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Topcutter - Bale Breaker Brewing Company

Not Rated.

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47 Reviews
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 47
Hads: 283
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.17%
Wants: 30
Gots: 60 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Bale Breaker Brewing Company visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beertunes on 05-05-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 47 | Hads: 283
Photo of ssteakley
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Finally found some. It is an outstanding IPA. Taste, color, body, finish all add up to a top Pacific Northwest Beer. This is not for those who dislike hoppy beets but it is well balanced an if you ever considered a IPA this one is a great exale of those at the top. (265 characters)

Photo of mudbug
4.11/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the freshness dated (25 days old) 12 oz CAN into a Samuel Smith's perfect pint glass results in a slightly hazed burnished orange body capped by a 1/2 thick white head that recedes into a thin cap of foam that leaves sticky lacing as the level drops.
Aroma is pungent grapefruit rind, pine tree and biscuit with a slight fresh cut grass in there too.
Taste is upfront grapefruit rind bitter then mellows a bit with a slight cracker sweetness. citrusy sour lingers on the tongue.Other people get a dry crisp finish, but I don't, aftertaste is quite long and juicy and quite enjoyable.
Carbonation is lively, making this fairly bold IPA refreshing.
Thanks to Zestd from Idaho for bringing this treat out to the coast!
Prost! (733 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.16/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz can, courtesy of the Idaho Pour Authority in Sandpoint. I was encouraged to seek this one out before traveling to NoDo, and was pleasantly surprised to find it readily available in grocery stores as well as on-tap locally.

This beer pours a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, rocky, and densely foamy off-white head, which leaves some decent layered cloudy lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells of bready, crackery pale malt, acrid underripe orange and white grapefruit pith, a certain flinty chalkiness, faint uric acid astringencies, and further herbal, leafy, and grassy hops. The taste is grainy, lightly biscuity pale malt, sassy lime, red grapefruit, and lemon citrus rind, a still heady chalky stoniness, equal and balancing dank pine and tropical fruit measures, and a wee twinge of metallic warming alcohol.

The carbonation is quite genial in its lightly-rendered and yet playful frothiness, the body a pleasant enough middleweight, and more or less smooth, the hops turning cheek to show the fruity, rather than intrusively bitter side of themselves, right here, right now. It finishes on a strong drying spree, the flinty, piney, and citrusy notes predominating.

Woweeee, what a good IPA! The minor hype surrounding this one for me is more than justified, especially as it toes the line between the West coast and Northeast versions of the style, for reasons already elucidated here. Quite tasty, easy to drink for the near 7 points of booze, and very worthy of showing off to all your hop-crazy, brew nerd peers, indeed. (1,598 characters)

Photo of Nugganooch
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz can to a standard wine glass – hotel room style!
Notes taken on 02/10/2015

A: Dark caramel amber body with some considerable chill haze that gives off a somewhat murky look. A massive and dense layer of khaki foam develops above that takes a few minutes to finally settle back into the glass. Lots of lovely lace tethers around the glass edge after every sip.

S: Smells very grassy pressed with fresh pine, some catty herbals, and a few light floral accents. A little lesser note of citrus fruit wafting through as well. No real malt presence here. Just very crisp and aromatic with the hops.

T: The flavors follow suit with loads of fresh cut grass, pine, and floral hops at play. I get some understated grapefruit and dank herbals there as well. Has a good dose of bready malt backing to balance while never obstructing all the hop flavors. There is a moderate to high amount of actual bitterness to this one with a nice crisp dry finish. Very clean with no alcohol flavors to make note. Overall a nicely balanced and easy drinking brew.

M: Light to moderate filling body with a nice crisp feel and a spritzy carbonation to it. Moderate to high level of perceived bitterness leading into a very dry finish. Pretty clean overall without much residual linger going on.

