Pick Axe IPA | Tommyknocker Brewery

279 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: 279 | Ratings: 554
Photo of Pencible
3.37/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This poured a hazy light copper with light tan head. It smelled like sweet citrus hops and caramel malt, with a bit of honey wheat. It tasted like orange hops with caramel and honey malts. It was watery with a bit of carbonation, and had a bitter aftertaste. Overall this was a clean but very simple beer. It had a good but basic taste, and an OK body. It was drinkable but not notable in any way.

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Photo of papat444
3.41/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got from my parents at Total Wine in Virginia.

Bottled Sept. 2006.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

Appearance: Orange-gold color, fair-sized head with lots of tiny bubbles. So far so good.

Smell: Light bitterness with a damp-like quality?

Taste: Mild, bitter taste, medium-bodied.

Mouthfeel: Not much of an aftertaste but probably due to age. Surprised that a certain bitterness remained after so long.

Drinkability: Not bad by any stretch but i did find it kind of average.

Overall: I will give this beer some positive notes because even though it is a bit old, i found it was not as bad as i thought it would be. I would like to revisit this one to be able to compare a fresher batch.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.2/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this out of a bottle a couple years ago, and as I frequently find it tastes better on-tap. It pours a semi-opaque amber with a decent off-white head. Malty aroma has fruity and hoppy undertones. Lively flavor is mainly malty and rather hoppy but not too bitter, and has an evergreen tone and fruity hints. Sassy, lively texture makes this beer dance on the way down.

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Photo of KarlHungus
2.85/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a hazy orange-red color. The head is a half inch in height, and recedes rather quickly into a small cap of lacing. The aroma is a balance of grapefruit and caramel. The taste is balanced too, but the hop character seems a bit off. The mouthfeel is medium bodied low carbonation for the style. Overall, this is a poor example of an Pale Ale. I will not drink this again.

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Photo of morimech
3.76/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a large off-white head that had great retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left on the glass surface. Does not smell much like an Englsh stle pale ale but very American. Heavy caramel, almost toasted malt aroma with some citrus hops. The flavor is sweet with the malt playing the biggest part. The hops add some citrus, pine, and herbal components. Medium body with a really nice, soft texture. Just enough carbonation so it is just above flat. A nice pale ale that I would drink again. Not really English as it lacks the awesome English hop aroma and flavor but good otherwise.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.18/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This brew pours a dark orange-amber with a thin off-white head. Quick lacing. Aroma is nicely hopped with a hint of citrus. Medium-bodied with a decent amount of hops, but being very close to bland. The finish is a little tart and hoppy. Above average, but this would be much better if it was a little less weak.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.45/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean copper color with a small white head. Aromas are grapefruity hops and those are quite big. In the taste, a very nice smoth bitterness. A very smooth and easy mouthfeel, with a small grapefruity bitter aftertaste. A very nice pale, has a big nose, and a nice smooth bitterness to it.

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Photo of tavernjef
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slighly coppered gold and fairly clear in body. Dusty white head thats a bit crunchy at first with tight foaming bubbles. Fades to a solid skim always present and nice sticky lacing in thick inky blobs.

Aroma is about the norm for a pale, leafy, pale dry citrus of orange oils and lemon with a dusting of cardboard and pine keeping a drier sense about is waft.

Flavors are clean, fresh, and respectful with a small portion of paled citrusy orange and lemon rounding the palate within a fairly chunky addition of leafy, piney hop character in the center. Nice and light drying finish with hints to hop oils and grasses. Floats off nicely and has just the right amount of bittered grab behind it.

Feel is a lighter medium body but stays pretty steady with no empty areas as the carbonation keeps it thay way from fron to back.

A nice little pale, to my surprise, however, I do remember having quite a few of these when in Colorado a few years ago. So now that I have revisited it, I see why.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.42/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Beer is a about 14 months old, which is 10 months longer than Tommyknocker suggests.

3.0 A: Murky orange amber (probably from age). Decent head retention and lots of lacing.

3.5 S: Biscuity foremost. Some citrus and floral hops.

3.5 T: Very yeasty and grainy. A citrus bitterness pokes through. Floral in every sip. This tastes very good for how old it is. I had it fresh, but can't recall if it was better or not.

3.0 M: Not this beer's best quality. A big watery, while still managing to be stingy.

3.5 D: This would make a decent session beer.

Unlike the Butthead Dopplebock, this beer is not the best at aging. Oh well, win some lost some. It's how it goes. I look forward to reviewing a fresh one.

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Photo of argock
3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. Freshness date notched on back label.

A: Hazy mahogany-orange with 1-2 finger,s ticky, off-white head. Fine lace sheets the glass.

