Spiced IPA (Rotator Series #4) - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

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Spiced IPA (Rotator Series #4)Spiced IPA (Rotator Series #4)

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242 Ratings
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Ratings: 242
Reviews: 76
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 19.14%
Wants: 5
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Docer on 01-25-2012

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 242 | Reviews: 76
Reviews by mikechance:
Photo of mikechance
2.82/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I have enjoyed the Rotator Series and was looking forward to this one.

A --- Not too deep, not too dark, nor colorful

S --- I pick up some hops and spices, but not much

T --- I get an acid like taste. Slightly hoppy, but closer to a pale ale to me.

M --- medium body with decent amount of carbonation

O -- my least favorite from the Series. Instead of creating a nice flavor from the spices, I get acid and harsh aftertaste. Not interesting or creative, but just off.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.61/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured one and a half bottles into an imperila nonic with a clear light to medium golden with a great looking sticky one finger white head that never really settled ,a nice rocky mass is still there over five minutes after the pour.Mainly spice in the nose wich isn't bad but I would like some more hop presence going on in a northwest IPA.Alot of ginger on the palate with mild anise flavors,they seem to overtake the leafy/citric hops but it's not in you're face or off putting.It's not bad although I would like the hops to be bigger than the spiced flavors,still I would likely buy again.

Photo of Beaver13
3.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Pours a clear yellow orange with a medium creamy white head that goes to a thin film and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is bready malts and tea spices and cinnamon with a little fruit.

The flavor is a little sweet malt with a lot of tea spicing leading to a rather harsh grassy bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, an interesting idea, but the spices and hops don't really play well together.

Photo of Billolick
3.97/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler filled at the Green Growler in Croton-on Hudson, NY

Pours typical lighter almond amber, off white head, moderate fine lacing.

Spiced up nose with citrus, coriander, cloves and ginger.

Fruity, with more limes, ginger, cloves and tropical fruits on the palate.

Complex and flavorful IPA with alot more then typical spicing. Zesty and quite enjoyable, if you like your IPA on the aggressive side.

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a slightly orangish-yellow color with a white head. I get a ton of spice in the aroma. There is some cinnamon and clove that really come through strongly, as well as some orange notes from the hops. The flavor is very similar. The cinnamon and clove notes are once again present, with some orange and pine notes and a low amount of bitterness. There is also a decent amount of pepper in the flavor. Overall, all of these notes mix together surprisingly well and make for an enjoyable beer. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up at the old Raley's which is now like a liquor warehouse in Fallon, NV. Dark gold appearance, 1/2" in head. Aroma is black tea, cinnammon and all the usual spices that accompany a beer of this style.

Flavor of hops and black tea go together nice. And the beer apparently has a good deal of punch to it, I felt the buzz after a few of them, but the alcohol was not apparent in the mouthfeel. I'm not a big fan of green nor black tea, but in both ipa's I've had with a hearty dose of each, the result was a unique and enjoyable beer. Tons of sage/sagebrush in the beer, sounds weird, but drinks nice. Still delivers a decent amount of citrus hop flavors with the tea notes.

Anyone who thinks these won't sell isn't paying attention.

Photo of LXIXME
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an inch or so above the glass you get a big white head above a clear honey golden colored beer, with a lacing that has pretty good staying power.

Nutmeg, pumpkin spices, maybe other cooking spices dominate the aroma on this medium bodied drink.

The spices are less dominating in the taste but still there, the hops starts to come through some, and they seem to be more of the citrusy west coast style hops.

A light spice is still lingering in the aftertaste that is lightly dry and lasting.

I kind of liked this, a toned down pumpkin or spiced fall beer adding that to an IPA style. Hopefully more companies try stuff similar to this.

Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle - a single from a grocery store somewhere in the lurid heart of Waikiki.

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium golden amber hue, with one finger of thinly foamy white head, which leaves an array of islet speck lace around the glass as it readily settles.

It smells strongly of tropical fruit - overripe pineapple, guava, and mango, with a green, bitter herbal character, over some mildly caramelized pale malt, and a menthol-esque booze edge. The taste is a little more herbal than in the aroma, with more of the grainy malt poking through as well, amongst a slow-burning peppery note, and slipping fruitiness.

