Monumental IPA
Port City Brewing

Monumental IPAMonumental IPA
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American IPA
Ranked #6,659
Ranked #43,369
3.55 | pDev: 13.52%
Port City Brewing
Virginia, United States
Monumental IPAMonumental IPA
Notes: 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.
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Reviews: 97 | Ratings: 441
Photo of mdfb79
2.73/5  rDev -23.1%
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 FreshmanPour77
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 5-20-11
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A – Poured one finger of foam, ok lacing ring with a dark copper color, carbonation is present

S – Dark roasted malts, slight hop aroma with hints of caramel

T/M – Medium bodied malty brew, smooth at first but has a bitter after taste

D – Easy drinker, not really hoppy more of a malty brew then hops. Wouldn’t seek this brew out again but glad I had tried it. It wasn’t much of an IPA for my taste

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Photo of argock
3.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap in a Shaker pint at Mellow Mushroom (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Dusky amber with stout 1/2 finger of frothy oatmeal colored head with good lacing.

S: Very fruity and reminds me more of an English IPA with more caramel sweetness as well. The hops are citrus but restrained and have a lot of floral and herbal qualities also.

T: Tastes good, but I would not put this in the American IPA category as it is too sweet and much too toasty and caramelly for the style. The maltiness is both bready and fruity and works pretty well with the citrus and floral components. The herbal flavor is honeysuckle. Take away or dampen the citrus and you have a really nice English IPA.

M: THe malt body shines through in the feel which is substantial and not overly oily and slick. The carbonation is a little much for the style and it finishes medium-dry.

O: I enjoyed Monumental IPA, but I don't think of it as an American IPA because of its fruity, malty caramel, and herbal/floral qualities. Still a nice brew.

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Photo of drabmuh
2.3/5  rDev -35.2%
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 SummitVA
2.83/5  rDev -20.3%
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 localone703
3.01/5  rDev -15.2%
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 Daniellobo
2.74/5  rDev -22.8%
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 Clydesdale
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a lightly hazy copper-orange color. The tall, densely frothy head has a similar hue and good retention. A thorough splattering of fine lace sticks to the glass as the head fades.

S: Toasty, with a fair amount of caramel sweetness bordering on toffee notes. Hop aromas are a bit more various than many citrus-dominated American IPAs, though some orange/citrus notes are definitely still present. A bit of leafiness is also detectable, as well as a mild mineral note.

T: Quite bready/toasty up front. Also a good deal of caramel sweetness before the hops take the stage. Orange pulp and some grapefruit pith are noticeable, along with some lesser leafy and herbal flavors. Bitterness builds into a moderately firm crescendo before fading gradually. Again a light mineral character.

M: Fairly full-bodied. Carbonation is on the light side of medium, contributing to a denser-than-average overall feel. Hops do add a nice finishing dryness, but overall there's a bit more body than most IPAs.

D: A pleasant local IPA. This scores points for showcasing a decent blend of hop flavors, along with some toasted/sweet notes. A bit of yeast character in a style that is typically very neutral. I mentioned above that the body is a tiny bit sluggish, and other IPAs definitely demonstrate a cleaner, more focused palate, but this is still a worthy offering.

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Photo of THECPJ
2.38/5  rDev -33%
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 goldbot
3.03/5  rDev -14.6%
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 womencantsail
2.31/5  rDev -34.9%
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 yourefragile
1.88/5  rDev -47%
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 tlazaroff
4.14/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Typical Orange IPA color. Kinda looks like apricots. A bit hazy, small white head with many big bubbles.

S: Very floral scent with citrus notes, nice malt sweetness in the background.

T: Tastes awesome! Somewhat fruity and floral with a nice strong bitterness that lingers through the finish.

M: Moderate carbonation, medium-full bodied.

D: Highly drinkable, considering the 6% ABV.

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Photo of kevinv
2.73/5  rDev -23.1%
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 mpyle
3.81/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice pale amber color, a little cloudy (dry hopped?). Pours a modest white head, creamy and with good retention.

smell - citrusy west coast hops aroma, semi-sweet with a hint of caramel. A bit of grapefruit and pine. Aroma nice, but not overpowering.

taste - Brief lived caramel sweetness before hit with a rush of nice hop flavors. Turns subtly bitter midmouth and through the finish. Not an IBU bomb, but flavorwise might be stuck between a typical APA and a typical IPA. Flavors possibly a bit underdone for a stereotypical American IPA.

