Swamp Ape IPA | Florida Beer Company

133 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 133 | Ratings: 543
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.

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Photo of NoleDoc
2.17/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2

Very bitter taste. Definitely has a bite to it. Very bitter after taste which lingers in the palet for a long time. Sounds crazy, but the after taste almost taste like something off the grill. As a Florida resident, had to give it a try. Not one of my faves.

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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.

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Photo of ummswimmin
2.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

I poured this bottle of Swamp Ape into a tulip style glass. I received about two fingers of foam from the initial pour that didn't take long to die down. The lacing is decent from the halo of foam remaining. The coloring on this one is a vibrant orange.

The nose on this one has some flowery hops. I also pick up some minimal citrus hopping.

The flavoring on this one is really metallic. The feel on this one is pretty unpleasant. I have to make this one a "sink-pour."

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Photo of Lerxst
2.29/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours amber, semi hazy, with a tightly knit slightly off white head that has fair retention and left a few spots of lace.

S-Earthy, grassy hops are there, but somewhat tame. Hints of bready malt are there along with an off putting astringency that is very distracting.

T-Hmm, there is something wrong here. A sour, medicinal flavor overwhelms everything here and the longer I drink this the worse it gets. I can pick up the earthy, grassy hops from the nose along with the bready malt back but they are both overwhelmed by the unpleasant medicinal flavor. Not good.

M-Medium body and carbonation, slightly slick but finishes dry.

O-This one was tough to finish. And I love DIPAs. I soldiered through to the end in an attempt to give this beer a fair shot, but it never got better. If anything it got worse as I went along.
There is no way I would buy this again.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.71/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

First had: bottle at Riverside Market Cafe, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Copper colored pour, clear, with a thin white cap that mostly dissipated, leaving a bit of lacing on the glass. Aroma was pretty strange, sweet malts, caramel apple, overripe melons, not much in the way of fresh hops. The taste reflected the nose. There was something off here. There was a bit of piney hop bitterness, but it hovered in the background, never really coming out as it should (considering it's supposed to be an IPA), caramel malts and more overripe fruit sweetness, with a bit of booze, though no real heat was felt from the higher ABV level. About medium in body, awkward and sticky, not undrinkable, but not really what I'm looking for in any kind of IPA.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
3.26/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lightly chilled bottle into a stemless tulip pint. No decipherable bottling date.

Look- Medium amber with three fingers of pillowy head the color of ripe banana flesh. Good retention, well-developed lace despite the ABV.

Smell- Lemon-mango, floral and bready malt in the background. Sweet. Vaguely pear-like.

Taste- Hrm. Sweet, light toffee, mango and mandarin orange appear but fade quickly. Spike of booziness followed by a mild coconut and roasted marshmallow flavor that lingers for a while before rolling into honeyed tea. Aftertaste is herbal, minty. Not particularly bitter, medium to low perceived bitterness for the style. Nutty flavor comes and goes.

Mouthfeel- Chewy, low carbonation. Surprisingly clean finish, mild alcohol warming. A big beer, but easy drinking for 10% ABV.

Overall- Not bad, but not as flavorful as I'd expect from an DIPA. It doesn't appear to be marketed as such, however.... passable as standard IPA, if on the heavy side and boozy. Either way, it's fine but I probably wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of mooseisloose
2.9/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Popping the top this brew has a licorice smell. Pours to a yellow bronze with a foamy micro bubble head that laces. On the taste this brew is very sweet up front, closely followed by a sharp bitterness, then is balanced in the middle with a sweet and sour finish. Seems way too sweet for an IPA. The mouthfeel is very thick and syrupy. A tasty brew but way too sweet, maybe try this one on pancakes?

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Photo of ckollias
3.03/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a copper hue with a white one-finger head that slowly dissipates in to a wispy lace.

S: Floral hop and malt aroma.

T: Smooth and malty with a solid hop background. Good equal mix of bitter and sweet.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Just an okay IPA – worthy of a try but nothing I would grab again.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
2.71/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought this beer for $17.00 as a fore pack and thought it way overpriced, but I live in Maryland and the high alcohol tax is just a killer. Anyway the beer poured a clear, medium copper brown. The creamy light tan head build about one finger high and dissipated slow, leaving some lacing.
The smell was a very earthy, grassy flavor with booze and some caramel character.
Tasting the beer I first thought of swamp water. But all those earthy, grassy flavors eventually weren't as bad as the first sip promised. It is a sipper and maybe not what you expect, but interesting, at least for one time.

