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Heavier Handed IPA - Two Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Heavier Handed IPAHeavier Handed IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

109 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 109
Hads: 352
Avg: 4
pDev: 15.5%
Wants: 36
Gots: 26 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Two Brothers Brewing Company
Illinois, United States | website

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

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: emerge077 on 11-14-2009

Wet hopped IPA aged in new French oak tanks.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 109 | Hads: 352
Photo of koopa
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle offered at a recent tasting by beerloco and shared with mrsbeerloco, mikey711 and myself.

Appearance: Pours a fairly attractive glowing amber with a small white crown that shows moderate carbonation and lace.

Smell: Slightly bitter hoops over loads of tea and wet grass.

Taste: Same as the nose.

Mouthfeel: Well carbonated and on the lighter side of medium bodied.

Drinkability: Sessionable for a DIPA

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Photo of Parrotbeak
3.43/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cloudy amber, with a thin white head that quickly becomes patchy. Decent lacing as this one goes down.
Malts dominate the smell, followed by some hops, as well as pineapple and very faint citrus.
Hops flash up front, with a strong malt backbone that dominates the taste. Overripe pineapple and citrus, with a little pine and oak on the finish.
Mouthfeel is somewhat flat and sticky. Little bit of crispness on the finish.
Okay on drinkability, but this one just seemed a bit too muddled for me.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Photo of blackie
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

passes this one up in a store in ohio, but the dirtman insists...

a: snifter serving, an attractive off-white head rests on a gorgeously deep orange-amber beer, retention is good

s: hefty caramel body dressed with a big tropical hop aroma, fresh young pine, juicy mango and red grapefruit, a little booze, really enjoy the oak presence here

m: carbonation is delicate and smooth - on the lighter end of medium, body on the medium-full side but not too heavy or slick

t: big oily hop flavors applied to a formidable caramel malt base, blend of tropical citrus and young pine, mild spicy oak pulls through in the finish with a strong bitterness

d: just fine

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - clear, dark orange brew. Light, light tan head, thin but sticky lacing with good coverage.

Aroma - caramelly, dark fruit, figgy, juicy orange, mango.

Taste - lots of malty, biscuity depth, not often found in a DIPA. The sweetness is there, but usually for me it tends to downplay the malt character as the sugar transitions to the hops. Not so here. A lighter sweet allows good grain presence, and I dig it. The hops are citrusy, sweeter at first and growing more bitter on the swallow. Some nice oranginess stays around, pushing into that syrupy, dark fruit, barleywine-like flavor. Finishes with a light alcohol breath and some good palate drying. Is there supposed to be oak in here? Not sure if I'm tasting any of that or not. There's enough yummy beer flavor, I'm not sure if the oak is masked or just blended in to where i can't pick it out.

Mouthfeel - smooth, heavy but could be a little more sturdy. Well carbonated but comes across lighter, enhancing the smoothness.

Drinkability - a more sessionable DIPA than most, delicious stuff.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a cloudy amber color with red & orange highlights. Produced a large off-white head that stuck around for awhile. Left an intricate web of lacing behind.

(S)- Big burst of citrus: lime, pineapple, grapefruit, mango, lemon, & orange. Bits of wet pine and a big bitterness coming through in the finish. This is just dripping with fruity citrus.

(T)- Big & huge bittering dry hops up front. Very piney. Not as much citrus from the smell, but still present in some lime & pineapple. Some good honey/caramel-like maltiness that shows up in the middle.

(M)- A good carbonation level & balance. Has huge face melting hops with a good maltiness to even it out.

(D)- A solid DIPA with some good things going for it. Definitely has the shops to kick you in the face with a big malt backbone to even things out. Ive been very pleased with 2 Bros. offerings thus far & this does not dissapoint.

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Photo of weatherdog
3.56/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a tulip glass

It pours a hazy burnt amber with a beige pillowy head. A huge coat of lingering lace lines the glass

The nose is pretty muted to me. Some orange and pine type hops with a large dose of malt in there.

