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Sweet Child Of Vine | Fulton Beer

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97 Reviews
Sweet Child Of VineSweet Child Of Vine

Brewed by:
Fulton Beer
Minnesota, United States

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Generous quantities of Simcoe and Glacier hops are added throughout the boil. Then, late in fermentation, we infuse the Sweet Child with another dose of Glaciers, imparting a bouquet of hop aroma that veritably bursts forth upon serving.

6.4% ABV
69 IBUs
15.8 Plato
12.5 SRM

Added by hardy008 on 02-20-2010

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Reviews: 97 | Ratings: 550
Photo of fourstringer
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

One more for the Twin Cities airport beer tour. Poured from a bottle into a silly Sam Adams perfect pint tulip by the bartender. Bottle disposed of in a flash. Oh well. Sweet Child of Vine - cool name. Makes it sound more like a wine, but I suppose hops grow on a vine as well. The label makes much ado of the amount of hops in this brew, so looking forward to this...

A: Medium golden with amber tine. Off white head of about 1.5 fingers. Impressive lacing. 1/4 finger of head at 2 minutes. Good looking brew.

S: Piney hop. Malt. Suprisingly sweet nose. Overall somewhat subdued. Not a lot of individual characteristics jumping out at me. Contaminated a bit by the bar glassware.

T: Suprisingly malty and sweet to start with a slow build to a moderate-to-light hop bitterness. Semi-dry finish. I am a bit underwhelmed with the hop character and presence. Fairly round and indistinct, in a manner similar to the smell. More malt than I prefer. Light pine. A bit of acidity/tartness in the aftertaste.

M: Moderate to high carbonation. Bit prickly. Medium to light body. Eh.

O: For all the label/description fanfare regarding the hopping of this beer, not much of it came across in the scents and flavors. Looks good, but not much of a drinker. Bubbles in excess. Probably won't be going out of my way to revisit.

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Photo of Redrover
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had this one on tap at the Crooked Pint, this is a pretty decent beer bar near the Metrodome or whatever they call that thing now… Served in a Imperial Pint style but not sized pint, the beer is a chill hazed dark bronze. It has good lacing and is a looker.

Nose of resin, and caramel malts. Fresh and inviting.

The taste tracks the smell but not as intense. Not a coastal IPA by any means as the malts are very evident. Pretty balanced with pine notes.

Mouth is slick and slightly coating.

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Photo of ISmith87
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Fulton Sweet Child of Vine
A – 4.00 – Great looking beer but nothing crazy. Nice copper color. No head/lacing.
S – 3.5 – A sweet caramel malt smell without much hops. It's good but not what I'd expect for an IPA. It almost smells like an old ale – Bell's Third Coast comes to mind.
T – 3.5 – First sip, a lot of caramel, vanilla, cream, cinnamon, hearty bread. Where's the hops? I don't know. Maybe some bitterness in the background but it's barely there.
M – 4.0 – Medium mouth feel. Alc covered, aftertaste light – sweet, caramel, vanilla, etc.
O – 3.75 – It's a good beer, and I would rate it higher if they didn't call it an IPA. It's more like an old ale or even a red/amber ale. Good beer though.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.37/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12pz bottle with no date into pint glass

dark Caramel color, small tan head that lasts. smell is earthy - "English hops". taste is sweet candied malts, and earthy bitter hops. fungal tasting. feel is a little over carbonated, but ok otherwise.

overall it's definitely an English tasting ipa, medicinally bitter but not unenjoyable.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Trying a bottle of Sweet Child Of Vine...like the name! This beer pours clear copper with rich white head that is leaving a spotty lace. The smell is true to English Style IPA...more of a bitter hop with hints of malt. The taste is slightly sweet yet bitter. The malt base really works well with the hops. The mouthfeel is medium to light in body with decent cabonation. Overall it is not a bad beer....relatively easy drinking.

