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

31 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 31
Hads: 62
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 13.21%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 31 | Hads: 62
Photo of brentk56
3.96/5  rDev +6.7%
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 (574 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
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. (1,573 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.56/5  rDev -4%
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. (1,410 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (877 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
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. (700 characters)

Photo of Derek
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
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. (462 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
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. (819 characters)

Photo of stcules
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
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... (339 characters)

Photo of morimech
3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (656 characters)

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +7.8%
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. (686 characters)

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. (445 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
4.32/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The 'retirement' of this beer is premature to say the least, as I just had a pint of it two days ago. Enjoyed an extended walk through my NE Portland neighborhood and stopped at Alameda for a pint; sat outside under a clear blue skyful of sun, a September-like day in early November.

A: Pours a hazy copper-auburn, clear enough to see the small and infrequent carbonation yet too opaque to see my fingers through. Color is gradated up the pint, refracting the sunlight nicely. Head is rather small, gathering in a foamy ring of dusty tan-ness. Lace is modest, but sticks nicely.

S: I'm outside, there's light traffic passing on who-knows-what kind of smells, but this one still leaps from the glass. Big hop nose, juicy with pine and citrus fruit. Grapefruit steps forward, but there's a resinous evergreen lurking - all coat a sweet (almost candy-like) caramel malt.

T: Whew - that grapefruit bitters things from the get-go. Substantial hopping warms the throat and draws the cheeks inward. Light-toasted grains then advance to balance the hoppiness somewhat, producing a sweeter than expected finish, especially after the initial jolt of pithy citrus. In the end, balance is achieved.

M: Creamy and really thick - remarkably creamy, to the point I can't recall a creamier DIPA I've ever had. 'Silky' describes El Torero accurately. As mentioned under 'Taste', blatant hops do heat up the mouth and cling on the cheeks and tongue in a pucker-inducing sort of way. Alcohol is fairly reasonable at just over 7%, so that perceived heat is hop/oil-based, not necessarily alcohol. Simply one of the finest mouthfeels I can recall, regardless of style.

D: Absolutely tasty and wonderful to smell. I think I may have had this once before (Organic Brewers Festival, perhaps?), but shame on me for not seeking it out since then. I am not a huge lover of the big hops, yet I found this to be pretty incredible. Seek it out - highly recommended! (1,941 characters)

Photo of Tucquan
2.85/5  rDev -23.2%
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 (307 characters)

Photo of Redrover
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
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. (580 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
2.68/5  rDev -27.8%
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. (943 characters)

Photo of brewandbbq
3.47/5  rDev -6.5%
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. (736 characters)

Photo of jdense
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (908 characters)

Photo of RJLarse
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
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. (687 characters)

Photo of Docer
4.31/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just back from their Brewhouse.. which I had never been there before.. why did it take me so long I wonder? They also do growler fills.

- A nice rich orange/amber cloudy almost "hefe" like appearance.. about a 3/4" thick head that was an eggshell color... lacing all over the glass (shorted pint... eeeek..)

- Smell the malts and wheat as well as some citrus and floral hop notes.. the roasted caramel scent really stands out though.

- Wonderfully balanced IPA for sure... one of the better IPA's out there in my opinion... some wheat malt, roasted caramel.. very complex... and a nice hop backbone as well... floral, and a light citrus flare with a mildly bitter finish. What's so great about it? It's unique and very well balanced.

- Not very dry at all, and only slightly chewy.. but leaves a great malt aftertaste.. which is demanding more pulls from the glass.

- Creamy and smooth, just the right amount of carbonation.. and has no strength of alcohol at all... but does pack what it states. An overall very good IPA and was better than I expected. (1,058 characters)

Photo of PDXHops
3/5  rDev -19.1%
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) (805 characters)

Photo of DNICE555
4.47/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Amber orange. Lacing follows the beer all the way down.

S - Earth, spice, malts, very big aroma.

T - Big taste as well. A nice bitterness comes with the hops. A foll flavored toasty malt helps balance.

M - Very full body, Crisp, refreshing.

D - Big beer that is very drinkable. (288 characters)

Photo of Bookseeb
2.95/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance has a hazy orange hue with an over carbonated head that overflows out of the glass. Smell is simplistic in sweet malt with a soft piney aroma. Taste is sweet upfront malt with a hoppy bitter in the end. Mouthfeel is medium and very over carbonated. A little more difficult to enjoy with the over carbonation through out. (335 characters)

Photo of freed
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at the 2006 Organic Brewers fest, this IPA stood out from the crowd. The beer was a light golden with a slight haze and bright white head.

The aroma was dominated by flowery hop notes, bright and fragrant.

The taste was cleaner than the other offerings with none of the musty malt flavors present in most organic beers. It was somewhat sweet, but it complimented the hops quite well. One of the better organic beers I've had, and a good IPA in it's own right. (472 characters)

Photo of olmatty
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
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%+. (446 characters)

Photo of CookstLiquor
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
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. (310 characters)

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El Torero Organic IPA from Alameda Brewhouse
84 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.