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Amsterdam Boneshaker IPA - Amsterdam Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Amsterdam Boneshaker IPAAmsterdam Boneshaker IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

249 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 249
Reviews: 81
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 11
Gots: 58 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Amsterdam Brewing Company visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Sammy on 05-31-2010

Hop Heads rejoice! This naturally carbonated, unfiltered I.P.A is loaded with citrus and pine aromas from a continuous hopping technique that our brewers use to create this one of a kind beer. Amarillo hops and a complex malt bill are used to create a balanced body with a large hop character giving way to a unique taste experience.

65 IBU
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 249 | Reviews: 81
Reviews by yancot:
More User Reviews:
Photo of JohnnyBarman
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Hamilton's Winking Judge. The pour was a valiant effort on the part of the bartender, given the drastic change in temperature over the last couple of days, which seemed to be wreaking havoc on their lines. Despite being on tap, the brew came out at around cellar/cask temperature, which was a real treat.

Poured into an unbranded nonic. A pumpkin-coloured brew, slightly murky, amber-russet. Good frothy head, lots of lacing.

Nose is tangerine, grapefruit, soft American hops, pale malts.

An enjoyable IPA that proved to be a tasty companion on a wonderful late spring evening. The hops weren't as full and rich as can be found in Smashbomb or other big IPAs, but certainly they prove to be a formidable opponent in this brew. Finishes long and bitter, with a bit of woodsiness. I think they've amped up the sweetness a little over last years batch, because this one had a great deal more balance.

The pour was, again, a struggle, so the brew had a nice cask feel to it. Low density, moderate to low carboation, sticky texture.

Certainly worthy of mention in the small, but growing annals of Ontario IPAs. With this, and their delightful Spring Bock, Amsterdam is finally proving that it CAN brew the good stuff- keep it coming lads!

Photo of BGDrock
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes:

Appearance: deep amber; hazy due to being unfiltered; thick with good - make that great - retention (lasts until the bitter end)

Aroma: whoa, intense green hops! pine, resin; like it's freshly picked; addictive; hint of citrus

Taste & Mouthfeel: follows the scent - huge, fresh hop flavour; resinous and bitter; bit of a creamy texture and carbonation is spot on; if being unfiltered is providing the smooth mouthfeel, it's a nice touch, but if not, not sure it imparts much taste-wise

Overall: a very powerful IPA that feels great going down and leaves you with enough sense in your tastebuds that everything doesn't taste like hops an hour later

Photo of biboergosum
3.13/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

355ml bottle. 90 minute boil, eh? Too bad that name is already taken, but this one is a lot to live up to.

This beer pours a hazy, medium brassy amber hue, with two fat fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and somewhat bubbly eggshell white head, which leaves an attractive array of limestone shale lace around the glass as it slowly dissipates.

It smells of sharp grapefruit and lemon pith, muted pine resin, musty tropical melon, bready caramel malt, and further grassy, leafy hops. The taste is musty, uneven, and kind of vegetal grassy, herbal hops, with a now dead as a doornail pine essence, semi-sour grainy caramel malt, underripe, fleshy fruit, and a mild yeastiness. No sense of warmth or astringency from the alcohol, so, well, there's that.

The carbonation is fairly tame, just a mild frothiness up front, the body medium-light in weight, and quite pithy and tacky in its laughable attempt at smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the muddled fruitiness, weedy grass, and unfocused caramel malt all contributing to a certain sense of disorientation.

Hmmm. May be that I have a bad bottle here, but since I bought a whole six-pack (retail in Alberta: near 20 bucks, sheesh), I will surely revisit this with another soon. In the meantime, this doesn't seem exactly off, just underwhelming all around, and hardly representative of the heady marketing - my bones remain secure in their sockets.

Photo of mintjellie
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep orange colour. Slight haze. Thin cap of retentive, lacy head. Aroma is toast, light pine, and even lighter citrus. On the sip, toasted biscuit and grapefruit pith, turning to citrus fruit midpalate, finishing with a firm leafy bitterness. Medium-bodied with low carbonation. Smooth, oily mouthfeel. Resinous. Good flavour and killer mouthfeel more than make up for the underpowered aroma. I'd buy it again.