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Photo of brodericksloth
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good lawnmower beer. Not overly hopped. Sweet smooth non offensive. 6.4% abv hidden and non filling. Good food beer: Asian, pizza. Not an outstanding brew but very drinkable. I've run out of things to say about this beer but must keep reviewing to save this to my memory banks.

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Photo of ThreeFloyds
1.57/5  rDev -56.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Dark brown, cloudy, minimal/no head. Had on tap in Minneapolis at multiple locations over last two weeks (March '13).

Heavy malt, very lightly hopped for an IPA. As others have said, a more "balanced" IPA, with malt foregrounded and a hint of hops more suited to a lighter style of beer. Easy drinker, more like a session beer than an IPA despite the high alcohol content.

Notable cloudy with yeasty "off" taste. Noticed at different locations (I stopped ordering SC after my second bad one in March, but tried a friend's at a third location and it too tasted wonky). Had an off, belgian-y flavor of wild yeast or other production mishap. I originally attributed it to dirty glassware or "stale beer in the lines", but three bad experiences proved this false.

Sweet Child has varied widely in consistency since its inception — sometimes not tasting like the same beer from month to month.

While I prefer some of the other local Minnesota IPAs to (normal) Sweet Child — notably Surly Furious and Town Hall Masala Mama — I would add Fulton to the mix occasionally when I wanted a maltier, less hoppy IPA. But widely distributing a beer this far off the mark is seriously not cool — Fulton has lost me as a customer.

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Photo of nickapalooza86
3.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed a single from a local shop, 3522 on the neck, which would put it in the middle of December of 2012 for bottling.... A little over two months old, should be just fine.

Pours a copper color, pretty clear, half finger of a light cream head.

A lot of mango type sweetness coming through in the scent, also some caramel in there to. Smell is pretty pungents, but those two smells is really all I can make out.

Well I can say this is the most balanced IPA I have ever had, neither the hops or the malt really jump out. Tastes like a APA not a IPA... Citrus and pine notes, slightly floral with a nice malt backing, finishes remarkebly clean with no after taste that I can detect what so ever.

Mouthfeel is almost a little syrupy, with average carbonation... Doesnt drink like your average IPA in any fashion other then smell....

While this is a good beer, I certainly would not reach for it for my hop fix. If I wanted more of a big APA I would grab it.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.24/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-draught into a 16 oz glass at the Happy Gnome in St. Paul. Cost was $6.00. Reviewed from notes taken around Thanksgiving 2012. I'd had this before in bottled form.

A: Pours a khaki floater of nice cream and thickness. Retention is poor. I'm not impressed with the lack of head. Colour is a noncommital copper-tangerine. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Floral notes, grapefruit citrus fruit esters, clean pale malts, and nectar. A mild to average strength aroma.

T: Nectary malty sweetness, floral hops, and indistinct fruit. Clean and fruity, with diverse floral character. Nicely balanced and built. A bit simple, but pleasant and enjoyable.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Nectary. A bit sticky. Crisp. Clean. Suits the flavours nicely.

Dr: Drinkable and pleasant. A nice beer on draught. Passable for an IPA, but not extraordinary. Not unique or special. I appreciate its balance.


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Photo of FightingEntropy
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Being my first trip to Fulton, there was no way that I could go home without a growler of the IPA--so I did. It it would be hard to pass up a beer so cleverly called Sweet Child of Vine. Just a cool name when so many IPA variations have been exhausted.

Second pour builds a thick, creamy head the color of a dirty snowdrift over an amber marmalade ale. I've always thought that this is more of a workhorse IPA--not that pretty in the glass, but gets the job done. Assertive, grassy hops in the nose that's a punch in the face of Simcoe and Glacier (according to Fulton) and a smooth caramel maltiness following up behind to console my bruised taste buds. Taste follow the nose into a grassy bite that leaves no mistake that this is an IPA. Sweet, full bodied IPA that's almost chewy.

