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Old 21 Imperial IPA | The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works

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BA SCORE
87
very good
145 Reviews
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Old 21 Imperial IPAOld 21 Imperial IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
Ohio, United States
thebrewkettle.com

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by aracauna on 06-06-2004

BEER STATS
Reviews:
145
Ratings:
442
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
11.03%
 
 
Wants:
15
Gots:
55
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 145 | Ratings: 442
Photo of Omnium
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Pours a nice golden orange, thin soapy half a finger of head, little lacing.
S - Big juicy citrus up front, then some really sweet candied fruit, some alcohol, other sweet malt, definitely a dank quality to the hops.
T - Not bad, the 9.5% doesnt really come through in taste which is great, a nice bitter and tart citrus punch in front, big sweetness in the middle, finishes on the drier side.
M - Very clingy sweetness, mild bitter aftertaste.
O - Solid double IPA that packs a punch, and is still a bang for your buck.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Gorgeous golden color yields a bright white and foamy head. The aroma is light and grassy, earthy and dank with some whole cone and floral components. The flavor is earthy, floral, and bitter. There's a nutty malt and honeycomb flavor with a piney bitterness. This is a bit dank and earthy for my taste but it delivers a lot of flavor.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear copper color ale with a big foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma consists of quite bitter and slightly citrus hops. Taste is also dominated by some citrus and bitter hops with some medium caramel malt. Full body with good carbonation and no discernable alcohol. A bit one-dimensional for sure but well done nonetheless and better then expected.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Never backing away from the hops, another stellar IPA crawls out of the depths of The Brew Kettle's brew kettle! This time with an old-world balance and hop character to take the taste back to the days of America's mircrobrewery roots... if only there were imperial IPA back then.

It deep and hazy amber hue sheds light on the malt additions that it takes to bring some semblance of balance to this hop bomb. Piquant aromas of citrus peels, torn pine needles, and an array of exotic grasses. But its drippy sweet taste is laden with toffee, peanut brittle and mild toast.

Its malty-sweet middle slowly gives way to growing hop flavor, going from bright citrus to the piths and peels of white grapefruit, under-ripened oranges and verbena. An estery background allows glimpses of mango and apricot to pull forth and give much needed complexity to the earthy hop flavor.

But resembling true IPA in finish, the sweetness lifts and the bitterness sets in, full of its chloropyll-laden glory- grassy, stemmy, leafy and somewhat brazen in its hop-derived astringency. Its moderate warmth is spicy and only exacerbates the hop's bittering power.

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Photo of rudzud
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Miketd for sending me this beer. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice crystal clear copper/orange hue with an almost one finger white head that fades to leave a thin white blanket and thin side lacing.

S - Rather dankish. Not boozey though. Sigh; one gets spoiled with the likes of Heady Topper and hill Farmstead and the knee buckling aromas those bring to the table. This has some light malt sweetness, some biscuit, light pine, some almost faded citrus. Clearly, at one point this had pineapple aromas but this is quite faded now.

T - Taste is...dang. Far too sweet for my liking. Lots of honey like sweetness, some light booze, hop oil, slight pine, old pineapple and citrus. The sweetness though, that malty sweetness...gah!

M - Mouthfeel is pretty dark good for a 9.5% DIPA. While I dont know if one can gulp this back its still damn impressive, even with how sweet this is coming off now!

O - Overall its good, was probably really good at one point. The malty sweetness though I just really dont care for in a DIPA.

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Photo of maximum12
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to miketd for this bomber, rec'd in a recent trade. From a brewery new to me, & brewed with my favorite hops, Simcoe. Expectations are rising.

Split with my wife. Pours is pure IIPA, see-through bronze with a bit of orange spit polish. Smells...like Simcoe hops. Roll me in them & call it cologne.

Old 21 is steady as she goes. The Simcoe hops are up front, but held back from a taste of greatness by a cannonball of malts. The hops then drown in the ensuing cascade, & little to no bitterness, citrus, or anything else comes through in the aftertaste, which is all heavy sweets.

I need to admit I have a problem. I don't prefer my IPAs or IIPAs balanced, I'd like them to crush my tongue with a bruising handshake. This one's nicely balanced, which makes it...good. But it coulda been a contender. Good brew.

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Photo of schwemjw
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: A finger of head on a hazy copper brew.

S: A touch of tropics surrounded by sweet caramel malt. Orange juice and butterscotch immediately hit the nose. Pretty bready and malt forward for a DIPA

T: The hops are prevalent in the taste but nicely balanced with the malt. Sweet caramel and butterscotch at the tip of the tongue followed by orange and dry grapefruit. Earth characters dominate the middle. The finish starts out with a buttered biscuit that morphs into a citrus and a bitterness that hangs around.

