MacTarnahan's Oak-Aged IPA | Portland Brewing Company

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MacTarnahan's Oak-Aged IPAMacTarnahan's Oak-Aged IPA
94 Ratings
MacTarnahan's Oak-Aged IPAMacTarnahan's Oak-Aged IPA

Brewed by:
Portland Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mitchster on 06-21-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 94 |  Reviews: 92
Reviews by bigbeerdrinka:
Photo of bigbeerdrinka
3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear light coppery amber with a fluffy white head about an inch high. Leaves a slight lace on the glass. Citrus and floral hops dominate the aroma of this beer, but also a little light malt is noticeable. Initially this beer hits with a truly smooth hop flavor of piney hop oils, with strong citrus notes as well. Some caramel malts sneak into the picture but are quickly overcome by yet more sweetness and a little spice. This beer finishes with a smooth sweet citrus and yet a little more pine flavor. The mouthfeel on this beer is great, with a nice medium body and a truly creamy texture. The flavors work together extremely well, but this doesn't taste like your typical IPA. There aren't really any strong bitter notes, but still this is definetly a beer to try. Very drinkable for a hot summers day.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.06/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This had a nice, dark, cloudy orange body with a decent head that laced a bit on my glass.

Smell – This one is wrapped kind of tight, but the rind hops came out after a while and a touch of sweetness.

Taste – This is fantastic! The oak aging of this ale really comes out in the taste. It carries that lovely French vanilla-style oak flavor that some winemakers use to hold their concoctions. The hops are mixed. There is some light floral-type of hoppy flavor and some rindy, bitter tastes as well.

There’s also some buttery malt in there to balance things out - it’s presence is significant and important to the ale - but the sharp hop flavors carry the day. There’s a lot going on in this bottle. The finish is more sharp, rindy hops with an orange flavor but not the orange sweetness, if that makes any sense.

Mouthfeel – The carbonation is light, the body medium, and the mouthfeel dry. Yep, that’s an IPA.

Drinkability – This went down exceptionally well, especially after tasting a tuity fruity Lagunitas #10. Love it or hate it, this is very different, stylistic, and unique.

Comments – I hate to be one of the highballs here, but this stuff is excellent!

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Photo of orbitalr0x
2.96/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up while I was in Iowa...pours a nice clear orange/red with a small bubbly head on top that recedes to leave some spots of lacing. Aromas are quite subdued here...I'm picking up some woody oak tones along with hints of citrus tones and hints of caramel toffee. Much, much too little smell here for an IPA.

First sip flows over my mouth with a nice sweet caramel malt accentuated by an interesting oaky flavor. It's quite dry overall and there is some citrusy/floral hops in there but they are way too muted in the flavor. Dissapointing as I was expecting so much more.

Mouthfeel is nice, with a good body..however the dryness makes it a little harsh on the way down. I was really hoping for more out of an oaked IPA....but this one doesn't have me coming back for more. I'll pass next time.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours a bright orange with a decent creamy white head that retains fairly well and laces the glass.

The aroma is strong melon and floral/grassy hops with a touch of pepper.

The flavor is melon, some sweet malts and some oak leading to an acidic bitterness that leaves a decent bitter aftertaste. It is medium bodied with sharp carbonation.

Overall, an OK IPA. It's a little to sweet and too much citric melon for me.

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Photo of merlin48
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, copper with a luscious, two finger, offwhite head. Patchy lace is left all over the glass.
Aroma is westcoast hops, with pine and citrus grapefruit in the foreground.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with active carbonation.
Tatse is dry and bitter, with pine and grapefruit rind all over the palate. Very little caramel malt presence is noted. Finish is crisp, dry, and bitter, with a hoppy pine aftertaste. Oak presence is noted, but is very subdued.
Overall, a solid westcoast style IPA, but it doesn't stand out from what is becoming a crowded field.

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Photo of Billolick
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, without any freshness dating. Pours a light shade of coppery, golden almond. Tiny bubble film,leaving whispy lacing. Nose is fruity and piney. Obvious grainy,piney hops up front, middle notes of oak, whiskey and malt base in the background.This is a well hopped,crisp IPA. Interesting use of oak aging,which definately added some character and differant flavor notes.Worth trying this one.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is in a category of its own. Pours clear amber with a medium white head. Decent lacing. Aroma is sweet lemongrass with pine and grapefruit hops. Neither are fresh, mostly dank. Pleasant resiny taste, but the edges are worn off by the barrel aging, leaving the pine taste without the bite. Mellowed citrus aas well, turning the grapefruit into a pink grapefruit/passion fruit tanginess. Good oak taste without the rotten-barrel aftertaste. Nicely done.

