Boatswain American IPA | Rhinelander Brewing Company

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Boatswain American IPABoatswain American IPA

Brewed by:
Rhinelander Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TheCondor on 06-14-2012

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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 121
Photo of ChrisMon02
2.27/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

22oz bottle bought at Trader Joe's. Poured into a Duvel snifter.

Pours a brown-orange color with a small soap like head that dissipates quickly. No lacing to speak of. Smells of sweet caramel malt with no hops and a touch of ethanol. Smells like a bad ole ale to me. Taste mimics the noise. Sweet malt, some booziness and dark fruits. NO hops at all. I had to read the label again to make sure I didn't screw up when I thought I read IPA. Mouthfeel is the best part which is not saying much.

I didn't expect much For a $2.29 bomber. My wife discovered Trader Joe's recently and when see saw this she pulled the trigger. The worst part is she also got me the DIPA. I am cringing thinking about having to drink it so she doesn't get offended. I will definately have that one after a night out drinking good craft beers. Numbing the tastebuds should help. Pass on this one.

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Photo of Att0
2.4/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Not sure if it is retired yet, just picked this up at Trader Joe's...
This is labelled as an American IPA, but it doesn't fit the taste profile. If I was to sum up the smell and taste in one word it would be malty. This is not a word that springs to mind when you think of a good (or even average) American IPA. I would have given this beer a much higher rating if it was called a pub ale perhaps. The bottle is really pretty though!

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Photo of hophugger
3.29/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Sure its brewed for Trader Joes, sure it is not a big time IPA, but..................Put the price and the place you got it out of your mind and this is an average + IPA. Nice cloudy, deep gold color with below average head and decent lacing. Aroma is light, with hops and malt being the predominant smell. Taste is definitely more malty than most IPAs but the hops and hop bitterness are present and this beer balances quite well. Some citrus overtones, nice bold carbonation and a good, slightly bitter, clean finish. For what I paid ($2.29 for the bomber), this is a decent light IPA...

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Photo of Gavage
2.6/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: pours an orange color with a 1/2" head that lasts a bit.

Smell: a strange fruit sweetness rises from the glass and isn't very pleasant.

Taste: caramel, over ripe fruit sweetness, some metallic flavors, very little bitterness, and some off putting flavors like cabbage arrive late.

Mouthfeel: light crispness to start, smooth at the finish. Flavors linger on the tongue.

Overall: this beer was hard to drink and has a weird vegetable flavor.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.63/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I do not understand the negative reviews this one gets as I found it to be quite tasty. Pours a nice dark amber color, not much head but great lace retention throughout. Aroma is malty sweet with fruity esters . This is reflected in the taste which is almost cloyingly sweet. However, as I drank on the bitter hops Finnish become more pronounced which balanced the sweetness. Nice feel; smooth, medium bodied and light carbonation, very drinkable.
I shop at trader joe all the time. I love their prices and this one is no exception. I will get again as I consider it a nice middle of the road IPA at a bargain price.

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Photo of DIPA69
2.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Bought at Trader Joe's. Woman at the counter said it was a to style IPA.
Appearance: Poured into a 16 oz New Belgium snifter. Cloudy orange copper pour with a one finger head of quickly dissapating off-white bubbles.
Smell: Sour Malt, mustard, venetian chicken, wild clover honey
Taste: Heavy caramel and toffee notes, toasted almond, vanilla bean, mild tart notes of apricot and pear.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, slight carbonation,
Overall: Not brewed to style. Thought there are a few redeeming qualities of this beer, it is not an IPA. The caramel, malt notes dominate and the hop flavors are virtually nonexistent. I would buy this beer if my buddies were over to watch the Lynx, but would not purchase for my friends that actually appreciate and review beer. Trader Joe's puts out some good wine and beer, but as someone who loves hoppy beers and double IPAs, I would have to say that this beer falls short of the mark for an acceptable IPA.

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Photo of tkreancty
4/5  rDev +42.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Folks, taste this beer blind. Seriously. I can't believe how reviewers are affected by a price tag and a label. This is a damn good beer - arguably the best value in generally available craft ales today. There is no doubt in my mind that with a different label and a higher price point folks on here would be lauding its clean balance of caramel sweetness and assertive but not over-the-top bitterness. Maybe it doesn't belong categorized as an American IPA, as it avoids the hop excess that defines the style, but it does deserve more appreciation than it is getting, being a well-balanced and flavorful pale ale. Try it again. With an open mind.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
2.29/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Picked up at Trader Joe's. I guess it's their house beer. It's a disaster.

In a pint glass the beer a brassy color with no head and no lace.

Sweet malt, maybe a hint of citrus. Sure didn't smell like an IPA.

Nor did it taste like an IPA. Cloyingly sweet and sugary. Some lemon, maybe a hint of grapefruit.

Gag! Way too sweet, virtually non-existent hops.

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Photo of Jabberwocky
2.37/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Pours copper orange with only very minor amounts of foam. Can clearly see little bubbles in the beer. Carbonation is fairly high. Very weak smell, not a strong scent.