M: Lighter bodied for a DIPA. a little warm in the end. surprisingly filling.

O: Pretty good stuff but nothing outstanding IMO. Very malt heavy for a double IPA. Definitely one everyone should try and at the price one i'll definitely pick up again. /86

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes to pimpmyporter for this extra.

Bomber split nd poured into my pint glass the beer is a golden orange hue with solid two fingers of thick white head. Good retention. Tons of sticky lace left around the glass after settling.

The aroma is mainly citrus hops. Plenty of grapefruit, oranges, and lemons. Light hints of pine can be picked out as well. The malt backbone is fairly strong and helps to balance the nose out.

The flavor is much more malt forward than the nose. The sweetness of the malt is very assertive. The hops are present in the form of piney bursts and a good bit of citrus. A bit sweeter than I had expected.

Medium creamy body. Moderate carbonation.

Overall a decent DIPA. The sweet malt makes this beer a bit hard to get through but nothing I can't swallow.

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Photo of lochef81
3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up on a buying trip to Ohio. Was searching for its little brother White Rajah and grabbed this one as well. Not dissappointed that I did. This ale pours a hazy dark amber color with a small off white head that gives way to a nice film and lacing. The nose is a balance of citrus/pine hops and roasted malt sweetness. The flavor far out weighs the nose. It is delicious and balanced. Overwhelming with a hoppy bitterness followed by a rich malty sweetness. It sips smooth but heavy and resinous in the mouth. This is a very good beer but nothing that isn't found in hundreds of other dipas.

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Photo of bigbluebeerguy
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz (undated) bottle into a tulip.

Pours a semi-hazy golden butterscotch in color, with a 2+ finger white head. Decent retention with a nice thin layer of lacing down a good portion of the glass.

Citrus aromas hit the nose first-grapefruit & orange primarily. Some pine aroma, and a definite, fleeting hint of cat urine.

Taste features the tropical fruit, some fairly sweet caramel malt in the middle, backed up by an oily hop takeover on the end.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Medium chewy body, lower carbonation, dry and bitter lingering finish. Alcohol is well hidden.

Overall, a very solid beer. Given the price, about 4.99 for the bomber IIRC, I will certainly pick this up again on my next trip to Cincy.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Half Acre tulip.

A- pours a hazy lemon color with a 2 finger white head. Small bubbles and trails of lacing remain on the glass.

S- honey, caramel, sweet citrus, slight grassy aroma.

T- very sweet caramel and honey, some brown sugar, lemon, oranges and pineapple with some citrus rind bitterness.

M- medium body and carbonation. Creamy, gritty, syrup and semi-dry finish.

O- not a bad dipa, but very sweet. Not sure the age on this, may be older and turned more Barleywine like? Would like to try again fresh just in case this bottle is old.

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Photo of meatyard
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks again to AltBock for this generous gift.

Pours a clear pale amber with considerable carbonation streams. The head is a 1" white color with pretty thick lacing and decent retention.
The smell is a bit of pineapple from a distance when poured but upon a closer smell it's definitely more of a citrus (orange/grapefruit) aroma with a dose of sweet malt.
The taste is fairly balanced between the citrus hops & sweet malt flavor. I get no bitterness at all.
Mouthfeel is a solid medium, sweet and well-carbonated.
Drinkability: If I'm going to drink a 9.5% DIPA, I want less balance and more hops so in that regard it leaves something to be desired. This is still a pleasant drinking beer that a 22oz bottle is suitable for a short session. If you're not looking West for a hop fix, I recommend trying this one.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Undated bottle at 40 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma of conifers
Head average (3 cm), off white, frothy, mostly lasting
Lacing poor – few small islands
Body medium orange, hazy
Flavor begins moderately bitter with piney goodness; bitterness decreases and a faint tropical fruitiness appears. No alcohol, no malt, no diacetyl
Palate medium, oily, soft carbonation

A good IPA – unfortunately the poor lacing detracts from the appearance. However, the piney flavors hide the alcohol well. Overall, pretty tasty.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An OH IIPA focused on Simcoe. The label says "A big, bold Imperial IPA. The clean malt plays a supporting role to the straight up Simcoe hops through and through that give this variety hop bomb its bang."

The beer is crystal clear, light copper color, with a few fingers of foam that lace in a nearly solid sheet on the galss. The aroma is strong Simcoe, sticky pine resin-like. Some sweetness from the malts, the non-carameliness of which I appreciate. This is a DIPA where the hops shine. The flavor is nearly abrasively hoppy, although the pale malt bill must be huge as the sweetness tomers the hops, bringing it near (but not over) the barleywine line.

