Bellwoods Brewery

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Bellwoods Brewery
Ontario, Canada
Imperial IPA
Ranked #1,227
Ranked #5,377
4.13 | pDev: 7.99%
Jan 18, 2023
Apr 16, 2012
Notes: Generally an IPA is a beer that focuses on hop aroma and hop bitterness – and double IPAs, as you could imagine, are even more amplified in both bitterness and alcohol content. Our interpretation of this aggressive style, the Witchshark, is a bit of a favourite around here. Named after the elusive creature with the head of a shark and the body of a boy that first swooped in on a broom during construction of the brewery, this imperial IPA can elevate a bad day to good. The Witchshark is shy and mischievous, but once you let him into your heart you’ll see why this intense brew is a favourite among our patrons and brewers.

85 IBU
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 3.91 by Jsalz21 from New Jersey

Jan 18, 2023
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Reviewed by cambabeer from New York

4.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Darker than average pale yellow body, white head that doesn’t leave all that much lacing. Dank ripe pineapple nose, bit of pine. Smooth taste of malt and bread that balances the hop resin pine dryness well.
Dec 07, 2022
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Reviewed by 2beerdogs from California

3.76/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Thanks to Coronaeus for sending this surprise in NBS BIF #15.
16 oz can poured in a Drowned Lands Becher glass.
Not the prettiest girl at the dance, but she has a nice head. Very turbid, almost appears like a high-fiber drink. Decent head retention and subtle lacing.
Nose pops with grapefruit, lemon zest, pineapple, mango, herbal pepper, grass, and hints of pine. Grain notes hint at fresh, wet bread dough.
Flavor follows nose with a punch. This is no shrinking violet. She is hear to dance, and not to the slow numbers. Fairly aggressive in her grapefruit, mango, pineapple, spicy grass, berry, and pine that shows a little more resin. The grain comes off more crackery now. But all of this moves around in a "zippy" way."
Which takes us to mouthfeel. Very active carb, medium+ on feel, and more tropical notes on the finish. Slightly bitter with a hint of alcohol warmth.
Overall, this is an assertive one. Good, but for me it's not one to sit down and have 2 or 3 in a sitting.
May 28, 2022
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Reviewed by Ghrymm from Canada (BC)

4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Poured from a 473ml can. Canned on March 11/2022
One of the smoothest Imperial IPA's yet, very tasty a perfect balanced IPA.
The ABV is well hidden. Dam nice
May 08, 2022
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Reviewed by BGDrock from Canada (ON)

4.01/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Look of fresh squeezed, unfiltered pineapple juice; opaque; forms an off white head, frothy and with ok retention of a minute or two.
Tropical fruit - orange, tangerine, pineapple, passionfruit - fresh and juicy like a fruit cup.
Flavours of citrus zest, pine, pizza dough, with a creaminess to the feel; assertive and clean bitterness, nicely balanced by malt - in fact would say what stands out is a near perfect marriage of hops & malt, without particularly complex or "wow" inducing flavour. Medium-low carbonation, medium-heavy body, though it goes down dangerously easy for 9%. Dry finish, with lingering mellow bitterness, wheat notes.

A very nice, every day DIPA. Sort of a baseline example of the style.
Jan 08, 2021
Rated: 4.29 by SteveWeiler from Canada (ON)

Nov 01, 2020
Rated: 4.24 by Long813 from Canada (ON)

Sep 23, 2020
Rated: 4.4 by CLUELESS from Alabama

Jan 24, 2020
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Reviewed by TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
12 oz pour at brewpub on a snowy November day.
Pours a bright uniformly hazy golden with finger of creamy white head.
Aroma caramel malt, tangerine, mango, ripe orange, and hints of pine.
Taste follows - sweet tropical fruit - mango, pineapple, some booziness balancing a pleasant sticky resinous piney bitterness.
Full bodied mouthfeel - sticky resinous bittersweetness coats the mouth and leaves a fantastic residue of tropical fruit and pine.
Totally worth the trip through cold slushy downtown Toronto.

Aug 14/21 - fresh can from the brewery packaged August 12/21!!! Man the tropical and mango aroma - citrus, grapefruit and piney hops - some caramel note. Sticky tangerine, grapefruit, resinous bitterness across palate with toffee like malty sweetness. Finishes a little boozy medium full bodied moderate carbonation with a piney grapefruit bitterness lingering.
Nov 11, 2019
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Reviewed by Cramshawbar from Canada (ON)

3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
This one surprised me as I thought there would be fierceness and complexity. But this is rather straight forward. Really, it would be difficult to pinpoint to anything memorable within. The head is nondescript, as is the nose, and really, so is the taste. It's clean, not very fruity and not very bitter either. I honestly don't know what to say. People speak of big flavours of this and that, but none of it is true. There is no big flavour of anything here. Have a few IPAs from Badlands Brewing and you will quickly discover what flavours are.
This one is good, I like it, but without any specific reason I could point to. So weird.
Oct 06, 2019
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Reviewed by superspak from North Carolina

