Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Heavy Handed IPA - Two Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Heavy Handed IPAHeavy Handed IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

397 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 397
Hads: 850
Avg: 3.82
pDev: 17.28%
Wants: 37
Gots: 61 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Two Brothers Brewing Company
Illinois, United States | website

Style | ABV
American IPA | 6.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-03-2002

Heavy Handed IPA is brewed to celebrate the harvesting of the hops every year. Within moments of harvest we add freshly picked "Wet Hops" to this IPA. Since the hops have not been dried before use, they add a wonderful character found in no other beer. A hop lovers dream. (Available September through December) Each batch is "single hopped" with a different hop variety.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 397 | Hads: 850
Photo of drtth
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Since this beer is on tap I've no idea of which version this is. The beer is served in a shaker pint glass and is a dark, hazy, reddish brown color with a thin off white head and ring of foam. Sipping leaves a few small patches of lacing here and there. By the end of the glass there's little to no foam left.

The aroma includes some very light pine and citrus character along with some faint malt.

The flavors follow pretty much from the nose except that it becomes clear the citrus also has a bit of orange sweetness to it as well. Little or no bitterness showing here.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth since the carbonation is quite light. The finish is on the short side of medium as the orange sweetness just slowly fades from the scene but there is little or no dryness in the end to invite another sip.

This was an interesting beer to try but I'll not be seeking out a second one as I tend to prefer my IPAs with a bit more hop bitterness in the finish. Also, since this is intended to be a wet hop IPA I was expecting a bit more hop resin character to the beer.

 1,091 characters

Photo of KTCamm
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11/21....pours dark blackened copper, thin bubbles white foam with a thicker ring. Spring meadow nose, floral. Juicy fruity oily bitter, sweeps the base of the beer. Crisp with a toffee tipped bitter. Clever.

 208 characters

Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle received from ex-cousin-in-law.
This was poured into a nonic pint glass.
The appearance was a copper color with a finger's worth of white foamy head. Once it died off, there was some light clingy lacing here and there.
The smell had some light pine and citrus with a nice resinous orange flavoring running into a nice maltiness.
The taste was basically the same with a light malty sweet aftertaste and finish.
The mouthfeel was about medium on the body with a great sessionability about it. Carbonation runs nice for the beer.
Overall, years ago when he was my cousin-in-law and he traded this to me, I thought it was the bees knees of AIPA's, now I look at it and think hmmm....what changed me or the beer? Hmmmm...I'm not sure, I used to like this more but now just think its okay.

 790 characters

Photo of loubrew
2.69/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Chinook variety 2015. Not much nose, bitter and leaves a chalky aftertaste. Not impressive for a wet hop, or ipa for that matter. Was hoping for more hop flavor & aroma.

 169 characters

Photo of LAp
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Centennial Version. Pours a honey-rust color with a thin, quickly dissipating head and minimal lacing. Nose is light pine and hints of citrus, with a palate that opens with a lightly resinous orange and dry fruit taste supported by a malty core. Hops are present, but nondescript. Mouthfeel is medium, neither too thick or thin. Overall this beer doesn't blow me away. Good, but not great. Doesn't have the wet, juicy hop flavor of something like a Founder's Harvet Ale (which has become my go-to wet-hopped beer).

 525 characters

Photo of beergoot
2.74/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Hazy, rustic orange color; thin, wispy head with some lacing on the glass. Little aroma, mostly very faint, hard-to-describe malt remoteness. Bland malt character with a sharp but uninspiring hop bitterness. Medium body; coarse on palate; dry finish.

Had this on tap at the Mansfield Ohio "Bag of Nails" pub. This is a most mediocre, and rather uninspired IPA. Flavor and aroma, what there is, is so subtle and nearly non-existant that you just can't get worked up about this beer. It ain't macro swill, but it would be close to being craft swill...

