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Big Punisher - Jailbreak Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big PunisherBig Punisher

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

116 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 116
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 16.71%
Wants: 2
Gots: 32 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Jailbreak Brewing Company visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: yourefragile on 04-18-2014

A well-balanced double IPA with a semisweet malt backbone and complimented with generous amounts of citrus & tropical fruit hops. Rich, delicious, and rewardingly punishing.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 116 | Reviews: 23
Reviews by goblue3509:
More User Reviews:
Photo of WWBG
5/5  rDev +34.8%

You beer nerds are insane. This is a sick double IPA up there with the best ones. Clowns.

Photo of gillagorilla
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. can not dated, but probably with some age on it, since they did one initial run of cans so far, but it hasn't been selling due to the cost. Luckily, I found one in a mix-six section. I opened this one from the bottom, which was a bit messy. This is a re-review on 11/26/14. I originally gave it a 3.5 based off of draft.

A: Ruby/Amber tinged copper body. Thick head with lots of lacing.
S: Mild and light on the nose for such a big beer.
T: Weird initial flavor that is quite light, but balloons with an off-flavor, followed by an okay DIPA, that then recedes to a sub-par aftertaste.
M: Smooth, with almost no felt carbonation, but not exactly without carbonation. Weird kind of feeling.
O: Seems like this one has fallen off quite a bit. Turning into a bad malt bomb. This was slightly better on tap. If I'm gonna pay $13.99 for a six-pack of a canned local DIPA, it's going to be Double Duckpin.

Photo of tone77
3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a beige color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is bursting with tropical fruits. Taste is very different from the smell. There are citrusy hops up front, but considerable malts at the finish. Taste is good, but not what I expected. Very little bitterness as well. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

Photo of smakawhat
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Spiegalau IPA glass. Canned Dec 30th 2014.

Deep crystal clear, bright bronze and dark orange body. Carbonation comes perfectly nice and fine and not overly excessive. Head formation is a little tight but also small with only about three fingers tall. Very little lacing, but also slowly falling and disappearing. A pretty good looking brew here.

Good aroma on this guy. Interesting hop angle, with some sweet syrup treacle tiny like notes. Smells quite experimental, woody, slightly pine but with an interesting fruit angle and a hint of mint. Quite varied and inviting as well. Some faint juiced orange and chocolate mixes in a bit too. Real nice and a bit unique.

Palate comes with a lot of sweetness. Big syrup rush of honey and sugars. Booze is toned down but some of the hop forward fruit gets burried by a rush of sugars. Hop angle gets lost in this, and the sweetness really starts to intensify. Finish brings some hint that this comes off like an IPA, with a little bit of pine aromatics. Thick, with the carbonation not really cutting through easily.

Overall though there is quite a lot being lost here in translation. There's some good character here but not all the parts are delivering. Luckily this doesn't come off like a boozy mess though which really saves it from being mediocre.

Photo of Kdowney1
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

Very strong and hoppy Double IPA. I am really happy to see local MD breweries putting out good product.

Photo of JednoPivoProsim
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Poured from a 12 FL OZ can into a pint glass. ESCAPED ON 09/26/14 (less than three weeks old!) I was glad to see this very local brewery canning/distributing.

Appearance: Pours a nice clear copper body, decent off white head, and a lot of nice carbonation. Good looking beer.

Smell: Aromatic citrus hops, picking up a little orange (Amarillo?). Sweet biscuity malt.

Taste: Nice light citrus hop flavor but the caramel malts dominate. Very sweet.

Mouthfeel: Nice and refreshing not overly bitter.

Overall: I like to support local breweries, and I have been on a DIPA kick lately, but this is a little too malty for my taste.

Photo of MerriweatherRaven
3.66/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The Big Punisher is delicious and easy drinking for a big IPA.
It is everything I would expect a Double IPA to be.
My disappointment is it does not stand out or have any anything unique going on. I feel like it's just another big IPA like everyone is making. It's solid, but I could not pick it out in a crowd of other big IPA's. It's not over the top in any way, (like mouth feel, aroma and so on.)

