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: 2,092
Photo of ShrLSU
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearence is a nice deep copper color with a nice finew white head. Leaves stick lacig around the edges. The nose is very citrus and earthy with some nice malt character. The taste at first is sweet with some slight fruitiness then giving way to a bitter earthy hop taste with a nice caramel sweetness. It got and almost syrupy milky consistency from the lactose additives to it. It gives the beer a nice creaminess as opposed to a crisp refreshment flavor. It's a very different take that comes off well. Overall this is a very interesting and tasty beer. If you can get to within range of 3 Floyds give it a whirl for sure.

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

very, very similar to a dreadnaught with the main difference being the addition of lactose. looks like a dreadnaught, smells almost like a dreadnaught, tastes almost like a dreadnaught. the lactose (i hate milk so was dubious about trying this) just gives it more residual sweetness and a fuller body as compared to a dreadnaught. glad i tried it. some haze via bomber.

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Photo of kdmcguire10
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Lazy, Hazy Orange. One-finger creamy.

Smell: Tons of tropical fruit, well-balanced with the pine. A certain sweetness to it.

Taste: Orange Peel, Peach, Caramel, Sweet. Very Smooth for 11%. Slightly bitter on the finish. So well balanced!

Mouthfeel: Silk-like texture, medium body. Damn smooth.

Overall: Wow. The folks at FFF know how to pull off miracles. The lactose sugars make this slightly creamy. One of a kind DIPA. Get this one if you can!

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Photo of Kayn169
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into an imperial pint glass.

This had to literally be the first bottle sold in 2011. Went to the brew pub first thing the day after it was announced. The bartender had to go get the first case for me. So needless to say, this baby is FRESH!

A- Pours a burnt golden orange, with a 1 finger head that surprisingly enough faded rather quickly. A moderate sticky lacing.

S- BAM!! Right offthe bat, as soon as the cap came off, the wonderfully citrusy hops cam barreling out of the bottle. Honestly, despite the smell review coming After the appearance in this review, the aroma wasnt going to play second fiddle to anything. Lot of grapefruit, mixed with some grassiness. Definitely some sweetness coming through, but just an amazing aroma.

T- this is where that freshness comes in. The hop character is up front to me. Coming through with the grapefruit and grass from the aroma, but a touch of apricots, and pine. This is the odd ginger step brother of Dreadnaught. Although related, the use of the lactose sugar make it sweeter and tones down the abruptness in the hops. Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad thing, it just makes it different. it is absolutely delicious, and makes me glad I live so close to FFF.

M- Lets not beat around the bush here. The star of the mouthfeel show is definetly the lactose sugar. While, yes making it sweeter, it adds a unique creamy texture. Now we are not talking Milk Stout here, but still smooth and velvety. There is also a lingering effect, sticking to my tongue. This is the reason I only gave it a 4 in this category. It is not unpleasant, but just sticks around a little longer than I would prefer.

O- Are you kidding me? Top notch. Plus you gotta give FFF credit for their experimentation. If you have never had it. Give it a try.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a medium gold color with a pretty big head. I had a somewhat narrow glass, but I would give it at least a 3 or 4 finger head that retains very well and laces beautifully. Body is clear.

S- Surprise, surprise; Three Floyds and tons of hops. Big, fruity hops up front with an emphasis on the citrus flavors. A hint of pineapple in the hops can be detected. The fruity flavors move towards some sweeter notes towards the end. Some pine notes are in there too from the hops.

T- Big and bitter up front like you would expect. The hops dominate the tongue and overall flavor of this beer, with a moderate to severe bitterness at the beginning. The bitterness drops off a small amount in the middle, with a shift towards a sweeter flavor. The sweetness tends to be a little on the fruity sweetness side, but also promotes a sweet, caramel malt flavor. At the end of the drink there is a slight shift back to bitter hops. Lingering flavors are hops bitterness and some more sweet malts.

M- Slick and smooth with a medium amount of carbonation. Completely hides the alcohol. Amazingly easy to drink for an IPA, let along an imperial. Hops bitterness mixed with sweetness makes it easier to drink than more bitter IPA's.

