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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

391 Reviews
no score

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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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 391 | Hads: 824
Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: copper orange yellow with a 1 finger head

smell: hops, caramel, malts, pine, resin

taste: pine, hops, caramel, malts

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body

overall: average IPA. A style that is getting harder and harder to impress me.


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Photo of kbutler1
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle. Lot 2521. Pours a deep clear, copper color with a light tan thick head that coasters on top of the beer. Fruit forward hops aroma with melon and orange. Nothing too extreme but not unpleasant. Hmm, sweet orange and pez candy like taste. Very minimal bitterness but it kicks in at the end slightly. Booze is non apparent. Medium mouthfeel. Overall, a not bad beer, balanced but I wish there was just a little more hop bite to this one.

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

12oz bottle into a tulip. No bottling date. Lot 2591, according to bottle; the brewery's website tells me this batch was made with wet Columbus hops. Not sure if everyone knows you can look it up.

Solid amber, dark for an IPA. Translucent. There was a lot of sediment in the bottle that I tried to keep there. Nice head forms at first and leaves a bunch of lacing.

Aroma isn't very much, but it's nutty, bready malt with a sticky, herbal character.

Juicy flavors of grapefruit and pine, quite a bit of malt. A bit more bitter than I expected. Decent wet-hop character. Gets maltier as it warms, in my opinion.

Medium body but with a heavier stickiness on the tongue.

Overall, this was a good wet-hopped beer. Would like to try some of the other batches with different kinds of hops.

Also, I kind of wish wet-hopped beers had their own category, because it's tough to score them alongside regular IPAs.

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.09/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 16oz Tulip Glass

Appearance - Dark Red with a brown tinge that gives off a very hazy unfiltered appearance. Head is about half an inch thick. Leaves behind some decent lacing as well

Smell - Very strong piney hops scent hits you right away, along with a healthy smell grapefruit and citrus aroma.

Taste - Wow, this is a very hoppy tasting beer! The wet hops are easily the strongest flavor in the mix with the grapefruit and citrus flavors being more passive. The aftertaste is a bitter citrus flavor that goes dry very quickly, which is surprising considering how strong the hoppy flavor is.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation is pretty moderate and the body is heavy. It's not exactly what you'd call smooth, but those who are used to IPAs will be used to this style. It's also got a very refreshing and crisp feel to it.

Overall - It's a pretty good IPA, and one that hop enthusiasts will enjoy. I did find the flavor to be slightly off balance due to the lack of flavor coming from the citrus and grapefruit elements, but that was pretty easy to overlook considering how the wet hops give the beer a fresh taste

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Photo of jsprain1
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours dark for an IPA. Dark golden with a head that looked good at first but it disappeared way to fast.
S- Smell is a pleasant herbal and tropical fruit aroma, but it's lacking in intensity. I have to really get my nose in the glass.
T- More malt than the nose indicated. It has something of a sugary base with a tropical fruit flavor. Some pine notes as well.
M- A bit sugary feeling at first but it finishes very dry. Fairly aggressive carbonation.
O- It's an ok IPA but not all that great. Nothing particularly unique about it and I'd probably pass on it in the future.

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Photo of bitterbeerguy
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Beer pours a cloudy red amber. White bubbles come to the top quickly, but subside equally as fast. Small bubbles continue to come from glass even 10 minutes after opening this beer.

Smell: The heaviest aromas are grapefruit and citrus. Cannot smell beer from several feet away like some IPAs I have tried lately, but nose into glass is awesome. Slightest hint of sour.

Taste: Flavor explodes as beer warms in mouth. Nicely balanced with hops and malt. Finish is heavy on hops, more so than malt. Flavors include citrus, vanilla, grapefruit, and orange. Almost a hint of nut hidden in there. A little too carbonated for my taste.

Overall: Nice IPA with great after taste. I'd put another one in the fridge.

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Photo of osusullins
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer. A 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

The look of this beer is dark orange/amber. Very opaque. Nice creamy, white head.

The aroma is mostly grapefruit, but nice notes of bready goodness. The smell is nicely balanced.

Taste begins with hoppy bitterness, initially pine resin that coats the mouth. The beer finishes with a nice citrus burst that really rounds out the experience nicely. Overall a very nice IPA.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked Two Brothers APA and this is similarly quite good. It is perfectly translucent with a little lacing and little head. It is very hoppy, as it should be. It has the right amount of bitterness and a nice malt balance.