 550 characters

3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A beautiful bronze body almost shines golden amber when held to light. Head is a rocky tan that has nice retention and leaves behind jagged trails of lace. Nose is a perfect marriage of marmalade citrus based hops and soft sweet and rustic malts. The oak subdues the hops a bit on first sip but they remain prickly and piney. Between the malt profile and the oak the hops bite a bit at first, but do not stay big through the palate. Hops hang on the the tongue and produce a bitter thick glaze that leads to a slightly thick but pleasant mouthfeel. This is a pleasantly drinkable beer but it screams to be more hop driven.

 628 characters

Photo of Tone
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy, copper color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, hint of rye, slight pine, hint of citrus, hint of alcohol, hint of wheat, hint of floral, and hops. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. The bitterness level is high. Tastes of sweet malt, hint of rye, slight pine, hint of citrus, hint of alcohol, and a hint of floral. Overall, a little sharp, too bitter, but otherwise a decent IPA.

 527 characters

Photo of 57md
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Copper in color with less than a finger of head. Nice hoppy nose. Malt forward with a hearty body for the style. The bitterness on the finish is meager to say the least.

 172 characters

Photo of sonicbloom
5/5  rDev +30.9%

Im having this one for the first time, and I'm a little surprised Heavy Handed isn't rating in the 90's. Great beer.
Pours well, tastes excellent and finishes very nicely. This is a very good IPA. Unsurprising coming from Two Brothers.

 236 characters

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant copper under a 3” cream colored foam collar that persists and provides good lace. S: Not a big nose, some citrus. T: Well layered spice and floral hop flavors, biscuit and a bitter, drying finish and aftertaste. F: Medium body, very creamy soft carbonation. O: a well made and very drinkable IPA

 317 characters

Photo of sourd
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

2014 chinook

16oz jar glass...be burley

gorgeous ruby red...crystal clear

very sweet on the nose with a slightly herbal, resinous finish

caramel malt with a dank, pine finish

lightly sticky on my tongue and gums with a dry, resinous mouthfeel

as with most chinook beers (chinookie, hopeater), it is built on a sweet, red grain bill, which really brings out the lovely pine character of the hop. though a good beer, its not exactly what i was expecting...mild aroma and not enough of the "green" hop flavor i crave. this drinks like a big, dank, west coast double ipa, in the vein of mad river steelhead dipa, and hop stoopid, just slightly lower abv. a great beer for hop nerds/chinook lovers

note: as the beer warmed while i drank it, the oily hop flavor really began to pop. it sat out for about an hour before i opened it. i guess it just needed a lil more. rating changed to reflect

 893 characters

Photo of ilikebeer03
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%


S: lots of mango / tropical fruits of front. cirtus. orange

A: pours a nice burnt orange with about a finger of head. very good retention and lacing.

T: Less tropical fruits than the nose would lead you to believe. Citrus, grapefruit, oranges, slightly mango. malty backbone. dry finish with a lingering hop bitterness

M: good mouth feel. appropriately carbonated for the style.

O: a good beer!

 411 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%

Bottle from Tipples with no date, just says "Cascade" where the date goes. Poured 8/17/14. Pours murky bronze with a big off white head. Aroma of straight malt juice, not a hop to be found here. Seriously straight bready malts, toffee, and some caramel. Flavor follows that closely making this a decent barleywine, but nothing close to resembling an IPA. Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Honestly this is good the way it is, just wasn't looking for a barleywine, which is exactly what this is really. One of the better non-BA American style barleywines I have had though. I guess ill rate it as it tastes but it's lower because it was supposed to be an IPA.

 659 characters

Photo of tjsdomer2
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Little to no foam (but I think this bottle has been around a while). Nice copper red in color with decent light carbonation.

Smell: Sweet caramel and raisins. A hint of pine in the background. Nice balance.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Strong notes of bourbon without the oak. A hint of boozy fruit as well. Clean flavors overall, but the mouthfeel is a bit thin for this style and does not always hold up to the nice flavors. Decent spritz in the finish.

Overall Drinkability: An easy drinking heavier IPA.