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Photo of Thrasher
4.47/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle cap says Woodstock IPA which is the old name for this brew. Elephant on label is meant to evoke ideas of India. Deep copper with foamy, disappearing head and very little lace. Pervasive fruity aroma of citric hops. Lots of big caramel flavor here although the beer is not especially dark or roasty. Instead, just a ton of biscuity bread-crust malts to balance out the assertive, flowery, citric hops. Lots of crisp juicy hops explode on the tongue, tons of flavor without the offputting bitterness of some of the more ambitious West Coast IPAs. I couldn't say what flavor the oak aging adds, which I assume is meant to simulate the journey from England to India, but it seems to add an indefinable layer of richness and complexity. You're not gonna get that oaky chardonnay quality - if you want that in a beer, drink Rolling Rock instead. It's more like the beechwood aging flavor in Budweiser, pretty mild, but much tastier. Portland/MacTarnahan's makes solid, flavorful, mainsteam beers, without being as wildly experimental as some other brewers and maybe they are scoffed at by Stone-Heads and Bear Republicans, but this IPA is as solid and delicious (and hoppy --- NOT bitter) as the best beer either of those breweries has to offer, dammit.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a slightly hazy golden orange body with a gentle carbonation of big bubbles and a thick rocky head that is off-white.

S- The smooth soft smell of green floral hops and some slightly sweet crystal malt comes through.

T- This beer has a nice green hop bitterness with vanilla, oaky flavors. The oaky flavors taste a bit artificial. The flavors of slightly sweet crystal malt and some notes of honey come through as it warms.

M- The beer has a nice medium mouthfeel with a hint of creamy texture. There is some fizz quality in the finish.

D- This beer has a soft hob bitterness but it is really missing the floral hop taste and is a bit weak in the nose. I like the oak qualities but they are slightly off and a bit stronger than the hops and grain.

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Photo of brewQ
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have not sampled Mac brew before- forgive me.

This pours a deep honey color. With a solid head and fine sheathing action it offers a nice visual.

The hops were elusive, but I'll admit I had some Pale Ales prior which made me immune to subtleties. Anyway, the flavor was fine.
There was a certan mellowness here I found pleasing. Was it the result of the Oak Aging? Not sure- but this is a fine brew.

I still struggle with the line betwixt Pale Ales and IPAs- though 'tis a pleasant struggle!

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Photo of cokes
3.67/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Whithered, dusty copper,spotted with beige skimming.
Nose of hard toffee, pears, hazelnuts, pine, orange pulp, and gin. It's deeper smelling than it is loud.
Begins with a caramel-glazed breadiness, gathers pieces of toffee, then switches fruity via oranges and pears. Gaseous in the middle, upsetting some deep seated dough and yeast nuance. Oak is available through buttery hazelnut and light tannins. It ends with a conglomeration of citrus peels, spruce, and dead flowers.
The body is a stern medium, but the upped CO2 levels wash out a lot of the texture, giving it an abrasive edge.
Nevertheless, this is a decent IPA. The oak doesn't do a whole lot, but gives enough of a kick to boost this (just barely) above mediocrity.

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Photo of Southernbrew
3.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours solid copper, with a small bubbly head.

Aroma definitely has an oak scent blended with the bitter hops and caramel like malt. Not as strong of an oak smell as I expected.

Fairly bitter up front that blends nicely with a faint oak flavor. Becomes more floral midway through with a bit of an alcohol flavor as well. Finishes up with a dry bitterness.

A decent IPA, I'd drink it again but I wasn't blown away.

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Photo of bditty187
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes (November 2004)… I had it listed under the wrong beer. It is great I can self-edit now!

