Heavy Handed IPA - Two Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Heavy Handed IPAHeavy Handed IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

391 Reviews
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Reviews: 391
Hads: 824
Avg: 3.82
pDev: 17.28%
Wants: 37
Gots: 50 | 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.
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Reviews: 391 | Hads: 824
Photo of B967ierhunter177
1.23/5  rDev -67.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This beer pours a slightly hazy caramel color with half inch head and lasting lace. The appearance is the highlight of this beer. It's aroma is of sweet malt and grapefruit. The flavor is strictly hop bitterness. No fruitiness or balance. There is an overwhelming, lasting bitter and medicinal aftertaste. The mouthfeel is light-medium. Two Brothers Heavy Handed IPA is a nasty beer, a total hop bomb. NOT recommended!

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Photo of scott
2.36/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2


Clear dark copper, actively carbonated, but without any accumulation. Nose is pleasant, but too subdued to do it any justice. I hate to bee "that guy" but I remember this tasting much better. Bitter and thick. If anything, they were heavy handed with the malt. A bit too much caramel for me Creamy, and not very refreshing. It is a real mess in the mouthfeel department.

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Photo of strengthdoc
2.55/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

When I poured this beer the foam was overwhelming. It took 10 minutes for the head to diminish enough to rate it. It was hazy amber in color and a mild citrus hoppiness in the aroma. The taste was also mild and had an orange hop flavor. Mostly I tasted the carbonation. I don't know if this is typical. I only bought one bottle and don't know if I just got a bad one.

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Photo of GimpyCane
2.56/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried Two Brothers Heavy Hand IPA after having a Titan IPA and noticed a significant different. Although not as flavorful, the brew was crisp and clean. Started off with a light sweet bitter and watery, ended lightly bitter and semi-dry. The brew pours was unattractive, very small white head that fully diminished and had a medium amber hue. I also had a hard time smelling anything dominate, such as that citrus or piney hop aroma in other IPAs. I realize alot of folks likes this brew but I was not feeling it. I will recommend it but I won't be buying again.

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Photo of scruffwhor
2.57/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A lack luster start for this brew. The good caramel, copper makes for a good start. But the lack of bubbles or a sturdy head or long lasting foam bring this beers look down a couple of notches. The aroma is a sublte syrup of hop juice and chef's caramel bread. The taste is a biscuit start with an immediate musty hop bitterness that slwoly sweetens out a little , but still leaves the bad kind of bitter in your mouth. This beer failed to meet my expectations.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
2.63/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to hurfer for the extra. Poured from 12oz bottle (no date) into snifter glass. Pours deep, slightly coppery amber with a 1 finger rocky yellowish head that has good retention. Aroma is very sweet, doughy, syrupy, pine, caramel, floral, biscuit, toasted grain, light orange peel citrus and a bit of black tea. Flavor is caramel, biscuit, toasted bread, a little butter, extreme syrup, burnt sugar, light mineral notes and floral notes near the end. Finishes with herbal hoppy bitterness and pine, just a little dough, and syrupy taste. As it warms the tea and syrup comes out a little more and the bitterness seems to increase in strength and length of aftertaste. Palate is light to medium body, slightly slick on entry, drying out a bit, but still slightly slick on the finish and has a pleasant, moderate strength carbonation. A bit too slicky and syrupy/doughy for my taste in regard to an IPA. It was a very interesting beer from a small brewery nonetheless.

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Photo of dfillius
2.66/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured in a pint glass.
I purchased this in February, long after the hop harvest I imagine. Is this beer too old? We shall see.

A: Aggressive pour yields 1/2 finger of tannish head which recedes to a thin layer. Hazy red-gold. Beautiful and would be perfect with more head.
S: Malty with a pine edge. Almost Belgiany sweet. Banana, yeast fruitiness. More hop aroma please. Age degraded the hops?
T: Tastes stale unfortunately. Cooked veggie, bitter, alcohol, not much fresh hop flavor. Disappointing.
M: Bitter, macro lager bad breathy, vegetally starchy, syrupy.
D: Low to moderate. I hope this is a poorly aged beer rather than an example of bad brewing.

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Photo of socon67
2.68/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours amber with some foam. Somewhat clear and mild carbonation.

S - Scents of malt and hops. The sweetness is a bit overdone for me.

T - Just not a fan of this. There are flavors of vanilla, caramel, and citrus. It just doesn't come together. Thought it was me, but none of the other tasters in my group at the time found it enjoyable. The finish was a harsh sweetness that I found unsettling.

M - It is a smooth medium bodied beer. Makes for a solid drinker, even though I didn't enjoy it.

