Swamp Ape IPA | Florida Beer Company

133 Reviews
Read the review
Swamp Ape IPASwamp Ape IPA

Brewed by:
Florida Beer Company
Florida, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by CampusCrew on 09-05-2010

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 133 | Ratings: 543
Photo of NateeB
4.95/5  rDev +69.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am from Cleveland and recently just moved to Florida. Although many local Cleveland and midwest brewerys I hold dear to my heart, I have decided to move on and explore other great southern brew. The Swamp Ape IPA is a really tasty Florida IPA that isn't too hoppy with a variety of flavorful hops this malty tasting beer is also very strong so watch out how many you consume. Overall a great craft brew.

 405 characters

Photo of BigHop
4.7/5  rDev +61%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I pretty much drink only IPAs, mostly doubles. My two go-to brews are Dogfish Head 90 Minute and Stoudt's Double IPA. I also like HE'BREW Lenny's Bittersweet, which has some malt balance. All these beers are around the A range on beeradvocate.com.

I don't understand why Swamp Ape gets a C. It's a way groovy drink! Lotsa hops. Some malt, to give it that wonderful bittersweet feel. Maybe some BeerAdvocate people blame Florida for the current state of our nation. Or perhaps the IPA people just like pure hops, to burn their tongue. Whatever. In my opinion, Swamp Ape is a great brew!

BTW, this is my first review. I typically agree with the ratings, so I don't bother to add to them. But this one seems unfair. So it got me to play.

 737 characters

Photo of ordybill
4.5/5  rDev +54.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a cloudy orange color with a small white head. The aroma is hops and sweet malt. The flavor is first rate. A nice hop flavor with a nice alcohol burn.

 221 characters

Photo of rorjets
4.5/5  rDev +54.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now this is an ass kicking beer! I got a 4 pack on a recent trip to Florida, and was impressed. Goes down easy, great tasting, and packs a wallop without too much of the alcohol burn. I really enjoy this Ape, and was ready to visit the swamp he hailed from after having 3 of these babies!

 288 characters

Photo of scotorum
4.29/5  rDev +46.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Single in a mixed fourpack from Knightly's Spirits in Orlando.

This was the favorite out of ten I tried while in Florida over the weekend. Usually I don't care for banana flavor in anything other than a banana, but this had just enough hint of it along with a lot of great caramel malt flavor and alcohol zing to create an exceptional taste with superior sippability.

Puzzled by the many scathing reviews here. I thought it was one of the best DIPAs I have had.

 464 characters

Photo of mike08054
4.16/5  rDev +42.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I discovered this one tonight on a trip to Orlando. What a pleasant surprise in an area where it can be difficult to find great craft ale.

This is a malty, hoppy booze bomb with some fruity tones. It's called a DIPA, but I would classify it as a good barleywine. It was served in a large snifter, and gets more interesting as it warms up.

I think it's comparable to the flagship DIPA's/BW's offered by some of the superior east coast craft brewers. Check it out!

 468 characters

Photo of stella77artois
4.16/5  rDev +42.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Not sure why this is rated so low. I really liked it. Possibly it's because I had it fresh on tap in Florida. Nice floral aroma with notes of grapefruit and dankness. Hoppy bitterness, grapefruit, some citrus and booze on the tongue. Only thing I wasn't crazy about was the feeling. A bit sticky.

Overall, this is a very good DIPA and I will certainly but it again if I come upon it.

 390 characters

Photo of CampusCrew
4.15/5  rDev +42.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: golden orange and cloudy complexion

smell: heavy citrus, orange peel and some nice floral aroma, strong pineapple and tropical aromas.

taste: Lots of citrus mixed in with tropical fruits like pineapple and mango. A sweet malty IPA. well done.

mouthfeel: medium full bodied

drinkability: very nice offering from this brewery and I look forward to many more like this. Thanks

 399 characters

Photo of Everything_Belgium
4.02/5  rDev +37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm not sure about the negative reviews here. I thought this beer was very good. Very nice balance of taste and smell. It leaves a nice hoppy smooth aftertaste. I like a little bit of alcohol bite and this has that. Of course it doesn't compare to a Dogfish Head 120, but what does? Definitely worth a try. I would buy again and again.

My review is a nice smooth IPA which is easy to drink and would match well with any meal or any occasion.

 442 characters

Photo of Beejay
4/5  rDev +37%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A golden apricot color, the body it mostly clear with a full 2 fingers of off white head on top. The golden hue with the persisting head certainly look excellent.

