Belvidere Big IPA | Rock Art Brewery

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Belvidere Big IPABelvidere Big IPA

Brewed by:
Rock Art Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
We brewed this one because we just can't get enough of those hops. IPA's seem to be a great choice any time of the year. They have a great malt flavor and hop profile, just what a beer connoisseur is looking for. We decided to give this one a bit more hops.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 01-07-2009

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Reviews: 99 | Ratings: 254
Photo of claspada
2.52/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma is quite inviting; boat load of grapefruit and floral hops. No malt profile from the nose.

The taste is crazy amounts of west coast citrus and piney hops. I was quite surprised based on the ratings because they indicated this would be more east coat centric. Way way way too bitter for my preference. Honestly i had too pass this along to a friend to finish because it is way too hoppy and bitter. Flavors have a subtle background of grainy biscuit malt but not enough to be overly identifiable. Way way way too bitter IMO.

Overall I appreciate Rock Art's attempt to make a "different style beer here but this misses huge in my opinion. I can barely consume half of the 22 oz that i purchased because of the horrendous bitterness, gross. I would rather chew on a lemon.

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Photo of jmarsh123
2.65/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear reddish hue with lots of bubbles although hardly any head. Spotty lacing.

Big and malty. Lots of citrus hops do shine through, but the caramel sweetness prevails.

Starts off with just a twist of citrus. Quickly enveloped by sweet caramel malts and finishes with a weird grassy metallic flavor. Very offputting.

For as sweet as this is, it somehow has hardly any mouthfeel although carbonation levels are good.

Swing and a miss for me. Off flavors and no body. The metallic aftertaste made it impossible to get through the bomber.

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Photo of Soonami
2.72/5  rDev -28%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to GoSox8787 for sending me a bottle of Rock Art Belvidere Big IPA as an extra in a recent trade.

The beer is a burnished copper amber color, darker than I would've expected, this is more of what I expect from an imperial amber. The head is very minimal a fair bit of sticky lacing, but virtually no cap of foam even with a rough pour. The beer smells very malty (too malty) with the hops very subdued and just a hint of soapy hops. The beer tastes very, very sweet up front--almost cotton candy sweet. Then there is a bit of medicinal and herbal bitterness that finishes with an astringent resinous bitterness. This is a little too syrupy for me and I would prefer a DIPA with more fresh, C-hop citrusy, floral, fruity flavor and much less of the heavy, piney notes, especially in the finish.

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Photo of brewtus
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up on a trip to Killington, we don't get it in columbus and I couldn't turn down a local double IPA.

Poured unto a wine glass from 22oz bottle. Pours orange with a single finger white head that sticks to the side if the glass.

Smells hoppy, bready, citrus, typical IPA smells but nothing stands out really.

Taste isn't as hoppy as I expected but the hops were prevelant immediatly. Has a well balanced malt flavor but doesn't taste like an imperial or double really. I get a lot if citrus and grapefruit. I get some peanut taste too.

Overall this was alright. It's very easy drinking and tastes more like an American Pale Ale. It very average.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.16/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a four finger dark cream head that fades slowly leaving a very good lace. Cloudy amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Grapefruit nose. Flavor is grapefruit and a little sweetness from the malt, some lingering bitter aftertaste. Needs more malt for a double IPA. $3.99 for a 22oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.16/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber into a Duvel tulip.

A: Hazy deep orange-amber body topped by a reluctant finger of very coarse tan foam. Mediocre retention, very spotty lace. Disappointing for a DIPA.

S: Very sweet caramel malt on top of a goodly dose of flowery + fruity hops. Not bad, but a bit too sweet.

T: Even sweeter than the nose, with only the faintest hint of grapefruit joining the caramel to prove that hops are present at all when it comes to actual flavor. Bittersweet finish. Not great.

M: Creamy, highly carbonated medium body. Pretty nice.

O: Without a packaging date, it's impossible for me to be sure whether age might be to blame for this brews abundant mediocrity, and I therefore have to assume that it's always just this forgettable.


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Photo of Brad007
3.28/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice copper/amber color with a one-finger head into my pint glass.

Aroma is strong upfront with piney hops, a bit of alcohol warmth and a hint of the malt backbone.

Taste is strong and full of piney hop bitterness upfront. Lots of alcohol warmth shows up at first. Malt is hard to detect. Feels somewhat boozy.

Mouthfeel is mostly alcohol warmth and a bit of lingering hop bitterness.

