Dolphin Sparkles
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

Dolphin SparklesDolphin Sparkles
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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #511
Ranked #3,103
4.19 | pDev: 6.44%
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
Iowa, United States
Dolphin SparklesDolphin Sparkles
Notes: Originally brewed as a collaboration with Barrel Theory Beer Company.

Featured Hops: Citra & Nelson Sauvin
Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 143 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81 from Florida

4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a semi-cloudy golden orange body with good head and lace patches down the glass. The aroma has an acidic, orange peel aroma with something like a hint of lemon. Smooth, clean, no bitterness at all, easy to drink with a semi-sweet tropical fruit-like taste (something like a mix of mango and grapefruit). Easy finish and a beer well worth trying.

Friday at 06:05 PM
Photo of ScaryEd
ScaryEd from New Hampshire

3.94/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can.

Pours a hazy pale gold color with 2 fingers of frothy off-white head. Good head retention. Leaves some splotchy lacing.

Pungent aromas of tangerine and grapefruit, as well as mangoes and light melon. Some cracker malt.

The flavor follows the nose, only this time with a fair bit of white wine grapes. Slightly piney on the finish.

The feel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth, dry finish.

Overall, this is a great IPA that does a wonderful job showcasing both hops. Nice balance.

Sep 08, 2021
Photo of robwired
robwired from Kansas

4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"PKG 08/06/21 Best by 12/04/21"
Started a pint can poured into a nanobrewery's tulip glass. It poured a one-finger head with good lacing to follow. The scent is of tropical fruits with some tickle in the nose. Full-bodied DIPA flavor of piney mango and tangerine. So enjoyable.

Sep 05, 2021
Photo of mwilbur
mwilbur from Minnesota

4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from pint can into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a hazy orange-yellow hue with 2 inch frothy/foamy white head with excellent retention.
S: Orange, tangerine, mango, and hints of white wine and dry cracker malt.
T: Orange and mango cream, dry sweet white wine, and hints of tangerine, soft pine, and sweet lemon.
M: Light-medium body. Soft and creamy. Delicate citrus sweetness and moderately dry and bitter into the finish.
D: A nice expression of both Citra and Nelson Sauvin. The balance is a bit off (like two different beers mixed together, but mostly in a good way).

Sep 02, 2021
Photo of dfillius
dfillius from Iowa

4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of the best double IPAs I’ve had in a while. Hazy golden orange with fine-laced head that sticks around for the entire pint. Practically perfect appearance. Smell is candied tropical fruits that never gives off any vegetal, boozy, or oxidized aromas. Practically perfect aroma. Flavor is sweet tropical fruit with a finish of bitterness and slight booze. Minus points for the latter, but it isn’t too distracting, and this is a DIPA, after all. Mouthfeel is chewy and enjoyable with a kiss of warmth. Overall, top notch. One of the best from TG. As good as the best SOSUS and King Sue.

Aug 31, 2021
Photo of zeff80
zeff80 from Missouri

4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can. Poured out a slightly cloudy, golden orange color with a small, off-white head of foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass. It smelled of grapefruit, pineapple, toasted caramel and some pine notes. Sweet tropical fruit taste with toasted caramel and a piney bitterness.

Aug 28, 2021
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 oz. can. Hazy orange. Smells of tropical fruit, light herbals, hints of grape. Tastes sweet with a much stronger Nelson presence here. White grape and herbals. Sweet pale malt. A little bit of dank flavors. Pretty heavy and sweet, but just about flavorful enough to justify. I don't understand the "west coast" descriptor at all. It's not quite and acidic juice bomb NEIPA, but it's a far cry from any classic west coast IPA. Enjoyable if confusing.

