Crazy Ivan
Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Style:
IPA - Belgian
ABV:
7.3%
Score:
86
Avg:
3.81 | pDev: 10.5%
Reviews:
55
Ratings:
129
From:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  2
Gots
  6
SCORE
86
Very Good
Notes: This copper colored American IPA took a wild left turn when we fermented it with our favorite Trappist ale yeast. Charged with hops, followed closely by a clove and pepper Belgian yeast character.

70 IBU
View: Beers
Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 129 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Dixonian:
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Dixonian from Texas

4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the fort worth saucer. Poured into standard pint glass.

Was very intrigued when I heard about this one. I like both the racer 5 and red rocket, and I almost always love a belgian yeast.
This did not disappoint. Totally unique-cloudiness of an IPA and nice amber colour. Smell is the only disappointment I have-a bit subdued. Flavor is great-extremely smooth. Sweet and bitter. Like I said above, completely unique. Enjoyable mouthfeel and excellent carbonation.

Too bad twas only brewed once cause i'd seek this delicious bastard again.

Jun 03, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429 from Illinois

4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Churchkey.

Pours a moderate yellow gold color with a bit of haze and a few fingers of white foamy head. Lacing follows the brew down the glass. Nose brings some excellent Belgian yeast characteristics, but doesn't really integrate the hops at this point. Taste melds the two quite well, with some nice clove and spice banging against some citrus and herbal hops. Very nice touch. Feel is splendid with a good bit of bitterness matched up against a moderately carbonated medium body. One of the better examples of the style that I've come across in some time.

Oct 13, 2010
Photo of tmoneyba
tmoneyba from Ohio

3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Barley's Smokehouse in Columbus.

Poured clear brown color with an average frothy off-white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate tart citrus hop and earthy aroma. Medium body with a sticky texture. Medium spicy bittersweet flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

Complex un-balanced beer.

Nov 17, 2008
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joshuadlight from Texas

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap sandwiched between a Pliny the Elder and a Blind Pig. I thought the beer was a reasonably good representation considering this was a Racer 5 plus a Red Rocket plus a Belgian yeast strain.
There is no way to avoid the Belgian yeast influence. It is present in the appearance, smell, and taste. But, the beer still holds on to characteristics of all three styles poured into it. I found it enjoyable and drinkable enough. I would not rebuff another were it offered to me.

Aug 08, 2009
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jampics2 from Ohio

4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ FatHeads 1st ever Brewers Brawl. I revisited this one a few times, partly because I liked it and partly because I was trying to figure out how to rate it.

This beer has a huge identity issue. It's parents, Racer 5 and Red Rocket, had a one night fling that lead to this problem child. This beer is fermented with a Belgian yeast strain, but it doesn't really show through over the intense hoppiness. I decided I would rate this to taste instead of to style, so I picked a malt heavy DIPA as my starting point and decided to give it some leeway on the malt bill. If I was expecting a Belgian Dark I would have been lost, but that expectation helped me enjoy this for what it is - a freak of nature, siamese twin of two great beers.

Copper red with a nice sticky head. This looks good, but not dark.

Smell was huge citrus and tropical hops (orange, mango) and a nice caramel maltiness as well. Touch of spice from the yeast but nothing extravagant. In fact, I wouldn't say this has any of the Belgian traits at all in the nose, maybe a touch of esters or mild funk, that's it. Way dominated by hops when this fresh!

Taste was awesome IMO. Slightly bracing bitterness, then great citrus and some pine. Really expressive hops, huge bitter finish, and a touch of extra something. That something could be the Belgian influence, but it's really on mute.

Mouthfeel was a nice, medium bodied beer with nice ample carb. Finishes a touch too bitter for my loving but OK for my liking!

Overall, glad to cross another Bear Rupublic experiemental beer off the list. One of the more interesting on paper, but, in the end, the hops win out over all the subtleties that this beer may or may not have promised.

EDIT: had on tap again, nice Belgian yeast esters this time. Maybe some keg to keg variation. Also more Belgian influence in the taste. Nicely done. Still original scores apply but thre is more depth!

May 24, 2010
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GRG1313 from California

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Jun 28, 2014
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bpfrush from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +5%

Nov 14, 2011
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nickdago from Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap beer pours cloudy with a yellowish red tint. frothy white head.

Smells of hops but a sweet scent. nothing really piney about this one.

Taste starts off with a sharp hop taste but mellows to a sweetness almost flatness

A rather sweet IPA as advertised by the bar.

Easy to drink. Enjoyable but nothing special

Jun 13, 2010
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Rifugium from North Dakota

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Aug 05, 2013
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regspeir from Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz. draft in a standard pint glass at Capone's
Poured a dark amber with a nice 2-finger head which lasted throughout. The lacing was heavy and abundant throughout. Nose was malty, cheeries but the hops, pine and citrus were there as well. Consistent with the nose, this was nicely balanced - hops and malt. I noticed earthy, piney hops, malt biscuity sweetness and some citrus. All led to a spicey, peppery slightly bitter finish. Interesting and very tasty brew. Mouthfeel was medium and a little rough. There was only light carbonation. This defied comparisons for me but I know I want to try it again. If you see it - go for it!

May 28, 2010
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mactrail from Washington

3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Tiger! Tiger! in San Diego. Quite distinctive appearance in the tall Fischer tulip. Smooth foamy cap and unusual dark red brownish amber color. Nicely sudsy on the tongue.