D: A real nice quaff. Nothing mind blowingly awesome here but a well-crafted brew with some fresh greeny hop flavors. Somewhat simplified yet very crushable. (1,457 characters)

Photo of garymuchow
3.86/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Many thanks to beertunes for this.
Pretty much classic in presentation, aroma and taste. Nice mix of citrus, grass and some additional fruit in hop aroma and taste. Clear and strong bitterness middle through very long finish. Firm malt backing, some in aroma and more in taste.
White head and amber towards gold color and slightly cloudy. Very nice mouthfeel with fullness, softness and smoothness.
A touch of hop excess in the taste and aroma(hop oil, skunk) and I'm becoming intolerant of that, knowing that an increasing number of good breweries can make highly hopped beers without it. I like the other flavors and balance. (632 characters)

Photo of Beric
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Growler into pilsener glass
Served: 4 July 2015

Appearance: Pours a somewhat hazy golden color with a 1.5 finger soapy crown that dissipates to not much more than a .25 finger sheen. The haze was a bit surprising, since it looks like the beer was overall intended not to be truly hazy, so I'll take a few points off there. Few brewers want only a slightly opaque beer- they commit to either fully hazy or crystal clear. This one is oddly in between.

Smell: Really bright citrus and pine hop notes. Malt sweetness.

Taste: The citrus and pine hop notes continue, but there is also a notable dankness behind things. The dankness does not weigh down the beer at all though, which I found refreshing. The malts were rather light, which was a bit surprising given this beer is over 6.5%. Because of this, the beer drank more like a harvest IPA- bright hops and light(er) body, rather than having some of the sweet, more substantial malt notes as similar IPAs.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium-high carbonation.

Overall: A really great IPA, and one that doesn't overdo it. Quite drinkable. Would recommend. (1,115 characters)

Photo of kaseydad
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Took a chance on a sixer while in Seattle. Good pick.

Pours a clear nice amber colored ale with a white foamy head that stays.

Grapefruit, orange, pine and malt aromas.

Taste is nice and juicy. Citrus splashes.....lemon, tangerine, blood orange. Nice hop presence and a small malt backbone. Really works well.

Overall I thought this was a really nice ipa that made my stay in Seattle that much better. (409 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber with a pillowy head that leaves a few strands; nice stickage

Smell: BIscuity, with tropical fruit and pine tones; floral

Taste: Biscuity, up front, with tropical fruit tones developing and then verging into bitter, piney territory; a touch of sweetness, after the swallow, with a dank, herbal finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Never heard of this brewery before but they make a fine IPA

Thanks, mabermud, for the opportunity (496 characters)

Photo of MjBrewhouse
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is such a hop forward beer, not a whole lot of malt but on a hot day it is just right. This is a very refreshing beer with clean hop flavors.I have been really enjoying this beer lately.Very available and price is nice as well. (233 characters)

Photo of scottbham
4.57/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I think this is the new standard for Pacific Northwest IPAs. There are definitely some flagship IPAs that are better in this style (Boneyard and Pfriem come to mind) but this really captures to the essentials: solid, subtle malt and the freshest hops with fruit in the front, spice in the back and bitter underfoot.
Cheers. (323 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a finger and half of head on a clear medium straw body.
The aroma is grapefruit, lemon and pine.
The taste starts with moderate bitterness, mild honey in the middle with a mild bitter finish.
The texture is crisp with a soft edge.
Solid. (243 characters)

Photo of DrQwill
4.51/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew is just with the thirsty hiker needs. It's clean, fresh, satisfying and delivers everything you'd expect from a reliable friend. Can't go wrong when you have one of these bale breakers. Kind of what BB used to deliver! (232 characters)

Photo of Jeffsta1
3.66/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good looking IPA, golden/amber color, looks at least partially unfiltered. Beautiful head, very natural.

Nice mouthfeel, very rich. Perfectly light carbonation.

Clean IPA flavor, lacking a bit on the midpalate, simple; long finish, quite bitter, but again, simple; pine resin, mostly.

