Apocalypse Cow | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Apocalypse CowApocalypse Cow

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
9.5-11.0% ABV, 100 IBUs - This complex double India pale ale has an intense citrus and floral hop aroma balanced by a velvety malt body which has been augmented with lactose milk sugar. With this different take on an IPA we have brewed an ale that is both pleasing to drink and, once again, “not normal.” Cheers! June release.

Added by mdm46410 on 11-23-2008

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Reviews: 486 | Ratings: 2,093
Photo of grub
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Viggo brought this one over. thanks eric!

22oz bottle. sampled oct 15/09.

pours crystal clear orangey amber with a small very dense white head. the head drops quickly but leaves a solid sheet of lace behind as it falls.

aroma is good. grapefruit and orange. bit of pine. multi-grain bread and biscuit. light alcohol. bit of lactic character hiding behind it. caramel. bit of toffee.

taste is good. sweet orange and tangerine. grapefruit and pine. caramel. multi-grain bread. cracker. bit of biscuit. medium-high bitterness level. warming alcohol. lingering sweetness from the lactose, but it's not overbearing and tends to come across mostly as citrusy sweetness when combined with the hops.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. there's an alcoholic warmth that flashes through at points, but it manages to be mostly balanced by the strong hopping and fruity sweetness. it doesn't benefit from the drying hop character that you'll often find in a dipa, but manages to work pretty well anyway.

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Photo of maximum12
3.45/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Three Floyds made a very sudden reappearance in Hudson Wisconsin, just across the border, so I made a quick foray to pick up a bottle of this. Love a good DIPA & need something to nurse after my Twins just absorbed a first game beating from the m*ther*** Yankess.

Anyways. Pours reddish, clear, filtered, no bunk on the bottom of the bottle or in the glass. Smells like a solid DIPA, nice waves of citrus, pine, & spring flowers. Also a dangerous amount of sweet malts.

The Cow...too much malts. The sweetness of the malts (& possibly lactose, though I detect little of it) swerve in front of hops & get all tangled up, resulting in a brew that's sweet up front with a nice bitter twang on the donkey's end. But for a DIPA, this is too gentle, too kind, too willing to hand out money to the poor. I expect a DIPA to kick the poverty-stricken. And the rich, too.

The lactose adverised on the label - which I dig, 3F can always turn itself into an art company if the beer thing doesn't work out - is felt more in the mouthfeel, in a creamy, soft, silky kind of way. One bomber split with the wife is good for me.

Pretty good beer, but wouldn't make it anywhere near my list of favorite DIPAs. More hops, less malt. This plays right into the "middle coast" stereotype of a DIPA.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy golden orange with a big creamy off white head. Thick foamy rings of lace left on the glass. Head fades to a quarter inch cap.

S - Candied tropical fruits with hints of alcohol. Some pineapple and mango. Also citrus hints. The alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming.

T - Strong fruity bitterness wth lots of citrus and tropical notes. A noticeable alcohol burn is present as well. Some pineapple and grapefruit are the most noticeable fruits. Strong backing of caramel malt.

M/D - Medium bodied and somewhat resinous. Surprisingly easy drinking for 10% abv. Very crisp feel.

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Photo of waldoiverson
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz into Nonic

A: Creamy off-white head with strong lacing, a slightly orange-ish color. this beer is remarkably clear.

S: Orange blossom hops, honey, and the alcohol shows up

T: Sweet is the first word that comes to mind. you get the orange blossom and the honey from the nose coming together. There is a very interesting hint of grape skin, the alcohol is present but does not detract from the experience

M: Very creamy and sweet but the carbonation does a reasonable job of cleaning up the palate. Still, I think i'll be a bit overwhelmed by the end of the bottle.

D: the flavor is awesome, the mouthfeel is a bit overpowering, for the style it is on the mark.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A million hails to kels for this bottle...there is no better gift than a beer from the land of Floyd, Floyd and his other brother Floyd. Thanks Kelley!

Pours out a remarkably hazy rust-orange color...I'd even call it foggy. The head is modest but retains very well, all creamy and fluffy, with a lot of lace left on the glass as the head diminishes and the liquid slowly, repeatedly visits my tongue.

