Whiskey River IPA | Catawba Brewing Co.

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16 Ratings

Brewed by:
Catawba Brewing Co.
North Carolina, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mntlover on 08-20-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 16 |  Reviews: 14
Reviews by Norfawkers:
Photo of Norfawkers
3.94/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It tastes like a stick of butter; not what I was expecting. It takes some getting used to but I would not consider this an IPA.

Appearance: Clear amber with no head

Smell: Whiskey, you can smell the alcohol

Taste: Creamy butter bread that masks the already faint hoppy kick

Mouthfeel: Creamy smooth with a bitter finish

Drinkability: An interesting, unique stand alone that could use some more hops; not bad if you are a bit more experimental

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More User Reviews:
Photo of merlin48
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler from Bruisin Ales in Asheville, brewery sealed and delivered to the store three days ago. Refrigerated in a cooler on ice for the two and a half hour drive back to east Tennessee. Pours a mostly clear, radiant orange amber body. Tall almond head drops quickly, splotching the glass with lumps of lace.

Aroma opens with some oak tones, followed quickly by vanilla and pink grapefruit. Tennessee whiskey notes creep in as it warms. Pine and grassy hops are also suggested, along with some toasty caramel.

Mouthfeel reveals a smooth medium body, with a soft medium carbonation. Creamy at times.

Taste opens with a citrusy hop bitterness that is mostly pink grapefruit, but edged with a prominent pine bite. Earthy and grassy hop notes weave in and out. Nice toasty caramel malt base is very supportive. Vanilla is present throughout. Oak tones impart an interesting woodsiness and a hint of char. I didn't find the Jack Daniels presence to be a major player except in the aftertaste, where it is very prominent.

Very nicely done. The Jack Daniels Tennessee whiskey barrels add a nice complexity without being overbearing.

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Photo of glid02
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Barley's in Asheville.

Pours a deep copper color with a half-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of pine hops, caramel malts, whiskey, and vanilla. I can't say which is the most fragrant and which is the least fragrant, it seems as though every whiff is a new combination of the four.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Caramel malt and vanilla flavors up front are joined shortly by large amounts of pine and citrus hop flavors. The whiskey flavor doesn't really kick in until midway through the sip but carries through until the mildly bitter ending. Mild vanilla and whiskey flavors linger for a bit after the sip.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass entirely too quickly and could have easily had a few more.

Overall I thought this BA-IPA wasn't too overdone and the decision to dry hop was a good one. Recommended if you see it around.

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Photo of Bung
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At Macs in Charlotte. Golden/orange pour, maybe a finer of off white head. Just barely laces the glass.

Aroma has a surprising amount of barrel prescence. Vanilla and oak intertwine with zest and herbal pine.

Taste they intertwine even more, but even better. Very interesting how the vanilla and oak merge with the piney hops, orange and lemon citrus. Very unique.

Medium bodied, could be a little lighter and a little less sticky. Still good. There is a definete warmth to it, aided by the barrel charcteristics. Has a creaminess to it that makes it very drinkable however.

Not bad, get one if you see it.

