El Toro Deuce Imperial IPA - El Toro Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
El Toro Deuce Imperial IPAEl Toro Deuce Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

63 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 63
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 14.58%
Wants: 10
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
El Toro Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: rkhaze on 02-02-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 63 | Reviews: 42
Reviews by warriorsoul:
Photo of warriorsoul
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A special thanks to zrrbrrt for this drop-off.
Pours quite hazy...golden honey in color with less than 1/4 finger of bright white head, disappearing all too quickly and very little lacing.
Fruity hops in the nose with some caramel malt sweetness....some floral notes as well.
Taste is very enjoyable...a balane of floral and fruity hops...severely bitter with just a hint of sweetness to add some balance. Finish is bitter and dry, yet clean.
Fairly thick mouthfeel, but quite crisp...not overly oily or cloying.
Alcohol is very well masked...at 8%, this one could be quite quaffable for a DIPA...not gonna happen here, as I only have one, but I am quite lucky to get one of these to consume.
Thanks again Josh.

More User Reviews:
Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to zrrbrrt for this brew hand delivered for my BA Anny. A little foamy while taking off the cap. The foam settled quickly with the pour. Not very strong in smell. Typical IPA color. Taste is predominantly citrus hops with a good bit of bite. Mouthfeel is smooth. Pretty good DIPA but not special.


Photo of mj001jk
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had the opportunity to try this on tap at Toronado, SF.

This beer is all about hops and bittering and it is apparent on the nose. Tons of grapefruit, orange and west coast attitude hop treatment, there is also a toasted caramel and slight funk aspect that rounds it off nicely.

Flavors are intense, a ton of hops as is expected and it has a rich, chewy texture and extremely bitter on finish. It is a little too harsh for me, I would call it brawny and that is why I cannot score it higher although I am sure many like this style.

If you want a big and bitter DIPA this is it.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.04/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Copper pour at the Bistro dipa fest. 1/2" head on it, looked nice. Aroma was just rough, bitter dog hair. Needs more dog? No thank you.

Taste, was even more rough, the bitterness was accompanied by terrible off flavors. Plenty of hops, but it made you wonder if it was infected, or just awful at times. All three of us that went to the festival together drain poured this and joked about how the 'drains to ocean' sign made us feel bad for the aquatic life that was going to get the remaining ounces. It tasted like the beer came through the most wretched tap line of yesteryear, uncleaned, and hooked right up to this beer.

I'd like to think this keg was just terrible, but I've never really been into El Toro's stuff anyways. We'll see, they're often at the Bistro fests, so I'm sure I'll take one more plunge into their creations, even this one, just for the sake of knowing if it was just a bad batch, or if they truly just make something so offensive to me and my crew.

Photo of watermelonman
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This arrived as a nice gold and orange without much head. Lace is minor.

The smell is very nice, bringing floral smells on top of the more raw hop flavors. The taste brings a fair amount of malt, which is taken over by slight and somewhat tropical fruit flavors and hefty amounts of hops. The mouthfeel is medium, while drinkability is very good.

Photo of Kegatron
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Thanks to brentk56 for a bottle of this in the Secret Halloween '08 BIF.

Pours a hazy orange amber with several fingers of poofy off-white head. Settles down into a rigid layer of creamy retention that doesn't budge with a fantastic flareup that leaves just a MASSIVE coating of thick lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is extremely West Coast with notes of floral hops, pine, grapefruit, and spice but it's that big, grainy underpinning of malt that gives this bouquet some beef!

The taste is much the same, with an intensely bitter hop profile that is well balanced by tangy citric notes and a hefty backbone of bready and grainy malt that more than holds it's own. The bitterness really creeps itself back into the finish with a dry and lingering feel that has me begging for a glass of water! The mouthfeel is fuller bodied with a a creamy carbonation that spreads out well in the mouth and a hefty feel that is bitter and warming on the palette.

I've had the pleasure of this on draft at the brewpub and this bottled version compares favorably, just maybe not as fresh, as evidenced by the malt really coming to the forefront of the profiles. Make no mistake though, this is a large and in charge DIPA that takes no prisoners with a fearsome bitterness that doesn't let go.

Photo of CAcreeks
5/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - light orange, not overmalted.

S - wonderful hops fragrance, somewhat fruity.

T - well balanced between flowers and citrus, moderatly bitter, long lasting taste.

M - thick and satisfying without being chewy.

O - double IPA doesn't get much better than this!

In my opinion this is El Toro's best brew. It is well worth a visit to the tap room.

