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Heavy Handed IPA - Two Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Heavy Handed IPAHeavy Handed IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

804 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 804
Reviews: 392
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 33
Gots: 40 | 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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-03-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 804 | Reviews: 392 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mjryan
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is kind of a hard one to review. I had two differnet versions of this and I guess there were several others. Each version featured a differnet hop variety. The first one I had used baby Cascades which I guess are immature Cascade hops. The second one I had featured Cenntenials, which is the one Im reviewing here. Pours a murky orange with a good sized head. Excellent retention and decent lace. Aroma is very floral and citrusy, smells of orange juice, which is not unusuall with Cenntenial hops. The flavour has a strong orange juice character, with a firm bitterness and medium sweet malt profile. Lingering sweetness and an orange juice like tang on the finnish. Medium bodied with a medium low carbonation level. Has a slick mouthfeel. Good beer, with a much larger hop profile than the Cascade version. Reminds me of Two Hearted sans the bug spray flavour.

Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
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 beckje01
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark honey color with a thick quarter inch of white head. It has great lacing.

S- Fresh hops in the nose but not really profound, not like you would expect from the name.

T- Big hop kick in the teeth. Aggressive hops then back off. It's a fruity bitterness while very nice, it is somewhat one note.

M- Great activity goes well with the hops.

D- Not something you slam back but hard to stop drinking are hops addictive?

Photo of wkcyr4
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Nonic. Bottle says 6.7%.

A: Amber colored body with almost a brownish head which disappears quickly. Fair amount of lacing stays behind.

S: Not much aroma. Faint dry, woodsy smell if anything at all. This one will not overwhelm your nose by any means.

T: Overall, okay tasting. No stickiness or mouth retention to draw upon. Taste goes away rather quickly.

M: Not full yet not thin. Somewhere in between. This has me a little confused. Should I be tasting something more?

D: I could have a couple of these out of the bottle for sure. After that, I may start to change some of my opinions on this one.

I had this from a growler upon release this year and liked it a whole lot more. For some reason it just isn't the same. Would buy again to support Illinois brewery, though.

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

I got this brew in a trade with josephhaugen, Thanks Joe!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - copper color with a beige head that left lots of sticky lacing.

S - a bit 'hop-subdued' for an IPA, sweet malty aroma.

T - whoa, the smell can fool ya. this is a nice blast of malty sweetness followed up with a kick in the teeth hop bitterness on the back end.

F - medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - goes down smooth and easy.

Photo of schellsbeer
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice looking IPA. Beautiful copper/orange color with an light orange head. Impressed.

Smell - Ok. Nothing to write home about but nothing to complain about either. Not the strongest hop smell and not the weakest hop smell.

Taste - Very nice. BITTER!!! I like this. It bites and doesn't let go. This is what I look for in an IPA. Very little malt and extensive hops. YEAH. What do you expect....a stout? The brothers have impressed!

Mouthfeel - Tongue and tastebuds like this one. Not a Surly but still very good. I will be searching for other beers from these guys. At $1.69, who can complain.

Drinkability - Did I hear someone say session beer? At roughly 5.5%, not that overpowering that a few will knock you 3 sheets to the wind.

Really like this one. Thanks guys. Another strong showing by a small operation.

Photo of DIM
2.83/5  rDev -26.1%
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.

Photo of hwwty4
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jtrockchalk for this one.

Poured a 12oz bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet glass. This beer pours a hazy amber with a big 3 inch creamy head that leaves big lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is odd. It's not really all that hoppy. There are definite notes of citrus but there is an odd almost rye spiciness to it. Also there are notes of green apples in it. The taste is one of the oddest IPA's that I've had. Its not nearly as hoppy as i thought it would be. It's malty, with hints of citrus but not much pine. The taste almost has a cantaloupe flavor. It's odd, but not bad at all. The mouthfeel is light and refreshing. Its a good beer but I don't think it would be beer that I would recommend if someone was looking for an IPA.

Photo of Bitterbill
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this bottle in a trade with joe1510. Thanks Joe!

