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Heavy Seas - Big DIPA (2009-2011) - Heavy Seas Beer

Not Rated.
Heavy Seas - Big DIPA (2009-2011)Heavy Seas - Big DIPA (2009-2011)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

223 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 223
Hads: 314
Avg: 3.7
pDev: 13.78%
Wants: 6
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tgdigital on 06-17-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Hops: Amarillo, Centennial, Simcoe
Malts: 2-row, Biscuit, Crystal
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 223 | Hads: 314
Photo of 2Stout4u
2.1/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This is not what I want from a Dipa. The malts overpower the hops and that ain't cool. For those who like balance between the two, drink away. When I buy a Dipa I expect hop heaven, like Breckenridge 471. I read some reviews about Clipper City and I might try another style but never this one again.

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Photo of md655321
2.13/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Bought one of these as soon as it hit the shelves. While I am not a huge fan of Clipper City, they certainly hit it out of the ball park as far as bang for the buck. Shared a bomber with a friend, but just barely. Cloyingly sweet with barely any hops making it through. Aged barleywine sweet. Except without any complexity. Cheap caramel taste and a very thick mouthfeel. I really had a hard time drinking this, and so did my friend. Amazed at what this is like when its fresh. A few months on it would make this beer undrinkable entirely. If it wasn't a brand new beer, I would have guessed it was a 2 year old DIPA. Hopheads avoid!

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Photo of BeerNinja007
2.16/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Got this bomber over the summer from Amity Wine & Spirits, New Haven CT, for $5.99. 10.5% ABV, 75 IBUs, no date or code. Served at about 50F in a chilled pint glass.

I can see some sediment at the bottom of the bottle, so tried to pour it gently to avoid its disturbance. Mission accomplished: a clear thick copper brew. Tan head is a modest 1/2" but doesn't settle too much.

Aroma has a body of thick corn syrup sweetness. Hops are fairly mild, fruit and florals, nothing outstanding.

The body is thick and viscous, syrupy, caramel and biscuit, with a charred edge that reminds me of burnt Rice Krispies. Despite this heft the alcohol is clearly evident, a moderate solvent-like burn. It has a heavy biscuity sweetness that I don't find appealing. Hops are present and are about on par with other DIPAs in terms of strength, but they're completely overwhelmed by the unappealing body and invasive alcohol. Hops are... grapefruit pith, herbs, florals? It is hard to find anything truly coherent on the hops front so that's just a best guess. Finishes with turpentine, burnt rice, and a bit of fruit/floral hop.

If I made a homebrew this bad I probably wouldn't share it with anyone out of embarrassment. This is quite an amateurish brew. Way too thick and all I can think of is burned Rice Krispies.

C'mon Clipper City, I've known you to be hit (Peg Leg, Prosit!, Yule Tide) or miss (Below Decks), so I know you can do better than this.

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Photo of BonsaiBrewer
2.35/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I think they should have called this an American Barley Wine. Double IPA it is not. Too sweet and not enough hop nose or bitterness. Appearence is a nice amber, copper color with a slight haze. No head at all. If I had another I would definitely age it for several more months before drinking in a hope that it would bottle condition longer and build up more carbonation. Beer is flat and sweet (at least for a DIPA!). I am guessing that the brewer put too much crystal malts in this batch which contributed to the amber color and high sweetness. Aroma is very pleasant, but again it's more in line with a barley wine than a DIPA. Alcohol strenghth is hidden well; it is smooth with few fuesol compounds present. It definitely packs a punch!!
Would have given much higher ratings if I was expecting a barley wine. As a DIPA it left me disappointed. Lack of carbonation really detracts from enjoyment. It also probably enhances the sweetness.
I am a big fan of Clipper City and had high hopes for this one. Their Heavy Seas IPA is very good (as are all the others in the series that I have had), but this one leaves me disappointed - yet quite buzzed.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
2.48/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This beer has an amber/burnt orange color to it with an off white head that settles after a minute. The aroma is sweet and I can smell citrus with a light hop scent. After smelling it, it tastes how you would already expect. It's sweet and has a strong grapefruit taste with a moderate amount of bitterness. The mouthfeel is creamy and has normal carbonation. The alcohol is definitely not hidden at 10.5% and you can feel a slight burn down your throat.