Photo of DOH1
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Toronado in San Francisco. Ordered a Pliny the Elder (a favorite), but they had just drained their last keg and the bartender suggested this instead. I had never heard of the brewery.

Appearance: golden orange, a little hazy, nice creamy head - about 3/4", nice lacing as the head slowly faded.

Smell: sweet citrus/malt/hop smell with an emphasis on the hops. Smelling this beer was almost as good as smelling an ounce of fresh cascades. I wasn't expecting much when I was talked into ordering this beer, but my skepticism was vanishing pretty quickly.

Taste: a triple assault of malty-sweet, hops and refreshing citrus. Like super-hopped grapefruit-beer-flavored candy without being sickeningly sweet. My non-beerophile companions (who I talked into trying this beer) liked it, but could talk about nothing but overpowering hops. I honestly did not think the hops stood out that much, given the balancing effect of the malt and citrus.

Mouthfeel: the creamy head was excellent while it lasted, but, after that, the beer was a touch more syrupy than I would prefer.

Drinkability: I may just be in the honeymoon period with this beer, but this was one of the few DIPAs I feel I could drink as a session beer. I went back for a second pint, which is something I seldom do at the Toronado given the variety of delicious beers they've got, and I would have had another, were tomorrow not a workday.

Overall, a great beer, a great find and a new favorite.

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had the pleasure of having this one with dinner last night, I am always happy to get a new IPA whenever I can find one. This poured a very nice and somewhat hazy amber, with just a touch of a golden hue to it. Very nice three inch plus head of foamy and sticky lace formed on the top and gradually settled down to just a thin layer across the top and a very nice set of concentric rings of side glass lace. Smell was thoroughly and deeply hopped. Big floral bouquet of bitter pine and a touch of grapefruit. This followed over very well to the taste. Not a tear your lips off bitter, but defiantly a big IPA for sure. Very nice mixed of orange and tangerine like hops with jus the slightest touch of pine to even it out. Great smooth feel and nice carbonation gave it a medium body and a very nice drink ability. Long drawn out dry finish and a nice touch of sweetness added into the back rounded it off very nicely. Overall this was a fine IPA, and definitely something I would like to try again. Nothing earth shattering, but just very nice and well crafted. A good version for the hophead to get themselves wrapped around.

Photo of vacax
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Aaron for this bottle of the Deuce! This one pours a golden orange color with a touch of haze, big head with large beads, high retention and thick lacing. The aroma has a lot of lavender and floral hops with citrus, tropical fruits and an underlying malt backbone evident. The flavor is resinous along with lavender, orange peel, full bitterness with a finish of cookielike malts, geranium, and leafiness.

Body is relatively thick for a DIPA with a moderate carbonation that lends itself to a smoother thicker body, though a touch of astringency is present for me with a bit too many botanicals. Pretty nice beer though the hop bill is a touch too floral-astringent for my liking, though there may be some batch to batch variation obviously, the two bottles I have tried have displayed this. Pretty tasty though, if this were available for a fair price I'd probably get a six pack from time to time.

Photo of cbarrett4
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass at APEX PDX.

This was recommended by the bartender as I am a huge fan of Fort George Vortex and Pliny the Elder (which I consumed that same night).

Pours a lovely golden/copper hue, pretty clear with very nice head fading to a good lace. Low-ish carbonation. Smells of hops and malts, mainly a diverse mixed bag of fresh green aromatics like mint, pine, and loam with some dried hay notes. A little citrus, but not much. Pretty one dimensional but good nose.

Flavors expand upon the palate, building to an impressive crescendo of hops with emphasis on the pine and fresher hop oils, very nice malt backbone with a faint raw oat, roasted nut character and some fresher citrus, perhaps lemon, kiwi, and tangerine. Lovely texture, rich and savory without being overtly alcoholic. Balances nicely on the long and exciting finish.

Overall this beer is a blast and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for some pretty intense yet balanced IPAs.

Photo of weeare138
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Toronado...
Appears a semi-transparent golden amber with a small, white head that slowly fades out into a mild cap. Scattered spots of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of brown sugar, caramel, perfumy, floral hops, honey, and graham crackers.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with honey and floral hops standing out amongst the flavors.
Mouthfeel is of honey sweetness up front with grapefruit bitterness rounding it out. Medium bodied, chewy, smooth, semi-dry, with a candy enjoyability.