It's a little too eager to come out of the bottle after popping the cap but...it's hazy deep amber red colour with a huge and growing head of billowy foam.

The nose has a strong smell of citrus hop bitterness with an almost equal malty sweetness. Nicely balanced.

The taste is all hoppy up front with some citrus and some pine and then the malt sweetness moves in and there's a nice balance going on here. The finish actually ends up on the sweetish side, enough so that I'd almost say this is more of an English Style IPA. Almost.

Good medium mouthfeel and carbonation. Oh, and the head retention is *very* long lasting with lots of sticky lacing.

Bottom line: This is a tasty and overall good IPA that's surely worth trying and/or seeking out. I recommend it.

Photo of gdfan47
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i have tryed a few others from Two brothers and i like these guys

pours a suprisingly copper color

just a good smooth ipa
not too hoppy, but not overly malty

the 6.7 abv really is not in your face
relativly good

i like it, i have a feeling we will be seeing alot more from this gem of a midwestern brewery

ps really label and not twist off( awesome)

Photo of Reagan1984
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a big disappointment vs. the description on the menu at Hop Leaf. It was basically described as one of these Wet Hopped harvest ales totally featuring fresh/floral hops. After smelling it, let alone tasting it, I couldn't believe that was the description and wondered if the wrong beer had been poured. We checked and it was correct. The beer tasted fine and was good, but it was more like a hoppy brown ale.

The beer was hazy brown with reddish tints. A thin off white head and slight lacing.

Aroma was more sweet and malt like than a real hop presence.

The flavor was sweet and I sensed almost cocoa flavor and an apple cider background. The hops took a back stage here. I just don't get it. It's a fine beer. Ipa? No way.

Mouth feel was medium bodied and a little thick. The beer was drinkable. But didn't match the style or description.

Photo of Greggy
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a beautiful orange amber color with ample sediment. The head is 2 fingers in height, a creamy white color, and leaves some sticky lacing on it's decent.

S- Very nice fresh hop aroma. Notes of pine, grapefruit, and slight apple. A nice balanced malt comes through as well.

T- Starts out with a big malty grapefruit, thick in feel, then moves into a big maltiness with notes of apple and peach. The finish is big malty with a residual fresh hopiness.

M- Super thick and malty. Nice and balanced

D- This is a very malty IPA. It has good balance and is very neat as it's wet-hopped. I'd drink this again.

Photo of SmithwicksNut
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Medium Amber color with big white head. Lacing was good on the glass.

S: Prominent hop aroma with citrusy character. Some clean malty sweetness.

T: High hop flavor that sits on the back of the mouth with a malt backbone blended well. Some clean alcohol flavor comes through.

M: A medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Smooth alcohol warming can be detected.

D: A decidedly hoppy and bitter beer. The bottle had 65 IBU with 6.7% ABV. I enjoyed the beer but not one of my foavorites.

Photo of BgThang
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

thx to tytoanderso for this as an extra in a trade

The look is that of a solid ipa with a shade of red and with a head that died fairly quickly

The aroma is maple, pine resign, malty candy hoppy

Mouthfeel is creamy and hoppy goodness with a bitter finish that lingers afterwards

This is a good ipa that I could enjoy drinking slot of

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

Bottle courtesy of objectivemonkey - thanks!! Poured into a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: A slightly hazy copper-colored beer with a creamy, even one-finger tan head with average retention that leaves a huge slick of lacing and a nice ring of solid lace in its wake. Even once the drinking begins, the lacing left is really nice. Carbonation is slow and sparse. Nice looking IPA.

Aroma: The overwhelming note that I get out of this is orange juice. That pulpy, vegetal, citrusy smell that comes from a good, fresh squeezed glass. It's interesting, if a little unexpected.

Taste: Very similar to the nose - it's like a nice class of orange juice with less sweetness and a few extra leafy notes. There's also a moderate level of balancing bitterness which more than handles a fairly dry, wholesome biscuity malt backbone. The citrus melds well with the bitterness, though it doesn't seem to be as complex after a while as it initially seemed. Fortunately, it's not "too" anything - too sweet, too bitter, too dry, too puckering. Balanced.

