Simcoe | Pipeworks Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Pipeworks Brewing Company
Illinois, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Having spent equal time studying at the Citrus School of combat and the Piney School of combat, Pipeworks Simcoe has garnered immense skills when it comes to fighting the horrible, evil, Bland Clan. Prepare your senses for the 1-2 punch of this Simcoe hopped Imperial IPA.

Added by MasterSki on 04-22-2013

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Reviews: 45 | Ratings: 523
Photo of BEERchitect
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Simcoe hops seem to get a bad rap. The common connotations is that the hop variety imparts aromas and flavors that are garlic-like, grassy with skunk and cannabis, or even of cat pee. But all-Simcoe "single-hopped" beers that I have don't seem to have the brevity that is preceded by their reputation.

Citra Simcoe's body is rich with a dark honey color. Its unadulterated haze further adds to its rich hue. But on top, a voluminous off-white froth builds into a rich lather. Its heady structure easily lasts the session while grazing the glass with concentric lacing.

Full hop aromas are highly citrusy and earthy. The scent of vibrant grapefruit might carry the character of being over-ripened. Those citrus notes are juicy and seems to be mixed with an herbal blend that consists of chive, basil, fresh-cut grass and cilantro. Its Italian herbal scent seems to be drenched in thin honey and caramel for a mostly balanced nose that tilts confidently toward the hops.

As the nose leaves sweeter impressions, the taste picks upon the honey and caramel as those sweetnesses wrap around the front of the tongue in anticipation of its hop dominance to come. The earthen fruitiness takes hold with an acidic and racy taste of grapefruit and oranges with a tinge of apple and kiwi could easily be yeast-derived fruitiness but weaves into the hop flavors seamlessly. As the beer extends into finish, the more herbal, grassy, and earthy bitterness takes hold, and does include a the light dankness of cannabis and is mildly catty- but much lesser so than is expected. But those final flavors are not alone- a spicy alcohol note seems of acetone and aids the closure in taste.

Full-ish in body, the same heft that pushes the ale toward ten-percent also allows the accumulation of sweetness that's not only tasted, but is also felt. This extra creaminess and weight pushes the hop and alcohol dryness until very deep into its taste. But the beer does finish semi-dry, spicy, warm and with a mild hop-derived astringency.

Simcoe Ninja is a solid IPA that doesn't miss a beat even if its hop blend is simple and directed to only one variety. This usually leaves beers lacking depth, complexity and interest; but no such problem here as the beer's "bigness" and alcohols aid the distinctive Simcoe hop with complexities of their own.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.26/5  rDev -0.2%

Twenty-two ounce bottle shared by Sasha - thanks. Batch 467/468.

A: Pours a hazy orange with a half-inch thick white head which fades to a thin cap and rim leaving spots of lace.

N: Juicy grapefruit, tangerine, orange, pineapple, fruity and floral.

T: Dank and herbal with some pine and solid malt backing.

M: Moderate body and medium carbonation. Resiny and sticky finish.

O: Strong Imp IPA and very hoppy. Well done.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.25/5  rDev -23.9%

Bottle shared by RussianDragon. Many thanks.

The beer is orange / russet and fairly hazy with a half inch of off-white head. Aromas of citrus, alcohol, bready malts, pine. These massively hopped, high alcohol beers just get on my nerves. Aggressive alcohol heat / sharpness in the finish. Lacking subtlety and grace. An in your face onslaught of hops and malt. Not entirely bad, but not my preference for the style. There are many DIPAs in the 8-10% abv range that reign far superior. This concludes my rant.

Put a freaking date on the bottle. Seriously.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.02/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from West Lakeview Liquors. Served in a plastic cup.

A - Looks nearly identical to Cascade Ninja, but with a bit better head volume.

S - Slight cattiness, with some guava, passion fruit, and a similar malt backbone of dough, sugar, and perhaps a hint of caramel. Hops seem less intense than the Cascade Ninja, even though this is a few weeks fresher.

T - The tate is quite heavy on melon and cantaloupe, with fairly low zesty or pithy notes. The malt character translates pretty closely from the aroma, with doughy bread and sugar dominating. Surprisingly hefty hop bitterness here.

M - Medium-full body, lower in carbonation, with a dry finish. Some lingering malt stickiness and hop resins. Again, a mild alcohol warmth that, while acceptable for 9.5%, makes this seem boozier than its predecessors.

D - I think this is my least favorite Ninja variant; the aroma doesn't pop quite like the other iterations, and I was expecting something like Haymarket's Degan. It's a solid brew, but I'd skip it in favor of Pipeworks' other beers.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Adam and Robbie for this bottle. Batch #123. Poured in to snifter.