It is borderline and it could have been a 4.5 in any category. Their APA may be more drinkable as a session beer, but this is a nice taster any time. I never had any brothers, but now I have two.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.44/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

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

Poured from bottle into a pint glass. Pours a dark orange color with a 1 in head

Not overbearing on the hops at all with citrus, resin, hops, and floral aromas. Very balanced and more nuanced. The hops certainly don't bash you over the head

medium bodied with a good feel, but one that is lacking a bit after the attack. More resiny flavors with some citrus as well

This is a real nice harvest IPA. On the more subtle side with the hops with a good freshness to both the aromas and flavors

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Photo of rangel2
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-tap at Binkley's in South Broad Ripple. About a fingers head, reddish brown in color.

Smell is plum. For some reason my brain immediately says plum. Apple cidery, piney notes. Aromatic floral qualities, and big ruby red grapefruit. Solid malt with slight caramel and gentle toastiness to it peeking through.

Bitter up front, warm smooth alcohol in middle, which subdues, leading to bubble gum, faint pear finish. Solid citrus there.

As beer warms, malt starts coming through, that kicks ass, once you've given it about 10 minutes. This beer did a 360 on me, and it's supremely balanced.

In the mouth, it's oily, with just OK carbonation, yet nice crispnesss.

Overall, I enjoyed this. At first I was hesitant. But I gave it time, and it opened up on me. Had this and a SkullSplitter with dinner (garlic honey wings and a roasted mushroom pizza) and it helds its own with each -- SkullSplitter dominated it, here, though.

Cidery, plums, reserved citrus, and sweet malt notes, make this one damn fine beer. Crisp bitter finish makes it a worth dinnertime IPA, albeit a little under carbonated and not as citrusy and piney as I'd like it to be.

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Photo of Morey
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with "LOT 2711" stamped on the back label. Not too sure what this means? TB usually has an actual best before date clearly marked in this same location. Not sure what the reason for the change is, but I don't like it. Rant over, now onto the review.

Pours an appealing reddish-brown color with nice clarity. Two fingers worth of white foam has settled a bit, but is still hanging around. An impressive amount of sticky fresh-hop lace is being left behind on the glass!

Smell is fairly mild & malt forward (as are most fresh hop ales), but there's definitely some grassy hops and a touch of lemon zest in there as well.

Taste...A nice balance of bitter wet hops and a medium malt body up front. Carbonation hits about mid-way helping the flavors to pop a bit. Finish is smooth with a flavorful lingering bitterness.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

An above average fresh hop Ipa overall.

Morey's Bottom Line: Let me start my closing thoughts by saying...I don't think that it's fair for Wet- hop IPAs to be judged against standard IPAs. They are really two different styles. This is a really good one. Reminds me a lot of Weyerbacher's. Although this one has more hop flavor and bitterness, which I like. A really nice fall beer.

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Photo of Natural510
3.47/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, no dating.

Pours a darker, opaque amber-orange color with little foam/head; what is there is bubbly and flaccid, quickly dissipating to a slight ring of lacing.

The aroma is faint, consisting mainly of caramel malt and subtle hop notes.

Flavor is heavy on the breaded malt, with a residual hop bitterness in the finish. Quite tangy, with notes of caramel, bitter grapefruit and forest-pine. No discernible sweetness despite the significant maltiness.

Body is fairly full, with no experience of dullness despite the lack of head.

Malt-forward IPA could use a bit more hop-kick. Otherwise no real issues with this one, but also not much to separate it from the pack, including other wet-hop beers.

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Photo of bsp77
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of BB1313
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a transparent dark copper, nice white fluffy head and very sticky lacing. Very impressive looking beer. The aromas are nice, pungent grapefruit and pine, but not overwhelming. The flavors pretty much match, the aromas.. nice, but not really intense. I'm picking up some orange peel as well. The mouthfeel is extremely impressive, light, very smooth and creamy. It's one of those beers you could chug, if you chose to, but I wouldn't recommend that. Nice brew, very easy to drink..

There's alot of good things about this beer, but I can't help but think of what this could be. I just wish the flavors and aromas were more pronounced. Either way, I'm glad I tried it and it's not a let down at all. I just wish it was more intense.

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Photo of pdoran10
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Heavy Handed pours out a deep amber color into a snifter. I get a half a finger of head that leaves reasonable lacing.

The smell is citrus and grass, slight vegetable quality going on.