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Photo of barczar
2.39/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear copper color with a dense one inch cream head that slowly dissipates and leaves spotty lacing.

Aroma is sweet caramel malt, almost raisiny, with significant alcohol. There's a bit of a stale character, and slight dank hops. A note of grapefruit becomes evident.

Flavor is very hot, with a fairly sweet malt backbone and a tar-like finish. Resiny hops subdue the alcohol, leading into a bit of grapefruit citrus and a fairly bitter finish. The tar quality aforementioned is likely phenolic, and it diminishes as I drink more, becoming like smoky bacon.

Hottest beer I've ever had. Burns as it goes down the throat. Body is moderate, with moderately high carbonation.

Overall, it seems to me that they may have used stale hops, and the alcohol is not all malt derived. Likely used sugar, as it burns like cheap liquor. Flavor improves the more I drink it...or maybe I'm catching a buzz...

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Photo of DavyTheFatboy
2.86/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a hotel tumbler.

A: Light Copper like a brand new penny, and crystal clear. Volcanic white mousse-like head that hangs around for a few minutes then leaves a thin layer and a ring.

S: Very muted, as others have noted, but not unpleasant. Grassy and backwards. This doesn't lend much to the nose.

T: Again, subdued. I went into this expecting to get clobbered by either hops or alcohol but neither one really dominates. On the palate it's a slightly unbalanced IPA. There are very piney citrusy hop notes but they don't destroy the malt, although they do run over it a bit. There is a pronounced sweetness. This beer is all in the finish. It sounds odd, but the main player here is pistachio, so help me this beer finishes with pistachio flavors. Behind this we have notes of leafy herbs, caramel, and finally candy cane.

M: Thick. Medium to light carbonation is a drawback here, as I feel the very dense and powerful flavors lurking in this beer could be brought forward with a healthy dose of CO2.

O: I do not regret my purchase. At $10 for a 4-pack this isn't cheap and someone looking for a simple, toss-back IPA will be very disappointed. But this beer invites slow sipping, not just to avoid a state of profound insobriety, but because when you take your time, the layers start to show themselves.

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Photo of pixieskid
2.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Didn't ever bother picking this up from the grocery store at $10 4pack but my dad came back to the condo with it and what the hell, it's here, gotta try it. I was intrigued to try it after reading all of the reviews, cracked it almost immediately after reading a dozen or so reviews.

The reviews are all over the place for this thing and I really can't see why. Not a good beer, I always go into a beer with an open mind and usually think that it can't be that bad, I don't like bashing beers but this thing is a mess. Between the odd flavor profile, lack of aroma, and the astringent alcohol, I don't know how we'll get through the rest of the 4 pack...

My intention is to give as solid and informed review as possible so people know why it's all over the place.

Appearance: looks good, bright orange with a frothy white head, lingers for some time actually.

Nose: there's really not much there just like others have said. A touch of citrus, honey, and alcohol.

Taste: strong alcoholic bite, vegetal notes, smokiness (on closer look, their website states that it's brewed with cherrywood smoked malts), and some citrus.

Mouthfeel: slick and medium bodied.

Overall; frankly it's a boozy mess and has an odd flavor profile. Would have been happier with another sixer of jai alai at the same price...

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2.4/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

First, let me start off by stating that this beer packs a little punch at 10% ABV.

Swamp Ape IPA has a very bitter hop taste. It was a chore to continue drinking, due to the taste, but as the bottle emptied it began to taste better (more than likely because of the high ABV rather than acquiring a taste for it).

It really is not terrible, but it's flavor is lacking. It has a very bitter taste and while at first you can taste multiple flavors, the bitterness begins to dominate everything rather quickly.

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Photo of katan
3.69/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz into a pint

A - Deep gold in color, perhaps a little bit orange. Light head formation, almost none actually. The pearl white film is all that you can see. Very hazy and opaque.

S - All kinds of hops here, mainly a citrus start with a rather earthy and piney background. It seems to be sweet, but when you inhale deeper you can detect a pretty hefty hop body.

T - Starts off with just a hint of malts, but that is immediately bombed by all the hops. Citrus, sweet at first - then in the middle gets rather bitter and resinous. Finishes even more better - lighting up the outside of the tongue.

M - Full bodied but not enough carbonation to bring it back to balance. Thick and sweet, clingy, with a big oily aftertaste.