With a texture like that, my take is that someone there really knows how to make beer, they were just aiming for something that isn't my favorite. (434 characters)

Photo of Taybeh
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a can (muled from Seattle, thanks, Sis!) into an imperial pint

a: hazy apricot with a puffy three finger creamy white head, lots of lacing
s: pungent...not messing around, at all. great combination of bitterness, tangerine (both juice and rind), passion fruit, some dank sweet hay, faint pale bready/crackery malt.
t: a little less thrilling than the nose (and a little less juicy and citric) but still very good. lots of bitterness, some pine, leafy garden herbs and woodsy cedar at the end that lingers (which I don't really get in the nose). Hard to pick up on what the malts are doing of interest, if anything.
m: medium to high carbonation (for the style), toward the bitter end of things, a little warming, mouth is coated with hop oils...this one stays with you for a while afterwards, both the bitterness and the interesting mix of flavors.

overall: a lot of good stuff, here. I'm not sure that everything comes together, entirely, but if it errs, it does so in a way that I can admire. A must have for hop heads. I'm glad that my sister brought me a few. (1,078 characters)

Photo of DeepJello
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Canned 01/13/15

A: Orange / Gold in color. Filtered with a small amount of sediment. 1 finger of solid white head, leaving a sticky lace.
S: Pine tree, floral forest in aroma. Sweet rich topical fruit notes (passion fruit / tangerine), straight hop nose.
T: Hops are center stage. Moderate tropical fruit, huge piney resinous hop bill. Sweet malts which are almost unnoticeable and help round out the body.
M: Moderately carbonated. A lingering, resinous hop characteristic. The bitterness/flavor stayed with me for a few minutes, leaving me craving another sip.
O: A hop bomb. Unbalanced and hop forward. Straight from the land of hops, Yakima, WA. It's an outstanding example of a Pacific Northwest IPA. (728 characters)

Photo of Ghrymm
4.69/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nice dark gold pour with a nice lace. Great Hop flavor . Great West Coast IPA one of my favorites. Bought 18 cans today at The Brown Jug in Oreville Washington (159 characters)

Photo of brother_rebus
3.31/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Nice golden hue. 70 IBU. thin, watery entry. Latent hoppy taste comes through with equally latent carbonation. Not a heavy mouthfeel as expected with other west coast IPAs. Undetectable presence of malt. very slight grapefruity nose. (233 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A. Pours a nice orange-gold with over a finger of white sticky head. That leaves some nice lace.

S. Big grapefruit and orange rind, a little mango and light grainy malt. Simple, west coast, and very nice.

T. Big citrus fruit and rind, some cedar and grainy light malt. Maybe a touch of tropical fruits and sweet candied citrus rind (if that's even a thing, may have just made that shit up).

M. Medium body, soft below medium carbonation.

O. Very nice and all west coast baby. Trust a yakima brewery to take advantage of the local dankness! :) (546 characters)

Photo of almostjay
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I live in IPA saturated Portland, OR. Topcutter is not available here, although it's pretty easy to find about an hour away in Washington. I go out of my way to find Topcutter, even in this crowded IPA market, because it's THAT good.

I'm a big fan of these "modern" IPAs - not overly bitter, very overly aromatic, etc. Topcutter is a prime example of this style. It's hard to mess up a beer with a Simcoe®, Citra®, Ahtanum™, and Mosaic™ hop bill, but it's been done. This beer uses those hops perfectly. So. Good. (521 characters)

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pretty solid with plenty of dry bittering hops, though having just had the Field 41 pale previous, this beer doesn't stack up..either as an IPA or in comparison to the latter. That shit even make sense? (202 characters)

Photo of DHarv
4.75/5  rDev +15%

One of my favorites, I make sure to get a six pack at Trader Joes every time I am out in Spokane. It has a good amount of bitterness and its in a can; Win win. (159 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 FL OZ can
Served in a tulip glass

L - It is amber with golden highlights. It is capped with half a glass of off-white head that slowly retreats leaving some lacing behind.