Overall, a very interesting and "not normal" IIPA. The sweetness from the lactose sugar really comes back at the end of the drink, cutting the bitterness and giving this beer a unique flavor.

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Photo of brow1901
4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- One of the most impressive looking beers I've ever poured. Glowing amber yellow with a perfect one finger white head. Massive amounts of lacing, and great retention.

S- Nice scents mostly piney hops such as simcoe or Amarillo.

T- Marvelous amount of bitter. Perfectly masks the extreme abv percentage. I wish I could say I taste the lactose but I really can't, perhaps some excess sweetness but I can't point that its from the lactose.

M- Fine mouth feel, super smooth, leaves a thin coat but doesn't cling too long.

D- I suppose the beer isn't the most drinkable because of the high abv but I think of that as sessionable, where as drinkable constitutes how much of this stuff I want to drink. Its a great beer that I could drink all night long I should have bought 4 bottles.

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

Thanks to Kels for splitting the bottle.

22oz. Brown bomber poured into a pint.

A: Poured a very hazy orangish rust. Good head on the pour with some retention and lots of lacing.

S: Some citrus and lots of fruit. Strong pineapple aroma. Some sweet malts that aren't thick or chewy.

T/M: Decent bitterness, very clean and not harsh at all. More citrus and still lots of great fruitiness. Pineapple. Pleasant sweetness. Body is medium or so with nice carbonation.

D: Drinks very easy.

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

Hazy golden with golden orange core. Strangely opaque for light colored non wheat bear. Big near white head, great retention. Frosty coating of etched lace.

Bright citrus, orange, grapefruit. Sweet butterscotch and buttered biscuits. Spicy resins.

Sugary butterscotch and buttered biscuits. Rush of bitter citrus and resins. Spicy resinous grapefruit aftertaste.

Thick and sticky. med plus body, feels more than it looks, some creaminess. slow carbonation.

Very drinkable, very tasty, very interesting, very unique.

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Photo of MisSigsFan
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful slightly hazy orange with a 2 finger frothy, creamy head that looks like it would belong on a stout. That lactose is already introducing itself. Smell is slightly sweet. Orange, tangerine, grapefruit... Very citrusy. Taste is also really citrusy with some added mango and guava. Kind of on the sweet malty side and I'm not sure how old the bottle is, but in any case it's tasting great. Not very bitter at all. Alcohol is barely noticeable. I'm not sure of the ABV but if it's 9.5-11 I really can't tell. Mouthfeel is just super super creamy. Medium to full bodied with a smooth carbonation. This one's a special treat. I don't think I've ever had an IPA with lactose in it and this one is pulled off really well. It adds this really great mouthfeel and slight sweetness. Very nice.

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Photo of biggred1
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazed, peach amber with a fine cream colored cap that leaves sheets of sticky lace on the glass. The aroma is excellent, plenty of fresh hoppiness here. Pine and dank orange citrusy centennial smelling hop notes. Pine sap and candied orange peel with an underlying malty sweetness to smooth out the flavors. I'm not sure if the milk sugar really adds "velevety malt body" as the label suggests but it is damn creamy, hop oily, full bodied goodness for sure. Three Floyds makes a great DIPA for sure. I still prefer fresh Dreadnaught slightly over the Cow but this is a really nice brew.

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint.

This beer pours out a hazy orange color with three fingers of head. The aroma is full of citrus, floral, and piney hops, with some lactose sugar in there to make things a bit different. The taste is, again, fairly unique for a DIPA. It comes in strong with the citrus and tropical hops at first, but this is augmented immediately by the lactose. The sweetness from the lactose seems to bring out the tropical flavors from the hops to ride out the finish. The mouthfeel is full and slightly drying, and the drinkability is very good. This is probably my least favourite of all the hoppy beers I've had from Three Floyds so far. And it's still really good! I do appreciate that it brings something new and unique to the table, but I wouldn't mind more aggression.