O/D - An over the top kind of citrus hop bomb - perhaps a little too monotone for me. Generally a slow sipper, and the high alcohol will roll you.

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Photo of BMMillsy
2.47/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.25

Pours copper with small head. Smells stale, little to no hop presence, with big sweetness--though the aroma overall isn't very present. Way overly sweet flavor, muddled caramel malts and staleness. No hop presence. I could not finish the 12 oz bottle. This was not really up to par, but a nice Florida tick. I have been told they are supposed to be making adjustments and water improvements. This really is one of the worst DIPAs I have had and was terribly disappointing as it was one of the first Florida beers I tried.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real nice colorful orange amber body, quite crystal clear also, just some faint haze, but a creamy and very even off white head that barley makes three fingers and settles into a one finger cap with some ring lacing. Pretty nice looking.

Nose is weak. Mild malt backbone but not much of a hop presence here. Nothing faulty or offensive, just a hint of juicy citrus but really reaching.

Taste is just weird. I don't know how else to describe it. Strangely malt forward with neither a hop action, but a thick sugary syrup maple sweetness and texture. Hop action seems to resonate some sugary bitter that doesn't stick around, with an almost sugar toffee finish. For the high abv this isn't very boozy at all which is a good sign.

Overall this beer is just too strange, and comes off as a sort of malty strong juicy ale with an angle that doesnt mesh in the DIPA realm. This just doesn't jive with me at all, it's too bizarre. It's not by any means awful at all, but in the DIPA realm this is just not delivering at all. Wont be having this again.

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Photo of noisepollution6
1.95/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Saw this one in the grocery store. The packaging got me as I was born and raised in Florida and I'm usually pretty optimistic about beers sold in 4-packs so I picked it up. Wish I could return it after one sip.

A - Pours a brilliant medium gold color with about an inch of head that dissipates at a fairly moderate pace and never seems to completely go away.

S - The malt definitely dominates the hops in the aroma as is usually characteristic of a double IPA. Unfortunately, that malt smell is masked by a strong scent of alcohol. The smell has me afraid to take my first sip.

T - The bitterness comes through first although it's not as much as you'd expect from a double IPA. Seeing as it comes in at a whopping 10% ABV should prove that this beer has some serious balance issues between the malt and the hops. The taste is not characteristic of the aroma as the hops seem to dominate the malt although slight notes of malt are lingering. Unfortunately, once again, this is all overwhelmed by a nagging alcohol flavor that makes this beer almost undrinkable.

M - Light to medium bodied with low to medium carbonation.

O - The alcohol aroma hints at the idea that this one should be aged. The alcohol flavor hints at the idea that this one should be aged. The 10% ABV hints at the idea that this one should be aged. Yet, I would not waste three square inches of cellar space to fit a bottle of Swamp Ape. This beer has some serious balance issues and if you're looking for a good IPA, avoid this one at all costs. Unless, of course, you enjoy the taste of alcohol with some added bitterness.

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Photo of brockdidntslide
1.58/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

more like ape piss than something worth drinking. i couldn't finish the bottle. as awful as a miller high life light i need to find someone i hate and give them a bottle of this. as good as jai alai is for florida's beer rep, this one sets it back. this must be florida's way of saying "stay away, tourist!".

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Photo of scottfrie
2.03/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks for the tick, Dan.

A: Pours a super light clear straw color with basically no head or lace.
S: I’m not getting very much hop aroma on the nose, and what hops do come through are pretty rotten smelling. I get what smells like burnt malt as well.
T: Watery booze. There is almost no flavor at all except some bitterness in the aftertaste, a touch of sweetness, and harsh booze. Hops are rank.
M: Body is on the thin side of medium, and the alcohol isn’t masked at all. Thin carbonation.
O: An atrocious dipa and an awful beer. Avoid the swamp-ass.

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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.

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Photo of zeff80
3.31/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Tap 42 in Fort Lauderdale.

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a one-finger white head of bubbly foam. It left some sudsy patches of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled malty and piney. Not alot of depth here.

T - Spicy and little hot with some strong pine notes. Good roasted malt flavor, but the hop bite seems unbalanced.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium bodied ale with a hot alcohol punch.

O - This is an okay Double IPA. I feels like it need more balance to be good.

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Swamp Ape IPA from Florida Beer Company
2.92 out of 5 based on 543 ratings.
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