Pick Axe IPA | Tommyknocker Brewery

281 Reviews
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Pick Axe IPAPick Axe IPA

Brewed by:
Tommyknocker Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly called "Pick Axe Pale Ale".

A classic American India Pale Ale dominated by pleasant hop bitterness and aroma. Dry hops impart unique aromas and flavors that add to the complexity of this ale. A blend of American hops melds into an award winning flavor that is our most popular draft in the pub.

Added by kbub6f on 12-14-2001

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Reviews: 281 | Ratings: 562
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Bottle

Pours a nice yellow/orange color, pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice one-finger thick/creamy off-white head, which leaves some sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, malty, with some citrus. The taste is hoppy, slightly malty, with some citrus. Medium body. Overall, a pretty tasty brew.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy Amber with a thin white head.

Smell: Light hops and citrus.

Mouthfeel/ Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste of bitter hops and pine with a hint of tangy and sweet citrus.

Overall: Good IPA. I would have this one again.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.24/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Honey golden with diminishing head starting at a finger. Opacity 70%.

Armpit aromas with cracker, salt, white pepper, and garlic clove. A little bright fruit as well.

Typical IPA taste with nothing extraordinary. Pine hits, then biscuit, then orange peel, grapefruit peel, and ending on a buttery cracker finish.

Feel is smooth but clings to the palate, it's actually above average here.

This is about as basic as you get for a run of the mill IPA. A lot like Alaskan Free Ride, Shiner Wicked Ram, New Belgium Slow Ride, etc. Just very average...but will scratch the IPA itch just fine.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.64/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Yellow pour, average head. Hop aroma lacking.

Taste was a lot of crystal malt, high alpha acid hops, all bitterness. Its one of those throwback ipas, caramel, malt heavy, bitter heavy, not much in flavors beyond grapefruit like bitterness.

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Photo of HoppyBastard
3.86/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Shaker pint glass, "best by" date 3-28-16.

APPEARANCE; pours a clear, copper color with less than one finger off-white head that slowly dissipated until a thin, unbroken layer of small bubbles remained, medium carbonation and significant lacing on the glass.

SMELL: bread, caramel, flowery, grapefruit citrus.

TASTE: the taste follows the nose, initially sweet caramel and bread then a pleasant grapefruit citrus hop note, this is a more balanced variety with a more understated hop presence than most in the style.

PALATE: medium body and carbonation.

OVERALL: this was an enjoyable beer and I would have it again no problem, it seemed more like a pale ale to me but a good beer either way you look at it, this is another example of the latest beer trend-citrus hops, this one is subtle enough I could have more than one in a sitting.

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Photo of gmoneyproductions
4.06/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this on tap at the brewery
pours amber/gold/orange
with a white head
smell hoppy and fruity with grapefruit for sure
taste is fruity hoppy grapefruit with slight bitter finish
went down smooth
liked this quite a bit and had it right after the nouveau ipa felt the pick axe was slightly more enjoyable

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Photo of jwc215
3.52/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by Aug 17 15:

Pours hazed orange amber with a thin lasting head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of caramel with some general (peppery?) spice.

The sweet malt is balanced by earthy, spicy, bitter hops. Leafy, bitter finish.

A bit on the thin side for the style., but holds together. Crisp.

To me the hops give more bitterness than aroma or taste. Spicy, though. Seems a bit of an "old-school" IPA. Probably would have enjoyed it a bit more years ago - American IPA's have come a long way in the last decade or so. Still it's nice for what it is.

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.54/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque, deep gold, producing 2 fingers of frothy, somewhat lasting, white head that leaves thin webs & streaks of lace. Aroma is thin caramel malt forward with a thin floral, tropical fruit, grapefruit & pine hop profile. Taste is a more balanced inverse mix of floral, grapefruit flesh & pith & pine hops, with the sweet caramel coming through in nearly equal quantity. Finishes caramel, pine, bitter & nicely peppery but transitioning to a lasting bitter & astringent aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, moderate carbonation, prickly, bitter & drawing.

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Photo of dcscientist
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Somehow this got reclassified as an IPA instead of an APA, but it's still very good. It's not super hoppy, so I'm good with it. Light and very easy to drink on hot summer days, and low enough alcohol to not get you in trouble at altitude. Definitely a solid beer.

