Monumental IPA | Port City Brewing

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Monumental IPAMonumental IPA
Monumental IPAMonumental IPA

Brewed by:
Port City Brewing
Virginia, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
DC is known as the City of Monuments, and our Monumental IPA is a fitting tribute. Monumental IPA is distinctive for its complex aromas and flavors, and it strikes a perfect balance between hoppy bitterness and malty sweetness.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 97 | Ratings: 438
Photo of hdf561
1.65/5  rDev -53.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Had in a bottle from local Kroger make your own 6 pack...initial smell is harsh it makes my skin crawl and shudder, can get small hints of caramel but it's mostly hoppy.

Taste is very bitter Carmel notes but bitter. Finish is actually smoother than the initial taste but still a hard bitter drink. This is just not for me.

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Photo of yourefragile
1.88/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a murky, orange amber with a fleeting, thin off white that quickly fades to nearly nothing with no lacing.

Aroma is...not good. Smells like an out of code APA. There are some light citrus hops, but this is dominated by a tangy, stale caramel malt aroma and dry yeast.

The flavor isn't horrible but completely fails at being an IPA. Resembles a mildly hoppy amber that has a light cloying, yeasty finish. Orange and citrus hops are present, providing more dryness than bitterness. Malt dominates this, with vert little hop presence for as fresh as this beer is.

Mouthfeel is medium thick and mildly syrupy due to the extremely low carbonation.

Ugh. Very excited to try something new, fresh and local but this misses the mark for me, regardless of what style I pretend it is. Some of the other Port City beers show more promise but IMO this is one worth abandoning.

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Photo of Munkaboo
2.22/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On tap at Galaxy Hut...

Appearance: Looked like an IPA, okay cool!

Smell: What the heck? This does not have any scent of hops...

Taste: What...? This tastes like a muddled Pale Ale. Very little hops to speak of, verrrry malty, not at all like an American IPA

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel was okay, nothing major.

Overall: Hopheads, AVOID THIS BEER. They have a lot to work on with this beer. The Porter was MUCH MUCH better. If you like balance, I guess it would be okay?

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Photo of Lunch
2.24/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Served on-tap at the Evening Star Cafe in Alexandria, VA into a shaker pint while watching Huhzubendah do his musician thing.

I am always surprised when a beer makes it out in distribution that is obviously sub-par for the style. I mean...seriously...did the brewers just forget to taste this one before they shipped it out the door? This is certainly a beer that can be consumed as it tastes like one of the beers that is asks for at some run down bar in the goddamn middle of nowhere when a patrons asks the barkeep for a any old nondescript glass of what-have-you.

I'm no brewmaster, far from it, but this concoction contains almost zero of the aspects that formulate the style known as the American IPA. I get no hops in the smell or taste as I attempt to shovel this malty mess into my gullet.

I like to always give beers a proper taste before drawing any conclusions and by some force greater than that of the good ole Arab Jew that hung on that wooden lower-case 't' many moons ago was I able to get about 5/6 of this pint into my bloodstream. My body and mind were none too happy about that.

I'm all for supporting local breweries, but this was just such a sad attempt at the style that I am frankly insulted. It is confusing to say the least at how many breweries continue to churn out poor examples of the American IPA. I want the rectangular pieces of paper with old and dead white men back that I swapped in order to punish my liver and my toilet with this sad example of one of my favorite styles of beer.

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Photo of drabmuh
2.3/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm sorry this is the worst beer from this brewery sitar. Truly gross. Beer is brown! Hazy with a thin head nonlacing low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet and gross, buttery.

Beer is thick and not hoppy. It is goriss and buttery. Diacetyl mess. I'm truly and completely disappointed.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.31/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to Andrew for sending me this bottle as an extra.

A: The pour is amber in color with a small and short lived white head.

S: Smells mostly of sour and overcooked grain. Some grassy and straw sort of hop aromas can't really do much to salvage the beer. Just has a really lemony, sort of sour, aroma that is far too pervasive to really smell anything else.

T: The flavor is not any better. Bitter and slightly buttery are the best words to describe the flavor. There is some of that sourness that the nose had as well. Some grass and mild citrus hop flavors are present, but don't do much to help.

