Back Bay IPA - Boston Beer Works - Canal Street

Not Rated.
Back Bay IPABack Bay IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

73 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 73
Hads: 216
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 9
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Works - Canal Street visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-04-1998

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 73 | Hads: 216
Photo of tkelley
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can poured into a shaker pint.

A - kind of a nice gold color. White head. Good retention and lacing.

N - piney hops. A little citrus.

T - hop front. More resiny than anything else. Tiny biscuit notes.

M - fine

O - surprisingly good. Cheers. (253 characters)

Photo of CorvetteMike
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

a: Wonderful amber color.
s: Light hop, with pine/citrus smell.
t: Well balanced smooth citrus/pine taste.
m: Medium body with no after taste, smooth.
o: ExcellentIPA.

This beer does not need any improvement (208 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
3.51/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on June 3, 2014.

It pours a cloudy orange amber with a lingering off-white head. Some lacing.

The aroma seems very weak to me. I get virtually no hops...not even the subtly of hops with the caramel malts. This is getting a World Class rating? I must have a bad bottle.

Medium body.

The hops pick up a bit in the taste and balance it out the pale malts reasonably well but nothing overdoes anything else. Easy to drink but it seemed to be missing something. (497 characters)

Photo of Guess2814
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I had this beer on tap... This beer was fresh as heck.. Nice powerful hoppy taste with a nice hoppy smell.. I've been to a few beer works in Mass,. I must say the Back Bay IPA stood out.. Great beer....cheers to this beer...next time I go back I will certainly grab this one right away (285 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Modest head that leaves some spots after each sip. Golden amber color with a light haze.

Very pleasant citrus hop nose. Semisweet caramel malt in the background.

Very brief pale malt start. The bittering hop completely overwhelmed this brew. Not complex nor balanced, this is still a solid IPA. Moderate body, elevated carbonation. (335 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.06/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Slightly hazy light orange color to the body and a foamy white cap atop the beer. Frothy head reaches about one finger in height and retains decently. Lacing is nice with a few clouds of webbed foam.

S- Citrus zest and a bit of pine but not as much hop influence in the aroma as I would expect. A decent amount of caramel, yeast bread and apple hints as well.

T- A blend of citrus rind (bitter orange), flowery and pine hops lead the way with some herbal and earthy undertones. As with the nose, a decent amount of caramel and yeast flavors back up the hops.

MF- An overly foamy body with massive carbonation stinging the palate. Must be some active yeast in the bottle or something, not infected though. Moderate bitterness in the finish.

Nothing much wrong here but it doesn't jump out from a ton of other IPAs I have had. The body is a bit foamy for me and takes away from the experience but it is decent nonetheless. (973 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I had this on-tap in a big pint glass at the Beer Works in Logan airport.

Appearance: medium orange hue with plenty of haze and a moderate effervescence. The head is a very thin layer of white foam. Not too bad.

Smell: sweet and citrusy hops are strong up front. Very Cascade-smelling; I like it.

Taste: bright and citrusy hops dominate the flavor; there's not much room for anything else. Bitterness is pretty raspy, but this is a pretty serviceable IPA.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a big carbonation yields a surprisingly large and satisfying creaminess. I sure wasn't expecting that -- Great!

Overall: a bright and bitey IPA with a stylistically weird but personally satisfying creaminess. I'd go for this again. (723 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Clear orange. Two fingers of creamy white head retain extremely well. Lacing forms a thick ring on the glass and also some spotty patches.

S: Grapefruit, passion fruit, melon rind, strawberry, tangerine lemon rind. Ample malt base of toasted grain, bread, and slight caramel and toffee.

T: Lots of pine resin. Leafy tobacco and spicy herbs. Ruby red grapefruit. Touch of lemon rind. Notes of tangerine in the background. Ample bitterness grips the tongue, but is kept in check somewhat by a somewhat robust malt base. Toast, bread, caramel, and toffee provide both a base and a contrast to the hops. Finishes with tastes of toasted grain and a lingering spicy bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with a strong malt backbone. Full and creamy in the mouth with a bit of weight and a delightfully creamy and smooth texture. Moderate carbonation supports nicely.

O: Back Bay has more than enough hop bite to keep the hopheads satisfied, but it follows that up with a sturdy malt bill that lends body and balance. It isn't unlike the hallowed Racer 5 in that regard. This is a beer that gets overlooked by many, even in the home market. It's a shame too. This is a great beer, and a real sleeper. Give it a shot. (1,255 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that has reduced to a thin layer and left some nice lacing on the glass. It is a pale orange color with good clarity and slow moving bubbles moving up through the glass. Super nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Nice citrus hops followed by bready and sweet caramel hops.

Taste: Very clean and straight forward beer. Nice tangerine and orange hops followed by crystal, sweet caramel, and bready hops.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, crisp, medium carbonation, medium bodied, and a nice treat.

Overall: Pretty solid IPA here and good to see them put some styles in bottles now. (673 characters)

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Liquid comes out a straw to golden colored yellow with near perfect clarity. It has a huge white head with many different sized bubbles that erupts from a hard pour. There's plenty of glass retention and lacing.

