Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Independence Pass Ale I.P.A. | Aspen Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
27 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Independence Pass Ale I.P.A.Independence Pass Ale I.P.A.

Brewed by:
Aspen Brewing Co.
Colorado, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Seanibus on 08-24-2008

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 125
Photo of beergoot
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear, dark gold colored body; thick, foamy, sticky head; lots of lacing along the glass. Malt sweetness and pine tar hop scent. Citrus rind flavors; heavy hop bitterness; strong malt grain sweetness underneath it all. Heavy body; thick and chewy on the palate.

Strong bitterness and heavy sweetness sums things up in a nutshell for this beer. Better than average.

 365 characters

Photo of StonewallSipper
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer at the Aspen Brew pub and at the Hops culture in Aspen. I liked it better draft from Hops Culture, it was colder, a nice dark Amber color, plenty of citrusy, hoppy, hint of pine aroma. A great IPA, in a can at the Aspen Brew pub was a little warmer, for some reason it lacked a little, don't know why. And the Brew Pub was not that great of a place, unless you are under 25 and like to skateboard, just my op.

 425 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: The can pours out slightly hazy with an amber hue; a massive bubble show produces a smaller than expected head that leaves a few strands of lacing

Smell: Very piney, with a hint of caramel and an orange component

Taste: Surprisingly malty, up front, with a sweet caramel backbone; it doesn't take long for the hops to take over, bringing pine with undertones of some tropical fruit and orange; very bitter, through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A decent IPA but a bit old fashioned for my palate

 563 characters

Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Part of a broken Craft advent calendar. 12 ounce can poured into tulip.

Pours a deep, hazy copper with three fingers of dense, foamy off-white head that leaves a thick spiderweb of lace as it recedes.

Smells of juicy citrus zest, sticky caramel malt and leafy green hops.

Tastes of mild bitter orange flesh and grapefruit rind, dinner biscuit caramel malt and faint wet stone.

Feels smooth and gentle. Medium bodied with laid-back carbonation. Finishes mildly dry and citrusy.

Verdict: Highly recommended. A big, easy, pleasant IPA.

 538 characters

Photo of MAB
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid effort. For some reason I was expecting a darker ale, but the aroma and taste made up for it quickly.
I'm not a big fan of canned beer, and the "label" and colors used are downright boring, but once I put the can away and out of sight then I enjoyed my brew.
I'd get it again, for sure.

 294 characters

Photo of L0GlC
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden colour with a thick foamy head. Good head retention. Smells like grapefruit . Similary, it tastes like grapefruit and guava which really accentuates the hoppy finish. The flavour doesn't linger. The mouth feel is foamy like the head, with a good amount of carbonation.

Overall I really like this IPA but I don't think I could drink more than one in a sitting. It has a very powerful flavour and will make you "hopped out" quickly.

 452 characters

Photo of Trosevear
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Beer 3 in the beer advent calender.

L: Orange caramel colour with a small white head.

S: Citrus smell and almost a little bit of pine trees as well.

T: Minor amount of pine with a lot of tropical fruits and slight malt taste.

F: Light bodied with a slight amount of carbination to!

O: A very nice made beer and pretty good one for the Advent Calander.

 359 characters

Photo of Bunman3
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is exactly why I love the Craft Advent Calendar. It is from a brewery I have never seen or heard of, in a place I now have additional reason to visit some day. As far as American IPAs go, this is solid. I like the burnt orange colour, the subtle odour, and the piney grapefruit zest. Overall, this is a solid representation of a style I really like.

 359 characters

Photo of D-HopSupreme
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 fl oz. can, yielding a hazy orange body with pearly white, inch-high head that retains for a good while. The scent is an starts with an immediate wallop of citrus fruits, in particular, grapefruit and sweet mango, with not a whole lot of maltiness to it (the Canadian in me always seeks this out). The taste is again incredibly fruity though I personally think it draws back here as it starts to lose its beer profile and gain some sort of candy-ish flavour. The feel is very smooth though it doesn't quite make up for the taste conflict. Overall it's alright though I've had better A-IPAs.