Photo of MartyPuch
3.06/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at the Winking Judge in Hamilton. I crave a good American IPA and am not a fan of Amsterdam products in general. This is unlike an American IPA, just blah to me and oh so typical of Amsterdam.. A good IPA wows on all accounts. This wowed me on nothing.

Not worthy of the name Boneshaker ("The kids they dance and shake their bones while the politicians are throwing stones singing ashes to ashes we all fall down..."). I did not dance or shake after. I went to bed.

Photo of Sammy
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at C'est What Spring Festival. Hoppy aromas. Giant grpaefruit flavours. Above-average mouthfeel. Very fresh and decent drinkability. Amsterdam shows what it can do in a small batch, and one of the winners of this festival. Understated carbonation, but good balance with caramel malts, so that about 50-60 IBU came through nicely balanced.

Photo of beersnewb
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got this higher percentage beer at the LCBO for same price as lesser percentage, guess they didnt read label close enough hahah. Very tasty IPA and great for when you feel like hoppin out. Dark, unfiltered pour with nice head that is very drinkable. Kudos to the brewers for a finne drink.

Photo of Dna_Infinity
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Can to glass

Appearance - Pours a cloudy farm orange/amber colour with a great white head that leaves great lacing

Smell - Pine and citrus smells. Hops really come through

Taste - Hoppy, pine, citrus, grapefruit, alcohol is smooth. All the flavours are really well blended together. One doesn't overpower the other.

Overall - Good beer and a well balanced IPA. Nothing special but not bad by any means

Photo of Archy
3.37/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Look is of brilliant copper, smell of diluted grapefruit, taste is a mouthful of alcohol -bitterness on the front, but rather dry on the finish. The alcohol could be integrated better. This said, the feel is well balanced. Overall, I would drink again but it wasn't spectacular.

Photo of JahTurbo
3.13/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Too bitter for me. Me. Me. Words.

Photo of eat
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice opaque copper-coloured body with a cover of cream-white head. Good looking stuff.

Solid nose: lots of hops, lemon-lime, slight grapefruit, bread and light caramel.

Good flavour but definitely a little strange. Decent hopping but the style is more in line with an English IPA than its American counterpart (not my preference). Fairly bitter though it remains nice and balanced. A little unpleasant ethanol shows.

The feel here is less than ideal. The foamy carbonation attempts to ruin this beer altogether but the medium body hold it together. Way too much carbonation.

In spite of a couple flaws this stuff remains oddly drinkable. I kind of like it but I also kind of don't. Given the recent improvements to the IPA selection in Ontario I don't think there's really a reason to pick this one up.

Photo of DaveBar
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Excellent Canadian IPA. Best I have had here. There are some good ones but this one is GREAT!! Again for Canadian beer. With respect to IPA's around the world this one is pretty good!

A- Nice dark amber colour.

S- Good strong hop smell. Pine. Slight sour I enjoy

T- Excellent! Just as good as a SN or any other mass produced IPA in the US. MMMM Malt! Tremendous malt flavours. Don't expect tame. Good yeastiness. Just a nice hoppy, malty IPA.

M- Excellent!! Same as above

O- Excellent try! Looking forward to more offerings from Amsterdam like this. A 120min would be nice

Keep going on the Canadian IPA's!!! Worth a try.

Thx for reading

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a hazy dirty pale amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma consists of bitter hops with light citrus and earthy notes. Taste is dominated by citrus hops with light earthy note and an astringent finish. Malt profile is quite dry though strong enough to back the hops profile. Body was quite full with limited filtration and good carbonation. Well brewed though maybe a tad too astringent for my tastbuds.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Replacing original review from 12-22-2010 from an old batch. Original review was a score of 2.93.

Very fresh batch. First distributed bottles - just hit the LCBO last week. Poured in to Bruery Tulip glass.

A - Hazy dark orange with some amber. One finger of bubbly cream coloured head formed with good retention. A lot of particles floating around in the glass.

