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 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 cbutova
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed at Rising Sun CG, Glacier National Park, MT. Full notes taken to my phone while out of a service area.

A- Last beer at Rising Sun in Glacier National Park Montana is poured from the bomber to goblets with a deep orange body with some haziness. A thick white cap forms to two fingers with a whipped cream texture and stellar retention. Massive frothy ring leaves thick webs and sheets of lace.

S- Hops hit my nose just after the bottle opens in a pungent aroma that is hop dominated. Zesty citrus rind of orange and lemon, resinous pine, floral, dry pineapple and spicy earthy notes. Just a slight backing of grains and yeast.

T- Bright zesty hops rule the taste buds delivering orange peel, grapefruit juice, clemetine pith, dry pineapple, pine resin, dank and floral character. Malts and yeast only present to provide body and alcohol which comes slightly into play.

MF- Here is where the cow truly comes out. Lactose and whatever grains are used combine to form an uber thick and creamy body. It is extremely silky and smooth and finishes with a bitter blast.

I was glad to see this in bottles during my stop at Three Floyd's. I never knew how lactose could work in an IPA but they pull it off with Apocalypse Cow. The hops are juicy and pungent and the beer is an assault on the palate that is mediated by the silky lactose. Hopefully I can sip on this gem again someday.

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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 Viggo
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

650 ml bottle, big thanks to SPLITGRIN for sending my way in the Gentlemans Club BIF.

Pours a clear light golden amber, some light orange highlights, very thick slightly off white head forms, slowly settles to a thick ring and layer, sheets of lace stick all over, pretty great retention, looks real nice.

Smell is really cool, lots of caramel and milky sweetness, biscuit, corn syrup, pine, lots of grapefruit, tangerine, some floral and a bit of fruit, more pine, a bit of spicy hops, slightly herbal, really neat character.

Taste is interesting, a lot of citrus, big tangerine and orange peel, a bit of pineapple, caramel, quite sweet through the middle, lactose, milky, tons of grapefruit, nice sweet malty base, quite bitter in the finish, the lactose lends a pretty need character with the hoppiness.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low to medium carbonation, a real nice sugary sweetness. Still has a nice balance though, alcohol is superbly hidden. Thanks Michael!

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

22oz bottle poured into a Pint glass. Thanks bstyle!

A - Pours a cloudy orange, darker than I was expecting with a thick cream colored head. Good retention and lacing.

S - Surprized how muted the citrus and malt scents were, but they were balanced.

T - Sweet malts followed by some citrus tones that rol across your tongue.

D - Medium to high carbonation, no bitterness.

O - Creamy and smooth, wish the flavors were a bit more bold.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours out a little bit of a dullish dark orange, with a little bit of thin, almost beige head surprisingly. Aroma was very fruity, slightly tropical, orange, pineapple etc. . .

Taste, I immediately thought of this as the 3F version of Oracle from Bells. You know, DIPA, huge tropical pineapple feel with the mellow bitterness and yummy hop mouthfeel. Lacks any wood or thick heft characteristic to the malt, but is substantial enough to relatively balance out this massive beer. Another hop sticky beer without weighing you down, ample sweetness to it without at all qualifying as a "sweet" or "fruity" beer.

Hides the alcohol well. Whatever the lactose addition does, I dunno, I would suspect it is what makes this bitterness subdued, but appreciable as well as the melding with sweetness in a tropical way. A little pricey though, like pretty much the entire FFF bomber lineup.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into my Rochefort glass...Pours dark peach with an off white head, ok retention, great thick lacing...Super sweet from start to finish in taste and aroma on this. Sweet citrus, super malty caramel, tons of caramel on the back...Taste is resin but muted by a chalkyness, maybe that's the lactose sugar. interesting feel, a little tough to drink.

nothing good or bad, just not very exciting or easy to drink.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.52/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber purchased from Armanetti's for about $11. This beer is crystal clear and copper colored with a full froth that laces into small islands on the glass. The smell is all hops, resin and citrus. On second sniff that's not quite true, there are a lot of sweet aromas there too, this smells like it might ride the barleywine line. While the taste is definitely not barleywine this is much sweeter than I'd prefer for a DIPA. I appreciate the hops but the sweetness becomes cloying and gives me pause. I can taste the lactose in the aftertaste, which is pretty unique for an IPA. But it seems heterogeneous, almost a two-to-three phase system (hops, lactose, ethanol) where the individual parts contradict rather than compliment each other. Thick bodied and sticky (at least this complements the hop resin aroma) but hard to drink very fast. Just too much evident alcohol and clashing flavors. Worth a try but I won't get it again (and I almost had it on cask last night at the Map Room, wonder how that turned out).

