Li'l Napoleon
Pensacola Bay Brewery

Li'l NapoleonLi'l Napoleon
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American IPA
Ranked #6,292
Ranked #39,008
3.63 | pDev: 15.15%
Pensacola Bay Brewery
Florida, United States
Li'l NapoleonLi'l Napoleon
Notes: Napoleon never set foot on Florida’s shores, but if he did, we’re sure he’d be looking for a way to conquer the land from coast to coast. He’d probably have some supporters – after all, the French helped settle Pensacola.

Our Li’l Napoleon was christened in the name of all short bastards – the good, the bad and the infamous. Strong and hoppy, Li’l Napoleon can sneak up on you if you let it. With a smooth caramel and honey finish, you’ll want to have a second. And probably a third.

Take time to savor the good ole days, when the French had power and Florida was a territory waiting to be developed. We reckon Napoleon would be proud of the IPA that bears his name. (Aside from his hatred of all things English, naturally).

70 IBU
Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 92
4.75/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A very good IPA.
L: Poured fresh bottle to Solo cup at Peg Leg Pete’s in Pensacola FL.
S:Smells good. Hoppy fruiy fresh.
T: Tastes good.
Fm: Feels good.

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Photo of Korbynlehr
3.72/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can someone say HONEYSUCKLE? The nose has a strong perfume that wreakes of honeysuckle. The beer pours with a great deal of carbonation. So much carbonation, the head has little to no chance to disperse. The bitterness is strong. The feel is quick, but unlike the head disperses quickly.

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Photo of tone77
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has an orange color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of melons, some peaches. Taste is malts, melons, light bitterness, easy drinking but lacking in hops. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall, not a bad beer, but drinks more like a pale ale than an IPA.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.69/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pensacola Lil Napoleon

Pours a copper color, white head and some lace. Fair clarity with a chill haze. Aroma of herbal hops, a bit'of grapefruit. In the taste, fresh pine and grapefruit, fairly bitter. A bit of herb, pith and leans towards bitter with a light pale malt backing. Light bodied, crisp, quaffable and refreshing. This is what I would hope to drink if I vacationed to Pensacola.

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Photo of silverking
3.81/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- It pours a hazy amber with one finger of rocky light tan head. Head retention is excelent and there are well defined rings of lacing left down teh sides of my glass.

S- There are distinct notes of melon intertwined with powerful notes of citrus. There are very light touches of caramel as well.

T- lemon zest up front. There is a nuttiness mid-palate with a little caramel. The finish is long with intense flavors of grapefruit and lemon peel.

M- medium bodied, mildly creamy. the finish is crisp and clean.

O- It's good, but I wasn't blown away

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.16/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Pours a coppery amber color, with an off white head, nice lacing, good retention. Light citrus notes, caramel malt sweetness, bread, and some nuts. Light bitterness, citrus, bread, caramel. Good mouthfeel, soft, slick, good carbonation. Overall, it's quite average in the end. I see freshness dates on the side, but unfortunately, there's nothing notched, so I don't know where this bottle lies freshness wise...

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Photo of nickfl
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of off white foam on top of a perfectly clear, amber brown body. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves light lace on the glass.

S - Caramel malt with toffee and pine hops notes with a little spice in the background.

T - Sweet, thick malt up front with some toffee and brown sugar notes. A barleywine like hop profile emerges in the middle with mustardy notes and some pine. Finishes with notes of pepper, pine, spices and lingering caramel.

M - A fairly thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Not bad, this is definitely an "East Coast" IPA and not something that is going to excite hard core hop heads. That said, it is a well made beer and as the name implies, it does seem like a much bigger beer than it is. If it were a couple of percentage points stronger, it would straddle the line between IPA and barleywine.

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Photo of Apostlebrews
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Continuing my exploration of Florida's finest, today's review comes from Pensacola Bay Brewery. This brewery is located in the heart of Pensacola's historic district. In fact, it's the city's first full-scale brewery since prohibition, and for a while, they were not actually allowed to sell beer on their premises. So, to get around the laws, patrons could buy the glass (empty) and receive free beer. Not a bad deal!

I picked up Li'l Napoleon from Total Wine in Jacksonville. This is actually my first taste of anything from Pensacola; so I was quite eager to give it a go!

The aroma is pretty mild. There are hints of hops on the nose, but there's nothing overwhelming. I was pretty surprised at how absent the aroma is given that it's an IPA--a style that usually has a strong aroma.

For everything the nose is lacking, the flavors make up. Li'l Napoleon is a citrus punch in the face. Lots of hop-bitterness, citrus freshness, and not a whole lot anything else (and that's not a bad thing). Very little sweetness or malt to speak of beyond the fructose-like-flavors that come from the citrus profile. The finish is crisp, clean, and slightly dry. Overall satisfying and exactly what I'm looking for in an IPA.

As I mentioned above, this is my first beer from Pensacola Bay and it definitely doesn't disappoint. Li'l Napoleon is just an old fashioned American IPA and that's all it tries to be. I appreciate the fact that Pensacola Bay Brewery didn't try to be too experimental with this. It's exactly what a solid IPA is supposed to taste like. It's hoppy. It's floral. It's refreshing. What more do you need from an IPA?