A - Cloudy medium orange with amber in the middle. A thin layer of bright white head.

S - Huge grapefruit, peach and tangerine aromas with a touch of mango. A faint sweet honey malt backbone.

T - Bitter with fresh grapefruit, tangerine, mango and pine. A slight caramel malt sweetness in the background.

M - Medium body. Sticky and resinous. Light carbonation.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)
Batch 194
A- This beer pours a deep dried orange peel with a strong carbonation supporting a bubble beige creamy head.

S- The overripe pineapple hops leads to a green herbal hops in the finish.

T- The nice unripe herbal fruity hops lead to some citrus pith that finishes with a slightly sweet caramel malt hint. There is a gentle pungent green hop flavor that lingers.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a nice crisp finish and no real alcohol heat.

O- This beer really shows off the Simcoe character. The nice unripe fruit flavors with some herbal woody depth and a mellow bitterness makes this pretty easy to drink for such a big beer.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from Batch #124 shared with Shaun #1 and Doug in snifters last night, 6/3/2013.

Aroma: We just had a growler of Ephraim earlier in the evening and when I cracked this one open, this was an instant flashback to Ephraim. So much grapefruit hitting me in the face, along with some pine. No question, there's got to be Simcoe in Ephraim, because this one was also hitting on all cylinders. (4.5)

Colour: Pours amber, with a nice fluffy off-white head that takes its time to dissipate into a thick white film. Some decent lacing, not a great amount. Very clean-looking and begs to get poured into my mouth. (4.25)

Flavour: Simcoe all the way, baby. Its a bit different than Ephraim, but it is just as well put-together. It's got the citrus for sure, but the pine definitely is more present throughout than in the Ephraim. The malt backbone is very nice and caramelly; it's there more so than in Ephraim, which makes it a bit thicker sweet if that makes sense. Overall, very hopped up but with a great malt component which I've come to expect from Pipeworks. (4.5)

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, good carbonation, piney aftertaste that is resinous and dry.. even a bit earthy. (4.25)

Overall: Another awesome Ninja from Pipeworks. They honestly can't do anything wrong with their DIPAs at this point. (4.5)

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.49/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

batch 123.

22oz bomber poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: medium orange bodied beer that is slightly opaque. Almost 2 fingers of white head, Moderate lacing is better that a spotty lace.

Smell: Big citrus nose! I smell alot of oranges! Some grapefruit rind and pine. Hint of tropical fruits for good measure; mostly mangos and pinapple. The hops have that nice dankness going on too! Some bready malts to balance things out nicely. Great smelling beer!

Taste: mild to moderately bitter hops. This beer tastes a little bit different that the nose smells. The pine is bigger than the citrus in the flavor profile of the beer. Mostly dominated by pine. Grapefruit is a the most prevalent citrusy flavor, but I do get just a little bit of oranges and pineapple. The beer finishes with mild pine and grapefruit notes; a hint of dank, chalky hops for good measure. The hops in this beer taste wet and fresh! Very, very nice!

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. So drinkable its just not even funny! This beer drinks like its 6% abv. Very impressive how dangerously drinkable this beer is! The hops do dry the beer out just a little bit especially in the beers finish.

Overall: This is another fantastic Ninja beer by pipeworks! I think that its almost as good as Citra Ninja, but not quite as good. It just falls short of citra ninja, mostly because my preference in hops profile favors the combination of big citrus and big tropical fruits that Citra Ninja delivers flawlessly. Simcoe Ninja tends to deliver more pine without being too resinous and carries a decent amount of grapefruit notes too. Fantastic DIPA, The fact is... that Pipeworks is local beer that is world class; no doubt in my mind! Every Pipeworks DIPA has "WOW"ed me and simcoe ninja is no exception!

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Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle $9.49. Excited for this one because I loved the Mosaic version of this beer and I know Mosaic has a Simcoe heritage. Golden orange, good head. Earthy, piney, hoppy aroma that is distinctly Simcoe. Pine and berries in the flavor, not too bitter, not boozy at all (surprising). Slightly astringent finish. Nice beer but I prefer the Mosaic.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-orange amber color with a decent off-white head and good lacing

S-malt, citrus, pine, tropical fruit, herbal

T-caramel malt, grapefruit, orange, pine, herbal, moderate bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-a good Simcoe DIPA, a little on the sweet side, but overall flavor quite enjoyable

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Photo of pkalix
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

super dark, for an IPA, little head and unfiltered. as advertised!
smell is sweet. like pineapple sweet. typical good simcoe, when it's good. kind of a molasses aroma to it, also.... but I love the aroma!!!!
taste is kind of sweet, stable. I get the super high scores now, especially after comparing it to Simcoe Showers by Noble Ale Works.
after some indulging in this brew, it definitely is very sweet and is the reason it does not stand alone (usually) in a brew. needs other hops to compliment it, for certain.... but very good.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. Batch #194. My first beer in the Pipeworks Ninja vs. Unicorn Epic Battle Series, and my first beer made with strictly simcoe hops that I'm aware of. Expectations are high based on Pipeworks's good reputation for great beers, and based on this beer's current high ratings.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.