 611 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can, day 3 of the Craft Beer Advent Calendar (which really shouldn't contain these regular-sized cans, because they are a bitch to get out). Other than that, cool to see a new American micro offering.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium copper amber colour, with one finger of weakly puffy, barely frothy, and mostly just bubbly dirty white head, which leaves some swollen rain shower lace around the glass as it quickly wisps away.

It smells of pungent blood orange and red grapefruit citrus flesh, biscuity and grainy caramel malt, and further leafy, herbal, and grass hop bitters. The taste is semi-sweet, doughy caramel malt, muddled domestic citrus fruit, a small hard water (from the mountains? nahhhhh!) flintiness, and more leafy, grassy, and herbal green hoppiness.

The bubbles are quite anemic in their rather low-key frothiness, the body a sturdy middleweight, and generally smooth, the hoppy bitterness not really carrying any sway here - nice. It finishes off-dry, the caramel malt and mixed fruitiness having a sort of lingering tête-à-tête.

Final thoughts: not a bad IPA, I gotta say, it could use some polishing in the looks department, but beyond that, this one carries itself well, in flirting with the not so rigidly-defined DIPA border. Tasty, engaging, and evocative of putting back hoppy brew in the mountains, which is just so damned appealing a notion.

 1,397 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another of my approved pics acCANpanies this beer and The CANQuest (tm) forges ahead as a result! I am running through my backlog as fast as I CAN and this is a good addition to the madness.

From the CAN: "Drink In the View"; "Brewed & CANned at 7822 Ft"; "Unfiltered - Perishable - Ale"; "This our highly hopped, high altitude rendition of the classic India Pale Ale redefined as 'Independence Pass Ale.' Like the high mountain pass, this copiously hopped brew is not to be trifled with. Our IPA marries generous amounts of Palisade, Columbus, Cascade and Simcoe hops - the floral and citrus flavors are perfectly balanced by our secret malt recipe. Don't pass this one up."; "Brewed and [CAN]ned in Aspen, [CAN]orado - downstream from nobody."

The Crack! revealed another brimful craft CAN and so I was off and running. I CANducted a gentle Glug, creating a finger of fizzy, tawny head with moderate retention. Color was a Golden-Amber (SRM = > 5, < 7) with NE-quality clarity and I welcomed the Gelt Gang - Midas, Croesus and Mammon into my kitchen for a taste. Nose was minty, like Evergreen and very tantalizing. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was very minty, not really bitter at 62 IBUs, but quite satisfying. I am guessing that the secret malt recipe included some caramel malt since I was getting an underlying sweetness to go with the hops. Finish was dry with even a slight alcohol burn in the throat. At 7% ABV, it was pushing the upper limits of the style. Man, I was beginning to sweat while drinking this one!

 1,529 characters

Photo of habaceeba
3.5/5  rDev -10%

The first sixer I bought of this led me to rate it a 3.92. I will refrain from describing it other than saying it didn't have the floating particles. This could be my go to beer, but 4 out of 6 sixers I've had have the particles. It's almost not the same beer.

 260 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Amber hued with great clarity. A fingernail of white head rests on top. Light Brussels lacing. Sourdough aroma with a piney hop note. There's much more pronounced piney hop flavor. There is a coppery malt taste that is a minor player. The mouth has a hard water note as there is slight grittiness.
Appearance: 3.75
Aroma: 4
Taste: 4

 366 characters

Photo of GilGarp
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

12 oz can served cold into a pint glass.

Independence Pass has a golden amber color with a slightly hazy appearance. It has thick head at first but settles quickly to a thin layer with spotty lace.

Aroma is hoppy and fresh with lots of citrus fruit.

