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Full Tilt IPA - Harbor City Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Full Tilt IPAFull Tilt IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

35 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 35
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 2.98
pDev: 20.81%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harbor City Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  ABV ?

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cokes on 11-19-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (2) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 32
Reviews by Homerbag:
Photo of Homerbag
2.11/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Clear dark orange with finger thick white head that quickly disappears.

No aroma of hops what so ever. Mineral water and some sweet malt are prevalent, but no hops. Tastes of a high quality Macro lager. Some malt, mineral water, no hops. Feel is thin and clean.

This is a weak lawn mower beer at best. I hate to slam beers because no matter what it is someones hard work. But I hate being lied to. This is labeled as an IPA, which gives me something to look forward to because I am a hop head. But like I said before, there are no hops in this beer that are at all discernable. I won't drain pour, but I won't buy it again.

More User Reviews:
Photo of badbeer
3.15/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale golden color, small white head, some lacing. Strong malt base, some flowery hops, slightly grassy, a bit of lemon. Kinda different. Plenty of caramel and some biscuit in the flavor, slightly hoppy finish, and I mean slightly. Not a whole lot of flavor, but it did taste alright. Higher carbonation, heavier side of medium bodied. This was an alright beer, not very IPA-ish to me, but still a beer worth drinking.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.12/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Squat amber bottle. No freshness dating. When I poured this one, about 95% of the glass filled up with foam, with just a slight layer of actual beer at the bottom. It took F-O-R-E-V-E-R for this to die off in order to pour in the rest of the beer. Be careful. Aromas are not what I'd expected. Instead of a zippy, oily hoppy-ness, I got more of a sugar-sweet butterscotch with a twist of pine cone. Flavor was more of the same, with a less-than-shining "IPA flavor" coming through. More malty than hoppy, with a distinct metallic flavor that came in near the end and really took over everything. Pretty thin in the mouthfeel and not a real crowd-pleaser in the drinkability category.

Photo of cokes
3.5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Update 7/31/03:
I've tried this several more times both on tap and in the bottle, and I have never been able to replicate my enthusiasm that I had for this intially. In fact it doesn't seem to stack up in any single catagory. I recall a hoppy grapefruit rush with a caramel malt base. It is still there, but reduced by a power of 10. Tons thinner than I remember too. Pretty average. Maybe this is killer when very fresh, or maybe I was smoking something when I wrote my overly-glowing praises of it (see below). But from my recent experiences, there are loads of better IPAs.
Sparkling deep golden bodied. Perfectly clear. Ivory head is large and shows all kinds of stick.
Huge hoppy nose of grapefruit and pine. Hopheads take notice.
Taste is similarly large on the grapefruit and pine notes. Malt is way the back seat, with just small contributions of toasted caramel. Just enough malt here to balance. Hops are the showcase. Complexities don't extend much past this. However, this may be a mute point, as this is very good as it is.
Medium full mouth with large, steady carbonation. GIves the impression of fluffiness.
An archetypical American IPA. Stands with Tyranena's Bitter Woman as the best AIPA's I tried recently. This a strong showing and quite a surprise from a brewery I haven't had much success with. (rating 4.3)

Photo of emerge077
2.68/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled at Captain Mike's in Kenosha, WI, review from notes.

Dull orange tone, some visible carbonation, but strangely no head whatsoever. Very nondescript aroma, not like sniffing a beer at all. You would think that an IPA might have some inkling of hops in it, but there was none to be found.

Dominant flavor of sweet barley or malt, but no hops at all. Very low level bitterness, but no hop flavor. Boo. It has low carbonation, and has more of a tea-like character. Ok drinkablility, but it was so dull I would never seek this out or drink it again.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.09/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada Imperial Pint. No date or info.

A - It pours hazy golden yellow and, despite the moderate pour, the head quickly rises to a huge four fingers! It slowly drops to one of those crazy head-plateaus where the sides give way leaving a massive center. Great sticky lacing. Fantastic!

