O'Brien's IPA - Alpine Beer Company

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O'Brien's IPA
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BA SCORE
97
world-class

129 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 129
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 7.5%
Wants: 83
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: sfoley333 on 01-10-2008

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 129 | Reviews: 60
Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.58/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, Derek, for sharing this growler. Cheers!

Appearance -- Pours a chartreuse yellow with two fingers of stiff creme-colored head. Interesting.

Smell -- Juicy citrus and a modicum of cattiness arise from the hops. There's an underlying honey malt aroma, but otherwise nothing much arises from the grain bill. This already isn't stacking

Taste -- Clover honey sweetness, dry biscuity malt, citrus zest. Hop bitterness is firm, but more in tune with a hop-forward APA than a true-blue IPA, especially for Alpine standards. Not especially aromatic.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light in body with medium carbonation. Pretty good for a growler.

Overall -- This is not the level I expect from Alpine. No flaws, per se, but there's nothing here to get excited about. I'll take Nelson or Duet over this any day.

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.6/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drove down to Alpine on a heavenly sunny day, but Raul was greeted with extremely dearth results: Nelson is tapped and all IPA bottles are sold out. Wowieee! But Raul is not one to fret, so he jumped his ass on a limited O'Briens IPA.

I think Cyrano de Bergerac could be the only one to lift anything out of the nose from this thang. Little to small hints of citrus, taste is ok, but still somewhat flat on the tongue. Not Laura Flynn Boyle "flat," but it could definitely use a wonder bra.

I wouldn't venture with this one again.

Photo of Kegatron
3.62/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on cask via hand pump @ O'Briens Pub (San Diego) on 11/13/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a hazy copper, with a 1/2 finger of foamy brite-white head. This stays pretty frothy, leaving some thick soapy lacing behind. The aroma is just LOADED with floral hops, pine, some more moderate smelling spice, and bitter grapefruit notes. There is a layer of grainy sweetness that floats under the hops but this is overall very bitter in the nose.

The taste also brings the hops full steam ahead, being very bitter with pine and citrus, along with some more mellow herbal accents as well. There is some sweeter bready malt character in the back but then this ends with a bitter pithy feel in the finish, which really hangs around for a while. Feels like I'm chewing on hop cones. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a mellow and bubbly carbonation that accentuates the more herbal qualities of this. I'm not necessarily sure that the cask feel works here, as a bit more firmness could have been used to handle the extra bitter taste and this is showing a bit more alcohol than I would have expected for only a 6% IPA.

I just couldn't get into this one as much as I would have liked. Just a lot of unrestrained hop activity going on here (some sweeter citrus flavors would have been welcome) and the cask conditioning didn't do it any favors. This is a good one for the hop heads but I just wasn't feeling it.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.94/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Brien's. Darker copper pour, average head, lacing below average. Aroma was as expected, hoppy, floral, leaning grapefruit.

Taste, a good ipa, yet underwhelming for being made from Alpine. Bitterness heavier than the hopping, alcohol seemed higher than 6% in this one, was tasting it. Mild sweetness, nothing of note to the malt flavor, approaching balance, but still leans hoppy. Vegetal at times. Acidic even.

Still better than most new ipa's I try these days.

Photo of beagle75
3.98/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft pour into a shaker pint glass at the Alpine pub.

A: Clear, medium golden color with less than one finger of diminishing white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Hops-dominated featuring fresh grass, pine, and grapefruit citrus. Clean, not cloying, but lacking somewhat in intensity.

T: Begins off-dry with faint toast, acidity, and layers hops. Aromatic hop flavors tend toward floral and grapefruit citrus, but also with more persistent herbal and chile spiciness. The finish possesses moderate bitterness but is made more challenging by the lingering capsaicin quality of the spice.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly sticky and smooth on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D: Upon enjoying this beer for the first time it is strikingly middle-of-the-road; a good all-purpose IPA that does not compromise on taste but is also careful to stay well under the 7% abv barrier. Certain sensory qualities keep this offering from quite matching Alpine Duet's effortless, compelling appeal.

Photo of tonistruth
4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap @ Stone Brewing Company Bistro in Escondido, CA

A- brilliant light orange with a 1 finger silky white head that holds well

S- simple yet pleasing hoppy citrus

T- a hop dominant brew that includes flavors of citrus, citrus rind, raw hop oils, and some spiciness from the hops, that is a sweetness to the brew but no distinguishable malt flavors

M- slick with hop bite at finish

D- another marvelous IPA from the hop wizards at Alpine, sessionable but not worth going out of your way for, save that effort for Duet ;)

Photo of ChadQuest
4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a semi hazy rather effervescent hue of orange, nifty.

