The Gauntlet | Iron Fist Brewing Company

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The GauntletThe Gauntlet

Brewed by:
Iron Fist Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by SDHoffers on 01-09-2011

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Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 123
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.42/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Interesting appearance, darker than expected, almost light brown notes. Bitter, pine, in the woodsy kind of hop vibe.

Lots of bitterness, lots of malt which held the alcohol off the tongue. Mild citrus notes. Tasted like a lager/steam beer almost from the yeast contributions. Mild sweetness, this goes into crystal malt territory I believe.

I don't like the big bottle format, should be a 4 pack kind of beer.

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Photo of WillDavis707
2.2/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 1.5

Picked up a bottle of this off the dry shelf at a local BevMo. Opened it up took one sip and drain poured the rest. Must have been a very old bottle, but couldn't find any date on it SMH.

I think it was my only drain pour of the year, wish i didn't waste that $12, thanks again BevMo

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Photo of Uncle_Jimmy
3.24/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Hazy Orange color with a fine white finger and a half of foam on top. This foam lingers a long time and provides great lacing on the glass.

Aroma- very hop forward pine and citrus fruit. no trace of yeast or malt in the nose.

Taste- really Dank, hops throughout. Piney Resiny hops not a lot of fruity hops. a slight boozy sweetness and sting at the very end.

Mouthfeel- Dry the hops leave a major bitter aftertaste. its not sticky sweet but the flavor lingers in the mouth. Carbonation is spot on. a slight alcohol warmth and pineyness that you get from Gin.

Overall I think this beer is good but a touch out of balance. I think Hop heads that are looking for a quick buzz would definitely reach for it. I feel like this beer defies a pairing, its kinda all hops and booze. I think the hops would cancel out spicey mexican and thai dishes, because the hops linger so much. I think it could maybe stand up to an indian curry, or oddly enough pair well with like a vanilla bean Icecream. That Pineyness could cut through the dairy .

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, citrus zest, and alcohol. Taste is much the same with a medium hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty but really strong.

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Photo of nezzen
4.23/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got lucky enough to get a 6tl . (had to beg a little)
Out of the tap, into a tulip glass a nice one inch head.
So far so good.
Very clear, nice lacing, and the smell of piney / citrus / cracker, was very pleasant.
I have to say, this ranks up there with the most popular California breweries for double IPAs .
Pretty smooth on the mouthfeel . Expect bitter/sweet, bitter for the experience.
Overall, a very good brew that has me wanting another.
Cheers to the guys that made this!

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Photo of drabmuh
3.06/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Churchkey, happy to see it. Beer was a HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT. Beer served in a snifter, beer is amber, dark, almost brown, big off white head, low retention, low lacing, moderate to low carbonation, looks darker than expected but fine.

Aroma is malty, sweet, mild solvent, where are the hops?

Not here either, sweet, a little cloying, harsh, strong not a repeat. Next.

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Photo of bump8628
3.07/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The darker color was the first indication that this wouldn't be my type of Double IPA. Dark amber, almost brown through the thickest part of the glass. Yeah, the hops are there, but maltiness is overwhelming - I'm talking barleywine levels of malt that clash with and muddle up the hoppiness. Lots of caramel, toffee, and even some tobacco. Pine manages to sneak through the fray of residual sugar.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured in a 5 oz tulip glass in a flight at Haven Gastropub. Reviewed from notes.

A- Thin white head with a deep golden color. Little carbonation and nice lacing.

S- Dark hops, booze and floral scents.

T- Hoppy, boozy, dark fruits.

M- Light bodied, with little carbonation.

O- Strong beer, good flavors and good smells.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap at Tapestry.

