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

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Boatswain American I.P.A.
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BA SCORE
65
poor

166 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 166
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 2.72
pDev: 26.1%
Wants: 0
Gots: 16 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 166 | Reviews: 69
Photo of spokeydonkey
2.32/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Got a bomber of this at Trader Joe's for under $3. Bottle claims 75 IBUs, 15.46 plato starting gravity and 6.7% ABV, which would make a pretty dry, hoppy IPA. Unfortunately, it tastes like none of these things. Their "appearance," listed as "brown" is spot on (bear in mind, this is an India PALE ale).

Appearance: Dark amber-brown. Definitely not a pale ale of any variety. Looks fairly clear wit a decent off-white ead.

Smell: Lots of caramel malt and some citrusy hops.

Taste: UGH! There's only a few beers I've poured out, but this is one of them. Syrupy caramel and cloying sweetness. Can't detect much in the way of hops. Way out of balance for the style and for any beer in general.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy. Didn't get past that and didn't want to.

Overall: Barely drinkable. The sweetness and lack of hop flavor is offensive. I dumped it. If you like sweet, low-bitterness beers relying heavily on caramel flavor, this might be up your alley. If you're looking for an IPA, look elsewhere! I dumped this and grabbed a Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye for my hops fix.

Photo of barczar
3.02/5  rDev +11%
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.

Photo of markipa1
2.47/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is so far from what I think of as an "American IPA", that name is almost laughable. If you are a true fan of American IPA's, just avoid this. It's drinkable, more like an amber, but has none of qualities one would associate with a decent IPA.

Photo of Offa
3.08/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

Photo of mactrail
2.62/5  rDev -3.7%
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?

Photo of LXIXME
3.53/5  rDev +29.8%
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.

Photo of Simlaw111
4.02/5  rDev +47.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think the problem with this beer is naming it an IPA, being from England and growing up on traditional bitter, I really like this beer. It is nowhere near as complex and aromatic as an American IPA should be but for a pleasant quaffable beer it hits the mark. Perhaps thats why they put it in a 22 oz bottle, of course you do not want to drink it in the same volume as an English bitter as its considerably stronger than most.

Overall a good beer if you forget the IPA rating.

Photo of seagullbeer
1.95/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A- Rich dark cloudy orange

S- Sweet dried apricots, peaches

T- Syrupy, sweet, very fruity ipa not very hoppy. Fruit sodaish. Taste a bit stale.

M- Smooth, fades quickly but the tail end of each sip reveals the flavors I disliked the most.

O- Didn't care for it. Its 2 dollars for a tall bottle at trader joes so wasn't hoping for much... it wasn't much. I'd rather just go for light beer in a can.

Photo of Mosstrooper
2.86/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz bottle into Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Hazy amber color with a large off-white head that dissipates relatively quickly and leaves behind a thick ring of lace.

Smell: Sweet caramel with orange and lemon hints. Seems lacking in hop depth, but doesn't smell bad.

Taste: Begins with sweet caramel and citrus, becoming breadier as it rounds to the finish, which only shows a faint touch of hop bitterness in the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel: Creamy body with smooth carbonation and a watery finish.

Overall: Not a bad beer, but really lacking in hop flavor for an "IPA"- probably closer to an American amber ale. Still, at $1.99 per bomber, you really can't complain too much.

Photo of OneWheelJoe
4.04/5  rDev +48.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a room-temperature Guinness glass. The label is red with a very rustic, simple style of writing. There's a basic description of the beer at the bottom. It promises extra hop flavor and boasts a solid 8.4% ABV.

Appearance: Nice, clear amber color with a hearty finger's off-white head. Bubble stream consistently toward the top, feeding the head again and again. This brew is crystal clear. Not typical of my more beloved IPA's.

Aroma: Hops blast the nose, making my mouth water. Pouring this brew into a glass has definitely allowed it to breathe nicely, as a whiff of the open bottle yields very little aroma.

Taste: The moment of truth. Wow. The flavor presents an unpredictably sweet front end. The aftertaste is where I find the intentional bitterness. I find few complexities to divulge, except for the slightest tinge of apple and grapefruit.

Mouthfeel: Light, almost empty. For a double American IPA, I would have expected more weight on the tongue. It is easy to rocket the beer from lips to the back of the throat without it spreading to the rest of the mouth, which is disappointing. A double IPA should invade the entire mouth without warning or apology. However, the overall feel is not unpleasant.

Overall: This is easy to drink, which can be dangerous at 8.4% ABV. If I was seeking a hard-hitting IPA, this would fall short in terms of weight and feel. Considering however, the it was only 3 bucks for a bomber, I'm not prepared to complain. I would purchase it again.

Photo of Cavanaghty
3.13/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Deep amber is what was described on the bottle. I saw a copper color with a slight haze and a thin off-white head.

Smell: A light smell of citrus, carmels and pine notes.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Medium bodied. Taste like pine up front with a sweet honey like aftertaste.

Overall: Nothing really special about it, it was good. Glad I tried it.

Photo of Ryan011235
1.49/5  rDev -45.2%
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.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.36/5  rDev +23.5%
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.