Tawny, honey-coppery in hue, the color is warm and inviting. Lovely. Steady, tiny bubbles danced slowly through the liquid to the white head. At the apex the foam was almost two fingers in height. Head retention was decent and after a few moments the foam subsided to a soapy cap, still this had good size, and a tight cap lasted the entire consumption. Subsequent lacing was almost zilch. As a whole, the beer doesn’t look unusual in my glass but it is attractive. The nose shows more malt than most IPAs brewed today. In fact the bouquet is more Pale Ale-ish than anything. But the brewery is clearly pushing this as an IPA so I’ll judge it accordingly. Hops do kick off the nose, soft acidity, very round and mellow, more zest then flesh. Actually the citrus qualities remind me of lemonade that has been sugared substantially. It smells good but there is no rawness or leafiness that inspires a sip. Malt is portrayed too generic, it only offers caramel qualities. At the back are some mild flowery qualities along with fruit, cherries and blackberries. Sure, the nose is pleasant. And, sure, it is inviting. But it is nothing special. The palate is good but flawed. While the nose offered almost no rawness the finish is plagued with an unwelcomed harshness. At the swallow the hops come across oddly hot, soapy, and minty. I’ll digress, upfront is a very lovely, soft, fruitiness that is a mix of berries, this aspect melts seamlessly with a standard, sweet, caramel maltiness in the middle. Here are some oak qualities too. Nice. Bitterness is moderate, at best and not typical of a modern IPA. Yes, this beer is tasty but not exactly up to snuff. This finish, as I mentioned earlier, falls apart a bit. It’s grown on me. Oaky, sweet, and faintly citrusy aftertaste. Overall, the palate is good. The abv is 6% so it does pack a little punch; I could sit back at a lazy BBQ and drink a few of these. I think the sweetness, oak, and mint would really play nice with grilled food. Maybe even some beef stew. Medium in body, the carbonation is moderate, the mouthfeel is ordinary. I don’t have any qualms with this IPA. Sure, it is not big or bold or very hoppy really. Yet it works as a beer. It is tasty, not earthy shattering but good enough. I purchased a bottle in West Des Moines for a $1. Decent at times.

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Photo of PCaravan
4.52/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tried this for the first time tonight. Never even heard of MacTarnahan's (I'm traveling and picked a sixer up in Des Moines). I've always like the pale ale/IPA stuff and decided to give this a try... was I happy. It has everything an IPA lover should want. A clear amber to golden color, pleasant hop aroma, buscuty malty smoothly balanced with bittering and flavor/aroma hops and a mouthfeel that lets you know this IS a real bear. I don't think they used cascade which a refreshing change since most American IPA are made with cascade, though the oak may be throwing me off a bit. If so, I don't mind being thrown off a bit... I like a brew that makes me think with a buzz! The only thing I would say that is not IPAish is that it's not as highly carbonated as I expected. I've always thought these brew were supposed to be more carbonated (because the long see voyage to India in rocky waters ensured the yeast kept active). That being said, the lower carbonation is not excessive, does not even remotely seem flat, and more importantly... it works for this brew.

Kudos to MacTarnahan's

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Photo of GimmeAles
3.57/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First review here, so here goes nothin ;) :

No Freshness indication on the bottle, but first time I've seen an 'Oak Aged' IPA, so I was quite intrigued.

With a moderately aggressive pour, drew a 1.5-1 finger off-white, slightly gravely head which sank to a velvety ring and skim. This 'bloomed' and regenerated slightly with each sip and slosh back into the glass

Unlike others, I noticed the oaky overtones during the pour and while supping. Was reminded immediately of an Islay Malt I've currently got in-stock. Nice. Also some yeasty, biscuit-like smells as well. So far, so good

The flavour of the brew didn't bring forth the oak (or additional complexity) as much as I'd hoped, instead showing the tart, pitch-like flavour of the hops and not much else. Although I think it is moderately over-chilled, so a warmer bottle might give up more in this department. Mouthfeel was little on the thin side. I prefer complex vanilla and citrus-like flavours and silkier mouthfeel in an IPA, but this is pretty good overall. I'd definitely drink it again.


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Photo of goochpunch
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours an cloudy orange with a frothy white head that clings on to about 1/8th an inch until the pint is gone. Aromas of oak, apples, and citrusy and grassy hops. Tastes fruity with a combination of esters and the hops, leading into the bittering hops. Rounding this all out is a pleasent vanilla, oak, and spiced finish. The mouthfeel could have been a bit smoother and with less biting carbonation, in my opinion, not to say that the carbonation was THAT rough. Maybe it's the oak making me feel this way, as other oak-aged beers I've had in the past maybe, perhaps, coincidentally just had smoother, fuller mouthfeels. As far as drinkability goes, although this is really tasty, I can have only so much of the oak after each sip. That and this kind of sits in your stomach like a full meal.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I spotted this IPA parked on the shelf at my local Trader Joe's this weekend and, being on an IPA kick for the past two months, I had to pick up this one.
Presented in a 12oz. brown bottle with an Indian elephant carrying an oaken barrel on the label, this oak-aged IPA sported a clear burnished copper hue and a modest ½" white head that quickly died down to a minor skim, leaving no lace.
A few inhalations revealed that this IPA had a more malty, muted hops aroma than nearly every other IPA I've tried recently. The oak used to age this brew comes through nicely, as does the aroma of ripened fruit. A floral, lightly citric hops aroma also made it to the nose, but in nowhere near the pungancy of most other IPA's.
The taste had a pronounced malty sweetness up front, along with a slight tinge of vanilla. The light vanilla flavor was most likely the result of the oak used for aging. Some caramel pushed across mid-range before an understated citric hoppiness, borne of orange peel and mild resins, lingered only briefly in the finish. The feel was medium-bodied, clean and mildy dry.
MacTarnahan's Oak-Aged IPA is definitely not one of those massively hopped west coast über-IPA's that require a tongue graft after consuming. Rather, it has a mellowed, restrained hops character that is almost in danger of being overwhelmed by its malt component. It reminds me of Fuller's IPA in it's profile and drinkability. A true change of pace from what I've been having lately.

