Heavy Handed IPA - Two Brothers Brewing Company

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Heavy Handed IPAHeavy Handed IPA

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very good

806 Ratings
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Ratings: 806
Reviews: 392
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 33
Gots: 39 | 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: 806 | Reviews: 392 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of laintringulis
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Handpulled from the Clark Street Ale House.

Pours a dark angry amber with a slight burnt orange color and large off white head that lasts throughout drinking. Moderate lacing.

Smells: Primarily pine smell with vauge citrus undertones. Caramel malts and a substantial grassiness.

Taste: Brief caramel toasted malts, then a nice refined pine hop flavor and a very lightly grassy citrus finish. A little sweeter than I usually like, but not bad. Fairly simple in complexity, but done well.

Medium plus bodied. It was almost too smooth and creamy for an IPA. I would have preferred a drier finish. Finishes slightly filmy, not oily.

Easy to drink. Sessionable. Nice solid beer.

Photo of merlin48
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Came home with two bottles of this one as part of a mixed six-pack from Englebrecht's Orchards store in Newburgh, Indiana. Odd that an orchard has such a nice craft beer selection. Heavy-Handed pours a cloudy dark orange, almost copper body. Small offwhite head quickly disappears and lacing consists only of some wisps.

Aroma is dominated by toffee and caramel.The hop bouquet is almost up to the task with notes of eathy pine, cut grass, and grapefruit pulp.

Medium body has some lively carbonation that adds a slight creaminess with a subtle hops bite. Nice feel!.

Taste is more of an APA than an IPA, and a subdued one at that. Toffee and caramel malt backbone is very sturdy, but struggles to fend off an interesting hop profile. Hops are earthy, with some pine and a hint of citrus rind. Tasty balance, overall.

This one strays from style, certainly, but is quite tasty and quaffable. A very endearing APA.

Photo of jamie2dope
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first Two Brother's beer. Poured a dark orange/bordering on red coloration with a big rocky head, which clung to the glass all the way through. In the smell there was a nice bouquet of juicy citric smells....tangerine, and nectarine as far as i can tell. Taste was equally as sweet, with the juicy fruit flavors coming through at first, followed by a light piney taste at the end. Mouthfeel was slightly lighter then I was expecting, but in a good way. A very drinkable ipa, but I would have liked a bit more on the hops. Apparently these bottles were from 05, so maybe some of that initial hop bitterness has cooled down a bit. Either way it's a nice ipa worth picking up if you see it around.

Photo of marcobrau
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a light amber hue, with a fairly dense white head. Nice hop nose with a short of grassy, catty character. Tasty, with a spicy, peppery hop flavor supported by some sweet caramel malts. Mouthfeel is fairly good. The same caramel malts that balance the hops contribute a bit too much body and contributes a full feeling in my belly. The finish is long and has a powerful coarse hop bitterness.

Note: According to the brewery, the bottle reviewed is from lot no. 3006 and was made entirely with fresh (not kilned) Cluster hops.

Photo of JohnnyM2002
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass at 50 degrees. Picked up in a trade from DavidEddie - thanks a lot!!

A - Pours a clear amber color with a quickly-developing head that melts away to a half-inch lacing. Decent amount of carbonation.

S - Very piney and grassy hops.

T - Hoppy bitterness comes screaming out of the gates right away, eventually leading to a floral/citrus lacing on the tongue. Powerful flavors, but not overly bitter as it finishes with a bubbly citrus taste.

M - Medium body with matching carbonation. Finishes a little heavier than I expected, but very well-balanced.

D - Overall, very enjoyable. I had a sudden hop urge last night and it really hit the spot.

Photo of danielocean03
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle marked "Lot 2806" into a pint glass. Appearance is a caramel-hued coppery orange with the thinnest off white cap of foam that quickly turned to a light ring of whitish sticky lacing. Aroma is sweet and malty, grapefruit hoppiness and citrusy notes present as well. Taste is also sweet and malty before then making a smooth transition to a very pleasant hoppiness without the typical bitterness associated with the style. A very quaffable brew, medium bodied, light on the carbonation, very smooth all around. Exceptionally drinkable, easily the least bitter IPA I've sampled to date. Overall a solid beer, will purchase again, highly recommend.

