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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: 485 | Ratings: 2,086
Photo of Reaper16
3.57/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz. bomber poured into a tulip glass

Pours a very light-for-the-style color somewhere between straw yellow and lemon peel. There was a finger or so of white foam with no real lacing to speak of. Pretty 'meh' looking.

Interesting stuff coming out of the aroma. The hops dominate, of course. Pine and orange peel mostly. Some floral smells are in abundance. I feel like the aromas are muted, that this beer is past its prime, but the hops are still plenty strong. Some bready malt in informed by the unique cream cheese/buttermilk thing going on as a result of the lactose. It is strange but sort of works.

The taste of Apocalypse Cow takes the strangeness of the aroma and amplifies it. There is an initial floral & pine bite from the hops but it quickly cedes to sweetness. Bizarre, creamy, candy sweetness. The finish has some fresh flowers that linger but also a lot of residual sweet dairy flavor. Crazy stuff, this. I'm scoring it a 4.0 because of how fun it is.

The mouthfeel has a certain creaminess to it, as you'd expect from what is essentially a milk/sweet IIPA. If you've read my reviews then you know that I dislike thick bodies in my hoppy beers, and Apocalypse Cow suffers from that same problem for me. It is mitigated however by the fact that the beer's unique flavors wouldn't be as fully realized without such a large body. Drinkability has to be average for the style. The only thing compelling you to drink more is the novelty of it all.

This is a very innovative offering from Three Floyds. It is absolutely worth a try; it is a fun, original beer that the brewery should be commended for making. I actually like this a lot more than my scoring would indicate.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to Jeff.

A: The beer pours a cloudy orange color with a finger or two of off-white head.

S: A lot of sweet citrus aroma to this, mostly oranges and tangerine. A touch of pineapple, some grapefruit, too. Sweet malt and toffee aroma, maybe a bit of sugar and pine.

T: The flavor is definitely on the sweet side, too. Lots of sweet citrus and malt. There is a nice citrus component to it, but there is a bit too much sweet malt/sugar flavor. A moderate bitterness and pine, but it's still too sweet.

M: Medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation.

O: While it has Some nice citrus notes, this was just way too sweet.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber split 3 ways.

Pours a dark, cloudy rusty copper with a frothy off white head. Slightly darker than Arctic Panzer and with better retention and more lacing. Aroma and flavor are both a little too sweet for me, caramel and bubblegummy with light tropical fruits. Finish and mouthfeel are slightly syrupy and thick. A more malt forward and sweet DIPA, I didn't enjoy this as much as Dreadnaught or Arctic.

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Photo of vdoz3
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was a little let down with my first impression of this beer so I decided to post a review to hammer out my concerns with it.

The body is enticingly orange, hazy and unfiltered. Kind of like the body of Odell's IPA for those who've experienced it.
I realize the beer is past its prime so I'm not surprised that the nose isn't bursting with hops, same for the taste. The nose instead gives off a sticky, resinous, orangey pine flavor.
The taste is mostly made up of sweet malts and ends on a particularly sweet note which I attribute to the lactose.

The mouthfeel, while smooth, is not particularly luscious, which is what I was expecting from the lactose, and I think is what I was hoping for (and is throwing me off). Plus, it ends on a really sweet, sticky note (a pet peeve of mine).

Overall this beer is definitely tasty, and at 11% it definitely hides its alcohol nicely. But it's not coming together for me into the finished product I was hoping for. Oh well.

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Photo of ratedz
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a hazy golden orange color with about a finger of fluffy, off-white head.

Nose is full of floral and citrus notes. Orange zest, grapefruit, and mango are what I am picking up on mostly. There is a slight sweetness, probably a result of the lactose.

The first thing I notice upon my first sip was the sweetness from the lactose sugar. It definitely adds a slight variant that I'm not used to tasting in a DIPA, but it's not a bad thing. After it sits on your tongue for a little bit, some of the citrus hops that were present in the nose come out to play. The sugary sweetness comes back for the finish and lingers on the tongue long after the beer is gone.

The lactose makes this a little thicker feeling than the typical DIPA and the carbonation level is light to medium. I thought it was a little overly sweet, which knocked the drinkability down just a bit. The 9.5% ABV is hidden quite well. A fairly good DIPA, but a little too sweet for my personal preference when it comes to the style. Glad I was able to try it, but probably not one I'd buy frequently.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.62/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

1 PINT 6 FL OZ bottle
Served in a tulip glass

A - This beer is amber in color with three inches of off-white head.

S - I get some citrus. I also get some anise. I did not notice it until I tasted the beer.