A humongous aroma goes to the place where the lines between candy-like malt sweetness and super-citric hoppiness blur. Orange-y, resiny, cake frosting-y, hard candy-y...I think the confection-like vibe of the nose is pointing to the lactose milk sugar that was used in this beer.

The flavor impression that came to mind upon the first sip was a push-up; you know, the ice cream deal, big with the kids, sold by the ice cream man, etc. I guess that falls under the category of "creamsicle." So, a push-up, but a really intense adult push-up. Big bursts of orange/citrus, both tangy and juicy sweet, with the lactose milk sugar bringing in a milky sweetness (that's easy math to do, but it's definitely here). There's also an unrefined grassy element, especially once into the finish. Really hoppy, quite bitter, and for sure a hophead's nirvana. The alcohol is probably there full-on in the flavor, yet the taste buds can do nothing but cower and submit to the hops. Yet, having said all this, it's got incredible poise. It's totally balanced. I can't rate the flavor highly enough, there's really nothing more one could want from a double IPA in terms of flavor. Except for maybe one more bottle.

Feels about as creamy as I'd expect, although not as thick, round and sticky as others of its type. Curiously buoyant in the mouth, which is a welcome change of pace. And thanks to the astringent grass/citrus rind/resin attack, my tongue's feeling pretty fuzzy just about now...

Enough malt is present to keep Apocalypse Cow from being a 100% tongue-ripper, but it teeters close to that ledge, while the lactose milk sugar addition adds a whole lot of "wild thing" to this beer, which would have been wild enough without it. So, 3 Floyds does it again: 1) great name, 2) great label, 3) utterly superb beer!

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Photo of cokes
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden bronze with a fat and healthy offwhite head that shows solid retention and even better lacing.
Pink grapefruit nose, drizzled with pine tar, and accompanied by caramelized apricots and honey. Lactose is noted throughout in a heavy cream sense of milky sweetness.
The taste follows the nose quite closely. It issues toasted grain, caramelly, honey-laden malts first. Milky cream wells up and adds to the sweetness, then it usurped by the grapefruity, apricoty, pineapple hops. For a moment, its all peaches and cream with some undercurrents of vanilla, and that's where it's at its most enjoyable. It doesn't stay long though, the semi-astringent, minerally, quinine bitterness erases it all at the close.
Pushing towards full bodied with a trickling, tickling carbonation that rejuvenates itself each sip. Alcohol is frighteningly absent.
This is better as it warms, as the rawer hops notes fade partially and the fruitier elements take their place next to the lactose.
It took the better part of the bomber to seduce me, as I didn't peg this for a winner off the bat. It has officially won me over.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My best man and his wife stopped at Three Floyds on their way from Chicago the day before our wedding and brought us a bottle of this.

Pours a reddish amber with a nice white head. The smell reveals the style, with plenty of citrus and floral hops coming through. The lactose sugar definitely comes through in taste, and is an interesting complement to the hop bill. Not my favorite DIPA in terms of taste, but certainly quite interesting. The mouthfeel is medium with a good amount of carbonation, and drinkability is good, although somewhat hampered by the strangeness of the lactose.

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Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Autumnaldave for this 650 mL bomber.

A: The DIPA is a golden orange ale, hazy but still translucent. A 3 finger head slowed my pouring but didn't, as it dissapated, leave any lace behind.

S: The nose is fresh, dripping with piney, floral hops. The aroma is big, loaded with hops but the lactose smooths out the harsh edges. A ripe orange rind peaks out at the end of each sniff.

T: Citrus peel really jumps out of the ale, driving a delicious floral presence that, admittedly, gets a little heavy at times. Hot booze is evident behind each blast of hops. The caramel malts are restrained, though they are aided by a smooth creaminess from the lactose. Pineapple and mango leave a vibrant hop presence after the sip is gone. Despite the heat, the hops really sing.

M: The hop profile is inspired, loaded with citrus, pine and floral elements that are harmonious together. The lactose adds a smoothness that cuts into the hops and provides a much-needed lift to the malts.

D: The ale is a bit heavy but the hop profile is worth the hangover. I'll be slowly sipping on this ale for the next few hours.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a clear tangerine/amber (actually more like a rose color), with a stiff finger of eggshell white colored head. Really frothy look to the retention, which just coats the sides of the glassware with a TON of rich and creamy lacing. The aroma is very floral and piney, along with grains and sugary smelling lactic notes, which mix with some hugely robust tropical citrus character to impart quite the big, yet silky, sweet tang in the nose.