A - Pours a beautiful dark burnt sienna orange colored body with little sediment. Two fingers of creamy fluffy off-white / light tan colored head. Big fat sheets of lacing on the glass. Looks beautiful.

S - Smells truly mouthwatering. Luscious sappy pine hops, grapefruit, peach, some earthiness, some soapiness, a bit skunky, cat piss like acidity, and tons of beautiful floral aromas.

T - Definitely lives up to the hype. Believe it. Tons of bitter pine hops, grapefruit, peach, blood orange, some soapiness, florals. Truly an outstanding tasting beer.

M - Feel is smooth and creamy with some resinous hop bitterness and just a hint of alcohol warmth on the finish.

Overall, a truly outstanding beer from Pipeworks, probably one of the best I've had from them so far. These guys never cease to amaze me. About as smooth, creamy, and easy drinking as you could possibly expect from a beer with a 9.50% abv. Alcohol is expertly well masked. Apparently fresh simcoe hops are a beautiful thing.

Pipeworks Simcoe Ninja ---4.5/5

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Photo of Florida9
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Darker, dirty shade of orange. Slightly hazy. Forms a smallish off-white colored head that collapses to next to nothing, just a slight ring around the edge. Some moderate lacing.

S: Aroma is very nice. Sweet orange, orange blossom, and clementine. A slight ambrosia note, just a little tropical fruit, and a bit of alcoholic pungency comes through as green onion. Luckily the sweet, fruity aromas dominate.

T: Taste is moderately sweet. Again there is more orange, but the taste is earthier than the aroma would suggest. Citrus, grapefruit, pine. Some caramel malt. Finish is surprisingly quick. A touch of alcohol on the finish.

M: On the heavier side of medium. Medium carbonation. Mild bitterness. A bit of alcoholic heat.

O: Another very nice DIPA from the Pipeworks crew and another very good beer in the Ninja series. That said, I would have appreciated a bit more bitterness on this one.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: dirty orange jam, finger khaki head
excellent lacing

S: powerful grapefruit and fresh pine, earthy wood

T: lemon peel, pine, wood, mild chalky, long bitter finish

M: med body, very oily, mild sticky mouth

O: Quite good, love this brewery.
So glad to re-explore various hops and dive
into the intense detail each offer. Would
buy again to be sure.


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Photo of snaotheus
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass. I was able to find a bottle code on the bottom, but unable to read it. Label says it's batch #194. When I tried to wipe the condensation off the bottle to make it readable, the stamp may have wiped off, too.

Pours slightly cloudy amber, with a big tan head that dissipates fairly quickly into a small tan head. Smell is very strong, aromatic from the moment the beer was poured into the glass. Delicious pine and flowers, honeysuckle sweetness. Really really nice aroma.

Taste is lemon rind, slight honey sweetness, grapefruit rind, slight floral sweetness, pine bitterness. Pretty darn nice.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth. Overall, very nice beer.

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Photo of Jas45678
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle (batch 194) into snifter

Pours a clear amber, orangish color with a off white head which settles fairly quickly. Smell is piney with a little grapefruit and lemon peel. Taste is definitely piney with some of the citrus in the nose. Thick and sticky mouthfeel with moderate to low amount of carbonation. This is my first beer from Pipeworks and I am definitely going to seek out more. Super drinkable and smooth especially at 9.5 abv.

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Photo of Mikeypnh
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear, dark golden/amber. Small head with some nice looking bubbles floating on the top after it fades. The smell is very nice. Mostly a grassy pine, but with subtle hints of citrus, as well. Smells so fresh. The taste follows the nose, with a slight bitterness at the end. Malt comes through nicely, too, with a bready sort of after taste along with the bitterness. Lemon is the dominating citrus flavor, and it becomes more forward as it warms. Medium mouthfeel and creamy. This is a pretty bitter ipa, more on the side of lemon bitter as opposed to grapefruit rind. Another solid offering from pipeworks, although it may not be my favorite "ninja."

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4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A smooth pour easily achieves two fingers of yellow tan head. Head is mountainess and rocky as it slowly fades. Spots of lace are left behind. Body is nicely dark murky amber haze. Really a fuzzy mahogany hue.