T - The one thing that stands out to me is the taste of anise on the finish. It has the typical IPA flavors up front, citrus, pine, etc. That anise taste is really different for an IPA.

M - Moderate

O - I am not a fan of anise. This taste caught me way off guard. I am a fan of Three Floyd's IPA's, but this may be the exception.

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Photo of LucienDeRubempre
3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulips.

Really underwhelmed by this one compared to my experience with Dreadnaught. Not sure if it was the 'lacto sugars' or what, but this was too sweet with a thick, sticky, frothy mouthfeel that really turned me off. Some citrus and herbal tones, but not much complexity or drinkability.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.67/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to pittsburghkid66 for this one. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Pours a creamy 1.5 finger fine off-white head with good retention. Beer is a cloudy ruby red. Lacing is ringed at the top but spotty going down with little cling.

S: Intense citrus and floral hop aromas invade the nose while a cane sugar sweetness tickles the back. Burnt caramel is also present and gives a real accurate preview of the taste.

T: A bit of a malt bomb off the bat. Really rich caramel and burnt brown sugar with a richness that's unlike most other IIPAs. Hop presence is there but its faded into the background and completely dominated by the sweetness. A bit of vanilla somewhere along the line too. Finish is messy with a big aftertaste of caramel malt.

M: Medium bodied, slightly carbonated, and probably the smoothest IIPA I've had to date. Notice the trend here. This one is very different. Finish is messy with a sticky, partially oily aftertaste.

D: A very different IIPA that definitely sets itself apart. Brewed with lactose, the body here is very smooth... not something I like in my IPAs. This one lacks a certain cleanliness and crispness and the malt flavor is completely dominating. Well worth a try for its uniquness but I won't be having this one again.

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Photo of miketd
3.67/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bonus from Stfun thanks Josh! Pours a gold/orange with a creamy off white head. Aroma is tons of citrus and pine with some other tropical fruit. Hmm, I was expecting the flavor to be very bitter, but it's very subtle. Smooth and creamy... like a fruit cocktail. Good, but different. Full mouth and easy to drink.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle shared with JP and the wife

Pours like pulp free unfiltered orange juice with a sparse collar like some sad mongrel yearning for a happy home. I'm officially depressed.

Sniffs like funky, milky, grainy, hopped up oj

Bizarre Floydsosity here. Mild citric quality, half and half, smooth, somewhat boozy. Flavor lingers on the palette long after each sip. Uniquely enjoyable and alternately nearly sweetly cloying, walks the line like Mr. Cash himself.

Sleek, chewy, slightly syrupy. Drinks better than 11 %, but that doesn't always translate into wanting to do so.

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Photo of Briken
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Clear light orange amber with frothy tan head. Pungent urine, grass, and milk. Super hoppy and light earthy yet balanced on a good malt backbone. Very sweet, condensed milk finish. Finishes nicely and interestingly for a DIPA because of the creaminess. Foamy, thick for the style and creamy.

Interesting and unique flavor in this one. Aroma is really not interesting and downright insulting however, once past that the beer is completely worth it as a truly different beer. Alcohol is in the retro-olfactory, not in the taste. Great sweetness and creamy texture with a decent hop presence makes this a unique beer worth seeking.

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Photo of BrewerB
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A while back aasher mentioned that Apocalypse Cow was his favorite Three Floyds beer. So I added to my wants. A couple months later, it arrives in a box, courtesy of the same fine BA-er. Thanks Al for knocking off a much coveted Want!

Pours a mostly clear orange color with an off-white foam that's holding up well. Lemon and pine hit the nose first though that's quickly followed up with by some citrus, orange scents. Malt doesn't appear to be making much of an impact. While not as overly intense in the hop flavor department, it's the fruity flavors that come up first. Honeydew, cantaloupe? Hard to put a label on it but it's certainly not of the citrus variety. Bitterness is there but it doesn't strip the enamel off my teeth. Alcohol is clearly present as is a certain sweetness that doesn't seem normal for the style although isn't unpleasant, either. Slightly thick/chewy but medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation.

Overall an enjoyable beer that masks its strength well, presents some interesting textures and flavors for the style, but lacks a bit of the punch I like from a DIPA. I'd love to revisit the beer with a fresher bottle as I suspect this may have been on the shelves for a few months. I'll certainly be enjoying the rest of it and am glad to have gotten to try it. Thanks again, Al!

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Photo of beatenbyjacks
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Light orange, bright yellow color. Very little head on the poor. Very strong malty smell to the beer. Small citrus flavor to the smell. Quite malty flavor just like the smell made you believe. Bitter flavor from the hops finishes the beer. Glad I was able to try this malty hop beer.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a bright golden color ale with a relatively large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus and tropical hops is quite present with some sweet notes being also easily perceptible. Taste is also dominated by huge citrus notes with some tropical notes also noticeable. Sweet notes are easily perceptible and maybe a tad too much for my own taste. Body is about average with somewhat of an oily texture and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Interesting but too sweet for my taste buds and therefore a bit of a disappointment considering the brewery.