The aroma and flavors come out great with a strong grassy profile being the top star of this show, really low malt bill and dry crisp feel just let the grassy character come out and create a fantastic summer ipa. There is some flaky biscuit and citrus notes playing backup roles.

A super solid IPA. Really dig it.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.02/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours into my 25cl tulip glass with an almost two-finger thick, pale tan colored head. The beer is brilliantly clear and is a concentrated copper tinged, rich amber color that shows a perfect, rich copper hue when held up to the light. The aroma is a mix of dank hop character (which is dominant) and fruity, tropical fruit accented citrus notes. Aromas of essential "hemp" oil, light pine tar, and a zesty-green herbal note are lightly balanced by notes of lychee, apricot, candied ruby-red grapefruit, and a touch of vibrant orange blossom. This really is quite the dank hop character, it remains quite smooth, but really captures the essence of sticking your nose into a dime bag quite well (that skunky herbal note is alive and well here).

Lightly sweet, but has an overall effect of being pretty dry. Hints of caramelized malt character add just a touch of grain character along with some light biscuit notes towards the finish. This is clearly an IPA though, as the hops are extremely dominant. Green hop notes, herbal character, hemp oil (though perhaps not quite as distinct as the aroma might suggest), green tobacco notes (this is quite strong actually) and a hop-fruit character that is much reduced compared to the aroma (noticeable notes of lychee and tart grapefruit). This has just enough heft to carry the hops, yet remain quite drinkable; this is as a good IPA should be. This has an expressive, smooth, yet ample bitterness from beginning to end that intertwines itself with the green, dank hop character.

This is perhaps the strongest influenced by its nearest cousin, hoppy IPA that I have ever had. If it wasn't for the soft citrus components it would likely be too much. Despite the "herbal" influence, this still maintains a smooth, never astringent hop character that helps to make this quite quaffable. The aroma is definitely a bit more balanced a bit more between herbal and fruit components, and I certainly can't help but wish the flavor did the same; though the flavor is far from objectionable.

Photo of tobelerone
4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery.

App: Very clear, dark amber color; fluffy head, good lacing remains.

Smell: Mostly citrusy hops, grapefruit and orange, some herbal and grassy notes, faint sweetness.

Taste: More old school and balanced than something like Duet or Nelson. Easy drinking for sure. I didn’t find this to be a super hop bomb even though the toasty maltiness is pretty restrained. Just a touch sweet, good bitterness, nice but not profound hop character, mostly again, citrus, grapefruit, orange, pine, and herbal flavors.

Mf: Medium-thin body, medium-low carbonation makes for a smooth mouthfeel. Lingering bitterness in the finish but nothing too extreme.

Overall: Fresh and tasty but I didn’t love this one as much as Duet and Nelson or even Pure Hoppiness, seemed a little more traditional and not as massively west coast hopped as the others. Would like to have it again sometime. Nice but not my favorite Alpine IPA.

Photo of Floydster
4.07/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pint at O'Briens for around four dollars on Tuesday at about 3pm before the barrel aged festivities started

Color was a golden orange color with a slightly red tint, 3/4 inch creamy white head that stuck around for a few minutes, good retention, and lots of lacing

Smell was great because of its piney aromas mostly, nice subtle citrus scents as well, small amount of malt, and oddly some smokiness

Taste was dominated by pine hoppiness just like the smell was and I am a big fan of that, some lemon, orange, and tangerine were all in the taste as well, some nice dry aftertastes were balanced out by some malt, but it was a good thing that the hops were extremely bitter and overpowering in this case, nice IPA overall

Nice level of carbonation but this was just too thin to me, not much substance as far as the body goes, taste did have a long lasting effect though

Could drink a couple pints of this stuff really easily, it has a low ABV and is relatively light, taste might get tiresome after a while if you did not have some food to go with it

I was excited to try this stuff and it turned out to be pretty good, hope this become a permanent tap at this bar, Alpine makes some very good india pale ales, recommended for all the hop lovers out there in San Diego

Photo of ehammond1
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap

Alpine Beer Company
Alpine, CA

Golden and orange in color with a thick, pillowy off-white head and eventually leaves spiderwebs of lace all the way down the glass. Gorgeous.

Pungent tropical, floral, and citrus aromas with lots of grapefruit and orange scents leading the way.

Moderately bitter and lots of tropical and citrus flavors throughout. Incredibly drinkable.

Medium mouthfeel with ample carbonation, but incredibly crisp and amazingly drinkable.

Another fine IPA from Alpine. I equate this to Russian River's IPA. It's not one anyone ever talks about, is only available on tap, and is just shy of world class. That being said, this is an awesome IPA!

