1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Heavier Handed IPA - Two Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Heavier Handed IPAHeavier Handed IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

306 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 306
Reviews: 104
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 8.68%
Wants: 35
Gots: 19 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Two Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.10% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Wet hopped IPA aged in new French oak tanks.

(Beer added by: emerge077 on 11-14-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 306 | Reviews: 104 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice moderate amber color with a tiny bit of haze. White head and some lacing. The nose is pine and citrus. Good amounts of those without much malt in the background. What is there counts toward the caramel tally board as well as some slight bread dough. The mouthfeel is good and bitter, while still a bit sweet. Drinks quite well and is a nice brew from the folks in Warrenville.

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color capped by a couple of inches of foam; very nice retention and a pretty god job in the lacing department, too

Smell: Powerful wet hop aromatics; rather piney with both melon and fusel alcohol underneath

Taste: A dose of caramel on the front end is massacred by the piney hops with the 84.3 IBUs blasting the taste buds at mid-palate; the bitterness remains intense, after the swallow, though there is a melon tone that sneaks in underneath; the sweetness from the malts builds somewhat into the finish; rather boozy aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; warmth in the gullet

Overall: Not sure whether this is still oak-aged - neither the bottle nor the website mentions it and if it is, the treatment is very subtle; the website description of the beer seems out of date, too, as it doesn't mention the use of local hops grown on an Illinois farm and harvested by the brewery; all that aside, the beer is a bit too boozy and lacks some balance to be among the best in the style

Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Heavy Handed IPA has been one-upped in this robust Double IPA. As if that's not enough, Two Brothers decides to age and dry-hop the beer in their exclusive oak foudre.

The pour delivers a hazy deep amber color, releasing a dense creamy off-white head that retains and laces extremely well. A grainy appearance is due to suspended dustiness seen through the glass.

Pine, citrus, and soft woods play at the olfactories and give impressions of caramel, toffee, and English-like fruitiness. Piney hops remind me of juniper and gin.

Lightly syrup sweetness soon gives way to intense piney and grassy (hay-like) hops and tannic/tawny wood flavors. Agressively hopped, the wood aging refines the beer with a smooth marshmallowy creamy malt flavor; somewhat cask-like.

Weighted and syrupy-oily early, the beer's alcohols and woody textures lighten the beer slightly to allow for ease of drinking.

A very nice Oak Aged Double IPA but the sweetness and weight of the beer hurt its introduction. The finish does little to promote the beer further.

Thanks again Cheezdawg!

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Gorgeously glowing topaz with a faint yeasty haze and polished brass trim. The milkshake creamy crown is equal parts pale orange, eggshell and ecru. It melts in appealing fashion and is beginning to decorate the glass with scads of sea foam lace.

The nose is modestly caramel malty, doesn't have a ton of oakiness, and has quite a bit of orange peel hoppiness. Two Brothers used three different hops (Willamette, Cascade, Super Galena), but only one per batch. Trouble is, they didn't put any sort of identifier on the bottle or label.

Heavier Handed IPA is the latest version of the oaked (D)IPA style to remind me that I'm not thrilled with most oaked (D)IPAs. The wood takes too much of the flavor focus away from the hops, which should have almost all of it as far as I'm concerned. That said, let's see how things shake out with time and warming.

Two Brothers says this brew is bigger than an IPA and smaller than a DIPA. To my eyes, nose and tongue, it looks, smells, tastes and feels like a DIPA. Caramel malt sweetness is at least as prominent as hop bitterness, although the alpha acids are beginning to rough up my tongue now that the middle of the bomber has arrived. For comparison's sake, this bottle is now about four months of age (early November release).

Flavors include caramel-toffee, orange peel soaked in Stolichnaya, ripe apricots and more oakiness than is optimal. Less time in the foudre (a large French oak cask used for aging wine) would have garnered the next highest score for taste and drinkability. As is, they almost got there.

The mouthfeel is solid in all respects. It's closer to DIPA than IPA, is velvety smooth and has the soft sort of carbonation that makes drinking quickly or slowly equally enjoyable. The latter is definitely the way to go.