Aug 25, 2021
Photo of BucannonXC5
BucannonXC5 from California

3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Type: 16-oz. can
Reviewed as: American Double / Imperial IPA
Glass: Melvin 14-oz. Spiegelau IPA glass
Price: $5.33 w/ 10 pct. off because of a mixed 6-pack) (regular $5.99)
From: Bine & Vine Bottle Shop in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Purchased: Dec. 31, 2020
Consumed: Jan. 2, 2021
Misc.: Collaboration with Barrel Theory; Canned on Nov. 12, 2020 at 9:09 a.m. CT; Best by March 12, 2021

Bought this and a bunch of other stuff on New Year’s Eve. Had it tonight because it was my oldest IPA that I had in my fridge. Was interested to try it because Toppling Goliath and also I’ve heard a lot of good things about Barrel Theory. Toppling Goliath’s website description was “Dolphin Sparkles is our collective interpretation and re-imagining of a West Coast IPA. We’ve kept the malt soft, subtle, and clean in order to create the liquid translation of our favorite hops.” Hops mentioned were Citra and Nelson Sauvin.

Poured a medium yellow-to-light gold semi-clear color with three fingers of rocky off-white head. Pretty calm setting underneath the head. Almost perfect spiderweb foamy lacing. World-class foamy retention. (Sight - 4.75)

Smelled Nelson up front and Citra in the back. Specifically dank pine, viney berry, mango, grapefruit, papaya, white grape and melon. Smelled even better out of the can. (Smell - 4.00)

Tasted followed the nose for the most part. In order got Citra, Nelson, dank pine, bitter grapefruit rind, citrus pulp, mango, viney berry, papaya, orange, pineapple, white grape, melon and lingering peppery spice. (Taste - 3.75)

Medium body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt finish. (Feel - 4.25)

Was back and forth on a few categories, but this was outstanding overall. (Overall - 4.00)

3.97 | 89 | B+

Jul 05, 2021
Photo of WunderLlama
WunderLlama from Massachusetts

4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Can poured into a pint glass

Hazy orange juice liquid crowned by a creamy white one finger foam cap

Aroma of orange citrus hops out of the glass

Taste is orange citrus, hint of white grape

Good sudsing

Good beer

Mar 26, 2021
Photo of mactrail
mactrail from Washington

3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a slightly hazy yellow with streaming bubbles and stiff white foam in the Aventinus Weizen glass. Quite sharp and sudsy in the mouth. Aroma of citrus and fruitcake. Sweet and malty with a candied fruit note. Flavor is orange, orange peel, and orange marmalade.

I'm not sure why TG calls this a DIPA when every other West Coast IPa is 7.1 or 7.3%. Maybe it's the sugar. This is on the edge of the New England style, but stays on the drinkable side of acidity. From the 16 oz can purchased on the West Coast. Dated 11/12/20 on the bottom.

Feb 07, 2021
Photo of Ozzylizard
Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dolphin Sparkles from Toppling Goliath. Purchased 0n 4/1/21 for $ 4.00 (Including tax) for 16 oz can ($ 0.25/oz) from Franklin Beer, Franklin, PA. In reefer at store and stored at home at 42 degrees. Reviewed 21/1/21.
Stamped on the bottom “PKG 11/12/20, Best By 03/12/21”. Served at 46.5 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter. Final temperature 51.6 degrees.
Appearance – 4.25.
First pour –Pale Straw (SRM 2), hazy. Second pour is murky and produces a one cm head.
Body – Straw (SRM 3), murky and opaque. When rear-lite, same. Tons of sediment hang on the wall of the glass.
Head – Large (Maximum 5.5 cm, aggressive center pour), floral white, medium density, average retention, leaving a five to fourteen mm crown with a jagged edge and a thick partial cap. Some pieces of torn curtain lacing remain on the glass as the head retracts.
Lacing. Excellent! Wide band of torn curtain lacing. See also above.
Aroma – 4.5 – Weak generic citrus, no malt, no yeast. Smells refreshing yet lacks specific citrus odors.
Flavor – 4.25 – Begins with generic citrus although it tends to tangerine, no yeast. No alcohol (7.3 % ABV, according to BA, NOT marked on container) taste or aroma. No dimethylsulfide or diacetyl. Ends slightly bitter and refreshing.
Palate – 4 – Medium, almost creamy, soft carbonation.
Final impression and summation: 4 (After deducting 0.25 point for not having ABV marked on the container) I predict more of these are in my future (FUTURE subject to availability, not available in all areas).