S - The pour releases a big aroma with little pleasure. A bit grainy and thin it smells kind of shallow for an IPA. A fine level of hops is there but uninspired. A bit of lemon citrus and some herbal aspects. It's not much to behold.

T - A lack of balancing malts in the flavor makes this beer like hop-water. I like it though! It's crisp and clean with a zesty citrus lemon and grapefruit flavor with a bland herbal and pine finish. It's just a bit too unbalanced.

M - Smooth and sharp at the end, it's a lighter-bodied IPA that has a crisp finish with a dry bitter feel too it.

D - Not bad but interesting. The malts play no role in this at all besides fermentable sugars. Their flavor is completely lost at sea. The appearance is stunning. I wish the rest of the beer followed suit.

Photo of Erdinger2003
2.18/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

The head is foamy, white, falls quickly, and the color is golden and clear.

The smell is hoppy and has apples and other fruitiness.

This IPA is watery and not very hoppy, not very fruity.

Mouthfeel is a little smooth, but not very enjoyable.

Overall not very good.

Photo of ceeman
1.86/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Easily the worst IPA I've ever had. Tasted like a light macro brew lager. Avoid this at all costs. It's almost like the brewer had no idea what an IPA actually is. With so many good IPA's coming out of Wisconsin breweries, this is the most disapointing one I've come across.

Photo of marc77
3.11/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Brilliantly clear auburn hue. Dogged, creamy ivory white head leaves loose lace. Pronounced butterscotch and light caramel malt partially offset by mellow orange zest with hints of acidic lemon. A bit too buttery aromawise, and underhanded in hop nose. Brusque biscuit and toasted grain notes initially in flavor regresses into static pure caramel malt and maltose. Balmy hop bitterness leaves overall balanced slightly skewed towards sweetness. Very well attenuated and light in overall body. Diacetyl is more subdued than the aroma implies, but manages to leave a obtrusive oily viscosity in mouthfeel that leaves a lingering sweetened butter impression. Hop flavor is tame and cleanly citric, and is of a tart marmalade character. Finishes abrupt and slightly watery, with hints of chalk and dry cracker. An odd IPA that isn't anywhere near a "full tilt." Askew at best. Innocuous enough for good drinkability, though.

Photo of woodychandler
2.6/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This poured creating a rocky, off-white head with low retention. It had a good, hoppy nose underlain by a mild sweetness. The color was a medium amber with a slight amount of cloudiness. The mouthfeel was medium with only a light hop presence in the mouth. The finish was highly effervescent (think a swig of club soda) with more malt than hops. This was supposed to be an American IPA? Oof. Highly disappointing.

Photo of abents
2.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light amber golden color with little head and no lacing.

Smells: Malty sweetnes and carmel are noticed in the nose. Noticable butterscotch as well.

Taste: Big hoppy bitterness with slight grapefuit taste and a carmel malty finish. Leaves you with an "is that it?" feeling. Big smells, but taste faulters. I'm not that impressed with this IPA. Too citrusy and no flavor.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium with heavy carbonation. Fairly smooth drinking, but taste kinda ruins it.

Not what I like in a IPA I guess. Not enough flavor and not enough effort.

Photo of beveragecaptain
2.71/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle. This beer pours out amber colored with a large creamy head. The aroma is sweet and fruity, like pineapple. The lack of hop aroma makes me suspicious. The flavor is light, fruity, and nutty. There's a buttery flavor too. This beer is weird, and I don't like it. All of these odd flavors combine to make a mess. Not much hoppiness either. The mouthfeel is a little weak. I'm not at all impressed.

Photo of terrabyte
3.14/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a clear, chestnut brown with a huge white head.

The aroma smelled like grapefruit hops, with just a hint of nuttiness.

Flavor had a typical grapefruit twang. However, it was not accompanied by the usual tongue-lashing tart hops. This tasted like grapefruit juiced beer. Not really unpleasant, just seemed to be missing something for an IPA. Especially one at "Full Tilt".