S: Lots of hoppy goodness. Bright citrus nose, orange, lemon peel, and tangerine. There is a nice resinous quality to this, that melds well into the sweet caramel.

T: Nice. Tangerine, orange peel, and a touch of grapefruit come out first, followed by malty sweetness. Slightly resinous with a nice malt profile backing it up. Good bitterness and a touch of alcohol riding the finish.

M: Medium in body. There is a slickness to this that I like, the finish is slightly dryer making it feel a bit lighter.

O: Overall I think this is a really nice beer. Good flavor, good mouthfeel, all around enjoyable.

 775 characters

Photo of NiceTaps
4/5  rDev +37%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in a pint glass.

A- It poured an orange-copper color with a slightly unfiltered look. A 2-finger head , off-white in color, tapered to a film and left lots of lacing. Lively carbonation.

S- It has it all: clean hop aroma with lots of citrus and pine, some honey for sure and a bit of spice. Just a note of alcohol noticable with the malts.

T-Some pale and sweet malts, honey sweetness also. The citrus and pine hops are there but not prominent.

M- Big, full body and feel. Chewy, oily. There's a lingering hop finish that's not overly bitter.

O- Yummy. This is a flavor-first beer over the abv. Sure, it's sweet due to being 10% abv, but it transcends the sweetness to me. Dare I say that it compares to Hopslam? Yes!

I cannot believe that this beer is rated so low here on BA. It makes me wonder...

 817 characters

Photo of shand
3.99/5  rDev +36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a nonic.

This beer is a nice slightly hazy orange-amber colour with about one and a half fingers of head with decent retention and poor lacing. The nose is full of tropical hops, some sweet malts, and just a touch of booze. The taste is also very good - almost imagine Hopslam with the hops turned down, if you will. There's a great vibrant tropical fruit bouquet here along with some nice sweetened malts, the hop punch is very subuded though. They're there for sure, and come in a bit stronger on the aftertaste, they're a bit peppery and only a touch bitter. Thankfully, the sweetness in the brew isn't due to maltiness, it's because of the fruit flavors packed in here. The alcohol punch is just a bit noticeable, but it's not very strong and adds a nice drying effect on the end of the sip.

The mouthfeel is pretty good, it's big and sticky. The drinkability on this is absolutely excellent. 10%? Bullshit. I can tell Hopslam or Hoptimum are 10%, but not here at all. Excellent in that aspect. Not a hop bomb, but not a malt bomb either, this is a solid, enjoyable beer, even if it's not as hoppy as one would expect from a DIPA.

 1,171 characters

Photo of jwdahl_91
3.99/5  rDev +36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured into snifter as a gorgeous crystal clear amber-orange hue. Light to minimal carbonation with bubbles rising up the sides of the glass. Mild to medium lacing.

S: Citrus. Really ripe, sweet orange, mango, dried fruit, a lot of cherry and mixed berries (especially blueberries). Some light caramel malt, and medium floral notes.

T: Not as much hop as I had expected, although it does come out more as the drink opens up. Honeysuckle, mild amount of malt, sweet caramel, ripe plums, a lot of cherry, and a minute hint of alcohol. The after taste leaves a creamy feeling and the taste of caramel on the tongue.

M: Nice, easy drinking, medium bodied beer.

O: I was surprisingly pleased. I feel other reviews were too harsh. As an IPA it was a bit of a let down as I was expecting more hoppy bitterness. With such a name, I expected more muskiness and bitterness, not such fresh and fruity characteristics. As a beer, it was very tasty and very easy to drink. Overall I was pleased but as an IPA i wanted more bite and bitterness.

 1,041 characters

Photo of ManlyWealth
3.97/5  rDev +36%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I’m going to agree with Everything Belgium and Nedry. Not sure what prompted all the negative reviews, but I enjoyed this DIPA. I thought this was a good beer. Perhaps Florida Beer Co has a brewing consistency issue? Swamp Ape pours a cloudy, golden amber color with a healthy off white head. It has a nice balance of taste and smell with a familiar high gravity aroma and a bitter/sweet taste. The finish is hoppy, but smooth and ends in high gravity alcohol bite. I enjoyed it. Florida Beer, if you're listening (reading) these reviews, check in with your quality control department... how's your output consistency?

 621 characters

Photo of hopfiend666
3.92/5  rDev +34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A great IPa with a nice bite and a great amount of alcohol. Any more hops added to this brew and it would taste rotten. The taste is sort of like cannonball double ipa fron nor Carolina. If they were trying to get a hoppy taste fresh from the swamp, then they nailed it. I have enjoy a couple four packs on more than one occasion, though a little pricey.

