Topcutter - Bale Breaker Brewing Company

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43 Reviews
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Reviews: 43
Hads: 270
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 27
Gots: 53 | 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: 43 | Hads: 270
Photo of garymuchow
3.86/5  rDev -6.3%
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 +0.5%
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 +2.7%
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%
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 -2.9%
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 +10.9%
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%
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 +9.5%
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 -11.2%
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 +5.3%
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 +10.4%
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 +13.8%
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 -19.7%
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 +1.2%
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 +12.9%
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 -4.9%
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 +15.3%

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 +2.2%
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 -2.7%
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 +21.4%

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 +9.2%
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)

Photo of mabermud
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer appears a dark rich orange. The head appears white, fluffy, and pillowy soft. The head is sticky and persistent. It has a piney and citrusy aroma. The smell is similar to many of the other nice West Coast IPAs. The taste is also piney and citrusy, I would say juicy. This reminds me of Jai Alai. The mouthfeel is smooth, not much carbonation.

Overall, I am impressed with this IPA. This is a good addition to the burgeoning selection of nice IPAs in Washington. I will have it again. (494 characters)

Photo of Spordy
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is in my top 5 IPAs. It has great mosaic and simcoe flavor in the taste and aroma. Malt is there, but its like Joe Biden. Just there in presence but adds nothing to the show. The bitterness hits you like a Chuck Norris round house kick to the back of your tongue and lingers just long enough to get you to take another drink to keep him kicking. Stop in at the brewery in Moxee and have one fresh to taste what a true Yakima IPA should taste like. If its not enough hop flavor, walk over and pluck a few cascade cones off of a bine in the yard next to the parking lot and throw them in your glass. (608 characters)

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a Sam Adams pint glass.

Pours a lovely amber with a one-finger head that quickly dissipates and leaves lacing along the length of the beer.

The aroma is very nice, westy-style. grapefruit, citrus, candied fruit, and a little hint of spice and dankness.

The taste is very nice. Lots of grapefruit with a big initial bitter bite. As my palate adjusts, I also get some candied fruit, lemon zest, some sweet malt below and a hint of spicy hop as well.

Mouthfeel is pretty typical, medium a slightly sticky.

Overall, a very decent IPA. I'd happily drink another. (593 characters)

Photo of Spikester
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Hazy gold with one finger of white head. Curtain of fine bubble lace.
Smell is pine oil floral grapefruit hops and pale malt. Really bold smell.
Taste is similar to the smell with a bit of sweetness to the malts. Maybe a bit of caramel malts.
Hops are about potent as you want in a standard IPA without losing the individual hop flavors. Mouthfel is medium and carbonation is just enough. This brew has a medium dry bitter finish. This beer is a bit hard to find in my area and I made a special trip to Kennewick, Wa. to get it. Not sure it is worth the $10 per six pack but I am glad to have tried it. (603 characters)

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Topcutter from Bale Breaker Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.