Boatswain American IPA - Rhinelander Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Boatswain American IPABoatswain American IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
65
poor

101 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 101
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 2.67
pDev: 25.47%
Wants: 0
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rhinelander Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheCondor on 06-14-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 101 | Reviews: 29
Reviews by tr9871:
More User Reviews:
Photo of tkreancty
4/5  rDev +49.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Folks, taste this beer blind. Seriously. I can't believe how reviewers are affected by a price tag and a label. This is a damn good beer - arguably the best value in generally available craft ales today. There is no doubt in my mind that with a different label and a higher price point folks on here would be lauding its clean balance of caramel sweetness and assertive but not over-the-top bitterness. Maybe it doesn't belong categorized as an American IPA, as it avoids the hop excess that defines the style, but it does deserve more appreciation than it is getting, being a well-balanced and flavorful pale ale. Try it again. With an open mind.

Photo of MadScientist
2.58/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: A dark amber with orange highlights and decent clarity. The head is off white, doesn't form a good head stand and quickly settles to a thin cap

S: Moderately-low citrus hops with some caramel malt and a moderately-low diacetyl aroma. There is bit of and orange ester. It smell like it's an older bottle of IPA.

T: The sweetness is the first thing I noticed with a moderate malty sweetness with a moderately-strong hops bitterness. The hops flavor again indicates that this isn't all that fressh with a moderately-low citrus hops flavor that is kind of dull. There is moderate caramel flavor to the malt and a light fruity ester from the yeast. The balance is moderately bitter with the finish being off-dry. The aftertaste is a moderate bitterness and the light fruitiness.

M: Medium bodied with moderately-strong carbonation and a light creaminess. There is a very light slickness.

O: Not an impressive IPA and not worth tracking down a fresh example. It's too malty sweet and not really all that dry on the finish.

Photo of lordofthewiens
2.29/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Picked up at Trader Joe's. I guess it's their house beer. It's a disaster.

In a pint glass the beer a brassy color with no head and no lace.

Sweet malt, maybe a hint of citrus. Sure didn't smell like an IPA.

Nor did it taste like an IPA. Cloyingly sweet and sugary. Some lemon, maybe a hint of grapefruit.

Gag! Way too sweet, virtually non-existent hops.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.16/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer pours a slightly dense deep dark orange body with a light tan cream and a slowly dancing carbonation of bubbles.

S- The flinty clean aroma has some green herbal notes in the finish that might be hops.

T- The touch of sweetness gives way to a citrus juice hop hint with a bit more hop bitterness in the finish.

M- The medium mouthfeel doesn’t have any alcohol heat and a tight little fizz.

O- The hops are very soft and the malt flavor is just a touch bigger making it a bit bland but I didn’t have high expectations for a $2.99 bomber. It was a bit watery but there was some hop bitterness that did linger.

Photo of LXIXME
2.76/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A medium sized light tan head falls into a nice lacing above a clear orangeish copper colored beer.

Light sweet malts with a light orange citrus aroma.

A light dryish taste that has a light almost bitter citrus and light sweet maltiness.

Light sweet malty aftertaste that has a very light dryishness to it on this light to medium bodied beer.

Kind of malty for an IPA, I hope that doesn't become a trend.

Photo of Sammy
3/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A light coloured yellow with carbonation bubbles and lots of foaming head. Very mild hop aroma. Some hops there but mostly a dry gummy beer. Minimal drinkability as some impurities. Mouthfeel is not smooth. Inexpensive for a bomber, the rest of which will be used for beercycles.

Photo of hreb
2.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bomber served in pint glass. Beer pours a slightly hazed orange amber with no head. Smells actually a little fruity / estery. Flavor is moderately hoppy, though a little bit metallic. I'm reminded of an old (as in skunky) lager in a can. Body is pretty thin and considering the non-trivial ABV I would have hoped for a little more malt. And considering the label claims 79 IBU I would have hoped for more hop flavor. The bitterness isn't overpowering, but it isn't interesting or flavorful, either. Would not recommend. But hey, it's cheap!

