohol percentage hidden very well. There is a slightly warming sensation in the finish, but the beer does not come across as too hot.

I plan on drinking this bomber by myself and don't foresee any issues with that. This is another terrific beer by FFF. They truly made a beer that is "not normal" with Apocalypse Cow. With many avant garde beers, the idea is fun and exciting, but the overall taste and drinkability of the beer can suffer. This is a unique beer that tastes great and is a lot of fun to drink. Cheers!

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Photo of biggred1
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazed, peach amber with a fine cream colored cap that leaves sheets of sticky lace on the glass. The aroma is excellent, plenty of fresh hoppiness here. Pine and dank orange citrusy centennial smelling hop notes. Pine sap and candied orange peel with an underlying malty sweetness to smooth out the flavors. I'm not sure if the milk sugar really adds "velevety malt body" as the label suggests but it is damn creamy, hop oily, full bodied goodness for sure. Three Floyds makes a great DIPA for sure. I still prefer fresh Dreadnaught slightly over the Cow but this is a really nice brew.

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Photo of Patchmaster
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split this with fellow BA buddies. This was all our first taste of FFF Cow and didn't let down.

A - Pored a golden brown. Had some white lacing on the glass. Decent size head to it.

S - Very hoppy! With a good bit of citrus fine smell. I love the florally aroma to a good DIPA. This one didn't disappoint.

T - The hops definitely controlled the beer. Hops stand out the most. A little bitter towards the end of the drink. Didn't have the smooth finish that a like in a strong DIPA.

M - This may not be down my alley for a DIPA, but it gets the job done. Don't know if I would gravitate toward it again for an encore, but well worth the experience

D - Definitely worth a ride. I applaud the creativity and thats what keeps me coming back to 3F, but would prefer the APW or Dreadnaught over this one.

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Photo of HosP
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Again split this with fellow BA buddies. This was all our first taste of FFF Cow and didn't let down.

A - Poured golden. Pretty hazy with a nice white head with good lacing down the glass.

S - Very hoppy! Good amount of pine, citrus, and floral to it. The pine aroma stuck out most.

T - Like the smell. Very hoppy but yet very smooth. The malt mixture gives this beer a smooth finish. Hops stand out the most, which I like in a DIPA. A little bitter towards the end of the drink.

M - Medium body. Good carbonation to it.

D - Very solid beer from FFF. A good balance of hops and malts that create a very easy to drink beer. Not as strong as Dreadnaught, more sweet than anything, along with keeping a good hop flavor.

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Photo of TJBurgess
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


22oz into perfect pint.

A: almost like watered down orange juice in a glass. The 2 inch aggressively poured head maintains a half inch for quite some time.

S: Nice citrus orange with a little hoppiness. Not overwhelming, but more subtle and understated than expected.

T: Wow. Didn't see that malt rush out to punch so hard! The strong bitterness is there, but lacks balance from hops. The malts are very caramely and overly dominant.

M/D: The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth and creamy. There is just something so thick that is atypical that I just can't get past. Once again, 3F changes the way we look at styles, but this is a near miss for me.


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Photo of hansgruber
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At the brewpub served into a snifter..

Hazy orange color with a very fluffy one finger head and great lacing.

Huge orange citrusy notes initially. Smells lovely. The nose kinda died down and was not as intense while drinking.

Orange, citrusy, slight bitterness, very smooth. Bitterness lingers and lingers
No sweetness detected from lactose. Just adds to the overall smoothness.

Carbonation is high, bit too prickly even towards the bottom Very smooth and pretty full body. An almost creamy texture as it warms. 

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Photo of fear025
4.9/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Aroma:Tons and tons of grapefruit.

Appearance:This beer is very orange in color, and it's pretty hazy. The foam lingers a long time.

Taste:Heavy citrusy hops in the foretaste. This is a hugely bitter beer, that showcases what a DIPA can be. As a homebrewer, I've experienced that dry hops can taste a whole lot different than the flavor they eventually impart, in this beer though, the flavor comes through like some of those dry hops that I've smelled in the past. The midtaste of this beer is very sweet from the lactose, and the sweetness stays on my tongue through the aftertaste, with the hops still very much present.

Mouthfeel:Very thick and rich mouthfeel. It's got enough carbonation to

Drinkability:This is a fantastic beer that really showcases what Three Floyds does well: Hops!

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance -- Pours a cloudy gold with one finger of white, bubbly head that quickly dissipates into a thin fog. Lacing covered every square inch of the interior surface of the glass.

Smell -- Tropical fruit and floral hops, cane sugar and melon sweetness, some faint caramel and nutty roast aroma.

Taste -- As in the nose, the hops are predominately in the floral and tropical fruit vein, mostly aromatic but offering up enough hop bitterness to round out the lactose sweetness. Malts are sweet and faintly roasted: caramel, cane sugar, honeydew. On the sweeter side of balanced for style, but well-crafted.

Mouthfeel -- Easily the smoothest IPA, single or double, that I have ever had. Medium in body, moderate creamy carbonation. Lingering feel is dry and a bit chalky.

