Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Vicious American Wheat IPA | North Peak Brewing Company

very good
91 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Vicious American Wheat IPAVicious American Wheat IPA

Brewed by:
North Peak Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by alexgash on 10-24-2010

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 91 | Ratings: 247
Photo of ClevelandKidO
4.76/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was truly shocked at how great this beer was.
I had never herd of this company before, but the aesthetics of the bottle, and its simplicity old school look instantly made me want to try it.
Smooth, incredibly smooth, slight citrus, but more of a wheat/grainy type taste. Its not that theres an explosion of different flavors, but the low bitterness, pleasant slight fruity after taste it just fantastic.
I would disagree with other reviews who claim to find more fruit flavors then actually exist, but its truly a beer you could have 3-4 and not feel full.
Honestly, it reminded me of a red stripe (besides its similar bottle shape) before red stripe changed it flavor and it became extremely bitter and unenjoyable.
You MUST try this beer, and you will see the smoothness makes it a solid wheat IPA.
Would go well with fish, or even during a desert or after a large meal. Fabulous stuff.

 898 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a couple fingers of rich and creamy bright-white head. This retains with a smooth ½ finger, which throws up a robust cascade of froth onto the sides of the glass, ringing them with sticky lacing. The aroma smells floral and piney, with a blast of bright tropical fruit notes of juicy pineapple and mango. A ripe dankness also mixes in, while the wheat gives this an extra bready kick of sweetness across the back of the nose and really pushes that fruit character forward.

The taste is crisp with green grapefruit and tart wheat flavor, with a flood of sticky tropical fruit and herbal tones that spreads out across the back of the profile. This finishes dry and resinous with a touch of lingering bitter pith. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a slick herbal creaminess on the edges and a light sharpness that hits the tongue after each sip. Man, this is pretty easy drinking though with a low alcohol feel.

This bottle had a little age on it but didn’t seem to hamper this at all or maybe some of that faded bitterness helped push all of that juicy tropical fruit character to the forefront of this as that was definitely my favorite part of the beer. It’s definitely a unique take on an IPA and I’d be more than willing to check this out again sometime.

 1,331 characters

Photo of bigkingken
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great head from the start. Creamy and smooth, already sticking to the sides and not going anywhere anytime soon. Dark copper color, just as dark as their regular IPA. Mostly clear with a moderate amount of haze. Nice floral scent with a hint of citrus and pine. Really solid upfront hop flavor with just the right amount of malt to back it up. Turns sweeter as it lingers on the palette instead of bitter. Really amazing combinations of the two styles. The best of both worlds, though there isn’t much “best” to take from an American IPA.

 544 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My favorite wheat based ipa. Pours dark orange and smells of citrus hops and some wet dog. Sweet with almost a dipa malt character, strong sweet caramel in the background, and just a hint of the citrus from the hops. Medium mouthfeel, plenty of carbonation, and slightly slick on the palate. A nice and unique ipa, with some wheat flavor just in the background.

 361 characters

Photo of anth0ny
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of my favorite bottles/label designs.
Vicious is deep burnt orange in color, foggy with maybe 40% transparency. I got a triple finger's width off off white head, gone quickly. Looks very nice freshly poured.

My nose is loving it. Very sweet citrus hop smell with some bread and sweet malt. The only downside is that the aroma seems to weaken after the first couple drinks.

Nice, earthy bready flavor with some underlying sweetness. Sweet malt up front, with bread and hops immediately following for some smooth, mild bitterness. Some orange peel rind accents, grass and a touch of cream in the background. Some dry grassyness before the flavor drops completely for the finish. Little to no aftertaste.

Medium mouthfeel with medium carbonation, good summer beer.
Quite drinkable, also. I liked it.

 807 characters

Photo of buschbeer
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.5oz bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It pours orange with amber highlights. It is a little hazy. i got a couple inches of large bubbled, beige head that quickly went away.

