1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

El Torero Organic IPA - Alameda Brewhouse

Not Rated.
El Torero Organic IPAEl Torero Organic IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

60 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 60
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Alameda Brewhouse visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: freed on 06-29-2006

"A Northwest IPA made from all organic grain. It is bursting with hops from the big floral aroma to the deep, lingering bitterness. Balancing out the hops is a malt bill with generous amount of crystal, Munich, and wheat malts, plus an alcohol content just over 7%. This is an organic beer with big flavors that combine in a complex, satisfying brew."
7.1% ABV 88 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 60 | Reviews: 30
Photo of stcules
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Hazy orange, off-white foam, not too much.
The smell is dominated by citric and piney. Quite fresh, but not too much.
The hop dominats in the taste too, citric notes, citrus fruit, resinous (less).
The malt is present to balance.
Probably a not too fresh bottle (long trip), but sytill, good beer.
Have to retry it on tap at the brewery...

Photo of biboergosum
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, sexy dark matador imagery on the label.

This beer pours a hazy, medium copper amber hue, with one measly finger of weakly foamy, and mostly bubbly dirty white head, which leaves some drooping floating island lace around the glass as it quickly dissolves.

It smells of semi-sweet bready caramel malt, heady orange, grapefruit, and lime citrus, a bit of spicy black pepper, and more leafy, herbal, and somewhat perfumed hops. The taste is gritty pale and biscuity caramel malt, a strong mineral astringency, muddled citrus and wet pine hop notes, and a sort of herbal booziness rising up as things slowly warm.

The carbonation is pretty tight to the chest, not even allowing for any kind of frothy frivolity, the body medium-light in weight, and a bit too edgy to be considered even plainly smooth. It finishes off-dry, the biscuity crystal malt still having a disproportionate level of say, amongst a creepily metallic lingering citrus and pine essence.

A pretty underwhelming IPA, to say the least - I don't know if it's the organic thing or what, as I've had a few bangin' examples of the ilk - but I'm getting much more of a somewhat watered-down ESB experience here. At any rate, for a PDX brewery, this is on the low side of the style, in terms of fullness of flavour, and overall rounded character, not to mention the wan appearance - c'mon, even hipsters can dress it up once in a while.

Photo of nqdell
3.66/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured from a bottle to glass. Little to no head. Thick copper color.

S- A lotta good stuf going on here, leather, soil, slight citrus hops.

t- Tangy for a IPA, more malt than typical IPA, a little sweet for my palate but finishes dry bitter.

m- Thin and slimy

Overall a very decent beer, not what I look for in my IPA, too sweet and malty, you could change the label on this thing and I wouldn't be as critical.

Photo of RJLarse
3.13/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I bought a bomber of Eel Torero IPA in a bottle shop. No mention of it being organic on the bottle. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a cloudy burnt orange color, with a creamy white head.

Smell is an acerbic grain aroma. Smells a little like crackers, with an earthy aroma along side.

Taste is also dominated by a malted grain flavor up front, followed by a citrus flavor, and a bitter sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied, almost as if it were an imperial IPA, with a sticky cloying nature.

This one is kind of a thick, sweet bead flavored number, without the crisp and fruity character I look for in an IPA. I suppose it's OK, but not by glass of beer on a warm summer day.

Photo of Redrover
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was my second beer at the Saranac in Spokane. El Torero was served in a standard shaker.

The beer is a chill hazed bronze with a skim of off-white sticky lacing.

The aroma is if fresh citrus but it is a bit subdued. There is also some biscuit notes.

Taste leads with mild citrus, ritz crackers, a bit of something mineral-metallic. No off or odd or old tastes, just a very mellow IPA.

This is an example of me expecting a more in-your-face west coast style but instead was presented with a milder version. Nothing wrong here at all.

The mouth is medium and a bit oily.

Photo of jschwanke84
3.21/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bomber into pint glass. Live review.

A: pours a somewhat hazy orange and copper color with almost no head - half a finger white that dissipates in under 30 seconds. Nice lace and nice color but the lack of head is disappointing.

S: Earthy, biscuity malts with minimal hops. A bit of citrus but not much. Slightly toasty. Very malt forward. Pretty mild overall. Not impressive.