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Photo of robwestcott
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

tapped at yogis for Indiana beer week.

from the tap a hazy honey orange to a 12oz snifter with a 1/2 finger long lasting head leaving nice lace.

strong aroma of tropical fruit followed by pine and citrus.

fairly thick and syrupy to the tongue on the first few sips, tasting of pine and citrus hops. sweet forward followed by a medium bitter.

smooth, but bitter.

drinkable ? I suppose, but I'll stop with one -- will be popping a bottle in a few days.

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Photo of beerpirates
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottel poured into my cantillon tulip glass

A - Pours a yellow, light orange color that is hazy with a one finger head and no stick on the sides of the glass. Pretty nice looking.

S - This smells very sweet and malty, bit of caramel and apricots. There are hops present, but it is not hoppy like I would want a double IPA to be. A little citrus an floral, but the hops take a back seat to lactose sugar (didn't know it was lactose until later, but huge sugar if nothing else).

T - It is way too sweet and sugary. A little bit of hops, and a little bit of bitter. The alcohol is way to present in this beer, and the malts and strong sugar smell kill the hops, which might be present, but are very overpowered.

M - Sugary, too thick for a DIPA, syrupy, good amount of carbonation.

D - Wow, this drank really hot. Not my favorite DIPA

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Photo of Dave_Treat
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very nice. Deep copper color, nice head. Citrus on the noise and tongue. A little sweet next, followed by the hop bitterness. Very smooth feel, maybe from the lactose?

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Photo of Schmittymack
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured an orangeish-golden color from a 22 oz bomber into the ol' trusty shaker glass. Aromas of citrus, pine, and some caramel. Taste was sweet malt, citrus, pine, and still quite a bit of hop bitterness for a brew that's probably two years old (yes, Dan. I found another aged IPA!!). I would love to try this one fresh at some point, especially since I've come to love a good IPA/DIPA on ocassion.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: golden yellow orange with a 1 finger white soapy head, nice lacing,

smell: pine, citrus, hops, caramel, malts,

taste: citrus, hops, sweet, malts,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: a nice DiPA a little on the sweet side but good non the less. Glad I got to try it.

the CPJ

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Photo of russpowell
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from stubbone, cheers Allen! I love the artwork for this one!

Pours a semi-hazed amber/orange with 1 finger of fluffed up cream colored head. Very good lacing & average head retention

S: Pine, peppery hops & orchard fruit, a touch muted as this warms

T: Orange rind, grapefruit, pineapple & oaky dryness up front, along with leafy hops. Boozeyness & biscuitty malt mix with the citrus & herbal hops as this warms; along with much dryness. Finishes with herbal & woody hops, a bit of caramel

MF: Chewy, creamy & grainy all at the same time with a fairly good carbonation level, alright balance, just not completely in love with the hops mix in play here..

Drinks pretty easy for the style & ABV, but doesn't over impress (like most FFF offerings have) me. An experiment that didn't quite pan out IMO. There still tons of hops there for people digging hop forward/heavy offerings

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Photo of portia99
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Portsmouth goblet. Received in trade with hansgruber. Thanks for this great extra!

A - Beautiful, bright, translucent orange with a 1 finger white head. Head dies rather quickly but leaves a skim coat of bubbles and a ring of tiny bubbles around the edge of the glass and decent soap-like lacing.

S - Floral and citrusy hops, some spiciness and a light honey aroma. Not detecting any malt - honey is the balancing element here. Interesting since there is not supposed to be honey used in making this beer (must be the lactose). As it warms I'm detecting more piney aromas.

T - Somewhat subdued hop bitterness, pineyness to start, up front honey-like flavor and sweetness too. Tropical fruit flavors ending with some citrusy hops.

M - Mouthfeel is thick and full...might even say creamy.Carbonation is adequate, but not strong. The sweetness in this overpowers the hops a little bit and really coats the sides of the mouth.