S - The first thing I noticed is a carmel malt smell. I also got some bread or biscuit. The hops character does not immediately present itself. I just get some faint citrus.

T - The malt is the first taste I get as well. Although, the hops come through more as bitter grapefruit. It is pretty well balanced with biscuity malt flavor and the bitter grapefruit.

M - Moderate

O - I was a little disappointed in this beer. The hops seem faded. I was hoping from its score for something better.

 679 characters

Photo of n2185
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a lightly hazy orange with three fingers of off-white head that recedes into a thin layer with a little lacing.

S: Belgian candy sugar and bubblegum up front on the nose followed by tropical citrus notes--mostly oranges and pineapple.

T: Grass and pine dominate the flavor, giving it an earthy quality. There are also notes of grapefruit and some bread notes toward the finish from the wheat. Only lightly bitter.

M: Medium body wish mid-high carbonation, this beer is lively in the mouth without being oily or watery and goes down easily.

O: I'm more impressed with this beer than I expected. It borders on a Belgian IPA, but has a lot of nice earthy hop flavors without being too bitter.

 703 characters

Photo of mrfrancis
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy, murky golden orange with a creamy, lingering white mousse.

S: Aromas of pine, lemon, and bitter orange initially dominate the nose, but after a couple of seconds cream, wheat, grass, and herb aromas become more noticeable. Interesting.

T: Enters on a bitter note, with flavors of bitter orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, and pine undercored by traces of wheat, cream, caramel, grass, and herbs. The finish is smooth and hoppy with a pleasant combination of lemon, bitter orange, pine, and wheat flavors.

M: Medium-bodied and deceptively smooth. Carbonation is gentle, but just firm enough to give one a sense of balance.

O: This is a surprisingly pleasant hybrid brew that proves that creative brewers can find a seemingly endless number of twists on the classic American IPA. Highly recommended for fans of quirky American ales.

 850 characters

Photo of CliffBrake
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to beerhan for the bottle. Dated 11 Oct 11.

Deep orange color with a small head that leaves just a trace of lacing.

Citrusy nose that leads to a tangy orange flavor. The hops and wheat blend well. Light bitter finish.

Medium body that feels a bit more substantial than the beer is - seems a bit chewy. Just the right carbonation to keep things light and bouncy.

Overall this is a tasty and unusual beer. I am not sure I have had an American wheat IPA before, but this one pulls off the hybrid style quite well. I will look for a chance to try this again, especially if I can snag a younger bottle.

 612 characters

Photo of Bonis
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes: 10/27/2011

A - A hazy orange amber tint. A hefty two inches of foam clings nicely to the glass. Darker than I remember, but very nice looking for a beer, overall.

S - Big citrus and grapefruit. Some sweet tropical hops jump out. Caramel malts and wheat mingle w/hops to bring out some candied hops and bubblegum esters. Some booze creeps in, but overall, I'm digging the nose on this one a lot.

T - Lots of sweet citrusy hops with a decent undertone of malts to balance it out a bit. This does seem a bit sweet for an IPA, but the finish is a bit dry. Wheat and alcohol are silenced by the wonderful hop presence.

M - Light to medium mouthfeel, with low carbonation. A little watery, but smooth and easy to drink overall.

O - A beer that I really enjoy quite a bit. Not a hopheads dream for an IPA, but an IPA I wouldn't hesitate to pick up if I knew it were fresh.

 882 characters

Photo of Florida9
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very cloudy pastel orangey-yellow in color. Forms a ridiculously large off-white head that fills most of the glass and required three pours just to get a glass of beer. Excellent (too good) retention, but surprisingly little lacing.

S: Strong wheat character. Citrus and lemon.

T: Pale malts. Wheat. Lightly sweet. Citrus, lemon, and a mild bitterness. Slight ("bright-tasting") tartness and a quick finish.

M: Bright, tart, and crisp. On the lighter side of medium. Aggressive, spicy carbonation.