O - I'm curious to try other offerings from Two Brothrs. Won't let this get me down on them.

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Photo of kzoobrew
2.79/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Oreo for the bottle. Cheers Mike!

Lot 2521

A moderate pour into my Stone IPA glass leaves a frothy three finger egg shell colored head. The retention is outstanding, leaving heavy lacing blanketing the walls of the glass. The body is a slight hazed burnt orange color. A bit darker than I expect for the style, overall a nice looking beer.

The aroma rather malt forward for an IPA. Warm bready malt with a touch of caramel is far too prominent up front. The hop aroma is present but not all that assertive. Slight citrus but leaning towards a very green floral aroma.

The flavor does a much better job of showcasing the hop flavor. Sweet citrus flavor rolls onto the tongue before transitioning into a strong pithy bitterness. The hops flavor leaves the tongue with a substantial piney flavor. This would be great for most IPAs, the problem with Heavy Handed once again is the malt. Rather sweet, caramelly flavor does the beer no favors. The malt is simply too prominent.

Medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. The finish is rather long due to the malty nature of the beer. The sweetness lingers long after the beer. IPAs do not have to be bone dry, but there should not be this much residual flavor lingering on the tongue.

Heavy Handed is a decent beer, unfortunately a poor representation of an IPA. This is not one I would seek out but I really have no objection to drinking. The beer is certainly better than the score. Easy to drink and moderately enjoyable.

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Photo of harrymel
2.84/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lot 2521, vintage 2011

Pours a dark reddish brown with a solid finger of soapy, peanut foam leaving behind pretty cobwebs. Smell is piny, earthy, tea like and has a solid malty backbone; some notes of toffee.

Flavor is quite malty, with a Smacks cereal flavor. The malts definitely own this one, the hops come through as a cameo but are subdued to simple earthy, sweet notes, nothing particularly notable. Medium bodied with moderate carb.

This is a lesser fresh hop IPA. If they marketed the beer as a fresh hop ale, versus IPA, then maybe a little more like my tastes. As it is, it's a decent enough brew, but know it is not your typical IPA at all. That being said, I don't know the freshness of this either.

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Photo of DIM
2.86/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

note: According to the website, lot #2748 means this had fresh columbus/west field hops added.

a: This was a clear, golden coppery color. It poured with a smallish. sticky white head.

s: This was surprisingly malt-forward with aromas of caramel and maple syrup. Subdued, piny, and slightly metallic hops round things out. Not bad, but not what I'm looking for in a fresh hopped brew.

t: Sweet caramel and brown sugar start things off. The hops at the end are a little piny and have an astringent, spicy quality.

m: The body and carbonation are both fine. The lingering astringency lowers the score though.

d: I defy anyone to identify this as a fresh-hopped IPA in a blind tasting. As the disappoinment wore off, I did come to like this beer. Just not as an IPA.

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Photo of kajerm
2.95/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Cask pull at Clark St. Ale House-- these guys sure do love their Two Brothers.

Pours muddy orange with golden highlights, little or no head (which is expected for a handpull), and not much lacing either. The beer is completely opaque from the huge amount of yeast in suspension. This is just fine with me.

The aroma is light and citric, one of those hops that starts with a C that the kids are so crazy about these days. I could make up more fruit, flowers, or herbs that I smell here, but I'll save it-- this pretty much just smells like an American IPA.

The flavor opens up very light, maybe a shred of caramel malts, then hop flavors start to take over, finishing with bitterness. The citric character is seems duller than average; it's possible that the flatness of the cask is blunting it a bit, although I've never had the same problem with any number of other hoppy beers on cask. The bitterness is very restrained, lacking that lip-smacking, palate-searing finish that masochistic hopheads (like me) tend to look for.

The mouthfeel is very light, bordering on watery.

An easy drinker, I suppose, but this is basically a bog-standard American IPA.

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Photo of claspada
2.96/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma was extremely muted. I honestly could barely decern anything; malt or hop wise. If I almost put this beer in my nostrils I can get some light pine with some hints of citrus and pale malt.

Luckily the taste of this beer is better than the nose, but still nothing to write home about. Bitterness is really the summary point of this beer which is the exact opposite of how I prefer my hops. I do appreciate the bitter finish but could not have more than a pint of this w/o having a cracker/pretzel to clean the hop resine off my tounge. his beer has an excellent bitter finish.

The bubbly mouthfeel combined with the bitter ending is mildy enjoyable. This is a step down from most of the IPAs I like but others may like like this more, me I'm more of a hop aroma heavy guy, especially for a Wet Hopped Ale.