The taste once again didn't attack me with the hops. I've had this beer on tap about 2 months ago and i remember it being much hoppier. Maybe the 2 months of aging in the bottle really killed it. The pine and orange hop is there but once again pretty muted. There is a large amount of bitterness up front but the sweet malt at the end is too much for my liking and tips the scales into almost too sweet an IPA for me. The oak is noticeable though and lends a redeeming quality to the brew and is more prevalent than in the draft version

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Photo of prototypic
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Heavier handed pours a bronzish-brown color. It's slightly hazy and features some nice scarlet highlights with backlighting. It's topped off with a cream colored head that rises to about a finger. It dissipated quickly, leaving a moderate amount of lace clinging to the glass.

The nose alright, but isn't a stunner. Caramel and toffee notes are apparent from the first whiff. *sighs* There is a distinct oak smell that's not at all bad. Hints of vanilla follow. Hops are noted, but are way too tame. They have slight citrus grapefruit and orange scents, and are complemented with floral and piney notes. Honestly, it smells pretty well balanced. Not my favorite thing for a DIPA. Alcohol is noted, but isn't screaming. Above average sounds right.

The nose is an accurate indicator of what's to come. Heavier Handed has a somewhat sweet caramel malt base. That flavor's okay, but it really diminishes the hops' effect. The hops feature some citrus and orange flavors primarily, with a touch of pine and earthy flavors. At first it seemed bitter, but that seems to diminish quickly. Kind of weird. The oak flavor is decent enough, but it really doesn't improve it. It's just there. Not bad, but not much help either. Alcohol is stronger in flavor than the nose suggested. It's not masked very well. It's definitely warm, bordering on hot.

Heavier Handed is a misnomer in terms of body. It's on the light side of medium and feels too thin. Carbonation is mid-range. It's not bad, but it's not quite smooth. Drinkability is above average...barely. The flavor's okay, not great. I guess it goes down relatively easy. A bomber is more than enough. I wouldn't reach for another.

Two Brothers has an okay beer with Heavier Handed, but it's a little mediocre. The biggest problems are that it has too much of a sweet caramel malt flavor, a diminishing bitter kick, and a little too much alcohol flavor/warmth. Meh. It's not bad. Despite all that, it's still above average. But, I probably wouldn't pick up another bomber. Disappointing effort after the excellent Red Eye Coffee Porter.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter on 12/7/09

Copper colored with highlights of deep amber. Though slightly cloudy, it still has a sharp & enticing looking color. Unfortunately, it poured a marginal head (even with a fairly aggressive pour) that all but disappears. Period swirling revives a thin layer; such is retention. Lot of small spots of lace for the first half or so; it does have better swaths of lace by the end.

The nose is interesting; while not being overly complex, it seems well-structured. Pine aroma is at the fore - it by no means smell like a hop bomb but it should suffice. Floral with hints of mixed citrus - I'm pulling out a little bit of orange. A sweetish malt background offers up caramel & undertones of toasted bread. The smooth aroma of oak is apparent throughout & serves to sound out the rough edges.

As I suspected based on the nose, absent is a scathing hop attack. However, there is reasonable amount of piney bitterness upfront. That said; the bitterness is mostly short-lived with a tad finding its way to the finish. At this point a prominent malt profile kicks in via caramel & toasted malts. Some floral hits work their way throughout. The oak notes help pull the flavors together & provide some interesting overtones.

Heavier Handed is on the heavier side of medium bodied. Carbonation is smooth & creamy. There is quite a bit of resiny grit. It's a fairly dense brew that allows for a lot of lingering residual flavors.

I think it has good drinkability. I'm sure many will find it lacking too much in respect to hoppiness; that may be so, but it still has a good flavor profile. It's worth checking out if you get the chance.