Olympic medal golden with some tanner spots towards the sides. Alot of activity within and on top about a quarter inch of fluffy stuff comes up, leaving a cap, it can be ressurected though. Small pokadots on the glass. Smell is a fruity and malty DIPA. The malt actually dominates the nose, but under that some citrus arises mainly of grapefruit. I get hints of onion so Summit is in the house. A big sugary scent comes up as well and I cant help but to notice the alcohol underneath. Tastes include citrus, pineapple, grapefruit, some big toasty malts, onion, caramel, sugar, alcohol, bread and maybe some caramel. All over the place, disconjointed. Tis not my favorite double but it's different, that's about it. Feel is above medium, more bitter on the edge of the tounge, goes down smooth with alcohol at the end. In A sea of IPA's/DIPA's, this is not a strong contender and not built for mad portion drinking.

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Photo of mactrail
2.59/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Hazy amber in the little tulip. Peculiar plasticky smell gets your attention. Best feature is the rollicking sudsy mouthfeel. Woody on the tongue. I would describe the overall flavor as murky, like there is some of the dregs of a hefeweizen in there. Flavors in the nose include some sweet flowery notes like honeysuckle and gardenia.

On the positive side there is a pleasant stew of hops. Bitterness is substantial and doesn't mix well with the sweet grainy and perfumey tastes. More mellow than sharp. Bitter aftertaste lingers.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.42/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at Bruery Provisions

The pour is bright orange in color with a finger of white head. Herbal hop aromas with a strong lemon cleaner aroma. Slightly fruity but also quite abrasive and solventy. Harsh bitterness and solvent flavors. Some herbal hop notes and a little bit of citrus peel. Not very good. Medium body and carbonation.

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Photo of nanobrew
2.98/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Has a sturdy thick white head, but the beer itself was very cloudy. I had this beer at Bruery Provisions tasting room, I do not know if the cloudiness was due to being the last pour of the bottle and getting dregs, or if this is how the beer is.

The beer smelled of musty grass with a slight hint of lemon and pine, it was a little off putting.

There was a strong flavor of herbal/green tea. The hops also lent a subtle orange peel with its citrus and bitter notes. The malt gave a little caramel flavor at the end.

The body on this beer is a little thicker than I like in a DIPA, but it was nicely carbonated.

Overall, was not impressed with this beer, especially living in SoCal and this brewery from the same area. I would have liked the beer to be a little "cleaner" tasting. I have been known to not like certain hop varieties (such as Summit) so this always could be a personal taste thing, though there is still room for improvement.

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Photo of MrTopher
3.44/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A – Pours a pretty hazy orange/amber color, develops a decent off-white head that disappears really quickly. The head does leave some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S – An aggressive pine/grass hop character, there is some mild citrus but its very limited.

T – This was pretty balanced for San Diego County DIPA, has a decent hop character (pine/grass and a little citrus) but there is a good amount of malt, and the malt just is a bit much for me in DIPAs.

M – Medium and decently carbonated.

O – A bit disappointed on this one, when I think of DIPAs form San Diego County I think hop forward and lack the malt presence, this was almost the opposite. I could have gotten an old bottle, if I see this on draft in the future I’ll take it for another ride and might re-review.

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Photo of beer2day
4.17/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy orange pour with 2-fingers dense straw head. Very nice retention. No lace to speak of.

Nose is very complex. Pine wins out over grapefruit, but there is some floral sweetness there too. Light roasted caramel backs all that up with just a touch of honey.

Bready, caramel malt with grapefruit and lighter pine come out in the first sip. More roast malt in the finish, with bigger tartness from both pine and grapefruit hops. Lots going on here. Hints of the abv come through, but no big alcohol burn.

Creamy body with a touch of fizz. Heavy, even for the style.

Nice sipping dipa.

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Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a hazy orange copper color with a fluffy white head that had a hefty retention and lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer was really citrusy and floral. It also had a sweetness on the nose too. The taste of the beer was hoppy, some lemon flavors with orange too. The mouthfeel of the beer is smooth and oily pretty well carbonated. Overall this beer was a pretty nice IPA in my opinion.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
2.8/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

$11.99 750ml from the Beer Store, Southampton.