O: Something is off with this beer. The carbonation is too high causing both a shitty pour and an aggressive bubbly mouthfeel.

 635 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - a foggy peachy amber. Good cover of an inch; dense, creamy, and sticky.

Aroma - zesty grapefruit and pine. A light crackery grain, nice start.

Taste - whatever wheat may have been used has little if any time to make an impression. The hops are big, the hops are now, the hops are intense. Whew, big hops. Grapefruit rind, pithy, a touch medicinal, but no wheat in the taste. Bitterness stays all the way through, a serious IPA.

Mouthfeel - good levels of smoothness and crispness, with a good solid body.

Drinkability - the intensity would wear me out before long but it's tasty.

 596 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my newly acquired SA Perfect Pint.

4.0 A: Hazed medium orange color. Two and a half fingers of pillowy/frothy white head that retains well and leave a good bit of lacing.

4.0 S: Lots of earthy hops with grapefruit citrus, some floral, and some spice. Sugary with hints of bubblegum. The wheat and the yeast come through well.

3.5 T: Very earthy with the wheat and yeast coming through. The bubblegum is still detectable, but the sugariness is gone. Just a touch of citrus from the hops; this is mainly just earthy. Sweet upfront with a dry finish.

3.0 M: Medium to slightly heavier body. Carbonation level is fine, but it's a "dead" carbonation causing the beer to sit heavy on the tongue. Could be creamier for how thick the body is.

3.5 D: Decent beer, but not as hoppy as a typical IPA. This holds a place in my heart nonetheless because it looks, smells, and tastes quite similar to one of my early homebrews.

 933 characters

Photo of backfat
3.42/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

"Beware of beer. There, we warned you. The frothy head, and pungent, piney dryhopped scent (from Cascade and Amarillo hops) should alert you to the brew’s imminent attack on your senses. Next, Cascade, Perle and Willamette hops will batter your palette with bitter ferocity. Finally, Pale, Crystal (30 and 75) and wheat malts converge in a cloudy, thick body and give you a smooth kiss of sweet death – and leave you howling for more!"

What a cool bottle first of all. like a retro old stripe short neck stubby. a large yeast cake on the bottom of the bottle. Pours a cidery orangy brown. fluffy off white head. vicious yeast particles swimming around aggressively.

smells of spice and a touch of hops. it has more of an english hop profile (spicy and earthy) rather than an aggresive american hop aroma. caramel apples, some kind of coffee spice, and coriander. interesting

Thick body with a little bit of sweetness. Starts off with bitter hops and spicy wheat. more bitter hops as it warms. This is a bit of a confusing hybrid of two beers. I think i would have enjoyed this more with more of a citrus hop profile and less coriander. a bit too watery too to off set it's thick mouthfeel. very interesting and weird beer.

 1,229 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This batch is dated March 2011, no trouble with over-carbonation. In fact it is right on, with handsome orange amber color, nice lacing in the tulip glass. Big mouthfeel with sparkling bubbles and a malty smoothness. This tastes suspiciously like their Majestic Wheat Ale, with the sweetness and what I call a perfumey taste. Hops are big and forward, but less bitter than you might expect. In the aftertaste the bitterness does creep up a notch. The slightly strange sweetness gets to you after a while too.

Definitely interesting, but an odd flavor that makes me wonder if wheat is the right way to go for a big hoppy beer.

 627 characters

Photo of Preismj
3.89/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hazy amber with mild head a touch of lacing. Smells of bubblegum and a citrus hop with sweet caramel/toffee aromas. Taste is strong hops. A slighty gummy flavor but overall the wheat was transparent. Light bodies with good carbonation pop. Flavorful, for sure, but would have enjoyed seeing a bigger wheat presence.

 315 characters

Photo of agomega
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a nitro-tap into a pint glass at The Lackman in Cincinnati.

Appearance: Light orange in color and very opaque with a short creamy head on top.