This beer's little brother, Heavy Handed IPA, is good stuff. How one feels about Heavier Handed IPA depends on how one feels about oak-aged DIPAs in general. While it isn't a trend that I fully support, there's enough hop flavor and bitterness that I don't regret a penny of the $7.99 purchase price.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark orange amber color and a huge head of white coming up and over the top. Majestic looking would be the right word here. Thick lacing up and down the sides of the glass throughout. Most pungent aroma I have come across in as long as I can remember. Thick dose of grapefruit and orange right up front. Huge sticky hops just dripping off of this one. Rich and sweet as I take the first sip. Grapefruit and sugar dipped orange just coating the tongue. Soo fresh it almost hurts. Even warming it brings no relief as the hops are soo thick and omnipresent that you are just taken a back and completely blown away. Long dry finish is coated with soo many flavors, again I am blown away.

Photo of emerge077
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Oak Foudre Aged"

First release of this beer, aged in the brewer's new oak foudres...

Pours a deep orange-red copper color, plenty of lace sheeting and coverage across the surface. Admirable amount of head retention, no matter how distracted I get, there's a generous head when I return to the beer.

Some fresh PacNW hops in the nose, just resiny and sticky sweet. Oak is there too in a fruity sense. A swirl renders it dank and skunky. Somewhat dry and malty too in the residual aroma. Uniquely fruity cantaloupe taste, some pale malt in the middle, with a drying finish and moderate bitterness. Fairly hefty body, yet still very drinkable. Apparently quite a jump in ABV from regular heavy handed. Overall I like this quite a bit, and hope that the foudres turn out some good oak-aged beers in the future...

Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a shaker pint glass at The Firkin.

Glad I got to try this one on-tap before my only option was a $50+ 3L beast. It pours a clear amber topped by a thick finger of cream-colored foam. The nose comprises mandarin oranges, lemongrass, light onion, and mild toffee. The taste holds notes of miscellaneous greens, flowers, pine, and light toffee. The body is a solid medium, with a smooth carbonation and an unsurprisingly smooth feel. Overall, a fairly solid DIPA, but it seems a bit weak, as though they tried too hard to make a hop-bomb but instead came away with a strangely mild and one-dimensional brew. It's not altogether bad, though, and is definitely drinkable, but it falls short of greatness.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.72/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pretty much a hazed beefier version of the Heavy Handed IPA aged on their new French Oak cellaring vessels. Appears a slightly clouded caramel amber glowing hue with a large frothing head that is the same color as a frothy whipped egg. Big chunks of glorious sporadic lacing presents itself extremely well from the glass, this one was poured into my Gulden Draak chalice.

Aroma is chalk full of hops including pine needles, floral accents, and citrus peels. A whopping blend of hops with a bit of malt and booze. The dominant tones come off as an oak aged dry gin with citrus squeezed into it. The brilliant oak tones come off very much like fresh cut wood giving an earthy outdoorsy experience to pair with the fresh hops.

This one is dangerous weighing in in the 8th percentile with the alcohol this brew throws huge complex hop and malt combinations at the imbiber. I'm loving the caramel booze with the citrus and earthy notes that could remind someone of some weed. Dry yet slightly tart and boozed hop candy in a glass, my mustache is coated in hops and I can honestly say this isn't an issue.

Mouthfeel is oily with hops dry with a slight oak finish boozed with a slight tone of burning sensation in both the nares and palate. Warming alcohol fuller bodied DIPA, this beer needs to be enjoyed slowly so it doesn't wreck your palate or your car. Hop oils surge with citrus peel and herbal floral hop accents.

Drinkability is killer one of the most enjoyable well represented oak aged beers I've come across this one is focused on the wood rather than iself, the hops, or it's alcohol content. Okay children sit down and surround us while we take on a thrilling twisted and turned navigation. Well represented oak brew in front of me way better than other run ins with Oak barreled DIPAs namingly both the New Holland, Southern Tier, and other Bell's offering Founds did something well original.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from pochman, courtesy of BA Secret Santa 2009 so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color, with a large dense off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, piney hops and citrus.