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

A very thick brew at a reasonable price. Not much lacing, but maybe cause the beer was too cold. Real piny and grapefruit scents on the nose. Tastes identical as well. Rich fruity malt on the front with a great hoppy kickback. Pours a strawberry blonde color. A crowd pleaser. I really enjoyed this one.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle received in trade, thank you DavidEddie. Green and yellow label shows a cartoonish hand overflowing with hop cones ("Heavy-Handed"! I get it!). Lot #2556. Bottle lists 5.7% ABV instead of 6.2% shown on BA profile...

A: Extremely clear auburn-color with a 1-finger ivory head. Lots of carbonation. Head fades to a thin creamy film. Attractive & ample lace.

S: Hop smell is floral & slightly spicy but also a little dry and musty - like damp cardboard.

T: Nice spicy/bitter flavor and good malt/hop balance. Hops are juicy citrus and very green/fresh.

M: Medium to full mouthfeel. Goes down smoothly but with a faint alcohol burn down the throat. Bitterness lingers and clings to the tongue. Carbonation is very mild.

D: A better than average IPA. Bold flavors, good balance, enjoyable. I'd recommend this one.

Photo of Cresant
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz., undated brown bottle (lot #2806) into an IPA glass. Very minimal head. Clear copper colored body.

Smell was Fresh leafy hops. Faint tobacco leaves.

Taste was nice, oily bitterness. This beer is wet hopped and achieves 62 IBUs. The "heavy-handed" citrusy hops are complimented by the less than overpowering sweetness of the caramel malts. Dry finish. The taste was the strong point of this beer.

Mouthfeel was medium to full bodied. Smooth. Mild carbonation. This one lightly coated the mouth and lips with fresh tasting hop oils. The smell and carbonation were less than expectd but I would buy this one again.

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

AP: Totally clear and very active with a deep red-hued amber color. Small 1" tall thin and scattered head leaves some long and sticky legs behind.

Nose: A hearty, earthy hop dominated scent with some mild malted undertones.

Taste: A very hearty semi-bitter hop. Mildly sweet malt keeps the balance a bit, then finishes with a fresh "wet" and leafy style hop.

MF: Medium body, crisp and clean.

DA: This is a quality IPA that is easy to drink and to session.

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

I've been impressed with every beer I've yet tried from Two Brothers, and greatly appreciate the OG, ABV, and IBU numbers on each of their offerings.

Copper red with abundant white head. Aroma is a sweet-hop smell. Taste is sweet at first with a hop bitterness at the finish. Very pleasant. This beer is not an over-the-top hop-soda (which I also enjoy), but is an extremely good, more middle-of-the-road, IPA.

Bottle bought at Breeze-Thru Liquor in Milwaukee.

Photo of Bierguy5
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, 62 IBU, 5.7 ABV%, Lot 2706. Pours a very nice dark amber color, very clear, with a thick off-white foamy head. Nice floral and citrusy aroma. The head disappears rather quickly for a beer hopped this well, and there are a few patches of lace left on the glass. A fair amount of crisp caramel malt goes well with some hop bitterness that lingers on the palate. You would expect that the hop flavor and bitterness would be very intense as in the aroma, however it falls short of that. A bit thin, with a low amount of carbonation. I expected more, however it was tasty and very easy to drink.

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

Pours a nice clear golden brown, with an offwhite/yellow head.

Smells like sweet pine hops. Very strong smell.

Nice mellow flavor. Not as much sweetness as I would have expected from the smell. Bready malts seem to mute it nicely (I'm not a fan of too much sweets) Finishes with that telltale sign of piney hops with lots of enjoyable bitterness.

This has a strong bold flavor but is very drinkable. A good introduction to this style if you don't want to go overboard.