The next impression on tasting is the fragrant hops. As a Belgian IPA this is a great example. Rich with a lot of warm, roasted malt, and the zingy hop flavors. Moderate bitter aftertaste. some tangy, peppery hints. Something fruity with a touch of honey. Hoppy and sensationally flavorful. The Belgian yeasty flavors seem to get lost in the rush of hops, but it's quite drinkable. I'm glad to taste something by Bear Republic outside their usual orbit.

July 7, 2015 update: Had this on tap at Stone Liberty Station. Sweet malt with a distinct roasted barlety flavor. Wintergreen and mint. Snappy and quite carbonated on the tongue. Quite bitter aftertaste.

Jul 26, 2013
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wrightst from Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Jun 10, 2014
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IronLover from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a copper red with a light haze and a light head that quickly dissipated. Nice sticky lacings on the glass. Lazy carbonation that really comes alive with a swirl of the glass. Lght floral hoppy aroma with light citrusy undertones. Very smooth feel with big hoppy character, followed by a seet malty flavor and a spicey finish Not a lot of malt character as the hoppy flavors and aftertaste overwhelm this beer. Easy to drink, but the hoppy aftertaste would keep me from having too many of these.

Jun 07, 2010
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Fatehunter from Oregon

4.04/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured minimal head on a clearer dark straw colored body.
The aroma is great. Bright citrus, pear and Valencia orange.
The taste is complex with mandarin, moderate bitterness and finishes with black peppercorns.
The texture is smooth with moderate carbonation.
An outstanding beer that hits all the notes perfectly.

Sep 18, 2013
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vidisad from California

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jan 14, 2015
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Neffbeer from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5%

Nov 15, 2011
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axeman9182 from New Jersey

3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

16oz pour in a pint glass at Rattle n Hum.

Crazy Ivan pours a couple shades lighter than amber, and is almost completely translucent. There's about a finger of bone colored foam topping the beer, and it leaves a little bit of lacing behind. I'm probably being a little bit generous with the appearance score because pours at RnH aren't always the best. Fruity and peppery Belgian yeast notes dominate, but there's a detectable citrusy American hop presence as well. The flavor takes those and adds a solid caramel base to everything. Still though, there's no real sense of balance as they yeasty flavors totally overwhelm the hops. The beer is very rich and full bodied, perhaps too much so because the carbonation seems a bit meek for an IPA (though this may be in part why the hop flavors seem subdued). Belgian IPAs are a tricky style to get right because of the delicate balance between yeast and hop influences, and I don't know if Crazy Ivan is out of balance, or maybe this keg was just old to the point that the hops have faded some, but regardless it was one of the least impressive Belgian IPAs I've had.

Mar 11, 2011
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie from California

3.05/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Imperial pint on-tap at the brewpub.

A: Served a dark burnt amber color with a very dense, well retained, and long lasting vanilla colored head that faded into a thick foamy film leaving a sheet of streaky lacework down the glass.
S: Light notes of bready Belgian yeast and mild citrus hops. Not especially potent.
T: Tastes slightly old which is disappointing for being on tap at the brewery. Either that or this is very malt heavy for an ipa, Belgian yeast or not. Some herbal leafy hops come through, but caramel and bready malt dominate alongside peppery, earthy, Belgian yeast. Finish is sweet and very faintly bitter.
M: Medium body, normal smooth carbonation, tight bubbles, slick, greasy, mouthfeel.
O: Drinks well at least, good but disappointing. Definitely tastes old. Would not order again.

Jul 01, 2013
Photo of vermilcj
vermilcj from Ohio

4/5  rDev +5%

Jul 30, 2013
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oline73 from Maryland

5/5  rDev +31.2%

Nov 15, 2011
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Katahdin from Pennsylvania

3.06/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a nice reddish brown color with a good creamy head that was whitish in color and held together nicely. Very hoppy smell initially but not near as hoppy in taste. Had a funny texture in the mouth and could definitely taste dried fruit but could not discern the type. A bit of a fight to get down.

Jun 09, 2010
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FeDUBBELFIST from Pennsylvania

3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft served in a pint glass. $6. Listed as a "Belgo-American IPA" on Bear Republic's website, and I agree. (Not a Belgian Dark Ale as it is currently listed on BA.)

A: Served with basically no head or film, just a collar. The body is brassy red and semi clear. Medium dark. Light tan foamy collar. Spare splatters of lace.

S & T: The aroma is not very forthcoming. Definitely hop forward but the Trappist yeast component is highly noticeable as well. The slightly fruity, heavily spicy, peppers and cloves jump out on the back end of the palate. Floral hops. Sweaty yeast. Toasted, lightly caramel malt backbone

M: The mouthfeel starts out slow and picks up speed. The carbonation level turns out to be adequate after seeming too soft at first. Even approaches lively. Very dry all the way through. Mild bitterness.

D: I was excited to try something new from Bear Republic (not many of their offerings end up in PA). But the overall experience with Crazy Ivan was underwhelming if not unimpressive. The idea of using the Trappist yeast strain with a blend of Racer 5 and Red Rocket wort was good in concept, but it didn't live up to my expectations.

Jun 02, 2010
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djrn2 from New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Oct 14, 2013
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sbart518 from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Sep 30, 2013
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zestar from California

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Aug 01, 2014
Crazy Ivan from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 129 ratings