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Photo of cameraman
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep amber color is pored in the glass, with a thick off-white colored head, that is an inch and a half high. A grassy fragrance strikes the nose at first scent that is followed by wood esters like vanilla. Then the aroma finishes out with lemon and citrus scents. The taste has a malty sweetness then the hints of wood and vanilla come through. It all finishes with a grassy, earthy, and citrus (mostly pineapple) flavors dominate and linger on the palate. There is syrupy consistency as it touches the lips then moving towards
a medium bodied feel, gradually blending to a slightly more heavier feel. A medium dryness coats the middle of the palate and spreads to the back. This beer is definitely not a session beer, mainly due to the taste. A fragrant aroma, a hearty feel, and cornucopia of flavors, you want to just sit, sip, and savor this beer.

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Photo of tasteegood
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into 2 snifters. No freshness date on bottle.

A: Amber color with one finger head that holds some retention. Lacing clings to the side of the glass.
S: Fresh hops and grapefruit
T: Hoppy goodness, alcohol, and some hints of oak and a light sweetness from the malt backbone. Definitely does not taste like 80 IBU beer and the alcohol is not overwhelming.
M: Residual bitterness left in my mouth; however, it quickly dissipates to leave a nice smooth finish.
D: A nice sipper than can definitely be destroyed by one person or shared with a friend. A very palatable DIPA.

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Photo of jwc215
3.6/5  rDev -10%
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.

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Photo of Shiredave
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I like everything Ive had from these Two Brothers guys - and this looks like my kinda beer! Great label - good info - only ( only!!??) 84 IBU's and 8% so not an over the top sounding DIPA. The oak aging - never hurts.

Dark amber color with a thick, viscous look - slow steady carbonation rise from the "D" on the bottom of the goblet - visible thru the slight haze. A dense 1/2 inch head stays for a while as it comes up to temp - and slumps to a sheet that persisted to the end. More bone white sheets of lace drape the glass and hang in there as well.

Aroma is hops ( duh!) - floral and citrus in a subtle mix - not a blast of OJ but a softer , more sweetish scent. Malt sweetness may be contributing and blending in - honey and leather notes from the malt and/ or oak and a waft of alcohol all marry well but it dont wow me - it just smells good.

Soft flavors of malt and pine up front, lighter mouthfeel than expected and it slips quickly past the tongue. Hop flavors burst in the middle with sharp but tasty grapefruit and sprucey note taking charge and wrapping my tongue in herbal bitterness. Lingering hoppy aftertaste that is again subtle ( for a DIPA) but spot on style as far as Im concerned.

This is a solid beer with great flavoring hop character and drinkability. It lacks some body to balance the intense bitter flavors but is not harsh or rough even as it warmed. Alcohol is reasonable and doesnt intrude on the flavors or aftertaste. Oak aging is not overly apparent but I detect some warmth and roundness to the beer that I attribute to the oak. A subtle and NOT so heavy handed DIPA - whis is nice for a change.

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

This beer was served chilled in an Imperial Pint glass.

Appearance: The body of the beer is a reddish hued orange coloration. Somewhat cloudy but hey this is an unfiltered beer. So in my book it looks tasty. The head is biege and short lived. Nice rings of lacing mark the beers passage from my glass.

Smell: Hints of spicy vanilla oak peak out from underneath a hop blanket. A nice general mixing of expected hop aromas pine resin, grapefruit and other citrus. Very nice.

Taste: The flavor of the beer gives a nice initial kick off of pine resin flavors. The pine flavors really linger around and bring some very nice continuous and long lasting bitterness on the finish. The beer has nice grapefruit and citrus tones a bit earthy at times. In short this isnt a bad beer drinking experience. I would have liked a bit heavier hop prescence but this is still a very nice hop fix. The beer almost reaches the level of greatness.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: I really dig the body of this beer. The body of the beer is full with a nicely supported resinous quality. The carbonation is low but works very nicely with the overall character of this beer. The beer also receives high marks for drinkability. The beer was a pleasure to drink from start to finish. The beer almost reaches the level of greatness. I would have enjoyed a bit more hops and bitterness overall. This is still a very pleasing hop fix.

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Photo of lightindarkness
4.37/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber into a tall unibroue tulip.

Pours a foggy burnt orange, some gleaming amber highlights, and frothy off-white head. Tons of gorgeous sticky lace layers all over the glass from this one.