S: Highly potent citrus and leafy, tobacco aromas blend nicely with caramel and pale malt sweetness

T: A light smack of toffee is quickly swept away by spicy, leafy hops that have a faint hay-like quality in the finish. Plenty of hops that are quite complex but a little muddled and don't leave an especially clean flavor.

M: Solid medium-body with pretty good, coating quality for an APA. Carbonation is low (which is good) and the aftertaste is leafy and spicy with faint sweetness.

D: A very nice APA from Tommyknocker. A minor hit in a brewer's line-up that is a bit hit or miss, but tends to have more good brews than bad.

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Photo of jsh420
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours semi cloudy golden yellow with a 1+ finger head that had good retention and coated the glass with lacing

smells of fruity citrus hops and just enough malt

taste - solid pale - balance of light fruity citrus and floral hops with biscuit pale malts - one of the better tommyknocker brews i have had

mouthfeel is light/medium with ok carbonation not as crisp i as like but not flat

drinkability is good - a enjoyable pale with good flavor

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Photo of Jeffo
3.1/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mom and Dad picked this one up in NC on their last trip south of the border, then bro and sis carted it all the way over when they came to visit. Thanks for the effort guys.

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium looking, white head with good retention. Hazy safety orange in color, gamboge when held to the light, with a little carbonation evident. A splotchy wisp and ring remain until the end, leaving some nice lacing down the glass. Good looking pale ale.

SMELL: Pale malts and some nice citrus notes. Pineapple, lemon, and some nice grapefruit aromas. Quite fruity and very pleasant.

TASTE: Milder flavors, which is somewhat disappointing considering the nose. Some pale malts up front and some grainy hints. Notes of citrus, with some grapefruit and some decent bitterness after the swallow. Mild, bitter aftertaste lingers. Alright, but the grainy flavors didn't really pass.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. Creamy and smooth enough on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly dry on the palate. Fine here.

OVERALL: An alright brew, but nothing special. The grainy flavors didn't really work for me, which was disappointing, as the nose and look were really promising. Something I'm glad to have tried, but won't be seeking out again. Thanks again for doing the legwork guys.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into Mad Elf tulip.

A: Attractive orange-amber, hazy body underneath one finger of dense tan foam. Average retention and lots of tight lacing. Good looking beer.

S: Crisp citrus hops and a generous dose of biscuity malt. Well-balanced, but not too dynamic.

T: Citrus and pine hops jump out at first, but quickly recede as biscuity malt and lightly fruity esters lead to a subdued, dry finish.

M: The body is on the light side of medium with an appropriate amount of soft carbonation.

D: This goes down as smoothly as I'd expect for such a well-balanced English-style pale ale.

Notes: This is the only Tommyknocker brew I've had, and was just good enough to make me curious to try more. Not a bad EPA at all.


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Photo of Reagan1984
3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange/Amber color with lots of visible carbonation. A two finger foamy head that showed some nice retention. Some spotty lacing

Aroma was very nice and surprisingly hoppy and fresh. Floral, citrus and grapefruit like.

Flavor was very nicely balanced and refreshing. An initial hit of malt and sweetness. Then a moment of bread flavor then right to a hop bitterness. Behind this is some fresh grapefruit notes again. Fairly light, but there. You do get a little sense of alcohol which was surprising.

Mouth feel was fairly light and the carbonation was noticeable on the tongue.

Yes, this is drinkable and a nice session beer.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.15/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle a slightly hazy burnt orange color with a foamy off-white head. Lacing was moderate.

Aroma was packed with plenty of sweet malts. A citrus note was present but very faint.

To me, the taste was a sour combination of caramel and vanilla along. The finish had a real bitterness.

Mouthfeel was light-to-medium and lightly carbonated.

An average Pale Ale at best. The sourness was a real problem for me.

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Photo of CHickman
3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy copper color with a lot of sediment floating in it and a creamy 2 finger beige head that faded slowly and left cream on top; the color looks like apple cider and leaves very good lacing.

Smells very hoppy, with floral hops and citrus hops, flowers, sweet malt, wet bread, orange peel, caramel, light spices and some fruit like pineapple. Pretty nice nose that's sweet and enjoyable.

Tastes sweet and oily from the hops, with floral and citrus hops hitting first, then sweet malt, grapefruit, herbs and/or grass, pine, orange zest, grains, some light spices and then some hop bitterness; this is one hoppy pale ale and it's slick, oily and sweet to the point that it should be an IPA and not a pale ale.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with medium carbonation and a medium body that borders on heavy due to the massive oily hop presence that leaves a bitter pucker.

Decent drinkability, the bitterness and grainy finish take away from it a little bit, but this is still a very tasty beer that I would seek out again.