Could be drinkable but only with some age on it. As with some of their other bigger beers, Rock Art's extreme series needs to be properly aged before they are able to be truly appreciated. It's definitely not drinkable enough at this age but over time it should mellow out.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.28/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into .5l gold-leaf swiss boot. Bottle notes 8% ABV, 80 IBU. Label claims this beer "Ain't for no mama's boy or daddy's girl".

A- Light brown, almost rust coloring with a very active foam. Great lacing and a thick head.

S- Hops! Lots of hops. Piney notes (fresh pine growth, actually) and a bit resin-y. Smells like a good DIPA.

T- Taste is good. Bitter on the middle of the tongue. Pine needle hops on the tip of the tongue. Very flavorful, this beer sits with you. Smell/taste is pretty much the same.

M- Pretty crisp. Bitterness leaves the mouth feeling dry after a sip.

D- The bitter hops taste good but blast your tastebuds. This beer sits on your tongue for a while. Don't plan on drinking this one first unless you want your tastebuds walloped.

All in all a good DIPA, a little different than the usual. Very piney hops. Does a number on the tastebuds, but if you like DIPAs, check this one out. Markedly different than their other IPAs.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, whartontallboy!

Cloudy dark amber with a moderately sized light khaki colored head that leaves spots of lace down the glass. Appropriate yet unremarkable.

Somewhat sweet, caramel-forward aroma, especially when comparing this one to the West Coast classics. There's bread and biscuit, along with mild grapefruit hop character, and just a hint of alcohol presence.

Moderately bitter with similar bread and biscuit flavors found in the aroma, just a hint of alcohol, and malt sweetness. Well balanced, though not particularly expressive or interesting.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Drinkable enough and balanced.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Semi-hazy orange hue with a big 3 finger head which is dissipating semi-quickly. From an arms length away the beer is already letting off some wonderful aromas.

Big piney and grilled pineapple aroma. Smells like tropical paradise with underlying notes of sweet candy.

Huge malt body. Covers up the 80 IBU's nicely. Sweet juicy citrus flavor up front followed by a piny hop presence. Not really a whole lot going on flavor wise but it does what it should nicely.

Juicy but cuts out dry with a lingering pine finish. Sticky leftover sweetness. Definitely drinkable. Good showcase of the cascade hop.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 fl oz brown bottle; served in a tulip.

Pours a glowing deep copper in color beneath a dense, foamy white head that is rather slow to budge. Patchy, spotted lacing around the tulip with pretty good strength.

Bright citrus and tropical fruit hop oils: grapefruit, pear, apple, apricot, and honeydew. Somewhat bulky, rum-like alcohol esters over a moderately sweetened, toasted malt character.

Thin, toasted malt base that turns slightly burnt by mid-sip showing patches of diacetyl. The intense hop presence is apparent after the initial watery malt, and showcases a waxy floral character. Hefty, artificial grapefruit and melon combine with a rubbing alcohol-like solvency. Intense and mainly unbalanced.

Full in body; waxy and solvent-like on the palate. Unfortunately the flavors are bulky as is the texture.

Like most of the Rock Art 8.0% abv offerings, this one seems to trade craftsmanship for alcohol bulk. I enjoy sampling the various Rock Art offerings; however, I would like for them to pay a little more attention to detail instead of brewing a monster just for the hell of it.

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Photo of sk8man121
3.32/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle poured into tumbler.

A: Pours a mostly opaque copper with marmalade highlights. 1-finger head dies down to an oily sheen, leaving no lacing on the glass.

S: Grapefruit, mint and lemon balm. Fresh, wet and grassy hops. There's a lingering sweetness in the tail-end. This smells somewhat faint given the ABV.

T: Hops hops hops. Mostly sweet, sugary grapefruit, with notes of white pepper and mint in the center. Extremely bitter finish.

M: Medium carbonation. Thick and creamy. Resinous, sticking heavily to the back of the tongue.

O: Belvidere Big IPA is about as average as it gets for a DIPA. Thick and sweet, it's nice at first but becomes somewhat hard to drink. I'm not sure I will finish the bomber, but at $4, it's not a huge loss.

A fairly decent beer from a fairly decent brewery.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to mmrmngjckt for the bottle.

Pours a clear dark ruby red with a nice white head that retains very well and leaves nice lacing.

Nose is full of old IPA malt aromas with minimal strength as far as a hop profile is concerned.