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Photo of hustlemuscle
3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly carbonated amber, with a decent head that left lacing as it shrank from an inch to a thin covering.

Woody, alchoholic sort of smell, not very much like any other IPA I have ever tried. A tiny yelp from the hops, but they don't make much of an impression.

The oak aging makes a strong impression, leaving a sort of burnt wood taste. The hops are subdued, coming out a little as the beer warms. Unfortunatly, the alchohol comes out as the beer warms too, thus further killing the hops. Gets a litle maltier as well.

Has some body, but not all that much. A little pucker.

Overall, a bit of a disappointment. I thought that perhaps the oak would somehow enhance the hops, but they just make the beer taste like something else. Doesn't really seem to be a modern IPA. Perhaps after 6 months at sea during the days of the Dutch East India Company, this is how an IPA tasted, but we have moved on.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper/orange color, almost an auburn color. There is an off-white foamy head that stayed for a while. Smells a strong fruity smell, almost like strawberry? Tastes toasty, with a nice woodsy note. There is a hint of smoke, as it finishes with some astringent and a grapefruit flavor. Medium body, and the carbonation seems right. I found this to be drinkable, and I would have another. This is an interesting beer. I like the characteristics that the oak adds.

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Photo of rallison
4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Note: This bottle has aged for approximately 1 year. Aged 1 year is tastier than I remember it being fresh.

A: Cloudy amber brown color with an off-white head that persists.

S: Toffee and wine like sweetness.

T: This has turned very winey and sweet. A bit of apple juice flavor too (in a good way). Just a tiny bit of bitterness at the end, but just a bit. Tiny bit of oxidation now. It really is no longer an IPA, but that's ok.

M: Medium body with a nice richness. Decent amount of carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. Great flavor without a heavy body.

Recommended at this point in time.

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Photo of WeisGuy
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a - golden amber color, moderate fluffy white head, little lacing

s - lemony citrus hop aroma, slight oak evident also

t - sweet and caramelly initially with a short burst of bitterness, very short finish

m - medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, dry finish

d - pretty drinkable though I'd move on to something more interesting

Not a terrible beer, but nothing exciting here. It's the first "oak-aged" IPA I've ever had, and I can't say it made me want to try anymore. Worth a try, but get a single.

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Photo of carln26
2.98/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper colored and very hazy this beer was topped by a thin off white head that disappeared almost immediately. I just don’t know about IPAs on oak. The aroma that comes off the beer is a blend of grapefruit rind/citrus and vanilla from the oak. That is just not a very appealing odor to me. There is some sweetness on the finish of the aroma. In the flavor the grapefruit almost disappears. The vanilla masks it and accentuates the candy sweetness. It brings out the figs and dates from the malt. The citrus does lend a subtle bitterness to the finish. Slick mouth feel , OK at best drinkability.

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Photo of daedalus
3.41/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice honey/amber hue with a frothy white head, which retains quite nicely and provides sufficient lacing. A hint of pineapple in the nose with undertones of fresh citric hop aroma. The taste is suprisingly malty, but ends with a very dry finish, in which the hops blend effortlessly into oak character. Heavy oak flavor again upon exhalation.

Not a bad beer, though the mouthfeel (and to some extent, the drinkability) left something to be desired.

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Photo of zacharius
3.59/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a white head with fine bubbles with keeping power. But not much aromatics in this brew. Taste is of sweet malt breifly then hops and after that a bitter oak aftertaste that blends out from the hops. Finish is of dry oak that makes you want to taste another sip. This beer has an hoppy oily body and is refreshing to drink. Although some may find this a mild IPA as I've had ESBs about as bitter, the oak provides some of the bittness and really pulls it through. The oak really adds complexity without becoming dominant or overbaring. I'd like to think of this as what the IPA tasted like once it arrived in India.

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Photo of AtrumAnimus
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear and burnt orange. The nose is a sweet malt with pine and hops dominating the bouquet. The head is creamy off white and shallow. Nice texture that settles out to leave a ¼” base. The Flavor is very mild hops with the taste of the wood being very subtle. The hops come on soft and finish out dominating the palate with a nice pleasant bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is robust – it is soft with presence.

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MacTarnahan's Oak-Aged IPA from Portland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.56 out of 5 with 94 ratings