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Photo of rlee1390
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Cloudy orange, nicely carbonated two finger head, with some lacing

S-Toast, malt, the lactose is present an interesting. Rather citrus and floral as well

T-has some malt, ends with citrus and floral hops. The lactose is present, and makes the balance interesting. Has a nice bitterness to it.

M-Medium bodied, nice carbonation, hop resins

O-The lactose is a very interesting addition to the beer. Not sure what to think if it yet, but the combination makes it worth a try.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy medium gold/apricot with only a tiny amount of pure white head. What little foam does develop fades quickly, and there is some awesome lacing left on the glass as it drinks.

S: The nose is big citrus hops (lemon, orange, mild grapefruit), spice, and light malt. The citrus notes dominate, with the spice and malt playing second fiddle.

T: It starts off sweet and juicy with a good malt base and notes of orange citrus. As it moves to the middle the hops get much stronger, as theymix with some spice. I get clove, grapefruit, yeast, and alcohol. The finish is mega hopped with super bitters and booze.

M: Full bodied beer. It starts wet and sweet, coats the palate, gets super bitter, and finishes boozy and sticky.

O: Pretty good. I much prefer some of Three Floyd's over offerings, but this beer is still pretty good. But the alcohol percentage and the mega hop bitters in the finish turn me off a bit.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle in trade from BrewMane. Pours in my tulip light orange straw colored. Big foamy head on top. Aroma is big raw hops, lemon zest, grapefruit. Flavor is like chewing on hop pellets wow. Big pine citrus and just plain hop and pineapple No sign of the ABV, and sweetness from the lactose. This is a cool beer. Very good stuff. Easy drinking but with a big slick mouthfeel. Must try for the hop head.

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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 mrfrancis
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy gold with a creamy, pillowy white head.

S: Much gentler on the nose than many American DIPAs. Scents reminiscent of cream, caramel, pine, navel orange, lemon, and grapefruit are readily apparent.

T: Citrusy and herbal with notes of cream, biscuits, caramel, honey, navel orange, lemon, grapefruit, pine, spruce, sage, and peppermint. The finish is bitter and complex with notes of citrus, mint, and pine.

M: Medium bodied, velvety, and smooth. Carbonation is very discreet and unobtrusive. Unbelievably drinkable for the style.

O: As much as I like this beer, I do find it necessary to restrain from giving it anything higher than a B+. I simply do not feel this compares favorably to Three Floyds' other DIPAs, though that does not mean that this is a bad beer. As a matter of fact, if it were produced by any other brewery, it would be an outstanding effort. So, after all is said and done, Apocalypse Cow is a near outstanding DIPA that is a half-step below Three Floyds' other takes on the style.

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Photo of jera1350
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a tulip a cloudy orange that appears to glow. The head is thinner and tan but produces plenty of lace.

Immense amount of citrus fills the nose. Fresh squeezed orange juice and tangerine. Some pineapple and a floral hop scent similar to lavender.

The hops are plump, juicy and sweet. Loads of tangerine, orange and grapefruit, but not overly bitter. The malt has wheat like characteristics. The lactose is a nice sweet compliment to the hop profile. Minor noticeable alcohol.

Between medium and full bodied, this gem has q velvety smooth feel all the way through. Soft and supple.

Drinks like an IPA. Tough to set the glass down. A top notch DIPA. Highly recommend this even with the higher pricetag.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber

finally got a hold of one of these - steve's on university

opened during game 1 of the cubs-cards doubleheader

appearance: killer artwork on the bottle - served in my hopleaf tulip, very slow forming bubbly beige head with dissapointing lacing, hazy apricot body...2nd half of the bottle produced a fluffy white cap with creamier lacing

smell: hopped like you would expect from 3F - pungent and piney...not as explosive as dreadnaught but steady

taste: highly bitter - sour grapefruit, lots of pine, candy sugars provide an interesting element, bitter orange peel, delicious stuff here but definitely an IPA stinger compared to dreadnaught

mouthfeel: probably the highlight of the beer - the smooth and creamy body really doesnt have any peers in the DIPA world that i have seen...prickly hops hit first but a creamy, almost warming, finish it off. innovative

drinkability: not that great for me - bitterness wears on

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

22oz bottle poured into tulip - thanks to drpdaddy

Pours a hazed golden orange with a thin layering of white head on top. Filmy cloudy retention with patches and splotches of lacing on the glass.

Stiff scents of pine and grapefruit hops with pithy citrus. Some residual sweetness from bready malts and burnt sugar, notes of crust and caramel.

Bitter up front with a nice dose of biting grapefruit with rind and peel. Orange and citrus, light pine resin as well. Larger malty backbone with caramel and bread crust. Hints of creamy burnt sugar create a decent sweet character, but rests underneath the hops. Finishes bitter and slightly warm.