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

It may not look like much, and although I consider myself a beer connoisseur I don't use flowery words/descriptions, this is a great beer. And that's coming from a guy that likes stouts. Unlike the mass produced wussy yellow beers, this has a unique flavor. I didn't notice the citrusy taste at first; but it's definitely there; in a good way. You have something in your mouth, and it isn't beer flavored water. I bought this as an evening beverage, but it could suffice as a heavy alternative to a hot afternoon drink, especially if super cold. Primarily because the flavor is so robust. Non-beer fanatics probably don't understand how a beer can be light and robust at the same time. Eating sour cream & habanero gourmet pretsels with it, so consider that. But I'd give it a 4.7-4.8 overall. I bought 3 beers tonight, and this is the one I looked forward to tasting. Tasty!

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

Appearance is golden with a light white head and nice lacing.

Nose has a warm, syrupy-sweet hop aroma. There is also fresh mint, honey, and lime zest. Wonderful to smell.

Taste is honeyed hops, with pine, caramel, and tart grapefruit. There is also toasted marshmallow and pecan.

Mouthfeel is smooth, but not necessarily creamy; meaning that the lactose sugar isn't readily apparent, but definitely adds an overall fullness. There is plenty of carbonation. The hop bite is prolonged and not sharp.

Overall, 3 Floyds did it again. This is unique, flavorful, and fun to drink.

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

Poured into a white wine glass, it pours bright coppery color with a bit of haziness and a nice soapy white head. Nice lacing ring around the top after dissipation.

Smells like ripe tropical and farm fruits. Mango, banana, navel oranges, peaches, and some unidentified floral notes. Sweet maltiness after the fruit notes with light hints of yeast.

Immediate sweet sensation like candied fruit, quickly followed by a mild bitterness. Almost like plums, raisins, and candied orange slices. Sweet on the lips too. The maltiness shines right through the middle giving this outstanding balance.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, quite resiny, with wonderful carbonation.

This is very very tasty and all around a great beer. I love the sweetness factor of it. Not overly bitter and just a ton of flavors left and right. Get this now!

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Photo of One2Remeber
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Bright orange body, yellow hue. Almost crystal clear. Lively, slightly off-white head. Retention adequate.

S: Creamy/whip cream strong up front, undertones of lime citrus hops very fresh yet subtle, clean malts, no booze.

T/M: Insane creamy mouthfeel up front, feels like marshmallow cream. Turns to a hop bomb with intense tropical fruit citrus flavors with a lingering bitterness as if just bitting into a grapefruit.

O: Blanketed malt bill, creamy smooth texture of a nitro Victory Donnybrook. No alcohol burn but warms up the body. Highly impressed.

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Color is a hazy tangerine orange. Pours with a nice 1 1/2 inch slightly off white head that slowly dissipates to a thin film on top of the glass.

S: Lots of citrus hops hit the senses first, with some piney and tropical notes as well. Smell is amazing. Just a touch of sweetness noticed.

T: Following the excellent aromas, the taste does not dissapoint. Big hops continue with a solid citrus and green, piney hop flavors dominating the flavor. Very minimal malt backbone just enough to provide some body is hardly noticable. Finish is slighly bitter with some floral notes. Almost no warmth from the alcohol.

M: Medium to medium-heavy body that coats the mouth just every so slightly. Carbonation is medium with a nice dry finish.

D: I had this once before, but it was old and a little disappointing. This bottle was fresh (thanks Justin and Matt for a spare). Fresh, this beer is incredible. Super easy to drink, not overly bitter, but with a solid hop presence. I really enjoyed this beer and will seek this out again when released the next time.

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

Bomber poured into a Duvel tulip
2012 June release

A- Pours hazy straw yellow/orange. Poured with a one finger white head with dense bubbles. Dissipated within a minute. Leaves some serious alcohol legs behind.

S- Extremely citrusy hops and floral hops. There is a ton of pineapple, lemon, lime, mango, There is a tiny bit of pine and a lot of flowery herbal notes. The nose is very sweet and sugary and obviously hop dominant.

T- A wave of sweetness hits up front. Followed by a ton of bitterness and a glorious hop profile. There is a ton of pineapple, lemon, grapefruit and a lot of really floral notes. The hop profile is sweetened by the lactose sugary body of this beer. The malts are light in this brew, very sweet and somewhat earthy. The 11% is well hidden here.

M- This beer is very very bitter and if you like bitter then you will find this to be a smooth and silky sipper. The alcohol taste is well hidden but its certainly warming. This beer is very flavorful and has a lot of feel to it. A lasting bitter aftertaste.