Hazy orange body with golden yellow highlights. Slow and steady carbonation streams. Big billowing off-whitehead. Dense lacing.

Nose is big pine, shots of grapefruit, and maybe a pinch of sulfur.

Initial splash of malt is too sweet and more of a splatter than a foundation. Big bitter builds and builds and finally overdoes in the aftertaste. By then, its just abrasive. Could use some fruity complexity, too one dimensional.

Okay mouthfeel, maybe a touch watery.

These guys are new, should take this back to the drawing board. And have a back-up name for the brewery once Marvel Comics hears of them.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into DFH signature goblet. No bottle date listed. Purchased at Pinocchio's in Media, PA.

A: Pours a hazy orange amber color. Two white off white head. Really tight bubbles. Good lacing. Head stays around a while.

S: Really piney hop aroma. Even through the head I can smell that. Also, some grapefruit is behind it. There is some biscuity breadiness in there as well. It's hidden nicely though.

T: It's a very well balanced IPA. You get a good hop bitterness on the tip of the tongue. Followed by a really nice malt balance in the center on the mouth. You get some of the pine and fruit there in the middle as well. In an era when DIPAs can be to bitter or too sweet, this is really solid.

M: Medium bodied. Good mouth coat of hops and malt.

O: A- surprisingly. I like it alot.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Easily produces a thick foamy head--despite my aiming for a half inch head, got about a 1" head after it all settled. Hazy copper body with tan eggshell pillowy foam with good head retention and lacing throughout.

Aroma of bready malt, citrus and piney hops, straw, marshmallow.

Tastes of bready malt and intense and bitter, piney and grapefruit skin hops, with a little hop burn on the tongue. A little metallic in the finish. I'd say it has a harsh taste.

Body is medium and the carbonation is enough to give this a creamy mouthfeel.

A decent though overamped DIPA and kind of harsh overall. With the intensity of the malt and hops, the 9.5% ABV is well-hidden.

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

Pours a mildly hazy reddish amber color with a dense, eggshell head with excellent retention and gorgeous lacing. It has that nice sticky look which is always a good start.

The aromas begin with lemon and pineapple fruitiness, also some blood oranges and grapefruit smells all coming from the hops. There is a mildly sweet caramel malt undertone but it takes a backseat to the hop aromas.

The tastes begin with mildly bitter and grassy hops. I get a little of the pale and biscuity malt flavors as well. A decent amount of blood orange and lemon and lesser grapefruit dominate the flavor profile. Not overly bitter, but not a walk in the park either if you get my drift.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The finish is semi-crisp but really ends up kind of sticky. Bitterness lingers ever so slightly.

Overall I enjoyed this beer, but it was not spectacular in any category. More bitter and flavor hops than aroma hops. Reminds me of a Pliny that is past it's prime. I would not refuse this beer but I don't NEED to have it again anytime soon. Worth a go if you can easily acquire for sure but don't break you back to find it.

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Photo of teamizm
3.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Far Bar in Los Angeles.

A - pours a copper/orangish color. Great white fluffy head with good retention.

S - Pine and citrus nose.

T - Bitter, bitter, bitter. Alcohol is hidden pretty well. But man is this a bitter one. Grapefruit and pine/resin notes as well.

M - medium carbonation, and a bitterness keeps on giving.

O - Decent DIPA, but it in California, it falls in the middle of pack.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.24/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Lost Abbey tulip.

Clear golden/amber body with about three finger of creamy white head. Head retention is awesome, and leaves plenty of lacing down the sides of the glass.

The nose exhibits notes of pears, mangos, peaches, weed, some fusel alcohol, orange rind, and grapefruit as well. Leans more towards the orange rind/grapefruit and alcohol as it warms.

The taste is grapefruit, and orange rind up front with some resin. Some citrusy notes as well. Hint of apricots.