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Photo of Brent
3.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Hazy dark peach. Floral hops aroma. Prominent malt flavors tending toward toffee and caramel, although not as sweet as it sounds. The hopping was assertive, but not overpowering, with a rather odd floral, almost perfume character - not sure what variety of hops we have here, but is must be dry hopped quite a bit. Not bad, and, much as I love hops, this beer didn't win me over.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Pick Axe Pale Ale poured a yellow-orange with a smallish, yet fine head that dissipated to a thin topper. The aroma was hoppy with some fruit and yeast tones to it. It has a pretty bland, slightly fruity initial taste, with a hoppy finish and aftertaste. Pretty mild taste, but smooth and drinkable. Overall, a pretty average pale ale - probably not as hoppy as most.

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Photo of Todd
2.98/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Very hazy dirty peach, with caramel hues. Frothy white head with a respectable lace and hold.

Doughy aroma, sweet breads, and a nose full of soft floral and hints of perfume.

Malty and bready, with plenty of yeast notes and grain tannins. Bitterness pokes through with a light prickle on the palate with some citric, which blends well with a subdued berry-like character and sweetness. Plenty of floral character. Body is a bit thin, with a watery foundation that seems to dull some of the flavors. Hint of soapiness. Bitty mouthfeel in the finish, with overpowering grain tannins.

Average at best, this Pale Ale would still make a nice crossover beer for those not used to flavor.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.52/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am sampling a room temp bottle poured into a pint glass. The beer pours a bright gold amber witha fluffy off white head of 2 cm. Floral and citrusy hops are noticeable on nose immediately on pour. Just a faint bit of caramel buried by hop pressence. First sip is very fine and gentle carbonation with average to lite body. Flavor is mild overall but some sweet caramel and grainy malt up front rolls to hops that are rather citrusy but a bit astringent and drying on finish. No hint of ABV and very easy to drink primarily due to general mildness of the beer.
A good drinker, that wont make you think too much.

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Photo of merlin48
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle is almost a year past the freshness date. Pours a slightly hazed, copper amber body with a moderate, ivory head that hangs around several minutes. Considerable lacing patches the sides of the glass.

Pale and caramel malt aromas up front with a very fruity, hops presence of apples and oranges.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bigtime, hops zing on the tongue.

Taste is nicely complex. Robust orange and green apple flavors lead a nice parade of hop flavors. Plenty of malty balance that is mostly caramel, underneath. Overall, a very tasty ale.

The label claims that noble hops are used to brew this ale. Though I didn't notice any pine or grapefruit, this ale seems to be a hybrid between an American and British pale ale. Very likeable, and has held up extremely well considering that it is 11 months past the freshness date notched on the label.

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Photo of Vancer
3.03/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Yeah, a nice hazy amber/orange pour with a small brown head that quickly faded. Not much aroma, little spice and orange came out. Taste was somewhat plain – nothing standing out, but not bad either – some decent malt with just a little hop kick in the finish. Just a tad too thin in the texture, but something you could have over the course of the evening. So, would have more of these, unless a SNPA or Schlafly Pale Ale was offered concurrently.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.3/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly hazy light copper color with moderate white puffy head. Sporadic lacing. Smell is overpopweringfor pioney and grassy hops. (Just the way I like it) Taste also presents strong hops up-front, with some moderate being in the background. Nice rich and full mouthfeel. I ilked this beer very much. Very pleasant drinkability.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - a tangerine-amber color. A soapy off-white head is on the thin side but has good resilience and the typical heavy lacing.

Aroma - pleasant pine/citrus aroma, very fresh and on target.

Taste - a brief malty start with orange and grapefruit. Quickly turns bitter, showing off the drier side of the Noble hops. Ends with a slight warmness along with orange/grapefruit peel.

Mouthfeel - good crisp feel, just slightly to the fuller body style.

Drinkability - a very smooth and easy to drink PA.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Previously had this on tap at the brewery, now in bottle via the trail mix mixer. Pours out to a hazy burnt orange, forming a soapy white head with excellent retention and lacing. Carbonation is medium. The aroma is good, full of fresh hops and mango. Probably dry-hopped. The mouthfeel is smooth with a medium body. The taste opens with the abundant hops and mango. There is a slight English ruddiness in here, maybe some UK Kent Goldings or something. Malts are in check in the middle and a moderate herbal bitterness makes it's appearance. Suggestions of toast and grain husk, but quite mild. A touch of oxidation is present. The finish is a little watery and the aftertaste has a pang of cardboard in it.

Hrmmm. Somewhere between an APA and an English PA. One of the better brews I've had from this brewery, but nothing I would really seek out.

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Pick Axe IPA from Tommyknocker Brewery
3.51 out of 5 based on 554 ratings.
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