1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

El Toro IPA - El Toro Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
El Toro IPAEl Toro IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

90 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 90
Reviews: 77
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.99%
Wants: 9
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
El Toro Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 90 | Reviews: 77 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich pumpkin orange with a wild flurry of yeast that damn near makes the beer opaque. The cap is lightly toasted marshmallow in color with a hint of pastel orange. It's firmly creamy and looks like it's full of hop resins. The upper edge of the head is sticking to the glass and is beginning to leave lace that looks like paint daubed on with a sponge.

It's been a while since I've had a truly hoppy, high quality IPA. What the hell was I thinking? The aroma on this one brings my hop love back with an immediacy and a vengeance. It's a smashingly good nose of pure, unadulterated hops with an emphasis on juicy orange and white grapefruit. A modicum of caramel malt is noticeable, but has the good sense to stay in the background.

El Toro IPA is a wonderful IPA from a brewer who doesn't get enough respect. The flavor is balanced if you approach it from a hophead's perspective and consider a 2:1 hop:malt ratio to be a fair fight. The caramel malt backbone is on the firm side and permits the huge hoppiness to have the run of the deck without coming close to going overboard.

Pithy, bittersweet, resinous orange and grapefruit are still ascendant, with a drop or two of spruce juice for good measure. This beer has a classic West Coast hop profile, carried out with aplomb. A long finish with echoes of bitter citrus peel is made all the more enjoyable by the presence of a mouthcoating stickiness. The medium mouthfeel feels slightly more full as a result.

While I was impressed by this brewery's Oatmeal Stout, I had doubts about whether or not they could pull off a top-notch IPA, even taking the relatively high scores into account. If it's so good, then why hadn't I heard more buzz? Make no mistake, this is a killer beer that will satisfy all comers, hopheaded or not. In terms of excitability, waving a hoptastic IPA like this one in front of me is akin to waving a red flag in front of a bull. Bravo! El Toro. Bravo!

Photo of oberon
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

If you wanna hop fix without the huge alcohol this California IPA is it,pours a hazed peach color with a very clingy 1/2 finger white head leaving the pint glas with soap scum looking lace all the way down.Whoo resiny piney hop with big grapefruit rind notes in the nose I also picked up some apricot in there with a barely noticable sweeter caramel malt note.Citrusy and piney flavors what can you say its all left coast quite resiny and sweet,somewhat oily on the mouthfeel department.A hop fixer here and quite sociable to boot,yum.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A hazy, deep-orange/copper body is capped by a short head of creamy vanilla foam. The retention is limited, however, and it drops shortly to a thin surface covering and leaves very little lace. Bright, piney and citrusy hops appear in the nose over a mild fruitiness and distinctly caramelish malt. A most enticing aroma! In the mouth its very fine, natural carbonation wakes the tongue with a soft, prickly sensation that fades to leaves its medium body soft and smooth in the swallow. Rich, fruit-laced malt acts as a solid base for its bold hop flavor; balanced by a bold bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste long after the malt has gone. Very nice!

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acquired from rayjay, courtesy of Secret Santa 2007 so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

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

S: The aroma is of floral hops, fruity citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste is decently balanced with a nice hops bitterness and sweet flavors of citrus and caramel. There's a hearty malt character. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, the finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, there are several other IPA's that I would pick first, but this is still a decent beer.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pretty thorough IPA. Lots of malts and hops coming together nicely. Consistent and thick, but not really trying to blow me away with any kind of showy character. A bit heavy to be drinking in this pleasant and warm California weather, but it's good.

Photo of GClarkage
4.8/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed in October 2004. Purchased at Bevmo in San Mateo, CA. I have had this beer so many times at The Englander in San Leandro, CA. I've always had it from the tap though because I could never find it in the bottle. Well, I finally found it and I am happy I snagged a six pack. Pours with a very nice head and pretty decent lacing. The smell is utterly perfect for an IPA. An emense magnitude of hops hits you smack in the face. Smells of grapefruit, lemon and pine. Oh, this beer is heaven! Such a huge hop taste. Would think it was a double IPA, except it just isn't quite strong enough. Huge grapefruit and pine flavors. A dry finish and goes down pretty smooth. I can't see myself doing this as a session beer though. A bit to much punch in the face for me. Two or three would be just right though. Ultra-yummy beer. Getting more tomorrow.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid IPA that doesn't get the recognition it deserves. Admittedly, this is fairly lightly distributed, but still. If you see it, give it a try. Pours a dark amber with a thick grainy head that sticks around for a while. The smell has surprising amounts of sweet, cookie-like malt, and finishes with some citrus and pine from the hops. Tastes delicious- long bitter pine flavor wityh the sweet malt creeping up on the back end, but the long bitter note cuts right through it and is sustained until the end. Much hoppier than it smells. Fairly full bodied in the mouth and the long bitterness keeps things lively. Nice beer.