Drinkability -- An IIPA brewed with lactose comes out of left field and may not necessarily be your cup of tea. That said, this is an expertly crafted beer that provides a very unique experience.

This beer was a pleasure to drink, but I did dock points for straying from style in taste and mouthfeel.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.67/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to pittsburghkid66 for this one. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Pours a creamy 1.5 finger fine off-white head with good retention. Beer is a cloudy ruby red. Lacing is ringed at the top but spotty going down with little cling.

S: Intense citrus and floral hop aromas invade the nose while a cane sugar sweetness tickles the back. Burnt caramel is also present and gives a real accurate preview of the taste.

T: A bit of a malt bomb off the bat. Really rich caramel and burnt brown sugar with a richness that's unlike most other IIPAs. Hop presence is there but its faded into the background and completely dominated by the sweetness. A bit of vanilla somewhere along the line too. Finish is messy with a big aftertaste of caramel malt.

M: Medium bodied, slightly carbonated, and probably the smoothest IIPA I've had to date. Notice the trend here. This one is very different. Finish is messy with a sticky, partially oily aftertaste.

D: A very different IIPA that definitely sets itself apart. Brewed with lactose, the body here is very smooth... not something I like in my IPAs. This one lacks a certain cleanliness and crispness and the malt flavor is completely dominating. Well worth a try for its uniquness but I won't be having this one again.

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Photo of jlindros
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another one of the 3F beers I've been waiting to try for a while, and I finally got the chance thanks to Solomon420.

A: Pours a lighter 1/2 finger pasty white head in my oversized snifter over a hazy tangerine orange color.

N: I could smell the hops on the pour, just the way I like it. Lots of fresh citrus, some musty hop oil resin, earthy chewy hops, a little pine and nectarine, and even some spicy hops. The hops do have a slight aged aroma, but I can't find a date on it. Underneath that is quite a bit if a malty base, with some sweet malts, chewy malts, and that strong DIPA heavy pale malt base.

T: Starts somewhat sweet and candy bar like. The hops are there again with more citrus, a little pine, a little earthy and spicy hops, but mostly that slight nougat aged hop taste. The bitterness is not what I expected either, which is there but not super heavy. The malts are def there too with more thick sweet pale malts and chewy malts. A touch of warming booze and tingly feel with that.

M: Medium to heavier body with decent carbonation.

F: FInishes a little more bitter with more bitterness hammering down now. It gets accentuated thanks to some dryness coming forth, but there is still some residual sweetness. More tangerine and citrus hops with some spicy hop flavors as well lingering. A little piny residual hop flavors lingering too. A very slight hint of warming booze, but with the hops and sweetness it hides the booze very well.

It's an interesting DIPA, but def tastes like it has some age on it and I would love to try it fresh. From all the awesome beers I've had from 3F I can only imagine this one is a lot better fresh too, so I'll have to revisit it if I can get it fresh again. If only they shipped to MA... PLEASE 3F SHIP TO MA!!!!

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Photo of femALEist
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this out of the bottle from a bottle trade.

This poured a super bright, clear tangerine orange.

It smelled of sweet, candied malts, mild hops, light apricot and sweet Gewurztraminer.

It tasted of bright hops, pine, apricot, with a good malt backbone, some light vanilla and a deep grapefruit skin bitter aftertaste.

Good carbonation, good drinkability. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of brentk56
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A beautiful pour, with a hazy honey color and a bountiful head that leaves a curtain of lace

Smell: The expected pine and grapefruit pith dominate, but there are also subtle elements of pineapple, mango and apricot as well as a hint of vanilla

Taste: The sweet malt makes an initial appearance and prepares for a greater presence, but the piney and pithy hops quickly jump forward to provide a bitter, but citrusy assault on the tastebuds that, but mid-palate add some mango and pineapple elements; after swallow, the tropical fruit sweetness emerges to challange and blend with the bitterness; on the finish, the vanilla and lactose seems to make its presence felt, adding a new dimension

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A really nice brew that adds an unusual twist to the DIPA style

Thanks, mreusch (from the other site), for the opportunity

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Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good DIPA. Cloudy wheat coloured body with a good head, and good lace left. Very good hops in aroma. Tastes like a fresh hop. Creamy smooth mouthfeel. I think the lactose does little to nothing to influence a bang on style, that presents complexity and softens rather than assaults the palate.

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Photo of billab914
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to beerwolf77 for this one, been wanting to try this one for a while now. Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Russian River tulip glass. Pours a murky orange/amber color with a thin white head covering the top. The head clung to the sides of the glass where it left very good lacing.

Aroma is floral with a good amount of lemon zest, grapefruit and pine to it. It also has a sweet, malty background with a little caramel and sugar coming through.

The taste is on the sweeter side with some caramel malt coming through along with a sugary sweet finish. It's also moderately hoppy with some citrus and pine flavors, but it isn't very bitter as all.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty decent, I usually enjoy sweet IPA's and this one was no exception. I could see the sweetness to it being a turn off for some people on drinkability though.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to beerwolf77 for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice cloudy golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy, with some nice malt notes, very nice touch of citrus, and some pine notes. The taste is sweet, hoppy, nice malt note, citrus and some pine notes. Medium body. Very drinkable, a very tasty brew.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bomber into tulip on 2/2/10.

