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Heavy Handed IPA - Two Brothers Brewing Company

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Heavy Handed IPAHeavy Handed IPA

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very good

819 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 819
Reviews: 394
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 34
Gots: 44 | 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: 819 | Reviews: 394
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 BigMike
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden tangerine orange color with an almost pure white head. About a finger and a half worth. Nice lacing.

Smells strongly of tropical fruit and oranges. A touch of pineapple and mango.

Flavor is definitely hop dominated. Lots of tropical sweetness and orange. Finishes with a nice crisp white grapefruit bitterness.

Nice crisp clean mouthfeel. Easily drinkable. BA lists it at 5.7%abv. but the bottle says 6.7%abv. Either way the alcohol plays no part in flavor or drinkability.

I could drink a few of these for sure. I wouldn't call this one anything more then a middle of the road to maybe slightly better then average IPA. It's tasty and drinkable but its missing just a little something more.

Photo of robbyc1
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lot 2549 poured into a Sam Adams glass. Nice clear light orange look, great white head 3 fingers plus excellent lace all the way down.

Piny, and malty at the same note, with wonderful zest of orange and lemons, tell me this has no fruit added.

Great robust flavor of fresh hops and solid bready malt, and great balance and combination, finish is long and satisfying. Fruity with orange and very dry from the hops here, I must say this is on par with Two Hearted. An American IPA to stay with, unfortunately it's a seasonal only.

Medium good mouthfeel, good carbonation. Basically a session beer but a bit bitter to have more than a few. Well done.

Photo of bruachan
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at the source

great lacing here to go with an attractive copper color

fresh fresh hops come from the good head and some sweet malts shine as well

delicious frickin fresh wet hop flavor, with plenty of caramel for a good backbone (solid mouthfeel, too). the hops are more funky than distinctly piney or citrus-oriented. strong but clean bitterness, though; not rough at all. great drinking, hoppy delicious monster

Photo of PDXHops
2.99/5  rDev -21.9%
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?).

Photo of jsh420
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

batch 2949 or 2549 cant read it that well

pours dark copper orange with a big 2 finger head that left rings all down the glass

smells citrus tiny pinch of pine and a carmel malts

taste is a nice balance of citrus and pine hops alongside the malt backbone - very balanced

mouthfeel is a medium beer very creamy and smooth

drinkability - a west coast style ipa right here in the midwest - i wish i knew more about the batch #'s

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

12 oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Knowing from experience the need to hard-pour Two Brothers brews to get any kind of head, I did just that and got a one-finger dense off-white head that gradually faded to a thin film and left respectable lacing. Clear reddish-copper color.

Smell: Prominent hop aroma with the citrusy, floral character one would expect with American hops. A clean sweet malt backbone is detected.

Taste: High American hop flavor - citrusy, floral, and piney with some mild fruitiness. The high hop bitterness is deflected somewhat by the clean malt backbone, although it's still quite bitter and lingers into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Smooth medium body. No carbonation and no real discernible alcohol warmth make this an easy-drinking IPA.

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 biggred1
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange amber with a massive pillowy eggshell head that melts to stiff peaks and leaves plenty of sticky lace in big rings down the glass. This beer smells good and fresh with tropical fruity hops and rich malts. The flavor is nice and complex with biscuit and pale malts evenly balanced with fresh dank hops, more malty flavors than most "harvest" ales I've had this year, a nice change of pace. Medium bodied with smooth carbonation. I suspected this beer had to be more than 5.7% ABV, the bottle I have lists it at 6.7%.

Photo of kegger22
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear, dark orange with a modest head that quickly dissipated to a collar. The aroma was the faintest citrus. The taste was toffee and grapefruit battling it out and the bitter aftertaste declaring the winner. The feel was medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability was quite good. Well balanced, solid effort from the other Two Brothers. I would pay for this one again.