Mouthfeel was just a bit over-carbonated, but it went down smooth nevertheless and was quite crisp.

Drinkability was high and could be regarded as a very refreshing beer. Probably a disappointment for those who enjoy highly hopped beers. This had the flavor, but could be considered the Unleaded version of IPA's.

Photo of WJVII
2.23/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass this brew is a light orange with a good amount of transparity. There is a slight white head but it fades fast leaving nearly no lacing. The smell is very faint, not much hops, or floral nose like an IPA should have. The taste is the same, not much flavor, some slight citrus and mild hops with nearly no carbonation. This is a poor example of an IPA and the style is not represented at all.

Photo of beerguy101
3.52/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium brown color. Small white foamy head. Aroma is malty and citrusy. A medium bodied IPA. Malts are surprisingly nutty and sweet. Hops are grapefruity and piney. NOT a typical IPA, the hoppiness is there, but the malts are more like a brown ale. It make for a interesting/confusing combination. Nicely balanced. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

Photo of cdkrenz
1.95/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - A thin eggshell colored head that swirls slowly away leaving a view of sporadically rising bubbles. The body is a hazy burnt orange color.

Smell - The scent is simple consisting mainly of malt but there is a hint of hops as well.

Taste - Mainly malt flavor with very little hops to speak of.

Mouthfeel - The texture is that I would associate with an IPA. It has a sublte coarseness across the tongue which would normally aid in brining out some of the different flavors.

~ I can't say I'd recommend this beer to any of my friends looking to enjoy a good IPA. The flavor is nothing like any of the IPAs I've had in the past. On second thought, maybe I should recommend this beer simply to give my beer-consuming friends a different type of IPA to sample. Probably not though.

Photo of Onenote81
3.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Received as an extra from BeerFMAndy in a recent trade. Huge thanks for the trade!

Poured into my conical pint glass. Pours a very cloudy copper gold with a big 2-finger off-white head resting on top. This sticks around a good bit, and leaves plenty of sticky lace. Smells of peppery spices mixed with a sharp twang. Not a big citrus or piney scent, very subtle.

The feel of this one is crisp and clean, but it sips well. Slight creamy quality to it makes it a pleasure to drink. The spices I got in the nose come out in the flavor as well. Definitely some big time bitterness going on here, but it's of the spicy variety. Dull black pepper start to this, that finishes more mellow and grainy. The semi-sweet citrus that I enjoy in IPAs is absent in this beer, but it's still decent. It's a different take on the style, and I commend them for it. I wouldn't want many of these at a time as the spicy nature would wear on me, but I'd have it again.

Photo of shivtim
3.3/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A golden honey color, a little bit hazy, with a wonderfully huge off-white head. The foamy head fades slowly. Smell is sweet citrus hops with grain. Taste is mostly grainy, with a nice gently hopped aftertaste but a little bit of metallic taste that distracts. Mouthfeel is just average, as is drinkability. The appearance and smell are the best points of this beer, which may work against it because expectations are set high and the taste just doesn't follow all the way through. Still a good beer though, not bad at all.

Photo of CaptainIPA
2.3/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured burnt orange with a thin, wispy head and no visible carbonation.

Skunky maple aroma with metallic notes. Absolutely no hint of hops.

Slightly sweet barley flavor followed by a light bitterness and crisp, dry finish. Balanced in the sense of equally non-existent hops and malt.

Very thin, under carbonated mouthfeel. Seemed too light for even a respectable pale ale designation.

Given that, I suppose the Full Tilt name is simply a reference to the angle of the sailboat on the label.

Unlike the ocean voyages of yesteryear, they used just enough hops to get this IPA across the harbor.

Stick a lemon wedge in and call it iced tea.

Photo of wheatyweiss
1.86/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a perfect.