As i feared from the start this one has pretty much turned into a malt bomb. There is some hop bitterness left, but not anywhere near enough to balance this out. at only about 6 months old this one shouldn't be quite as aged as it seems, but alas, it is. Rock candy like malt bomb.

Mouthfeel is about where it should be, but does seem a bit heavy for the 8% abv.

Drinkability is ok but far from strong due to too much age, too viscous of a mouthfeel, and just plain old IPA musty malt seeping through.

Overall, i really hate to knock on this one, as i know it has more age than it should, but that being said, this should be considerably better than it is, even at this age. Quite the malt bomb. I would love to try it fresh, but as it sits, its that classic old IPAness. Drinkable, but just want to finish it and move on.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a belgian chalace a nice head forms initially but dissipates to the side of the glass. A very nice lacing forms on the side of the glass

The aroma is a hint of malt mixed with pungent grassy and earth aroma

A true english style ipa hops all for bitter. It starts with a mouth full of carbonations that dissipates into bitter in the middle is a slight buttery crystal malts nice taste.

The mouth is a slight harsh in the beginning but the alcohol numbs the mouth which i enjoyed but may not be liked by all.

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Photo of lpayette
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Still haven't seen this at any of my normal beer stores, so I had to pick this up at Winooski Beverage when I was visiting Burlington. Yet another Double/Imperial IPA from a VT brewery. Keep 'em coming

Appearance- A bit surprisingly dark out of the bottle, though still in the IIPA range. Slightly murky appearance which seems to be coming from approximate equal parts chill haze, and unfiltered yeast. Big 3 finger head with good retention and excellent lacing.

Smell- Another surprise- I'd call this more malty than it is hoppy- at least smell-wise. Caramel and citrus. Not too strong on the smells overall. Perhaps this beer has lost some of its luster- as I think it's a few months old at this point.

Taste- The taste reveals a nice balance between sweet and bitter. Definitely on the comparitive maltier side when compared to others in this style. But it's not quite big enough to be an Imperial... It's kind of like a 1.5 IPA. I guess maybe that's why it's just called a "Big IPA." It makes a lot of sense. The occassional wave of fruitiness is evident- a nice and subtle yeast byproduct.

Mouthfeel- The bitterness at times is a bit too harsh... almost as if the hops were boiled too long or there are bits of hops left unfiltered in the finished product. There are moments of creamyness which are very much enjoyable. Malt presence is great.

Drinkability- I'm really kind of on the fence about this one. Overall it's pretty good. But the harsh bitterness (not just normal hop bitterness, but... well- just harshness) makes this a bit hard to swallow. If that were taken away, this would be phenominal. Maybe this is just past its prime a bit. Hopefully it comes out again and I can give it another try.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: a very dull amber color. head is minimal, but im afraid im not using the best beer glassware here (reviewing from my folks place. however bad the glassware, good lacing and even some legs on it.

S: caramel syrup. honey. bitterness is there but not as pungent as i expected.

T: honey aroma comes through to the palate as well. bitterness is smooth but powerful. comes through towards the

M: carbonation is low and tingly. big body.

D: this one is pretty malty (perhaps overly malty) for an imp. IPA. more of an american barleywine. i also purchased a vermontster, which is an american barley, so im interested to see how that one comes across.

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Photo of hopdog
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle.

Poured a medium and slightly hazy amberish color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of floral hops with some citrus and toastiness. Tastes of citrus, lighter floralness, pine, and some toasted caramel.

Notes from and tasted on: 5/23/09

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.47/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - It's pitch black outside, but I can see that it is hazy with an orange body. Maybe it just looks orange because the fire. there are some remnants of what looks like a white head.

Smell - It has a unique hop aroma. Sharp citrus. Grapefruit. The sharpness comes from a lemony aroma. It gets pinier as it warms. And maltier.

Taste - Much more distinct pine hop flavor. Strong caramel and a hefty dose of sweetness. Falls off from the aroma. Not much bitterness comes through the sugar.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Well carbonated. A little sluggish.

Overall - I was impressed by the aroma, but it went downhill from there. Still had no trouble finish my glass.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.47/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle thanks to aapp, taken from the fridge and poured right into my Duvel tulip.