Smell is good. Nice and hoppy like a good West coast ipa (eventhough this is East Coast). Fresh, juicy citrus aromas come up big here, direct and right to the point. A little buiscut/bready at the end, not much else to mention here, smells great though.

Taste is very good, a decent malt backbone, I didn't expect because of how hoppy it smells. After the initial sweetness there is a bitter bite from the hops. Some pine, but primarily citrus bitterness, a little more bitter than I'd prefer, but still very good.

Mouthfeel is on point. Super light, this beer could be absolutely dangerous on a hot summer day, many of these could be crushed! Clean and crisp with a bitter finish, nice, direct and to the point. Really drinkable here, just a solid IPA. Nice job Beer Works, first bottled beer I've had from them and I'm looking forward to more now. (1,123 characters)

Photo of sprucetip
3.41/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of a flight delay, I am having the opportunity to try this one at Logan Intl.

It has great clarity and is light golden/amber in color. There was a decent amount of white foam that faded quickly and left no significant lacing. Activity was moderate.

It smells grainy and alcoholic mainly, with a little bit of citric hops underneath. Only occasionally do I sense any malt in the nose. It doesn't smell like much of an IPA to me.

Moderately bitter from the git go and right on through, the grain bill is mostly base malt. There is more hop character in the flavor than in the nose. It is piny and citrusy. The malt supports and balances but doesn't add anything in terms of complexity. It's a basic, clean, straight up, regular old decent IPA. Pretty good for an airport, but nothing to get excited about.

Plenty carbonated, light side of medium body, dry character is present throughout and increases in the finish, which is also bitter.

It's a good beer, but it doesn't excite me enough to commit to another though I've got another hour to kill. I'm thinking of prowling around Terminal C and seeing if there is maybe something interesting from Boston Beer Co at another establishment. (1,202 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
3.51/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Light apple cider color, light beige head with decent head retention, and great lacing with amazing retention.

S - Green pepper and squash notes are present with a nice bitterness aroma throughout.

T - Herbal hop notes, pine, spruce, slight soapiness.

M - Sharp, nicely carbonated IPA that goes down smoothly. Leaves a very nice and pungent bitter note on the back of the palate.

O - A great hop presence, but not overly bitter. Very smooth and has a nice malty base making it very drinkable. (501 characters)

Photo of Wowcoolman
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Logan airport. Pours a wonderful amber color with ample head. Citrusy aroma. Hops do pack a solid punch with white grapefruit, lemon rind, and pepper. Finishes bitter, maybe a little too much for my tastes but not inappropriate for the style and overall a balanced IPA. Certainly a worthy NewEngland IPA (but maybe not quite the Finest Kind).
I might add that being able to drink this on-tap at an airport is heaven. (431 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beer Works Fenway

A: The beer pours a clear, light amber color with a thick white head.

S: Definitely a pungent hop aroma. There is a nice herbal note with some citrus peel and plenty of pine. Quite a bit of grapefruit and a very resinous note to it overall.

T: Moderate bitterness with plenty of pine and herbal hops. Maybe not quite as much in terms of citrus hops, though there is a nice grapefruit and some hints of fruit.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: A well done IPA with good hop character all around. (538 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap at Canal Street, and served in a pint glass. The beer is a hazy, brown-gold coloring, with a chunky, off-white, big bubbled head. The beer clings thickly to the glass while you drink. Light citrus and floral nose, with grapefruit highlights. The flavor is floral hops first, followed by smooth, buttery sweet, and a tangy, peppery hops again at the end. The aftertaste is supersweet and tangy, with a citrus sweet and astringent finish. (450 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes. Had on tap at BBW at Fenway.

A: The beer was a clear light copper/amber color with a ene finger, slightly off-white color, with decent retention and minimal lacing.

S: Rather floral and grassy with some citrus mixed in. A little bit of light grainy malt and some caramel malt round it out.

T: There is a nice citrus flavor up front with some lemon and a bit of grapefruit leading to a little bit of caramel malt, slightly doughy too. Has a slightly bitter finish.

M: Maybe a touch thin, it does not have a sticky/dry finish that I get out of most IPAs. Moderate carbonation.

O: A decent IPA, would have liked it a bit bolder. Look forward to going back and sampling some of the other offerings at BBW. (729 characters)

Photo of BennyL1
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Back Bay IPA pours a nice copper color with a small white head. Very nice lacing is left along the glass as the beer is enjoyed.

S - Smell is mostly made up if the citrus and pine aromas you would expect from an IPA. A bit of the malt backbone is also noticeable in the nose.

T - The hops up front make for a really nice flavor. The malt balances it out very nice. Crisp finish with a nice hop bitterness.

M - Medium body with carbonation on the lower side. Very smooth throughout.

D - If I had more time I would have ordered another one of these for sure. Really solid offering all around. (598 characters)

Photo of Gehrig
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the Logan International Airport Beer Works.