 354 characters

Photo of DUBinMIA
3.9/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

medium gold brown color with decent head

smell was floral with hints of citrus and a light woody aroma

taste was good... i was expecting less malt but it was a welcomed surprise in a double IPA. Hops finish out with a crisp taste with some citrus flavor.

medium to light body, lighter as the beer warmed

overall a good IPA with 10% abv. might pick it up again but $10 for a four pack makes me reach for Dogfish Head 90 min and maybe not this... worth a try if you see it though

 484 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
3.82/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've read the other reviews and had several of the Florida Beer Co.'s offerings over the years, dating back to the Ybor City days and Gaspar's Porter (nee Ale). Admittedly, the beers are not standouts but they seem solid MOR options with consistent quality. And they are fairly on-style (unlike Sam Adams). Well, we all have our opinions. Here's mine.

Arrives a clear golden color with a white head that has no real retention, just a ring of foam.
Smell is citrusy and piney hops notes with light malt and pepper flavors. Not a hop bomb, a more balanced mixture.
Taste is pine, malt, citrus, ginger and a sweetness reminiscent of cane sugar. The ginger note is unexpected but works for the style.
Full bodied with a medium plus carbonation. Finish is dry with a lingering evergreen aspect to it. As expected for an IPA. I liked this beer and while I'm not a big fan of IPAs in general, I'm finding the Double/Imperial IPAs to be quite good. Having more to it than a dump truck load of hops is a good thing in my opinion.

 1,022 characters

Photo of mrfr33z3
3.79/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The color is a somewhat accurate depiction of what I've come to expect from a DIPA. Light copper and amber hue. The head is almost non-existent, though I wouldn't expect much from the 10%. Minimal lacing. The body is spot-on for me. Great mouthfeel.

Plenty of hops are present in this one. Quite a bit going on there that I can quite put my finger on. Reminds me of a homebrew I made when I went a bit crazy with different kinds of hops. The Amarillo and Centennial are noticeable, and there are some fruity, slightly boozy effects on the finish. Not overly bitter though, as there's enough sweetness to smooth things over.

I was eager to try this local brew, as I've sampled other from the Florida Beer Company in the past, and I'm a fan of the style (DIPA). I've since kept my garage fridge stocked with a 4-pack of this stuff most of the time. Overall, very drinkable. I thoroughly enjoy it. Not sure why it doesn't score higher. Different strokes, I suppose...

Update 10/25/2013:
After purchasing by the case and by the 4-pack here and there and sampling further, I can offer some additional info on this. I can now say that there is indeed some inconsistency in the profiles of this beer between batches. It's strange, but I can go from one batch to the next and it tastes different. I actually ended up with one case I can only describe as slightly "brackish", which has been rather unpleasant. I have also lowered my overall impression of this beer, as consistency is key to the production of any brew, and have been somewhat disappointed on occasion. Strange.

 1,570 characters

Photo of ajpadre
3.79/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I gotta say I was surprised by the negative reviews when I visited BeerAdvocate because usually my taste buds are spot on with the majority of BeerAdvocate users.

I'm originally from SoCal, so the higher the ABV and the more bitter the better. And I gotta say this is my favorite Florida brew.

The color is a nice cloudy orange, nothing too out of the ordinary.

The nose is lacking somewhat, you expect it too be a flop immediately out of the gate.

The taste though I love. It has a great silky texture that compliments the bitter after taste. Could use a bit more of the roasted malt up front but still a pleasant light front. It is more chewy than the other Florida beers I have had, which is probably why I like it. The back end is a typical ipa with not too complicated flavors, a little citrus, a little pine. But enough to balance with the high ABV.

The finish is not dry at all, leaves your palate coated with a nice array of hop flavors. The flavor stays in your mouth for a while.

I enjoyed this beer very much. I have no idea how long its been in the keg at HopJacks, and the east coast isn't too friendly to DIPAs so it may have had some time to mature. But all and all I thought it was a solid brew.

 1,219 characters

Photo of Zach136
3.78/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Clear light amber. Thin head.

Aroma: Big sugary sweet malt bill, medium intensity tropical fruit and pine hop character.

Flavor/Mouthfeel: Some fruity hops and again a big caramelly malt bill. The smoked malt used really hits you in the finish. At first it adds a nice earthy quality and kind of rounds out the sweetness, but as it sits it get's this unbecoming band-aid quality and lingering cigarette-esque finish. Especially as it warms.

 457 characters

Photo of Dave1999
3.78/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a transparent amber with a white foamy head which disapeared quite quickly.

