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El Toro IPA - El Toro Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
El Toro IPAEl Toro IPA

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

90 Ratings
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
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Ratings: 90 | Reviews: 77 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of meathookjones
4.63/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This review was from a 12oz bottle sampled on 12-18-04. Appearance is a murky orange yellow with about one inch of off white head on top. The head stuck around leaving thick rings of lace as this was consumed. Huge hop aroma, citric hops are just jumping out of the glass. It reminds me of the hop juiciness I have noticed in wet hopped brews. There is also a nice backing of bitter floral hops as well. First sip is a grapefruity hop bomb that comes on strong gripping your tongue with and not letting go. Strong earthy/floral hops are there as well. Even in its huge hoppiness a slight malt sweetness can be detected lurking in the background. Ends on a bitter earthy note that has some bite to it. Medium feel to it with a prickly component found in the hopped up beers. Goes down pretty smooth and it a prefect IPA for a hop fix. Definitely a top 5 IPA for me and a great hoppy beer. Thanks to gclarkage for the bonus brew that was excellent.

meathookjones, Dec 27, 2004
Photo of santoslhalper
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearence: Pours a hazy orange with loads of carbonation ripping up the sides of the glass. A nice, rocky, bubbly head sits beautifully above the brew, and leaves massive lacing.

Smell: Hops! Hops! And more hops! Grapefruit and lemon greet my nose at first, with an almost complete absence of malts. Very herbal, very fruity, and very hoppy.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Wow. A huge hop presence at first, almost over-bearing, but just right. The middle a nice amount of malts shine through, and the end is nice, dry and hoppy. An incredibly hoppy taste, with hints of pine, herbs, oranges, and so much more. But so how it manages to remain well-balanced.

Drinkability and Overall: An outstanding beer to say the least. Hugely hoppy, and still well-rounded. I wish I had more than one of this, but thank God I got to try it. One of the best IPA's I've had to date.

Thank you GClarkage for another phenomenal beer. The beer Gods smile upon you.

santoslhalper, Dec 13, 2004
Photo of rkhaze
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy orange/amber with a nice sized creamy white head and a few floaties. Decent retention and excellent chunks of sticky lace.
Huge grapefruit and pine smells upfront. There were some other citrus aromas and perhaps a bit of sweet malt. This one is all about the hops though. A little one dimensional.
Wow! Tastes like a fresh, zesty and juicy grapefruit with pine resin poured on top. The sweet malt that was lacking in the smell showed up in the taste and balanced rather well. Finishes dry tangy and bittersweet. Excellent!
Medium bodied with a full creamy mouthfeel that was oily/resinous and a bit sticky. Perfect!
Great drinkabilty. A classic west coast IPA and quite a surprise.

rkhaze, Dec 09, 2004
Photo of Troyone
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased in a 12oz. bottle, label says 6.5 abv; Recommendation, after one pops the top shake the bottom of the bottle before pouring it in the glass.
Poured a hazy somewhat copper and light iced tea to apple juice color with two inch head, also had lots of material in the haze like tiny hop flakes or yeast floating around. The floating specks of hops or yeast are almost uniform in size and seem to be spaced evenly throughout the glass, no beer drinker will see them all (or even the majority) settle to the bottom.

The smell is slightly malty with a rich flowery pine/resin hoppy aroma.

The taste has a cookie, toasted, nutty, and taffy malt; heavy to harsh slightly herb, pine, grapefruit, resin, slightly lime, and different flavors of tea hops; light doughy yeast; and has hints of toffee/cola. However the hops are smooth and dominate throughout to the finish.

The mouthfeel has a light/medium body, slightly syrupy dry texture, soft carbonation, with a smooth but manly finish.

The drinkability is great the carbonation is medium throughout and the aftertaste lingers the hops with the medium carbonation.

Troyone, Dec 01, 2004
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.

bditty187, Nov 04, 2004
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.

GClarkage, Oct 31, 2004
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to BA MoeSizlak for picking up a sixer of this for me on a beer run to Madison. He gauranteed it to be liked, and it does not disappoint.
Smell is all hop aroma...citrus and pine just thin out the nose hairs, clean your sinuses. Terrific news.
This IPA has a medium body, medium carbonation, medium head. I guess i'd say that's why it's so damn drinkable.
The flavor hits you up front with pine cones, citrus, and some very tart rinds. THere is a slightly sticky, sweet undertone to this which made me think they were chasing AV's Hop Ottin IPA with the honeyed malts. And why the hell not? I wouldn't call it plagiarism even if I thought it truly was.
They don't make 'em like this in England.

Photo of sweethome
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge grapefruit nose. Hazy golden color. All citrus - full of fruity esters- grapefuit, lemon. Bitterness grabs you right off. Again, lemon and grapefruit flavors with a nice carmel malt flavor coming through all the huge hops. I'm chewing a grapefruit here... Very long bitter and dry finish. Each sip provides maximum flavor and hop experience.

I also found it in Wisconsin, but have had it in past years in CA. Just as good as I remember.

sweethome, Aug 27, 2004
Photo of cokes
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


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.

cokes, Mar 20, 2004
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got a few bottles of this, and it had "Brew 835" stamped on the label.

This actually poured a pinkish golden color. The aroma was nice but there was not a huge hop attack that I expect from IPA's, but it was very still very nice.

The taste was very smooth and balanced for an IPA. I really think that this brewery has a lot of potential if it perfects all of its brews!

ALESwhatCURESya, Jan 26, 2004
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”.

Gusler, Oct 15, 2003
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!

NeroFiddled, Aug 15, 2003
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.

beerguy101, Aug 12, 2003
Photo of jcalabre
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Originally sampled on 1 February 2003. This is a nice looking pour. It has a cloudy orange color w/ fluffy medium head. Lots of citrus, mainly grapefruit hops are on the tongue. It is a very refreshing beer to drink. This is a very nice IPA and I hope to see it available locally sometime

jcalabre, Jun 11, 2003
Photo of aracauna
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy copper, with a white airy head that clings to the sides of the glass as it fades. In addition to big more-citric-less-piney-hops-than-stuff-like-Stone hops, a slight fruitiness is in the aroma. The big hops don't cover a nice toasty malt and mild fruitiness that makes this a bit more than a hop monster. If they took the India out of this, it'd still be a nice beer.

aracauna, Oct 01, 2002
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El Toro IPA from El Toro Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.