T: Very toasty and bitter. Surprisingly hop forward which I did not expect based on the smell. Malts help to calm some of the aggressive bitterness. You get hit with alcohol and a bit of exotic fruit at the end. Very nicely done strong IPA flavor.

M: Creamy medium body that sits well on the palate. Alcohol kick is calmed by the toasty malts. Smooth finish that goes down nicely.

O: Overall this is a good but not great IPA. I would order it on tap but likely will not purchase again in the $7 bomber. Lacks the citrus sweetness that I love in an IPA, both in scent and flavor. Toasty malts balance well with very bitter hops. This would be a great brew to have with dinner, but not recommended alone except to diehard IPA fans.

Photo of smakawhat
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Dogfish Head Ale glass. Yikes this is old..

A real nice creamy light tan head is made three fingers, which settles with a big whipped up top, hanging on like sheets of cream. Body is an opaque somewhat brown amber with hints of orange. Quite a nice looking beer.

Lots of biscuity malts on this, and faint tea like hops. I get the impression this has totally faded. Other that that some milky like sweetness but not much else to say.

Luckily the palate still delivers nicely but without a big blast. Controlling good mix of sweetness and toasty malts. Doughy biscuity sweetness, and a nice small mix of earthy pine on the finish, and light herbal tea. Good doughy mix with a hint of oily finish. Bit of honey sweetness on the lips too.

Surprisingly good mix to drink, but with a fairly closed nose. Would like to try one that is fresher though.

Photo of brentk56
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a most impressive head that clings to the side of the pint glass, leaving a ring of lace

Smell: The biscuity malt elements dominate the aroma, overwhelming the herbal/pithy hops

Taste: Biscuity malt,. up front, and a building sweetness are joined, in the middle, by the herbal/pithy hops, producing a candy-like character that lingers into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: A little on the sweet side overall, for my palate, but a very nice IPA

Thanks, mdaschaf, for the opportunity

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.41/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a lightly hazed, deep orange color with good carbonation leaving a small wite cap, bubbles and nice lacing

S: Wheat, Earthiness and some pine plus citrus to boot

T: Immediate Crystal malt-which I hate followed by light citrus, pine and Earthiness coupled with a nice bitterness. The finish is rather dry, bitter and lingering with a light booze and pine punch.

M: Medium body, more bittering, Earthiness and pine, citrus reside on the palate and hang out, especially the bitterness

O: I hate Crystal malt in a IPA. Deschutes commonly uses Crystal and Pale and I cant stand it. However, I wont hold that against Alameda. My taste aside, this beer is pretty balanced, pretty good overall.

Photo of IllNate
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really hazy light copper with ample white head and good retention. Aroma is hoppy with mostly citrus (orange) and a bit of pine. Picks things up in the taste. Hoppy in nature with orange and more pine with some grassyness as well. Bit of caramel maltiness, but not too sweet. Mouthfeel is bitter and relatively smooth. Overall it edges out a 4, a good IPA but nothing spectacular. I'm not sure if I have my hands on a mistreated beer or a bad bad, but the clarity was awful, others say clear...

Photo of Derek
3.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy copper-bronze with an off-white head, not much retention but it leaves a hint of lace.

S: Apricot, nectarine, tangerine & a bit of weed with some sweet toffee.

T: Tangerine, grapefruit rind, mango, good bitterness, but a little too much crystal malt. Showing some signs of oxidation.

M: Moderate body has a modest carbonation with some hop acidity.

O: It's just not bursting with fresh hop flavour and I find the combination with the malts a bit odd.

Photo of CookstLiquor
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle, this pours an amazing creamy golden copper colour. On the nose there are big fruit aromas of pineapple and apricot with a hint of pine. The mouthfeel is very creamy and rich in texture but there is a bold hop finish that balances
the beer beautifully. A favourite Portland India Pale Ale.

Photo of morimech
3.61/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light copper color with the ever so slight haze. Just over one finger of head forms and slowly settles to a thick cap. Copious amounts of sticky lacing is left down the glass during consumption.

Quite a bit of malt influence in this IPA. Biscuit like malt dominates with grassy, earthy hops lingering in the background.

