Devil's Elbow IPA | Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

very good
42 Reviews
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Devil's Elbow IPADevil's Elbow IPA

Brewed by:
Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An assertive ale that is heavily bittered and dry-hopped providing an intensive aroma and brewed using selected English and North American barley and hops. It is named for the dramatic grade 4 Devil's Elbow rapid on the Elaho River, north of Squamish, BC, Canada.

68 IBU

Added by canucklehead on 08-07-2005

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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 118
Photo of Bunman3
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very pleasant, dry-tasting IPA. It leans to the bitter and resiny end of the hop spectrum, which is usually a good thing. My last two forays into the world of Howe Sound brewing have been very positive - I will have to remember to sample more of their products!

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pint on tap at Beer Revolution in Calgary. A muddy flat orange-brown amber hue with a moderate amount of sudsy beige foam. Smells like toasted biscuit and a little citrus rind, some woody pine notes. Slightly thick sturdy body with low grade carbonation, tasting of biscuit, toast, and a little walnut overlaid with grapefruit, lemon, and lime hops. Not particularly sweet to my palate. The malts taste English and the hops are a hybrid model, more American than classically earthy/floral although the latter elements are indeed present. Some pine in the dry, biscuity finish. More assertive than traditional old world examples of the style in both malt and hops departments but its ultimate alligiance should not confuse you.

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Photo of mactrail
3.34/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours an orange-amber color in the tall chalice. Plenty of foam and even some lacing, though on the coarse side. Tang of carbonation on the tongue. Light body with some fragrant resiny notes and a sweet flowery aroma.

This is a pretty unpretentious hoppy brew. Some browned biscuit taste but quite a light malt flavor. Resiny with the grapefruit peel taste taking over the rest of the flavor profile. It's not anything complex or interesting, but it's an easy drinking IPA as long as you like it plenty bitter.

I know I bought this one several months ago, so it may not do the hops any justice, but it's a pleasant light and bitter brew. From the big swing-top jug purchased at Wine World and Spirits in north Seattle.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Vancouver. Pours orange with white head. Aroma is of citrusy hops, biscuit malt and orange marmalade. Body is medium, creamy and crisp. Taste is of citrusy, peppery hops, biscuit malt, orange marmalade and ripe fruit. Finish is long and greapfruity. Very nice IPA.

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Photo of maclean25
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My final is a series of Howe Sound beers. I've come to expect high quality, flavourful beers from them. It pours with little-to-moderate foamy light beige head. The body is cloudy and tawny-bronze. There is an assertive caramel aroma. I can also smell a floral hops. It tastes great also, definitely an india pale ale. Actually it tastes like a double IPA. I find it has more hops flavour than their Total Eclipse of the Hops brew. Like the aroma, there is a floral background, like rose and lavender. It is full-bodied with maybe a little too much carbonation, and finishes dry. Overall, one of the best IPAs I've ever had and there are some good one British Columbia.

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Photo of EspressoGuy
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: bright copper
S: fresh fruit blossoms, not a lot of citrus; interesting, complex
T: hops and malt are nicely integrated; bright fresh citrus rind,
long linging finish with justbthe right amount of bitteness ties it all together. A taste that makes me want to take sip after sip to discover more.
M: rich and full
O: I really like this IPA. So well balanced and full of flavour. This level of alcohol is perfect for my taste.

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Photo of spointon
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one from a brown, 1 L crown capped bottle that also has a swing-top closure so the bottle can be re-closed between pourings and also reused (I will soon put home brew in it).

A= This ale poured a deep, hazy gold color with orange highlights. The head was white and very dense. Started off at about 3/4" and took a long time to settle into a 1/4" cap that lasted forever. Tons of sheet and web lacing down my glass.

S= This one smelled like malty sweetness and slight caramel up against fruity esters and restrained spicy/earthy hops. A kiss of citrus made it interesting without taking over.

T= Much like the smell. Maltiness was firm with some nice biscuit notes and light caramel sweetness. The esters were really nice, lending just the right amount of fruity complexity. The yeast character was definitely English but again restrained. The bitterness was not huge but it shouldn't be either. Nice hop flavors without crushing bitterness. Finished fairly dry.

MF= Medium bodied, with modest carbonation level.

D= Crazy drinkable English IPA here. Has a great great malt and hop flavor balance. I have had this twice now and will continue to seek it out.

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Photo of woemad
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enormous 1L hybrid capped/swingtop bottle purchased at a Haagens in Burlington, WA, for $12.99, I believe. Nothing from this brewery is distributed in my part of Washington. According to the label, this is 6%, FWIW.

Hazy, golden amber color with a big, creamy, rocky head. Lots of lace.

Surprisingly spicy in the nose. Somewhat restrained hop profile, with some biscuity malts in the background.

Hoppy tasting, but not in the way of a west coast IPA. The hops are somwhat softer, but there’s a lot of them. I suppose this is what a liberally hopped English IPA tastes like. Good-sized malt undercurrent balances things out nicely. Different, but good.

Medium bodied, with a slightly oily mouthfeel.