Photo of biegaman
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice dark pour, some very modest head formation. A shiny ruby in colour, obviously filtered. Crystal clear. Pretty agressive aroma, grassy, fruity hops. Bitter even on the nostrils. Doesn't have the thoroughness that of the American IPA's have, but hops present. Those same hops continue through to the mouthfeel, with some light bitterness and lingering. Flavour is dominated by such a hop blend, a lovely melange of a few different hops. Not sure though, overly acidid, these hops don't mix for the best receipe. Not much of a finish, nor 'flavour profile', this one leans heavily on the hops and this makes for a bit rough of a drinkability. Could use a little more malt, overly agressive and bitter resiny finish. No mistakes, I liked it but that said ... it tries a little hard to be more like some of the Big American IPA's and comes across uneven, rough around the edges, and overall in need of some polish. Thanks for sharing Harry!

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer is a amber brown color with a crystal clear body and a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles slowly floating to the surface. There is a thin film of white foam that hangs on for a good while.

S- This beer has a fresh green earthy hops smell that has a spicy ginger quality to it. Buried underneath the hops is a nice fresh slightly grain note.

T- The green juicy hops flavor has a dry spice note of ginger that taste more of pine as it warms. There is a dry toasted malt flavor that offers good support to the big hops. The finish has a grapefruit bitterness to it that hangs on the tongue for a bit.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a slight chewy texture. The carbonation is not really fizzy but gives more mouthfeel.

D- This beer has good depth of hops with wonderful freshness and a nice background malt flavor to support them. Delicious.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Lot 2806 - brewed with baby cascade, as per Jason Ebel and the website. It pours a deep copper color, with a very small head that fades quickly to a slight ring aroundthe top. The brew is moderately cloudy, and it has a few stray bubbles working up to the top of hte beer. The aroma is nice and lively, with a light orangey citrus and a deep earthy and almost a bit woody hop with a chunky caramel undertone that really accentuates the sweet note in the hop and provides a really nice backdrop for the earthy notes in the hop. Smells nice. Flavor is right with th e aroma. It hits first with a nice woodsyness from the hop, folowed by a caramel burst that moves to a light citrusy hop, finishing with a full moderate bitterness that lingers just long enough. I like the balance in this, as the hop is nice and flavorful, but not too aggressive. The mouthfeel is moderate with a light to moderate carbonation. It could use a hint more carbonation, but it doesn't really detract from the experience. This is a lot that I am going to keep my eyes out for and be sure to buy again if I see it in the stores. This is a winner.

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

I could make this a standard drinking IPA next summer. Very unique brew with a nutty malt taste, still finishes with a floral hop kick. Somehow the two balances this brew rather nicely. Sharp pine hints in the aroma.

The deep amber pour was surprising, almost bourbon colored in nature. Frothy ivory head, thin sticky laces on the tulip glass (from New Belgium). Semi-lite in alcohol (label notes it’s at 5.7%), which made for a good Sunday afternoon sipper with football.

Photo of ultralarry2006
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle. Leaves a one finger head with good retention and good lacing. Body is a clear copper red. An excellent looking ale.

Smell - Piney hops, grassy hops, floral hops. Some toasty malt bread with hints of vanilla. Mouthwatering.

Taste - Piney, grassy hops upfront followed by toasty malt bread with caramel and vanilla in the middle. Finishes with big taste of good piney hop bitterness. Very good and satisfying.

Mouthfeel - full bodied, smooth, and much hop oil slickness.

Drinkability - this is a very good ale, and very sessionable. A great one for hop heads.

Photo of GimpyCane
2.58/5  rDev -32.6%
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.

Photo of kirok1999
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very nice looking coppery bronze with surprising little head or foam for the hops boasted of.

Smells of massive hops. Slight malt sweetness, maybe caramel?

Tastes very hoppy, citrus and oily pine. Nicely hopped but where is the malt that is boasted of on the bottle? Not much sweetness to back it up. Very hoppy and bitter but that's about it.

Not a bad brew, just kind of one dimensional. Hops and that's about it.