The big DIPA, to me, isn't a DIPA at all. It seems more like a strong APA. I like having a presence of alcohol in a strong beer if it works well with the flavors but I do not feel that it is working for this one. I was really let down by this beer since I do like the Heavy Seas series and was excited after hearing about the Mutiny series. This isn't a terrible beer, I just have mixed feelings about it. For the price, I would say pick one up and try it for yourself.

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Photo of number1bum
2.52/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a slightly hazed copper color with a pretty good off-white head on top. Keeps a thin lace but leaves a ton of sticky rings on the sides.

Smells boozy and sweet, with a hot fusel alcohol aroma plus some sweet syrupy caramel, honey, overripe peaches, and booze soaked oranges. Really not loving this nose at all. There is some juicy fruit going on here but it's soaked in booze and it's overly sweet.

Taste is a bit better but this is definitely not a top notch DIPA I'm drinking here. It's quite sweet, with a big candied fruit and honey flavor. There is some fruit, but like the nose, it's not a bright and floral hoppy sort of fruitiness, but instead a sticky sweet concentrated juice sort of fruit flavor. It's also pretty boozy and actually feels out of balance in the malt direction, which is surprising for a DIPA. I don't think the 75 IBUs were enough for the hefty malt bill on this one, and I also don't think they were well spent - the hop flavor is very uninspiring, with a moderate level of bitterness for the style.

Mouthfeel is quite hot but does have a redeeming creaminess to it. Still, the alcohol in the back of the throat is too much.

Frankly, this is one of the worst DIPAs I've ever had. It's a boozy, unbalanced mess, completely lacking in redeeming hop character. I don't know that I'd pick up even a reformulated version of this, as this is no easy fix. Avoid.

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Photo of Aenema
2.54/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - Pours a clear, deep amber with a one finger off-white head. Nice head retention and lacing.
Smell - Some resin and pine and a citrusy sweetness, somewhat similar to a tangerine.
Taste - Sugary with some slight hop notes. Not regular caramel malts, but a cloying, overpowering sweetness.
Mouthfeel - Creamy with a medium-full body.
Drinkability - Too sweet and cloying, I couldn't finish the bomber.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.58/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. Appearance is amber with a short white head and not too much lacing. The nose brings some citrus hops and a bit of a tropical character with a lot of sweetness. Some hop flavor in the taste, but this is overly sweet, taking the East Coast DIPA style to the extreme. Taste is slightly cloying. I was able to drink this but it is not at all as advertised.

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Photo of billab914
2.69/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip glass. Poured a dark copper color with a small white head covering the top of the beer. The head stuck around pretty well and left some excellent lacing on the sides.

The aroma has a lot of hoppy citrus flavors but they are almost hiding behind the huge malty, sugary, alcohol flavor I'm getting from it. Not really a good start for me, would have much preferred the hops take the forefront in a DIPA.

The taste also has a strong candy sugary taste to it. I can taste the citrus, pine and bitterness that I expect from a DIPA but it really is almost buried behind the overwhelming sweetness.

Drinkability isn't good, I doubt we will be finishing the bomber. It's way too sweet and not in a caramely malty good way, more in a sugary candy type way that really didn't mesh well with the hoppy flavors.

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Photo of callmemickey
2.73/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Rich orange-amber body. Big white cap which receded quickly. Spotty lacing.

S: Malt. Lots o' malt. At 75 IBUs I certainly am not detecting much over the syrupy sweet caramel malts and toffee.

T: More of the same. Except it manages to get even more one dimensional. All caramel malt.

M: Medium bodied, yet thin on the palate. No quantifiable finish. The syrupy beer just coats the mouth and sticks around forever.