 510 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is a beer that is destined to give this site fits. When "Each batch is 'single hopped' with a different hop variety", that means that each one should be reviewed and treated as a separate entry. I will be delineating each of my reviews accordingly until this mess can be unscrewed.

From the bottle: "Within moments of harvest, we add fresh-picked American hops to this India Pale Ale. These 'wet hops' play nicely against a crisp, complex malt character. This hop lover's dream lives up to its name in a thoroughly enjoyable manner."; "Two Brothers is a craft brewery on the outskirts of Chicago that specializes in rare and seldom-brewed beer styles. The two of us - Jason and Jim Ebel - strive to produce the very best beers available anywhere."; "We hope that you enjoy them as much as we do!"

Centennial #1 (2013): I am using a VERY light hand in pouring this as these is some obvious sediment in the bottom of the bottle and I see no reason to disturb the lees. The result is no head with the exception of a light skim of wisps, but I will take that as a trade-off. Color was a slightly-hazy deep coppery-amber. I am sure that it could have been murky if I were less caring. Nose had that earthy, leafy smell of Centennial hops and my mouth was watering. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste had a fall-like earthiness: dried, decaying leaves awaiting raking. The finish evinces a pleasant, underlying caramel maltiness which works really well with this hop varietal. The last pour was murky, justifying my earlier stance WRT the pour. The nose was much more pronounced now and I wish that there were some way to get more of the same.

Willamette (2013): Once again, I do not trust my storage and aging process to attempt anything more than a gentle pour. No head to speak of, not even wisps. Oh well. It paid off as the color was a deep-copper (SRM = 7) with NE-quality clarity. The nose was soft, minty, underlain by caramel, much like a Brach's Peppermint Caramel when I was younger. Drool. The way I have been ripping through AIPAs in the last couple of days, I may lapse into a hops coma. There are MUCH worse ways to go. Mouthfeel was on the thin side, but the hops were immediately present on the tongue. Very minty, almost like a York Peppermint Patty or snowfall in a pine forest. Man, I was really digging this action! The finish was super dry and I was gasping for breath. I wonder if hops can trigger an asthma attack? Again, many worse ways to die. I want more, more, more! No wonder that I am a hops junkie and not simply a self-avowed hophead. The last pour from the bottle had a slight muddiness and the caramel malt was more pronounced.

 2,663 characters

Photo of Chiefy770
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into an IPA glass from a 12 ounce bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Hazy dark golden-amber body. Glows in the light but not fully transparent. Fluffy white head sits on top and leaves moderate lacing throughout.

Smell: Citrus notes dominate the nose. Grapefruit is the most identifiable fruit. There is a somewhat pronounced note of grains... a bit of a surprise for an IPA.

Taste: Bitter notes of grapefruit up front. There are minor earthy notes of herbs and pine... very minor and blends well with the citrus notes. A somewhat surprising hit of bready malts in the finish. Finishes dry but sweet notes develop in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: Great IPA. Certainly not a world-beater but definitely an enjoyable brew. My biggest complaint would be the lack of power from the hops. The malts seem to mask what could be an incredibly hoppy IPA.

 908 characters

Photo of Big-Frog
3.12/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was hoping to be blown away by the wet hops, but I wasn't. I paired the bottle with a mushroom and swiss burger. It left me thirstier than before the food. There was nothing particularly bad about this beer, but nothing extraordinary either. The aftertaste was subdued by the feeling of needing something else to quench my thirst.

 332 characters

Photo of jimmah120
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle with no date. A fresh hop IPA from these guys.

Look is a dark IPA color, clear, no chunkies (boo!). Smell is a whole cast of hop aromas: dank, wet, sweet. Taste is juicy and fruity, with a solid backbone of sweet savory malt.

Interesting wet hop beer. I wonder what hops were used.