S - Big bitterness up front with grapefruit and orange peel aromas. The malt backbone is fairly prominent adding some sweet caramel. The hops are dominant but this malt base is more than just a secondary player here.

T - A big bitterness up front with grapefruit, pine and orange peel flavours. The malt backbone adds some balance and sweet caramel flavours. The finish is bitter and dry. As this beer warms up, floral notes begin to surface and they become a fairly central component. Seems to be a mix of American and English hops.

M - Somewhat thin and watery but the carbonation is perfect (low).

Photo of StephenRich
3.06/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The Amsterdam Brewery started out as a brewpub in Toronto in 1985, the first of its kind here. Since then is has evolved to a fully operation brewery servicing Ontario and the surrounding markets. I have also been around since 1985, but I have never had a beer like this from Amsterdam. I am used to their Frambroise, the Nut Brown, Blonde, or their seasonal Pomegranate Wheat. Even their recent Oranje Weisse was very familiar; all in the 5% range, none of them really taking any chances - each of these beers are very politically acceptable we'll say.

The Boneshake though, this is a very different story. Amsterdam is calling it an Unfiltered India Pale Ale, however I would more appropriately call it a Double IPA. It is 7.1% abv, and packs a bitter punch that could not be rivaled by a case of any of their other beers. That being said, I was very excited to try this. I love it when breweries stop focusing on what the market thinks they want, and brewers just brew. The Americans have been doing it for years, and with huge success! In a market which is declining in the U.S., craft beer continues to increase in sales. I'm about to see if Amsterdam has caught onto the idea.

The Boneshaker is a limited production run with only 80 cases being produced and sold directly out of the Brewery's on-location stone. It comes in a 500 ml bottle with a very old fashioned style label depicting a skeleton riding a rather rickety looking bicycle. I'm not sure what the IBU's (International Bitter Units) are on this beer, but they are definitely higher than any beer they have produced before.

Immediately this beer made me smile - with a gentle pour down a tall Amsterdam glass it build a densely fogy amber down beer with a lush, creamy, and tightly carbonated 2 to 3 inch pillowy head. The foam was a touch off-white resting perfectly with superb retention on top of a glowing red brick beer. Hints of golden orange and copper shine through the edges with a smooth haze. This beer stood tall and proud just perfectly in the glass; absolutely a gorgeous double IPA.

The nose bring a big rush of bitterness upfront and hints at citrus and spice. It is very raw bitter right away with almost a lack of flavor aromas. Slowly though you can pick up grapefruit peel, including the white bitter rind. It shows a floral and herbal freshness with a touch of sweet malt - but the overbearing sensation here is a raw and potent bitterness.

The initial taste greatly reflects the aroma. The first cool wave of beer pours over your palate easily with mildly creamy carbonation, but brings a thick wave of bitterness and hops. More just the bitter sensation though. The hops are somewhat subdued right now, but as the beer warms up greater freshness and citrus peel becomes apparent. Grapefruit, lemon and lime show their place, and again the faint notes of herbal freshness comes in. There is a touch of white pepper in the background and the roundness of whole hops.

Malt sweetness does shows up a bit more now was the beer nears cellar temperature; its brings a lightly caramel and sugary sweetness in the back that gently rolls off your tongue and really hits you in the cheeks. The malt, citrus, and herbal flavors here all are in the background of the beer though, the overpowering sensation is this very rich, but very raw bitterness. I was actually really enjoying by now, halfway through the beer - but for the regular Amsterdam Beer drinkers it may be too much to fast.

Its as if all the hops went into the kettle right away for bittering, but none if any were added close to the end for flavor or aroma (the longer a hop remains in the boil the more bitter it becomes, and less actual flavor remains). This does all help to create a massively quenching beer that finishes dry and tart, with an aggressive bitter end that lingers. I could still feel the bitter 30 minutes later on my palate.

To me the Boneshaker is just unbalanced right now and has become very one sided. A bigger malt backbone needs to be present to balance the bitterness, and some fresh aroma hops needs to be added so that the only bitter here isn't just raw sensation of power. Overall a great start by the Amsterdam team, I will be excited to see what comes of this!