S - The smell has dank wet hops and citrus.

T - The taste starts out just like the smell. I taste dank, wet hops and citrus, but the finish has pine. Everything tastes great.

F - Medium

O - This is a great IPA. It was recommended by a beer guy at Total Wine in Bellevue, WA while on vacation. I am glad he led me to a glorious IPA. It reminds me of Truth from Rhinegeist, one of my favorite IPA's currently. (589 characters)

Photo of kemoarps
4.01/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich amber body topped by a cut of beautiful white foam: the quintessential IPA appearance. Decent retention, decent lacing.

The aroma is where this really begins to shine, and stand out, a cut above the crowd. Nose starts off with some floral and sweet hops that venture so far into spicey that I swear there's allspice and cardamom in there somewhere. It may be worth mentioning that I fucking love baking spices (cardamom, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, nuteg, etc) just in general, and am always pleased when I find them in my stouts, etc. I certainly never expected to encounter them in an IPA, but man does it work...

The taste is still very good, but it cannot top the unexpected bounty and complexity of the nose. The spicey complexity of the nose falters a bit into the bitterness of an overspiced red sauce (it works here, because IPAs feature bitterness, and it matches the following, but that's the best description I could come up with). This still blends nicely, though, with the pine and some citrus, though it isn't quite as juicy as I was hoping (presonal preference. Also: DATE YOUR DAMN CANS!! I don't think so based on the rest of the characteristics, but for all I know, this could be a year old. There's a series of seemingly meaningless numbers on the side of the can [4 06 05 A 1 B D], though my google-fu has failed me, and I can't translate that into chronological units. If I'm missing something obvious, someone please let me know and I'll rest easier and update accordingly...)
Anyway, where were we...
Crisp and appropriately carbonated, the malt does not particularly stand out in flavour (providing support and contrast, without being discernible in its own right: like a very good stage hand), but it cuts a nice body that supports the rest of it...
Blunt bitter finish leaves me sticky and smacking (err...).
Thoroughly enjoyable. I would grab this again in a heartbeat, and would love to try it on tap, and would consider it in the upper echelon of IPAs (especially year-round shelf-cans...), but is it ELITE? Super good, but there are still others that I would reach for first. But not many. (2,146 characters)

Photo of timothy509
5/5  rDev +21.1%

This is probably my favorite IPA. I've had Topcutter in the can and on tap. Delicious, hop forward, beautiful in a glass. Big pine and grapefruit flavors. Balanced and refreshing. It helped to be literally looking at the fields where the hops are growing while drinking this. What an experience. (295 characters)

Photo of Redneckwine
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Light amber-orange hue, pours with a solid 2 finger head that stick around for awhile, and leaves behind lots of sticky lacing.

Smell - Hoppy, mighty hoppy. Floral, pine/herbal, tropical fruits, a strangely alluring dank and skunky stink ... complex hop character. Playing distant second fiddle is some caramel and biscuity malts.

Feel/Taste - Getting lots of dank pine character (pot), grapefruit, lemons, musty but juicy tropical fruits, vaguely herbaceous, VERY fresh tasting hops. Slight bitter kick - quite subdued. The malts come in later to round out the hop onslaught with some light caramel and bready sweetness. Medium body, smooth, scrubbing carb helps clean things up. Easy lingering bitterness, less than expected.

Overall - A suberb IPA at a great price. I don't know what it is with this one, but the hops just taste very fresh - they have a fantastic, unique "punch" I haven't come across all that much. It makes sense to me, since Bale Breaker is located in the Yakima Valley, which is becoming world renowned for kickass hops. Honestly, this is one of the best IPAs I've had: it's great on all levels. (1,135 characters)

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Topcutter from Bale Breaker Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.