Aroma is resinous and sweet. Tons of hops in piny resin, with ample grapefruit, apricot, and cotton candy. A touch syrupy in the smell, with some hinting grains behind.

Taste is a hop-lovers delight. Smooth and rich up front, with lots of bright citrus and a little caramelly depth mellowing to the middle. Bitterness rises from the beginning, and swells to a coarser resiny flavor at the end. Some hanging light sweetness mixes in very pleasantly in the middle, where the beer seems to hollow out a bit. That coarse bitterness coats the mouth and lingers in the finish though. Rather well balanced and tasty, hops are strong, maybe even a mild assault, but not too much. Background flavors are somewhat mellow and balanced. Oak is difficult to perceive from the fresh hop, with plenty of green brightness to it, maybe a little mellow oak hanging around conversing with the bitterness in the finish.

Feel is pretty classic for style. Nice hardy body with enough carbonation to show through. Sticky and thickening in the mouth on swallow, with a rather dry and resiny feel, leaving a rather strong bitter coating on the palate.

Overall, it drinks really well. Definitely strong on the bitter end, and would require a drinker already inclined to hops, but well balanced and extremely pleasant overall. Great flavor notes, very attractive, and feel rounds out the overall experience. Very nicely done. Would love to have this one around and readily available for whenever I needed a good hop fix from a well crafted intense IPA not overly done.

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Photo of mothman
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of Gehrig
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A briefer review than usual as I took notes while out and about.

Shared with a friend, Heavier Handed pours a nice amber with ample white foam; decent retention, little lacing. Good citrus aromas--grapefruit, some orange peel, slight hint of pine, but little of the advertised oak, honestly. Same with the taste--good hop-malt balance, although I'd prefer a LOT more hops, especially for something billed as heavIER handed. I'm disappointed that the oak does not come through more.

Good mouthfeel, smooth, unfortunately not so gritty and resiny.

Nice IPA, but not as ramped-up as one may want and expect from a DIPA, especially for good coin. Two Bros ought to add considerably more hops and stash Heavier Handed in some new casks. I preferred Heavy Handed to this.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.37/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, nominal fiscal fee, jenny st market

appearance: served in hopleaf tulip, glowing orange-amber body, frothy white cap with minimal retention

smell: lush tropical fruit, green hops, oak and cherry, bright citrus

taste: very very good - wet hopping done extremely well. The oak presence is secondary to the hops...tropical, waves of citrus sweetness, green and fresh. glad i bought 2 of these

mouthfeel: nice bitterness, slick

drinkability: lovely

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

Thanks to Wilwfu for the nice extra.

22oz. brown bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a glowing, plumish rusty amber. A nice, lightly tinted, head forms and holds nicely. Good lacing.

S: Loads of nicely mixed American hopping. All the citrus and pine that you'd expect. Hops blend well into the oak that creates lots of complexity. Malts are well presented but are respectful of the hops.

T/M: Bitterness isn't as big as I hoped it would be. I understand the oak aging will lower it a big but it's almost disappointingly low. Still a respectable zing of hop flavor that is nicely complex from the oak aging. Alcohol comes out a decent amount, adding to the complexity. Malts are again big with some caramel and a pleasant sweetness. Malts are overbalanced at all. Body is medium full with mellow carbonation.

D: ABV is surprisingly low and this brew drinks fairly well. I would really have liked to see much more bitterness... it really could have been a phenomenal beer.

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Photo of beerme52
4.87/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This the third or fourth time I have had an IPA with the 'wet hops'. The fresh hops adds a little something that really works for me. Good stuff. Got a nice little kick to it. Looked good in the glass. Got a nice bitter grapefruit peel bite. Working my second bomber now. Am going back for more tomorrow!

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Photo of klewis
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear caramel color with a small bubbly head. Heavy lacing.

S: Notes of grapefruit with a pleasant floral quality.

T: Floral up front followed by a blast of piney bitterness in back. Perhaps there is a bit of oak in the taste, but I would have probably missed it in all that hop bitterness if it hadn't been mentioned on the bottle.

M: Full-bodied with moderate carbonation. A destruction of the palate due to bitterness.