The taste is much more positive. I get a big grapefruit and slight resin flavor. This blends with a sweet caramel malt profile that somehow doesn't overwhelm the hop flavor or bitterness.

The mouthfeel is a bit chewy but still smooth and creamy with moderate carbonation. Well done here.

Overall this is a nice offering and I find myself really thinking the flavors are solid. Would like a slight bit less caramel malt profile.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Dank piney, citrusy, and earthy hop aromas up front. Just a touch of caramel background malt sweetness. Low fruity esters as the beer warms and that adds a touch of complexity.

Appearance: Cloudy copper colored pour with a low white head. Leaves nice lacing on the glass. Appears still in the snifter.

Flavor: A well balanced blend of citrus and pine hop flavors all up front. Some bready background sweetness provides a counterpoint. Balance is firmly bitter. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is long, lingering, and powdery in bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-low carbonation. Some prickly carbonic bite is present but is welcome. Low astringency due to the hops. No alcohol heat.

Overall impression: A well done fresh hop IPA. I can't see this lasting much longer than a month as the hops seem like they've faded a little even with my bottle. Still, well done and enjoyable to try.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Golden tan/copper brown, 1/4 inch creamy head, decent lacing.

Smell - Hops, sweet fruits like orange, grapefruit, pineapple. Some sugars, a little malt aroma.

Taste - Wet hops mixed with some carmal malts at first. Spices add a herbal flavor. Very dry piney hops in each drink. Malts are sweet and counter act the bitter hops.

Mouthfeel - TOunge gets hit with the hops, then coated with the sweet malts. Palette is bittered and gets alot of the hops. Tounge is left dry, and aftertaste is dry and bitter.

Overall - Really nice and hoppy. Easy to drink, with enough bitterness and sweet malt combination to give balance. Really enjoyed this, and everything ive had from two brothers, i think this brewery is dangerously close to be the most underated in the us.

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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 JackieTH
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours amber-orange with a finger of sisal-colored head that leaves copious lacing. Smell was rather malt forward, then with pine and earthy-spice taking over. Taste was initially well balanced with hearty caramel malt, although the hops do show up with restrained force, and finish strong, with resinous pine, earth, florals and a distinct spiciness. Finish is mildly dry and bitter. Mouthfeel is sub-par compared to the beer's other qualities, and falls apart a bit over the tongue. Overall this one is very enjoyable, looking forward to the other five.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Copper/orange in color, with a beauty of a thick, rocky off-white head of foam.
Aroma-Whiff of toasted malt, herbal hop notes
Taste-Onrush of earthy,herbal hops, toasted malt, and an almost rye-like spiciness. Earthy, bittering hop finish. A great match for spicy fare. Recommended.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass.

A- dark caramel, light tan w finger head. Some lacing that resides quickly.

S- sweet amber malts and pine hops

T- sweet caramel/amber malts and piney grass hop bitterness

M- medium body, creamy mouthfeel

O- solid fresh hop ipa. Love that they have different hop varieties each year.

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Photo of aasher
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I love Harvest Ales! This one pours a dark amber in color with a soapy off white lacing around my snifter. The aromas consist of light piny hops, caramel malts, light resin, and some oils or soap. It's more subtle than a lot of Harvest Ales but it is still effective. The flavors are of light piny hops, light resin, soap, caramel malts with a light bitterness yet overly light and smooth finish. This beer is extremely sessionable and it drinks like Honkers Ale, not a 6.7% IPA. I'd say it's a hoppier version of this year's Harvest by Goose Island. It seems like it almost has an ESB base. This one is dangerous. Great Harvest Ale that doesn't grade as well as it actually is. Try it while it's fresh!

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

Hazy reddish-orange with a one finger white head and a light hop/cracker smell. The taste is lots of citrus--orange rind, grapefruit, bitter spruce--with some sweet cracker/caramel malt and a very bitter finish with lots of tongue burn. Yum! It's a good beer but doesn't necessarily have the "punch" to make it a top contender in this category.

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Photo of ChugginOil
3.41/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish amber with less than a fingers worth of off-white head. Some webby lacing clings.

The nose has an abundance of sweet malt up front with a bit of floral hop presence at the end. Not as much hop as I expected.

The taste is quite similar. Some rich sweet malt begins the journy, followed by some floral hoppiness that is juat a little bitter.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with some stickiness.

Overall, this brew is tasty but doesnt represent the style that well. I was looking for more of an hop forward ipa but got an overly malted one.

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