Photo of barleywinefiend
2.3/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Poured a burnt orange color with good carbonation, nice white cap and some soapy like bubbles and lacing remains

S: Toasty, grapefruit, some spicy notes witha whiff of toasty smoke

T: Oh boy. I'm not exactly how fresh this IPA is but it needs help. First sip is bittering orange peel, grapefruit, spicey, biscuity, toasted with a faded hop presence. The back end is a slick, grapefruit hop bite with a annoying buttery bite blended with hop bitterness, some astringency and booze.

M: Heavy, unplesasnt and disturbing

O: Wave the white flag.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Extra recieved in a trade poured into a regular kitchen glass. Never even heard of this brewery.

A- El Toro pours out a even mix of faint red with burnt orange with a small haze to it, cant 100% see through the glass. A 1/2 inch of off white foam comes up than exits quick leaving small spots of lace, not coating the glass.

S- A nice scent coming from this IPA, Im getting hops giving of citrus/Tropical fruit with some grapefruit and mango. The hops also give off grassy scents. A good amount of malt to even things out.

T- This is fresh for sure, Im impressed with the taste. The hops are up front giving off a slight bitterness but nothing tounge buckeling. The grassy scents come out a bit more in taste, but the citrus is up front. The malts are somewhat bready and give off a sweet aftertaste. After warming up the taste dwindles a bit

M- El Toro feel is weird because the hop flavors go to the top of my mouth while the smooth malts & slight sweetness ride towards the bottom near the tounge. The bitterness is very light. This one is bordering on medium bodied with some carb built in. Grassy taste afterwards with warming.

D- This is easy drinking with a slightly above sessionable ABV but who cares, the taste makes this one a winner. We get a bunch of California beers here in PA and I would not mind if this brewery happened to stop by in the future, hopefully they will, fingers crossed.

Photo of DoubleJ
1.68/5  rDev -57.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

12 ounce bottle picked up in the Bay Area on a recent trip. I'm looking forward to this offering which I can't get in Orange County. On to the beer:

Little is wrong with the appearance. The head is thick and sports plenty of its original self, peach colored body has the "glowing" illusion at some spots. The nose could be better. There seems to be a phenol problem that pushes juicy grapefruit and white wine notes aside. Dry, husky malt and the everlasting band-aid are buzzkills to its potential.

I'm getting depressed. The bitterness is there, but the hop juice walked away. There's a tiny hint of grapefruit that the palate can sense, and from there hell breaks loose. It's just one bitter mess with some soap and soft waves of phenols (more specifically, pllastic) that don't belong and the beer becomes even more unpleasant. The aftertaste lingers of some phenols and lots of pure bitterness. The liquid on its own is fine, nice and smooth, but the rough aftertaste ruins the mouthfeel.

Second major egg lay in a row. It's time to dump the remaining 10 ounces in the toilet, because my sink doesn't deserve this kind of torment. Now where's my Ovila?

Photo of plaid75
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy medium copper hue with a two finger frothy white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a resinous hop that exhibited piney and herbal characteristics.

The taste consisted of an upfront herbal spicy hop that lingered through the experience. A soild grainy malt supported the heavy hops well.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness for the style with a spice tingle.

Overall a superior AIPA that offers a different hop profile than most. Thanks to brentk56 for the sample.

Photo of flagmantho
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: medium orange hue with a fair bit of haze and a moderate effervescence. Head is a finger of frothy ivory foam. A good looking beer!

Smell: sweet malt with a bready, very slightly biscuity character and a funky, resinous hop component. Not exactly my bag, but pretty good nonetheless.