Jan 21, 2021
Photo of JohnniEMc
JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a pint can into a clear glass liter mug and... Now, there's a densely amber liquid where once was a void. Although the head is not copious, there's glass lacing aplenty. Not overly aromatic, what's there smells like a good IIPA, maybe a real good one. It is a real good one, by taste. The counter balance between a distinctive malty sweet backbone and a dry and bitter finish is exactly outstanding here. It's not overly anything, it's a stalwart IIPA.

Jan 20, 2021
Photo of WoodBrew
WoodBrew from Ohio

4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I got a can of this beer off the single shelf from my local beer store just around the corner. It poured a hazy and partically orangish with white head that is leaving some lace. The scent had dank fruit notes. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink with subtle dank ripe fruit presence. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall it is a solid beer.

Jan 08, 2021
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I scored a biker's denim vest with the word "Iowa" embroidered along the back shoulder. This inspired me to CANtact the brewery about a patch for the vest. I was granted permission (one-time use) to have a local embroiderer direct-embroider their logo onto the back! I filled out the rest of the vest with Hawkeyes, Cyclones & RAGBRAI patches as well as a few other Iowa breweries that had patches available. Now, it is time for The CANQuest (tm) to have a beer!

From the CAN: "Dolphin Sparkles Double India Pale Ale"; "A reimagining of a West Coast IPA and originally brewed in collaboration with Barrel Theory Beer Co. We've kept the malt soft, subtle and clean in order to create the liquid translation of our favorite hops."; "Live beer, please refrigerate!"; "Brewed in Beautiful Decorah, IA".

I beCAN be Crack!ing open the vent & then I CANmenced a slow, gentle C-Line Glug into the awaiting glass. I was initially stunned by its lack of clarity, but that could be why they mentioned its being a "live beer". I then allowed it to flow fairly freely since there was no ChANce of achieving clarity. I wound up with just under two fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, bone-white head with very good retention. Color was a hazy Yellow-Gold (SRM = 4 - 5). Nose smelled strongly of orange/CANgerine with a faint mintiness. Mmm. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not a big as I would expect in the style. The taste remained primarily orange, CANmingled with ... I'm not sure what. It had a light pine coolness, but there was more to it than that. I am usually not CANfounded like this! It was almost tropical, but not as fruity as that, almost vinous, but not as grape-y as that. CANsider me stumped, but in a good way. I was certainly enjoying it. Finish was semi-dry to dry, less bitter than I might have preferred. YMMV.

Jan 06, 2021
Photo of Pentastar
Pentastar from New York

4.49/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Cloudy orange with white foam head and lacing.
Smell: Fresh cut grass and orange rind.
Taste: Grapefruit flavor dominates in the hops, some mild bitterness and a nice aftertaste.
Feel: Average for an IPA, good carbonation.
Overall: Nice and drinkable some good hop flavor.

Jan 06, 2021
Photo of ovaltine
ovaltine from Indiana

4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This pours a hazy golden straw color with a TON of floaties (I like floaties!) and sports a voluminous, dense white head that provides substantial lacing. Dank citrus notes of tangerine, pineapple, and mango on the nose, and a nice malt note.

The tangerine flavor is forward and dominant on the taste, with the pineapple and mango in supporting roles, and the malt flavor providing a biscuity balance to the hop flavors.

The mouthfeel is on the softer side, so I’m not sure if this is reminiscent of a WCIPA (or big enough to be a DIPA), but it’s a flavorful, fruity, balanced IPA worthy of your consideration, IMHO.

Jan 02, 2021
Photo of Bluecrow
Bluecrow from New York

4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

-yellow-orange can pour hosts a fine foam cap and a bright tangerine aroma.
The flavor is full with peach, melon and berry notes. -no evident “dankness” as others have mentioned.
This finish is smooth. This is light-bodied for the style and quite tasty.

