Icky IPA | Great Basin Brewing Co.

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Icky IPAIcky IPA

Brewed by:
Great Basin Brewing Co.
Nevada, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Just say “Gimme an Icky!” Named after Nevada’s official state fossil, this beer is made in the India Pale Ale style. Ichthyosaur is accented by a blast of Cascade hops.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-05-2003

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Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 177
Photo of Taz_Michael
1.12/5  rDev -68.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Stopped at a pizza parlor in Quincy, California, for buffet lunch. Saw Icky IPA on tap, so thought I'd give it a try. It's considered a premium beer, though it is brewed just over the hill from Quincy. I couldn't finish it. I tried, I really did. The aftertaste stayed with me for hours. I burped slimy hops from Quincy to Downieville. No bueno, compadres! Icky, indeed.

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Photo of Cinderbike
2.62/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Gold with a fluffy white head.

S - Where's the hops? Didn't smell much. Light malt character and hints of what might have been citrus and pine. Not much.

T - Malt, with some hop flavor. Again, not enough.

M - Medium, but well carbonated. It's balanced and not too hop-forward.

O - I had higher hopes. The "Hopasaur" was much better. This just wasn't up to bar. Needs more dryhopping, aroma hops, and bitter ing hops. Beyond that it's a decent IPA.

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Photo of Tucquan
2.81/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this on 2010-08-19 in Reno, NV at the Great Basin brew pub

A - Clear mahogany with a 1-finger head

S - Not much except some mild grain

T - Odd and not my favorite. Sweet, toasted malt, burnt bitter chocolate, fermented grass. The aftertaste is bitter as expected but there's also a sourness that didn't grab me. I liked the flavors less as the beer warmed.

M - Light body and medium carbonation. Not creamy.

D - I guess I'm in the minority, but one was enough for me.

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Photo of Duff27
2.93/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Half inch white head on a amber colored body. Good lacing and decent head retention.

S- Stanky orange smell, kinda weird!

T- Taste follows the smell in that it's definitely different. There is citrus in there but this would be what I consider a malt bomb IPA...hops are serisouly lacking compared to 98% of IPAs out there. Strange aftertaste.

M- Medium mouthfeel, lower end of carbonation.

D/O- Both a higher degree of carbonation and more hop presence would benefit Ichthysaur. That being said, it was easy to put this one down. Thanks a ton for the Nevada tick beerandraiderfan!

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.15/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

SRM darker than your average ipa. This is a malty ipa. Its more brown than anything. Solid 1/2" white head. Good retention. Aroma is earthy, with just a mild C hop tree thing going for it.

Taste, malty. Almost brown malt. Amber feels. Wood, pine, bitterness. Lower than average carbonation in the mouth feel. Mild hops. Difficult to call this an American IPA given the low hopping, while they are the American hop variety.

Decent, but also pretty average, even if slightly different than your average (hoppier) ipa.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.24/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Ah, while not my favorite beer in Nevada, it is a classic amongst the general beer wasteland.

Pours much darker than your average ipa. Light brown or dark copper, your call. Aroma was not noteworthy, slight earth/grain/pine feel to it. Definitely a malt forward vs. hop forward taste. A nice change of pace and dose of something closer to originality than just dumping hops in a brew (which is nice also).

A degree of sweetness, tiny aspect of pine with the malt and wood feel give this a degree of complexity that you often don't see a lot of nubes able to pick up on. The carbonation is usually lower than average, giving this a charming pseudo cask feel to it at times.

This beer is the footsteps for which all in Northern Nevada are brewing in. Are there better ipas? Yeah, over 100+ in my book. Doesn't mean this one isn't good. Of course, at times, this one isn't good, there is a huge amount of variation to the beer, and you have to get it fresh to want any discernable amount of hop flavor to come out of it. OK for an English ipa I guess. I wouldn't classify this as a west coast ipa, that's for sure.

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Photo of Gavage
3.32/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: clear orange in color with a 1/4" head that breaks apart quickly.

Smell: light orange tones and a hint of floral bitterness are tough to pull from the glass.

Taste: light caramel, orange, a bit of pear, and some mild floral bitterness create a mellow flavored IPA.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp throughout. Short lasting aftertaste and mildly refreshing.

Overall: a so-so IPA that has some muted flavors but it is very easy to quaff.

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Photo of bsiri85
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A few years ago when I started drinking beer, I thought Icky was "WAY TOO HOPPY". However, I have grown my pallet quite a bit, expanded my knowledge of the brewing process and become a pretty hardcore hophead/homebrewer. Nowadays, I would consider Icky to be just a little tiny bit hoppier than a Pale Ale. If you are looking for a nice, strong, citrussy IPA look to other west coast IPA style beers, but if you are just testing the waters of the IPA world, this is a good starting point.


S-mild hops.

