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Ironbound Ale - Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

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Ironbound Ale
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BA SCORE
85
very good

108 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 108
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.87%
Wants: 0
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-20-2002

Brewed as a medium-bodied American pale ale with significant hop additions. This celebration of American hop varieties includes Cascade, Columbus, Centennial and Chinook hops.

30 IBU
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 48
Reviews by DevilDogBeer:
Photo of DevilDogBeer
4.74/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Ironbound Ale at Iron Hill Brewery in North Wales, PA is an exceptional example of an APA. The pour is smooth with a average head that stays from pour to mug bottom. A strong hop nose is immediately detectable in this amber beer. The citrus aroma makes this beer as refreshing as it is satisfying. The Pale Ale serving of hops is balanced well with a good malt body. The mouthfeel of this beer is crisp and clean, leaving a great citrus aftertaste. A very drinkable beer, crisp in the mouth and smooth going down. This brew does not leave you feeling stuffed.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Stigs
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz pour at Iron Hill Media, standard pint glass

A - finger of creamy just off-white foam, falls with a thick coating of lace downt he glass. the beer is on the darker side of gold.

S - pleasant slightly floral, grassy hops with a handful of wet pine needles thrown in...muted grainy and lightly sweet malts.

T - stonr and bitter...hops come out grass-heavy with some more subtle citrus (grapefruit) and floral notes. lightly sweet caramel and toasted malts underneath, but this is hop-heavy and very nice.

M - light body with moderate carbonation, slightly oily and slick

D - really nice, this would get many pours from me if available...great bright fresh hop flavors and everything else to go along with it. drinks like a solid IPA on the lighter side. well done.

Photo of mempath
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

just had a pint at the Media site and decide to get the growler.

of course, i just polished off the massive Hopilicious so this isn't in the same league, nor does it pretend to be.

came to me with a huge head that would settle fast enough...decent lacing. a nice malty aroma that is sharp, perhaps helped by the hops. definitely an APA. taste is actually maltier than expected, but the hop bitterness is really right there, just enough to keep it very balanced. the carbonation is just right, keeping it crisp and creamy all at once. it equals to being an extremely drinkable beer to be done in a session and/or with a burger or about any appetizer at Iron Hill. sippable and quaffable. this is a brew for all tastebuds. it is what it be.

well done! but i prefer the abusive Hopilicious....i don't care that it is almost $20 a growler!...:)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a soft caramel-orange with a bright clarity and a compact creamy smooth ½ finger head, once again despite its small statue was well lasting while leaving a thick full sheet coating down the glass walls. Visible carbonation was extremely soft.

S: The aroma was of fresh pine needles and citrus. A nice strong showing here with sweet grapefruit pulp.

T: The flavor was fresh pine and citrus backed by a good maltiness. The flavor was crisp with a medium dry hop nature. The finish finds a good dry hop essence of citrus flowers that was just enough to appreciate without being overwhelming. Dry with a good deal of maltiness making for a good all around session ale.

M: light-medium bitterness, good with a nice hop lacing. A fuller body would have been more appreciated her.

D: A good everyday ale, adequately hopped making for a good go to beer here.

Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a cask at the Wilmington location.

A: The ale has a brilliant orange/auburn color, bright but hazy enough to warrant mentioning. A thick hand-pumped head, nearly a finger, dries in layers in the glass. A nice sight.

S: The nose is lively, loaded with citrus hops that are accentuated by dry-hopping in the cask. A nice caramel backbone supports the hops.

T: The hops are strong, not IPA strong mind you. They lend a citrus focus that the regular tap version often neglects. The caramel biscuit malts are still present but they have a restrained element.

M: A solid mouthfeel. Beers, especially pale ales like this one, benefit from a cask.

D: A nice session ale that would have sufficed were it not for some more exotic offerings.

Photo of MmmIPA
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper colored body with a white patch in the center of my beer.Cascade hops are what I smell.Nice and refreshing.Cool lacing left on my glass.Little bitter,very floral tasting,creamy head,nice body.The hop flavor lingers.The malt is very well balanced with this beer and that makes it even more drinkable.I enjoyed this beer very much.

Photo of blackie
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: golden amber in color, capped with a dense layer of carbonation that leaves progressive rings of lace down the side of my glass

s: lightly caramelized grain with some subtle toast and biscuit, rounded off with a mild hop aroma of dried citrus peel and pine tea

m: smooth, delicate, and creamy...typically satisfying cask mouthfeel, such a given it almost seems like cheating

t: pale and light caramel malt body, mild earthy hop flavors that impart a brief stroke of grapefruit pith bitterness to the finish, maybe a little uninspiring - but it's got enough flavor to keep me happy and exhibits a great balance

d: could easily put down a few imperial pints of this, just not interesting enough to make a regular choice

10 oz. cask pour, served in a glass skinny at the bottom with a wide flare at the top, at the Wilmington brewpub

Photo of BuckSpin
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another beauty to behold, its ruddy orange hue compared very nicely with its white head of tight, clinging lossely to the glass. The nose was sharp, biting, with strong hops and hints of spice (cloves?) - a premonition.