A lot of malt flavor as well. Biscuits or toasted bread lays the foundation earthy and grassy hops. A lot of bitterness compared to the amount of hop flavor.

Carbonation is low but it fits nicely with the flavor profile. Nice soft, smooth texture.

An enjoyable IPA with a different hop profile from most IPAs that come from the PNW.

Photo of flagmantho
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass. Alameda appears to no longer market El Torero as an organic IPA. Bottle reads 7.2% ABV rather than the above-noted 7.1%.

Appearance: light holden hue with a heavy haze and an active effervescence. Head is a good finger of pillowy ivory foam.

Smell: biscuity malt with some grain aroma paired with grassy, earthy hops. A bit dry, but not too bad.

Taste: flavor matches the aroma almost identically. Biscuity, dry malt aroma with earthy hops, perhaps with a touch of citrus. Not bad, but not my preferred flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good, well-integrated carbonation and concomitant creaminess. I quite like it.

Overall: this IPA employs some flavor choices which aren't my favorite, but I feel that it is well-crafted and eminently drinkable. Good stuff.

Photo of Ratman197
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber from Malt and Vine poured a clear tarnished gold with a lasting white head. Aromas of biscuit, floral notes, light citrus and a hint of earthiness. Mouthfeel was light to medium bodied and crisp with a dry finish. Flavors of biscuit, earthiness and light grapefruit with a crisp dry bitter lingering earthy finish.

Photo of olmatty
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- A hazy orange with a rocky pillow of creamy head. Good retention and strong lacing.

Smell-Light, bitter, citrus hop and some biscuity malt

Taste-Fresh, hoppy citrus snap up front, significant honey and fruit candy sweetness in the middle and a pleasant, lingering bitter finish.

Mouthfeel-Moderate body and carbonation. Appropriate to style. Moderately sweet.

Drinkability-A deliciously devilishly drinkable IPA, even for 7%+.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #46 (Nov 2010):

A head that is not afraid to stick around; stunning brassy clarity. Bitter orange peel comes to mind when the hops hit the nose; slight twang of yeast in the back. Smoothness has depth within the creamy medium body. A whole lot of hop flavor here and the bitterness is without a doubt aggressive, though the flavor almost reaches the point of being soapy. Maltiness rings hard enough on the palate to not make this happen, and toasted bread and caramel stay long enough for a hit of alcohol and exotic fruit to round out the bittersweet finish. The hops are running down a completely different path here, and it works very well.

Photo of Matchu
4.48/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very much like this beer. A muskier hop than I am used to but very palatable.

This beer graciously provided by Joe F. (22oz bottle) - thanks for sharing!

Bought local and flown 'home', the beer has a beautiful russet golden color with a musk hop taste. Slightly cloudy with bottle conditioned yeast sitting on bottom. I should note that I am particularly a hoppy beer fan. This is not extravagant in that regard but graded favorably in my preferred style.
The malt is very complimentary to the hop profile - this is no doubt assisted by the herbal variety of hop (not citrusy).
Highly recommend this beer and have enjoyed beer on tap at this brewery.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ripe kumquat orange that explodes with topaz-like brilliance when backlit with sunshine. Several fingers of khaki colored froth look pretty good up top. The foam has a quality texture and is doing a pretty good job with respect to lace. A solid look.

The nose is too toasted and earthy for my tastes. A caramel maltiness would have been better and more hoppiness is definitely needed. For a beer with a reported 88 IBUs, the lupulins aren't exactly leaping out of the pint glass. In fact, no guesses as to country of origin are even possible.

This bottle has to be on the fresh side because El Torero is still bracingly bitter. Trouble is, the malts take too much of the flavor spotlight and good hop flavor is still lacking. The top notes are more earthy-herbal-spicy than citric or fruity.

The total amount of malt seems fine. There's a sugary, cookie-like sweetness cushioning the alpha acid attack and keeping the tongue from being abraded too significantly. This combination of flavors might be fine for some, but it doesn't quite hit my IPA fun zone. Paler malts and a different hop bill would fix it right up.

There's nothing wrong with the body/mouthfeel. It's easily big enough for the style and gains a lovely silky creaminess as the beer warms. Sparkly bubbles add mouth excitment while stopping well short of buzzy.

