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Bitter Rival - The Tap Brewing Company

Bitter Rival
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24 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 24
Reviews: 3
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 11.68%

Brewed by:
The Tap Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TheManiacalOne on 04-23-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 24 | Reviews: 3 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of VelvetExtract


3.69/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well I already wrote a review for this but when I clicked 'review' it was washed away. So here is an abbreviated version. Love seeing my review being obliterated due to site alterations...I digress.

A-Pours cloudy and orange with a thin, off white head.

S-Aroma is surprisingly lacking much definable hoppiness. I can't pick out any specific words to describe the hops here; I actually can't pick up much hoppiness in the nose. It's grainy and I smell some caramel but I really am struggling to sniff out any describable hoppy notes. No specifics. *As it warms I get some floral and citric hops but when it's ice cold, the hops are silent.

T-While I had trouble finding the hops in the nose, the flavor is a bit different. It's resoundingly bitter. However, the hoppy bitterness is almost soulless. There are no specific flavors I pull from it; it lacks definitive flavor. It's more of a noxious plume of bitterness that rolls over the tongue and chokes away any specific flavor. I find that the malt is easier to describe: caramel, grain, bread crust. If forced to describe the flavor of the hops - bitter, strong, pine.

M-Medium bodied. Exuberant bitterness. Desert dry. Alcohol hidden well. Pleasant carbonation that helps to aerate the palate.

O-This beer is bitter just for bitter's sake. There is no finesse, but I guess that's want they were going for. I was disappointed by the nose. The flavor was better. Both the aroma and taste got better as the beer warmed. This review may seem mostly negative but to be quite honest, I will take a tooth-melting IPA any day and be pretty happy. It clearly got better as it warmed up.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2014 02:57:04 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of jondeelee


3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bitter Rival opens to a hoppy aroma, with dandelion stem and pine resin dominating here, and lesser notes of grapefruit rind and light mint. What is more surprising, however, is the strong grain aroma, which resembles the mustiness inside of a grain silo. This latter note mixes with crusty breads, hay, and biscuit to form a distinctly grainy note that almost overpowers the hops. Touches of brown sugar, as well as very faint hints of berry, orange, and apricot fruit esters, add small threads of sweetness. As a whole, the nose is very intriguing, largely because of its extreme grainy notes. As the beer warms, these do fade a bit, revealing a better sugary base, but the initial blast is quite interesting. The warming also reveals a more rounded hop profile, with pink grapefruit, rose hips, and sweet rosewater joining the pine resin, until the hops smell more sugary than bitter. Bits of fig and plum also show up in the fruit esters, joined by larger heaps of brown sugar. The aromas, in other words, definitely improve as the beer warms, becoming very candy like in the end.

On the tongue, the beer is very bitter, and not at all like the candies noted in the aroma. Dandelion stem, pine resin, eucalyptus, grapefruit rind, lemon oil, mint, and anise abound here, with hardly a glimpse of any of the more sugary hop notes. So bitter are the hops that much of the rest of the flavors are overwhelmed, though touches of peppery breads, toast crust, biscuit, and Grape Nuts cereal do come through, as well as faint bits of brown sugar, and a few berry and orange fruit esters. The emphasis here is clearly on the hops, and the beer has enough of a palate wrecking effect that much of what little non-hop flavors were present in the initial sip are lost in subsequent mouthfuls. The hops also dominate the aftertaste, becoming even more bitter, resinous, and rind-y, the effects lingering on the tongue for a long time. Mouthfeel is a slightly watery medium-light, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, there’s certainly a huge amount of bitterness in his beer, and it nicely lives up to its name. In the end, however, the bitterness is so overwhelming that the beer seems imbalanced, and could have used a much larger sugary counter, especially in the orange fruit ester and brown sugar area, to provide a bit of relief. Still, it’s worth trying if you’re a hophead.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2013 00:19:05 | More by jondeelee
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.39/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap 2/7/2013 at British Beer Company in Walpole, MA, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light coppery brown color, with a short dense off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains a good blend of floral hops, citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts with sweet flavors of citrus and caramel. Then a strong but not over-powering hops presence comes in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a very good 2IPA worth drinking for a very long time.

Serving type: on-tap

04-23-2013 03:17:52 | More by TheManiacalOne
Bitter Rival from The Tap Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 24 ratings.