M: Medium in body with a low to medium level of carbonation.

O: This was just unpleasant. Not the flavors I look for in an IPA (or really any beer).

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Photo of THECPJ
2.38/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes: Share with a generous BA at Evolution Brewery during Menagerie #5 release.

appearance: copper orange with 1 finger head

smell: sweet malts, little hop characteristic

taste: sweet malts, no hop presence

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body

overall: this beer did not impress me at all. I've had hoppier Pale ales then what this offered.


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Photo of ALBuff
2.45/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

The overall appearance of this beer is sadly it's most monumental quality. It pours a hazy golden amber with a thin, lacy head that sticks to the sides of the glass, and slowly slips down the sides with every sip. It's visually quite appealing. Unfortunately, though, that's where my compliments stop. There's really no significant hops fragrance here, and quite frankly, the malts-which are the stand outs-are hard to pick up too. The taste and mouthfeel are the least enjoyable qualities here: one dimensional with a sweet malty backbone quickly replaced with a bitter, dry finish reminiscent of the first time I tried an acorn. The sweetness dissipates almost immediately, and is rapidly replaced with bitterness and a strong desire to comb my tongue.

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Photo of DefenCorps
2.58/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle, $1.99 from the Village Pump. All out of Summer Love, so I'll grab some ticks instead.

Pouring a coppery amber with a thin white head that falls off leaving little lacing, this is too dark for an IPA. The nose has a huge amount of caramel, toffee and butterscotch, with a minimal hop presence. Mild candied orange and grapefruit notes are present in the back, but mostly, this has a ton of malt. Just a touch of butter as well. And maybe some Cascades?

The palate opens with a lot of malt. Toffee, caramel, some butterscotch, with a mild hop presence. The hop character is a faintly bitter Cascade flavor with a mild candied orange fruitiness and no pleasing bitterness. Again, the water seems a little too mineral-heavy, lending an unpleasant harshness to the palate. No off-flavors here IMO. Medium in body with moderate carbonation, this beer is too sweet for an IPA, not nearly bitter enough and lacking in hop flavor and aroma. There's nothing really to like here.

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Photo of kevinv
2.73/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass. No freshness dating noted on the bottle.

A - Pours a deep copper with a 1 finger off-white head. Decent head retention, little to no lacing, no visible carbonation.

S - Malt dominates the nose and overpowers whatever hop additions there are. I'm getting caramel and bready malt notes. Orange peel and a light citrusy hop presence makes itself seen as the beer warms a bit.

T - The taste is similar to the nose - bready, caramely, toasty malt. Floral and earthy hops are a little more prevalent in the taste. Moderate bitterness with a drying finish. Light notes of toffee in the aftertaste.

M - Low/medium mouthfeel with a light carbonation.

D - The drinkability is good, but this beer doesn't seem to fit well into the American IPA style. I'm glad to see another local brewery in the area. I'll still purchase this one again in the future, but now I'm more aware of what to expect.

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Photo of mdfb79
2.73/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From 06/11/11 notes. I've had this one on tap at the brewery and from a growler, reviewing this one from a 12 oz. bottle. Poured into a pint glass.

a - Pours a murky dark orange color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of light citrus hops, light fruit, caramel malts, bready malts, and toasted malts.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, and a little bit bitter. Also tastes of bready and toasted malts. A little too bitter with not a lot of hops; not that great.

m - Medium body and moderate to high carbonation. A little too carbonated.

o - Overall a below average IPA, and probably the worst of the Port City offerings. Go for their Porter and Wit first.

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Photo of Daniellobo
2.74/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fair if a bit forgettable IPA

Presentation: 12 oz brown capped bottle. Simple red label with a radial design presided by the brewery identity and the name of the brew, again not a bad design but a bit generic and lazy. Shows 6.3% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Medium to deep amber pour, 1/2" inch frothy head, moderate retention, fair surface memory, and good lacing lacing.

S - Faint hoppy touch, generic bitterness, caramel sense. Pleasing but not very IPA like.

T - Generic bitterness, hop character is very subdued and unremarkable, caramel sense in the backbone sustaining the brew... There is a buttery hint that for an instant risks pushing the brew down.