D - A little bit too sweet and heavy feeling to be really drinkable for me. I'm not regretting drinking this 22oz by myself, but I won't be looking for another tonight when I'm done with it. One is enough in a sitting for me.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.77/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From this day on, I promise to try every Three Floyd’s special monthly release whenever they come out. Now THAT’S a year-long resolution I can stick to. And what a way to start: Apocalypse Cow! This beer has been quite hyped in the forums since the start of the month, and many a liquor store attendant have told me that I wasn’t the first to ask about it come mid-June. Even without all that hysteria, I’ve got more than enough reason to have high expectations…one: lactose milk sugar; two: it’s a DIPA; three: it’s from Three Floyd’s. You pretty much can’t go wrong here! At least I don’t expect you can. I guess there’s only one way to find out…

A: Maybe I’m just imagining it, but the head looks “milkier” than normal for Three Floyd’s. It’s a creamy, eggshell-colored beauty with lots of epic lacing. I can dig it. One thing I’m definitely not imagining is the haze in the body. It’s a pale amber, with hints of straw yellow, but with a certain opaqueness you would associate with a homemade cider. I like a nice shine on a pale ale, especially an IPA, but this difference may just come with the milky territory.

S: Well, this is the most citrusy nose I’ve ever experience in an IPA. It almost reminds me of fruit juice at times. Lemon, lime, and grapefruit are first among the aromas, though there’s something odd about them. They come across in an unusual way, like they don’t mix with the hops. It’s almost as if they’re in realm separate from the bitter flowers, which gives this concoction independent senses of both lemonade and beer in the nose. Interesting. The hops that do come around, though, are mild and fresh. Honestly, I was expecting a much bigger hop kick, especially from Three Floyd’s; however, I’m totally ok with this nose. It’s enjoyable and distinct.

T: This is very, very unique. First are those citrus hints from the nose, but in a very different light: they’re bitter! They are sweet and contrasting to the hops in the nose, but bitter and complementary to the hops in the palate. Odd, indeed. Anyway, the fruits, being bitter, come off as rindy and a little unpleasant to me. The hops, though, jump in with a much-needed reminder of “bitter doesn’t have to be bad” after a few short moments. They are mostly citrusy, with a hint of pine resin fluttering about the back. In the finish, there’s a bit of an uncommon spiciness alongside a tongue-smacking sweetness; must be the lactose milk sugar, because it isn’t something I’ve had before. I like it, but, with the malt-heavy undertones that pervade the palate, it makes it a cloyingly sweet drink at times. Let’s just put it this way: it’s taking me a very, very long time to finish the bottle.

M: Thick and smooth, unlike most of the other offerings I’ve had from Three Floyd’s. I really wish it were more carbonated, though, because a palate this rich really needs some help when it comes to drinkability.

O: Apocalypse Cow is a completely different animal. As I have experienced with this beer, though, different isn’t necessarily good. In my opinion, the taste didn’t live up to the buzz that surrounded it, even though the palate had its moments. In the end, though, it was a unique beer, and it opened my eyes to what Three Floyd’s can create with flavor. Can’t wait for next month’s beer!

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Photo of Lolli1315
3.77/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A golden yellow color, slightly hazy as well. About a finger of head that disappears around the edges but turns rather splotchy with bubbly lacing around the side.

S- Hops jump out almost immediately as expected, with a citrus sweetness. Some sweet malt undertones as orange and grapefruit bring this beer beer together incredibly well. Slight tinges of alcohol in the end, but at 11% fairly well hidden.

T- Rather than the hop burst I was expecting from the outset, but rather a slightly bready/grainy sweet malt. Towards the middle of the beer the hops kick in with a large citrus hop kick complimented with a slightly piney hop flavor that is combined with citrus fruit flavor including orange, some grapefruit, lemon, but nothing more than the tropical fruit flavor. The tropical flavor is almost overwhelming making you forget the hops for a second as the end of the beer slides into a lingering bitterness as well as the continued citrus sweetness. A little too much of that citrus flavor for me in this one.

M- Lower end of medium body with decent carbonation, expected a little more on both of these categories. A slightly dry end and the high hop presence in this beer can be felt on the tongue.

D- The dominating citrus aspect of the beer takes the drinkability of this beer down a little bit. Not a bad beer, but if I had the choice of this or Dreadnaught, it would be Dreadnaught every time.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.77/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy orange color with one finger of white head.

Scent of strong juicy hops, citrus and sweet lactose. Hops and lactose are a nice combination.

Taste of strong hops, and lactose. Very simple, and the flavors here don't work together as well as they did in the scent. An okay experiment, but I probably won't have it again.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with strong carbonation.

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Photo of SomethingClever
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle poured into nonic pint no date

A: very light orange with just a fuzz of haze and a creamy fluffy head

S: a little bit of a copper smell malty pure orange smell

T: sweet, malty, a little citrusy a good deal of booze

M: heavy for an IPA

O: A boozy overly sweet mess of a beer this beer is actually hard to drink the booze is overwhelming

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Apocalypse Cow from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.18 out of 5 based on 2,086 ratings.
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