Mouthfeel: Big bodied and creamy, prickly, a little thick.

Drinkability: By the end of this one, I was wondering if maybe this was an American IPA with Fresh-Squeezed Orange Juice Added. It was a good beer, balanced, definitely interesting, and the alcohol was also definitely not a problem at all, but this is one I'd have to be in the mood for. Maybe breakfast? Forget mimosas.

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

12oz. bottle into Troegs Hopback glass on 10/27/08. Thanks to Deuane for grabbing me one of these on a recent beer excursion.

A - Clear orangey copper body with ruby highlights, ample carbonation and thin off-white head that receded to deposit spotty lacing around the glass. Nice coloration and solid head retention.

S - Fruity aroma with hints of citrus fruit, dark cherry and berries backed by sweet caramel malts. This has quite the sweet, fruity nose with a subtle hop character.

T - Like the aroma, fruity hops prevail with juicy citrus fruit at the forefront. Caramel malt, candi sugar and sweet dried fruit balances out the citrus bitterness quite a bit.
Finishes with a toasted grainy malt aspect and some sweet caramel with just a touch of medicinal herbal hops in the backend.

M - Medium, softly carbonated body with a smooth, oily texture that develops into a fairly bristly mouthfeel. A lingering bitterness picks up steam the more you drink, resulting in a moderately dry finish with a fruity sweetness on the palate.

D - Interesting take on an IPA. Drinks more like an ESB yet still retains a fairly hoppy profile, especially in the finish.

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a clear dark brown with orange highlights and a thick foamy beige head.

Aroma of juicy citrus, floral, and piney hops, candy sugar, and sweet malts.

Tastes of sweet malts, slightly bitter citrusy hops, candy sugar, and biscuit. Overall, it tastes a bit watered down.

Lighter bodied and lightly carbonated.

More like a pale versus an ipa. On the thinner side but a pretty good drinker.

Photo of joe1510
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle
$9.99 6-Pack
Rt. 6 Liquors

Lot #2678 Baby Cascades

This fresh hopped IPA is dirty copper as it leaves the bottle and there's enough chill haze in the glass to make it hard to see through, making it murky. Tiny but lazy carbonation swirls to the surface to keep the settled cap of off white foam in place. The head grew quickly on the pour and fell slowly to its final resting place leaving patchy lacing on its way.

The aroma is sugary candy sweet. The sweetness from the malts play off the cascades and create a dried pineapple and candied orange peel that jump out of the glass. Slight spicy booze and sugar cookie maltiness come forward from the rear. The hop profile has some of that fresh leafy greenness to it from being fresh hopped.

There's not as much forward hoppiness as the nose suggested, which is somewhat of a let down. The cascades still lead the way but the margin isn't as big as I'd like. The maltiness on the tongue comes across more caramel then the sugar cookie I was expecting and the candied fruits from the aroma lead the hop charge in the flavor as well.

The body of this IPA is nicely done. Medium bodied with a velvety texture and soft carbonation that glides along the tongue. The bitterness grows as I drink but never gets very big.

Drinking a few of these in a sitting is not a problem for me. This is a sessionable IPA that doesn't beat you over the head with bitterness.

Two Brothers puts out a solid IPA every year with their separate hopped Heavy Handed IPA. None of them are spectacular but they're all good and deserving of being picked up a couple times each release.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark auburn in color with about an inch of head. Smell is juicy hops. Quite floral and aromatic. Taste is slightly bittering and citrusy, juicy. Decent IPA. This is really easy drinking and enjoyable. Plenty of soapy lacing sticking to the insides of the glass.

Photo of marcpal
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Two Brother pint glass.

A: Mix of crimson and gold with a hazy shade. Lid like off white head with moderate lacing.

S: Grapefruit and citrus hops. Slightly malty but dominated by the citrus bitterness.

T: Bitter but well balanced. More moderate in hoppy flavors than their DIPA, with more of a malt taste- caramely. A tasty beer, not powerful IPA and almost lowered down to a PA. Among the dryest of IPAs I can remember and not quite a fan of that aspect.