Quite bitter, yet slightly sweet. Dry on the finish. Nicely carbonated, and alcohol/hop oils become slightly numbing on the tongue towards the end of the bottle.

Pretty damn good. It's been awhile since I have had a new IIPA that was this impressive.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy rusty orange with 2 inches of white foam that slowly faded and left a bit of lacing
S - lemon and grapefruit aroma with just a hint of malty sweetness
T - light in flavor, the same holds as the aroma, grapefruit with some lemon rind, there is a bit of a bitter finish. The rind type taste is a bit overpowering. It hides the alcohol very well.
M - good carbonation, medium bodied
D - very easy to drink, not heavy at all. enjoyable and very drinkable eventhough its 9.5%

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Photo of whatthehull
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a La Chouffe tulip

A - A very swampy red/orange, 3 finger creamy off white head and some okay lacing

S - Dank, stanky, pungent, tons of flowers, some serious pine and earth. Very sweet, tons of alcohol. Pine, citrus and lots of yeast, malt and more funk

T - Very sweet, tons of bitter on the back end, flowers, some nice alcohol, funky yeast, sap, pine, grass, wood, soil, tons of malt, lots of toasted everything and everything is over the top, wow

M - Huge, medium acidity, tons of bitterness, huge complexity, full bodied and well balanced (in the sense there is copious amounts of everything)

D - If you dabble in beer, stay away, this is not for you. If you love craft brew and intense beers, this is for you. It has everything any California IPA has, turned up to 11. One mre thing, the beer opens up after about 20min

Final thought - 9.5% abv is awesome. $12 a 750 ml, is not. The brewery is seriously dwon the street from me. Haha

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Photo of biegaman
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Gauntlet has a deep, dense complexion that might be quite intimidating if not for its orange marmalade colour. Still, it's fairly dark even for an IPA; apparently there's a chance that malt will play as big a part as hops in this rendition. Head retention of the off-white foam is good and sticks to both surface and sides alike like a wet tissue.

Just as when you get too close to a fire you feel the heat of its flames, get too close to this beer and its aroma gives off bitter resinous scents. You've been warned. You know exactly what to expect. It'll burn you. There's no candied or citrusy fruitiness, no pine notes - just a dank, long-steeped herbal bitterness that is more stank than it is seductive.

There's no doubt the brewery used enough hops. Whether or not they got the right kind of character out of them is another story. No fruity or piny notes were extracted, just a highly bitter resin. This batch tastes exceedingly 'green', both literally like raw plants as well as like a beer that has not been fully fermented. Seems like too many hops were added too soon in the boil and not enough later on. I'd focus less on kettle and more on aroma.

All this raw, green plant-like flavour comes with a lot of bitter minty character, like a hop tea. Your breath becomes awash in it. It is so bitter that it's spicy - like biting into the center of a cabbage (or, for you homebrewers, like biting into an actual hop cone). Again I can't shake the image of dropping pellets into a rolling boil; it is a very raw pungency. The alcohol adds some complexity on the finish, but it's not entirely desirable.

Iron Fist certainly runs your palate through the gauntlet with this IPA; hops undoubtedly rule with a giant iron fist but they make for a fairly ungratifying ale considering all the pungent, undesirable bitterness you've got to put up with for a flavour that is a less than agreeable. Add to it the $9.99 price tag and I'd say the overall experience was a little less than pleasing.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.52/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light brown? colored appearance. Good pine aroma, largely bitter.

Alcohol well hidden, but its a massive bitter bomb without enough hop mouthfeel. Pretty easy to drink, nice touch there, but its just so hard to be an impressive dipa, much less from CA these days. A little bit of citrus flavor comes in the more you drink of it, dull valencia orange.

A peculiar yeast taste to it. A little sweeter, definitely not a 'dry' ipa. Would drink it again, I dunno what it costs, was drank at a festival.

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The Gauntlet from Iron Fist Brewing Company
3.69 out of 5 based on 123 ratings.
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