The carbonation is moderate, the body a stolid medium weight, and more or less smooth. It finishes a bit more clearly hoppy, the fruit and bitterness consolidating, and the herbal spice looking in from the outside.

A bit of a confusing, bric a brac of a beer. The flavours are there, they're good, and they hold their liquor, but there's a lack of order, and with no order, where are we? Whatever, I like it, and would have another.

Photo of TheSixthRing
2.49/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance - Pours a hazy, golden copper with a 3 finger head, excellent retention, and leaves behind a semi-sticky lacing.

Smell - Smell is primary pine, backed by some black tea notes.

Taste - Ugh. Pine hops mixed with black tea and pepper. I loathe this flavor.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with a decent bite.

Overall - After trying the O'ryely a few weeks ago, I went against my better judgement and purchased this one. Big mistake. There's not a whole lot of difference between the two, flavor wise... except they decided this one needed an infusion of tea? Disgusting. Not my, and pardon my pun, cup of tea.

Photo of tdm168
4.42/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear orangish copper with a thin layer of soft white head that has decent retention. The nose smells of oregano, thyme, parsley, maybe garlic, and some faint tea undertones. The flavor is tea first followed by some citrusy hops then some spices reminiscent of Italian seasoning and then finishes with some more citrus. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, smooth, a little dry and lightly carbonated.

This is an odd beer. I love the spices. They remind me of my grandmother's kitchen. The tea in this instance doesn't detract from the flavor by drying everything out though the finish is a little dry. The "IPA" aspect is simply a decent amount of citrusy hops and a light malt body. I will probably have this again.

Photo of secondtooth
4.15/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very light but cloudy yellow in complexion, with a full head and detailed lace. Impressive.

The nose is positively delectable, being intensely fruity with a deep citrus hops ester vibe.

Flavor is tough up front, with a bitter pine/grapefruit hops bite. I get a light hint of tea and spice towards the finish. Unique and quite enjoyable!

Photo of socon67
3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Amber pour, plenty of carbonation. Decent foam retention and lacing. Good clarity.

S - Smells of tea and pumpkin spice. While this is kind of cool, it seems a tad overwhelming.

T - Taste has a spicy finish, some hop bitterness, and an herbal flavor. Very similar to an iced tea. Not bad, but way too much spice

M - I found the spicy finish made this a one and done.

O - I'd have this again, but only when in the mood for tea flavored beer. Not a beer for all occasions.

Photo of Damian74Shensky
3.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle served in pint glass.
A-pours a light yellow with a mild head and moderate cloudiness.
S-an herbal aroma, like tea. Light hoppy smell.
T-Taste like a west coast IPA, the tea and spices enhanced the hoppy taste.
M-7% ABV. But couldn't even tell easy drinking beer, medium body with nice amount of carbonation
O-Nice solid beer. Would have again.

Photo of Glibber
3.23/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this beer on tap at the Crescent bar in Boise, where there beers are a $2.25.
This beer has sat in my garage fridge for months as part of a variety pack I was not drinking.
I did not realize the spice/smoke flavor until I had it last night on tap. The beer has a nice appearance, and smells of northwest hops. Quite hoppy and smokey. The beer is unusual with the smoke/spice, but was not too bad.

Photo of HalfFull
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a large wine glass showing a deep golden with a touch of haze. The pour does clear after a few minutes and sports an inch of just off white foam.

Nose is rather pleasant, with lemony hops along with a blend of spice notes. Pepper and cinnamon are prominant, along with some floral components. Warms to be a bit more resinous.

Flavor follows with a barrage of spice characteristics, a lightly sweet floral follows. The finish lingers with a hop bitterness followed by a drying tea like bitterness cloaked in a bit of citrus. A lack of dark malts allow these spices to shine as intended but it can get a bit confusing at times. Still fairly well balanced.

Nice feel, low to moderate in carbonation, allowing the spices to come through and matching the delivery. Overall a nice take but again a bit aggressive but then it does say 'Spiced IPA' right on the bottle. A good sipper but not a quaffer.

Photo of morimech
4.07/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, light amber color with barely one finger of head that settled to a thin cap. Nice amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass.