El Torero (The Bullfighter) IPA is my third Alameda Brewhouse brew and it's probably my favorite. It still isn't a great example of the style, although that probably has more to do with my American IPA flavor preferences than anything else.

Photo of brewandbbq
3.47/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle.

Pours dark, clear amber with barely a whisp of an off-white head. A placid surface appears quickly with a few dots of lacing. Very lightly carbonated.

Aromatics are certainly malt-forward with subued hopping. Candied malt, caramel, light roast, raisins, and some pine in the back.

Medium bodied with a slick, oily mouthfeel. Tacky.

Sweet crystal malt, husky grains, and a firm bitterness start the palate. Light pine and grapefruit follow through but the sweet malt with light roast keeps the hops subdued.

Finishes with a slightly acrid roastiness, pine-smashed grapefruit, and a pressing bitterness.

Eeek. Not really digging this one. More akin to an Imperial Irish Red. More hops, less sweet malt and roast please.

Photo of PDXHops
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewery in a shaker pint.

A half finger of cream-colored head tops a hazy orange body. This quickly reduces to a skim of foam, but does it's best to leave a bit of lacing here and there. Pleasant citrusy aromas are present, but also a slightly distracting background aroma vaguelly akin to canned fruit cocktail. Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Tastes OK, but again nothing to really distinguish itself. Sweet caramel and some juicy fruit salad up front, but the bitterness doesn't really appear until things dry out toward the swallow. A pine character that was previously hidden supplies a lingering sting.

Nothing at all wrong with this brew, but forgettable in a town with so many great IPAs. (Do consider stopping by for a pint of their excellent Black Bear XX Stout, though)

Photo of Tucquan
2.85/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this at the brew pub in Portland, OR on 2010-01-18

A - Cloudy amber with a short head

S - Fruit and bread

T - Unusual. Way too much grain taste and a sweet fruit taste that I didn't care for. Not hoppy up front but a little bitterness int he aftertaste

M - Medium body and carbonation

D - I'll pass

Photo of jdense
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle from John's Marketplace PDX poured into UCLA pint glass 4.8.10.

Second pour resulted in 1 1/2 fingers white head, pretty quick dissipation with some lacing present. Cloudy orangish amber body, some visible carbonation rising in multiple streams, thin layer of head retained on top of body. The nose is pretty frutiy, peaches more than grapefruit, dry bready malts in the middle, with a spicy hop finish. Tasty is sweet and spicy up front, quite a bit of piney hops, firm malt backbone in the middle, with a lingering bitter finish which got more pronounced as the beer warmed. Mouthfeel is medium, minimal effervescence, not very sticky. Drinkability is fairly high. On the cusp of a DIPA, I believe the tap version is a bit hoppier than the bottled one. Hard to break through in the ultra-competitive Beervana IPA market, but this is certainly worth a try, a good representative of the style.

Photo of Reidrover
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber..no mention or 'orgainic" on the label. In appearance this is already an odd IPA, darker amber with a small bubbly,frothy tan head. Strong citrus like hop aromas, but also stong breadyness from the malts. very balanced flavours the citric hopping and very strong semi-sweet malts shining though.. Good enough o the palate..nice lingering finish. Overall a strange one. Almost an American Strong Ale rather than an IPA in my opinion.

Photo of Arbitrator
2.68/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On tap at the brewpub. Thanks to ramnuts for DDing.

A: Pours a cloudy orange with half a finger of light-cream colored head. It retains poorly, lapsing into a film on top of the brew, and it leaves no lacing.

S: Caramel and orange syrup. Not citrus hops, but the artificial nature of that stuff you put into soda.

T: Caramely with a slight orange taste. There's no hop bite to the main flavor, although there is a lingering bitterness in the aftertaste. Neither of us could figure it out; this might be an old keg, but at the brewpub I can't reasonably make that excuse. None of the complexity or flavor punch I'd expect out of an American IPA.

M: Light-medium bodied, with moderate carbonation. Slightly malty finish.

D: Pretty weak.... But ramnuts felt this was probably just an off glass, so hell, maybe I'll try it again in the future. As it stands, this glass is pretty much a perfect example of what I'd consider an average IPA.

to view more.
El Torero Organic IPA from Alameda Brewhouse
84 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.