Photo of katan
3.53/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz into a point

A - Dark orange, thick. Heavy white head formation, thick but it quickly breaks down to a film.

S - Light nose, only a hint of citrus flavors. A little bit of resinous flavors. as

T - Starts off smooth and sweet, light amounts of citrus hops and some two row malt. mid-stream gets almost balanced, with a little more earthy. Finishes lightly citrus, smooth and even a little sweet.

M - Moderate to strong body, light carbonation - comes off kinda heavy. Sugary sweet and sticky.

O/D - The bottle says DIPA, but I certainly don't believe it. But overall is a very easy drinking. ABV is managable - lightly filling.

Photo of beertunes
3.2/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

Photo of BEERchitect
2.54/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Photo of woemad
2.69/5  rDev -1.1%
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?

Photo of mtschmitz
3.3/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up this 22oz bomber from Trader Joe's for $2. Got a few others and figured I'd give it a shot.

A) Nice copper, good clarity, decent carbonation.

S) Caramel, not much hop smell, more malt like a dogfish head IPA. Nothing spectacular.

T) During my drink I grew to like this beer. Slight hop presence, a lot less than expected from a dipa. Good malt profile. A bit too much residual sugar perhaps. Has a well-rounded taste though.

M) Good overall mouthfeel, a bit think from the residual sugars which also hang on the back of the tongue.

Overall I'd say that for $2 I'd be tempted to purchase this beer again. I'm not overly impressed but didn't expect to be either. A decent beer that needs some work; drinkable nonetheless.

Photo of EgadBananas
2.4/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Photo of omokoro
3.85/5  rDev +41.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color with barely any head at all. Smells of sweet malt and earthy hops. The taste is smooth, lacking a strong bitter bite. It has moderate hop flavor, a hint of citrus.

This is not bad. Not very bitter, though. Seems to me to be a malt forward IPA. I don't know why people give these TJs beers low ratings, this is better than several of the last IPAs I've reviewed lately.

Photo of TriggerFingers
2.77/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First, the bottled currently pictured is for Minhas' DIPA, not IPA.

Tasted their IPA for the first time the other day in my attempts to find a good one in a bomber for $2. I will have to keep looking.

Color was darker than most IPAs.

Some Citrus and Pine in the nose, but very faint.

Taste is where this really takes a hit. Minhas probably just used a truckload of hops like chinook that tend to give a "harsher" bitterness when used in excessive proportions and combined it with adjuncts to raise the ABV.

So you get a harsh + boozy quality with minimal malty backbone. You could probably pick any other IPA in the aisle, do a side by side, and like the other one more.

I guess I just don't "get" their philosophy or recipes they use for making their IPA and DIPA. The only thing I can gather is that they are truly trying to save $$$ by using a minimal amount of hops, good barley + grains, while boosting adjuncts like rice or sugar to raise the alcohol.

Is it lacking? yes

Disjointed? uh huh

Bottom Line: For an IPA, this is toward the back of the pack for the style. Most decently executed "kit beer" comes out better than this.

Its a generous C-

Photo of HalfFull
2.93/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photo of Luigi
2.99/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a hazy amber color with a off with two finger foamy head. Head retains very well as it settles down two a think blanket on top of the ale. The lacing sticks all around the glass.

The aroma is very malty with a hint of citrus hops. The malt almost reminds me of a brown ale.

The first flavor to hit the palate is the roasted nutty malt. Not overtly sweet, but soft and bread like. The hops make there entrance in the end. Vague citrus and pine hop bitters lightly lingers on the tongue, as well as a bit of booze.

I truly think this brewery should just add more hops in the mix, because there is a lack of balance in this AIPA with a claimed 79 IBU.

Photo of scaliasux
2.63/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - Amber. A little cloudy. Head is just off-white, foamy, and persistent.

Smell - Medium roasted malts. Only moderately strong piney hops.

Taste - Somewhat sweet medium roast malt. Hops prominent, but not nearly as strong as many in the category. Piney. Lingering sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Medium-light. Well carbonated.

Overall - Not being a hophead, the relative mildness of the hops in the beer isn't a big problem for me. Like some of Minhas other beers, though, this suffers from excessive sweetness - sweetness that lingers past the hoppiness. Not bad, but I wouldn't seek this out.

Photo of ESPNman
2.36/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Purchased at Trader Joe's (for a couple of bucks), served in a standard pint glass.

A - Orange, bordering on copper, with a thin white head that stuck around for a bit. Some lacing.

S - Corn, sugar, and that's about it. Nothing that sould make me think that this is anything other than a malt liquor. Zero hops.

T - Much like the smell, it reminded me more of Steel Reserve than Sierra Nevada's Torpedo. Thick corn and syrup malts cut by the faintest hint of floral hops. An IPA this is not.

M - Not bad, actually. Decent carbonation with a just-right thickness for the style. Definitely the highlight for this beer.

O - Do not recommend. It's pretty awful, and not a true IPA. Do yourself a favor and keep moving if you see this on the shelf, there are better representations of this style out there.

Boatswain American I.P.A. from Minhas Craft Brewery
65 out of 100 based on 166 ratings.