T: The taste starts out very sweet with strong flavors of caramel, brown sugar and citrus. Then a hearty malt character comes in. The hops presence takes some time to take effect and it seems rather subdued, but it's certainly there and brings a good balance. There's also a little bit of an alcohol sting which is kind of strong for a beer that is just over 8:00% ABV. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it's a solid 2IPA to drink for a while but there are others in the style that I would choose first.

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

Picked up a super-fresh bomber at Armanetti's today. Shared with d0b and served in my Kuhnhenn tulip glass.

A - This is one dark brew - transparent mahogany/amber body with a big conical stream of tiny bubbles rising up the top of the glass. Two fingers of orange-tan foam that laves nice concentric rings of lacing and dissipates slowly to a thick cap.

S - Tropical hoppiness, sharp oak spice, a hint of pine, some light vanilla, and a nice toasted bread malt and caramel backbone. The nose isn't super big and the hops smell faded, which isn't surprising considering this was oak-aged.

T - The taste starts with a nice mix of vanilla and melon sweetness, but then quickly morphs into some sharp wood flavor. There is fairly strong residual hop bitterness mixed with some tannic notes, but it's under control and dissipates fairly quickly. The malt backbone is even further in the backdrop, with a bit of bread and not much else. I'm not getting a ton of dry hop character.

M - Slick, oily, hop resins. Smooth, medium body. A bit of warming, but not too hot. Lower carbonation.

D - My 11oz went down pretty fast. It's an interesting and pretty unique DIPA compared to the other local selections. I'm not generally a huge lover of oak-aged/barrel-aged hoppy beers (other than Exponential Hoppiness), but this is a pretty successful one.

Photo of drabmuh
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A continuation of the IPA and DIPA project, this is the first beer I've had from Two Brothers and am looking forward to this review.

Beer poured from a bottle into a Stone Arrogant bastard glass. There appears to be a blank box on the side of the beer label where a freshness date COULD go but there is nothing printed there.

Beer is brown / copper and slightly hazy. Carbonation is moderate there is a single fingered head made up of medium to small sized bubbles. Leaves lacing as the beer is drank. Looks good.

Smells awesome. There isn't a lot of malt up there but there is a lot of nice hops, a mixture between the pine and citrus variety. Amazing wonderful smell.

Medium body (approaching full), sweetness and nice hop flavors in the midpalate and bitterness up back. There is a slight aftertaste but overall really smooth and good connectivity. Second taste, its a little thin in the front mouth but it carries well. Mouthfeel is good and drinkability is high.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clouded golden/orange appearance. slim white head. lace leaving.

Gorgeously herbaceous aromatics, bristling pine, vibrant citrus. lemon and grapefruit. Mmm.

Tasting: Big bite of bitterness up front, followed by a flash of sweet, flush with flavor, filling the mouth, then slowly fading in intensity, but not without leaving hoppy trails in it's wake. Oak-aged leaves traces of woody texture, a definite difference detected. Good mouthfeel, nice play on the palate.

And every subsequent sip leaves me wanting another.
Fruit and wood join forces in every taste, hop delivery remains undeterred. Nice complexity, continues through the drinking.
Persistent puckering from never-ending hop attack.

Batch 3109, not sure what the hop was used, ..but I'm a fan of this one. I believe I'll have another.

Photo of jwc215
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours copper with a thin tan head that holds up pretty nicely. Trailing lace follows the body down the glass.

The smell is minty/spicy with woody notes, vanilla and some citrus. Some caramel backing comes through.

This is a barley-wine-ish DIPA. Caramel, pine, vanilla/oak and fruity alcohol mingle. Sweet-ish, but with a bitterish bite that shows more in the first few sips. Oak and booze dominate as it progresses.

It hits full bodied - not too thick. Has a rawish kick, but pretty smooth despite that.