Two lush fingers of white foam top a clear amber-golden body. Dense lacing and good head duration get things kicked off quite well. Big, beefy nose filled with citrus and no shortage of biscuit malt with some caramel. Lots of grapefruit, orange, and some lemon in the aromas.

The taste is excellent--very hoppy and citrusy, but also well balanced by loads of caramel malt and strong biscuit flavor, with a hint of chocolate. This is really, REALLY good IPA, and hop lovers should really be fond of Back Bay. I am not sure which hops they used, but my hunch is that is loaded with the C's--Chinook, Centennial, Cascade (not Celtics).

A dense coating of hops coats the tongue, just what every hops fan should love. Easy on the palate, Back Bay came right out of the Green Monster in Fenway at me--left field and then some. Nothing short of outstanding, I'd highly recommend Back Bay to IPA lovers everywhere.

Tremendous. (984 characters)

Photo of Haybeerman
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear, bright orange/amber color. Poured a 2 finger rocky off-white head with good retention. Decanted lightly. LAced in wide rings.

S: Citrus and floral hops; also topical fruit and pine. Pale anad crystal malt in the foundation.

T: Crystal malt more prominent in the flavor. Hops come through as more of a resiny feel, rather than flavor, in the middle. Flavor a little disappointing after the nose.

M: Light to medium body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth and little resiny.

D: Fair IPA, just no holding power in the taste; finishes wanting. (549 characters)

Photo of ddean
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at the Boston Beer Works, Logan Airport.

A pleasant, clear, orange/amber brew with very little foam but high retention. Get a little straw/grassy hops at the beginning of each whiff, but not strong enough for my nose. Taste is a dry IPA. Not bad, just not exciting or intriguing in any way. Smooth with no strong aftertaste, so it is certainly drinkable. I just don't think it's has a memorable taste, and I agree with argock that it doesn't leave that sticky coating in your mouth that many good IPAs do. If you like big, complex beers like I do, take or leave it, but I'm thinking if you like Anchor Steam Pale Ale or their IPA, this is a good beer for you. (672 characters)

Photo of ChugsMugs
4.37/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was one of the smoothest IPA's I've ever put my lips on. Poured a nice golden brown with generous sticky head. After having the Double Pale I expected an onslaught of hop, but was left pleasantly surprised to find a more mellow citrus/floral blend. Outstanding in terms of refreshment and smoothness. It was hard to keep this brew on the tongue. I highly recommend. (370 characters)

Photo of argock
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a slender tapered glass at Beer Works - Canal Street (Boston, MA).

A: Clear lightly amber golden with tight 1-2 finger nearly white head with good retention and decent lacing.

S: Floral and citrus hops greet the noe with a soft pale malt backbone. Hops definitely win out.

T: The flavor is good but the weight of flavor is a little watery and doesn't pack the punch of a more stnadard high tier IPA. I think this is mainly due to undermalting mainly which leaves the flavor without much staying power. The hops flavor is citrusy and floral and a little one-dimensional but still enjoyable overall.

M: Mouthfeel is also a tad thin. THis beer misses the sticky, coating feel most very good IPAs have. The carbonation is midrange and dpesn't sway the feel either way. The aftertaste is floral, citrus hops.

D: A pretty good IPA which could be elevated with a heavier hand with the malts to leave the flavor with more oomph. All in all, though, still I enjoyed it. (983 characters)

Photo of ExtraStout
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour produced a clean, clear, medium copper-colored bier, with a creamy, albeit short, head. The foam was white, with a fine bead, and left nice lacework.
Aroma was a full, fairly strong whiff of Cascades (or a reasonable facsimile thereof!).
Body was a respectable medium, and the "feel" was just a bit prickly on the tongue. Nothing to make it less than "good", though.
Flavor started with a mild maltiness, slightly toasty, just enough to keep things honest. Then the flavor went into hop overdrive, with a great grapefruity hop essence. The hop flavor really sticks in the throat, giving a super, longlasting rich aftertaste!
A tasty rendition of an IPA. One to savor and enjoy! (687 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A light creamy head fades slowly over a hazy orange amber beer.

The nose has some light Belgian malts and fruity Belgian yeast, some nice spicy and fruity American hops, a nice combination.

Taste starts with spicy and bitter American hops. Some light citrus and fresh hop musty resinous flavors. More Belgian malts, slight creamy and fruity Belgian yeast.

Mouth is slightly creamy medium body with lower but decent carbonation.

Finishes slightly astringent and pretty bitter win lingering resinous musty fresh wet hop flavors as well as a slight dry Belgian yeast finish. (575 characters)

Photo of TommyW
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear, golden body with a tall, sticky, white head.

S- Faint floral hop aroma with notes of pine and citrus.

T- Faint malt backbone with some fresh hop flavors jumping out on top. Nice crisp and bitter finish.

M- Medium body with a medium carbonation.

D- A pretty standard American IPA. (293 characters)

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Back Bay IPA from Boston Beer Works - Canal Street
87 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.