A different IPA from what I am used to, it wasn’t bad. Maybe it could be a new style – Canadian IPA. Made an interesitng change of pace, though it won’t make me forsake standard west coast IPAs.

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Photo of evlu1441
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a hazy copper/apricot colour with tons of carbonation rushing to the top. The head is substantial and foamy.

The aroma is a nice balance of flowery and citrusy hops, mixed with a solid caramel malty background.

The flavour is lightly bitter and slightly sweet as the malt character develops into some light caramel. The hops start to take over, and citrus and pine come through. It finishes on a complex, slightly sweet hoppy note.

Overall, this seems a little too intense on the hops for an English IPA. At the same time, it's hard to fault them for that, since the beer really is delicious. An interesting take, and worth seeking out.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Howe Sound Brewery taphouse:

A: 1/4" white head that left a nice lacing over amber liquid with excellent clarity.

S: Citrus hops and yeast.

T: Citrus hops, pine hops, and some malt with a smooth finish. Very English in taste.

M: Medium viscosity with a medium level of carbonation.

O: Very true to the English style, this IPA is not as aggressive as the North American hop bombs many of us are used to.

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Photo of CrazyMike
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy amber-brown appearance with thick head that slowly settles down, leaving nice lacing. Smell consists of bitter hops, citrus, orange and caramel.

Taste consists of strong hops, with a taste of orange, citrus and caramel; picked up some hops, grape fruit, brown sugar and a hint of grain as well. This beer is very smooth and flavorful so far. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Aftertaste is a bitter with a lingering caramel taste, has a kick to it.

Overall, very impressed with this IPA; has an interesting combination of smells and tastes that blend well together. Highly recommend if you are a fan of hops.

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Photo of Rutager
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Almost clear copper-amber with almost two finges of sticky just-off-white head.

Smell. Yellow grapefruit and sweet caramel. A little malty light grain.

Taste. Lemons and yellow grapefruit. Some toasty grains and caramel. Some lingering piney, citrus rind.

Mouthfeel. Medium carbonation and medium-light body. Crisp and really nice for the style.

Overall. Why has it taken me so long to try this beauty of a canadian west coast ipa?? I think it's that these 1L bottles seem intimidating ...but with a swing top included, they shouldn't be.

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Photo of soughtbygod
3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of hops, sweet malt, and rye. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of hops, strong rye, slight sweet malt, and florals. Overall, great appearance, good mouth feel, and good blend.

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Photo of tempest
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a $13 one-liter swing-top bottle in Monterey. I really enjoyed the Bailout Bitter (not retired) and was looking forward to this.

I like it, but it seemed a lot like it was simply a stronger version of the bitter. The fruity English spice dominated the beer up front and the hops kicked in for the finish and aftertaste with a grassy lemon rind punch. There's a smooth biscuit malt with light caramel notes in middle, making a classic English IPA.

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Photo of beershrine
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Nice gold color seems a little cloudy and not totally clear with solid white foam on top

Smell- Faint hops citrus and a little alcohol.

Taste- First taste I got was full of hops...citrus, orange blossom

Mouthfeel- Way more on the hoppy side than malty side

Overall- A well crafted beer the lace on the glass is great and the head retention is excellent.
This is an american IPA...NOT an english IPA
1 Liter bottle says 6% alc./vol.

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Photo of bearhugger
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Nice rich copper colour with thick lasting white head.

S-nice aroma

T-Well balanced malt profile, caramel sweetness with hints of toffee and biscuit. The hops used give it a very nice balance with the malt, not over the top, but enough to keep you wanting another glass. Grapefruit citrus and pine are the main flavours.

M-Smooth and well carbonated

D-One of the better IPA's I've had recently. With tons of interesting flavour keeps me reaching for the glass.

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Photo of Mages64
3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 1L swing top bottle into 6oz tasting glass. Tasted 18oz total for this review.

Appearance: a lighter honey color with fresh hay, transparent, visible carbonation springing from the bottom. Normal.
S: almost no smell but with agitation a hint of forest (pine, wood, leaves) can be detected.
T: Bitter pine up front turning into straight up yellow grapefruit. The mid palette is almost completely dominated by this yellow grapefruit. Hints of pine are still there with a sugar cane or brown sugar hiding behind all the bitterness.
M: watery and thin and sticky on the lips. carbonation is quite pleasant and when it starts to warm up(the weather not the beer) then I wouldn't doubt this would be a perfect feel.
D: Not a winter beer. starts off just in your face yellow grapefruit but after each sip begins to calm down. I'd pair with a dish that would normally ask for citrus like fish or perhaps chicken. I personally paired it with yellow curry and that was a great idea! The carbonation really blended with the spicy to make a nice combo!

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Photo of LazyL
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Perfect amber orange beer with a large pillowy cream head that resembles the meringue on top of a lemon pie. The foam sticks to the glass well and undulates on the roll of every sip.
Very nice citrus aromas, earthy pine sap and a little vanilla.
Taste is just plain good. Its just good. There is a great balance to this beer. Hops are right there but not over powering. Enjoyable bitter finish that makes your tongue slap around the inside of your mouth looking for more. 68 IBU's.
This is a very easy drinker and at 6% goes down far too fast.
This 1 liter pot-stopper should be a regular on your beer buying shopping list. Every time I put the glass down I immediately want to pick it back up again.
Yeah, I like this Ale.