On the level, this is not my favorite IPA; however, I can see how it could be someone's favorite IPA. My draft on site was the best I've tasted of Sweet Child, a notch better than samples elsewhere and this growler. Well brewed and packing a punch, Sweet Child is definitely an ode to the hop vine.

Some advice. Drink this one slow and sip hard at the peak. Distracted by other endeavors while sipping the second glass, the warmth opens up the beer more than a bit. The harshness in the nose and taste mellows, and the sweetness grows in complexity with an underlying taste somewhere between burnt brown sugar and black strap molasses. With heavy lace on a beer clean glass, this IPA is growing on me by the pint.

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Photo of oline73
3.06/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this on-tap at the brewery. Served in a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Beer pours a cloudy amber color with a layer of fluffy off white head. The head fades and leave some lacing on the glass.

Smell: Slightly sweet with mild hops and malt. More malt here than I would have expected. Decent, but not overly interesting.

Taste: More hops here than there were in the smell. Citrus peel hops backed up by some sweet malt. I'm also getting some juicy citrus notes. The hop taste seems a bit muddles. The finish is bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with foamy carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: Not an overly impressive IPA. I thought it was a bit weird. I don't think I need another one.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at Mill City Tavern, in Minneapolis airport into a shaker pint.

A thin one centimeter tan head presented, cask like bubbles in appearance. Body is a dull and opaque amber orange. Some nice white rising pinhead carbonation in places, crawls slowly.

Nose is very mellow soft malts and hop. Jammy marmalade and citrus, but subtle and subdued. Light brown sugar.

Taste is very full bodied. Good caramel and sweet malt sense,not sticky. Mouthfeel is nice and rich. Chewy. Hop angle plays on English bitter marmalade and sweet orange. Some herbal tea like action on the finish, pekoe orange. Lingering sweetness with a good bitter balance.

Overall a very memorable English IPA. Like this umami thick and rich sweetness and hop bitter.

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Photo of Greggy
4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice 1.5 finger head over a gorgeous amber body. Thick lacing is prevalent.

S- Nice malty backbone, resinous hops, notes of almost maple syrup backed by light pine. Earthy and balanced.

T- Starts out with a nice malty backbone, backed by some great earthy hops. Very clean transitioning into a nice long dry finish.

M- Nice light carbonation really blends nice with this silky body.

O- A very nice English IPA. Exactly what it should be, balanced with earthy hops showing through.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.98/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The pour is sort of a dark amber color with a white head. Quite malty and sweet with minimal hop aroma. A hint of floral hops and maybe a touch of citrus peel. The flavor is similarly lacking in the hop department. Bread and toffee are the prominent flavors with a little caramel, too. Mild floral hop flavor and very little in the way of bitterness.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.47/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap a few months ago at The Muddy Pig and from what I remember it was good. Saw it at my local beer store and decided to give it a formal review. Sadly not as good as my memory of it on-tap. Poured a bottle vigorously into a tumbler, resulting in a decent three finger head that dissipated quickly but left nice lacing.

Appearance: Light brown/caramel color.

Aroma: Nice. Hint of hops/malt, some spices.

Taste: Good balance of hops and malt. Not much for bitterness. The spices are all in the aftertaste. Some fruit notes in there.

Mouthfeel: Slightly sharp at first then smoothes out nicely. Medium drinkability. Dries out your mouth a bit (which is normal for the style).

Final Thoughts: As far as English IPA's go, it's not bad. There's more spice in this brew than others of the same category. It's almost a hybrid beer: wheat and IPA. I'd probably go for it on-tap but not again in the bottle. I also noticed that with every sip the taste seemed to be a less satisfying. However, if you are a big fan of English IPA's and want a bit of a change from the everyday beer, then go for this one.

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Photo of gford217
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Brian for this bottle.

Pours very dark for an IPA, a deep clear amber with a small soapy beige head.

Aroma is mainly floral hops, grassy with some pine, and lots of pale malts. Caramel and citrus are subtle.