Check me out on Twitter (@beeraposle) or on my blog (


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Photo of RedSnapper
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sitting in a craft beer bar, you can get a feel for the quality of a beer as far as the comments of the people drinking it. This IPA is liked by experienced craft beer dinkers as well as newbies to unpasturized cold beers. It rates very high. With a hint of the citrus trees that grow in a church yard across the street and the scent of the pine trees growing on the beach at Ft Pickens across the bay, this beer seems almost hisrorical---as if the French put their best into this Spanish village. If Napolean approved anything other than cognac it would be the taste, scent and drinkability of this beer.

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Photo of david18
2.67/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had a draft of this at the Pensacola airport on my way to Gulf Shores Alabama. Not really that good but I was glad to see local beer at such a small, remote establishment.

Appearance was a clear amber, fizzy head that dissipated pretty quickly.

Aroma was very disappointing for an IPA. Some citrus, maybe some pine but really not much of anything.

Flavor as well was a bit underwhelming. Better that fizzy yellow but not really an IPA.

Try it but don't expect too much.

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Photo of charlzm
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed at brewery March 10th, 2012.

Appearance: clear, medium orange/amber. Nice off white head with excellent sheeting.

Hoppy aroma: lightly citric with apricots and white peach.

Flavor from the hops continues from the nose with the addition of red grapefruit. Flavor is unexpectedly mild. Malt flavor is MIA. Bitterness is moderate.

Slightly dry and lively on the tongue.

Not a palate-scraping west coast monster, this AIPA would benefit from a malt presence on the palate. Otherwise, nicely done.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had from the tap a clear copper-gold with two fingers of bright white head.

Aroma of pine resin, floral notes and caramel malts.

Hoppy taste of pine along with a light fruitiness and caramel malts.

Medium bodied and a bit dry with a moderate carbonation.

My first beer from Pensacola Bay Brewery and it's a winner.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: thin head on a clear amber and gold body with decednt lacing.

S: very piney with a tangy touch. nice caramel malt background.

T: more pine in the flavor with a light citrus hop note however the citrus doesn't provide sweetness. honey and caramel notes.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: definitely a good one if you want a pine dominated IPA.

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Photo of abeerlovr
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had a pint of this at Hopjacks Pizza Kitchen & Taproom on Sunday, September 25, 2011. I specify the date as this beer was phenomenal. I have had it in the past but is seems that this new brewery had hit the nail on the head and perfected its recipe.

A: nice hazy golden color with nice head that stuck around for awhile, good lacing on the glass.

S: this is always my weakest review as I typically have stuffed sinuses...some detections of citrus, hops, wheat.

T: delicious, this rivals some very well known IPAs and is on point for an IPA as far as style characteristics. Had the citrus peel/grapefruit flavor, lots of hops, spices nice refreshing drink.

M: I had ridden my bicycle to the pub and needed a refreshing drink, this hit the spot. Crisp, full of effervescence.

Overall: I have had this beer several times now and this was the best batch thus far. Hope the brewery will be consistent as this could be the beer that launches a thousand barrels. Also hope they start bottling soon. Great job guys.

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Photo of JayS2629
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a thick white head that fades slowly and leaves sticky lacing.

The aroma is of caramel, toasted bread, melon, floral hops, and citrus.

The flavor tends toward melon, pineapple and orange with some floral honey suckle notes and orange blossom.

Good balance, slightly watery

Overall, good beer.

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Photo of jgurley
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Mellow Mushroom in PCB. Served in a 10 oz schooner glass with no head. Dark, nearly brown amber. Smell is strictly piney hops. Too cold to have a lot on the nose. Taste is pineapple, orange rind, mango and pine. Not much sweetness here. Dryness works well with the salty pizza. Low carbonation and resiny mouthfeel. Dry, bitter finish.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sereved on tap at the brewery in a branded American pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy amber color with a thick, medium-sized off-white head that leaves behind hick lace.

Smell: Bready malt with some herbal hop backing.

Taste: Begins citric and mildly bitter, rounding out to bitter and melony hops and finishing very balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with rounded carbonation and a sticky finish.

Overall: A solid, enjoyable IPA. Highly recommended.

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Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint served at brewery.

IBU = 70

A well made IPA with substantial hop flavor but lots of malt for balance. Malt is at least as strong as the hops in the aroma, and surprisingly pronounced in hte inital taste, but this IPA has a strong biter hop finish.

A - Clear dark amber. Off-white head has moderate retention; medium carbonation.

Malt/hop balance too high for style? probably, but this was forgivable given the fine mix of flavors. Recommended.

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Photo of boss302
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lil Napoleon IPA, 1 week after this establishment opening in November 2010.

A Orange amber color, some head, but not significant 4

S Nice citrusy hop aroma, some breadyalt aroma also. 4

T Big hop hit at first, followed by some nice roasted malt, a little diacetyl, but it's good and doesn't detract.  Finish is clean. 4.5.

M Med to heavy body, good thickness, could use more carbonation. 4

D This and the Brown were the best beers on this day. This one was my favorite. 4

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Li'l Napoleon from Pensacola Bay Brewery
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 92 ratings