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Photo of andrenaline
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this a couple times now, but this is my first time reviewing.

A - Pours an nice hazy golden orange colour, solid two thumbs of light fluffy head with solid retention, which settles to a mountainous terrain, lots of sticky lacing and moderate visible body carbonation.

S - Scent is very earthy with leafy green hops with subtle citrus, pine and cedar notes, followed by some sweet caramel malts.

T - Much like the scent, with the earthy leafy green hops and the pine and cedar shining through. A bit of a smokey bark finish to it and a bit of caramel lingering on the finish.

M - No complaints in this department with a decent carbonation which goes down smooth and doesn't finish overly dry.

D - I could pound this stuff all night. Nice hop presence which isn't overwhelming and goes down smooth. Another winner from Howe Sound and highly recommended to any hop fan. Delicious.

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Photo of biegaman
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The colour is a deep but strongly back-lit copper golden, like the sun would look if it were rolling around in wet sand. If the eyes follow the piddling stream of bubbles they are eventually led to a scuzzy patch of fully-blossomed white head, the lacing of which is intricate and artful enough to inspire, or make jealous, even the world's best tattoo artists.

The aroma smells of a bittersweet reduction of Triple Sec (orange liqueur) spooned over festering tropical fruits and caramel squares. A ton of soapy, resiny hops demolish most all of the maltiness and the scents of bitter orange rinds, grilled pineapple and fresh-squeezed grapefruit reign supreme. The smell lingers heavily in the nose.

They certainly got the 'bitter' part right - all 68 of the IBUs stand tall and ready like a Spartan army. They make a force-field of harshly bitter resins that its maltiness cannot come close to penetrating. As they rightfully should with an IPA, the hops are lavished great attention and yield spotlight to nothing else, save maybe a nice finishing toastiness.

The flavour mark might just as easily have earned the next highest score; it leaves nothing not to like: tastes of pear, peach, apple, tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, it's a hop's take on a fruit salad. All the flavours are intensely bitter and pithy, their harsh resins leach out into the mouth where they dry out and blister the gums with the power of vacuum.

Howe Sound's Devil's Elbow comes in a giant 1 liter resealable bottle which seemed convenient at the time of purchase. It turned out, however, that there was no need for re-corking it, the beer disappeared fast enough, and the 1 liter was only enough to make me want more! This stuff is good. Devilishly good stuff in fact. Highly recommended.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A truly amazing appearance. Soft cool whip type head that leaves huge streaks of chunky lace. Khaki body with aggressive carbonation.

In very basic terms this is like Sierra Nevada pale ale kicked up a few levels. Hops finish dry and another gulp is welcomed. Its a very solid well thought out brew.

This is an excellent example of a brewer hitting the marks and making it interesting without being extreme. The price tag is a bit ridiculous so I won't be dabbling in this very often. Worthy of a pickup.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought from Beer Revolution in Oakland. Pours amber with a pancake head. Smells nicely balanced with fruity hops and biscuity malt. Quite pleasant. I really think the taste is even better, with the firm, slightly sweet biscuity malt playing nicely with the tangerine, lime, and orange zest of the hops. Definitely an English IPA style, without that west coast hop bite, but more balanced and rounded with just enough spice in the finish to keep the hop hunger away. The mouthfeel is oily and rich, and a bit mouth coating without being grainy. A pleasant surprise. This comes in a large, recappable bottle, so I'm glad its all worth drinking.

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Photo of MAB
4.7/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A righteous brew!
Hop heavy in both taste and aroma. A dream come true for the fan of a Bitter or of an IPA.
Lovely color, lots of nice head (gotta love the hop plant for that!), carbonation is just right.
The alcohol alternately enhances sweetness and bitterness as it passes over the tongue. I'm impressed (obviously).

I had mildly high hopes for this since the Howe Sound Nut Brown on -tap at the pub is so darned tasty. This far exceeded my hopes, I'm pleased to say.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - hazy golden orange with 2 fingers of off-white foamy head that retains extremely well

S - floral and resiny hop odour with hints of citrus

T - the hops definitely dominate, floral and slightly metallic with lasting bitterness, and i think a little fruity yeast flavour on the finish along with the lasting metallic

M - starts bubbly, then the hoppy bitterness really starts to fill out your mouth, so much so that it finishes a little too dry and sharp for my IPA tastes

D - I enjoyed my 1L pot-stopper bottle in sitting, but I don't think I'd want to venture much further as the dryness and metallic aftertaste seems to build with more

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Photo of madtappers
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml swing top bottle into a 4 oz sampler glass at the spring beer fest.

Very clear golden color with perfect white head. No hop aroma that was noticeable to the nose.

Upon my first sip this was a very blah beer, with little flavor, reminded me alot of Kokanee on steriods. Beer is very drinkable just not a special IPA.

Side note the swing top bottles are cool!

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Devil's Elbow IPA from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 118 ratings.
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