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Heavy Handed IPA - Two Brothers Brewing Company

Heavy Handed IPAHeavy Handed IPA

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

715 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 715
Reviews: 384
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 12.24%

Brewed by:
Two Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-03-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 715 | Reviews: 384 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of tjsdomer2


3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2014 01:45:57 | More by tjsdomer2
Photo of woodychandler


3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 14:52:18 | More by woodychandler
Photo of Chiefy770


3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2014 00:16:12 | More by Chiefy770
Photo of Big-Frog


3.1/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2014 03:21:11 | More by Big-Frog
Photo of jimmah120


3.8/5  rDev -1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 00:00:00 | More by jimmah120
Photo of Omnium


3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 03:53:39 | More by Omnium
Photo of justintcoons


3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2013 21:34:56 | More by justintcoons
Photo of stewart124


3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2013 01:41:17 | More by stewart124
Photo of eggman2814


3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
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

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2013 16:20:58 | More by eggman2814
Photo of jhawth


3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
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

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2013 04:10:05 | More by jhawth
Photo of mfnmbvp


3.9/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2013 04:57:38 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of Amish_Ambush


4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Original Review: 10-05-2006

Notes: This IPA touts a medium sized head that will reduce to hardly any lacing at all. The color is a deep amber. This brewery uses "wet" hops for their beer. What does that mean? It means they are using newly harvested hops that have not been dried out. Which means you are getting a fresh hop flavor with this IPA. I will say that I've had hoppier IPA's but this one is unique in its hop profile. It is nice to partake of an IPA that isn't trying to knock you out with an overwhelming blast of hops. Instead the two brothers brewing company go with hop freshness (and balance); it shows. The body is creamy, smooth.

Comments: Overall, a different take on the IPA. I enjoyed this so much that I will pick this up again.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 01:19:17 | More by Amish_Ambush
Photo of Amalak

New York

3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. It has a thick, completely opaque dark caramel/bronze color with a good slightly tan head that leaves a fair amount of lacing..

S. Very rich hop and fruity scent.

T. It comes off as a bit flat. The sweet banana and citrus taste hits you hardest. It has only a mild hoppy bite to it. It is quite smooth, and has a bit of a smokey aftertaste.

M. Medium bodied and very smooth.

O. It almost has a fruit punch taste to it. It's not bad at all, but it's not exactly what I look for in an IPA, either. But well worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2012 01:40:47 | More by Amalak
Photo of TheSSG


4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a HUGE, resiny head. Hop aroma is dominated by grapefruit. Amber-burnt sienna color. Starts with that grapefruit hop flavor, moves into a pretty hefty bitterness that peaks with a citrus rind/pine sap flavor. The finish smooths out to allow the malt to come through, but that assertive pine lingers throughout.

This is a very nice IPA, though I'd like it more if the hops subsided sooner to allow a touch more malt through.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2012 04:02:35 | More by TheSSG
Photo of rlee1390


3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clear ruby red, some carbonation, one finger head

S-Malt heavy, some hops, tad bit of earth and citrus

T-Very malty for an IPA, some earthy dirt/grass notes. Slight bitterness.

M-Medium bodied, some carbonation, does not have the hop resins of other fresh hop IPAs.

O-Way to much malt, not enough hops. This is most likely the only fresh hopped beer I've been disappointed in.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2012 16:47:38 | More by rlee1390
Photo of BierStein711


4.53/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Gorgeous beer!

Two finger head, clear in color, moderate carbonation.

smells of hops, pine, and a hint of oak

Tastes so lush with hints: of apricot, grapefruit, floral hops, biscuits, and perfection

This beer is ambrosia with its sublime mouthfeel!

I will buy a six pack again soon.

"I am drinking ale today." -Edgar Allan Poe

Serving type: on-tap

10-31-2012 21:25:57 | More by BierStein711
Photo of madvermin


3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky copper-red with orange and yellow tints. Head is of medium thickness, is finely bubbled and dissipates quickly to a thin film that remains throughout without lacing.

Clean and fresh citrus is the first aroma, with a more meaty and sweet jackfruit coming right after. Caramel malt hits the back with a finishing aroma that is just a wee bit too sweet for my preference.

Taste is nicely bitter, and definitely not too sweet like the smell. Citrus isn't as well pronounced, but the mixture is still nice. More plant like qualities, and weedy, than fruity. Malt backbone and strong and firm without ever dominating.

Mouthfeel is full and slightly carbonated. Love the balance of this on first sip, and it is great until the last as well. Fine foam when swished is a real treat. Dry finish is also exemplary. Rarely does a beer with a simply decent taste and smell have such a good mouthfeel, but this is one of them. Drinkability helped greatly by that fact, along with the overall score.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2012 02:57:04 | More by madvermin
Photo of BarryMFBurton


3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It’s the hop harvest again, and I’m a happy man. Cheers to wet hops!

A: Orange-red in color, translucent and shimmering. Very slight head of tan, wet cream that rises to a half-inch and disappears entirely. Moderate strands of lacing.

S: Tangerine, peach, white grape; a sweet, juicy citrus in the hoppiness. Small amount of cracker and bread crust in the timid malt backbone beneath, giving it a grounded, grainy character in the background. Not bursting with hop aroma, but quite pleasant.

T: This has more of a pilsner taste than I was expecting: biscuity, bready, crackery yeast tastes with spicy hops overlaid in force. It’s a crisp, refreshing palate with a hop bite of white pepper, herbal pine, grapefruit, and tannins. It takes only a moment of weightless wet hop bitterness before the aftertaste, which is a mild, oily dryness.