T-Hoppy but sweet. This really is a beer that is inbetween an IPA and Pale Ale. A solid house beer for Great Basin because of its mass appeal.


O-For a hop lover, its tame. For a person used to light lagers, you will think its extreme. It's a well flavored beer with plenty of malt and hops, but I recommend this as a starting place for people looking to branch out into the beer world.

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Photo of mjl21
3.46/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Red's Old 395 Grill in Carson City. They call it Icky on the menu. No abv info is given. Poured into a pint glass.

A-Pours a semi clear amber with an off white head that has some good retention. Leaves some decent lace.

S-Has a muted smell on the nose. I pick up on some sweet malt and a tad bit of citrus if I really stick my nose deep into the glass.

T-I get earthy hops, some caramel malt, and it finishes with some citrus at the end. There is some booze that is evident at the end.

M-Medium bodied and it has a very crisp level of carbonation.

D-Not bad, not great.

I love to try local beers and this is from the Sparks area. As noted above, it is so-so. I wouldn't want to write it off until I had it fresh from the source. The bar where I had it at probably doesn't move a ton of this stuff.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden-orange with a tight, white head that leaves rings of lacing.

Smells of pine and earthy hops.

Tastes of the pine hops with a decent malt backbone. Hops lead off with citrus and pine along with a touch of fruit. Malts come through and add a bit of caramel and grainy sweetness. Finishes with a bit of earthy bitterness, but overall is malt forward.

Mouthfeel is medium with a slightly assertive amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a solid IPA and I would like to check out more from this brewery.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.51/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A finger of head on a hazy, medium straw colored body.
The aroma is a mild grapefruit and lemon.
The taste has a moderate pine bitterness balanced nicely with a malt backbone.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
Here's a solid IPA that isn't overpowering on the IBUs.

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Photo of Jmoore50
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This tastes like a Pale Ale to me, but this brewery is a very good local one.

The appearance is a lighter amber color with a white head. It is a very clear brew, and has a stronger carbonation.

The smell is of hops and a smaller malt background. There are faint hops smells, but if you get this thing fresh it has pine and earth hop characters.

The taste is of a lighter red ale. There are pine hops, with some armarillo fruity hops towards the end. Some bready malts in the background.

The brew is a local favorite, so I have to show some love. Compared to every other IPA, this is mediocre at best.

Enjoyed at Imperial Lounge and Bar.


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Photo of RyanK252
3.6/5  rDev 0%

Bottle poured into a BarrelHouse Brewing pint glass

A: Pours golden amber with a frothy off white head that laces very nicely.

S: Malt sweetness and a little pine hops.

T: Pine hops quickly countered by caramel malt sweetness, a little floral and fruity notes. Bitterness doesn't linger too long, pretty clean finish.

M: Light to medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Inoffensive and drinkable, but not quite hoppy enough for my tastes as an IPA. By no means does it live up to it's name as "Icky" though.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.6/5  rDev 0%

A pretty sticky IPA, generic in its hopping as far as flavor and varietal, but the texture is wholly unique. It's dense and mean and chewy, but it's all up front. It's the finish that's so weird, dryer than any other robust IPA like this that I can remember. It just stops, almost prematurely for the style. There is a little bit of an alcohol thing here too, odd in a beer this standard in abv, maybe too big to have a bunch of too, but the dry finish helps that. If this was done with some newer world hop strains it might be next level.

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Photo of Taylor_Madison
3.61/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A rather light ipa with less hoppyness than I would consider an ipa. It is borderline a malty taste imo. With that said, it gives a rather nice smooth feel. I would claim that this is lighter summer ipa that is better suited for the warmer weather. Pairs quite nicely with a turkey, bacon, and avocado sandwich as that's how I am tasting it.

In summary, it's an introductory and mild ipa for those that don't fully appreciate ipa's.

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.66/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Beautiful cascade of nitrogen bubbles rise upwards to form a thick creamy head atop a golden amber colored beer. The beer is very clear and once nitrogen has settled this beer is picture perfect. Smooth taste due to no carbonation blends well with the citrussy hops and is complemented with a touch of malt. This beer lacks body and would not hold a head without nitrogen. The finish is very tasty as it has a hopiness without any bitterness, very flavorful and characteristic of a west coast IPA. Overall this is a very nice IPA with a strong hop presence complemented by the barest malt background which makes a pretty good IPA.

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Photo of dickroop
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got to try this at the 775 GastroPub at the Meadowland Mall in Reno. Wish I'd had it fresh from the brew pub in Sparks.

Appearance was coppery and clear, nothing special about the head or lacing. The aroma was hoppy but a lilttle weak in the nose. Taste was not as good as I'd hoped for, because my last taste of IPA from Great Basin was a fresh-hopped seasonal. It was mildly piney and floral, but not quite enough hopping for this "local legend". (But then again "ichthysaur" is a fishy dinosaur, isn't it?)

