Heavy Handed IPA - Two Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Heavy Handed IPAHeavy Handed IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

822 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 822
Reviews: 394
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 35
Gots: 46 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Two Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 822 | Reviews: 394
Reviews by xseanprimex:
More User Reviews:
Photo of sgoodship
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Every since trying Cane & Ebel on tap at Mrs. Murphy and Sons Irish Bistro, I've been rocking the Cane & Ebel in the bottle too. I enjoyed that so much, I wanted to try more two brothers.

The appearance was slightly redish with a bit of a haze - made me feel it was a relative of C&E. A cream colored, soft head contained bigger bubbles and left incredible lacing like age lines on a tree.

The nose came across as floral to me. There was definite pine and citrus fruit there too. You can detect a good malt back bone. It's hop forward but not screaming - I'd have enjoyed a little more aggressiveness.

The taste was very much like the smell - no surprises. The progression is nice. There is a big backbone - plenty of bread and caramel. You get the malt and think it is going to be subtle but through the fruit, floral, the piney hop kicks in during the finish and delivers a good bite in the back of the palate. It's that good, biting resiny dryness - I'm really addicted to that.

Can I say it is Cane and Ebel lite? Nah - it's not the same beast at all but definitely feels related. It's an exceptionally enjoyable IPA and maybe just a touch underrated. With some adjustments to the hop profile, this could be a killer brew. It just left me a bit lacking.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 edition. Lot 2806 which means this was brewed using Baby Cascade hops. Pours a dark reddish orange with a 1/2 inch of head on top. Quite dark for an IPA. Aromas start off with caramel malts along with a biscuity tone as well. Floral, green citric hops abound. A bit of a candied aroma as well. Pretty good stuff.

First sip brings a rush of biscuit infused caramel malt sweetness. A touch of grain quickly follows. Earthy, floral hops with some citric grapefruit accents. The hops seem fresh and vibrant here. Flows down smooth with a good bitter bite on the end. Tasty.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and easy to drink. This would make a nice everyday IPA that I wouldn't mind having stocked in the fridge more often. Overall, a solid brew and I look forward to this year's batch and to seeing what kind of hops they will be using. Remember to check their website as they list the Lot numbers with the corresponding hops that were used!

Photo of merlin48
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Came home with two bottles of this one as part of a mixed six-pack from Englebrecht's Orchards store in Newburgh, Indiana. Odd that an orchard has such a nice craft beer selection. Heavy-Handed pours a cloudy dark orange, almost copper body. Small offwhite head quickly disappears and lacing consists only of some wisps.

Aroma is dominated by toffee and caramel.The hop bouquet is almost up to the task with notes of eathy pine, cut grass, and grapefruit pulp.

Medium body has some lively carbonation that adds a slight creaminess with a subtle hops bite. Nice feel!.

Taste is more of an APA than an IPA, and a subdued one at that. Toffee and caramel malt backbone is very sturdy, but struggles to fend off an interesting hop profile. Hops are earthy, with some pine and a hint of citrus rind. Tasty balance, overall.

This one strays from style, certainly, but is quite tasty and quaffable. A very endearing APA.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to sman262 for this brew. Pours with little head. Not much nose but some pine hops. Fairly dark amber in color. Taste is mostly pine hops in nature. Carbonation is smooth & it is drinkable. ABV is low & I don't detect any alcohol. True to style but not very noteworthy.


Photo of bsp77
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Rich amber with a foamy off-white head and some very nice lacing.

Smell: Very mild citrus over some toasted malts. Very mild - too mild.

Taste: Taste is mild as well, with orange-flavored hops over a bed of caramel and toasted malts. Finish is somewhat bitter, but otherwise this is more subtle and balanced than hoppy.

Feel: Very creamy and smooth body, with moderate carbonation and a nice dry finish. Great mouthfeel.

Overall: This was a tough one, as it is not at all what I expected out of a Wet Hop IPA. A Wet Hop IPA? Really?!? (Seth Meyers voice) It barely even qualifies as an IPA. That said, this is a smooth, creamy, balanced and, yes tasty, ale. So I guess I decided to go with what this beer is rather than what it is not. Still, could use more aroma.

Wet Hop American ESB would be a more accurate description.

Photo of jondeelee
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells of bright, citrusy grapefruit hops, with a noticeable undercurrent of sugary malts and caramel.