Flavor is bold but balanced with more of that great hop character. Malt adds some sweetness up front but there is some good hop bitterness to balance it out.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall an underrated IPA and certainly one worth trying.

 521 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
3.04/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz can from a sixer that cost $8.99. Appearance was terrible, cloudy orange with chunks floating off the bottom. Aroma was sort of grainy with mild hop hints. Flavor was grainy malts and then some fruitiness from the hops. Overall a disappointment and I wonder if it was old?

 277 characters

Photo of Beaver13
2.33/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz can. Pours hazy golden orange with some floaties. It has a big fluffy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet bready malts with some piney, grassy, slightly metallic hops.

The flavor is sweet bready malts with a little tropical fruit and a fairly sweet sugary finish and a little bitterness in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and a bit watery.

Overall, overly sweet and bready. More English IPA than American. Needs more hops.

 488 characters

Photo of blindtiger24
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into a pint glass.

A: Hazy copper with a two knuckle head that is sticky on the side's of the glass. Carbonation is active upon first pour but dissipates quickly.

S: Pleasant but not overly complex aromas - piney, sticky caramel.

T: Smells like it tastes. Big hop bitterness that is earthy and mellows out with some resinous sweetness.

M: Clean at the start, but that hop flavor creates a significant drying effect on the mouth that is somewhat tempered by the finishing sweetness.

O: A good but not great IPA. Decent aroma and taste. The mouthfeel sets this one back because of how dried out you feel halfway into the beer.

 650 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

new ipa to the Denver market, shared graciously by the wonderful staff at littles wine and spirits on downing, the best little beer shop in town! more of an amber ipa this one, light copper color with plenty of soapy patchy suds on top. big hop aromatics, palisade, Columbus and simcoe listed on the can, and the bitterness comes right through. malty sweet and bitter too, almost English in style for a minute there, before it starts to get bitter. the mouthfeel is almost unflatteringly bitter, especially as it winds down. drying and acidic, too much honestly. its a funny contrast to the sweet malt. not in love with the flavors, but the freshness is great, and the appeal to many will be obvious for me, its a well rounded beer overall, but lots in the crowd for me.

 770 characters

Photo of TheBrewo
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was served from the tap at Sneaky’s Tavern in Aspen, CO. It arrived in a generic pint glass, glowing a bright golden amber coloring. It held a half finger tall head of white foam, but its brevity was due to a full pour on the glass. This showed nice retention regardless, giving troughs and peaks of lacing. Carbonation was moderate, with no haze or sediment noted. The aroma gave your basic pale malts, white flour, mild toastiness, and rice adjuncts to the grain bill, while balancing sweetness came in the form of grapefruity hops, lighter nectary hops, skunky grassiness, faint lactics, and tin. Our first impression was that the flavoring gave nice piney and citric hops, and was very refreshing. The taste opened with grassy and piney hop cleanliness, without a lot of earthy, dirty bitterness. These flavors were actually a bit light, but appropriately so to match against those simple pale malts and light toastiness. The middle peaked with more citric hoppiness that showed a more exciting bite of rind bitterness, mineral, and buttered white toastiness. Washing through the finish were lighter airs of banana sweetness, sweeter pale malts, light metallic bitterness, and mild pear fruitiness and white sugar to balance even further. The final drop gave a rumbling of herbal clove spiciness, independent of any hop bitterness. The aftertaste breathed of pale malt crispiness, pronounced metallic bite, light herbal and citric hops, mineral, and powdered sugar. The body was lighter, but with big, frothy carbonation. The mouth had initial coolness, but this dried into eventual chalky astringency. The sip, slurp, cream, and froth were all nice and full, with nice juiciness on the finishing pop. The abv was fine, and the beer drank easily.

Overall, the things we liked best about this beer were the nice variety of hops through the flavoring, and just how refreshingly crisp it was. The hops helped to keep us juicy and flavoring through the flavoring, while the malts do their part at the end of the sip, helping to cleans and dry the palate. This was a nice and interesting contrast of flavoring that actually manifested through the feel and glug. The nose was comparatively weak in strength, but this was definitely a nice treat at 8,000 feet.