Photo of 2dogbrew
3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

More Amber than most IPAs, smells like it's going to be solid, but taste disappoints.

Photo of beershack1
2/5  rDev -46.1%

Not so much an IPA as it is a pedestrian American Strong Ale

Photo of jacewg
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Pour: Deep orange color leaning toward copper. Looks on the maltier side of DIPAs.

Aroma: Really nice hop nose with suggestions of citrus, melon, and tropical fruit. Unfortunately quite sweet smelling as well, which lends a "candied" sense to all of those aromas. Quite a bit of caramel as well and a general white sugar sweetness.

Taste: Opens juicy with an interaction between really nice hop flavor (citrus, tropical fruit, melon) and distracting caramel-forward, sweet malts. Turns to an herbal bitterness that isn't quite big enough to cut through the sweetness. Tries to dry out in the finish and some nice hop flavor pushes through. Again, can't quite escape the sugary undertones.

Mouthfeel: Quite nice. Drinks easy for 8.5%. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Long, juicy, sweet finish that lingers. Doesn't dry out quite as much as I'd like.

Overall: This suffers from a bit of an identity crisis to me. As a hoppy American barleywine or an American strong ale, I'd likely give this high marks. As a double IPA, it's way too sugar sweet and malty for my tastes. But I prefer unbalanced IPAs.

That said, if you like a healthy dose of sweet malt with your hops, this is going to be right up your alley. I wouldn't turn down another if offered.

The liquid is pretty solid, just mislabeled.

Photo of Lettsgo3
4.57/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Rich color and smell. A little thin but a nice hoppy taste

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.46/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from can dated with "escaped on 9-26-14" into a pint glass (only ~ 3 weeks old)

Appearance – The beer is poured an orange-copper like color with a one finger white head. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to leave a good level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass and a persistent white foam on the surface of the brew.

Smell – The aroma is big of fruity aromas with a great showing of tangerine, mango, and some melon like smells of honeydew and cantaloupe. Hop aromas are there as well and rather decently strong, with a grapefruit citrus smell being the heaviest of the lot. Along with the grapefruit however is a nice showing of a floral and light earthy hop. With a little bit of peach and apricot in the nose as well, a quite delicious and sweet smell fills the nose.

Taste – The taste begins with a sweeter and more malty flavor with the sweeter being heaviest of the fruits that were detected in the nose but also containing some flavors of caramel and brown sugar with the malty being a more doughy like flavor. At the start there is a bit of a grapefruit hop flavor which ends up growing slightly stronger in intensity as the taste advances. While the flavor advances the sweetness lessens ever so slightly with a loss of the more sugary like flavors of caramel and brown sugar. Other hop flavors join the flavor profile as the grapefruit gets stronger and the sugar lessens, with hop flavors of a floral and slightly off herbal and almost vegetal hop flavor. These new hops, with some loss of the sweet and a little bit of a hay and alcohol taste that all come to the tongue at the end, unfortunately, produce a rather unpleasant and off-putting musty vegetal and decaying fruit flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The brew has a slightly thicker body with a carbonation level that is on the average side. For the sweeter and grapefruit flavors of the brew the feel would have been very nice, but for the more off hop and rotten fermented fruit flavors the thickness is just too accentuating, so overall, just OK.

Overall – If only the taste finished without the fermenting rotten fruit taste due to the odd mix of vegetal and herbal hops, alcohol, fruit, and musty hay like tastes. Overall, some may like it, I will likely not go too on any real occasion.

Photo of yourefragile
2.44/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the brewery and from a day old growler.

Let's quickly poll the most recent untappd checkins for this beer that say something other than "ZOMG, best new local brewery EVAHHH": "Balanced", "mild", "smooth", "strong malt", "sweet", "light on hops", "bland", "high ABV without bitterness", "not overpowering", "completely lacks flavor", etc. Not that there is anything wrong per se with a malt forward DIPA, but given the name and seeing this described as a "Citra bomb" in pre-release press, I'm concerned going into my first sample.