Photo of ibbjamin
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Paid $6 for a pint of this one at El Toro in Morgan Hill. Reading the beer list, I noted that there are a LOT of hops in this one. Uses Tomahawk, Centennial, Cascade, Amarillo and Simcoe hops.

Small 1/2 inch off white head. I didn't see the bartender pour this one, but his knowledge of beer indicated he knew how to pour a beer. Nice lacing that thins out after a few minutes but lasts.

Orange/citrus bitter hoppy nose.

Extremely hoppy, as expected with a double IPA. Orange, citrus and hops with a mild spice to finish. Bitter lasting aftertaste.

Heavily carbonated which mildly takes away from the great flavors they have working here and makes it a little tougher to drink. The only downfall of this beer.

Nice ABV. This pint and another Bock had me with a decent buzz.

This is my hometown hero and this is the best of theirs I have tried yet. Glad to hear this one is also available in a 6 pack.

Photo of Mark
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was a deep amber topped by a thinnish head that retained all the way down, lacing was excellent. Nice aroma of fresh hop, not as strong as I expected but a definite presence. Sharp hoppy bitterness, almost grapefruit juice like, still balanced and smooth. An excellent Double IPA, very drinkable. I might like the regular IPA as much. El Toro is a very underrated brewery.

Photo of RunDWP
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Morgan Hill Brewpub, and was impressed, so bought a six-pack there. Pours a dark amber color in my tulip glass with a thick, fluffy head. Strong piney and citrus aroma of hops. Decent amount of malt, which I detected to be a little caramelly, held its own against considerable piney, warm resiny citrus hops. Creamy mouthfeel and not at all bitter for all that blast of hops, very drinkable for the style.

I'm not a fan of their IPA, but love this double IPA. The only other brewery I can think of where I'm lukewarm on the IPA and a fan of the double IPA is Russian River (Blind Pig (yechh) / Pliny the Elder (yay!). I guess that puts El Toro in good company.

Photo of John_M
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours an orange amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose in this beer is incredible and is clearly it's best feature. It really smells as if a lot of simcoe and amarillo was used in the making of this beer, as I get a huge dank aroma of fresh tobacco, wet earth, pine and skunky marijuana. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this beer, though the alcohol is a bit more noticeable and prominent than I like to see (especially for a 7.5% abv. beer, according to the label). What's interesting in this beer is that initially there's some pretty noticeable sweet malt, which is then shoved aside by the tidal wave of hoppy bitterness. This leads to very long, slightly alcoholic, very dry, bitter finish. Drinkability is OK, though as noted above, there's a bit too much of an alcohol bite for my liking.

An interesting take on the style. I tried this side by side with the maharaja, and frankly it made the maharaja taste rather tame. That's how hopped up this DIPA is from El Toro.

Photo of rayjay
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brew 1107. I just scored this 12 oz bottle directly from the brewery. Bottling this one seems to be a new, limited scale thing for El Toro. I frequently enjoy it on draft at the Toronado, so I made a special trip to pick these up.

This one's a golden pilsner-colored ale that retains a thin layer of head for the duration. Alpha hop nose like grapefruit zest. I've tasted much hoppier beers, but this one has a solid bitterness that fades for a good 10-20 seconds on the tongue. Malts are practically out of the picture, a hallmark for the west coast IPA. The hoppiness is a simple, one-dimentional, delicious bitter bite.

As far as 2xIPAs go, this is a tame, refreshing, relatively low abv example; some beer drinkers may miss a big chewy malt body, but for hopheads like me it's pure bliss. Consider it a "session double IPA." I love it, but not quite as much as an ultra-fresh draft version. Cheers!

Photo of Stoneman78
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Toronado SF

Appearance is a translucent murky orange hue, thin layer of white creamy head, sticky lacing on the glass

Smell is pine resin, sweet citrus, cotton candy, touch of mustiness

Taste is bitter pine resin and grapefruit dominated hops, orange and lemons creep in with some grassy hops, cotton candy bubblegum appears near the end, finishes bitter and resiny

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, big thick oily resin texture, biting carbonation

Drinkability is moderate, a nice sticky and resiny hop bomb with a nice balance of sweet citrus and candy sweetness, the finish is a touch too harsh

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.08/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a 12oz bottle oon 12.29.11

A - Pours a cloudy dark orange with a two finger yellow-cream colored head. Good retention and nice lacing.

S - Very carmely, malty and sweet.

T - Similar to the nose, Carmel and sweet. Some hoppiness in the background, but not much.

D - Good carbonation and an average body for the style. Slightly bitter finish.

