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Boatswain American I.P.A. - Minhas Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Boatswain American I.P.A.
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66 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 66
Hads: 170
Avg: 2.85
pDev: 41.05%
Wants: 0
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Minhas Craft Brewery visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: smcolw on 12-17-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (111) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 66 | Hads: 170
Photo of BEERchitect
2.54/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Trader Joe's attempt to make craft beers for the budget minded consumer takes a hit with this heavily malty and timidly hopped ale.

Bright amber in color, the beer builds a moderate off white creamy froth that retains well after reducing to a sheet across the glass and providing lacing patterns on the glass. The beer certainly looks like well crafted IPAs.

Fruit, caramel, and a whiff of faint floral and herbal hops waft over the olfactories with a scent that much more heavily favors non-descript English ales than anything hop forward.

Grainy sweet to taste, the flavors of toasted barley husk and simple caramel provide the majority of taste while any attempt to balance with hops leaves the beer feeble and unsupported. Fruity fermentation character makes the beer taste like candied apples, cherries, and grapes. Lightly floral to start, the beer turns lightly herbal before a woody, grassy, and soapy bitterness finishes the beer shy of even-keel, where the style expects complete hop dominance.

Full and sticky from residual malt sweetness, the beer's procession across the palate is slow and lumbering; never developing the dry malt, clean resin dryness, or refreshing closure that I look for when reaching for IPAs. Only the light impression of alcohol resembles anything pale ale.

Where I appreciate Trader Joe's price pointed intentions with craft beer, they should try to more aptly name their beers not with intent but with how the beer actually tastes. An English strong ale dictation would have yielded a kinder review.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
1.77/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

22 ounce bottle - $2.29 at Trader Joe's in Roswell, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, polished copper body with a two finger-high, off-white head.

Smell: Bready malts, some odd umami hints, but also a cutting sniff of alcohol, leaving me worried for a repeat Boatswain beer experience. Some beers would already be getting two thumbs up at this point, this one's just getting the double eye roll. Ugh.

Taste: The bready, simple, lightly sweet malts underneath are ruthlessly beaten back immediately with a revolting ethanol punch to the tongue. Unpleasantly astringent. This line would be better served in tall, paper bag-wrapped cans and sold at gas stations.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: I tried the Trader Joe's HLV yesterday. Really did not like it, finding it a poor value at even Trader Joe's prices. This was equally as embarrassing and fairly undrinkable. Avoid!

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Photo of mactrail
2.62/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Very dark hazy amber in the New Belgium tulip. Really nice cloud of foam on this with plentiful lacing and sudsy mouthfeel.

The sweet flavor is kind of a shock. It's sweeter than a bock beer. It's like a DIPA missing the hops. I'm always complaining about abusive levels of bitterness, but hot this one. It's so unhoppy I'd have to call it insipid, like a malt liquor. There is a leaf mold sort of smell, with a bitterish murky taste that must have something to do with hops.

Overall, this has that nasty sweet 'n' bitter combination that usually signals "drainpour" for me. However, I had a bottle of Knee Deep Simtra open, which is a ticking hop bomb. Mixed fifty-fifty it wasn't a bad combination. But what do you want for two bucks? Rubber biscuit?

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Photo of LXIXME
3.53/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A medium sized light tan head settles into a nice lacing on a clear orangeish copper colored beer that seems to have a fair amount of carbonation.

Light sweet malts with a light orange citrus aroma.

A light almost bitter dryish citrus taste with some light sweet malts adding balance to this drink.

There is a light sweet malty dryish aftertaste on this medium bodied beer.

For the price this was a pretty good deal, decent to better taste on a relatively cheap bottle of beer.

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Photo of chinchill
3.5/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz brown bottle from Trader Joes.

Pours a somewhat dark (especially for an IPA) amber with a short, and short-lived tan head. Both the darker color and the aroma indicate that this is a malt heavy IPA; this is confirmed by tasting.
Initially, one gets a load of sweet caramel malt with some spiciest of the hops. The hops come to the fore, barely, thereafter, but there is no real hop hit. Even the finish and aftertaste are fairly light on hops.

O: clearly disappointing as a hop heavy Amer. iPA, but this is a pleasant and very drinkable beer that would make a good session beer. Perhaps you should have a hoppy amber in mind while you drink, and don't show the label to any hop heads that share it with you.