Sample pours fairly dark, clear amber with thin ring of white head, with small bubbles and wisps of sticky lace. Sweet malty and sugary tropical nose, not much hop presence or complexity. Flavor follows with an initially jarring sweet, chewy malt punch unexpected for the style with a trace sticky buttery note in the background. Caramel, butterscotch and sugary fruit follow with a light stale, bitter finish. Cardboard and raw bitterness linger in finish. Fairly harsh transition throughout from initial intense sweetness to stale bitterness; heavy, sticky body throughout. Not "boring", and maybe under another name like an Imperial Amber I'd be more enthusiastic, but some off flavors, malt forward body and lack of any hop character disappoint for a DIPA. Heard they are still refining the recipe so hopefully future batches improve.

Photo of Stezz420
4.58/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another extra received via BA trade. Thanks to @oline73 for awesome beer!

Pours a copper orange color with a decent head.

Smell is pretty tropical.

Taste is bit more on the malty side. Was expecting a sweeter taste.

Got a bit more thick as it warmed and starts tasting stronger. Holds up well when drank cold and fresh though.

Overall I was a little surprised how decent this was for never hearing about this beer before. Underrated for sure!

Photo of Bitterbill
3.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24K of liquid gold sitting under a +1 finger head of foam.Seriously slow shrinkage.

Big notes of bread, some pine as far as hops go but put them together and I find a 50-50 balance of sweet vs bitter.

Sweet to start off with, bread and caramel malt, it morphs as the sips go on to a citrus hoppiness...vs a real bitterness. The balance is nice and the abv seems to be in check pretty well.

Thickish mouthfeel but short of full bodied though, at times during the session, it feels like it.

An interesting IPA here. It has its merits and its lower points, referring to the bready notes; if I had gotten more caramel sweetness, I'd have liked it more..still, a big thanks to Robert for the chance to try this beer!!

Photo of glmccready
4.75/5  rDev +28%

Had this on tap at the Good Beer Fest in Salisbury, Maryland. It was a toss up between this, and the Victory Dirt Wolf (a 96) which was my favorite DIPA. Personally I'd rate this at least a 90. It was just delicious, and what a pleasant surprise. Great job Jail Break!

Photo of longjumps
3.84/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

look: Transparent golden-orange with a fluffy head that didn't want to dissipate. Initial pour looks delicious and lacing in the glass continued throughout.

smell: Citrus fruit aromas dominate, making it potently sweet. This initial impression is followed by some piney hops and malts for good measure.

taste: I'm not an expert in DIPAs by any means. I do know that I really enjoyed this brew though. The flavors are almost lightly sweet at first, but are boosted by the malt presence. I would have liked a touch more hops here; their richness that was present in the aromas seemed somewhat lost here.

feel: Creamy, heavy, but just shy of being truly full bodied.

overall: Though I assumed by its name this would torch my palette, it really has a nice balance to it. Perhaps that's not what diehard fans of double IPAs are looking for, but I'll be returning to this one at some point. Like others have said, it does not have the complexity or outright bitterness most DIPAs show but it is a surprising and satisfying beer.

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.22/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz can into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear copper color. The head is almost three fingers high, and off-white in shade. Its retention is excellent, and it has a dense texture as well. A lot of lacing is left on the glass. This just plain looks good. (4.25)

Smell: This is a two week old DIPA? Sure, I do pick up some tropical fruits coming from Citra hops (like papaya and mango), but it's the caramel-laden malt backbone that ultimately dominates. The hops just don't pop, at all. Despite my disappointment, what's here is very likable (it does have a bit of freshness to it, as well). (3.5)

Taste: It doesn't really taste like a two week old DIPA, either. There is a nice initial flavor of tropical goodness coming through, but afterwards, the malts completely take over. Even worse, they're the toffee-laden crystal malts I usually don't like in IPAs. There's good news for those don't like a bitter beer, however: this one is devoid of hop bitterness. I am getting a slight catty touch on the finish, and as a nitpick, I'd actually like a hair more bitterness. All in all, it *IS* an alright DIPA at the end of the day, but one that should have been better. (3)