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Photo of HamdenHector
2.81/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: slightly hazy; copper colored; with a moderately aggressive pour, I got a 1/2 inch off white head that receded almost immediately; very little lacing;

S: all caramel malt with a touch of pine;

T: not a lot of flavor; what's there is mostly malt with a bit of pineapple leading into a long lasting, moderately bitter finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: there are too many good (and really good) IPAs out there to spend time and money on this one.

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Photo of aquaderek
2.98/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

This brew pour a golden orange with a frothy off white head the breaks down in to slight tracing when agitated. Piney hops and caramel on the nose. Hoppy bite followed by a smooth round finish slight carbonation. Nothing special, kk run of the mill ipa, I like the brewery though.

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Photo of cbond
2.7/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

This beer tastes and smells of pineapples, I would love to sip this at Hawaiian themed party or on the beach. However for daily life I do not enjoy it very much.

It is also not as hoppy as I expected (though admittedly I have high hops expectations for IPA's).

Caveat -- I did drink this after eating something very spicy so I reserve the right to edit these statements.

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Photo of bark
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The colour is amber (20 EBC), the liquid is clear. The two finger head is off-white and compact. It sinks slowly leaving some lacing on the glass. The beer is bottle conditioned.

The smell is hoppy with toffee sweetness. Some onion/cabbage flavours. Chemical bitterness and some orange juice.

The taste is smooth with citric hops and some fruity sweetness: Oranges, mango, lime, pineapple. Mild bitterness, more like an APA than an IPA. Medium to full body. The aftertaste got a passing note of solvents and some harsh hops. Orange juice, lime, green apples and green plums. The finish got some solvents and rough alcohol.

The carbonation is mild to medium strong, the bubbles are long-lived. The liquid is mid-smooth and a bit dry.

Not enough bitterness, and some off-flavours. Well, well...

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip; lovely IPA color, translucent orange-yellow, with a thin white head that leaves rings of delicate lacing.
Smell is slightly metallic, clean crackery malt, with a dash of hops. Probably a pretty old bottle, not much hop aroma. There are light hints of floral, grassy, and fruity hops.
Taste is about the same; clean malt and faded hops. I don't get much beyond a grassy bitterness, but there are slight hints of citrus rind and fruit.
Mouthfeel is well-carbonated and thin, good for the style.
Overall I'd prefer more hop flavor, but it was probably an old bottle so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

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Photo of BrewAskew
3.87/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Best by date: Nov 04 2013. Pours to a thin but lasting head and consistent but sparse lacing, Color is a hazy orange-amber. Aroma presents grapefruit, pine, dill, rose and crystal malt. Flavor is definitely hop-forward with 55 IBUs, but with a substantial malt backbone to keep it from being too harsh. Mouthfeel is medium-light and CO2 is moderate and unobtrusive. Overall, a balanced and flavorful AIPA.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The body was orange amber in color with a slight haze. The carbonation appeared lively, and the head was two fingers thick, and very well retained. The smell was deceptively honey like at first, but then gave way to herbal hops. The taste was very tropical, with Mandarin orange, pineapple, and mango flavors, The bitterness was atypically modest for the style. The finish however provided a good deal of hop based dryness. It was a little thinner than medium bodied. Nicely approachable.

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Photo of DenverHopHead
3.84/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle purchased at the brewery in Idaho Springs. Dated best by 12/23/13. Poured into a tulip.
Appearance - amber/orange. Carbonation builds an impressive, foamy white head. Leaves a ladder of foamy lace on the glass.
Smell- citrus, grassy, pine, some traces of biscuit and cracker, malt in the nose.
Taste - refreshing, but too light. The nicely blended hop notes in the nose aren't nearly as prominent on the palate.
Feel - doesn't have the bitterness I desire in an IPA. More of a pale ale.
Overall - underrated, if rated solely on the quality of the beer. I'd classify this as a pale ale, however.

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Photo of mactrail
2.46/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Looks nice enough, with the amber color. Brief head in the New Belgium snifter. Moderate carbonation and a slightly oily mouthfeel. Smell makes me think of vegetable broth.