D: Utterly disappointing. However, I used what I didn't drink (which was a lot) for the base of a minestrone soup I made the lady. It worked in that role, but not as beverage.

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Photo of Clydesdale
2.76/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a densely hazy orange-brown. The medium-sized head has a burnt orange tint and a very dense, creamy and frothy texture. Retention is fairly impressive, with very sticky lacing clinging to the glass.

S: Hmmm...lots of caramel sweetness in the nose. Some citric (orange) and tropical hop aromas, but not in the style of most DIPA's. A definite rumlike alcohol scent is present, but in a fairly pleasant way. Still, this is a barleywine by the nose.

T: A fully-formed caramel sweetness up front. Rather sticky-sweet. Some pleasant citric hop flavors, with an especially rindy bitter bite. Unfortunately, this beer is quite overtaken by rummy alcohol into the finish. Little complexity or hop flamboyance.

M: Fairly full bodied. Carbonation is light, which doesn't jive especially well given the less-than-hoppy DIPA flavor profile. Overly boozy and hot into the finish.

D: I'm very unimpressed with this beer. Drinks more like a barleywine, but it wouldn't even be good in that category. Complexity is low, and flavor generally resembles a malty IPA with a huge boost in abv. Worth passing over - there are many better DIPA bombers out there.

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Photo of TCgoalie
2.76/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark caramely amber color. A half finger head forms atop the beer and sits for an extended period of time. Some lacing but not much.

The scent is rather bready and malty. It smells like a tame barleywine.

The taste is quite bready and malty up front and transitions to a brown sugar like taste. Some hops appear, but just enough for me to not totally dismiss this brew. I'm not impressed with the taste. The fact that it is nearly 11% is the only redeeming quality taste wise.

The mouthfeel is quite heavy and syrupy. It makes my saliva gather making me want to spit.

I'm not going to want more than this bomber can offer. I've had countless DIPA's better than this one.

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Photo of BB1313
2.78/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I Split a bomber and found it overpowering overall.. it's definitely not my type of IIPA. It's darker in color than I prefer. The alcohol presense is not hidden well. It's extremely sweet as well. It's not horrible, I just think my expectation on this one was a little high since I'm a huge fan of Heavy Seas Loose Cannon. Malty as hell and tastes like a barleywine.

If you're looking for Loose Cannon's bigger brother, this isn't him.

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Photo of beersensei305
2.78/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured in a tulip glass at WOB

A- Amber colored in the glass, with a decent white head that fades rather fast

S- hops, citrus and caramel malts

T- As expected citrus upfront with malts,big hop bitternes with a distinct booze bit.

M- Medium bodied & sticky

D- I find this beer to be very unbalanced, there is a strong hop bit with a malty character that that does not smooth it out and the after taste is a tad sweet... it just doesn't work for me.

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Photo of TheBrewo
2.93/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

We pour a richly colored brew of deep maroons and ruby browns. It holds a one finger head of tan bubbles, receding at a medium pace into a thick film across the liquid. Bits of lacing stick here and there. There is no real haze or sediment, and the carbonation is minimal. The aroma is sickly sweet, with the biggest component being huge buttery diacetyls. Adding to this are massive toasted caramel malts. Hops are bright with grapefruit, and there is an added sweetness of cantaloupe. Bringing up the rear is a heavy, peppery booze. This really smells quite like a doppelbock. As we sip, burnt caramel and brown sugar sweetness pound up front. There is a bitter slickness of hops, giving resin and pine. Through the middle we have a milky creaminess, giving more sweetness. The booze appears at this point, hiding amongst a mixture of roasty and caramel malts. The finish continues with this, with a peppery, alcoholic bite. The hops show a comeback of pine, balancing with the sweeter malts. The aftertaste breathes with metallic coin, cooked butterscotch malt sweetness, huge booze, and a roasty coffee flavoring. The body is full, and the carbonation is medium. There is huge slurp and smack with each sip, and a big froth despite the lack of any real head. The mouth is left coated thickly, and cooled. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks as a sipper.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the rich coloring and nice frothy film over the top. The hops in this one were way underplayed, with the malts as the dominant players. This made it hard for us to even consider this a DIPA, when it smelled and tasted much more like a maibock or a doppelbock.