Upon first mouthful. This beer is watery, it taste, in mouth feel, and in general. I will not be buying this again. Roasted barley notes are there and is probably the most enjoyable part of the beer. There is a good amount of sweetness. It is not very hoppy, with the only hops being a very mild aftertaste that sticks to the tongue for a few seconds. For the price, with an emphasis on the price part, it isn't terrible, but it isn't good either. It lacks character and doesn't have a bold IPA signature which I've become accustom to in IPAs. Bottle says 6.7 Abv, but the beer tastes much more watery.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
1.97/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, cooked vegetables, non-stick cooking spray, and subdued herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with harsh malt and medicinal-like hop flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a horrible beer with super harsh flavors that make it a huge chore even to sip on.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.16/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer pours a slightly dense deep dark orange body with a light tan cream and a slowly dancing carbonation of bubbles.

S- The flinty clean aroma has some green herbal notes in the finish that might be hops.

T- The touch of sweetness gives way to a citrus juice hop hint with a bit more hop bitterness in the finish.

M- The medium mouthfeel doesn’t have any alcohol heat and a tight little fizz.

O- The hops are very soft and the malt flavor is just a touch bigger making it a bit bland but I didn’t have high expectations for a $2.99 bomber. It was a bit watery but there was some hop bitterness that did linger.

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Photo of darksunshaman
2.08/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Barely worth writing a review about. This was a prime example of a poorly executed beer. I don't know what went wrong here or what would make it better, or what the brewers were actually trying to accomplish. I swear I was tasting seawater...the first beer I have poured out in it's entirety after the first taste. Glad it was under $3 for a bottle....

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Photo of kojevergas
2.77/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

6.7% ABV confirmed. 650 ml brown glass bottle with standard unbranded gold pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average given its current ratings.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a three finger beige colour head of fair cream, decent thickness, and pretty good (~3 minute) retention for the above average ABV. Body colour is a clear translucent copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Generally appealing for the style, but unimpressive.

Sm: Way too malt-emphatic. Light floral hop character, but mainly just malts. Clean grainy malts. Horribly simple. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. Not very appealing considering the style. A mild strength aroma.

T: Overly sweet malts. Bland grains. Severely limited floral hops. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Simple, boring, and bland. Uninteresting. Poorly constructed for the style. Lacks balance.

Mf: A bit thin. Smooth and wet. Carbonation is off. Okay body. Poor presence on the palate. Doesn't suit the flavour profile all that well. Disappointing.

Dr: A badly executed beer that doesn't even satisfy the parameters of the style. Hides its ABV decently. It's drinkable but forgettable. The price point could be worse, but it's still not worth picking up. I certainly won't be getting it again. Very underwhelming.

Low C

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Photo of Jemonster
3.14/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 2.5

A: Nice clarity, golden body with small bubbled and heavy looking carbonation. Thin white head indicative of the style.

S: Lots of sweet malt up front. Sweet white sandwich bread. Not smelling much in the way of hops aside from a light citrus scent, like the sweet lime.

T: Sugar bomb, no idea how they got this so sweet. Tastes like it came off the yeast a little too early and then was force carbonated. Not even close to 75 IBU worth of hops like the bottle says. Very, very mild hop bitterness in the aftertaste, no aroma hop flavors in the middle...did they forget the hops that they meant to add? Tastes like a standard pale ale, and a light one.

M: Nice and creamy, they did this part well. Really excellent feel, nice carbonation and body. Isn't perfect though, because the sweetness distracts.

O: This might be nice for some people who don't like the bitterness of an IPA, but the problem is that this IS an IPA. Maybe I've been drinking too many DIPAs. It would make a not-bad pale ale and would have received better scores as such.

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Photo of katan
3.11/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

500ml into a pint

A - Pours a brown clear color. Light white head formation.

S - Lightly citrusy, a little bit sweet from the malts. Has some grainy corn aspect to it.

T - Starts off smooth and sweet, lightly malty. Mid-stream gets some harsh graininess and some bitterness. More or less balanced. Finishes with a little bit of sweetness.

M - Moderate body, lighter in carbonation. A little sticky in the finish. No alcohol warmth detected.

O/D - An unremarkable beer in just about every way. Like this beer was designed totry to be a decent IPA while cutting every corner.

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Photo of hreb
2.73/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bomber served in pint glass. Beer pours a slightly hazed orange amber with no head. Smells actually a little fruity / estery. Flavor is moderately hoppy, though a little bit metallic. I'm reminded of an old (as in skunky) lager in a can. Body is pretty thin and considering the non-trivial ABV I would have hoped for a little more malt. And considering the label claims 79 IBU I would have hoped for more hop flavor. The bitterness isn't overpowering, but it isn't interesting or flavorful, either. Would not recommend. But hey, it's cheap!

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Photo of plaid75
2.67/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a dark brass hue with a two finger frothy white head. There was very good retention and sticky lacing.

The smell featured sweet adjunct malt and a grassy hop.

The taste consisted of a cloyingly sweet malt, corn and a prickly herbal hop.