The booze and oak aftertaste. It has a strong malt, hop, oak and booze character. An interesting sipper - a pretty intense one.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to zdk9 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the orange and pine hops. The flavor is more of the same with orange and resiny hops with some oaked notes. The hop profile is heavier on the citrus hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. This was my first Two Brothers beer and I hope to try more from them in the future.

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber, pours hazed darker almond amber, with a dark orangy hue. Respectable, daker khaki head, stays around forever, thick collar, sheeting and plenty of bits of lace left behind. The old sniffer picks up a healthy dose of resiny and pine soaked hops, and a base layer of sweet malt. Dangerously easy drinking DIPA. A little less then full bodied, but flavorful and quite enjoyable. Crunching, citric hops abound, balanced out just a bit by whole wheat crust infused malts. Love the style, this one is smooth and easily approachable, well worth a try. Served as a fine night capper after a day of Thanksgiving eating and imbibing

Photo of mothman
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at stubs.

Served with 1 finger of white head that fades to a ring. Leaves slight splattered lace. Color is a clear golden orange.

Aroma: Vanilla, oak, floral hops, caramel malt. Reminds me a lot of ST OA Unearthly.

Taste: A lot of vanilla and oak here. Nice kick of floral hops and tons of caramel again. Just like the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, smooth , and a touch of heat. A very warm ipa. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends very dry with oak flavors.

Overall, this simply reminded me a lot of ST OA Unearthly, however it was very warm and I didn't enjoy it as much. Just not my thing, but it was decent.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)
A- This beer has a dense deep orange body wit a thick foam of light tan on top. There are strands of microbubbles glidng to the surface.
S- This beer has a perfume green hop aroma with a soft oak hint burred in the background and finishes with a pine green hop note that grows a bit when warm.
T- This beer has a rich creamy caramel sweet malt flavor with a soft hop finish that is green and pin with a slight grassy note. There is a pungent green flavor that lingers a bit and grows more as the beer warms.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat noted.
D- There is a nice full green hop flavor with a mild bitterness making it a good IPA, but nothing special. Especially for the price and hype on the bottle. I didn't really notice much wood either.

Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of biegaman
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Incredibly appropriate for a wet-hopped autumn seasonal, Heavier Handed! has a crisp orange complexion, chilly haze, as well as gossamer-like head and lacing. It blends right in with the fall foliage currently seen outside my window - heck, this would make a great Bob Ross painting!

The strong aromas of wet leaves and dewy grass are no surprise given this beer was made with locally sourced hops added the same day they were picked. The more concentrated and pungent bouquet, as well as the emphasis on herbalness (as opposed to, say, citrus), is likely a direct result of this technique. Good to know the effort wasn't wasted... this smells great!

And that duo of earthy and floral qualities continue on the palate with notes of strongly-steeped jasmine green tea. Far from astringent, however, the hops also provide ripe pineapple and subtle pine flavours too. It's a spell-binding blend of the Pacific North-West and the Tropics.

And while I know this is meant to be all about the hops, I'd be remiss not to mention the malts which, for their part, provide tastes of toffee biscuits, butterscotch, slivered almonds, and nougat. This humbled backdrop provides a nice cradle between bitter and sweet and soaks up much of the overly astringent leafiness left in the finish.

Heavier Handed! is not - contrary to its name and style - the kind of beer to smack you across the face with booze and bitterness. It's a very approachable offering for something of its specs (84 IBU and 8.1%) and is as drinkable as something half its size. Powerful and full-bodied, this nonetheless has the exquisite integration between malt and hop no one can say 'no' to. Great stuff!

Photo of plaid75
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at The Blind Tiger, NYC.

Poured a medium amber hue with a one and a half finger foamy white head. There was good retention and very good lacing.

The smell featured a resimous hop and a moderate caramel.

The taste was very well balanced with an upfront balmy hop oil that quietly leveled out and melted into te moderately sweet malt.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side of the style.

Overall a a DIPA with very good drinkability.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Heavier Handed IPA from Two Brothers Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 306 ratings.