Nose is sappy and full of woody hops. Spicy characters are very present throughout this very fragrant brew. A bit of rawness lingers on the nose as well.

I am immediately taken by how initially silky the hop profile is on this beer with first sip. Clean yet full on the palate is a very neat trick. Easy drinking but nicely aggressive hop feel throughout the flavor profile. Hops are raw and remind me of arugula a bit. Crisp and raw with subtle but consistent bitterness especially on the back half.

This is an overall solid and incredibly drinkable IPA. Mouthfeel is very enjoyable.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

How can you go wrong with Pipeworks single hop IIPA series?

A clear golden ale with as big a head as you want of off-white foam that leaves messy lace all down the glass. Smells like citrus fruits and berries with a woody, earthy edge. On the tongue, herbal pine rounds the fruits nicely, adding something musky to the blackberries and lime. Medium-bodied and smooth, moderately carbonated feel, and a satisfying finish that will definitely call for another glassful.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Clear gold-orange color with a copious amount of white head that leaves behind spotty lacing.

The smell has orange peel, pine, and lots of cat piss.

The taste is unmistakably Simcoe. Grapefruit, pine, Brie cheese. The light bready malt is submissive to the bitter hops.

Mouthfeel is dry and clean. Fresh tasting.

It's an awesome DIPA and, so far, only takes a backseat to citra ninja in their lineup, in my opinion.

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Photo of Ri0
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 267/268 poured 22oz bottle into snifter.

A - Rusty orange in color with a dirty white 2 finger head. Slowly fades and leaves behind nice webbed lacing on the glass.

S - A load of hops, pine, grapefruit and pineapple dominate. Sweet caramel and hints of honey scents balance it out.

T - Big hit of hops off the bat. Pine and grapefruit with some sweet pineapple. Sweetnes comes in with waves of caramel, honey, and ripe pineapple. Finish is all bitter with juniper and pine.

M - This beer has a medium mouthfeel, good carbonation, with a nice crisp finish and minimal alcohol.

O - This is sensational and showcases Simcoe all the way! It helps me realize that some of my other IIPAs must use this hop. I'm looking at you CW Illumination.

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Photo of GJ40
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%

An impressive fluffy white head that lasts forever. Piney and earthy hop aroma and flavor dominate. Very good but I'm not so sure simcoe is a hop I enjoy alone.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a gorgeous dark rust red, great two finger head, and well carbonated.

The Simcoe provides nice citrusy, spice notes to this wonderful brew.

Spicy citrus is balanced perfectly with a fresh bread backbone and notes of pineapple in the finish.

Sticky and dank, just the way I like my IPAs!

Overall this is a perfect concoction to pour down the throat on a hot summer day.

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Photo of shand
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This Ninja is one dangerous fellow. At 9.5% ABV, this guy drinks like he's much closer to 6%. The aroma is pretty standard for an IPA, citrus hops and caramel malts. The taste comes hard with sweet citrus and a solid piney bitterness that melds very well with the sweet caramel malts. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied, moderately carbonated and sticky, it's just what I want to feel from a DIPA. The drinkability is amazing, Simcoe Ninja goes down far easier than it should. Overall, a DIPA that excels in the mouthfeel department. Very enjoyable, and greater than the sum of its parts may seem.

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Photo of kevanb
3.74/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

650ml bottle, batch #194, poured into a Pipeworks snifter.

The beer pours a bold copper color, hues of orange and gold, clear complexion with a slight haze with a billowy, off white head that rises about 2 fingers high that has moderate retention and leaves only a few spots of lace behind. The aroma is of heavy pine, very sappy, resinous and oily, light grapefruit with some tropical sweetness that leads right into the sticky, sweet malt and a fairly heavy dose of booze. Lots of pine on the tongue, very oily and resinous, further earthy undertones are cut by some tangy grapefruit and citrus and very sweet, rich malt and heavy alcohol. The mouthfeel is okay, juicy and sticky, coats the mouth well, the finish is a bit creamy and leaves almost a burning alcohol sensation in the mouth as it goes down.

Verdict: A decent DIPA from Pipeworks, but once again, is dominated by alcohol. This beer does showcase Simcoe nicely, but doesn't have the same complexity or delicate nature that a beer like Row 2, Hill 56 does. I've yet to be overly impressed with too many of the Pipeworks IPAs and this just strikes me as another run of the mill IPA, I'll stick to stouts and porters from Pipeworks, where I think they really shine as brewers.

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Simcoe from Pipeworks Brewing Company
4.27 out of 5 based on 523 ratings.
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