The taste is full-on hops, with a nice biting bitterness to the flavor, that is chock full of spice and sticky resins. This is well balanced though, by an equally big backbone of sugared milky sweetness and lush citrus. Malts aren't absent either, with a secondary (yet still prominent) presence, which lends the sweetness a grainy texture to it. The finish is sticky at first, before settling into a steady spicy bitter feel. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a big bubbly creaminess to the carbonation. A much sleeker feel rides underneath, which is where a lot of the heavier sweet qualities of this sits. Pretty well hidden 10% ABV on this as well, with the full flavors of this really doing a nice job of masking the alcohol, especially as this warmed.

I really enjoyed this a bit more than I initially though that I was going to. The lactose sugar element took a bit getting used to at first, but once this hit room temp, and the hops and alcohol came out to play, it actually ended up really being needed for balance and to help cover the warmth up. Really interesting "extreme beer" offering from FFF that, for the most part, I think they really pulled off nicely.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tangerine peel orange with lemon peel edges. The creamy crown is somewhere between ivory and ecru. Despite very few visible bubbles, the foam hangs on forever, festooning the glass with lovely looking lace when it eventually begins to slouch.

The nose is an American C-hop extravaganza, Three Floyds-style! It looks like the brewery is keeping the specifics of the hop bill under wraps (as usual), but Centennial almost has to be present. There's a boatload of bright grapefruit peel, an assist from sweet orange, and a smidgen of spruce. No malt is appreciated.

Apocalypse Cow is no Dreadnaught killer (a very short list, by the way), but it's a damn fine DIPA that will satisfy even the most discriminating hophead. Floyd, Floyd and Floyd claim a whopping 100 IBUs and I'm not about to contradict them after having my tongue mauled by the first few mouthfuls. This stuff is hopped to the hilt.

First of all, malt flavor stays the hell out of the way. The beer's color would suggest that something slightly toasted is present... which ends up being barely noted on the palate. The amount of malt is generous, which is noted in an underlying sugary sweetness and a fairly sizable body.

The focus is clearly on the hops... which are intensely floral, as well as being considerably citrusy. Thanks to a withering blast of bitterness, the tanginess of the lactose (milk sugar) doesn't add much. To be fair, it doesn't subtract much either. In the end, it's an odd design choice that smacks of gimmickry. So what, we got an awesome name and a very cool label out of it.

There's no trace of alcohol. On second thought, a hint of hotness is present on the tail end of the finish. No matter, it should be completely gone in another month. The mouthfeel is American big beer big. It still has a certain grace and a suppleness that most double-digit ABV ales lack. Outstanding job here as well. Thanks to wadsey for the bottle.

If you love hops and Three Floyds as much as I do, then do whatever it takes to secure a bottle of Apocalypse Cow. Milk sugar notwithstanding, Apocalypse Rottweiler would be a more appropriate name, because this beast has bite. Highly recommended.

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Photo of swizzlenuts
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The nose of the beer has a citrus/spice to it. Some aspects of it remind tangerines. The whole character is just great, but I wish it was more prominent. I could smell this beer all day long, I think. When I pour the beer it has an off white head and light copper colour. Looks good.

When I took a sip of the beer I wasn't blown away by the hops or the malts, but it's just incredibly tasty. A nice firm malt sweetness with a great citrus/resin flavour behind it. The malt sweetness is caramelly with a bit of breadiness. The hop character starts to come through more at the end, but it's just an odd hop character. I'm curious to know what hops they use because I can't pick up any distinct flavours, just a great mesh. I really like the flavours of this beer, but I wish the hops would punch me in the face more!

The mouthfeel is lighter than I expected, which reminds me more of an IPA than a IIPA. However, this makes it way easier to drink. Probably the easiest drinking IIPA I've ever had.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.82/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to FlssmrBrewAlum. Pours a hazy orange with a small white head. Aroma of grassy hops, sweet citrus, bitter orange rind, and tropical fruits. Flavor initially of sweet hop resin, citrus, and light fruits. Rather sweet from the lactose and definitely very smooth in the palate. I quite liked the addition of lactose actually. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of dancinwillie
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decants a ripe peach liquid, cloudy yet letting light through. Dense cream colored head, with bubbles that appear hesitant to pop. As the head slowly drops, it is already leaving some solid looking lacing, thick indeed.