O - It was sweet and not much hops. Makes me wonder if it was an older bottle, but I don't think it was.

Photo of Livid
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler from draft. Pours a hazy amber color with about 1/2" of white head, laces nicely down the glass. Aroma is almost all hops - citrus, pine, floral and grassy notes. Good body and mouthfeel - not oily like many high IBU IIPAs. The flavor is very hoppy and unbalanced. Big hit of citrus rind and pine flavors, with faint malt flavors of caramel peeking through right before a long bitter aftertaste. This is a borderline hop bomb. I happen to lean towards the hoppier end of the spectrum, so this is right up my alley.

Photo of GClarkage
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

03/19/05- On tap at the Toronado in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- from the tap into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Nice golden-orange pour with a textbook 3/4 inch head which settles in at about 1/4 inch. About the most maginificent lacing I have seen on a beer. Covered the entire glass most of the way through the beer.

Smell- Very fruity and floral, but not over the top, which could be good or bad depending on the brew.

Taste- Was expecting a hop bomb because I am used to the hardcore hops in their regular IPA (which happens to be my all time favorite brew). It certainly was hoppy, but in a mellow kind of way. Very good mixture between the malt and hops, with nice pine and grapefruit flavors carrying the beer.

Mouthfeel- Not a mouthcoating as such beers as The Younger or The De-nogginzer, but still a bit heavy on the mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Two thumbs up here. One of the better DIPA's oput there on the west coast. I shudder to think I passed this up at least 50 times or so at the Toronado. Shame on me. I should have known better.

Photo of czechsaaz
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The aroma is thick with hoppy goodness. Lots of citrus and grass. Underneath is some caramel malt and some spicy yeast, almost peppery.

Orange with a solid small layer of white foam. Cloudy but lots of rising carbonation from the bottom of the glass. Moderate lacing too.

Big malt backbone, lots of caramel and some crystal. Then come the hops. Good bittering and some grassy and citrus hop flavor. Big hop oil lingering aftertaste too. As it warms up, there's more malt comlexity. I get honey and brown sugar. Overall, pretty balanced in that it's got a ton of malt balanced by a ton of hops.

Body is thick but not heavy. Prettty high carbonation level adds to it seeming lighter than it is at 8%.

Nice, nice beer. Maybe even better than some of the sought after examples of the style but less well known and a bit more rare outside its home market. If you see it, get one.

Photo of kitty66
3.56/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Must have been an old or sun-exposed bottle. Can only assume that much of the freshness of hops had disappeared.

2/3 Caramel sugar soda, 1/3 california pale ale. Girls would probably like this one as a sipper.

Will hold final verdict until having a chance to visit the brewery, lots of talk about toro, kind of disappointing with this one.

Photo of brentk56
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy peach nectar color with a sturdy head that throws a few shards of lace around

Smell: Lots of grapefruity citrus but a solid caramel malt base in there, too

Taste: Lays down the caramel at the outset with a growing grapefruity citrus element that builds through mid-palate; after the swallow, the citrus flavors continue to maintain their prominence but the malt never fades

Mouthfeel: A bit thick with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: With a minor demerit for the thick mouthfeel, a first class DIPA

Thanks, Lothore, for the opportunity

Photo of Talisker
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Absolutely brilliant beer. Why isn't El Toro better known? They nail every style they attempt, and their IPA and DIPA are both at the top of the (very competitive) West Coast heap.

12oz bottle purchased from the brewery, where they store their bottles in the cooler. Love that. (Also had this several times on tap at the brewery and the Toronado, but this is a review of the bottle.)

Slightly murky medium gold, off-white head. Aroma is downright magnificent, and married perfectly with the flavor. Hop-led, primarily citrus, but still a ton of edgy bitterness and malt to balance it out.

Closest comparison I can think of is Marin's White Knuckle (another robust citrus/malt DIPA) as opposed to Russian River's Pliny the Elder (an edgier, piney version) or Stone's Ruination (a gloppy viscous hop sludge). The citrus doesn't dominate here in the way it does with El Toro's IPA, but there's still no doubting you're on the West Coast.

Texture just perfect for the style. Not light or crisp by any means, but doesn't overstay its welcome, either.

Love this rendition of the style. Up there with White Knuckle (similar) and Lagunitas' Hop Stoopid (not so similar) as one of my favorite renditions. Absolutely worth seeking out - don't let the lack of beer geek cred dissuade you.

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El Toro Deuce Imperial IPA from El Toro Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.