Taste is decidedly English-style IPA with toasted caramel malts showing out more than the hops, which take on a grassy character with citrus only in the background.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and bitter, but with a bit of metallic character.

As English IPAs go, it's a decent one, but probably not my favorite.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Cheeky Monkey; served in a shaker pint.

Slightly hazy ECE/SAE amber body with a thin ivory cap. Average retention, vague lacing.

Honey and citrus in the nose along with weak pale malt notes.

Mild passion-fruit, caramel, wildflowers and alfalfa on the palate. Mild bitterness with a touch of perfume. Sticky, rock-candy-like finish.

Decent carbonation, brisk, light, yet somewhat oily.

Weak "flat" flavor profile doesn't do justice to either style this tries to incorporate. No real off notes, but the brewer has produced a bland product in an attempt at something sessionable.

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Photo of birchstick
3.47/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a caramelish orange color. Nose is floral hops with some caramel malts and bubblegum. Taste starts of with soft citric notes that fade to a nice caramel grain malt. There are some notes of bubblegum and ends with a nice floral, earthy, citric hop flavor. Medium mouth goes down well. Overall, pretty solid English india pale ale - worth a shot.

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Photo of deepseacatfish
3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice IPA with a citrus nose, relatively light slightly creamy body and light amber color. Light head and moderate carbonation. Less hoppy than some other IPAs with a slightly rounder overall taste. Definitely plenty of citrus notes (orange particularly) but stronger malt presence than I initially expected.

Nicely balanced, but probably less hoppy than most IPA connoisseurs are looking for.

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Photo of Mdog
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear amber, good carbonation, ok head.

Smell: Caramel, black tea.

Taste: Mild sweet toffee, then earthy and tea-like hops with a hint of citrus.

Overall: I've had this beer plenty of times but never reviewed until now. It's a standard example of an English style IPA, more malty and with earthy/tea bitterness instead of citrus. Pretty good but not my favorite blend of flavors.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Jester King pint.

A- pours golden with a 2 finger white head. Nice lacing coats half the glass.

S- toasted malts, floral and earthy hops.

T- spicy, caramel malts with nice earthy and pine bitterness.

M- medium body and carbonation. Nice and creamy. Very easy drinking.

O- very solid ipa. Reminds me of another ipa but I can't put my finger on it.

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Photo of match1112
2.58/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

received this as an extra and always excited to try new beers. however i would of guessed this to be more an english mild bitter than an english ipa. a dark copper body with next to no head or lacing. the smell is very sweet with mostly caramel and bready malts, cant pick out any hops. taste is just as swet as the nose making this a malt bomb. mouthfeel is thin with a little spice like a mild bitter beer. if you like sweet beers this is easy drinkin, if not stay away. and dont expect much for hops in this one.

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Photo of mothman
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beige head. Good retention with some lace. Color is a clear copper amber.

Aroma: a lot of orange citrus. Caramel a bready malts. Earthy and floral hops.

Taste: mimics the nose. More orange citrus and fruity flavors. This beer is fairly malty. Caramel and biscuity. Floral and earthy.

Mouthfeel: citrusy and bitter. Medium bodies with a good amount of carbonation. Ends a little sticky.

Overall, this was a decent beer. Better than expexted, but it was a bit too malty for me. It is a very balanced ipa.

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Photo of beachscrat
2.26/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into imperial pint. Foam falls fast with a little cling.

Molasses and butterscotch dominate aroma, very little hops in the nose.

Toffee, caramel and burnt sugars with a firm bitter back bone.

I liked this one better on tap, much more balanced.

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Photo of brentk56
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a modest head; vague traces left behind

Smell: A bit fruity and a bit earthy

Taste: Toffee malt and earthy hops, up front, with a bit of a cakey character developing after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Rather insipid for an English IPA; would not order again

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Sweet Child Of Vine from Fulton Beer
3.58 out of 5 based on 550 ratings.
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