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Photo of GrandpaGeorg
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Mac's Speed Shop (Steele Creek). I only sampled this beer, but would have enjoyed a much larger glass. Tan to amber in the glass with somewhat opaque yellow highlights. Some carbonation visible, but this isn't about the carbonation. A definite whisky-like scent in the nose. Ironically, the taste is at first IPA (almost Belgian in its complexity) with nicely balanced malt and rich fruity hops that is immediately followed by the whiskey flavor (again, felt mostly in the nose) that provides both a rich oak flavor and a nice dry finish. A touch higher ABV renders it a sipping beer, but one that goes very well with the stellar BBQ at Mac's.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had been waiting a while to try this one to be honest. I have heard great things, and the stout I found to be fantastic so I had to seek out the IPA. Served in a pint glass and consumed on 02/09/2010.
The pour was very nice, almost exactly what I would expect. Nice medium amber in color with a small, but stable head of white foam hanging out on the top of it. This settles down smoothly and evenly across the middle of the glass and leaves a fine trail along the sides. Aroma is heavenly. Light citrus hops that are undercut perfectly by light oak notes and rich warm vanilla. The combination just seems like it was made for one and another. Warming brings this one step further, lovely, warm notes just seem to drip off the air and subtle vanilla just warms you from the inside out. Rich, creamy body is far thicker then a normal IPA and comes equipped with that nice smooth delivery. Rich, warm flavors wash over the tongue. Oak, vanilla, hints of light grasses all compliments the smooth citrus hopes perfectly. Such a rich and creamy feel to it, and ridiculously mellow as the 7.2% is wonderfully hidden.
Overall this would be a go to in my house on a daily basis if I could. It really was just that good. If you are up in Asheville you need to check this one out, one of the best and most interesting things I have tried in a very, very long time.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.49/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Barley's Taproom.
mtnlover already described the process behind this beer very well.
Comes in a pint glass a hazy burnt orange color with no head. Just a small halo around the rim.
The whisky and hops are very noticable in the nose. I drink the Firewater IPA as often as I can and this smells much more hoppy.
The taste starts out kind of fruity. Lot's of melon flavors. I taste cantalope. The whisky flavors are also much more noticable than I expected. It's definately there and sometimes dominate. The finish is very hoppy. This is much more hoppy than the Firewater and Catawba Valley's hoppiest beer to date. The intense hoppiness and the whisky flavors are supported by a nice malt backbone to balance all out. This is a very strong beer flavor wise but not an unbalanced one.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied and the whisky and hops wreck havock on the tastebuds.
It's definately not a session beer for me, but I still gave it a good drinkability rating because it's just so darn tasty.
Kudo's to Scott Pyatt at Catawba Valley Brewing for crafting a damn fine beer.
I consider this a must try if you have the chance.

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Photo of mntlover
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Barley's Asheville NC, Firewater IPA that has been double dry hopped and aged in oak barrels from a Tennesse Whiskey distillery for six months, then cask conditioned for secondary fermentation and natural carbonation. I was told its a limited release when asked.

Pours a deep darker amber its hazy some brownish tints. No real head due to bartender wanting the glass full. A ring of small bubble clings to the glass and leaves some lace behind though.

Aroma is malty with Jim Beam like whiskey notes some subdued deep citrus underneath the malt and wiskey. Served too cold for my likes, might of hurt the aroma a little.

Taste is good, malt mingled with light whiskey flavors, not overdone as some barrel aged stuff. Overall taste is maltier then their regular IPA almost like the barrels are adding body along with the flavor, barrels also cut down on the hop presence or over power it. Some lingering grapefruit /citrus is noted in the finish along with the lingering Jim Bean flavors but hops are underneath it all.

Mouthfeel is a good heavy medium with good medium level of carbonation.

Drinkability is good overall a nice beer and a must try if in Barley's. Kudos to Catawba Valley for brewing this brew NC has come a long way in a year.

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Photo of Enola
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was great. We drove all the way to Asheville to sample. The beer was a deep burnt orange with little head. The smell was hoppy with a hint of Jack Daniels. The taste did not show the whiskey flavor I had hoped for...at first. As it warmed this beer became a JD bomb. Man this beer was kicked up a notch. The hoppiness is much more noticable. The mouthfeel is on the edge of whiskey burn. The drinkability is good but watch out because it will sneak up on you. One of the finest whiskey barrel aged beers I have had if not the finest. One of the brewers best.

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Photo of drperm
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Barley's, Asheville, 17 Aug.09

Appearance: Unassuming, cloudy IPA look. But, I *like* the unassuming IPA look. A pretty, glowing orange.

Aroma: Whiskey! Strong, prominent honey-whiskey note, followed by a very pleasing hop aroma. Lovely.