On the tongue, there's an immediate shock of bitter hops, which are set at medium to medium-heavy bitterness (65 IBU), bringing about that lovely grapefruit buzz that is the domain of hoppy beers and IPAs. This subsides slightly after a couple of seconds to reveal a nice malty backbone, full of sugary caramel flavors and brown sugar notes, as well as piney swirls. The aftertaste is mostly hops again, but a thin vein of toasted grains runs through it.

Overall, I thought this was a lovely IPA, with good, strong bitter notes, as well as nice malty counterpoints. Many IPAs seem to focus only on the bitter shock of hops, and this one nicely provided the countering sugars to remind your tongue of the other side of the equation. Much time and effort were obviously put into this, and the result is a finely-crafted, very drinkable beer.

Photo of WeymouthMike
3.27/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- A lighter colored IPA with a good size head which retained throughout the 30 minutes I drank this one.

S- Not much here a little hops but not much more

T- More of a pale ale than an IPA, just doesn't have that extra kick of hops that I like from an IPA

M and D- smooth and easily drinkable beer, this could easily be a session beer for someone who likes this one.

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Floral citrus nose. Pours brilliant amber under a 1" finely bubbled snow white foam cap that produces thick lace. Good balance between hop and nutty, light malt flavors with an herbalness from the fresh hops on the finish that provides drying and a slight astringency and a light pepper taste. Very creamy body with fine soft carbonation.

Photo of Osiris9588
3.1/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, lot # 3006. Pours a clear copper with a faint orange hue. The white head is creamy, but dissipates quickly,leaving trails of small bubbled lacing.

The aroma is rather weak, some slight hoppy characteristics and toasty malt. It's pretty much a one-trick pony in the flavor department--all those wet hops ending in a bitter surge, yet not much compelxity or depth to go along with it.

The mouth is rather light, until the dry and bitter finish. The citrus and other hoppy notes are pretty distant, with the exception of an orangey birghtness. The light body makes it quite drinkable, but it lacks the depth of many in the style. This is an IPA that just gets lost among the pack, though it is certaintly quaffable and I could see it pairing nicely with certain food selections.

Photo of ehammond1
3.44/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via trade
Thanks dannyfrost!

Amber and orange with a thick, persistent, off-white head. Spots of lace left down the glass.

Simple aroma of mild grapefruit and orange along with a sweet, malty, caramel presence.

This is a moderate to highly bitter IPA, with some nice grapefruit character, and a lot of malty, caramel, toffee sweetness. Solid, but nothing particularly special.

Medium mouthfeel with a bit too much carbonation.

A decent and drinkable, above average, IPA.

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

A little bit darker appearance, brown really, cream colored head is ample with good retention for something so heavy, but the color isn't the most attractive for an ipa. Aroma was hoppy, good job. Centennials?

Taste, hey this really hit the spot during my time in the Midwest, there really wasn't much of a hoppy beer culture at the time, and just coming out from the west coast, this was a savior to my almost exclusive hoppy palate back in those days. Taste leaned to the grapefruit side of the hop descriptor. Delivered both hop mouthfeel and bitterness. Good dry finish to it, despite that the brewer was heavy handed with the malt here too. Given what I suspect the brewing cost of this to be, the decent $7-8 for a 6pack is a good deal.

A solid ipa, at a good price. When it comes to hoppy ipas, the only ones I can think of that are better, are solid top tier excellent ones. This one is very good.

Photo of ADR
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear amber, small 1/8 inch head with bigger bubbles toward the glass margins. Hoppy, citrusy aroma. Definitely hoppy early, grapefruit rind balanced by a good malt. Stops short of high acidity or overly bitter with a refreshing twang toward the finish. Definitely American in profile but stops short of over-the-top hop power. Good caramel counterpunch. Very good to my tastes, my only quibble is that Two Brothers Bitter End Ale is very similar in character.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.7/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Edit this is the 2009 Two Bros Heavy Handed IPA wet hopped in all of its glory. The year I had it it didn't sit well with me, this year is right on the money. Appears a brilliant copper amber with a tight foaming off white head thick with nice speckled even coats of lacing with each sip. Aroma is like rolling in a field of hops big vinous layers of citrus, earthiness, and pine cone edges. Juicy malt body brings some caramel with that citric bitterness bringing on one of the most complex and hoppy tasting brews I've come across in recent memory. Flavor has biscuit and malt with a touch of honey sweetness to blend with abrasive hop bitterness and flavor. The wet hops are juicy and veggie like in nature with big citrus rind and pine cone flavors alot of herbal weed goodness flows up from my 1/2 liter Gordon Biersch willi glass. This year's version is 65 IBUs with 6.7% abv, I think it's beefier than years past full on resinous slick medium to full body going on, carbonation is soft and natural with each sip. Drinkability is great one of the best fresh hopped beers I've come across recently go and get yourself some if not trade for it.