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and pleasant (unmemorable actually). Drinkability was good, it paired well with my lunch and was enjoyable. Served in a 20 oz glass, I was glad for the bigger-than-pint-sized serving. A great local beer but not a great IPA, considering all the competition in the universe of IPAs. Highly recommended... *in* Sparks.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.69/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours relatively clear and copper in color with an off-white, finger width head. Fair retention, resulting in a thin, broken layer of suds and a ring around the edge of the glass. Lacing is spotty with a few streaks and shows good stick.

Smell - Fragrant pine aroma hits the nostrils formidably with a light floral undertone. Faint trace of caramel.

Taste - As with the nose, pine is the predominant character, it's not a potent as the aroma would indicate. Floral character steps in to cut down on the dankness, while the malts come through faintly with touches of bread and caramel. Finishes with a touch of citrus and the aforementioned pine flavor.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with moderate carbonation. Goes down smooth before a crisp, dry finish.

Overall - Had this at my buddy's Wedding a few years ago and I always meant to come back to it and rate it; I'm glad I did. I remember thinking it was decent, and memory serves correct. Despite the pine-heavy character, which I've never been big on, it's something I wouldn't mind drinking again, though at someone else's expense.

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Photo of AorakiMyEyes
3.69/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It's impossible to spell this after drinking a beer but here it is off the bottle: ichthyosaur. Try it backwards.

I poured it into a 4oz tulip glass at 63 degrees (house temperature). The head was about 1-2 fingers thick, absolutely white and disappearing in about 45 seconds. Light threading. Very floral smell. The taste is little dry, bitter and floral like the darn sagebrush in my front yard. It reminds me of the Mammoth brewery's pale ale, which intentionally puts sagebrush as a hop additive (bad on the belly). Back to "Icky" as they call it: it's a chewy mouthful, bubbly acidic. Average priced and worth a bit more. I'll drink it with visitors to the eastern Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of TheRealBigC
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Icky is starting to spread around the area, after being the Reno/Sparks Metropolitan area's most popular local brew for some time. It actually sort of straddles the APA/IPA line. It's not a huge on hops as an IPA tends to be, but it is still a bit bigger and more citrusy than an APA. It's also really, really malty for an IPA, which broadens its appeal but for some might be overkill. As such, it ends up being a unique take on the style which I hope gets reached out to by more folks out West.

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Photo of Moose90
3.71/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-Tap @ Pour24 inside NYNY, Las Vegas, NV.

A – Bright crystal clear orange in color. With a bright white head that sticks around and leaves nice lacing.

S – Pretty mild, but notes of lemon and orange are prominent. Not much else, a little bit of sweet malt.

T – Not bad, more of the citrus notes come through, as well as a nice balanced malt complexion.

M – Clean and clear. Nothing lingers or develops further, but this is a nice drinker nonetheless.

O – A rather pedestrian IPA, but not bad by any means. Could drink this one all day long.

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

This beer pours a golden yellow color, with a fluffy white head that fades very slowly, leaving a thick lace.

This beer has a grassy hop aroma. Some citrus fruit is present. Mostly grapefruit. It is a rather mild IPA at best.

This beer tastes just like it smells. Mildly grassy with some citrus flavor. A slightly sweet malty flavor mixes in balancing this beer nicely.

This beer is crisp and refreshing. Ity leaves a grassy aftertaste.

This beer wouls probably make a decent session beer. The mild flavor and the not overly high alcohol content make it easy to drink.

Overall: This beer is decent. I like my IPA a bit hoppier, but it is still a beer I wouldnt pass up.

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Photo of Klym
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my Sister's BF for sharing a bottle of this with me.

Overall I thought this was a pretty good IPA. Beautiful hops on the nose that worked well in the mouth with an interesting, almost sticky maltiness adding backbone to it. There were some gaps in the flavor but I found it easy to drink and easy to enjoy. Would be curious to try more from Great Basin.

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Photo of Billolick
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed trying a pint of this IPA at the Brewery in Sparks. It arrived with nice tiny bubble film riding on top of a dark amber, clear brew. Each sip created ample amounts of ringed lacing. Nose was of soft malts and a slight wiff of hops. This a pleasant enuf "IPA", actually kind of malt dominated for the style. Hops do come in late, but I was expecting some more of a hop blast here, that never really materialized. Tasty, malty IPA...

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Photo of MisterClean
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the west coast beer festival.

A - Pours copper with 2 fingers of white head. Dissipates moderately fast to .5 a finger. Leaves nice lacing.

S/T - Caramel, flower and grass.

M - Well-balanced and slightly thin. Surprisingly, not hop dominated.

D - Good, but a little lite on hoppiness.

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Icky IPA from Great Basin Brewing Co.
3.6 out of 5 based on 177 ratings.
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