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Photo of smcolw
3.53/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber color with a mild chill haze. Moderate head but it sticks around. Nice blanketing lace on the glass.

There is a mellow pale malt smell along with a moderate level of floral hop. Leans to the malt side for an IPA.

The bittering hop is more pronounced than the smell indicates. The beginning is brief malt, then the peppery hop takes over. The body is as expected. A predictable, middle-of-the-road IPA.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep bronze amber with a thin off-white head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of bready, slightly biscuity malt, overripe stone fruit, no hops that I can detect. Taste is mild biscuit malt, tart orangey citrus and fusel oils or odd esters with mild citrus hop bitterness in the finish. The effect of the hops is masked by the other odd flavors. Medium bodied. I was hoping for a ESB type experience after detecting no hops in the aroma, but this just isn't that pleasant. There is some tartness that may indicate a bad bottle, but perhaps it is just the hops or errors in brewing. I've generally felt that the beers brewed for Trader Joe's where not that great, but accurately delivered on the expectation of a decent, cheap version of each variety. This is just not very good. I hope it's a bad bottle, but will not try it again.

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Photo of beertunes
3.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hated 22oz bottle poured into 10oz goblet. Poured a dark orangeish amber color with with about 1/2 inch of light tan head that had moderate retention and lace.

The aroma was mostly malty with a subdued hop profile, mostly citrus, with some floral notes. While the flavors were mostly the same, the hops did have more of a presence.

The body was the typical medium of the style. Drinkability was OK. Overall, a decent budget beer, otherwise very average. Try it or don't.

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Photo of barczar
3.02/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy deep copper with a dense one inch cream head that lingers. Leaves thick lacing as it eventually dissipates.

Citrus zest, pine, floral hops, and lightly toasted malt form the initial aroma. There's a skunky note, as well as a hint of onion and earthy hops.

Flavor is way too sweet. Caramel malt, slightly toasted breadcrust, and buttery toffee form the initial profile. There's an underpinning of floral hops and grapefruit pith, but the sweetness of the malt dominates into the lightly bitter finish.

Body is pretty full, with fairly low carbonation, which compounds the syrupy mouthfeel. There's significant grainy astringency at the finish.

Overall, wish the flavor followed the aroma more closely. Cloyingly sweet, and masked the hop profile.

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Photo of DmanGTR
1.47/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.25

Bottle from TJ's. Was only $2.39 for a bomber so I thought nothing to lose...

Poured a deep amber, very clear, with a short lived billowing off-white head. Scant lace left behind as the head receded. It kind of looked dead after the head died down. Giving a sniffy sniff, I must say that it was superbly underwhelming. Nose is faint overall even though I poured the beer slightly below room temperature. Bit of malt and biscuit in the backbone and mild herbal notes. Bit of fruit that seems like a blend of dried orange peel, lychee, and bitter herbs. The flavor is very much like the aroma but there is a metallic distastefulness that sends it all down the drain. Barely any citrus or pine notes that I would expect in an IPA. I'm struggling here to find anything appealing about this beer. Body is pretty hefty for the mild carbonation, almost a slick feel to the beer. The beer kind of starts off with the sweetness of malt, then picks up the herbs and mild citrus, then dies, leaving only a scant bitterness in the finish.

I found water to be more appealing than this.

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Photo of EgadBananas
2.4/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Oh, no, Minhas!! :/

This looks nice. A clear coppery color with a tanish head. Nice lace.

Malty aroma. Too malty. Caramel, sweetness, corn? No real hop notes.

Slight bitterness, corn-like sweetness, caramel and maltiness.

Creaminess, and medium in body.

No dating, so unsure of freshness, but this is not good. This is better than the swill that Minhas produces, but craft wise, this is poor.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle with blue label "Boatswain American IPA" served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear copper color with a fluffy white head that left trails of lacing.

S - earthy aroma, some malt and floral hops.

T - decent amount of malt upfront with some floral/earthy notes and lingering bitterness on the finish.

F - medium bodied with mild carbonation.

O - it's ok and I'm glad it didn't cost me over $3 for the bottle.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.66/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Boatswain American IPA has a rather thin, off-white head, a mostly clear, orange appearance, some bubbles, and not much lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of mild citrus (think about orange peel), and white bread crust, with possibly a caramelized sugar note. Taste is of all that, with a bitterness that comes across as nowhere near a 79 IBU, but it’s there to at least balance the beer. Mouthfeel is on the light side, and Boatswain American IPA finishes dry, refreshing, and highly drinkable. For a store-brand India Pale Ale, this is a pleasant surprise.