Taste: bitterness right up front, unusually, with sweetness developing later and finishing with a hoppy, caramelly melange. Hops are quite citrusy and smooth, and there's a little bit of a dusty character here as well. Not bad.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good level of carbonation. Not super creamy, but engagingly fizzy.

Overall: this is a pretty decent middle-of-the-road IPA. I would like to try it on tap sometime.

Photo of Gusler
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a somewhat bemused deep amber color, the head biggish in size, frothy in texture and a light tan color, as it diminishes in size the lace forms a nice covering sheet. Hop floral nose, underpinned my sweet malt, lemon like crispness and a real treat, start is slightly sweet, nice malt profile, the top fair to middling in its feel. Acidic bite at the finish, hops slap your palate big time, somewhat dry and bitter aftertaste, a fine California IPA, looks like another order with “Beer On The Wall” is due, as its not available here and I’m “Out”.

Photo of dirtylou
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, $1.29, Brennan's - University

appearance: pours a pulpy clear golden-amber into a between the buns pint glass...3/4 frothy white foam with some solid retention

smell: well then, a surprisingly (brennans is hit or miss, usually miss) pungent and juicy IPA, sour grapefruit, grainy malt, pulpy hops, chalky aroma, light pine

taste: high bitterness level noticed immediately, chalky feel, pulpy ruby red grapefruit, sugary, other nice citrus flavours, light toasted malt presence, lightly spicy...Definitely one of the best obscure brews i have found at Brennan's

mouthfeel: high bitterness, a tongue twister, chalky, medium body

drinkabilty: above average

Photo of kscaldef
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a pint glass, 2-finger dense off-white head over a clear copper color with streams of bubbles.

S: citrus, marmalade, a little bready

T: More in the English style than I was expecting, this has a rich, bready body. A hint of butter, but in a pleasing way. Hops are definitely there, but don't dominate, rather clean the palate with a mild bitterness that leaves you ready for another sip.

M: Smooth, maybe a little oily, with a slight astringent finish. Low carbonation.

Photo of cokes
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"849"

Orange bolstered amber. Head clings and grows, and doesn't wilt and is greying khaki.
Smells of leafy pineapples and pine trees.
Brown-sugar enhanced toffee is the malt's contribution here. It drys as is lingers in the mouth. Breadier later on. Almost rye-leaning in the minor spicy tone, but those are delusions that accompany the hops. Speaking of which, the bitterness comes in spades...especially up front. Cold-edged, steely, herbal-laced pine cones. Woody, tropical fruit backs this up initially, then steps to the fore as it progresses. Pineapple is dominant, but lime rinds are noted. Bitterness wanes a bit, but remains forceful.
Medium-full bodied. Satiating. Low expressed carbonation.

What's more impressive, is that I'm inclined to believe that this bottle is rather old (and probably abused in one way or another). How monsterously hoppy could a fresh sample be? It would likely bring me to my knees.

Regardless, a worthy choice, this.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Cloudskipper for providing this in trade.

Says "Brew 1334" on the label.. is this a production code?

I've been excited to try this IPA and now see why so many people enjoy it. Quite nice.

First off, rather good looking beer. (poured into my Sam Adams glass) 2 fingers of beige creamy head that show excellent retention. The beer itself is very clear and orange/amber colored. Rings of lacing everywhere.

Aroma is fresh, citrus, floral and wonderful.

Flavor is so well balanced. Nice hop presence but in no way is this a hop bomb. The bitterness really sets in later in the back of your mouth. Just wonderful. The more it warms the more you can detect the sweetness of the malt and a light caramel character. More fruit comes out as well.

Almost creamy mouth feel. Subtle but present carbonation. Medium bodied and this is accentuated by the big hop finish.

Nicely drinkable... Good IPA. Very glad I had the opportunity to try this.

One to enjoy as you let the hops cling in your throat.

Photo of Reidrover
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from "Lifesource" Salem. $2.25 Burnt orange hazy body to this beer with a lovely creamy,thick off white head. Handsome. Floral,spicy, fruity hop aromas abound..invigorating. An intensly hoppy taste..yet not harsh at all but smooth..i think this is because it HAS a substantial malt back bone..even if its not obvious under the hop attack.Semi dry finish some marmalade flavours aslo. Good. Great thick,luscious palate..smooth..very nice. I really liked this IPA..very smooth and easy.