Mouthfeel: This is a fairly crisp beer, so - in spite of the healthy sweetness (healthy, nah, make that robust) - it's easy to put down. Carbonation is a bit below average. The crystal malts create a slight astringent sensation on the palate; maybe that's why it's pretty drinkable. (3.25)

Overall: Maryland needs that one 'killer app' beer badly - Oklahoma has Prairie Bomb!, South Carolina has Westbrook Mexican Cake, Texas has whatever sour Jester King is putting in shapely 500ml bottles, New Mexico has La Cumbre Elevated IPA, Massachusetts has anything by Jack's Abby, Vermont has...take your pick, really; hell, even Virginia has Hardywood GBS (and to a lesser extent, Lickinghole Creek's barrel-aged offerings). Maryland, conversely, has jack crap. And unfortunately, this one isn't going to change any minds - which is sad, because there's promise here (a Citra-laden DIPA in a six-pack can format!) At the end of the day, however, it's just another over-malted DIPA - if I had to pick one phrase to sum up my thoughts on this beer, it's this: "this is a two-week old DIPA that tastes like it's going on three months instead." (3)

3.19/5: Dial out some of the crystal malt and we'll talk

Photo of Arithmeticus
4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very robust IPA, vibrant aroma and flavors, strongly oriented to piney hop flavors

Photo of qchic
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Transparent amber with some off white head sticking around. Aroma is first insanely peachy and then somewhat savory (Mosaic hops?). Flavor is fruity and herbaceous like the aroma with a caramel finish. Very creamy for a DIPA, and the bitterness will not slap you in the face. Not what I was expecting based on the name and style, but it's unique and enjoyable.

Photo of Tilghman
4.75/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Surprised by what I think are low grades for this outstanding IPA. This is really a top shelf beer, I found it to be exceptionally good when served on tap at several local restaurants in the Annapolis area, and then was pleasantly surprised when I found it at my local liquor store. It only comes in cans and is cloudier when poured from the keg, great love it! Still in all an excellent IPA and looking forward to getting it again at the local tavern as well as buying it in a six pack. Don’t let some very ill advised low scores put you off; this is a very good IPA, WTG Jailbreak!

Photo of Hopscat
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My second time around with this big IPA. Got on tap at the brewery. They held a 'Ales & Tails' event at their taproom -Bring your Dog to the Brewery. Very cool.
Smallish head on this light orange /golden mostly clear brew. Served in a small goblet.
Smell is orange-grapefruit rinds and flesh, with some bready sweetness also. Nice
Taste follows with huge citrus hops upfront -bitterness and big sweet malts -caramel and toffee at the mid palate. Finishes with bitterness and alcohol burn as it opens up and warms in a good way.
This DIPA has some complexity, at turns bitter - then sweet.
Mouthfeel is medium and coats the tongue.
Overall I would recommend to all DIPA fans.

Photo of hoosiercrab
3.12/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

If you're looking to sit down and enjoy a big beer that promises to punish, well, Big Punisher is probably not the beer for you. I'm not sure whether I was expecting to be delightfully punished, akin to the protagonist in 50 Shades of Gray, or whether the punishment would be more literal, like I expect it is to actually read that book. I was neither. I wasn't punished.

Big Punisher is a decent beer... a decent beer, but a forgettable beer. Jailbreak specializes in beers with truly unique flavors (Scoville, Made Wit Basil, and Carrot Cake Conspiracy) and also brews some very solid staples (Ryemin & Stealin, Van Dammit, and Into the Dark). I think Big Punisher falls a bit short. It succeeds by not falling into the trap of being yet another nigh undrinkable overly hoppy DIPA. Instead, it has a nice creamy texture and a malty flavor that I wasn't expecting. That said, there is some other flavor I'm having a hard time describing. Fortunately, another BA user nailed it, if only slightly overstated, when they said it had a "... rather unpleasant and off-putting musty vegetal and decaying fruit flavor to linger on the tongue". Life is too short and there are too many great DIPAs, malty or not, for me to revisit Big Punisher.

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Big Punisher from Jailbreak Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 116 ratings.