I'll be brief. The murky malt sulks under the weight of the herbaceous hops. It's more like a bitter green tea flavor. Dirty and tannic with a metallic aftertaste. That's enough.

I have avoided Tommyknocker for some years, after repeated soured experiences with the Butt Head. This will keep me away for awhile longer. From the 12 oz bottle with the newer style label.

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Photo of Monalenard
1.76/5  rDev -50%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

brewed with farts. looks nice, smells...assy. mouthfeel is okay, actually kinda nice but, i think it might be something to do with what tastes like toasted malts that were over done or something, it just kind of tastes like the smell of farts. its got all of the right elements but they are arranged poorly, it seems.

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Photo of KajII
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

[Suggested Glassware: Tulip Glass]

The pour was a hazy orange with a nice reddish hue and an average (1-2 finger) off white creamy head that was mostly lasting, reducing to a thick puddled film and medium collar with excellent full sheeting of sticky lacing.

The aroma was of a light grain malt, pine hops and a soapy yeast with notes of caramel and citrus (grapefruit and orange peel).

The taste was bitter sweet and decently malty with a light touch of caramel and a hint of grapefruit early on, becoming a bit hoppier and having a slight citrus peel bitterness towards the finish. The flavor lasted an average duration following the swallow, with a mild citrus peel bitterness left behind to linger a bit longer on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was light in body with a dry, oily texture and a carbonation that was quite lively.

Overall this was a smooth and easy to drink IPA with a nice well rounded flavor. It was a brew that was not overpowered by an excessive bitterness, but rather blended together well with the caramel sweetness creating a pleasurable drinking experience...


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Photo of Omnium
2.86/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Pours a very hazy orange yellow color, minimal head, and thin or no lacing at all.
S - Sweet malts, very minute citrus hop smell, pine
T - The sweeter malts outweigh all the other flavors in this, and they're not even that strong. Very little hop presence in this brew.
M - Thin, very watery, bitter sweet malt clings for small time
O - This is a crap beer, and even worse IPA, this should be considered a lame pale ale at best. This has very base, weak flavors that give you nothing short of an unsatisfied palate. No hops to qualify this as an IPA.
Tommyknocker, could you for once please prove me wrong about your beer?

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.05/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Not sure how the IPA escaped me all those years on the east coast, but it's in front of me now. Get some! This stuff pours a clear bronze-copper topped by a finger of glowing off-white foam. The nose comprises grapefruit zest, light grass, and a backbone of sweet caramel. The taste brings on more of the same, but the backbone is now less sweet, the grapefruit has been turned inside-out, and there's a general sense of mentholated funk throughout. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a decent IPA...so long as flavor has nothing to do with it...

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Photo of metter98
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy light amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that quickly died down and left some lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of caramel malts in the nose along with some faint hints of citrusy hops.
T: The initial taste has sweet flavors of caramel malts and transitions to some citrusy flavors of hops and a light to moderate amount of bitterness. Hints of spicy hops are also noticeable.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a good balance between the malts and hops and is an easy drinking IPA that isn't dominated by hops.

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Photo of GoldHorde
3.07/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Copper colored pour with a fairly heavy haze - not unexpected as I've noted more than a few hazy IPA's - but this was a bit more cloudy than any other and one ALWAYS expects this in a wheat beer. Nonetheless - it doesn't detract from my score. The sniff was floral but without a hop slap - no matter, that again is more prevalent in 2xIPA's. However - where it counts most for me is in the complex "flavor profile" that most recent IPA's deliver: a) strident sniff, b) mouth of edgy malt and c) a lasting after-sting of floral, herbal or citrus hop. This beer placed in "a+b" but did not deliver the "c".

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Photo of patpbr
3.12/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Copper Color with absolutely no head.
S- A sweet malt scent
T- All hops up front the malts add a nice sweetness, a bit bitter on the finish
M-moderate carbonation. A little watery
0- It got better as it went. A colorado beer bought in Ohio could explain its weak pour.

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Pick Axe IPA from Tommyknocker Brewery
3.52 out of 5 based on 562 ratings.
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