The smell was malts, with a slight grapefruit, with a good dose of alcohol.

The taste was sweet with a little bit of a bitter malty after taste.The hops are present but not as obvious as you would expect in a dipa.You can certainly taste the alcohol,kind of like a whisky but not as strong.

The mouth feel was creamy with a bit of a tingle from the alcohol.

Overall definately unexpected not enough hop taste, no citrus flavours just nothing dipa about this. But on the other hand a pretty interesting beer. I didn't think it was a bad beer but I won't buy it again. It was more like a spirit than a beer.

 692 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.76/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Florida Beer Company "Swamp Ape Double India Pale Ale"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, no apparent freshness dating but coded "14275"
$2.63 @ Trader Joe's #766, Tampa, FL

Swamp Ape DIPA pours a very hazy deep golden body beneath a massive head of off-white foam that slowly settles to an 1/8" thick solid cap. The lacing is quite good as well. Subsequent pours, which rouse the lees from the bottom of the bottle, are quite cloudy with visible particulate in suspension.

The aroma is not nearly as strong as you might expect, but it does deliver some resinous and citrusy hops over a sweetish and bready malt base.

The first sip lets you know that it's a big beer because you can feel it in your mouth: it's full bodied and dextrinous. A moderate, very-fine bubbled carbonation leaves it creamy smooth.

Hops deliver in the flavor more than what they promise via the aroma, and it's loaded with sugary dried fruit, pineapple, orange, and pine resin. The malt is thick and rich, maintaining a straightforward grainy and biscuity character. The alcohol steps in and lends some spice, and in combination with a bold bitterness it finishes with some quickly fading residual malt followed by some longer-standing citrus pith, pine, and fruit.

If what you're looking for is an aggressive, strongly alcoholic, solidly bitter, and boldly hopped beer (at least for flavor), this might just be for you. Unfortunately, it is a little brutish (although that seems to work with the name pretty well). The aroma is dull, and the hop flavors are solid but not 'bright'; and with the alcohol coming through straight off the bat (and at only 10% !) it's more of a Mike Tyson than a Mohammed Ali - meaning that it hits hard but lacks finesse.

 1,726 characters

Photo of cjgator3
3.75/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Pours clear copper color with a nice off-white head.

S-The aroma is has a good dose of malt, more balanced than expected. Sweet malt and hints of caramel are in the nose with some citrus from the hops and some alcohol as well.

T- The taste like the aroma is sweet and malty up front with some bitterness from the hops in the finish and some warming from the alcohol as well. This is a nice, well balanced IPA. Not sure why there are some of the really harsh reviews.

M- The mouthfeel is between light and medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, this is a pretty solid IPA in my book. It's not a world changing beer by any means, but a nice solid beer that I enjoyed. Recommended!

 720 characters

Photo of Kinanik
3.75/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Total Wine & More had a vendor who was giving samples of this. I thought it was interesting and picked up a 4 pack of it.

According to the pamphlet they had at the table, the malt used in this beer is 2-row malt, Europ, and Cherry Wood Smoked Malt; the Hops are: Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, and Tettnang.

Apparently they brew this with Rock Sugar, so that the yeast "releases a bunch of esters." This seems like an odd tactic, but it makes for a unique beer.

The appearance is a deep gold/amber with a decent head. The smell is not too strong, but the bottle I have now is pretty cold, which may be suppressing it.

You can taste the esters, but I think it works pretty well. The sweetness is balanced out at the end by the characteristic Cascade grapefruit.

The mouthfeel is a bit thick for my taste. It IS an imperial IPA, and the mouthfeel is probably the only point where you can tell. The taste and mouthfeel don't mesh too well.

Overall, I'm glad I grabbed this beer. The sweet and bitter balance pretty well, but you expect a bit more bite from an imperial IPA with this thickness. If it had a bit less gravity, it would be a great mild-imperial IPA, like 90 Minute.

 1,193 characters

Photo of secondtooth
3.74/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a crystal-clear amber in color, with a huge head of off-white bubbles. Big. loopy lace.

Aroma is potent, herbal, oily hops. I get citrus, pine, and tropical fruit notes. Very very nice.

Taste is more strong hops -- big assault of oily, acidic hop goodness, but it's all tempered by a substantial malt profile. The big 10% ABV isn't immediately noticeable, though the body here does seem heavy. The finish concludes with a lingering hops bitterness.

This is a tasty, balanced (despite the big hops bite), and deceptively drinkable imperial IPA.

 552 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Swamp Ape IPA from Florida Beer Company
2.92 out of 5 based on 543 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.