MF - Medium body and carbonation, no astringency, little to no alcohol warming.

Overall - a nice, clean, hoppy American beer. No rough edges, but might not be sufficiently "in your face" for an American IPA for some. This beer might be better if considered as a "big" APA.

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Photo of Lunch
2.24/5  rDev -36.9%
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 Munkaboo
2.22/5  rDev -37.5%
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 Smakawhat
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well so there's a brewery in Alexandria, my old stomping grounds. Checking the map out this brewery is barely 1/2 mile from my old apartment. Let's see how this turned out, been looking for this thing for some time now. Poured on tap into a shaker pint at Pizza Paradiso.

A cloudy orange and very opaque body. Real nice cap though sort of an off white/cream brown. Minimal lacing while drinking.

First smell I get is a citrus but can't go so far to call it grapefruit, the nose on this beer is pretty small. There's a hint of apple also.

Taste brings forth first caramel, even dare I say it a chocolate like sensation as if I am eating Rolo candy or something. Mild hop bitters, even tea like with sugar. Dry. Strangely complex but balanced but sort of unexpected for this style for me.

Still a simple easy good drink, it may not be my favorite for this style but it drinks well. They did a pretty good job with this one have to say.

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Photo of dedrinker
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy coppery amber color with a white head.

Aromas of earthy and resinous hops and softly rounded out malt sweetness.

Very nice East Coast balance of refined caramel (see how I spelled that - the right way? Misspelling it "carmel" does not validate your mispronunciation of ca-ra-mel) malt backbone with a wood resin earthy hop bite.

Medium body, soft malty mouth feel and a moderately earthy bitter hop finish.

Some might say this IPA tastes like a Pale Ale, and their Pale Ale tastes like a golden ale, and although I am one of those who say that, I also think these beers are very well crafted and worthy of purchase.

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Photo of blackie
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: an average sized khaki head recedes to leave a thin layer, the beer itself is a very muddy, dark amber in color

s: lots of husky, toasted caramel grain - very raw and rustic, dark bread, fermented orange, leafy, earthy citrus hops give a heavily tealike aroma

m: carbonation light to moderate, body around medium

t: bready caramel body with lots of husky grain flavor, slightly sweet toasted grain, dried orange flesh, hops earthy and even a little grassy with a tealike bitterness growing into the finish alongside pithy citrus flavors

d: it's a bit atypical for the "American" designation, but it's a nice ipa all around, maintains a good balance, kinda dig the rustic grain character, would purchase again

32 oz swing-top growler from WF Arlington

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Surly pint glass. Consumed a few hours after the fill.

Pours a moderate copper color with a good white head and quite a bit of lacing as it goes down. The nose brings forward some light hops as well as well as a bit of caramel. Bread crust as well. Hops come through a bit more as it warms. Taste brings forward a better dosing of the hops with some floral and citrus characteristics there. The floral and herbal hops dominate.

Without looking at the ingredients in this one, I would have said this was an English IPA, especially given the caramel and malt presence. Mouthfeel is fairly light and well-carbonated. Bitterness comes through toward the end; the 50 IBUs make their way known. Drinks really, really well. Very much enjoyed making my way through this growler. Almost wish I didn't have as much help as I did.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From growler to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/18/11

*It should be noted that the growler was filled but an hour ago.

A: A good 2+ finger head on a reasonable pour. It's got a really inviting orange amber glow, as it's unfiltered and cloudy. There isn't a significant amount of lacing, though a little sticks around for the duration.

S: The hop oil hits first, slight citrus and bitter pine resin. Hints of heavy malt and yeast on the back end.

T: This is a prime example of a heavier, maltier and more subdued east coast American IPA. It's not a hop bomb - it's bready and slightly yeasty, with a good amount of that resiny profile you'll find up and down our seaboard. Quite bitter up front, it eventually progresses toward a toasty finish.

M: A bit light, but with 6.3% ABV, I'm not surprised. To be honest though, the carbonation is spot-on and pitch perfect. It really compliments the brew well and draws me back to the glass often.

O: Congrats to Bill Butcher and the Port City team! Your Monumental IPA is most certainly quaffable. I think that Bill and the crew accomplished what they set out to: creating an everyday east coast IPA.

Here's to years of success and good drinking. Oh, and thanks for bringing good, locally crafted brew back to Alexandria.


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Monumental IPA from Port City Brewing
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 441 ratings