M: This is another reason it resembles a pilsner to me: pretty light and fizzy feel. Makes it go down quickly, but without extended time to really enjoy it.

O: A good introductory harvest ale for the season. I couldn’t see myself buying another bottle of this, but I enjoyed it while it lasted.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2012 23:47:25 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of BeerKangaroo


4.9/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Recieved in beer trade from cousin who lives in Illinois:

Even though a decently high ABV, I didn't want to wait too long to do a review, if anything changes, I'll be sure to note, here goes:

Into a pint glass (and a nonic no changes are noted):

A: cloudy burnt orange colored body with a nice one finger white foamy head that leaves super nice spotty spider web lacing. The way the head dies is enthralling as it lingers a bit, turns lumpy, picks up the pace and then slows down, not sure how else to describe this, but what a show! The body is clear yet there is no carbonation seen rising.

S: earthy, hoppy and malty, almost perfect at least to me.

T: brings back the earthy, hoppy, maltiness and gives a good citrus back-up that I really like, holy crap, wow!

M: medium, with a superb creaminess, nothing harsh on the tongue. Though the ABV is fairly high, this is a fairly drinkable IPA.

O: holy crap, for a long time I didn't like IPA's and then I learned to distinguish between English and American and thought I liked the English more, this one really changed my mind. All I have to say now is that this is labeled as an American IPA and I've had 4 of them between the time I've had them and the time I just now reviewed this. This is an American IPA that people need to get. This is superb!

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2012 19:02:00 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of ShastamcNasty


4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy burnt orange with two fingers of head medium retention and lots of lacing

S: earthy hops and carmal malts is all im getting

T: Tastes of earthy piney hops and citrus heavy with plenty of that enjoyable bitterness sought after in this style. Also getting some spice on the back end.

M: Medium bodied and creamy smooth feel. small amount of carbonation

O: This a great representation of the style with loads of flavor and a great mouth feel that makes this brew very satisfying and leaves me wanting a few more.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2012 03:51:47 | More by ShastamcNasty
Photo of metter98

New York

3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy orange amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that slowly died down, leaving a very large patch of bubbles on the surface, a thin collar and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of oak are present in the nose along with some hints of citrusy hops.
T: While oaky flavors are prominently featured in the taste, there is also a good balanced between malts and hops, the latter of which contribute a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels a little more than medium-bodied and a relatively crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is lots of lingering dryness from the oak barrel aging.
O: I enjoyed this IPA because the oak barrel aging completely changed the dynamics of the smell, taste and mouthfeel, making this quite unique compared to other beers in the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2012 02:08:48 | More by metter98
Photo of Treebs


3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at Wild Monk. Not sure of the hop varietal, but I'd guess Willamette. Served in a shaker pint.

A: Pours a darker amber color with a fluffy white head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thin film and it leaves some nice sticky lace down the glass.

S: Light caramel malt body, some mild citrus, and a little spiciness as well.

T: Fuller caramel malt body with a some light citrus and a nice resinous hop bite. There is a touch of woody spice on the finish with malts coming back adding some sweetness.

M: Medium bodied with a nice bubbly carbonation and a light resinous finish.

O: Pretty solid overall. Definitely enjoyed this variety of Heavy Handed more so than the other I've tried.

Serving type: on-tap

10-14-2012 17:14:47 | More by Treebs
Photo of 312HopBomb


4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler pouerd in a Duvel tulip.

Appearance is a glowing red garnet with a medium/large head of ivory froth.

Aroma of light pine, light citrus and rich malts. Rock candy and brown sugar.

Taste starts slightly sweet and malty which quickly turns to a crisp and floral/piney hop middle. Finish is slick/oily and medium bitterness and grapefruit pith.

Mouthfeel is medium/full and with slick hop oil coating the tongue.

Overall a balanced and enjoyable take on the fresh hop experience. It is slightly malt foward but the hops shine through as intended. This is perfect on a fall day watching football.

Serving type: growler

10-07-2012 21:41:11 | More by 312HopBomb
Photo of barnzy78


3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Lot 2552 (Centennial)
12oz bottle, pours deep copper with a thin, foamy, ivory head that leaves great lacing on the glass. Aromas are fresh hops, spicy, piny, citric, bready malt. Tastes are bready malt up-front followed by a healthy dose of fresh, earthy, resiny, piny hops, some citrus - maybe orange rind or grapefruit rind. Body is medium, lower carbonation; finishes dry and bitter, while the hop oils stick to the palate. Overall, I always look forward to this fall seasonal release from my local brewery. I was glad to pick up some Centennial wet-hopped this year!

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2012 03:12:45 | More by barnzy78
Photo of blackcompg


4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from their 12oz bottle...

Appearance - poures a finger of golden eggshell head, body is a gorgeous slightly hazed orange amber, nice lacing left after the session.

Smell - floral hops, citrus zest, bready malts, hard candy.

Taste - starts with a rush of floral hops, then there is herbal hop flavors of basil and coriander, slight rye spice, then citrus flavors of grapefruit meats and orange zests, finish is grapefruit pith, dried orange peel and peach pits, some slight pine. All the while in the background there is a slight citrus and floral sweetness providing a really nice balance.

Mouthfeel - nearly medium with the bold hop flavors, carb is nearly medium but provides a smooth and silky feeling. Very drinkable and satisfying.

Overall - just a wonderfully bold, complex and balanced ipa - so many nice hop flavors going on here, all bold and discernable, and all working so well together. This is a must try for hop lovers - just in time for autumn.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2012 03:24:11 | More by blackcompg
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Heavy Handed IPA from Two Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 715 ratings.