M - Medium-light body and carbonation, bitterness while there does not really hit the palate and actually an almost creamy light sense permeates the mouth.

O - It can be had but it is pretty unremarkable.

Notes: It is not that bad but they are not going to dent much of a presence with this offering. Again a welcome addition to the region but for now I'd stay closer to their porter with a difference.

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Photo of vandemonian
2.74/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I love the Port City Porter, but the Monumental IPA was a big disappointment. Maybe my bottle was old. Where were the hops???

A: Orange amber colour and a 5 mm head that fades very quick. 3.5

S: Not a strong smell other than grain and dust. Very dissapointing. 2

T: Malty with a little tangy grapefruit. There is also a little sweet honey. Not much hops. A little disappointing. 3

M: Not strongly carbonated. 3.5

O: 2.5

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.76/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.
6.3% ABV, no date.

Thanks to Thorpe429 for another local!

A - Cloudy to the core, this dirty apricot-colored IPA is topped by a bone-colored head with low retention but some nice lace adorning the glass.

S - Resiny bitter hops appear weak in the nose and are backed be equally weak bready amber and caramel malt. Faint for an IPA, I'm digging to pull anything from this.

T - Bready amber malt and caramel sweetness provide a good base for the low hop presence. Resiny and pine-laden with mild citrus undertones. No dimension or hop complexity.

M - Medium-bodied and "balanced" I suppose. The sweet malt is there but it's not balancing the would-be bitter IPA-like hops. Instead the mild hop presence is just balancing the malt.

O - Like Port City's Essential Pale Ale, this beer has a good malt base, hop additions to the boil as well as dry-hopping need serious tweaking though. Monumental this one is not.

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Photo of SummitVA
2.83/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Amber pour with rocky head that lingers as I drink.

S - Malt above all else, with some citrus-y hop character backed with some pine, as well. Huge caramel.

T - Malt character dominates hops, although a moderate amount of citrus and pine hop flavor comes through. Bitterness in the finish is muddled by the overall sweetness of the beer. Some breadiness/biscuity quality, but sweet caramel predominates.

M - On the heavier side of light for my palate.

O - Another sweet East Coast IPA with only moderate hop flavor, something that is just not my cup of tea. Would be less hard on this beer is there were some malt complexity, but it's just a caramel bomb. I'll happily try all of the new Port City offerings, and I'm happy they are here, but I won't be seeking this brew out again.

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Photo of AgentMunky
2.91/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Served in a pint glass at 3 in Charlottesville. From notes. Reviewed 21 June 2011.

A: Cloudy/murky, barely no head, orangey-brown.

S: Soft fruit (apricot?) and *maybe* a touch of hops. I have my suspicions about the taps at this bar/eatery.

T: Milld and fruity. It doesn't taste like 6.3% or an IPA. Lagery? Not really, but it's similarly light and quenching. Not much main flavour and only a faint bitterness on the endtaste.

M: Carbonated and vaguely malty.

O: Not impressive, but it's not quite *bad*. Not recommended. I would NOT have another.

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Photo of HopsandPots
2.91/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle brought from the brewery with 2342 A1 1333 on the bottom

A-Amber with a slight head.

S- Smells of toasty sweet malt, but nothing else really stands out. Maybe some blood orange.

T- Toasty and sweet, followed by a bitter finish leaving the palate dry

M- A tangy cloying mix of bitterness and sweetness coats the mouth

Overall- Meh. I've had better, I've had worse. It leaves much to be desired, but I can drink some of these over time.

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Photo of localone703
3.01/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Let me tell you why this IPA is disappointing. IT'S BORING. The folks at Port City certainly know how to craft professional quality beer - no flaws or off flavors - but aside from their porter, they have decided that despite all evidence to the contrary, today's craft beer scene wants innocuous flavors as if the A-B executives were right in assuming that forward-flavored beers will scare people off.

But this is craft beer, not macro lager. To start out of the gate in 2011 with an IPA that tastes fruity, with diacetyl notes, and scant hop flavor, is to have pulled the hugest rip van winkle of craft beer. Note to Port City: at some point over a decade ago, American craft beer heads really started crushing on hop-forward beers. The lust has not let up, except in this beer.