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +59.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Boatswain H.L.V. Ale
650 ml bottle, no apparent freshness date
$1.99 @ Trader Joe's #719 in Omaha, NE

Appearance: Clear deep-ruby body beneath a frothy head of off-white. Very good head retention and lacing.
Aroma: Distinct yeasty fruitiness of apples and light pear alongside citrus (mainly orange) mixed with caramelish malt ; all-the-while backed by leafy, grassy, and floral hops. (EKG?) Wonderful. Bright hops!
Taste: Mimics the aroma, but wider (not necessarily fuller). More nutty; wider caramel. Solid bitterness at 80 IBU's (as listed on the label). Toast, caramel, fruit, straw, grass, mineral... and a suggestion of pine and light citrus - nicely rounded and balanced.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full. Gently bristling, very-fine bubbled moderate carbonation. Smooth.
Overall: Superb English character with bright fruit upfront that fades into dry hoppiness. Superbly charming. Never really reveals it's strength at 7% abv. Impressive.

Photo of hophugger
3.29/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Sure its brewed for Trader Joes, sure it is not a big time IPA, but..................Put the price and the place you got it out of your mind and this is an average + IPA. Nice cloudy, deep gold color with below average head and decent lacing. Aroma is light, with hops and malt being the predominant smell. Taste is definitely more malty than most IPAs but the hops and hop bitterness are present and this beer balances quite well. Some citrus overtones, nice bold carbonation and a good, slightly bitter, clean finish. For what I paid ($2.29 for the bomber), this is a decent light IPA...

Photo of TheCondor
2.86/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I came home from work today and I saw my wife had went to a different grocery store than usual, called Trader Joe's. I have heard of it, never been there. Seems pretty expensive. I thought the day was lost until she hit me with this bottle she ha dbought for me at the store, so I forgot about everything else and got excited about this beer. Never hear of the beer, brewery, or anything else. Should be interesting. Side poured aggressively from the pint bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - Pours a copper color with a nice, pillowy two finger head that sticks around for some time, with medicore lacing. There is also a little bit of bubble action inside the brew.

Smell - It doesn't smell at all like what you would expect from an IPA, quite off style in my opinion. Nose consists of barley, malts, some bready notes, and maybe just a hint of hop floral in the way background, but nothing like the floral citrus assault to the olfactory glands that an experienced hophead would expect. Not even close.

Taste - Again, I think the brew is way off style here. It tastes more like a hoppy amber ale than it does a solid IPA, or even a pale ale. The barley and bready notes are still present on the palate, and while it does have a little bitterness to it, it doesn't seem like it is 76 IBU. A little boozy tasting as well.

Mouthfeel - Finishes with decent bitterness, although I can't really taste many characteristics of hops in the taste. Decent finish

Overall - This is a little bit of a confusing beer, at least to me, as it does not taste like any other IPA I have ever had. The hops are almost nonexistent in the nose and on the palate. I honestly think it would be better served maybe as more of a bitter amber ale or something of that nature, but it is way off style for an IPA. Hopefully someone else can try this brew and see what they think, but I am underwhelmed. Not recommended if you are looking for an IPA, I'll be sure to pass the word to the misses not to purchase again.

Photo of plaid75
2.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a dark brass hue with a two finger frothy white head. There was very good retention and sticky lacing.

The smell featured sweet adjunct malt and a grassy hop.

The taste consisted of a cloyingly sweet malt, corn and a prickly herbal hop.

The mouthfeel was full and creamy.

Overall a poorly constructed IPA.

Photo of Jemonster
3.14/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 2.5

A: Nice clarity, golden body with small bubbled and heavy looking carbonation. Thin white head indicative of the style.

S: Lots of sweet malt up front. Sweet white sandwich bread. Not smelling much in the way of hops aside from a light citrus scent, like the sweet lime.

T: Sugar bomb, no idea how they got this so sweet. Tastes like it came off the yeast a little too early and then was force carbonated. Not even close to 75 IBU worth of hops like the bottle says. Very, very mild hop bitterness in the aftertaste, no aroma hop flavors in the middle...did they forget the hops that they meant to add? Tastes like a standard pale ale, and a light one.

M: Nice and creamy, they did this part well. Really excellent feel, nice carbonation and body. Isn't perfect though, because the sweetness distracts.