D: Yep, it's a double IPA. Tons of hops and not much else, but well-done.

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Photo of sprucetip
3.79/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. Recently turned on to this brewery, and glad to be.

Pours clear orange/amber, very active with nearly 2 inches of fluffy foam on top, and it remains for several minutes, dissipating gradually and leaving thick lacing. Good start.

SMELL is hard to find. What is there is nice, but there isn't much there there. And it's not a temperature issue. Maybe it's old? ... Peachy, perfumy floral hops. Faint grainy sweetness and lightly boozy.

TASTE Peachy and floral hop notes blend nicely with ample sweet malty base. Piny hop bitterness emerges in the middle and ramps up gradually and is the dominant feature leading into, and well after, the finish.

FEEL rich, creamy texture, full bodied, drying bitter finish.

OVERALL Surprised (and disappointed) that I had such a hard time finding anything in the nose. Clearly sufficient quantities of flavoring and bittering hops were used, but maybe not so much finishing and/or dry hops? Or it was old? Still, a really nice IIPA, and I'll be pleased to try it again sometime.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heavy Handed IPA which has been "Oak Foudre Aged", oak cellaring barrels. The beer is hazy dark copper colored with a large creamy head. Hoppy aromas dominate, citrusy and floral, with a strong malty background. As expected from the color there was a lot of caramel malt in this beer, giving strong counterpoint to the hops which I'd prefer take a stronger lead. I guess I couldn't find any oak flavors, I haven't had much luck tasting the wood in anything but stouts so far. Thick body and sticky in the mouth, this beer was very satisfying overall. My personal preference would be to cut down on the caramel malts and concentrate on pales to let the hops make a more aggressive statement. But that's just me.

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Photo of sidetracked
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with a cream colored head. The second pour is cloudy, but the same color.

Smells of bitter citrus, but not as prevalent as expect. A bit piney too.

The upfront taste is mellow of bitter-grapefruit hops. The bitterness gives way to a maltiness that's hard to place with a bit of oak. In some sips the aftertaste seems almost off. The finish is dry.

Mouthfeel is good--somewhere between the thin and medium body one would expect.

I'm glad I tried Heavier Handed, but there are a lot better double IPAs out there.

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Photo of jhoban19
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into my favorite tulip glass (Maudite)... poured in 2 servings.

A: deep amber/ruby color with a foamy off-white head. A rush of carbonation quickly races up the glass and then disappears into the foam. When held to the light, a glow permeates through and around the glass. The head settles into thick ring with full surface coverage. Lacing is strong and retains its place on the glass throughout the entire pour.

S: Initial aroma is all hops- wonderful pine-scented hops. As it warms, rich toasty malts and honey start to emerge, along with a hint of vanilla bean.

T: Hops dominate the flavor with each and every sip, though there are enough sweet and toasty malts to provide a well balanced backbone. A hint of vanilla bean is also detected. As it warms the malts (particularly the honey) become more prevalent, but the piney hop flavors (and corresponding bitterness) still dominate. The second pour (bottle left out rather than back in the fridge) is a bit warmer and has more malt flavor- I preferred the slightly colder version with more hops. I'm knocking the Taste score down just a tad for this.

M: Heavier Handed is medium bodied and smooth- very smooth. Much like the pour, a rush of carbonation makes it way to the back of the throat and simply disappears, giving way to a smooth, sweet finish and a bitterness that lingers throughout. A sticky hop film remains on the lips, though the sweet malts and smooth finish keep the saliva glands working to provide a bit of moisture to balance out the sticky hops.

D: This is an incredibly drinkable beer. Too bad it was a limited release, would love to get my hands on a bit more of this. I'm glad I bought 2 bottles when I had the chance. I didn't quite get any aromas or flavors resulting from the barrel-aging, but maybe I just wasn't sure what to expect from that. About the only other negative I see is that the hops fade too quickly as the beer warms. Heavier Handed has such a wonderful hop flavor- I wish it would have lasted throughout the entire bottle.

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Heavier Handed IPA from Two Brothers Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.