Photo of Derek69
4.48/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very hoppy and impressive IPA, this is what an India Pale Ale is supposed to be. Unfiltered and cloudy, with a noticeable alcoholic content. Just the right amount of head, laces down the glass nicely.

I can see a 6-pack of this stuff not lasting long. If you're looking for a true IPA vs. the mass produced stuff, this is a very good yet still affordable choice.

Photo of ritzkiss
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle which I picked up from the brewery store. Pours an extremely murky toasted caramel color with 2 fingers of foamy head which recede into rocky crags and then to a collar, attaching chunks of sticky lace to the sides of the glass.

Nose is an initial burst of piney hoppy goodness with a generous dose of citrus rind. It quickly dissolves into a toasty caramel malt with hints of nuts.

A bit of an odd duck - Imperial ESB? Toasty malt with some caramel and nuts, a hint of piney hops, a pleasant bitterness which has a resiny/oily spicy and grassy quality, a hint of honey. Not your typical West Coast IPA but surprisingly enjoyable. Smooth body, balances nicely between bold and drinkable, tipping at times toward drinkable. I would gladly sup with this pint at any pub, one of the best things to come from Amsterdam.

Edit: After a few more bottles I have to edit down slightly, this beer is just too rough around the edges to justify the score I gave it - bitterness borders on astringent, especially as it warms, alcohol comes across as a little fusel at times, all the aspects could be a little more integrated - still not a bad beer, just not as refined as I would prefer.

Photo of FondueVoodoo
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A big thanks to cattersley for providing this as part of CanBif2013

A: Pours a clear shade of apricot with big pillowy head with plenty of thick lacing that coats the sides of the glass. Plenty of tiny carbonation streams throughout. Quite a pretty sight.

S: Musky melons, cantaloupe and papaya, together grassy notes, pine resin and caramel sweetness. Slight hints of grapefruit rind in the background.

T: Taste of musky melon, pine resin and citrus rind. Mild lingering bitter finish. Taste is more subtle than the scent.

M: Medium bodied with mild carbonation and finishes with a dry and mildly lingering bitter finish.

O: The highlight of this beer is its appearance. The foamy head never dissipates and it beautifully covers the sides of the glass with thick lacing. As the taste is more subtle than typical west coast IPA's this is a very approachable beer that would work well with food or on its own.

Photo of DSC1980
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Strong IPA, very hoppy (alittle too hoppy honestly), but that's advertised on the box "over the top hop's!".

A - Golden, look's great!

T - very hoppy, if your not into that stay clear. Citrus, and hop's dominate.

M - smooth, for having a high alcohol content you wouldn't know it.

O - Too hoppy for me, but the great appearance and smooth drinkability slightly redeem it, however for the price this is a one time buy.

Photo of spinrsx
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle from my buddy Jason - thanks!

Appearance - Hazy copper colour with an above average size fizzy and frothy light beige coloured head. There is a high amount of carbonation and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes. There are also some small particles floating around - but I guess it mentions that it's unfiltered..

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, grapefruit/orange, pineapple, resin

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste hops, malts, and caramel. There is also lots of resin and some pineapple/oranges. It ends with a quite hoppy bitter aftertaste that lingers for a few seconds.

Overall - This beer walks the line between IPA and DIPA. It reminded me a bit of Dale's Deviant DIPA mixed with a Spearhead Pineapple Pale Ale. While it's not a mind blowing IPA; it has a taste that is enough to keep you interested and well worth a repeat purchase. Good stuff!

Photo of SillySir
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Smell: The side of the Boneshaker IPA can tells me that it has pine and citrus flavours. Well, not sure if I really detect the pine flavours, but I do detect bitter grapefruit in the hop. It really does punch you in the face with its hoppy flavours, so if you like bitter beers (and grapefruit!) this beer may suit you well.

Update: as I finish the beer the pine really comes through as it warms.