O: This might be nice for some people who don't like the bitterness of an IPA, but the problem is that this IS an IPA. Maybe I've been drinking too many DIPAs. It would make a not-bad pale ale and would have received better scores as such.

Photo of darksunshaman
2.08/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Barely worth writing a review about. This was a prime example of a poorly executed beer. I don't know what went wrong here or what would make it better, or what the brewers were actually trying to accomplish. I swear I was tasting seawater...the first beer I have poured out in it's entirety after the first taste. Glad it was under $3 for a bottle....

Photo of 5thOhio
3.35/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber at the local Trader Joe's for $2.29. At that price, and having had other TJ offerings, I figured it would at least be worth the money.

Pours a nice orange-copper with a half-inch off-white head that slowly dissipated to a thin film. A smattering of lacing. Aroma was malty and a little earthy.

I have to agree with the other reviews: it's not a bad beer, but not what I'd expect for an IPA. Lots of sweet malt up front with enough hop bitterness at the end to keep it from being deadly sweet. Hops are mostly piney/floral. Mouthfeel is good. Plenty of carbonation and medium thickness.

If I had done a blind tasting, I'd have probably said it was a strong ale or maybe an amber, but I certainly wouldn't have called it an IPA.

Overall, I'd buy this again, especially at that price. If you can overlook the generic brand and forget that it claims to be an IPA, it's decently drinkable. Certainly better than fizzy yellow lager.

Photo of GarthDanielson
2.85/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a tumbler pint, the beer is a muddled, opaque hazed, copper-orange color with no head whatsoever. Aromas of tangy sweet caramel blending with floral and citrus hops. Smells more on the malty side. Flavors are malt forward, with a nutty and toffee-like backbone giving rise to the peppered and citrusy burst of hops. There is almost an effervescence to the hops character that really helps to lighten up the feel of the beer. Slightly resiny, slight bitter aftertaste that still has a kick of the sweet malt in the background. A smooth, clean, slightly bitter finish. This beer isn't bad, but it isn't screaming out at me in greatness, either. Middle of the road IPA, and maybe more of an English style than American, but that's just me.

Photo of Gavage
2.6/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: pours an orange color with a 1/2" head that lasts a bit.

Smell: a strange fruit sweetness rises from the glass and isn't very pleasant.

Taste: caramel, over ripe fruit sweetness, some metallic flavors, very little bitterness, and some off putting flavors like cabbage arrive late.

Mouthfeel: light crispness to start, smooth at the finish. Flavors linger on the tongue.

Overall: this beer was hard to drink and has a weird vegetable flavor.

Photo of kojevergas
2.77/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

6.7% ABV confirmed. 650 ml brown glass bottle with standard unbranded gold pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average given its current ratings.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a three finger beige colour head of fair cream, decent thickness, and pretty good (~3 minute) retention for the above average ABV. Body colour is a clear translucent copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Generally appealing for the style, but unimpressive.

Sm: Way too malt-emphatic. Light floral hop character, but mainly just malts. Clean grainy malts. Horribly simple. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. Not very appealing considering the style. A mild strength aroma.

T: Overly sweet malts. Bland grains. Severely limited floral hops. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Simple, boring, and bland. Uninteresting. Poorly constructed for the style. Lacks balance.

Mf: A bit thin. Smooth and wet. Carbonation is off. Okay body. Poor presence on the palate. Doesn't suit the flavour profile all that well. Disappointing.

Dr: A badly executed beer that doesn't even satisfy the parameters of the style. Hides its ABV decently. It's drinkable but forgettable. The price point could be worse, but it's still not worth picking up. I certainly won't be getting it again. Very underwhelming.