3 words - hops, hops, hops. This is a veritable Easter Rabbit it has so much hop in it. You will definitely want to save this for last if sampling. While there is no mistaking the initial taste, it does segway to a nice malt balance, then finishes with a - surprise - different hop kick. This APA would hold up to the stongest foods well. I enjoyed it, but was glad it was the last beer of the sampler.

Photo of atigerlife
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with a small white head. No carbonation rising.

Aroma of hops is dominant with some citrus and light malts.

Taste is quite hoppy, sweet, fruity and some malts.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely cleansing.

Overall, a very nice brew. Very drinkable.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
2.83/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer came a crystal clear brown amber with a frothy, uneven, slightly tan head.

Smelled of pine and nectarines with a light and airy wheat bread dough behind it.

Tasted of a light molasses with a dry note-book paper. Seriously, the taste that kept coming to my mind was that of making spit balls in middle school. Could it be bleach? Who knows. There was some distant pine hop trying to fight it’s way through this, but the note-book paper really drew my attention.

The mouth feel was light and almost watery.

I really doubt this is supposed to taste this way. What happened?

Photo of dsa7783
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

May 10, 2008...

Had this on tap at the brewery restaurant on Main Street in Newark, DE...
Presented to me in a serving glass with a foamy and frothy head which was rather impressive for an APA... Deep-copper, bronze appearance with a grainy aroma that hinted of hops and caramel...
Taste was rich and thick, with a nice dose of sweet sugars, well-balanced hops, caramel, slight malts, grains, and a noticeable bread and butter flavor...
Great rich, creamy mouthfeel with an equally great level of drinkability to match...
Good stuff and a great representation of the style...
Recommended...

Photo of rfgetz
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden amber, light cap of bone froth, decent retention and lacing. Relatively strong piney, floral and citrus hop notes up front before toasty and lightly caramelized malts. Hops bring a quick pine flavor and bitterness to the beer, strong malt backbone toasty and lightly sweet, finishes clean and floral with a touch of citrus. Medium bodied, good carbonation. A nice pale ale with good hop bite and firm malt backbone.

Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brew pub.

Pours a golden light hazy color with a bit of head

Nose has some light earthy and floral hops, light sweet malt backbone.

Taste brings more of the floral hops, hint of earthy and fruity hops, a nice hit of cascade and light spicy centennial hops, citrus, light sweet malts. Drier finish with a good kick of bitterness and spicy hop finish.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb.

Overall nice clean hop forward APA, nice hop profile too and doesn't try to be an IPA.

Photo of woodychandler
3.21/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This came with a bubbly, rocky finger of off-tan head with decent retention. Its color was a deep copper with NE-quality clarity. The nose had a lightly hoppy bite, very much marking this as an APA. Mouthfeel was medium with the faintly hoppy tang of the style on the tongue. Finish was lightly bitter, but nothing terribly exciting. This could be a good introductory beer for the hops-shy people, but for me, it was fairly pedestrian. Call this review damning with faint praise. Sorry.

Photo of Rifugium
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at Iron Hill, Media, PA

Not too bad. Poured golden-amber with a nice finger of well retaining white head. Piney aroma mixed with toasty malts. Good balance in the taste: pine hops with slight citrus, and toasted malts. Pretty cut and dry. Medium-light body and nicely drinkable.

Photo of mikeg67
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Iron Hill in Phoenixville, PA. Pours amber with short-lived fluffy, white head and nice lacing. Aroma and taste is of citrusy hops and caramel malt. Body is medium and crisp. Finish is long and bitter. On the whole it is a good, well made brew.

Photo of Gavage
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: clear amber / orange in color with a 1" head that slowly fades away. Spotty lacing develops.

Smell: the nose picks up strong hop bitterness, which almost hides the lighter citrus tones.

Taste: typical west coast APA with a well balanced combination of caramel, oranges, and strong bittereness.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start and finish. The bitterness lingers softly on the tongue after swallowing. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: Superb. If I had to drink only one beer on the menu, this would be it. When I think of Iron Hill beers, this one usually comes to mind first.

Photo of Imstillthegman
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this one on cask last night. I'm a mug club member so I could not see what it looked like until someone by me ordered one. It was a light copper color with a decent off-white head. The smell was hoppy and had a good malt backbone that came through more as it warmed. Good flavor with the hops showing up more than some other cask APAs I have had. Mouthfeel was what you would expect....lighter carbonation and a little on the thinner side. It was served a bit warmer than usual which didn't help things too much. Overall, a good experience that I would do again.