 295 characters

Photo of Omnium
3.42/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Clear amber color, one finger of off white head, medium lacing.
S - Honey, bread and biscuit malt, some light citrus zest, candied orange.
T - Malt forward for sure, tons of biscuit and sweet caramel, some grapefruit, light pine, big sweet orange.
M - Sticky sweet and clingy.
O - Too malt focused, dominates the usage of the "wet hops", which is a real shame.

 388 characters

Photo of justintcoons
3.19/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Amber with 1 finger of white head that dissipates quickly. Excellent clarity and light-moderate carbonation.

Honey, lemon and tangerine.

Honey and toffee maltiness. Lighter notes of pink grapefruit, lemon pith and grassy florals.

Medium bodied, smooth and clean.

I guess this is more "heavy handed" on the malt side. It tasted more like a Fresh Hopped Amber Ale. Not bad, not great and definitely not hoppy enough to be considered an IPA.

 522 characters

Photo of stewart124
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Labeled centennial #1

Pours a light copper color with golden hues. White head with spider lacing.

Light caramel, pear, blood orange and some grass in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel with pleading esters of pear and apple. Some more blood orange in the citrus department. This feels to come off fairly balanced. There's a background bitterness but this isn't a huge hop bomb. More biscuit forward and the malt shines through.

Very easy to drink. The 6.7% is restrained and just a slight alcohol note as it warms. This comes off as an excellent fresh hop IPA.

 557 characters

Photo of eggman2814
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- gorgeous rich copper. So clean and clear I double checked to make sure I hadn't poured the Atom Smasher Oktoberfest. Slight mother of park head that dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing.

S - sweet citrus such as tangelo or honeybell with a slight hint of burnt make syrup.

T - strikingly sweet. More Orange caramel note than pine, resin, or grapefruit.

O - very nice but not the Heavy Handed IPA I was expecting

 426 characters

Photo of jhawth
3.57/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured into a shaker. Pours a rich, clear reddish-orange with a finger-and-a-half head that dissipates relatively quickly. Bottle says 'Centennial #2'.

Aroma: Earthy, grassy, spicy hop notes. A bit of bready malt as well.

Taste: Nice combination of subtle hop bitterness and spiciness with solid, not too sweet malt backbone.

Mouthfeel: Excellent. Smooth and almost creamy, with just enough carbonation to carry the hop flavors. Reminds me of a well kept cask ale. Incredibly easy to drink, could easily be a session ale were it not for the 6.7% abv.

Overall: A very nice and very drinkable fresh hop IPA. The hope notes were more subtle that I expected for a beer billed as a 'hop lover's dream', but the beer was nonetheless interesting and enjoyable

 768 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, code on the bottle reads 2OT 2552, so perhaps that means October? I'm not sure, and I'm not about to look it up. The brewery is about 5 towns away though, so I am just going to assume it is fairly on the fresh side, although I won't be disappointed to find out otherwise. Poured into a Boulevard tulip.

A - Semi-aggressive pour yields about a half finger of head which recedes very quickly into nothingness. Extremely cloudy murky orange color with some significant amounts of sediment chillin out. Scant, scattered lacing.

S - "Wet" hop smell for sure. Smells slightly dusty. The nose doesn't appear to have a terrible amount of action happening. A slightly skunkier smell begins to creep out as the beer warms a bit.

T - Gives me that sort of lemon iced tea taste which is provided by whatever breed of hop it is. Again, I'm not sure. Initially, the taste reminds me of the Redhook Long Hammer IPA, which is one of my more favored IPA's. Therefore, I'm going to say it is a delicious brew.

M - Resinous hop aftertaste. Perfectly balanced with a nice medium bodied feel to it. A very smooth beer.

Smooth, tasty, with a nice 6.7% abv. Definitely a beer to session or to have more than once. I only wish that I had a Two Brothers Heavier Handed IPA to go along with it so I could make some sort of comparison. Definitely a must-have IPA for serious fans of this style.

Two Brothers Heavy Handed ---4/5.

 1,423 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Heavy Handed IPA from Two Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 397 ratings.