Dec 19, 2020
Photo of RaulMondesi
RaulMondesi from California

4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yep. Toppling Goliath does it again. I mean, this one isn’t exactly pulling the sword out of the stone, but it’s still well and good like a hummingbird taking a drink of nectar. And you know what? Raul likes nectar too.


Dec 19, 2020
Photo of drdiesel9483
drdiesel9483 from Ohio

4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - fantastic hazy tannish orange color with a nice lasting sticky white head and lacing
Smell - very citrus orange and dank hop smell and a little melon. Nice slight malty in there too.
Taste - citrus slight dank and good oat malt backbone
Feel - full creamy body with a light carb
Overall - tasty

Dec 12, 2020
Photo of AdmiralOzone
AdmiralOzone from Minnesota

3.77/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy apricot yellow with a thick white head. Head has staying power and leaves generous lacing. Aroma is faint citrus and melon. Flavor follows the nose with only a bit more authority. Feel is medium bodied and soft. Overall less than I expected from this fine brewery. Won't seek out again.

Nov 30, 2020
Photo of MikeWard
MikeWard from Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz can into a pint glass. Canned 8/13/20, so almost 2 months old.

Looks magnificent in the glass. Slightly hazy orange/yellow body with light slow moving carbonation. Initial big foamy but loose around the edges bright white head shrinks to a thick ring and faint covering. The lacing is simply sensational.

Hoppy aroma hits you as soon as you crack the can. Light citrus, and faintly catty.

Delicious tasting beer. Hard not to chug it down. Warmer than you would expect from the abv. Citrus flavors are smooth, not sharp. Hoppy, lightly bitter. Very faintly herbal and dank. Lot going on here.

Mouth closer to full than medium. Finish lightly citrus and even more lightly bitter.

Overall, another outstanding beer from TG. Hope I get to visit the brewery some day and thank them in person.

Oct 09, 2020
Photo of EMV
EMV from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 16 oz can into a Dogfish Head Tulip

L: Hazed golden pour with big fluffy white head. Great lacing.

S: Fruit/citrus and grainy malts. Dank and juicy.

T.F: Sweet malts/grains up front mixed with Tropical fruit... mango and tangerine plus grapefruit rind and melon. Very modest bitterness. Balanced. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel... medium bodied. Fruit salad finish.

O: Another superb DIPA from Toppling Goliath. I don't think these guys make a bad beer.

Sep 30, 2020
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch from Colorado

4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16 oz. Can
PKG: 08/13/20
BEST BY: 12/11/20

Poured into a Tree House glass a very nice cloudy pale yellow/orange color, with some very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger plus off-white head, which also leaves some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is very nice, hoppy, malty, with a very nice citrus complex (orange, tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, mango, peach), with a pretty nice little diesel like. The taste is very nice, hoppy, malty, with a very nice citrus complex (orange, tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, mango, peach), with a pretty nice diesel like. Medium body, ABV is hidden very nicely, with a pretty nice dry/bitter finish. Overall, this is a very tasty brew. Very nice to see it around here, again. Orange Julius! Addictive! MilkShake!

Sep 22, 2020
Photo of Roguer
Roguer from Connecticut

4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Slightly hazy, but not opaque. Good head production and excellent retention.

Bright juicy and herbal nose, with a balance of Italian herbs, and citrus (orange, lemon, grapefruit) and tropical (melon) fruit. Hints of pepper and white grape.

Full bodied, especially for 7.3%.

Sweet and juicy up front. Mandarin orange, pineapple, honey, basil. Dank finish, typical of Toppling Goliath.

This doesn't bring anything brand new to the table, but what it does bring is an expertly crafted delivery of juicy hops on a thick malt base.

Sep 22, 2020
Photo of DIM
DIM from Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ho-hum, another stellar TG IPA. Canned 8/20.

Mellow, satisfying melon and mango primarily. A little bit of pithy citrus and pine, plus just enough caramel and brown sugar.

Sep 17, 2020
Dolphin Sparkles from Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 143 ratings