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Heavy Handed IPA - Two Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Heavy Handed IPAHeavy Handed IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

396 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 396
Hads: 844
Avg: 3.82
pDev: 17.28%
Wants: 37
Gots: 55 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 396 | Hads: 844
Photo of Amalak
3.41/5  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.

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Photo of TheSSG
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of BierStein711
4.47/5  rDev +17%
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

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Photo of veinless
3.78/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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Photo of ShastamcNasty
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of metter98
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of Treebs
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of 312HopBomb
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.88/5  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!

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Photo of blackcompg
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of AmitC
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got lot# 2512

Pours with a lot of hazy particles with brown amber color. Very little to no head. Very few bubbles. Decent lacing.

Smells a bit piney, earthy, caramel and malt for just a little while and then it just disappears and becomes very mild after some time. Not a good experience.

Taste: this brew wins here. Enters with a good amount of bitterness, which sustains over time. Ending is a bit sweeter. I would guess centennial or some other hops high in alpha and very low beta. Or a mix of these kind.

Mouth feel : Medium bodied. Oily as usual. Good drinkability. However those who do not like bitter beers will find it hurting them. Anyways they should not try IPA in the first place.

Adequate amount of alcohol and superior bitterness for just an IPA.

Overall a decent effort. Not something great and not disappointing either.

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Photo of TTAmod
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint.

This bottle is lot #2512, which is the single-hopped Willamette varietal.

A: Color is medium, clear amber with a light tan one finger head. The head dissipates pretty quickly to just a ring around the top with some light tan islands of head.

S: Smell is piney, earthy, herbal, and spicy.

T: Taste is distinctively Willamette. It's heavy on the herbal and pine with a really spicy kick. It tastes similar to a rye beer, but not as sweet. Nice caramel malt to back it up.

M: Smooth, slightly creamy, medium bodied. Yummy!

O This is a good, fresh, single hop IPA that shows of the intricate character of the Willamette hop varietal. It's not as complex or palate-destroying as some would hope for, but it's a solid, well above par IPA.

Of course, this beer varies wildly depending on the lot number (there are 5.) I will post the reviews for the other lots as I get a hold of them.

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

2012 Vintage 12 oz. bottle marked as Lot 2512 poured into a Two Brothers branded shaker pint glass

Pours a golden amber with a fluffy two finger off-white head. A pleasant aroma of light aroma of fresh cut grass and light sweet pine sap on the nose. Opens with mild grassy notes and green tea and very mild sweetness joined by resiny sticky pine and finishes bitter with notes of fresh spruce and grapefruit rind. The substantial malt presence and fresh hops lend to a heftier sticky medium body that coats the inside of the mouth. A solid and very enjoyable fresh hop IPA.

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Photo of Indybier
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In the glass it has a warm amber tint.

Decent lacing.

The nose is fresh citrus taffy w/a hoppy background. I could smell this all day.

Medium body IPA w/an almost seesionable quality. Ballanced bits of resin, pine, and grapefruit with a trace of sweetness on the backend. Nice finish of bitter flower and burnt sugar.

Nice beer and probably one I'd recommend to someone who is just starting to expand their beer palate and doesn't want something that wrecks tastebuds. The nose on this is very solid.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.47/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 29 Oct 2011. Courtesy of R&S, thanks! Served in the 0.5 L Adambrau becker.

Did not record batch number.

Large tight tan head. Lightly carbonated. Clear ruby copper in color with a few relatively large floaties. Aroma is sweet caramel and resin with a touch of orange. Starts hoppy and resiny with sweet orange, stays this way throughout. Light body, moderately warming ethanol. Finish is a light lingering citric bitterness.

Flavors all seem slightly muted.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Lot 2711 = Cascade hops from Marcell Field

A: Clear orange brown pour with a big off white head. Retention is great, as is the lacing. 4

S: Not much of a big aroma here. Some malts, sweet, but not much else. 2.5

T: Thankfully the hops come out a bit more in the taste. Still pretty malty, sweet with some caramel, the hops lend a fruity character, grapefruit and slight citrus. The finish has a nice bitterness to balance out the fruits. 3.5

MF: Medium body with a high carbonation. Pretty damn drinkable. 4

O: Was expecting a bit more here, perhaps I've had it a bit too long. The hops seemed to be too muted. 3