Appearance: Amber gold with a quickly vanishing head. Moderately cloudy.

Taste: Very bitter, with a finish that lingers, and lingers, and lingers (and lingers!). So much grapefruit.

Palate: Balanced carbonation.

Overall: Very good IPA.

Photo of liamt07
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the brewery, can't be more than a week and change old. Consumed Jan 4, into a pint glass, 500ml.

Pours a dark orange/red, unfiltered with some haziness in there. Only a finger of head, even given a relatively aggressive pour. A collar and some light head retains, good lacing. Nose is mostly hops, fairly fresh with grapefruit, orange and tangerine. Bit of malt around as well, some toffee. Kicks off with some bitter hops on the tongue, similar fruits to the nose, maybe a slight pineiness too. Long lingering bitterness. Alcohol is sensed in the gullet. Good drink, one of the best I've have from Amsterdam.

Photo of SebD
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice hazy orangy/amber color to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves very nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of citrus, pineapple, mango with sweet caramelly malts and a touch of breadiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some citrus, not getting much of the pineapple/mango, some piney hops and some sweet bready/caramelly malts .

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

Photo of BigBry
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at the Amsterdam Brew House in Toronto.
After the sweet Brown Ale, I couldn't wait for something hoppy.
Poured slightly hazy (obviously unfiltered), amber gold color with a tall head. Good foam retention and some lacing lines.
Aroma of bitter, earthy hops and a bit of citrus.
Taste has lots of citrus or grapefruit-like hops, ends with some earthy pine notes.
Body was fuller than expected, good carbonation, dry finish.
Very nice, this would probably be my go-to from this brewery.

Photo of thehyperduck
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

355 mL bottle from the LCBO. This is one that I've been hearing good things about for a while, and really wanted to try - but I just couldn't find it anywhere locally. This particular six pack is only in my possession because of a chance pit stop in Vaughan.

Pours a cloudy amber-copper colour, topped with one finger of frothy, off white-coloured head that fizzles away disappointingly quickly. At least it has the courtesy to leave a coat of sticky lacing behind, and a decent cap/collar on the surface. Enjoyable aroma with plenty of prominent fruity hop notes; lemon zest, orange/grapefruit citrus rinds and pine resin definitely come to mind, underlain by a caramel malt backbone.

It definitely tastes as hoppy as it smells, if not moreso - definitely rather astringent, and clearly made to appeal to hopheads. Brown sugar and bready malts provide a subtle backdrop for the various hop flavours to showcase their stuff - including pine resin, grapefruit rind, orange peel, and maybe even a hint of pineapple. Finishes with a pleasant, piney bitterness that lingers on the palate well into the aftertaste. Medium-bodied, with a smooth feel in the mouth due to the restrained carbonation levels.

Definitely a solid IPA, and probably the best Amsterdam brew I've yet tried. It's not much of a session beer, though - two bottles a night would be my max, due to the palate-scrubbing astringent bitterness, and the fairly high abv (by Ontario IPA standards, anyway).

Final Grade: 3.94, a solid B+. Amsterdam's Boneshaker IPA would be a welcome addition to any LCBO's cold shelves. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to get distributed nearly as far as most of its main competitors - Mad Tom and Smashbomb the foremost amongst them. Truth be told, I'd get along fine with just those two. Boneshaker is a nice changeup, and a great effort from a brewery I have never been especially impressed with, but it's not something I feel the need to have a constant supply of.

[Updated Jan. 4 2014]

I grabbed a single bottle from the LCBO reject bin to compare it to a few of my other favourite IPAs (Red Racer, Mad Tom and Baldwin Fisheye PA). Boneshaker is one of the better IPAs in Ontario, with a fuller body than average as well as plenty of hop astringency when fresh (and an earthy, baker's chocolate bitterness when not fresh). My only real problem with this beer is the format - put this in a tallboy can and I'd definitely get it more frequently than I do. This isn't my favourite IPA, as it's a little stronger than I prefer, but it's a still a good one that I will return to again at some point.

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Amsterdam Boneshaker IPA from Amsterdam Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 249 ratings.