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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.06/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle a deep clear copper color with two fingers of rocky off-white head.

Aroma of caramel malts, light floral hops and soil.

Tasted of sweet caramel malts, saltine cracker, very light floral hops and a bit of medicinal bitterness in the finish.

Medium bodied and sticky with a moderate carbonation.

A bit under-hopped IMO and very average.

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Photo of JayQue
3.32/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Interesting beer. As an IPA, it is very mediocre. Thin mouthfeel, weak nose, lacking in hoppy goodness. As a session type beer, labeled as an ESB instead of an IPA and considering it is $1.99 for a 22 oz bomber, this is not bad at all!!!!

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. Clear copper color, medium size fizzy white head with spotty lacing and average retention. The aroma is just not there as an IPA. Call it something else and it is more acceptable....light grassy and floral hops and a little biscuity/bready malt.

Taste is fine (as an ESB or Amber Ale, but not an IPA). Grassy and floral hops, some bitterness but not the hop bomb that the term AIPA conjures up. Nice balance between biscuity/toasty malt and the mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin for an IPA, more acceptable for another style. Nice balance, somewhat crisp and refreshing.

For a $1.99 22 ouncer, Trader Joe's has done pretty well. As a lawnmower beer/summer quencher...not bad at that price. Not a particularly impressive IPA though.

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Photo of Offa
3.08/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a decent beer, hardly great and rather rough and simple, but a solid, enjoyable beer and good with food.

Pale golden copper, it has a medium off-white head steadily shrinking to thin ring.

Aroma is bread crust, hint of metal and coins, hint of citrus - orange flowers, and dusty pine.

Taste is alcoholic orange flowers, jammy with hints of bread crust, fruit candy. It's a bit sweet with only light spicy bitterness, and it's a bit rough and simple, but it's nice tasting nonetheless and is quite enjoyable with food, where it holds up well.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
2.31/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.25

Type: 22-oz. bomber
Glass: Firestone restaurant glass
From: Trader Joe’s in Grossmont Center (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $1.99
Purchased: April 4, 2013
Consumed: April 4, 2013
Misc.: N/A

Poured a caramel copper hazy color with two fingers of off-white head. Reminded me of an packaged Lipton iced tea. Good amount of sporadic lacing on the sides of the glass. Very good retention (thick and white) on top all the way down.

Smelled surprisingly (but not surprisingly considering it’s a Boatswain) malts more than hops. Got bread, roasty nuts, caramel and toffee malts. Earthy, grainy hops, probably more resin than grass. Definitely some skunkiness in there.

Medium body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, bitter finish.

About what I’d expect from Boatswain, but it was $1.99. Had to give it the old college try.

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Photo of woemad
2.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

NOTE: the beer pictured here is another beer from the same line of beers brewed by Midhas for Trader Joe's.

22oz bomber purchased at Trader Joe’s in Spokane. I forget what I paid for it but it wasn’t much. No freshness date on the label, which, incidentally, includes the o.g. (15.46) and the amount of IBUs (79) and lists the beer’s color as “brown.” A brown IPA?! FWIW, the label states this beer was brewed by Rhinelander Brewing Co., but I suspect that's a shell name for Minhas.

Despite it’s supposed brownness, this beer pours a slightly hazy, copper-amber color with a big, fluffy white head.

Surprisingly grassy-ish hop scent to this beer. As it warms up a little, some bready malts can be smelled as well. I’m guessing this is not going to be much of an IPA.

…And my guess would be right. Now, it’s not exactly bad tasting, but I have no idea how someone could taste this beer and label it an IPA. There’s a grassy hop flavor that is initially at the fore, but it is almost instantly matched by a flavor that is not unlike…cloves(?!). There's an earthy grain taste in the background. The hop character remains grassy and herbal throughout, with a very tiny bit of a dry hop zap at the swallow. Very, very weird.

Strange beer, with a strange mouthfeel. Almost light bodied, with a mouthfeel like a hefe.

Could this be an attempt at an English IPA? More likely, a crummy attempt at a contract-brewed beer, brewed by people who don’t brew IPAs for people who don’t know what they taste like. Drinkable, but why bother?

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Photo of HalfFull
2.93/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass, this self proclaimed 'mix of an East Coast and West Coast IPA'(at least on the Trader Joe's signage), pours a golden caramel in color and offers a half inch of just off white foam. Offers good clarity and retention.