Do not notice anything out of the ordinary in the aroma. Smells like a straight up West Coast IPA with citrus and herbal hops.

I can definately taste the tea and spices. This is very herbal with black tea and I'm guessing Grains of Paradise. Has a peppery,herbal finish. Bitterness is moderate and no sign of alcohol. This is a bone dry IPA in the West Coast tradition. I think it all works well.

Well placed carbonation for a dry, bitter beer. Not the biggest body for a 7% ABV beer.

I prefer their O'Ryely IPA over this one but it is still a good, interesting beer.

Photo of KTCamm
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours cloudy orange with white foam on top. Strong lacing. Pine & citrus grapefruit nose. Light citrus and juicy flavor with a lurking hop backbone. Like a blonde IPA. Pretty good taste, but on the lighter side. Pretty good.

Photo of Docer
4.15/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: (4.0)
- Pours a nice clean and clear light amber orange. Finger of thick foamy head sits around a bit and creates a foamy and frothy thin blanket with lacing all about the glass. Certainly a clean and crisp pretty beer.

Smell: (4.0)
- When I had this on tap, the first thing I noticed was a wonderful hop punch to the face. Has a nice tea and cinnamon/clove aroma mixed in with an herbal earthy character. Hops add a nice pine and citrus flare along with a lightly sweet caramel and bready wheat grain. All melds together very well, and the hops are wonderful.

Taste: (4.0)
- Balance is the key word in this beers flavor. The spiced tea, bitter and not so-bitter hops, sweet malt, grain character, and more black tea all blend extremely well in this beer. In the beginning i thought the tea might be a bit too strong, but it all really does balance out. Zesty pine and citrus hops, malt that isn't too sweet, and cinnamon herbal clovy goodness.

Mouth Feel: (4.5)
- This beer is crisp, and is a light drinker for being 7% ABV. The bitterness in the finish dries the mouth and creates a nice chewy profile. It's not really sticky at all which is nice. Perfectly carbonated and drinkable.

Overall: (4.5)
- Has to be my favorite in the series, and it seems I keep saying that with each new Rotator Series release. This is well balanced folks, easy to drink, is their hoppiest yet I believe, and tastes great while packing a punch. Hardly any alcohol flavors at all. Get it when it hits the shelves in just a little over a month.

Photo of ocelot2500
3.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy golden orange with a tight white head that leaves little bits of lacing.

Smells of some spice notes and hops.

Tastes of the spice notes upfront with a hoppy ending. Notes of cinnamon and nutmeg lead off blending into a little malty sweetness. Hops come in on the end and add grassy notes. Spice pretty much dominates everything.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, the spice dominates the beer and I don't like it that much.

Photo of JohnGalt1
2.79/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into my slim goblet.. nice off white head has good retention and lacing... the brew is clear dark golden..

Wow... NOT AN IPA! .. just sayin' Cardamom, ginger, sweet cinnamon... clove? I have a Chai a few times a year in the colder months, and this nose could fit in with a lesser Chai.

Flavor has hints of tannic qualities that I associate with black tea.. but the spices are the only big player.. not getting anything in the way of hops... floral ginger note probably knock them out.. The sweet spices accentuate a background maltiness... finish knocks off very quickly leaving pretty much only cardamom..

Seems sorta thick for an IPA ... any light ale really .. carbonation is about right but the thick body accentuates everything that I don't like... the sweet spices, methol cardamom, etc....

There are folks that REALLY like this, but they are not going to outnumber the significant disappointments where those bottles sit in their fridge until an unsuspecting coworker comes by and gets the SPICE TEA beer... "Hey, here try this... you might like it.. It is an India Pale Ale but spiced like your wife's tea." This beer could end friendships.

If Widmer brewed a bunch of this, I suspect it will sit on shelves for a long while... Bottle shops will sell 1-2 per person ... never a 6'er unless they are uniformed.


Photo of yamar68
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well this is a pretty fuckin' weird concept. A spiced IPA? The other day I saw an IPA brewed with lager yeast and didn't think it could get any weirder. Clearly, I was wrong. Luckily I got this one pro bono from my brother's bottle shop. Poured from bottle to tulip:

It pours kind of a pear gold with a short lived finger of white head that fades to a ring. Pretty good lacing.