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Photo of corby112
2.93/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark burnt orange, dark amber/copper color with some dark golden orange hues when held to a light source and a one finger frothy white head. Good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the pint with lacing.

Earthy yet sweet aroma with lots of citrus and floral notes. Resinous hop oils with a good bit of citrus peel, grapefruit and slight pine presence. There is also some biscuit and caramel notes but the aroma here is mostly floral with citrus notes.

Chewy resinous medium body with a nice bitter hop blast up front that quickly turns into sweet citrus notes, followed by a pretty big malt backbone and a noticeably big alcohol presence. Slightly dry finish.

The hops up front provide a bitter earthy flavor with a nice bit of citrus notes, mostly lemon peel and grapefruit. This flavor is almost immediately killed off by a too big of a biscuit, caramel malt backbone that has some graham cracker notes, and a very hot alcohol presence. The 10.5% is not well masked at all. This beer is "balanced" but to a point were the hops are overpowered and are not very prominent in the overall taste. This beer looked and smelled okay but turned out to be a bit of a let down.

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Photo of prototypic
2.96/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big DIPA looks like a caramel and rust collision. It's clear and has an orange tint when held to light. An off-white head sits on top and stands about two fingers tall. It fell relatively quickly, but left thick chunks of sticky lace behind.

The nose is alright, but isn't great. This thing smells chock full of caramel malt. I know it's not uncommon for the style, but I still am not a big fan. Frankly, the overwhelming sweet smell covers much of what else might be here. There are faint notes of grapefruit and orange, but they don't come through very strong. It's obvious that the hops are consumed by the wealth of caramel malt. Alcohol is noted. It's probably not strong enough to suggest a plus 10% beer, but it is here. It doesn't smell overtly bad, but it could be much better.

After a whiff or two, my expectations aren't very high. One sip confirms it's everything I expected. It is very sweet and full of caramel malt flavor. I'm not a big fan of that in DIPAs. There is at least some evidence of citric hops. Grapefruit and orange flavors are subtle and too weak, but they are noted. Unfortunately, there's hardly any bitterness at all. That's a bad, bad thing. It's difficult to tell if Big DIPA is just excessively malt heavy or hop deficient. Either way, it's not good. Alcohol is easily detectible, but isn't quite warming. I still don't think I would've guessed in the 10% neighborhood. It finishes sweet with some light citric flavors. Disappointing overall.

Big DIPA has a medium body that is pretty smooth. That's not surprising given the wealth of malt. Carbonation is about mid-range. The feel is honestly Big DIPA's strongest asset. Drinkability is very average, and that might be a little generous. It is rather big and strong at 10.6%. But, the flavor is sub-par for DIPA and makes it somewhat of a struggle to get through.

Big DIPA is a release that needs to walk the plank. It's not terrible, but it's quite disappointing. There's some hop flavor, but it's not strong enough and there's very little to no bitterness. That doesn't work well for a DIPA in my book. I'd suggest taking a pass on this pirate excursion. It's not very good.

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
2.96/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: This pours a clear tea color with two fingers of cream-colored head that laces well.

S: Stong caramel maltiness, over-shadowed floral hoppiness, and a little citrus.

T: This is simply an over-malted and too-heavily-boozed DIPA.

M: The body is thick, syrupy, and has some alcohol heat.

O: This is like a hot, out of balance barleywine.

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Photo of Gtreid
2.96/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bomber poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a clear, deep, burnt orange. The pour produces one and a half fingers of slightly off white head, that leaves some pretty impressive lacing.

A: Caramelly sweetnees mixed with tons of citrus. Big grapefruit, orange, and sweet malt. Hops are definately big, but the malts balance it pretty well.