Lot 2591 = Columbus

A: The pour here is a bit cloudy, still orange with the same massive off white head. Retention is good, a ton of sticky lacing paints the edges of my pint glass. 4

S: The smell of this seems to present a bit more bitterness than the last. Piney, with similar caramel malts. Still a bit on the sweet side. 3

T: I enjoy the taste of this one more as well. Much more bitter, with the sweet malts providing balance. The pine and perhaps some herbs play nicely with the sweetness, and leave a bitter finish. 4

MF: Medium body, similarly high carbonation. Again, this one is really drinkable. 4

O: A nice improvement. I have one more of these to sample, hope it continues the upward trend! 3.5

Lot 2521 = Centennial

A: Haziest pour of them all, but the smallest head. Lacing and retention are both on the same level. 3.5

S: The aroma is quite floral with slight hop bitterness, but the same sweet maltiness shows up. This one does seem to be more balanced, but still sweet. 3

T: The taste on this is better than the first one as well. The bitter and floral hops actually provide a decent balance to what has been a pretty malty group of IPAs. 4

MF: The body on this one is a bit heavier and has a lower carbonation. Chalk this one up to another really drinkable beer! 4

O: Probably the one I enjoyed the most honestly. Nothing really puts it over the edge, but certainly I would recommend this one if given the chance. 3.5

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stiff crème-colored foam that goes rock over cloudy dark amber body. Caramel and orange flowers on the nose.
Seville orange jam and lemon, pine and resin hops.
Apricot honey end and dry zesty linger. Light to medium, sticky, a bit of chew.

Good hop structure, but maybe a bit lightweight. Solid but unspectacular. Definitely not heavy-handed at anything.

Didn't know about the single hopping thing, so dumbly didn't take note of the batch # - without big grapefruit, I'd guess Columbus over Centennial for this one.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ordered from Halftime beverages.com first one reviewed.
Lot 2561

A - Pours a hazy amber brown with a solid inch of opaque colored head.

S - From the moment I popped the top I could smell a bright grapefruit hop from a foot away. In the glass it seems a bit muddled with only a slight bit of hop twang and sweet malts. Earthy but not very hop forward.

T - Ow yeah it does have a nice bit of hop bitterness and even some lingering on the finish. The middle is pretty sweet as someone mentioned kind of like a caramel coated cereal. I really enjoy the bitterness lingering in the finish.

M - Light to medium it's a pretty balanced IPA.

Overall its a very nice fresh hop beer that hasn't lost much luster even though it was brewed months ago. Bitter, aggressive, sweet, and bitter again. These are some good IPA traits.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to 2BDChicago for the opportunity to try this one. Lot 2831 #5B indicated on the back label. Served in a standard pint at 51 degrees. Pours a burnt orange hue with a hazy clarity and a loose, half inch, off-white head. Head eventually dissipates into a consistent, sudsy slick; thin delicate strands of lacing are revealed during the tasting. Nose expresses citrus rind and a light, toasted malt character. Caramel flavors present initially, followed by a faint, earthy bitterness that lingers between quaffs. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a trace of oiliness. Carbonation is crisp and there's also a bit of acidity that stimulates the tastebuds across the tongue. Overall, this is a fairly malt forward IPA with a somewhat minimal hops presence. Not a bad IPA by any means, but just a little dull and muddled.

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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 drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer is amber, hazy, off white tan head of small bubbles. Lacing is a plus.

Aroma is sweet, mildly piny hop presence. Some malt.

Beer is medium in body, sweet, mild earthiness from the hops, sulfur, dirt, grass, mild to moderate bitterness, nice finish, decent but not a special IPA.

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Photo of JayAre46
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a pint glass, and has a homebrew look to it possibly just the haze, but its deep amber with some orange edges and very creamy head on top that shows great retention and white sheets cascading down the glass. the nose is pretty balanced, don't get a lot of hop dominance but its there, fresh and resinous. good malty backbone creates balance with some bready characteristics as well. the taste has a great hop freshness that almost meets the malt in the middle. not a lot of complexity in the flavor, but a good foundation of fresh hops, pine, resin, bready malt, and finishes slightly dry. medium body and very creamy on the palate minimal alcohol if any. over this is decent if anything stands out to me is the great mouthfeel on this one. well done.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.78/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Heavy Handed IPA from Two Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 396 ratings.