Thick bodied for the style, lending more credibility to the barleywine comparisons. Adding the high ABV to the thick mouthfeel limits the drinkability a bit, still pretty good.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This bottle is stamped but I have no idea how to read the long line of numbers.

A - Pours a bright medium, clear copper gold color with a generous one fingered head with little to no carbonation.

S - Faded apricot, pine, citrus, and passion fruit. Overall, the nose is really lacking.

T - Faded apricot resin, passion fruit, citrus, earthy caramel malt buried underneath and finishes with a piney resin bitter finish.

M - Heavy medium body, velvety smooth with almost lack of carbonation on the palate.

O - Some alcohol effervescence but for 9.5% the majority of it is well hidden, very hop forward but still comes off as balanced. Good but doesn't stand out, I love D-IPA's but prefer White Rajah to this.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Bradaplast for sending this one! Reviewed from (old) notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into an Upland pint glass.

A: Hazy, fairly dark gold. A half-finger's worth of white head that doesn't stay around, and medium visible carbonation.

S: Pine and grapefruit hops up front, a touch of tropical fruit, bready sweet malts with mild caramel character. Nothing to get excited about - a pretty standard DIPA profile.

T: Resin, grapefruit pith, vegetal and herbal with a little melon as well for the hop profile. A big malt bill as well – sweet, bready, and caramel flavors. A sweet hit of ethanol. Orangey citrus and an unflavored alpha bitterness in the hang.

M: Medium body for style, carbonation sensation on the low side. It's fairly boozy but not completely obnoxious about it - still, quite noticeable.

O: I just don't think caramel malts mix with American hops, especially the fruit-forward varieties. There's nothing truly wrong with this beer – but nothing to make it stand out from countless other DIPAs that the brewery down the street makes…wherever you happen to be. Nothing to avoid if you happen across it, but nothing to seek out.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy copper orange. Creamy, off-white head; one and a half fingers with good retention and sheets of lace. Fresh american hop cone aroma; chinook and cascade like grapefruit and citrus/floral. Pale malt sweetness and slight crystal flavor with a touch of chocolate malt. Huge citrusy cascade and fruity chinook flavor wash over concealing the sweetness. Resinous aftertaste, with a good dose of alpha hop bitterness. Light-medium carbonation and medium full body, would be dry if it weren't quite so oily. Finishes somewhat dry, but more slick than anything. Fairly well put-together, but a little over board on showcasing hops without a balancing amount of malt.

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Photo of readbaron
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Schwaeh for the awesome extra. Pours a clear golden orange with tons of light white carbonation. Excellent lacing.

Lots of grapefruit and pine present in the nose. Dank, resinous and hoppy. There's something just a bit off at the end - almost a grainy/lager finish.

Taste is pretty good - very hoppy - bitter, piney, maybe a hint of citrus. The hops hit you like a hammer - not a lot of subtlety - almost hard to tell if there's anything else going on. As the palate adjusts more subltelties show up - some caramel malty sweetness, before again finishing lots of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is good. Medium bodied, maybe a touch sticky.

Overall - not as subtle and hoppier than I'd like, but a solid DIPA.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, with a finger of foamy bright-white head. This retains with roughly a ¼ finger of creamy froth, leaving back some good looking swathes of sticky lace. Floral hops and tropical fruit blow up in the nose, with notes of pine, grapefruit, spice, and a light dankness working themselves in as well. Grains had a soft doughy feel across the back. As this warms, the tropical fruit and herbal character picks up some strength.

The taste is aggressive with grapefruit bitterness and pine, which mostly controls the profile the whole way through into a strong finish of dry spiciness and a deep resinous feel that penetrates the tongue. A sticky blend of sweet fruit, malt, and herbal tones helps to soften things a bit from underneath but the hops definitely have some power here. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied and sharp on the tongue, with a slick firm creaminess that spreads out into the mouth. Unfortunately you start to feel every inch of that 9% ABV as this warms, which kept s back immensely on the drinkability of this after it sits for a while.

This was pretty darn decent initially, with some powerful yet fairly well balanced hop power to it but that big ABV eventually started to rear its ugly head and ruin the party. My advice is to pop the cap and drink this within the half hour or so.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. The label on mine is boring, but much less hideous than the one in the pic featured.

4.0 A: Clear light orange color. Two fingers of frothy/creamy white head. Retention is good and a tall ring of lacing is left.