I can smell tropical fruit coming out of my glass from a distance of 2 feet. Upon closer inhalation, I'm getting some pineapple, dried mango, and some peach and nectarine. Smells bitterly hoppy.

Different than I expected. I didn't think the lactose would work too well, but it actually does. All the fruit salad from the aroma is here, and the lactose balances it a bit. Not as bitter as I expected either. Bitterness is there, yet it's more floral, almost honey sweet bitterness, if that makes any sense. Herbal notes also come out. Good pale malt flavor, could have been stronger here, but still a very nice beer, and well within realm of balance. Very tasty, and interesting.

Slick, oily, medium bodied, with a long luxurious bitter and sweet finish.

Highly drinkable. No real perception of the alcohol, and it all works very well together. Almost like a English IIPA. Super floral and herbal notes, with the expected citrus and tropical fruit flavors works well. Really quite good.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Glowing orange body. Slightly hazed. Thick and dense white head. Lacing is quite full. Aroma is awesome. Lemon and grapefruit. Pine resin and cannabis. A little mint. The first thing I notice is that this is way too easy to drink for a 10% beer. Mouthfeel is so creamy and velvety. Just a titch of sweetness lingers after sipping, but there is also a clean bitterness in the mix too. Hop flavors are very enjoyable, as usual with 3F. Great citrus and floral hop flavors. I particularly enjoy the mix of orange and lemon flavor notes. Alcohol is barely detectable. This is quite, quite good.

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Photo of blackie
4.69/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: snifter service, the beer is an attractive glowing, hazy copper-amber in color, capped with a nice if modest coat of carbonation that shows average retention

s: hop aroma reeking of tropical fruit nectars bound up in a candied grain body, sugary citrus a la clementine stands out most for me with some melon and kiwi, spicy-sweet mango rind, sweet pine, fruit pastries dosed with honey, so much going on - a real knockout of a nose, unique

m: carbonation delicate, and the beer itself full bodied and smoothed by the lactose addition, sugars cling to the lips after each sip

t: yes it's sweet - it's a "milk DIPA", and I love it, grain and hop start on near equal footing while the green cone inevitably wins out - grainy pale caramels and fresh tropical juices with a dose of contradictory acidic-sweet citrus, the lactose is clearly tasted but difficult to describe, giving a sugared cream sweetness, candied grains linger with sugar encrusted topical fruits and a big balancing bitterness, delicious

d: started my review on the cold side but the scores began to climb after things warmed up, there's a smoothness of aroma, taste, and texture presumably provided by the lactose that places the cow in a category of its own, a great beer and an absolute pleasure to put down, the abv is very much a part of the whole and doesn't stand out until its effect is realized

bomber from Jenifer Street Market, Madison, WI

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Photo of mikedashg
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a yellowish orange with a white fluffy head

S - Smells of Orange rind, floral, spice, hops, sweet candy

T - Orange rind, hops, floral, sweet caramel malt, a little pine

M - Moderate carbonation, full body

D - SUPER balanced IPA. Sweet and hoppy. Very nice one from three floyds

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Photo of cvaypai
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber to 22 oz snifter.

Apperance - This beer is beautiful, its like a murky golden orange with a great looking 1 finger head that stays.

Smell - Extremely floral and citrusy, I can pick up honey, flowers, earthy smells, citrus as in orange and grapefruit. A nice sweet malt smell can be caught on the end, this is a nice smelling beer.

Taste - Really digging the sweet candy like beginning, that turns very earthy and grassy. On the end is an awesome bitter citrus finish, picking up grapefruit and honey. This is a kickass brew.

Mouthfeel - This beer feels good on the tongue, almost silky, with a nice bitter finish, could use a bit more carbonation though.

Drinkability - Great for a beer of its size, really drinkable and different, I could enjoy 2 bombers of this probably. I don't know since I only have one, but I would try.