Belvidere Big IPA pours a somewhat cloudy oranger to dark amber, depending on the specific lighting. The bone colored head rises up to just under 3 fingers in height, and leaves a solid amount of lacing behind as it slowly disappears. The second pour turns the beer a totally murky light brown... there must have been a bit of yeast in the bottle, and the result is an IPA that's a color no IPA should ever be. The nose is solid, a bit of punchy grapefruit zest with a resinous piney note present as well. The flavor is just a bit of a miss for me. Everything starts out fine, there's a bit of caramel sweetness that straddles the line between bone dry west coast and more balanced east coast IPA approaches. What follows though is a scathing bitterness with not much in the way of hop payoff. I'm not one to shy away from an intensely bitter beer, but they usually are followed by a large juicy dose of hoppy flavors, but this one just seems bitter for bitterness' sake. What hop flavor there is tastes like it came from a healthy dose of Simcoe hops, which aren't really my favorites. The body is about spot on for a low end of the spectrum DIPA, on the dry side with just a little bit of presence. The carbonation is just a touch dull though. While Belvidere is a solidly brewed beer in some respects, overall it's still one of the more underwhelming imperial IPAs I've had in a while.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

This is pretty east coast on its interpretation of a dipa. Resin and earthyness are mostly what's going on here. Mild spice. The hops on the label are Cascade; not sure if that's in the beer too. Decent enough, I guess. Nothing really mind blowing or inspiring.

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Photo of Gavage
3.49/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: cloudy dark amber in color with a short 1" head that falls apart quickly.

Smell: loads of caramel sweetness, grapefruit, and hop bitterness is easy to detect.

Taste: big caramel flavors with sharp hop bitterness, grapefruits, and a bit of pine. Alcohol is mildly noticable.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp to start and smooth and dry at the finish. Bitterness lasts a while on the tongue.

Drinkability: decent big IPA but there are better ones out there. Alcohol levels knock this down a notch.

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Photo of beertunes
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received from Vermonthiker. Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a nice coppery amber color with an thick, fluffy off-white head that had great retention and lacing.

The beer had a nicely blended hop aroma and a bit of a caramel malt note in the back of the scent. The flavors were fairly typical for the style, nicely hoppy and some foundation malt for the hops to cling to.

The body was good, full and a little sticky with being heavy or gluey. Drinkability was fairly good for the style, you certainly get your hop fix. Overall, a nice example of the style, worth trying if you see it.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Impentrable orange haze, topped by two fingers of light beige foam. Great lacing.

Aroma is fruity and yeasty. Hint of pine. As much Belgian as IPA.

Rich thick semi-sweet malt foundation. Earthy hops rise like a tide, breaking at the swallow. Nice bitterness, but not biting. Clean finish. Bit more bakery to it than most IPAs.

Substantial mouthfeel slides smoothly. Good drinkability for a big beer.

A lot of balance for a big IPA. Worth a try.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Belvidere pours a cloudy dark bronze with a modest, creamy off-white head on top. The foam dissolves slowly to a thick sheet on the beer and leaves behind a nice coating of lace on the glass.

The aroma is more faint than I thought it would be. Notes of pine and citrus and a touch of sweet malt are detected.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft on the palate, with a light fizz on the tongue. The flavor has a nice balance of hops and malt. It begins with some pine and a touch of orange citrus. Towards the middle caramel malt moves in. A hint of toast is also detected. It finishes bitter with a peppery bite. Once gone the pepper, caramel malt and bitterness lingers on the palate.

This is a well balanced, easy drinking IPA. I thought it could use more hops in the aroma and flavor, but overall it's a nice beer.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a 22oz bomber for $3.99 at Beverage Warehouse in Winooski VT. Served cold in a chilled pint glass.

Light brown brew reveals haze and red highlights when held to a light. A heavy pour gives an inch+ of thick tan head that settles to a thick stable layer and leaves patchy webs of sticky lace. Nose is mixed pine and citrus rind hops and a thick fruity candy sweetness. Taste is a dominant piney hop presence somewhat balanced by the same candy sweetness. Also some caramel, spices, and fruity stuff buried in there. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, which makes the carbonation soft. Finish is lingering hops, resin, and a moderate alcohol burn. A bit harsh, maybe some fusel alcohols.

I like these Rock Art brews, I think they're doing a good thing here. But having had several of their different offerings in the past week or two, they all seem to come from the same mold... same mouthfeel, same body. Different yeast and hop schedule applied to the same basic recipe? It'd be nice if they would change it up a little now and then.

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Belvidere Big IPA from Rock Art Brewery
3.78 out of 5 based on 254 ratings.
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