Photo of AleWatcher
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler into tulip pint.
Thanks to BdoubleEdoubleRUN for the growler-- I love Alpine, and especially their IPAs... Can't wait to try this one.

Orange colored body with a 2 fingers of white head. Nice thick rings of lacing and strong retention.

Smells of virtually no malt, but rather all hops; some piney notes mingle with the citrus and tropical fruits.
The flavor is just as the nose prepared me for. Very nicely bittered. Pretty dry finish.

Feels a bit thin. Well-carbonated. Oily hop residue left on my teeth after each sip.

Overall-- this is a pretty nice ipa. Quite drinkable-- although I'd prefer a bit more body, this actually drinks even easier due to the thinness-- and I'm taking on the entire growler solo, so I can safely call this "pretty sessionable."

Photo of srandycarter
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - An almost clear, pretty color of gold. Near white head, about an inch, slowly leaves to disk. Lots of cling lace abounds.

S - Swirling array of hops and flowers. Malt is trying to make it's way in there, but I get mostly juicy orange and flowers.

T - Pretty spot on to smell. Hops and floral notes dominate and the malt can't compete. Pretty dry. I would have liked a little more malt in it.

M - Medium body, great carb, balances to the dry hop side. Good coating.

D - I like this one!!! Thanks Alpine. Drink Alpine Beer or go to bed!

Photo of ffejherb
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at San Diego Brewing Co. (as a guest tap) on 7/11/09.

A - Nice sweaty glass with a clear golden/amber body and one-finger creamy off-white head that diminished to a thin veil and yielded thick patches of lace.

S - Grapefruit nose wth pine and caramel malt accents. Quite sharp and pungent overall with subtle alcohol heat. A resiny hop character emerges as it warmed up a bit.

T - Strong hop bite right off the bat with piney and resiny bitterness as well as grapefruit notes. Malt is sweet and caramely and balances the aggressive hop character. Finishes with an abundance of hop bitterness and a moderate alcohol presence.

M - Medium bodied with a syrupy, slightly carbonated mouthfeel and some oily slickness. Finishes with a lingering hop bite on the palate.

D - This is bordering on DIPA, in my opinion, just for its sheer bitterness. I'm surprised this is only 6.2%. This one packs lots of pine and resin hop bitterness with a tangy grapefruit character as well.

Photo of ArrogantB
4.16/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler from Alpine. Orange color, good head, yes. Aroma of hops and hops and then hops? Pine, citrus, etc. flavor was damn hoppy with only the slightest hint of what I'm guessing are summit hops (onion). Great IPA, super hoppy, glad I got to try it.

Photo of iadler
4.17/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

5 oz sampler at the brewery.

A- Pours a translucent gold with a one finger head that leaves some nice lines of lacing.

S- Freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit, some orange, biscuit malt, pine, floral notes and faint tropical hops.

T- Lots of fresh grapefruit and orange followed by floral hops, underripe pineapple and mango, pine, peppery spice and some bready malt.

M- Medium carbonation and a nice crisp body. Refreshing and easy to drink.

O- Another good ipa from a brewery that has really impressed me with their line of ipas.

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

On tap at O'Brien's

A: Golden orange color with a thin, tan head.

S: Big resinous hop aroma full of some nice floral hops and a bit of earthiness.

T: There's a sharp citrus hop bite upfront. Big grapefruit flavor off the bat. Malty smoothness towards the middle and a bit of bready malts on the finish. This one wasn't my favorite of theirs but it's still a great IPA. The keg had been tapped a few days before I got to this and I think because of this, the beer didn't taste as fresh as I think it should have. Still a great beer though.

Photo of FosterJM
4.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

522nd review on BA
Draft to pint
@ Alpine Beer Pub

App- A good looking orange with a little ting with a one finger fast receding head. Had cling all over the place. A very nice looking IPA.

Smell- This was a juicy hop scent with a little bit of spice. It was a bit lacking in aromatics but smelled great.

Taste- This was a great little IPA. Very juicy, hoppy with a slight bitter bite.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. Left a small bitter note and a little orangy citrus

Drink- This was a suprise. I had heard good things, but with IPAs its a race to make em big, bold and brash. This was tasty, balanced and well done. I would like this one again.

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap both at the Alpine Brewery and at Toronado, San Diego on my Honeymoon in San Diego last week.

A: Pours a pretty cloudy to hazy orange with a small ring of white head that leaves decent lacing.

S: Smells quite hoppy of course (it is an Alpine beer after all), with mostly pine and citrus at the fore sort of what I would call the signature mix of raw hops in most of Alpines brews. A little malt, but not much. Overall not as amazing smelling as some of their other offerings I've enjoyed but still definitely good!