T: Something is just a little off with this. It's just too sweet for the style. The sweetness overpowers the brew, and dosen't let the hops shine the way they should. Finishes with a prominent alcohol heat.

M: Medium to heavy body. Very sticky. Coats the palate, with very little carbonation.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is on the lower side due to the sweetness. Overall, not overly impressed with this. When compared to some other DIPA's out there this one comes up short. Skal.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
2.96/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber purchased for $5.50 in Columbus. The beer is dark amber orange with just over 1 finger of foam that recedes quickly. The aroma set me back a little, it's clear from the smell that this beer is stepping way over the fence into barleywine territory. Lots of caramel malt (way too much really) and pine needle hoppiness, some ethanol too, this smells a lot like Bigfoot to me. The taste is likewise Bigfooty, the sweetness from the malts takes the lead here. Maybe there's some candi sugar here too, it's hard to tell but definitely this beer could use more balance towards the hops side for my tastes. Full bodied and so on, my main beef is that this wasn't the type of DIPA I enjoy. Mislabeled or old bottle? I think mislabeled.

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Photo of ABOWMan
2.98/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a honey/orange color with near perfect clarity and one finger of tan colored fine bubbled head.

The aroma was of malt, alcohol and citrus and reminded me of carmelized sugar.

The flavor was almost overpoweringly sweet. I got sweet malty alcohol upfront then some background bitter hop resin. In all, it was a poorly balanced DIPA with overpowering sweet and little hop bitterness.

The body and mouthfeel was thick, likely due to the abv. and as a result, my ranking for drinkability scored low.

I've enjoyed several of the Clipper City brews, but this is definately not one of their better efforts.

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Photo of mikey711
3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a bottle into a perfect pint glass. Reviewing in a rush so I can eat.

Its amber with a thick two finger head.

Lots of citrus and and pine.

The citrus and pine are present but not great. There is something like peppermint too which i wasn't expecting and threw me way off. A nice maltiness is present, but this was not a favorite of mine.

It's a bit light, and the alcohol is hidden well. Probably wouldn't have more than one, but could.

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Photo of claminat420
3.06/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A-pours a hazy amber color with a frothy off white tan colored head. medium lacing.

S- too biscuity and caramel malt smelling and not enough hops for a double. i can only pull out a faint citrus from it.

T- like some fruity ipa yeast with the smell.

M- medium/ heavy bodied. good carbonation.

D- glad i only bought a single 22!

Overall- i hate to rate double ipa's badly but come on. the hop taste is weak on this one. some might call me crazy but it tastes like a scotch ale just bittered up.

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Photo of cichief
3.06/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received a bomber from a friend.

A- Pours a very nice deep amber with a thick tan head.

S- Lots of sweet malt and breadiness.

T- Rather sweet, nice flowery hop finish, a bit of an alcohol burn.

M- Nice medium body, coats the tongue.

D- It is an okay beer for occasions, but the alcohol burn gets in the way, a bit too sweet for me.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.08/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber into goblet on 7/28/09. Thanks to Deuane for sharing.

A - Poured a slightly hazy amber/orange body with a reddish tint and a slim, creamy white head that settled into a thin film and patchy lacing.

S - Initial aroma is pretty heavy on burnt sugar, caramel and toffee. This is followed by a waft of alcohol and some citrus hops, the latter of which emerged as the liquid warmed up a bit.

T - Very alcoholic and warm initial flavor. You can definitely taste the 10.5% ABV. This is also a very malt-forward DIPA with toffee, caramel and burnt sugars. There are some citrusy hops in there, but they are buried.

M - Medium bodied with a sticky, syrupy texture and fairly creamy mouthfeel overall. Carbonation is actually pretty soft. Lots of alcohol heat is present. Finishes with lingering bitterness on the back of the tongue.

D - Not bad overall, but I find this DIPA to be a bit too warm and malty for my tastes. Also, the hop profile is decent at best.

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Heavy Seas - Big DIPA (2009-2011) from Heavy Seas Beer
84 out of 100 based on 223 ratings.