Medium body, decent carbonation, a little creamy, fairly smooth on the tongue for the style. Another tasty DIPA from FFF, a nice little change from panzer wolf and dreadnaught with the addition of milk sugar.

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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 papat444
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Masterski for this one.

Poured from a bomber,

Appearance: Radiant light gold body with about 2-3 fingers worth of dull white foam but a solid clear body with a chilled haze.

Smell: Fresh peaches, mango, bit of burnt sugar, raw hops but more on the sweet fruit side.

Taste: Ripe fruit, bit of caramel, sugar, fruit syrup, green hops, bit earthy, sweet citrus, malt first and quite present though hops vie for attention as well.

Mouthfeel: Bit thick as it coats the mouth and the bitterness starts midway right through the finish and beyond.

Overall: A real nice DIPA though i think i prefer Dreadnaught.

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

This beer pours a hazy orange color. The head is one inch of solid foam that recedes slowly into a small creamy cap of lacing. The aroma is of grapefruit, tangerine, pine resin, pollen, and flower bed. The taste is of a wonderful balance of tangerine, grapefruit, pine, and flowers with a firm bot not overpowering bitterness. There is an awesome creaminess to the taste that transcends the mouthfeel and coats the tongue with flavor. The mouthfeel itself is full bodied, creamy, and moderately carbonated with a silky texture. Overall, this is a great beer. I haven't came across a unique DIPA in a very long time, but this one truly is one of a kind. I will certainly drink this beer again many times.

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

22oz bottle into Gulden Draak tulip. Big thanks to HosP for this one!

A: Pours a rich honey-amber with a thick cream colored head that quickly faded into a thin collar around the glass that laid down very nice thick lace.
S: Big citrus and pine hop aroma with notes of pineapple, lemon, grapefruit and pine. There is a touch of candied sweetness mixed in with some faint caramel malt as well.
T: Taste is all hops with a touch of creamy sweetness. Grapefruit and tangerine dominate with floral and pine notes intermingling. The only way you can tell this beer is brewed with some extra ingredient (lactose sugar) is by the sweet creamy finish. It reminds me of the sweetness condensed milk has. It's not all that obvious, but it adds a nice finish to the brew.
M: Substantial near-full body with a honey like slick mouthfeel and soft nonintrusive carbonation. For a beer that's 11% ABV there is not a trace of alcohol warmth or flavor.
D: One of the better DIPAs out there, but not the best. If no one told me this was brewed with sugar I wouldn't be able to tell there was anything special going on, and even knowing there is lactose in this as I drink it really doesn't bring anything special to the table. Still a top-notch beer.

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

This beer is a hazy one the color of burnished bronze. A couple of fingers of head form, soft but sturdy, retaining well and leaving steady lacing on the glass.
Lots of aroma comes out of this one. Plenty of tropical fruits greet the nose up front with a zesty citrus backing underneath a big blanket of hops and a gentle compliment of caramel malts that allow the hops to be at the forefront without being lost.
Hops kick on the tongue and remain even while citrus zest and tropical fruits sweetness come into play. A yeast hangs out underneath adding an interesting component and amplifying the doughy quality of the malts, which also add a light caramel touch. The main show here is hops, but the malts aren't lost and there's lots of complexity and sweetness to keep the puckering low and maximize enjoyment of the flavor.
Interestingly, this one starts off smooth then gets more crisp as it goes. The body is on the heavy side of medium and the carbonation kicks in with sequential sip.
This is one delicious beer. The only thing holding me back from more is the extremely high ABV.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Massive thanks goes out to enelson for a bottle of this in a trade from WAY back in the day! Shared this one with beeruser and funkydelic at one of our weekly tastings. Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured a hazy yellow-orange with a half finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, and citrus hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, caramel, and caramel hop. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. I was worried about this one being horrible since I have had it for so long... I was digging through my cellar and found it from when I moved last and promptly shared it. Still seemed to be holding up quite well. The hops were not as pronounced as you would expect for a brew sitting for so long, but it was still quite nice and enjoyable. The flavor had a nice sweetness with just a hint of bitterness. A definite must try if you have the opportunity.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-slightly hazy golden color with a hint of orange, nice off-white head and decnt lacing

S-sweet malt, citrus, orange, pine, slight herbal

T-citrus, pine, sweet caramel malt, herbal, moderate bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp and smooth

O-a good DIPA but a little on the sweet malty side for me

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Photo of AgentZero
2.66/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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 something that comes accross like 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 - I don't like this at all. 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. Between the sweetness and the hotness, it was a pretty bad combination, drank about 12 oz's of the bomber, and then just could not finish it.

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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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