T: A burst of hops and honey hit first with a little toasty biscuit showing up in the middle. Citrus, grass and just overall raw hop husks combine for this flavor.

M: Sticky and semi biting, but not a huge bitter bite like some of their beers. Drinks easy.

O: Nice beer, but I'd rather have Duet, Hoppy birthday, Expo, or Nelson before this

Photo of MasterSki
4.21/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ArthurPendragon for sending me this growler! Served in a Surly pint glass. Shared with friends for the pre-NotLA tasting party.

A - This is one great-looking IPA. Pours with two fingers of ecru foam that dissipates slowly to a thick cap and a ton of splotchy lacing. Transparent deep golden color with a few stray bubbles here and there.

S - Lots of pine and tangerine rind, a few floral notes, not much in the way of malt - maybe a bit of sugar cookie that comes out a bit more as the beer warms up. It's a reference-quality West Coast IPA, but doesn't stand out from the crowded field all that much.

T - Taste is a little more muted, with aggressive pine and bitterness that lingers well into the aftertaste. It's a little bit of a one-trick pony, but it does what it does very well.

M - Mouthfeel is enamel-meltingly excellent, with bone-dry finish, and tons of residual oily resins. The only thing this could use is a little more heft in the body, although for a 6% brew this isn't a big problem.

D - This is a great session IPA. If the bitterness were a little better attenuated it'd be pretty close to perfect in this regard. Wish this were on-tap in my neck of the woods.

Photo of Deuane
4.22/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-deep copper with an off white head that retains well and leaves spotty lace.

S-West coast all the way citrusy hops up front with supporting caramel malt sweetness.

T-A no nonsense, straight forward WC IPA! This is nothing flashy, a wonderful hop/malt vehicle into your gullet!

M-Medium-light bodied with a nice long lasting citrusy bitterness.

D-Easy to drink and delicious. I am sure O'Brien's is very happy with their name on this brew. A shining example of a WC IPA.

Photo of womencantsail
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Toronado SD

A: The pour is golden in color with a fluffy white head on tap which leaves lots of sticky lacing.

S: The nose is all grapefruit and pine with maybe just an inkling of malt coming through.

T: The flavor is what you expect from the nose. Lots of bitter grapefruit and piney hops with just a touch of malt sweetness.

M: The body is medium with a crisp carbonation and a bitter finish.

D: This is pretty much what you expect from an Alpine brewed IPA. Great hop flavors and aromas.

Photo of John_M
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Generously shared by Dyan yesterday. Probably would have appreciated this a bit more if I hadn't had the Bad Boy first. In any event...

O'brien's pours an orange copper color with very good head retention and lacing. The beer has an exceptionally pronounced orange citrus aroma that is intense (in a very good way). There's also a hint of pine, but the citrus character really dominates in this beer. Flavors replicate the nose, and right off the bat I'm impressed by how light on the palate this IPA is. There is consdierable flavor, but the bitterness is dialed down somewhat, and the alcohol is not the least bit noticeable. The beer finishes with some noticeable bitterness, but I'm amazed by how well balanced this beer is. The beer is also quite dry, very much in the West Coast style, and drinkability is just excellent.

Another flat out excellent IPA from these guys. I'm starting to expect it whenever I see the Alpine label.

Photo of mdfb79
4.27/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to drabmuh for sharing this one; I enjoyed it quite a bit.

a - Pours a slighty hazy orange color with an inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smell is a lot of citrus hops up front, grapefruit, lemon, light pine, light fruity malts, and light bread. Lots of citrus and fruit; great nose for an IPA.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, grapefruit, pine hops, floral notes, bready and fruity malts, lemon.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Not much bitterness which is nice.

o - Overall another really nice beer from Alpine and a great IPA. Great nose full of citrus, and pretty easy to drink. Would love to have it again.

Photo of Sean9689
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Alex by way of ArthurPendragon! Served into a FoBAB tasting glass. I'm had this a couple of times before (at the brewery, uber-fresh), but I'm finally getting around to a proper review.

A - Pours a light golden color with some orange hue. A good two fingers-worth of head that disipiates down to a few bubbles here and there. A slim layer of foam remains on top as the cap.

S - Hoppy, citrus, and floral notes are the predominant notes I get from this one. It's a very straight forward IPA, but it's not boring or average, it's just simply an excellent example.

T - Heavy bitterness, citrus, pine, and floral notes. Very similar to the nose. Once again, nothing mind-blowing here, just a nice example of an IPA.

M - Light to medium, fizzy carbonation, bitter finish.

D - A perfect IPA to drink the crap out of. Alpine continues to produce some of the best IPA's and Double IPA's in the world. Keep up the awesome work, Pat!

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O'Brien's IPA from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.