Aroma of light earthy hops with a firm caramel backbone. Bit of citrus with warming. Not bad but rather light in delivery.

Flavor is somewhat sweet with some caramel and toffee. Feel is slick and thinly carbonated even as the cap sits atop the pour. Bitterness on the finish is rather lacking and offers just a bit of spice initially, firming up a bit with warming.

Overall a bit of an odd one but surely not a bad beer at all. Still the lack of bitterness limits the drinkability. Hop aromas are more robust with warming but being a bit sweet and oily on the finish keeping the kudos at bay.

Note: The photo above is indeed incorrect as this is clearly named 'Boatswain American IPA' with a white on dark blue label.

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Photo of ckollias
3.11/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Enjoyed this beer out of a pub glass

A: copper hue with a thin white head leads to a wispyace and no trail.

S: musky hop aroma.

T: crisp musky bitter flavored followed by some off malt flavor and finishes sweet and dry.

M: medium body and medium carbonation

O: not a very well rounded beer - lots of off flavored and the hoppy punch not there.

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Photo of Ryan011235
1.49/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured into an Allagash glass on 8/24/12

The appearance is a dirty brown tangerine; very cloudy, too. The head is a hair under two fingers, though retention is thinner. Some drippy lace remains.

This thing smells pitiful. Burnt grains and biscuit, piney aerosol cleaner, shoddy citrus pith and peel. Perfume and hints of metal shavings. This smells a lot like its big brother; that ain't a good thing,

I can't believe just how unpleasant this is. It's a slick, almost syrupy concoction of candy made from chintzy fruit and sub-par hops oils. Toasted grains and adjuncts. Sure, there's some bitterness on the latter half, but it's generic and not overly enjoyable. The feel is terribly coating on the finish. The appropriate level of carbonation is about the only thing going for this beer.

Boatswain does disappointment really well.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.36/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a semi-clear burnt orange amber with an off-white, silky 2 finger head. Great retention. Resulting lace is thick and sticky.

Smell - Toasted biscuit malts backed by flowery hops with notes of citrus.

Taste - Starts with some malty sweetness; toasted bisquits. Hops are underwhelming, or rather overpowered by the malt presence. What is there is floral with a hint of citrus bitterness. Very little in the finish or aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, with a slightly syrupy malt character. Decently carbonated.

Overall - This isn't a bad beer, but as an IPA it fails. Malts take the forefront, while the hops take a supporting role, leading to good balance but not what's expected of the style. Might be better off re-classified as an APA.

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Photo of Cresant
3.19/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a Sierra Nevada Hops glass. No date. The label was blue not the red one shown on BA. The body was honey colored with a light tan head. A thin cap remained throughout. Some faint haziness in the body.

The smell was a bit bready, floral. Not exactly in line with a standard AIPA.

The taste was candied oranges/marmalade. A bit spicy. Some alcohol and pithy grapefruit bitterness in the aftertaste. Better than I expected from a Trader Joe's beer.

The mouthfeel was medium to full bodied. Adequate carbonation. Inexpensive and not bad.

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Photo of daliandragon
2.73/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Another beer from Trader Joe's in a different label and bottle but it seems like the same old song: well priced but mediocre. I hope this is an exception, of which there are a few (Stockyard Stout comes to mind) but I probably shouldn't get my hopes up.

Color is correct, with a healthy bronze glaze and solid head and lacing. The nose is not quite on point however. i get no hops but instead a heavy dose of medium malts dense with alcohol and burnt brown sugar.

The flavor is similar. No hops to speak of but plenty of alcohol and burnt sugar. You definitely taste every drop of that 6.7%. There is some oily bitterness up front and the texture isn't bad but could could stand some thickening. This is a half decent American strong or double brown but what is IPA about this beer?

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Photo of mikeg67
2.99/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased a bomber at Trader Joe’s, labeled Boatswain American IPA. Pours amber with a fluffy, long lasting, white head and a lot of lacing. Nose is very strange: fading hops, seaweed and hints of citrus. Body is medium and too smooth for IPA. A lot of grapefruity hops balanced on the palate by caramel and biscuit malt, ripe fruit and drying alcohol. Finish is long and dry. At the end it was not a bad brew.

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Boatswain American I.P.A. from Minhas Craft Brewery
69 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.