Low C

Photo of DIPA69
2.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Bought at Trader Joe's. Woman at the counter said it was a to style IPA.
Appearance: Poured into a 16 oz New Belgium snifter. Cloudy orange copper pour with a one finger head of quickly dissapating off-white bubbles.
Smell: Sour Malt, mustard, venetian chicken, wild clover honey
Taste: Heavy caramel and toffee notes, toasted almond, vanilla bean, mild tart notes of apricot and pear.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, slight carbonation,
Overall: Not brewed to style. Thought there are a few redeeming qualities of this beer, it is not an IPA. The caramel, malt notes dominate and the hop flavors are virtually nonexistent. I would buy this beer if my buddies were over to watch the Lynx, but would not purchase for my friends that actually appreciate and review beer. Trader Joe's puts out some good wine and beer, but as someone who loves hoppy beers and double IPAs, I would have to say that this beer falls short of the mark for an acceptable IPA.

Photo of Gajo74
4.09/5  rDev +53.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I do not understand the negative reviews this one gets as I found it to be quite tasty. Pours a nice dark amber color, not much head but great lace retention throughout. Aroma is malty sweet with fruity esters . This is reflected in the taste which is almost cloyingly sweet. However, as I drank on the bitter hops Finnish become more pronounced which balanced the sweetness. Nice feel; smooth, medium bodied and light carbonation, very drinkable.
I shop at trader joe all the time. I love their prices and this one is no exception. I will get again as I consider it a nice middle of the road IPA at a bargain price.

Photo of Carolvs
2.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I have to say, I concur with all the other reviews I've seen here so far: Not a bad beer, but how in the world this got labeled an "IPA" is a mystery. It's not a question of "pale ale" vs. "IPA" but, rather, arguably false advertising: One of the other reviews here called this a "confusing" beer, and I concur. It's not a 'bad' beer, it's just not an IPA.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
1.97/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, cooked vegetables, non-stick cooking spray, and subdued herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with harsh malt and medicinal-like hop flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a horrible beer with super harsh flavors that make it a huge chore even to sip on.

Photo of rfbenavi80
2.42/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle picked up a Trader Joe's for 2.50. Couldn't pass it up. I have yet to try a beer from Trader Joe's that wasn't at least decent.
No bottle dating. Poured into a Nonic Pint.

A- Pours a true copper color with 2 fingers of very pillowy off white head that is slowly dissipating, and leaving no lacing on the glass.

S- Boy, not much there in the aroma dept. Some light malt aroma, virtually no hop aroma at all. No floral notes, maybe some faint herbal notes but really lacking in my opinion.

T- Hmmm. Not as hoppy as I was expecting with it being labeled an American India Pale Ale. Bottle says it has 79 IBU's. It really don't seem like it at all. There is a quite a bit of malt taste here, almost none of the hoppy bitterness I was looking for when I picked up the bottle.

M- Medium body, and carbonation.

O- This is not what I expected when I opened this bottle. I'm kind of disappointed. Trader Joe's has always carried good stuff. I would not buy this again. It really is lacking in some of the great stuff we like in American IPA's.

Photo of Jabberwocky
2.37/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Pours copper orange with only very minor amounts of foam. Can clearly see little bubbles in the beer. Carbonation is fairly high. Very weak smell, not a strong scent.

Upon first mouthful. This beer is watery, it taste, in mouth feel, and in general. I will not be buying this again. Roasted barley notes are there and is probably the most enjoyable part of the beer. There is a good amount of sweetness. It is not very hoppy, with the only hops being a very mild aftertaste that sticks to the tongue for a few seconds. For the price, with an emphasis on the price part, it isn't terrible, but it isn't good either. It lacks character and doesn't have a bold IPA signature which I've become accustom to in IPAs. Bottle says 6.7 Abv, but the beer tastes much more watery.

Photo of Florida9
2.53/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Only one other review for a beer sold at TJ's? Odd, but none the less...
This beer pours a deep copper in color. Fairly clear. Forms a modest off white head that reduces fairly quickly to a very thin surface coating. No lacing. Aroma is all malt with just the faintest hint of herbal hops. Flavor is much of the same: caramel malt, one dimensional herbaceous hops, and a mild bitterness. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium with acceptable carbonation, but an odd and not overly pleasant aftertaste that hangs on the tongue. Overall a subpar IPA that really isn't worth the $2 it cost.

Photo of dangriff
3.23/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Well this is one beer you should taste blind. It is better than you think. Not top shelf quality but good.

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Boatswain American IPA from Rhinelander Brewing Company
65 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.