Appears a deep copper amber hue with a light tan head that flows beautifully leaving lace with each and every tilt of the glass. Aroma has a flowing caramel malt profile combined with hops luscious hops at that with grassy, citrus, and pine qualities galore. Flavor provides a sugary mix of caramel malt and fresh cut hops with ample bitterness that seems a bit stale right now. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a slight oily texture and evenly carbonated flowing quite well at this point. Drinkability is mediocre so many other great IPAs why does this one seem like just another fish in the barrel.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer is a amber brown color with a crystal clear body and a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles slowly floating to the surface. There is a thin film of white foam that hangs on for a good while.

S- This beer has a fresh green earthy hops smell that has a spicy ginger quality to it. Buried underneath the hops is a nice fresh slightly grain note.

T- The green juicy hops flavor has a dry spice note of ginger that taste more of pine as it warms. There is a dry toasted malt flavor that offers good support to the big hops. The finish has a grapefruit bitterness to it that hangs on the tongue for a bit.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a slight chewy texture. The carbonation is not really fizzy but gives more mouthfeel.

D- This beer has good depth of hops with wonderful freshness and a nice background malt flavor to support them. Delicious.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color of tarnished copper, orange with suggestions of red. The head is an off white mix of skinny and fat bubbles. Very sticky and webs the glass as you drink.

The nose makes me want to drink this beer. There is a sweet mix of caramelized grains with a heavy handful of citrus and floral hops. Quite nice except for a touch of noticeable mustiness.

I taste warm caramelized grains mixed with a spiced bready yeast. Not quite in the neighborhood of a Belgian but yeasty goodness none the less. Along with the grain backbone is a solid hop profile. Citrus is there but I taste mostly floral flavors. In fact there is almost a little rose petal perfume flavor mixed in.

Simple mouthfeel with a light carbonation for such a medium bodied beer. To me this tastes like a cask conditioned English beer with a few more hops. Earthy and smooth and easy to drink especially with the 5.7% ABV.

Photo of sourd
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

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

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

AP: Totally clear and very active with a deep red-hued amber color. Small 1" tall thin and scattered head leaves some long and sticky legs behind.

Nose: A hearty, earthy hop dominated scent with some mild malted undertones.

Taste: A very hearty semi-bitter hop. Mildly sweet malt keeps the balance a bit, then finishes with a fresh "wet" and leafy style hop.

MF: Medium body, crisp and clean.

DA: This is a quality IPA that is easy to drink and to session.

Photo of cokes
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

New review, 11/25/08.
Produces a moderately-hazed, auburn copper glass. Milky, pock-marked head is on the small side, but stays around.
Nose full of toasted caramel, apple must, and a robust hoppiness that is both floral and citric, exuding lilacs, clovers, pineapple, and red grapefruit.
Seems to split the difference between an american and english style pale ale. Toasted grains and caramel up front. A big apple must middle...and this is a lovely flavor, but this is so assertive both here and on the nose, that is ventures toward suffocating. Hops come forth from the apple mist and bring big florals, pollen, rose petals, and touch of reefer resin and pine pitch, and larger, lingering, traits of grapefruit and orange juice.
Body is medium. Seems full at first, but thins considerably towards the finish.
Kind of weird, really. The apple traits are big, but in the musty, quality cider sense. The hops don't take the spotlight that wethopping would indicate. There is a definite rustic charm here and it is absolutely hard to rate. It also seems quite different than the stuff I had 5-6 years ago.

Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Heavy bitterness. On-tap at Town Hall in Minny, and appropriately carbonated by them. Medium orange body with bubbly head and noticeable lace. This is wet-hopped and I feel the high IBU. Hop heads rejoice. Full-mouthfeel, and you can detect hops in the aroma.

Photo of pmcadamis
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this with some chicken tits on the old George Forman, and it really meshed well with meal.

It pours a deep and hazy orange to amber in the glass, and a 1/2 finger head settles to just a ring of tiny bubbles around the rim.

At first sniff, grassy vegetal hops and orange rind are predominant, supported by a nice backdrop of warm malt scents like vanilla and caramel. This really smells pretty damn good! Good balance.