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Photo of walleye
2.98/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

from the bottle. poured a nice clear amber with lot of bubbledand a off white head that left some lacing. aroma got a nice balance of hops and honey and maltsand a nice light citrus. flavor hops, malts and bitterness that didn’t sit to well and some fruit and the honey comes out as it warmed

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Photo of PDXHops
2.99/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, courtesy of Ryan011235.

Pours a hazy and very dark amber, capped with 2 fingers of cream-colored head. Good retention and decent lacing.

Smells primarily of sweet malts and a modest level of pine. Taste pretty much follows the nose, with a bit of added earthiness. No lingering bitterness, but the sweetness isn't overpowering, either. Finishes bready and moderately sweet. In general, it's an enjoyable IPA, but rather tame (old bottle?).

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Photo of Monkeypaws
3.08/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber, with a minimal head and no lacing. The smell had a peculiar malty quality, while the hops were MIA. The taste was funky and muted, with little hop presence except at the very end; alcohol and malt were more dominant, which for an IPA isn't good. The body was a tad heavy, not quite syrupy, but close. One of these was definitely enough for me.

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Photo of Dotcubed
3.08/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a burnt orange color with a light finger sized foam. Smells syrupy Foam died quickly.

Hate to say it but kind of weak in the hops bitterness. Malty. Sweet. Seems to have a lot of dryness and gentle bitterness. Like the long lasting flavors. Sweet on one end with light bitterness. Grapefruity.

I wish it had a bottling date. I like the way it lasts on my pallet.

Probably one that needs to be tried as soon as released from the brewery.

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Photo of Osiris9588
3.1/5  rDev -18.8%
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.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.1/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a white, two finger-head that vanishes slowly leaving a good lace. Almost clear amber color. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Nose is hoppy. Starts with more malts than hops, finish is what you would expect with an IPA - bitter with a lingering aftertaste. $1.85 for a 12oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

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Photo of maximum12
3.1/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Slim head. Pale orange. Kind of smells like beer, but only a whiff of malt & little else in the nose.

Tastes like beer, too. Malty. Weird aftertaste on the back of the tongue. I don't have much of a reaction either way to this beer.

Haven't had anything else by Two Brothers, so I have no idea if this is representative. I'll try another. But this is an unremarkable beer. Nothing real bad, nothing real good. It's OK.

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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.

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Photo of John_M
3.13/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the Drafting Room the other day.

The beer pours an orange copper color with good head retention and lacing. I don't get a whole lot on the nose, just some sweet malt and light orange citrus. On the palate... Christ. Yet another sweet, malty, East Coast style IPA. There is also some rather noticeable alcohol in the finish, and the sweet boozy flavor profile dominates what would otherwise be some pretty impressive bitterness in this beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a bitter, slightly hot finish. Drinkability is not very good in this beer, as the sweet malt, coupled with the noticeable alcohol, quickly wear out the palate. Also, maybe it's all the sweetness in this beer, but I really pick up nothing of the fresh hops that were supposedly used in this beer.

For those who appreciate the so called East Coast style of IPA, this may be right up their alley. However, in my case, this beer is very definitely not my cup of tea.

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Photo of oakbluff
3.13/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lot 2678- via piscator34- thanks Kris. Appearance- cloudy dark orange/red grapefruit, minimal head. Nose- sharp citrus and some toasty malt. Taste- hoppy twang initially which is quickly overtaken by chewy caramel malts. Quite thick in body for size of beer. Finishes with earthy dryness. Didn't have the fresh hop character I thought it would. More malts than hops in this brew

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Photo of Imstillthegman
3.16/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

BeerBeing is due all the credit for me getting to sample this beer. Thanks.

This bottle is from lot # 2704.

Pours a rather murky amber with dark particulates floating around. Good two inch head that lasts and lasts, leaves chunky rings of lacing. There are a number of streams of bubbles racing to surface...kind of reminds me of steam vents on the ocean floor.

The smell is kinda odd. I don't get any hops coming through, but I do get this blend of anise, wet cardboard, and sour candy. Not sure what's going on here.

The flavor is definitely more malts then hops. Maybe this has aged for a while? Sour black licorice is the dominant factor.

The mouth is good with very active carbonation. I will get through this bottle, but I have to do another tasting sometime to compare with this one. Maybe I just need a fresher bottle.

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Photo of maxpower
3.16/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy amber color, citrus nose, highly hopped, decent grapefruit and piney resin flavors, some what thin with a watery mouthfeel and a bit unbalanced. Much better IPAs out there.

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Heavy Handed IPA from Two Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 391 ratings.