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

I'm starting to enjoy Two Brothers' brews more and more and this one was very good across the board. Poured into a Sam Adams Sensory Glass and an aggressive pour gets some foam over the rim. Oh well, live and learn. Anyway, this beer has a very nice head that dissipates slowly. A dark brew, too. Very nice color and that's the just the start. To me, this beer smells and tastes like a Bell's Hopslam with a little age on it. Taste is out of this world. Mouthful, too, is very good. At 5.7 ABV, about half the alcohol of a Hopslam, this could possibly be my new year-round favorite for IPA/DIPAs.

Photo of samie85
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A-Coppery red with an off white one finger head. Decent lacing.

S- Caramel malt and zesty grapefruit/citrus with a bit of pine.

T-Caramel upfront finishing with a citrusy, pine bitterness.

M- Pretty creamy and smooth for an IPA. I like it.

D- Pretty easy to drink. This beer is pretty well balanced and I think that is a significant factor as to how easy it drinks.

Photo of trbergman
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

A - Amber-orange with one finger of light beige head. Nice lacing.

S - Some caramel and toffee malt mostly overshadows the aromas of fresh hops - grass, leaves, orange zest, grapefruit.

T - Sweet malt background yields to grassy, citrusy hop flavor and moderate (for an IPA) bitterness. A bit too bready for my taste.

M - Good carbonation, medium body - perhaps too chewy.

D - It seems underattenuated. Or there could be too much crystal malt. In any case, the hops aren't prominent enough to be a really great IPA in my book. The same level of bitterness would be fine if the beer were a little more dry.

Photo of pmccallum86
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep golden red with a medium height thick bubbly head that dissipates slowly leaving beautiful lacing on the glass.

The smell is of caramel and wet floral hops, not a very powerful scent.

Taste is of rich malt followed by the wet hop taste common this variety. Bitter in the finish.

Thick and creamy mouthfeel, nothing amazing.

The drinkability is slightly above average, not a bad wet hop IPA.

Photo of dukedevil0
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got two bottles side by side - one is batch 2549 with williamette hops and the other is 2719 with cascade.

A: Both pour a reddish hue of amber and a couple fingers of off-white colored head that laces really well as it settles.

S: Both have very citrusy, grapefruity scents, but the williamette smells a little more caramel malt-ish and piney, which the cascade has a more candi sugar, sweet scent with little pine.

T: The flavors are less discernable to me between the batches. Both have pretty forward malt profiles that taste similar. Williamette tastes like muted hop flavors, with just a little citrus and grapefruit - Cascade is very similar with just a touch more sweetness.

M: The brews have the same mouthfeel, which is full bodied, and well carbonated, but nothing outstanding here.

D: The flavor is decent, but nothing awesome so i'm not itching to keep taking lots of sips. However, it's a really easy beer to put down the hatch. No alcohol flavor at all.

Photo of mikey711
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Orange/golden amber with a nice half inch white head.

S: Decent pine note with a undertone of sweetness.

T: Busicuity sweet with a hint of pne hops.

M: Rich and creamy, but slightly watery.

D: I think I could drink this beer extensively through out the day with no problem

Photo of mckajd03
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had this last season, and it was good then too. The malt background is sweet, which pairs nicely with the abundance of hops- it allows the flavor and aroma to come out more than with a heavier IPA. It has such a smooth mouthfeel- one of the better characteristics. The hop profile is nothing special (though it's still very good), but it is so well balanced that the freshness of the hops is accentuated over the bitterness. Quite good.

Photo of gatornation
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

lot 2619 on the 2009 bottle tells me its willamette hops per the brewery home page 1 of 5 used for this years wet hopped ipa..the appearance is a beautiful IPA color ... deep copper orange with some nice sticky lacing the smell is hops grapefruit pine and malt..the taste is the same its very well balanced very smooth just what i like/expect from an IPA.. this one is one of several wet hopped varieties out now ..what makes this one good is its balance between the hops added and the malt its delicious a must try

Photo of botham
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on tap at the Hopleaf in Chicago. pours a deep copper color with a half finger of off-white head with good retention and mild lacings. dark for an IPA.

aroma is of dry and bitter hops with a lightly spiced character and a distant base of caramel malts. very bitter in the nose.

taste follows the nose with a thick malt character and a heavily bitter finish of sticky residual dryness. the hops are pleasantly spicy and piney, with just a touch of a tropical note as well.

mouthfeel is full bodied and dry on the palate with residual bitterness and a slick finish. dry and bitter in the aftertaste.

drinkability is good. the hops are aggressive here, with a solid base of caramel malt character that works at balancing it out (a futile attempt). still, even though it isn't too balanced, this is a solid IPA from Two Brothers. cheers!