4.0 S: I could smell hops as soon as I popped the cap. Plenty of hops in the form of floral, citrus, spicy, and sugary with plenty of dankness. Malts are clean overall with just the faintest touch of breadiness. Enticing.

3.5 T: Soft bitterness. Floral and citrus are back with emphasis on orange, but not as spicy as I expected. Pine enters the scene. Again, malts are clean and for the most part stay out of the hops way. Good, but lacking depth of flavor and intensity. Alcohol well hidden.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Could use a bit more creaminess. Slight warming booze on finish.

3.5 D: Good brew, but this isn't going to wow anyone's palate.

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Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Cleveland. Orangey colour with lasting significant whte head, 3/8" inch. Very mild hoppy aroma. An orange taste, about middling mouthfeel. One imensional, slightly off-note. Its the style, a high IBU, its drinkable, but its marginal compared to what else is available.

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Photo of stakem
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pub glass. Cheers and a thank you to Kegatron for gifting me with a bottle of this. It takes a hearty pour down the middle of the glass to produce a head about a finger strong that looks off-white and rapidly dissolves to a thin film across the top. Rising bubbles of carbonation help sustain the cap a bit and a light swirl revives. The brew sitting underneath is clear with a copper color.

The brew smells of caramel malt mixed with a bit of buttery toffee. Then the onset of hops comes into play which smells floral and fruity. It is a little strange to take note of the malt character of a DIPA first, but im not gonna like, I actually really like the way the caramel sweetness intertwines with the floral and fruity qualities of this aroma. It really works well in an atypical sort of way.

The taste is no shocker when compared to the aroma. It contains a toffee to caramel-like sweetness before the onset of fruity and floral hops. The hops are juicy and full flavored before the bitterness settles on the tongue. Once I pick up on the bitterness and focus on that, it becomes a bit more herbal and borderline piney with a bit of a mineral inclusion. there is a mild note of alcohol showing through on the backend which is a bit solvent almost like a neutral spirit like vodka. It is interesting that this is the only point in the experience where that 9.5% abv starts to show itself.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. For the most part it is clean and easy drinking for a 9.5% brew. This was a nice departure from the DIPA norm but honestly it isn't something I would want to buy a bunch of if I was looking for a hop bomb assault. Overall this is an easy approaching and enjoyable middle of the road brew.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

big thanks to TheBeerologist for sending this one my way. bottle label seems to have been updated since the current photo displayed, but this is defitely old 21...also says Simcoe TBK on the label. poured into an urthel tulip.

a - brew poured a crisp transparent orange witha generous offwhite classic frothy ipa head. some visible carbonation could be seen and the foamy head hung around looking chunky and creamy. lacing was fairly sticky.

s - nice citric hops could be smelled upon pouring the beer. closer inspection revealed some earthy graininess as well. lots of malt backbone.

t - much like the nose...lots of malts and simcoe. not sure on the age, but the bottle boasts about the malts as well as the simcoe so seems spot on. tastes nice, but for an imperial ipa, i tend to like more of a citric or sweaty sweet hop. the blend of the hop and malt works nicely and it feels kind of like juice. there is a toffee-ness to the malt that compliments the hop for a sweet pleasurable flavor.

m - medium bodied, soft carbonation. smooth, juice-like.

o - overall this is a good beer, but in the crazy world that is imperial ipas these days, there are better options. i did enjoy it thoroughly, but for the style...it doesn't lead the pack. great local that i'd happily have again.

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Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a couple of inches of foam; the retention was stellar, with a few patches of lace sticking to the side of the glass

Smell: Smells more malty than hoppy, with a butterscotch character dominant; pith and pine, underneath

Taste: Very sweet, up front, with the butterscotch dominating the flavor through the middle, as well, though there is an assertive piney bitterness that builds; the hops finally win the tug of war, after the swallow, though there is a lingering sweetness on the tip of the tongue in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Overall: Perhaps this bottle is old (though I just bought it in a highly rated Cleveland shop), but I was surprised at the understated hop presence; given how much I liked White Rajah, I was doubly disappointed that this beer failed to live up to that beer's example

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Photo of buschbeer
3.57/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle
Served in an imperial nonic glass

A - It pours an orange/amber with two fingers of off white head.

S - It gives off a nice citrus aroma.

T - The citrus is there with a bitter finish.

M - It seems awfully thin to me.

D - It almost tastes more like an IPA rather than an imperial. I like the ABV, but it lacks the fullness of flavor and aroma that I would like to see.

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Old 21 Imperial IPA from The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
3.9 out of 5 based on 442 ratings.
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