The taste is quite peppery and spicy, with some initiall fruitiness followed by a bitter hop punch and a nice alcohol heat. The carbonation is pretty strong, but that seems to fit the spicy and peppery flavor quite well.

An interesting note: On the Two Brother's web site, I read that hops are added immediately after harvest without being dried first. This addition of "wet" hops is unique to this beer. Cool....unique is good.

I really enjoyed this smooth (for an IPA) brew in that it was hoppy enough for me to get my fix, but was pretty mild and had enough of a malt backbone to really balance the flavor and keep the bitterness from overpowering my meal.

This is very highly drinkable especially for an IPA (some of the more highly hopped ones can actually irritate and dry out my throat with all the bitterness if I drink more than a couple), and I will surely pick up a sixer of this the next time I get a hop craving.

Photo of dancinwillie
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich amber, with tight beige head. Good head retention, some bigger bubbles popping slowly, leaving a rocky presentation.

Aroma is sticky pine resin, and with an underlying citrus smell. Also a good amount of the malt coming through.

First taste reveals hops of course, piney and citrusy, as noted in the aroma, but also a very good showing from the malt. Pretty balanced, with the hops proving a bit stronger, as should be expected. Very bitter on the front end, with the malt soothing the tongue on the back. Citrus becomes more pronounced as the beer warms up.

Creamy, thickish mouthfeel, bitter finish.

Overall a good drinker, probably won't blow your mind, but a very tasty, sessionable beer that is well crafted.

Photo of hopman333
4.97/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite local brewery's however over the year's they seem to be hit and miss. One thing I have in my favor is the freshness of this beer being that I live in Chicago and this comes from a nearby suburb. Ok enough chit chat .

Appearance - While it is no longer being bottled unfiltered as in the early year's of this fine brew I will still give it a full 5 for appearance. The reason for this is in it's beatiful dark orange and glowing hue that you know is going to be downright delicious. Last year's batch came out a little flat with no lacing and a kind of drab mouthfeel. This year is back up to snuff to say the least.

The smell of batch # 1, usually hopped with cluster, Is as usual, Malty and bitter with an herbal and almost hemp like aroma that smell's absolutely wonderful. So fresh that you begin to think that this is one of you're homebrewer friend's stash that he only shares with a couple of close friend's upon each and every hop harvest, in other word's a real treat. The beauty of this smell is that it is abscent of the usual west coast one to three c's aroma and has a smell that no other IPA that I can think of has. An achievement in itself.

Taste - As in each an every batch I've ever tasted it starts out with a bitterness that start's at the front of you're toungue and slowly moves back in a graceful manner to completely coat it in a solid bitterness that soon gives way to the sweetness of the carefully and well thought out malt selection. It then seems to become floral and fruity with a green hop finish that just beckon's you for another sip. As I said before, the absence of the usual three c's taste is a real treat. Totally original !!! Dont miss this one, I'm out of space

Photo of secondtooth
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Attractive caramel-amber in color, with plentiful 2-finger head and cloudy lacing. Nice!

Aroma is crisp pine and ripe grapefruit. Fairly typical American IPA.

Taste is malt forward, with a rush of hops finishing up with a bitter citrus (orange and grapefruit) and pine kick. Certainly an enjoyable and well-done IPA worth revisiting.

Photo of tjsdomer2
3.84/5  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.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle conditioned IPA delivers a hazy orange-amber body beneath a creamy white cap that holds quite well and leaves some nice strands of lace at the outset of the glass. The nose is bright and welcoming with a combination of gently citrusy and mildly piney hops over a sweetish malt base. The combination of it's very fine-bubbled, restrained carbonation and medium-full body leaves it just lightly tingly on the tongue before becoming creamy and smooth. The flavor is more rounded than the nose suggests with a luxuriously soft pillow of grainy-sweet malt for the hops to sink into. Their flavors are there (orangey-citrus, delicate spruce, floral, and a touch grassy), but they also work off of, and play against the malt, giving the beer a greater depth. It's not complex (malt, hops, the interaction...), but it is rich. All the while, the bitterness is omnipresent but very well-heeled. And that's surprising because, for a beer with such a malt presence it never becomes cloying and always dries in the lingering, malty and leafy-hop finish. I was impressed! And I found it very drinkable! It's definitely worth trying.

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Heavy Handed IPA from Two Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 822 ratings.