Photo of shelby415
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of beerguy101
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Medium gold color. Small head. Aroma is hoppy and woody. This is a not a BIG West Coast IPA, but its definitely a West Coast IPA. Very hoppy with a big citrus and grapefruit overtones. Nice malts as well. Full bodied. Well balanced. Nice IPA. Woody and juicy. Very tasty. Great creamy and smooth texture. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is dry. Aftertaste is bitter.

Photo of Overlord
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks arbitrator and friend!

Pours a slightly hazy orange-y/amber. Pretty dark hue. Large off-white head that quickly dies down.

Smells like grapefruit ... and a bit of interesting bitter ... orange rind-iness. Yeah. That's the name I'd put to it.

Taste is actually quite nice. Very pleasant. Some grapefruit, a bit of caramel malt sweetness, and an interesting, almost astringently bitter citrus rind or maybe charry/earthiness to it. Not sure what that is.

Quite drinkable and very pleasant.

Photo of bditty187
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

“Brew 930”

Surprisingly hazy, hell I’d call it cloudy! Dark amber with a tawny-coppery hue, lovely. The head was slightly off-white and it billowed to over two fingers in height before it quickly faded to a half finger cap. This cap lasted awhile. Nice. The appearance is better than ordinary. Subsequent lacing was prevalent but unorganized. This is a handsome beer. The nose is very bright; well-rounded citrus zest with soft notes of pine and mint. I detected a hint of wild flowers but the majority of the hoppiness in the nose is grapefruit rinds and pine trees. Lovely. Simplistic in that “hoppy as hell” kind of way! Soft melon scents and tropical fruits. Not much malt. Still the nose is inviting. It smells like a West Coast IPA, what more do I need to say? The palate is just raw enough, perfectly hoppy with a blast of dry, sticky, hop leaves. There is a hint of dankness like good marijuana. Plus there is a big bite of citrus, mainly rinds. Pine needles. Mint leaves. Wild flowers. Fairly warm entering my throat; I wonder what the abv is? The malt is very secondary, hints of caramel and some light sweetness. The taste is a good, hearty, American hop-bomb. Thankfully there are enough layers for me to care. This is a really pleasant IPA. The aftertaste is dry, hoppy, and bitter. It makes me want to eat a big, fat, juicy burger with a big slab of cheddar cheese. Yummy! Medium in body, low but natural carbonation, the mouthfeel doesn’t strike me as noteworthy in any way. It is not thin or flat and I can’t find any faults, still it does leave me wanting something more. Maybe a tickle more malt? However, there isn’t any obstacle to cross in order to like this beer. Drinkability is high; I really enjoyed quaffing this dandy. I purchased one bottle of this IPA in Brookfield, WI because I never heard of this brewery before. Now that I’ve visited the IPA I want more. Recommended.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Chilled 12oz bottle into a glass. Purchased from Whole Foods in Los Altos.

A: Pours a very cloudy orange-amber color with an inch of fluffy, off-white head. It takes a few minutes to vanish, and it falls back into a light collar on the brew, but it leaves substantial lacing with register marks down the glass. Very nice.

S: Citrus (orange, tangerine) and pine hops, with a small floral component. Have trouble smelling anything else. Seems like a hop bomb.

T: The taste is more balanced, though. Again, lots of citrus in orange and tangerine flavors, with a lighter pine component. But there is a very balanced caramel malt and maybe some bread in there. I get a little floral taste before the finish. Very clean flavor. Has a slightly dry finish that leaves some grass in the aftertaste.

M: Medium-bodied, with medium carbonation. No oiliness, but a slight aftertaste and some light stickiness. Well-masked ABV.

D: This was a go-to beer for me for a while, although my initial infatuation faded as I tried more IPAs. I like it, but its latest pricing, from $8 to a sixer jumping to $16 a sixer, has pretty much prevented me from getting it again.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a nonic pint glass. The ale appears a hazed rich amber color with about two fingers of lingering, bone white foam. A thin lace is left on my glass with each sip. Nose and flavor are dominated by citrus (oranges and grapefruits), pine, medium toasted bread, sweet malts. A notch better than medium bodied and amply carbonated. An impressive IPA from a "new to me" brewery. Hope to try more of their offerings in the future.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
El Toro IPA from El Toro Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.