My first beer from 3Floyds.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gotten in a trade as part of BIF Race '09, this double IPA poured clear bodied, had a glowing orange color, and displayed lively carbonation and formed a small but stable head. The aroma of this beer was the most earthy-floral hop smell I've ever experienced, The floral quality was further enhanced by the honey like swell of the malt. The taste was sweet-spicy, and was propelled by hops, just as any good DIPA should be. The beer was creamy in the mouth, with the carbonation assisting in this department big time. A spicy aftertaste and warm burn finished things off. Many thanks for BA alleykatking for the opportunity to try this.

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Photo of bassmantin
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very glowing orange with moderate clingy head.

The initial flavor is orange and some grapefruit. Very strong hop taste that dominates the aftertaste. I still can't identify hops, but these remind me of other 3 Floyds beers. This one has a great hop flavor up front, but the dominant bitterness in the aftertaste is a little too much.

Still a very good effort, though, with lots of high wuality ingredients. And reasonably cheap, too. I will have it again.

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Photo of Pencible
4.82/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This poured a hazy light copper with some off-white head. It smelled like orange and copper hops with honey malt and some cream, and a bit of alcohol. It tasted like oranges and peaches and cream, with some pine hops and caramel and honey malt. It was very thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a mild bitter but creamy aftertaste. Overall this was a very interesting and unique beer. The taste is extremely well put together, and the body was perfect. Many very bitter 2IPAs have a harsh bitter aftertaste (including Dreadnaught), but the lactose in this beer really helps keep the aftertaste ultra smooth. It hid the alcohol very well also, so it was all too easy to drink, but still very enjoyable to sip. I love this beer - great new style that excites me the same way my first black IPA did. I hope to see more lactic 2IPAs from other breweries coming soon!

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Photo of blackearth
4.57/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased from the Blatz Beer Cave in downtown Milwaukee. Poured a clear, bright golden body with a white head. Aroma was piney -- smelled like Christmas even -- with hints of sugar. Mouthfeel was full bodied with medium carbonation to keep it on the smooth side. Good malt sweetness with a little oak, balanced with a more subtle hops approach that lasted far beyond the finish. No detection of alcohol in the finish. This beer was pretty much amazing.

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Photo of Mdog
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy gold, good head.

Smell: Bitter citrus.

Taste: Starts out with a floral, rose-like taste before smacking you with a huge boozy caramel doppelbock flavor, then finishes with bitter grapefruit.

Drinkability: An interesting DIPA, hard to find in these parts though.

Picked up a bottle of this in Hudson, WI. Decided to bite the bullet and cough up the dough for some new 3 Floyds. This was a nice tasty DIPA, an interesting mix of flavors. Definitely has a big malt component to balance out the hops.

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Photo of Soneast
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark gold/orange-ish color with a 2 finger thick off-white head with above average retention.

The aroma reminds me of citrus, predominately grapefruits and oranges with a touch of floral earthiness and a sweet almost syrupy note underneath.

The flavor is heavy with fruitiness which I think the sweetness accentuates, mostly grapefruit, plus an underlying caramel flavor and a definite bitterness at the end that is very tamed by the sweet flavors. Very little alcohol detected, though it does warm ya up a bit.

This beer is very creamy on the mouthfeel, due to the residual sweetness and fine carbonation. A very nice combination of flavors although I tend to enjoy a dryer, less sweet DIPA overall.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to kpruim01 for this one. Poured from a 22 ounce bomber bottle into my Adnams Imperial pint glass. The ale appears a hazed honeyed amber color with a good inch of dense light ecru foam. Nose and flavor consist of sweet pineapple, bitter white and red grapefruit juice, creamsicle, mango, tons of caramel malt. This DIPA is quite sweet, yet pleasantly bitter as well. As it warms, sweet candied grapefruit peel comes through with still a touch of alcohol heat. Smooth and nearly full bodied with ample carbonation. Surprisingly drinkable considering the high ABV, but one bomber is plenty. Thanks again Kyle!

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Photo of kegger22
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy orange in color with a respectable off-white head. Aroma and taste were very similar to Dreadnaught (which I loved), only sweeter. That sweetness did detract a little, but keep in mind, I rated Dreadnaught a 4.75. The feel was oily, which I liked. It's a 10.0 ABV, so common sense tells you drinkability cannot be high, but at home, I'd be happy to polish off another bomber. Note: I poured it into a pint glass, but it also tasted great straight from the bottle. Gotta love a beer for that.

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Apocalypse Cow from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.18 out of 5 based on 2,093 ratings.
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