Taste: If you don't like whiskey, don't drink this beer. Me, I love whiskey. This is incredible! It's like someone dropped an Elijah Craig into my pint when I wasn't looking. The smoothest of smooth hop finishes leaves my tongue craving more.

Palate: Perfect. No more to say.

Overall: I can't praise this enough. Try it alone, or with a Barley's Caribbean pizza with pineapple.

I am incredibly impressed.

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Photo of Deuane
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep copper kissed golden with a thin off-white head. The head reduced to a wispy veil that left spotty lace.

S-Rich caramel malt, vanilla, oak and a pop of spicy hops. A wonderful melding of scents.

T-Caramel malt and vanilla battle it out with spicy pine and citrus hops. Jack Daniels flavour kicks more and more with warming. Nice oak dryness in the finish.

M-Medium bodied, fairly rich and smooth with long lingering flvours and whiskey bite.

D-Damn nice. One of the more enjoyable barrel aged IPA I have had....which have not been too many but... This is one I look forward to enjoying each and every time I get to Asheville.

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Photo of ToasterChef
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from my tasting notes. Had on tap at Barley's Taproom & Pizzeria in Asheville. According to the beer menu, this is a double dry-hopped IPA aged in Tennessee whiskey barrels. It is colored dark orange with a thin skim of bubbles. The aroma is floral, fruity and slightly sweet. There is a maltiness to the taste and some non-bitter hops. There is a fruitness to the flavor that reminds me of apricot preserves. It has low carbonation and a full body. I could drink a few of these, but couldn't stick with it all night. Since it is a moderately rare beer, I would suggest you try it if you ever get the opportunity.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber and slightly cloudy with a fairly nice head. Dry and earthy in the nose and mouth with some clean graininess followed by some earthy/piney hops. Smooth in the mouth, and pretty nicely balanced. Unusually dry for an IPA, and nice for a change for that reason alone.

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Photo of everetends
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler of this from Bruisin Ales in Asheville, NC. I was sold when I was told it was an IPA aged in Jack Daniel's barrels. Served up in my Dogfish Head shaped pint.

A: Pours a pretty still honey colored dark yellow body. The growler pour yielded about half a finger of white head, but the growler process does tend to keep the carbonation level low. The head disappears rather quickly due to this. This beer is crystal clear and is quite vibrant. It still has a nice and lazy carbonation movement in here. It looks good but I can't give it anything more than that in this category. Probably much nicer on tap I imagine.

S: Smell is actually very well representative of the whiskey presence. Nice vanilla notes and wood aging are absolutely present. Kinda smells like a Jack on the rocks, but the ice has melted a bit to thin it out. There is a nice pine hops presence making itself known, which works very nicely with the whiskey aromas. Caramel malts round this off with some added sweetness. Very nice indeed.

T: Almost exactly like the aroma. First up you get a very nice and light whiskey flavor. Yet again not much unlike a slightly watered down Jack on the rocks. Vanilla and wood are evident, slight touch of a metallic character which isn't bad. Malts are a bit sweet but they work very well with that malty whiskey flavor. Hops bitterness rounds out the experience with some pine resin. This is very nice because a lot of other whiskey aged IPAs tend to lose that hops presence, this holds onto it pretty well. Dig this fo sho.

M: Medium bodied feel that is a bit slick and sticky. For the the very present whiskey flavor, the ABV is pretty tame. All of the flavor but none of the burn. Very good there. Has some bitterness to it. Carbonation is low but expected. Aftertaste is all piney hops goodness.

D: Very nice indeed. Easy drinking, refreshing, and has a ton of flavor to it. That is a killer combo. This growler will not be hard at all to kill off. The flavors work so well as I have found they tend to do in whiskey aged IPAs. Very glad I chose this growler over the many that were at Bruisin Ales this weekend. Will savor and destroy this jug. Damned tasty.

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Photo of jrob21
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of NCBeernut
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Whiskey River IPA from Catawba Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 16 ratings