Photo of Florida9
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Filled at 2Brothers.
2009 batch: "Super Galena"

A: Deep copper with a strong reddish hue. Minimal 1/8" of white head leaves some lacing. Very clear.

S: Primarily fresh, resiny pine, with some citrus notes.

T: More piney hops on a dry malty backbone. However finishes with the (clean) taste of seltzer.

M: Body is on the lighter side of medium. Mild bitterness. Low carbonation (Growler was filed about 24 hours before drinking, so I believe the carbonation would be higher straight from the tap)

D: Again, not an overly complex beer, but an easy drinker and one which could be a session beer. Overall, very nice.

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

Pours a beautiful, clear, orange hued amber color with a moderately tall, healthy white head that dissipates leaving sheets of lacing.

The nose carries a wallop of fresh smelling pine enriched hop cones. The more you sniff the deeper you fall into the rabbit hole of malty sweetness, caramel and toffee are highlighted.

The flavor provides a sturdy, but not nearly overwhelming, blow of resiny bitter pine cones up front, this brew tastes green. Underneath the leafy, hearty hop explosion lies a sturdy malty backbone full of sugary caramel and subtle hints of the aforementioned toffee with ample bitterness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is good, fair amount of cleansing carbonation and a very clean finish. Medium to light bodied and maintains a good thickness without being syrupy.

Overall this is a great drinker. Definitely an above average Midwest IPA. I have yet to be severely disappointed by anything from the two bros, good show chaps.

Photo of wyattshotmaker
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

lot 2619 brewed with fresh willamette hops.i really dig willamette hops.

poured into one of these sam adams pint glasses,nice amber color with fantastic lacing.

big hop aroma in the nose,slightly medicinal/herbal,slightly tart,with a bit of caramel malt flavor in the back round.

taste has alot of herbal/medicinal hop flavor balanced out by some sweet slightly caramel flavored malt.has a clean bitterness in the finish.

medium bodied with slightly less than moderate carbonation.worth checking out.

Photo of paco1029384756
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber color with one finger of creamy white head.

Scent of fresh juicy spicy hops, citrus, some caramel grass, and a hint of earth. Very refreshing and balanced.

Taste of bitter juicy spicy hops, caramel, and a hint of earth. Finishes with a bitter grassy hop taste. A very tasty IPA with a sharp spicy hop flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium light bodied with a biting carbonation.

Photo of soulgrowl
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Lovely, lacy retention of the cream-white head on this cherry-amber beer that camouflages perfectly with the mahogany bar. Brilliant fresh hop aroma, full of pine, not unlike Pine-Sol (but in a good way), with lots of resinous, fresh, grassy and spicy hop oils. Bracingly hoppy flavor is citric and piney and full of raw hop cone goodness, but there is plenty of creme brulee burnt caramel bittersweetness as well, and an edge of honey. Very syrupy mouthfeel, but the crisp hops to help to cut through that. This is a lovely IPA. Get it fresh!

Photo of rolf17
5/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Easily one of the best beers in the world. Probably the best IPA I have ever too, better than dogfish head 90 min ipa. If u have never had a beer made with fresh hops, well nothing compares. Its incredibly tasty. I am loading up on this stuff(cases), in st paul mn today (big top more places soon 8-9 bucks a six). Have not had this years yet but if anything like last years then my highest recommendation.
two brothers heavy handed ipa

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Heavy Handed IPA from Two Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 819 ratings.