Photo of Biscuit033
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Served at the bar and cascaded to a frothy white head that floated on top of the red-amber beer. Lacing the entire way down.

S: Obvious notes of citrus especially grapefruit and some pine.

T: Same as above with less bitterness than expected from the strong nose. Well balanced and the cask serving showed how good this beer can be opposed to off the regular tap. I have not rated this beer off the regular tap but would suppose it is at least a half point better in every category.

M: Creamy and delicious with an aftertaste that lingered the entire ride home.

D: This is a beer that I could have pint after pint of.

I am glad to see that Iron Hill has put beer engines in their bars. This will benefit their beer tremendously.

Photo of tobelerone
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Iron Hill, Media, PA.

Pours a shimmering, dark gold/amber color with a small, slowly settling off-white head that comes to rest as a thin band on top of the beer. Nicely creamy lacing clinging to the sides of the glass in sheets. Lovely floral and pine hop nose; some lightly toasted malts underneath but mainly a hop-forward aroma.

Taste follows suit; a bready, toasty malt base serves to support and balance the hops without stepping on them at all. Lots of floral and pine notes take center stage, hints of citrus as well but not the predominant grapefruit character noted by drinkers in past years. Perhaps a slight change of hop variety? Finish is dry with a bit of pleasantly lingering bitterness in the aftertaste.

Medium body and carbonation; maybe a touch fizzy, but that's being nitpicky. I thought this was an excellent, flavorful pale ale and I'd gladly return to this one in the future.

Photo of mvanaskie13
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes: Presented in a standard pint glass, nice 1" thick, dense off white head, color is dark straw to golden, nice carbonation. The action during settling from the nitro is great and presents well in this brew.

Smell is solid biscuity malt with just enough hop presence to keep it in check.

Taste is very balanced, nice biscuity bready malt flavor and solid hop bitterness and flavor.

Mouthfeel is just right, I think the nitro tap serves this brew very well to keep it in balance with stronger bready/biscuity malt notes.

Overall, I really enjoyed this brew great malt/biscuit mix and just enough hop presence balance it out. The nitro tap works very well for this type of brew, only downside is it almost seems out of style for APA as the hop aroma is somewhat underdone.

Photo of pezoids
4.39/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at their brewpub in Newark, Delaware. This one was a deep copper in color. No head, very clear. Beautifully distinct piney resin hop aroma. There’s no mistaking these hops - Pacific NW varieties, like Cascade. The taste is full of flavor, has a decent body of sweet malt, and finishes with the common grapefruit rind bitter tang that is common to many an American Pale. Becomes even more flavorful as the beer warms, and intensely so. Very nice.

Photo of tgbljb
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served a medium amber colored beer with moderate white puffy head.
Smell shows some light fruity malt, with some modest hops in the background.
Taste also blends light malt and hop flavors together to form a nice refreshibng beer.
Easy to drink. Would make a nice crossover for the macro drinker.

Photo of jackorain
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Was at the brewery last night for dinner.

A-dark amber, or even light brown color, crystal clear. Okay, off-white 1 inch head with some staying power. Lacing was near non-existent.

S-Some pine and green hops and carmel malts.

T- this beer is a pleasnt surprise taste wise. Really well balanced, nice pine and green hops lend a moderate bitterness. Very solid malt backbone comes through in the middle, quite malty, biscuit and caramel are the most prominent.

M-light body, nice carbonation

D-very high, an easy session at the bar.

Overall-A really nice stab at the APA style, definitely east coast version with the big malts.

Photo of Foxman
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a clear and nicely carbonated genuine amber, the color of bug-embedded resin, and that's by no means a bad thing. A finger of sticky off-white head swells and sustains. And that stickiness delivers some fine lacing.

The aroma is hops first, with citrus joining a raw evergreen presence, and lending an especially spicy air to the mix. The malt is there with just a touch of berry fruitiness that's promptly cleaned and crisped by the resurgent hops.

Upon tasting, the malt is more apparent here, giving a caramel and berry sweet impression. The hops are again citrus, but here more mandarin orange, and the pine is a slight bit more subdued. The grain and hops join into a brewed tea swell that is soon crisped by a dry bitterness. This same bitterness lingers at the finish and ends up in a clean way. It's unique with a couple interesting turns enroute.

Between light and medium bodied, the feel is lightly creamy and glowing at the close.

This is a case of the end result being more than just the sum of the components. Everything is good and very enjoyable, but combine them and you end up with a very smooth, easy drinking pale ale that, despite its label, hints a little at IPA status. And with the truly moderate ABV, it's got session beer written all over it. This is what's known as a go-to beer, and I'll go to it again, as soon as I can.

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Ironbound Ale from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
85 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.