El Nino IPA | Fitger's Brewhouse

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141 Ratings

Brewed by:
Fitger's Brewhouse
Minnesota, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by tavernjef on 09-02-2003

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 141 |  Reviews: 50
Reviews by tewaris:
Photo of tewaris
4.63/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

El Nino Double Hopped IPA
Fitger's brewhouse
American IPA
7% ABV
Sampled at the brewpub in a pint glass on September 26, 2010

Appearance 5/5
Poured clear, deep copper-red with a good white head, that had great retention and left an excellent lacing.

Aroma 4.5/5
Smells like a pine forest: piney, herbal and very fresh smelling ale, that seems generously late/dry hopped. Very inviting smell.

Taste 4.5/5
Full of hop flavor without being overly bitter: pine, lemon peel citrus, and grass. Nice, light, maltiness supports the hops pretty well. Finishes dry with a bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel 4.5/5
Very good, but a higher carbonation might help this beer. Otherwise perfect.

Drinkability 5/5
The best!

This American IPA is as good as any other. I am glad I got to try it! A hidden gem.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of joe1510
3.81/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

64oz Growler
Fitger's Brewpub - Duluth. MN

El Nino is a surprising garnet red with crystal clarity. I could read a book through the body of this beer. The antique white head is rich and creamy leaving sheet lacing down the glass as I drink. The interior of the glass is almost 100% covered in foam. This is a great looking beer but I have to say I'm a little worried at how dark the body is. Looks like there's lots of malt.

There is a lot of malt, comparitively, in this IPA but it's nicely balanced with a big, juicy, sweet hop profile. Brown sugared grapefruit, orange marmalade, and wildflower honey all show up. The hops are basically citrus drivien and dripping with sweetness while the malt profile is big and biscuity with some lightly toasted white bread. I like the smell of this beer.

The flavor is nearly the same with biscuity malts and light toast laying a solid malt base. Big sweetened citrus is the highlight though. Candied citrus peel, sugared ruby red grapefruit, and honey drizzled candied orange... I don't know where this shit comes from but that's how it tastes. I wasn't all that interested upfront but as I dissect this beer it really starts to grow on me.

I'm met with a full figured body on each sip. It's all at once rich, full, and dense while showing a little stick on the backend. The bitterness grows but never past moderate and even though there's sweetness on the finish it gradually dries.

El Nino gets nicked simply because it's labaled an IPA by the brewery. If this was labeled as a hoppy red I would give it a much higher score and everyone, including myself, would have a much better idea of what they're getting into. The flavors are full & lush, the citric hoppiness is dripping & sweet, and the body is luxurious; I just don't see where this is an IPA... In Minnesota apparently.

 1,837 characters

Photo of Schlais
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the brewhouse. Pours a clear, bright copper with a nice white head that leaves spotty lace.
Loaded aroma, plenty of citrus, candied fruit, some herbal and grassy notes as well.
Citrus leads the taste with orange and grapefruit, some candied sweetness, more citrus and a pithy, slighty dank finish.
Mouthfeel is medium, relatively low carbonation, a touch sticky.
Pretty dams good.

 390 characters

Photo of sponberg
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured it out of a very full growler - very little head; yet it tastes fully carbonated, and laces like a m'f'er so go figure. Gold with a reddish hue. Smells like a Northwestern hop harvest soaking in sweet tea.

DAYUM!!! This beer is clear - I can see through it, nothing floating around - so how come I taste hop cones? Whole. leafy, fresh picked hop cones? It's the same flavor when I pop a hop of my vines and chew on it, with the added benefit of a toasty, autumn leaves, tea and caramel maltiness behind it. All kinds of grassy, leafy, resinous, citrus rind hops going on in here. Great bitterness on the tongue. The malt's there on its 10 HP MTD but can't hope to compete with the 26 HP turbocharged John Deere hop lawn tractor mowing my tastebuds down. Finishes with a dry bitterness and lingering tea-like maltiness. Nicely medium-chewy mouthfeel. Could drink several of these until my tongue is completely numbed.

Gracias to BA JeffKrenner for the growler!!!

 975 characters

Photo of CaeserTits
4.81/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of ryancl
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of NilocRellim
3.25/5  rDev -20.9%

Photo of pat61
4.66/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours brilliant gold under a 1" white foam collar that persists and leaves sheets of lace. This is a hoppy full flavored IPA with big hops balancing big malt flavor.

 165 characters

Photo of D-town_brews420
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of ADR
3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap, Autumn Brew Review 2003...

Slightly opaque medium bright brown, good speckly head. Aroma hops dominate the smell, range in the good old fashioned grapefruit with an unexpected grassiness. Malt is honey with slight caramel but the hops (double infused and dry hopped to boot) are like knives, almost slicing into the flavor profile with a bitter pithy grapefruit. Sharp and extreme, good for hop lovers no doubt. resiny finish. A little too unbalanced in tone for me, a kick of malty sweetness like in Dogfish 90 Minute would have helped.

 548 characters

Photo of rudylaw
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ShawnBGP for the growler. Served all day in a taster glass at Darkness Day.

Pours a cloudy amber with a fluffy head. Looks the look for sure.

Smells like a bouquet of hops. All the players are here... pine, citrus, floral. Seems like there's going to be a lot going on!

I get a ton of pine in the taste and a good deal of malt. It's very good but nowhere near as tooth-melting as the aroma suggested.

It's fairly smooth and not at all prickly for an IPA. Needs more carbonation! Still, fantastic drinkability as the growler didn't take long to go bye-bye.

All in all a darn good IPA from a brewery I hope to get more accustomed to.

 646 characters

Photo of LXIXME
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Snow81
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Cloudy copper

Smell: Citric with notes of pine

Head: Dissipates quickly

Taste: Citric right up front then a small pine note comes in, after that the back of the palate and the cheeks get inflamed with grapefruit so yummy!

Weight: Some maltyness but not to much weight

Finish: Grapefruit stays in the cheeks, very nice

 334 characters

Photo of socon67
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of dirtylou
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on-tap, had on both recent visits to Fitger's

cellphone notes

appearance: served in a standard pint - deep copper-amber body, oily beige suds

smell: very nicely hopped - grapefruit zest, floral hops, light caramel malt

taste: This is a great IPA - aggressively hopped but maintains great balance. The hop profile is fresh and pulpy with an emphasis on punchy citrus like grapefruit and tangerine. This double-hopped IPA (one less than miller lite i guess) really delivers - do not miss it when in Duluth

mouthfeel: oily hop resin, just the right hit of bitterness

drinkability: good

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Photo of Cooper
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

They call it “double-hopped,” I’d say it just makes it big IPA. The first IPA this reminds me of Surly Furious for the long-lasting hops flavors. The malt profile is surprisingly still present with a creamy caramel taste. The hops complex comes off like variations on grapefruit hops. Definitely a must-have at Fitger’s.

 324 characters

Photo of BigAl18
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.6/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Originally reviewed February 4th, 2006. On tap at the brewpub. Pineapple and Kiwi aromas. Beautiful velvety brown color. Very fruity and sharp. Super hoppy, typical of an IPA. Finishes with pine and grapefruit. Smacks tart and a little heavy on the resins. Predominate use of Cascade and Centennial.

 299 characters

Photo of Fr0stb1te
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of HarryHood
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Bunuelian
3.91/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of morimech
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of StormAles
3.87/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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El Nino IPA from Fitger's Brewhouse
Beer rating: 4.11 out of 5 with 141 ratings