O- A pretty awesome IPA, not my favorite IPA from 3F but its pretty awesome. Its big, bitter and full of flavor. Its a sipper though. Also, best label art of all time.

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Photo of Bobloblawlawblog11
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Very fruity and juicy. Creamy smooth mouthfeel, the lactose really adds a lot to this. A great twist on a IIPA. Could easily drink this all day, one of the smoother drinking IIPAs

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Photo of ryrust5301
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Find it hard to have many complaints about this one, except for it maybe being a touch too sweet. It's a nice dark golden orange color on par with most double ipa's. Smell is hoppy and sweet with some caramel malt and honey present. Wonderfully bitter and smooth with a plush crispness. Sweet malt plays more of a role than I would like, but after awhile becomes pleasent and begins to grow on me. One of the better beers by three floyds, and I think it deserves to be right up there with Dreadnaught in their arsenal.

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Photo of Marty30
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks once again to my man dannyfrost! Poured into my Duvel tulip,at fridge temp.

A. When held up to the light it appears a nice clear bright yellow.With a 2 finger pillowy head. Spotty lacing stuck to the sides of the glass.

S. Awesome pine,pineapple and citrus,also getting a little peach. Big hop bomb.

T. Lots citrus and tropical fruit upfront,I pick up pineapple alot then it smooth's out with something I can't pick out but its sweet almost like honey a little bit. Whatever it is it's damngood.

M. Smooth,creamy medium,thick feel.Coates the palate great. Good carbonation.

Overall awesome beer. Great taste,great feel,awesome nose.I really enjoyed! I want more.

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

22 oz. bomber into a snifter

Pours a mostly clear orange color with a half inch off-white head. It goes down to a skim and stays that way but a head can be revived quickly with a good swirl. Not much in the way of lacing.

Aroma is full of juicy citrus hops with some tropical fruit tones coming through as well. Some piney hops in there too and slight malt sweetness. A bit of spiciness mixed in there too with peppery alcohol.

Taste has some sweetness up front with lots of fresh and juicy hops. Again huge citrus component with nice complimenting tropical fruit. Slight piney and spicy hop flavor towards the finish. Some more sweetness in the back before bitterness takes over. A very slight warming sensation going down.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, very soft and creamy with perfect level of carbonation.

This beer is almost the same as Dreadnaught to me but with added sweetness and body. Which is an excellent thing to me since that's how I like my DIPAs. Great beer! Even better than when I first had it on tap months ago.

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

A: cloudy orange with a 2 finger head that dissipates to pretty much nothing with some decent laciing

S: smells great. killer citrus in the nose and just that lovely hops smell that is expected in a double IPA. has a good sweet smell in there too

T: A little bit more of a pine hop comes through along with the citrus notes. The body is real nice and creamy and different. the hops dont attack my tongue like usual and it allows for some easier drinking but still get that huge flavor somehow

M: Nice and creamy on the mouth. Carb is pretty much perfect the the style.

D: 11% is awesome for the drinkability. I would not of guessed that by the way its going down so easily.Like i said before the lactose is kind of getting a coating on my mouth so the hops arent affecting my speed of drink.

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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 Chris585
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Initial appearance after pouring was nice creamy 1 finger head, almost a copper hue. I could barely see through as it was quite cloudy and thick. The smell was a hoppy citrus but then let up into a more malty and sugary smell.

The taste of this is where I almost fell in love. I love IPA's and DIPA's but this one although on the sweet side has such a distinct taste and texture that doesnt get duplicated anywhere I have experienced as of yet.

The slick creamy feel starts out and then a hoppy bite, followed by the lactose sugar and malty tones are balanced out very nicely! Chewy oranges come to mind, with a bit of mango cream.

Overall this is a very very tasty brew. Coming from a 22 oz. you don't need much more than this in one sitting as it definately quenches the palate and the heart of an IPA lover. For the style I definately rate this brew up there with quality and uniqueness not found elsewhere. Ten thumbs up - oh and did I mention Oranges? Definately on the short list for me to pick up again.

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Apocalypse Cow from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.18 out of 5 based on 2,092 ratings.
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