Photo of MillRat
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This growler was bought 23 September at the brewery. They're already out of six-packs there, but there's reinforcements in a fermenter in back of the shop, getting ready to make their appearance. This is a beer made for hop-heads by hop-heads.

A: Dark amber with red tones, crystal clear. Respectable off-white head that fades rather quickly.

S: It's all about the hops. Great citrusy, flowery aromas, like putting your nose into a bag of whole hop cones. This even outclasses the aroma on TBB's Hop Juice, which is saying something. There must be something special about wet hops.

T: A slight astringency is present, which is to be expected with this level of hopping. A slight bready flavor helps the solid malt foundation balance the fresh hops flavor and aromas. A definite malt sweetness is present, but any less would fail to balance the strong hop notes.

M: The mouthfeel of the malt alone would be overbearing. The bitterness of the hops clears away the heavy malt and leaves a refreshing aftertaste. An impressive balancing act.

D: This is the beer equivalent of a rock concert, not chamber music. I finished at least half of the growler over the course of a day (others helped with the rest), saving enough to review at the end. This is not a "session" beer, but several throughout the day are wonderful and recommended.

Like any hop-monster, this one is best fresh. Since this is only made during and immediately after the hop harvest, taste (and review) it between September and November to best appreciate the fresh hop flavors.

Edit 1: This was the first batch for 2006 with Willamette hops.

Edit 2: The other three 2006 batches were all of similar high quality. Jason's base pale ale provides a very flavorful and solid base beer which complements but doesn't compete with the character of the hop varieties they used, next year I'm going to hang on to some bottles from the earlier batches so I can do a side-by-side of the different hop varieties.

Photo of scruffwhor
2.53/5  rDev -33.9%
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.

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

Purchased at the Brewer's Coop on the day of the release party (9/13/06).
The smell is faint - a floral and citrus scent. The appearance is impressively
clear. Most IPAs I've seen are not this clear. The color is a bronze color - a "burnt orange".

The beer has a strong, bitter taste, but different then other IPAs. Not a complex hop flavor, but more of a straight, one-flavor taste. (Maybe all of the wet hops used are the same variety?) The mouthfeel is medium to medium-full. The beer has a bitter, but not dry finish. The beer is very drinkable if you're an IPA fan. The bitterness is very strong through, which would probably limit the number you would have.

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

My first beer from Two Brothers Brewing Company. The back label says "Two Brothers specializes in rare and seldom-brewed beer styles. Ah yes, the much ignored IPA. It is good to finally see a brewer pay some attention to this "seldom-brewed" style! 12oz single bottle purchased from Charles Street Liquors in Boston. Lot 2525 - no freshness date found. Pours a gorgeous deep cloudy copper with no head. Medium to strong aroma of hops. First taste is full, hoppy and warm. Further tastes continue in a rich vein. Nice brew, but perhaps a bit one-dimensional. A good beer for when you're just having one.

Photo of pmcadamis
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this with some chicken tits on the old George Forman, and it really meshed well with meal.

It pours a deep and hazy orange to amber in the glass, and a 1/2 finger head settles to just a ring of tiny bubbles around the rim.

At first sniff, grassy vegetal hops and orange rind are predominant, supported by a nice backdrop of warm malt scents like vanilla and caramel. This really smells pretty damn good! Good balance.

The taste is quite peppery and spicy, with some initiall fruitiness followed by a bitter hop punch and a nice alcohol heat. The carbonation is pretty strong, but that seems to fit the spicy and peppery flavor quite well.

An interesting note: On the Two Brother's web site, I read that hops are added immediately after harvest without being dried first. This addition of "wet" hops is unique to this beer. Cool....unique is good.

I really enjoyed this smooth (for an IPA) brew in that it was hoppy enough for me to get my fix, but was pretty mild and had enough of a malt backbone to really balance the flavor and keep the bitterness from overpowering my meal.

This is very highly drinkable especially for an IPA (some of the more highly hopped ones can actually irritate and dry out my throat with all the bitterness if I drink more than a couple), and I will surely pick up a sixer of this the next time I get a hop craving.

Heavy Handed IPA from Two Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 806 ratings.