A - Emerged from the aptly labeled bottle as a hazy carmelized amber/orange liquid with plenty of creamy, off-white foam on top. Head settled to a swirly patch and bubbly ring but flared up magnificantly with each swirl of the glass.

S - Citrus comes to mind right off the bat, especially grapefruit, with subtle floral notes and a slight alcohol presence, the latter of which became more evident as the liquid reached room temperature. There is also plenty of lactic sweetness and, to a lesser degree, vanilla notes.

T - Again with the citrus domination, Apocalypse Cow bludgeons you with a one-two punch of grapefruit bitterness and sweet milky notes. Sure, some light floral and perfumy attributes are also apparent, but this DIPA boasts a huge citrusy hop character backed by lots of lactic sweetness and vanilla notes. Some slight peppery spiciness emerges in the backend, but the finish is ultimately bittersweet with just a tinge of earthy, musty characteristics.

M - Medium to full bodied and exceptionally rich and creamy for the style - almost like a porter or stout. Finishes with lingering bitterness and a hint of dryness on the palate.

D - Apocalypse Cow... what a great name for a beer. It is as if FFF took a fine IPA and injected it with half and half cream, or milky nectar right from the udders of the bovine species it takes its namesake. Pretty yummy indeed!

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Photo of zeff80
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a hazy, orange color with a one-finger, off-white head of thick foam. It left some soapy residue on the glass.

S - It smelled strongly of bubble gum with loads of citrus, mostly grapefruit. There was a sweet caramel aroma.

T - This had a great grapefruit and bubble gum flavor with a sweet caramel flavor. The lactose sugar came through in a creamy taste.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a very good Imperial IPA. I loved the twist of using lactose sugar. It added a unique creamy sweetness that reminded me of a milk stout.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a hazy golden orange with a nice of white head. Head has good retention and leaves some nice lacing.

S- Smells of piney and floral hops. The aroma is big, loaded with hops but the lactose smooths out the harsh edges. A ripe orange and lemon rind peaks out at the end of each sniff.

T- Man, this one is sweet for sure. A ton of citrus in about every form jump out at me. The alcohol is hidden very nicely. This brew is well balanced.

M- Medium in body and right on the carbonation.

D- This brew is very solid and very easy to drink. I hope it comes around again. A big thanks to my little bro for picking me up 3 bottles of this one.

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Photo of errantnight
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another winner from FFF. Say what you will, but these guys make some great hoppy brews.

Pours a brilliant, only lightly hazed, freshly polished copper penny. Nice finger and almost two of head into a Spiegalau tulip. Creamy wide solid retention and moderate lacing.

Big musty grapefruit and passionfruit notes backed by a bit of pineapple pale malt sweetness.

On the palate this is creamy and medium bodied, a great texture imparted by the lactose, but I'm not entirely wild about the distinctive milk-y lactose sweetness. While they've balanced the bitterness and alcohol notes to a very pleasant sweetness, this also leaves a touch of filmy sweetness behind.

Thanks, GbVDave, extremely happy to finally get a chance to try this one, and it lived up to expectations.

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Photo of backfat
4.87/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

i tweeted about this beer. sad i know, but when you do that, you know you've got something special on your hands, or in your glass. brilliant. an IPA of udder destruction! moo-ve over IPA's! this beer is no cow-ward! you've probably stopped reading at this point, and for that i apologize. (you thought i was going to mess with apologize/apocalypse. well i tried but it seems i am not clever enough.) Seriously, this is a beast. this ipa has BODY. good lord that is refreshing. abundant citrus hops...yes please. i hope this phenomenal creature comes back because it's one of the best beers i have ever had. 3 Floyds, i salute yee. I like drinking it a little on the warmer side. It's seriously like hoppy milk in the best way possible. mango, citrus, and the pineapple that is signature with dreadnaught, with a viscous and inviting body. I've had this beer many times. sometimes it's good, and sometimes it's perfect. serve warmer, cheers!

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Photo of mikereaser
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle on 10/30/09.

A - Pours an orange copper color with a layer of fine bubbles on the surface

S - lots of piney and citurs hops, lemon, orange, just a totally amazing aroma

T - grapefruit & orange upfront, sweet malt & a slightly bitter hop finish, a really flavorful hopbomb

M/D - medium body with good carbonation, just a really drinkable beer, somehow its 10% which you really have no way of knowing

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Photo of sliverX
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy orange tinged amber with a very slight head that was not much more than a film with a nice amount of lacing
Smell is pine and citrus hops with a bit of an orange-chocolate thing as well
Taste is huge pine resin with again the orange-chocolate type thing going on. Very resiny like pine tar almost
mouthfeel is medium bodied and silky smooth
Drinkability if this didn't have a bit of a soap in the mouth tinge it would score higher but no real complaints you can only jam so many hops into something before it starts downhill...
Thanks to FrankenBrew for the bottle...

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