The mouthfeel was full and creamy.

Overall a poorly constructed IPA.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +51.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Boatswain H.L.V. Ale
650 ml bottle, no apparent freshness date
$1.99 @ Trader Joe's #719 in Omaha, NE

Appearance: Clear deep-ruby body beneath a frothy head of off-white. Very good head retention and lacing.
Aroma: Distinct yeasty fruitiness of apples and light pear alongside citrus (mainly orange) mixed with caramelish malt ; all-the-while backed by leafy, grassy, and floral hops. (EKG?) Wonderful. Bright hops!
Taste: Mimics the aroma, but wider (not necessarily fuller). More nutty; wider caramel. Solid bitterness at 80 IBU's (as listed on the label). Toast, caramel, fruit, straw, grass, mineral... and a suggestion of pine and light citrus - nicely rounded and balanced.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full. Gently bristling, very-fine bubbled moderate carbonation. Smooth.
Overall: Superb English character with bright fruit upfront that fades into dry hoppiness. Superbly charming. Never really reveals it's strength at 7% abv. Impressive.

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Photo of MadScientist
2.58/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: A dark amber with orange highlights and decent clarity. The head is off white, doesn't form a good head stand and quickly settles to a thin cap

S: Moderately-low citrus hops with some caramel malt and a moderately-low diacetyl aroma. There is bit of and orange ester. It smell like it's an older bottle of IPA.

T: The sweetness is the first thing I noticed with a moderate malty sweetness with a moderately-strong hops bitterness. The hops flavor again indicates that this isn't all that fressh with a moderately-low citrus hops flavor that is kind of dull. There is moderate caramel flavor to the malt and a light fruity ester from the yeast. The balance is moderately bitter with the finish being off-dry. The aftertaste is a moderate bitterness and the light fruitiness.

M: Medium bodied with moderately-strong carbonation and a light creaminess. There is a very light slickness.

O: Not an impressive IPA and not worth tracking down a fresh example. It's too malty sweet and not really all that dry on the finish.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
2.25/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured room temp in hotel flared glass

A: good carb; terrible head (very thin); light, very clear light orange
S: has a macrobrew stench; not at all expected, given the promise of a DIPA
T: tastes like a hoppy Euro strong; not much complexity; has carrot and a bit of bubblegum flavor; the boozy element is not well blended
M: buzzy, sharp

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Photo of LXIXME
2.76/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A medium sized light tan head falls into a nice lacing above a clear orangeish copper colored beer.

Light sweet malts with a light orange citrus aroma.

A light dryish taste that has a light almost bitter citrus and light sweet maltiness.

Light sweet malty aftertaste that has a very light dryishness to it on this light to medium bodied beer.

Kind of malty for an IPA, I hope that doesn't become a trend.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
2.73/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a 1.25" off-white head with decent lifespan. The body is a hazy burnt orange color. Although it does smell of hops and malt it has to be one of the weakest smelling IPAs I've ever had. The taste unfortunately mirrors the smell. This one barely counts as an IPA. Not a bad drinking beer, nonetheless, and a cheap bargain at Trader Joe's.

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Photo of Sammy
3/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A light coloured yellow with carbonation bubbles and lots of foaming head. Very mild hop aroma. Some hops there but mostly a dry gummy beer. Minimal drinkability as some impurities. Mouthfeel is not smooth. Inexpensive for a bomber, the rest of which will be used for beercycles.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
2.85/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a tumbler pint, the beer is a muddled, opaque hazed, copper-orange color with no head whatsoever. Aromas of tangy sweet caramel blending with floral and citrus hops. Smells more on the malty side. Flavors are malt forward, with a nutty and toffee-like backbone giving rise to the peppered and citrusy burst of hops. There is almost an effervescence to the hops character that really helps to lighten up the feel of the beer. Slightly resiny, slight bitter aftertaste that still has a kick of the sweet malt in the background. A smooth, clean, slightly bitter finish. This beer isn't bad, but it isn't screaming out at me in greatness, either. Middle of the road IPA, and maybe more of an English style than American, but that's just me.

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Photo of 5thOhio
3.35/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber at the local Trader Joe's for $2.29. At that price, and having had other TJ offerings, I figured it would at least be worth the money.

Pours a nice orange-copper with a half-inch off-white head that slowly dissipated to a thin film. A smattering of lacing. Aroma was malty and a little earthy.

I have to agree with the other reviews: it's not a bad beer, but not what I'd expect for an IPA. Lots of sweet malt up front with enough hop bitterness at the end to keep it from being deadly sweet. Hops are mostly piney/floral. Mouthfeel is good. Plenty of carbonation and medium thickness.

If I had done a blind tasting, I'd have probably said it was a strong ale or maybe an amber, but I certainly wouldn't have called it an IPA.

Overall, I'd buy this again, especially at that price. If you can overlook the generic brand and forget that it claims to be an IPA, it's decently drinkable. Certainly better than fizzy yellow lager.

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Boatswain American IPA from Rhinelander Brewing Company
2.8 out of 5 based on 121 ratings.
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