It's well made, but dull. It's the nice guy finishing last. I know that not everyone likes hoppy beers, but you already have your super mild pale ale, and your wit bier, so for jeebus sake, let down your hair already with the IPA and give us some hop flavor!!!

Call this beer your amber ale, and I will praise it. Call it an IPA - even an east coast IPA - and I will scoff, and spend my money elsewhere. Ever heard of Bob Tupper guys? Proof positive that Northern Virginia has been hop hungry for quite some time now. The folks at Port City are advised to get with the program or suffer eventual irrelevancy - and here's one last tip: don't be fooled by the local beer media - they are boot lickers that suck up to producers and bar owners for free beer and passes to events. They will only say good things to you and about you while the public votes with their dollars (where is Shenandoah Brewing Co. now?) Calling them journalists is a bit of a stretch.

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Photo of goldbot
3.03/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours coppery tan in color with a slight haze. Medium amount of white to off-white head with pretty good retention. Subtle hop aroma of citrus and a bit of pine resin; floral, with bready malts and caramel. The caramel malt also jumps out in the flavor, with an even mix of citrus and resinous hops. Quite bitter on the back end, but with a lingering sweetness that approaches a good balance but doesn't quite make it. Overall, definitely an average IPA; I will keep on looking for a great local beer from the DC region.

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Photo of cichief
3.03/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a deep amber with a decent tan head, no haziness.

S- Subtle floral, citrusy hops.

T- Clean hoppy finish, well balanced.

M- Thin to medium bodied, well carbonated, but not effervescent.

O- A decnt IPA, suitable for a session, but not anything special.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.05/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle to pint glass
*No bottle dating but some type of coding on the bottom that I am clearly not smart enough to understand.

A: Port City Monumental IPA pours a slight brassy colored amber with some nice clarity. Thin cap of khaki foam had low retention and lacing.

S: Smell has a real spicy hop nose. Caramel toffee. Bready grains and some earth tones.

T: Has a sort of juicy hop presence that is all spice, pine, and some stone fruits. More of a caramel biscuit malt forwardness with a residual sweetness that trails in. Nice frontal bitterness but hops dont really linger. Sort of one dimensional.

M: Good carbonation with a moderately chewier body and a very crisp finish.

D: A decent IPA by not stand out by any means. Actual decent hop bitterness but bread and spice flavors take center.

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Photo of engagechad
3.08/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased as a single from Wine and Beer Westpark in Glen Allen, VA - dfh snifter

Pours a decent orange amber with not much head and low carb, smells like a non hoppy pale not an IPA. Taste follows unfortunately, kind of bland and too malty.

Not an IPA I would buy again.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.11/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this one on tap at Finnegan's Wake here in town. Came out a crystal clear pale orange with a thick creamy white head on top. Good retention and lacing.

Nose is sweet and fruity. Pretty tame for an IPA. Some citrus zest, light floral hops. The mouth was a tad on the thin side as well, but it made for easy-drinking with my lunch.

Mild bitterness, some more citrus sweetness, sweet finish. This was an odd one. Not exactly what I was craving. With an overabundance of IPAs in the market now, this is probably one I won't revisit anytime soon.

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Photo of avaldivia
3.11/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received in trade from Raveskdr. Poured 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Hazy orange, light brown color. Good head with little retention. Good lacing.

S: Mainly malt. little hop presence.

T: Better than the smell. Still maltier than I was expecting, but a good flavor.

M: Medium bodied. Low carbonation.

O: I'm starting to realize what people mean when they distinguish a west coast and an east coast IPA. This is good, but I was hoping for more hops.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.16/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Last of a free sampler.

Looks light amber in color with little to no carbonation.

I actually like the way it smells. A sticky honey sweet malt is very dominant, which is accented by citric hops. Kind of reminds me of Two-Hearted.

Taste isnt Two-Hearted. Theres a powdery taste that I cant pin down. Maybe its the dried hops, but it just doesnt mesh with the rest of the beer. The grapefruit and other citric flavors just dont feel right, almost like powdered Vitamin C. Rather disappointing after the positivity from the nose.

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Monumental IPA from Port City Brewing
Beer rating: 3.53 out of 5 with 438 ratings