Pours a light straw/apricot with a moderate cloud. One finger head recedes to a cap and leaves little to no lacing.

Aroma is of husky grain. Malt up front is adjunct and discerning. I smell what leads me to wheat, maybe corn? But I don't know for sure. Strange to say the least for an IPA.

Flavor is husky grain with a healthy dose of diacetyl. Hops in the middle are bitter are taste stale and not much more. There is absolutely no depth to the hop flavor. One dimensional and unremarkable, they are bitter like soap. Finishes husly and corny, like the mash was fortified with corn or the wort was boiled WAY too long. Not very well done at all.

Mouthfeel is crisp and carbonation is adequate.

Not a good flavor and the aroma isn't far behind. The hop and malt profile is abysmal. I would not buy this again. Not recommended. This is why BMC drinkers never venture out, tastes horrid.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured hazey golden amber with a very slight white head that fell quickly to the edges of the glass but laced it slightly.

The aroma was slightly malty with caramel and a slight hop impression. Slight fruit developed as the beer warmed mainly peaches or apricots.

The flavor was slightly malty with the balance just slightly toward hops and the bitterness increasing the longer the beer is savored.

The finish was dry with slight bittering lasting into the aftertaste. The body was medium to medium light a bit on the thin side.

12 ounce bottle, thanks to Skidz and BIF10.

Photo of tavernjef
3.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clouded darker lemon yellow. Finger high capping of dusty white foam lays across the top with good might and stays present for length. Big inky blobbed lacing in patchy patterns.

Aroma is more like a hefe with a snappy yeast tone adding the unusual play of dulled lemon and wheat malt; for an IPA. Even though the aroma doesn't really speak IPA, its a fairly big and rounded.

Well this went nowhere real quick. The flavors don't say anything too impressive while at the IPA podium. Ummm...its plain,...clean, nothing IPA about it really, kinda lemony, crispened, flat finish with a small dryness of yeast and wheat-like malt. Quite skimpy for an IPA. No real off-flavors, just not alot of flavor, and nothing that says to me, IPA. More like a weakended pale ale, if that.

Feel is light/medium with a slight omff of carbonation and texture to get it going. Tenderly mild and semi sweet with lemony tones and faint drying finish.

Are they sure they bottle the right recipe here? Seem so much more like a weak Hefe mixed with a weaker pale ale. Strange for an IPA to labeled as so when it clearly is confused. As am I. Still drinkable and enjoyable, but as an IPA, I think not. As a beer to enjoy, sure, to a point of simple pleasure and more so, simple quaffing.

Photo of keoki182
3.22/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Harbor City's version of an IPA is considerably less hoppy than most IPAs that come to mind. The nose is quite hoppy with citric/coniferous notes, but the ale itself is more flavorful than bitter. This is a pretty good beer, just not an IPA. Perhaps more of an American pale?

Photo of ZAP
2.06/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Not much of an IPA here...nose is more butterscotch than hops....body is very thin....an OK malt component is there with a hit of some piney hops but it is so subdued and the body is so light this feels more like a below average pale ale to me than a very below average IPA...

This is not what I expect an IPA to taste like when I pour one open...perhaps Tyranena or New Glarus could could ship a few to the eastern part of the state to give them an idea...I did just get an OK hop burp so there must be some in this but they are muted by the butterscotch and malt..

Photo of lampkins
4/5  rDev +34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have tried this beer several times and this years batches (2004) have seemed to mellow on the Hops, something that is not done too often in the craft brew industry where the current mantra is "more hops the better." Like most IPA's the beer did not have a large foam head and the beer was amber in appearance. I can taste the hops, but they do not over power the beer, often times with the extreme beers I get a kick back in my throat, and the beer has a good malt taste to it as well. The beer is drinkable and I can have a couple of these on my patio when the weather is warm i.e. summer. A good IPA to have if your sick of the over hopped beers that dominate this market.

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Full Tilt IPA from Harbor City Brewing Company
72 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.