Hairy John IPA | Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks

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Hairy John IPAHairy John IPA
Very Good
30 Ratings
Hairy John IPAHairy John IPA

Brewed by:
Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ffejherb on 07-30-2010

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 |  Reviews: 7
Reviews by RblWthACoz:
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

More User Reviews:
Photo of DWolf
3.2/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber, sample from brewery.

Great looking sudsy lacing, nearly clear reddish amber hue. Aroma and palate show a melding of a thick resin piney hop character with a well rounded deep malt toasted and caramel flavor. Semi-intense bitterness, slight warming from the alcohol ... clean though. Very bold and drinkable for a big beer.

 343 characters

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of tdm168
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Elk Creek Cafe & Aleworks "Hairy John IPA"
22 fl. oz. brown glass bottle without freshness dating
$6.36 @ Pletcher's Beer Distributor, State College, PA

Notes via stream of consciousness: I've never had a beer from Elk Creek, never even heard of them in fact, so I'm excited to give this a try. It's poured a cloudy copper body beneath a finger-thick head of creamy yellowed foam. The aroma is fruity, like orange, and perhaps red berries or grapes. There's a little bit of caramelish malt to it but not much. Wow, I had to turn the bottle around - the guy on the label, whom I'll assume is hairy John, was starting at me!!! On to the flavor... ahh, I'm getting much more grape flavor, and a bit of brown sugar. It's interesting but hardly what I'd expect of an IPA, English, American, or otherwise. It's sweetish, and although balanced, not really that bitter beyond what's needed to balance it. Some bitterness does linger in the finish though, along with some pine and a light bit of spiciness. There's even some grapefruit to it. I might be inclined to call this a "strong ale" rather than an IPA, or at least a "double" or "Imperial" IPA. It's really interesting though, and I'm not sure I've ever had a beer quite like this. As it warms some alcohol shows, not much, but a little. I'm guessing based on the fruitiness that this has undergone a slightly high fermentation and I wonder if this is the way it always is, or if this one batch got away. And is that spiciness alcohol? It doesn't seem like it, but it doesn't seem like hops either. Is there rye involved? That would make sense. Yes, thinking about it, some toasty rye malt is exactly what the flavor is suggesting. Of course I'm probably wrong, but I do get that flavor. As it warms it improves, opening up and revealing more character. It's very charming and curious, keeping you interested and pulling you back for sip after sip. Had I know, given the price that I paid, I'd have bought more. It's a nice beer to just have when you're prepared to handle a stronger beer, or it makes a great sipper as an after-fdinner beer or night cap, or just something to relax with. Looking back there's some impressive lacing left on the glass, although the head has fallen to become just an average collar. Medium-bodied with a bit of a dextrinous edge I'd say, and fairly crisp at first and then smoother, of course, as it warms. It's almost reminiscent of a fruity barleywine to me at this point. Nicely malty with some depth to it.

 2,492 characters

Photo of Psg5062
3.76/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of akorsak
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A growler filled on 29-Jul-10 and consumed on 1-Aug-10.

A: The IPA is a bright amber color. This is noteworthy because the draught version that I had at the brewpub was murky and hazed over. Here, it is crystal clear with no visible imperfections. A finger of head on the first two pours gradually tricked away to nothing but the last few.

S: The nose has caramel malts and a nice citrus twang. This hoppiness seems resiny, oily and thick but not aggressively bitter. As the ale warms, it evolves and releases more fragrant citrus.

T: Advertised as a strong ale, this IPA doesn't fail to deliver the goods. Upfront the citrusy bitterness is sharp, mingling with ample caramel malts. The result is more hoppy than not with a nice bite. Its oily finish keeps residual hoppiness lingering. A seismic shift occurs when the mineral flavors kick in. They aren't nasty or unpleasant, just a good descriptor. As the mineral flavors fade, the caramel malts return and dominate the finish. Hops are present just not in the strength as before.

M: The mouthfeel nicely balances the competing malt and hop flavors, allowing both some time in the spotlight. The mineral flavors, a bit of a game changer, mix the feel up significantly.

D: The growler didn't last the day. A nice IPA, plenty of bitterness to keep a hophead content.

 1,321 characters

Photo of DaveR514
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Bluescooter
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of tviz33
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of mkyer
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of RickyMcRick
3.92/5  rDev -1%

Photo of irishpride
3.8/5  rDev -4%

Photo of jculler82
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of ajm5108
3.44/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pretty run-of-the-mill IPA, the hop presence is somewhat muted but that is my speed anyway. It just lacks any other standout notes. Just some citrus / golden hops & pine resin, mouthfeel is coating.

 198 characters

Photo of orangesol
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of Brasso
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of JVStabile64
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the alehouse.

Appearance – A nice amber color which forms a nice head. The head fades away to give a nice persistant foam and some decent degree’s of lacing.

Smell – A big hop aroma of citrus and pine meets the nose. A bit of the maltyness works it’s way thourgh, but is weak in comparison to the big citrus and pine.

Taste – The hops hit you right away. They strike big yet give way to some more malty flavors with a few sweet, caramel and toffee, flavors working their way in. They again seem to be lost in some piney hop taste which comes back toward the end of the taste. For a ~9 % not much alcohol flavor.

Mouthfeel – A nice body, although a bit thinner then would be expected for the the abv. It has a moderate level of carbonation and has a smooth flow in the mouth.

Overall - A very nice double IPA. It is very good and a very drinkable beer (which at ~9 abv may not be the best), but kidding aside quite delicious.

 955 characters

Photo of mkdzimiera
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Fettpopps
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of TheMultiYeast
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber with creamy white head.

Smells like big moist juicy hops, citrus, mild spiciness, yeast, and pine

Taste offers plenty of citrus hops backed by solid caramel malt sweetness. Tropical fruit essence and pine finish with medium bitterness.

Well bodied, well carbonated.

Solid DIPA

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Hairy John IPA from Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 30 ratings