Smell: Sweet orange/citrus smell

Taste: The taste is fairly subtle maybe in part due to the nitro-tap. I tasted almost none of hops promised by the label of IPA at the end of the beer. When held in your mouth the beer has a subtle sour citrus and slight metallic taste. This isn't nearly as bad as it sounds, especially since the metallic taste subsides immediately after swallowing leaving behind a smooth sweet after taste.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was truly amazing with this beer. The subtle citrus notes combined with the creamy texture supplied by the nitro-tap made the experience kind of like drinking an orange creamsicle.

Overall: This is a very smooth and satisfying beer. Not overly complex or interesting, but worth trying, especially on the nitro-tap where its similarity to an orange creamsicle is hard to ignore once you have the thought in your mind.

 1,027 characters

Photo of Vonerichs
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The head was completely obnoxious. It took me about 10 minutes to pour this because of the abundant collection of head, and that was on a very passive pour. The body is a cloudy golden-orange.

Good smell of grass, lemon zest, and clove.

The wheat is more forward than the hops and is a banana ester and clove. The hops are grassy and herbal. Slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel is thin with sharp carbonation.

Overall, this was just ok for me. The smell and taste were decent, but the body was lacking and it certainly wasn't worth the trouble of fighting through pouring it.

 574 characters

Photo of ahq514
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass.

Pours a beautiful hazy golden color that is supplemented by a solid one finger head. Some nice lacing occurs as well. Some very tiny bubbles are seen rising to the surface as well.

Hop aroma is there but sort of subdued for an ipa. The aroma isnt too strong, but there is a nice lingering citrus aroma complemented by a little bit of floral hops. A little bit of malty sweetness is there too.

This is interesting. Granted there aren't many self proclaimed wheat ipas. The other hoppy wheat ales that I've had have not been so wheat forward. I really like this though. The wheat hits first, kind of like from a german hefeweizen without the banana and clove. Next a dose of floral hops hit the taste buds which turns into a little bit of a sour grapefruit taste. Very refreshing combination of wheat and hops.

Mouthfeel is good. Not over or under carbonated. The floral hops do a nice job of coating the sides of the mouth.

Overall this is a nice beer. Didn't blow me away, but fairly unique. Two ingredients you would think would be combined more in beers. This beer brings out the best in both wheat and hops, although as an ipa I was hoping it would be a little bit more hop forward, but I'm not disappointed at all. Could drink this beer all night. Too bad I don't have more than one.

 1,336 characters

Photo of DoctorDog
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Served on tap in a standard pint glass.

A- Golden/copper and slightly hazy. ~1 finger of white head, which fades slowly to a thin cap. Good amount of lacing left behind.

S- Floral and citrus hops. Fairly subdued but distinct wheat, and light caramel sweetness.

T- Solid citrus / floral hops, and a sturdy, lingering bitterness. Caramel malt sweetness and hints of wheat.

M- Moderate carbonation and a medium-full feel. Great body.

O- Very good. A really nice IPA, with a standout mouthfeel.

Future outlook: Pleasantly surprised...I'd be happy to have again.

 578 characters

Photo of Trystero
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a FFF Alpha King pint glass.

A - Straw, wheat-like and golden. Thick frothey head that sits at two fingers after the pour and only so slightly subsides into a centimeter "snowcap" on the top of the beer. Sticky resin lacing is apparent after each sip.

S - Initial bouquet is of wheat, cereal and grains, followed closely by grassy, earthy hops. After the earth notes die down you are left with citrus and pine in the back.

T - The front of this beer opens with citrus and grassy hops, right where the smell left off. The middle arrives with the grains; wheat and cereal, very wheat-fieldesque. Right after the gains you get a sharp kick of piney bitter hops that diminish into the grains again for the finish. The hop bitterness lingers along with alcohol warmth. Refreshing and delicious.

M - Well carbonated and drinkable. Noticable thickness from the wheat.