Don't get much in the way of spice in the nose... sprucey citrus takes control. Maybe a hint of garlic or something?

So, yeah... this is where it gets weird. It's like a Christmas ale had drunken sex with a bottle of Goose Island IPA. This is utterly strange. Very intriguing and I do enjoy being challenged by a beer but this is pretty far out.

Overall, it's nice to see that Widmer isn't just gonna play it safe forever. Glad to have had the chance to try it.

Photo of IPAguy2009
3.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- poured a good head that fades but leave good looking sticky lacing. Nice tan clear lookin beer.

S- this smells like a lagunitas beer! That real sweet malty smell. I also smell a faint juniper rosemary like smell. Hmmm weird haha

T- bitter rosemary juniper berry with earl gray tea like essence. Very different here. Very assertive bitter bitter hops that stick with you for awhile.

M- pretty thick with good carbonation to go with it.

O- well this beer is very strange. It's just so strange that it leaves me undecided as to if I like it or not. For what it is (beer with tea addings in it) it's very well done and nothing less from what I'd expect from widmer. Different without a doubt and an experience but not sure if I will get it again. Good work widmer!

Photo of CHickman
1.71/5  rDev -51.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours very hazy orange amber color with a 1 finger foamy white head that was full of bubbles and faded kind of fast and left minimal spotty lacing.

Smells very spicy up font, like clove, ginger, coriander, pepper, light cinnamon, allspice, potpourri, pine cones/piney hops, lemon zest, grains and herbs like mint and tea leaf; this beer smells like a spice rack was just knocked over, not like an IPA and I don’t care for it.

Tastes of spices and herbs, and like the nose includes ginger, coriander, pepper, clove, cinnamon, allspice, potpourri, pine cones/piney hops, lemon zest, floral hops or dry hop leafs, toasted grains, grass, herbs like mint and tea leaf, orange peel, yeast and cardboard; tastes like a broken tea bag full of spices was dropped in an IPA, and failed to impress me. Ginger lingers at the end with some spicy bitterness, but the bad taste does not fade.

Mouthfeel is smooth, with light carbonation, a medium body and an herbal spicy overload that just destroys your taste-buds. On the positive side, all the spices hide the ABV quite well.

I understand the concept of this beer, but I would never have it again – now let me go scrape my tongue.

Photo of shand
3.97/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

I love beers with tea additives, and I love IPAs, so my hopes are pretty high for this one. Pours a little lighter than the average IPA, with a finger and a half of head. The spices and tea are much stronger on the nose than the hops, it really smells like a nice cup of tea. The taste is very interesting, it's no slouch on the spices front, with cloves jumping right out at me along with the tea aspects. There's just a bit of IPA character in there with a hint of west coast-style hops. As I drink more, I become more "used" to the spices and get more of the IPA character. Not too much malt in here to speak of. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated and dry, and the drinkability turns out to be rather good once you acclimate to it. A very unique and boundary-pushing beer that's worth a try. I'm not sure how I'd do with a six-pack, but I enjoyed the single I bought.

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.13/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From tap to shaker pint glass at Union Jack's in Bethesda, MD on 5/27/12
*From notes

A: Clean and rich rusty amber. A .75 finger white head fades to a solid collar and decent lacing.

S: Lots of dried Italian spices. It's like opening your spice pantry, as this is right there in a big, epic way. Not getting a lot of hops here, though there are some minimal fruity esters wafting around in my nose.

T: Massive herbaceousness from top to bottom. It's overwhelming in most every way. There's a lack of balance between the hops (which take a backseat to be sure) and the basil-like qualities of the beer. It's not bad, it's just not really something I could have in large quantities.

M: Creamy, thick and really well put together. I think that, had the mouthfeel been weak, this beer would've been a massive train wreck.

O: An experience to be sure. I like seeing some of the bigger breweries taking chances like this, but I can't say that Widmer's Spiced IPA was a certifiable hit. Less herbs, more hops and I think you'd find me coming back for more, though in it's current state, I'm glad to have had only one.

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Spiced IPA (Rotator Series #4) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 242 ratings.