 2,270 characters

Photo of rsdaugherty
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can into tulip
A – A good looking orange honey color, cloudy with sediment, appears mildly carbonated 1 finger head settled quickly to a thin crown, no lacing 4
S – I’m enjoying this bold aroma, citrus (more orange than grapefruit IMO) hops dominate with pine and a slight malt sweetness 4.5
T – The large citrus hop profile is smooth followed by mild grassy notes, sublime malts just disappear, nicely built 4.5
M –Velvety with moderate body and light carbonation 4
O – While not what I would consider a session beer, I want & will have another. This brewery is now on my to-visit list, as I don’t believe they have front range (Denver) distribution yet. A quality IPA all-around 4

 697 characters

Photo of Knapp85
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a very nice deep yellow color with a light haze to it. The beer has a golden hue to it once it settles in the glass. The head retention is a good on this brew and the lacing was as well. The smell of the beer has a really nice hoppy aroma, plenty of citrus and pine notes. The taste of the beer is nicely balanced with a subtle malt sweetness with a really nice hoppy pop in the middle and bitter finish. The mouthfeel is nice, it's almost creamy. Overall this beer is very good and very enjoyable. Glad I was able to try this.

 551 characters

Photo of minnesotaryan
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice pint poured at the Aspen Brewing Tap Room.

A: Orangey gold, nice white head, excellent lacing.

S: Citrus and piny resinous hops, slight hint of malt, but it is a very hop forward/focused beer.

T: Slight sweet start but the hops kick in pretty much immediately. wonderful citrus and big piny notes. some malt with hints of caramel and toffee, really nice flavors, have not had an IPA quite like this.

M: Somewhere between the thick and medium mouthfeel, very carbonated. Very nice dry finish.

O: A good beer in a ski town dominated by BMC. Lots of hops and unique enough to stand out in a sea of similar products.

 624 characters

Photo of mentor
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a half finger of nearly white head over a light rust liquid. Smells classic grapefruity hops (cascade). Some pine and a little bit of baby aspiriin. Not much malt to speak of and esters are very mild (maybe pears).

Tastes very nice. Grapefruit pithy with some lemon. It has a nice grassy hop character to balance and is also supported by just a dash of non-descript malt sweet. The current trend for IPA is, to me, very artificial. Breweries that add isomerized alpha acids to their finished beer get a very clean hop bitter. Garbage. The hop bitter in this beer is a bit messy from use of actual hops and that adds the complexity I'm seeking.

Md light body and medium carbonation. Quite drinkable.

 706 characters

Photo of merryjoulton
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at the brewery in Aspen. Little to no head upon serving, but lacing was heavy down the glass as I drank. Smell was piny, grapefruity, maybe a tad grassy. Taste was overwhelmingly bitter, not even a hint of malt. Carbonation was high for my taste, which added to the sensation of bitterness. Overall a great IPA.

 325 characters

Photo of Yetiman420
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at La Cantina - a tasty coastal Mexican joint a couple of blocks from the brewery in Aspen.

Served in a Hoegaarden style tumbler glass. It was St. Patricks day and I had to insist they skip the green food coloring for my beer. I know, Debbie downer.

Hazy peach color with an extremely thin head with a crater-like surface of different bubbles.

Very strong, piny and citrus aroma. A distinct variety of hops is used in liberal quantities late boil in this beer. Perhaps Simcoe or Amarillo.

Thick hoppy flavor. This IPA has the hops covered on flavor and aroma. It's unbalanced to the hop side (less malt profile) which is fine by me for an American IPA.

Very well done and I look forward to drinking more of these while in town on vacation.

 758 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Independence Pass Ale I.P.A. from Aspen Brewing Co.
3.89 out of 5 based on 125 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!