O - Great hybrid for the summer and with the 6.7% pretty much hidden, I could see sinking an afternoon outside into many of these and being quite content.

 1,056 characters

Photo of wvsabbath
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Copper/burnt orange. Nice thick creamy 1 inch head. Tons of lacing.

Smell - Hops, wheat, carmal, grapefruit, orange, pine. Has a breadish/grassy aroma.

Taste - The wheat, hops, malts and carmal start this drink off. The wheat flavor adds a thick bread-like taste. Malts are very bold and mix well with the piney hops. Alcohol comes in at the end and adds some warmth.

Mouthfeel - Thick and works mouth over with alot of different flavors. Tounge gets the malts first, then hops come in and add bitterness. Wheat adds some dryness. Aftertaste is long lasting, malts and hops linger for quite awhile.

Overall - Really alot more then i expected. Intense malt character, plenty of hops, some booze, has it all. Very tasty if you like piney hops for sure. Impressed again from north peak brewing!

 831 characters

Photo of EricCioe
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours a medium copper with a fluffy two finger white head that leaves decent lace on the way down. On the nose there is zesty grapefruit balanced by that soft, fuzzy character that wheat tends to add to pale beers. I like the classification as an IPA variation rather than a pale wheat because there is less of the sweet caramel that I expect from things like that. In the mouth there is a bitterness softened considerably by an amazingly soft body, the garepfruit being dominant over similar tropicals, and perhaps a bit of that sweet caramel flavor coming out after all. The finish is fuzzy and comfortable, medium, with the wheat hanging on longest.

I'm not one to pass up a porter or a stout just because of heat, but on this 97 degree day with a heat index over 110, I'm very glad to drink something this refreshing. Overall, this is a fine brew, and just confirms in my mind the magic that North Peak seems to be able to work with hops. These aren't crazy beers, but they are beers you can drink everyday and enjoy for the well crafted ales that they are.

 1,067 characters

Photo of Lolli1315
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Golden orange in color and slightly hazy as well. An eggshell white creamy head is billowing at first, but settles resiliently at just under a finger. Some touches of lacing can be seen sticking to the sides as well.

S- Hints of caramel and wheat malt highlight a very quick sweetness in the nose before the hop takeover. High hop resin aroma with a piney note as well take over in the middle. The end fades into a slightly grassy hop aroma and a touch of alcohol.

T- Some sweet caramel malt to begin with before developing its hop profile. Resin hop and pine sweep in towards the middle of the beer fairly quickly with some sweet citrus that wasn't as available in the smell. Some bready/wheat towards the end of the beer that gives way to a noticeable alcohol (although not overpowering) as a bitterness that was building since the middle carries the beer into the aftertaste.

M- Medium-light, too light especially given the style. Lingering bitterness and slightly dry finish as a smooth carbonation is the bright point of the mouthfeel.

O- Not a bad beer, but certainly not great. Lacks a complexity in the balance between malt and hops found in the great wheat ipas that I have had in the past. Still worth a try though.

 1,235 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stubby bottle courtesy of Brew33. Thanks Josh!

Looks like it was bottled Jan 2011.

As soon as I popped the cap the beer started to rise towards the opening but stopped short of gushing.

It's a very attractive looking brew. A hazy orange red with 2 fingers of foam, lots of bubbles and good lacing.

The nose is up there with the look. Very nice aroma coming from the hops...tropical fruits, a nice sweet malt smell with a light note of wheat. The nose, imho, is almost perfectly balanced.

The taste? Right there with the look and smell. My this is one tasty son of a gun. Beautifully balanced, yes beautifully! And yet the malt and hops are quite assertive; no boring brew here. The finish leans towards the bitter side but not by too much.

The carbonation is pretty high but the mouthfeel is still good. And man, I only have 1 bottle? Hehe, I'm enjoying this so much, I could drink another one quick smart. Excellent beer!

 930 characters

Vicious American Wheat IPA from North Peak Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 91 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.