M: Light and plenty bubbly. Not oily or clingy, but a little heavy on the carbonation. Crisper than most IPAs, particularly being from Midwest.

D: Not a bad offering. One that can easily be drank over a long session. Worth a try but not quite worth seeking.

Photo of Goliath
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark amber, almost ruby colored with a thin quarter inch light tan head. Decent retention and a bit of lace.

The aroma is ok, but not very big. A slight hop profile with a bit of citrus and pine.

The taste is ok but weak. A really gentle hop profile with seemingly no bitterness. Seems too low for an IPA, even a Pale. In any case, it's kind of piney with a bit of light malting. Somewhat earthy and slightly metallic Really indistinct qualities.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and lightly carbonated. The feel might be the best thing about this beer.

Drinkability is fairly high. It's a simple IPA and not that great. But the flavors are not offensive so it certainly is sessionable. I just wish it were a bit more aggressive.

Photo of KarlHungus
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a semi-cloudy deep amber color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes quickly into a firm cap of lacing. The aroma is of grapefruit, pine and caramel. The taste is well rounded and balanced for an IPA. There is a lot of grapefruit, a lot of pine, and a lot of malt. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a velvety texture and nice carbonation. Overall, this is a fine IPA that I will surely drink again.

Photo of KeefD
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark orange/amber color with a light tan colored head that leaves some pretty nice lacing on the glass. Clean aroma of bready malt and some citric hops. Flavor has a nice dose of caramel malt, slightly bready and biscuity, followed by a nice hop bitterness, with an underlying chocolate flavor, which is different but interesting. Slightly sweet at first, bitter in the middle and dry on the finish. I like that this beer is bottle conditioned, which gives it a nice yeastiness and good carbonation. Very nice IPA, and would certainly have this one again.

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

I haven't reviewed for quite a while, maybe a year or more, but this beer is so exceptional - I had to put down a few lines. Purchased (along with several other brews) at Blue Max in Burnsville MN on my way home from a business trip. This beer simply has no faults of any consequence and nails the IPA style. Plenty hoppy, even for an IPA, but not over the top. Not as citrus-tasting as some. My first sample from this brewry - I'll be trying more of their offerings. Add this to my favorites.

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

Appearance: It pours a darker bronze color with a slight scarlet tint to it. It's very clear. The head is off-white with a touch of orange. It's about two fingers deep. Retention was very good and a pretty impressive web of lace lined the glass.

Smell: The nose is very citrusy and sweet smelling. There's a strong grapefruit and pineapple scent that's very refreshing and inviting. Some orange also appears to be present. It certainly smells like hops were generously added, as well. They're strong, citric, and piney. I don't know what the hop bill is, but it smells great. Smells like there's a good amount of caramel malts in the mix. The smell is secondary to the hop aroma, but I'm curious to see if it's balanced. I'm hoping it's not. All in all, it's a pretty good smelling beer.

Taste: Grapefruit, pineapple and orange citrus flavors are sweet initially. They've got a good, refreshing flavor. Makes me wish I was on vacation. Caramel malts actually follow up the citrus blast. They add more sweetness. Hops are citric and piney. They have an excellent bitter taste. But, that fine bitter flavor is negated a good bit by the malts. It's not balanced and has a residual hoppy flavor, but they're obviously minimized to a degree. It's just a little too much malt for me. There's an interesting, very light dark fruit flavor that emerges very late. It tastes like raisin. An odd, but interesting element here.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and has a nice feel. It's smooth and goes down easy. Carbonation is active and gives it a bit of crisp bite. I wouldn't characterize it as silky, but it's a nice feel. Drinkability is good. It is easy to drink, but there's two handfuls of IPAs out there that I prefer to it. It's not a bad choice, but there's much better out there.

Two Brothers has crafted a pretty good IPA with Heavy Handed. At the end of the day, there's a little too much malt for my preference, but it's not a bad beer at all. The hops are fine and have a nice flavor. Just less malt, please. Definitely worth checking out if you're into a more balanced IPA.

Heavy Handed IPA from Two Brothers Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 804 ratings.