3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Got in a BIF from Coronaeus. 500 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours very hazy deep golden amber/light orange color with a 1 finger foamy and fluffy off white head with solid retention, that reduces to a thin spotty lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Good appearance. Aromas of big tangerine, red grapefruit, lemon, lime, peach, pear, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, mango, melon, berries, citrus peel/rind, wood, peppercorn, pine, wheat, cracker, white bread dough, lightly toasted biscuit, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/fruity/tropical/earthy hops and bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big tangerine, red grapefruit, lemon, lime, peach, pear, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, mango, melon, berries, citrus peel/rind, wood, peppercorn, pine, wheat, cracker, white bread dough, lightly toasted biscuit, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness. Light-moderate pine, citrus peel/rind, herbal, floral, woody, grassy, peppery bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of tangerine, red grapefruit, lemon, lime, peach, pear, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, mango, melon, berries, citrus peel/rind, wood, peppercorn, pine, wheat, cracker, white bread dough, lightly toasted biscuit, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/tropical/earthy hops and bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and no lingering hop astringency after the finish. Fairly crisp/clean finishing. Moderate increasing dryness from lingering bitterness and carbonation. Medium-plus carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth, moderately bready/grainy, and sticky/resinous/rindy balanced mouthfeel that is great. Minimal warming alcohol for 9%. Overall this is an excellent DIPA. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/tropical/earthy hops and bready malt flavors; dangerously smooth and easy to drink for the ABV, with the modestly bitter/resinous/drying finish; not overly aggressive. Feels like a lot of Columbus/Simcoe. Very vibrant, dank, earthy, and fairly juicy hop complexity; with a nice clean wheat/oat/malt backbone. Minimal residual sweetness from lingering crisp resin dryness. Very well attenuated for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering, and impressive style example for the ABV.
May 19, 2019
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Reviewed by JBowenGeorgia from Georgia

4.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Pours a hazy golden orange with a finger+ of white head that dissipated fairly quickly.
Smells of citrus, pineapple, mango, tropical notes.
Taste follows with a good mix of tropical fruits with a citrus balance.
Medium body with good carb levels. ABV is very well hidden for a 9%er.
Overall a tasty DIPA, Bellwoods has yet to disappoint.
May 14, 2019
Rated: 4.18 by Rub_This_BBQ from Massachusetts

May 12, 2019
Rated: 4.12 by sjones5045 from Pennsylvania

May 06, 2019
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Reviewed by octortus from Canada (ON)

4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
500 mL Bottle. ABV 9%.
Appearance: Very hazy (even opaque) pale gold/orange, Half a finger of head (even with a hard pour), OK retention.
Aroma: Citrus, Apricot/Peach, Tropical fruits, Hops.
Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, Low to medium body, Smooth, Slightly sticky on finish.
Flavour: Citrus, Mango, Pineapple, Hops, Stone fruit, Lingering sticky bitterness.
Overall: This was a blind evaluation. Wow, where is the alcohol hiding? I was worried that this would be too intense for me when I bought it, but it was very enjoyable! It's fairly simple but well balanced.

Review: 20
Apr 28, 2019
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Reviewed by eberesford from Canada (ON)

4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours gold with orange tint quite misty. Light head dussipates to ring. Aroma of cirus, mown grass, mango. Bitterness very much to the fore yet the tropical fruit base is clear and delicious.
Jan 23, 2019
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Rated by CanadaBeerguy from Canada (ON)

4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
This is arguably one of their best. Canadians are far too harsh in their reviews.
Nov 06, 2018
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Reviewed by JunctionCat from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
One of my fav local double IPAs - always well balanced bitter, aroma and malt from the first to last sip. Sometimes harder to find and much better fresh than old, like a true IIPA. Far too easy to drink for a big beer. So good
Sep 13, 2018
Rated: 4.05 by West_Chester_Ale_Tester from Ohio

Aug 19, 2018
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Reviewed by taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

4.19/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
500 ml bottle served cold into a pint glass. Thanks to Josh and Sarah for this delicious gift. Review from notes.

Appearance - super hazy, rich deep golden color with orange hues, a finger and a half of dense frothy white head. Very good staying power and lots of little buts of lacing at the edges of the glass.

Smell - big bouquet of tropical fruit. Pineapple, grapefruit and mango are the stars here with some melon thrown in for good measure.

Taste - sweet and fruity with some restrained bitterness in the back. Lots of tropical fruits again with melon and mango playing most prominent roles. Some pineapple with grapefruit shows up afterwards for added bitterness and fruitiness. Booze is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel - smooth and quite light nice terms of body. Carbonation is expressive and flavours are sticky feeling. Easy drinking with a dry sticky finish.

Overall - prettying man good stuff that lives up to the Bellwoods name.
Jul 09, 2018
Rated: 4.19 by kier from Canada (ON)

Jun 26, 2018
Rated: 4.17 by grover37 from District of Columbia

Jun 08, 2018
Rated: 4.15 by Nunya from Ohio

Apr 01, 2018
Rated: 3.75 by Jotora from Canada (ON)

Mar 29, 2018
Rated: 3.9 by leitmotif from Romania

Dec 03, 2017
Rated: 4.06 by kjkinsey from Texas

Nov 27, 2017
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Reviewed by Ciocanelu from Romania

3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Hazy light amber color with off-white head. Aroma has light nutty malt notes and some papaya and melon. Taste starts with some sweet malty notes, orange rind and light resiny bitterness. Medium body and carbonation. Overall it's quite nice and easy to drink but quite unimpressive.
Nov 19, 2017
Rated: 4.15 by Aboswell from Canada (ON)

Nov 18, 2017
Rated: 3.93 by deonreds from New York

Nov 07, 2017
Rated: 4.03 by jaydoc from Kansas

Nov 03, 2017
Rated: 4.25 by NolaHopHead from Louisiana

Oct 20, 2017
Rated: 4.1 by Jerk_Store from Canada (QC)

Oct 19, 2017
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Reviewed by kitch from Hong Kong

3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
A 500ml bottle with no bottled on or best before date. Poured into a Holy Mountain tulip glass.

Appearance: A lightly hazy golden colour with a two finger white head that had good retention and left nice lacing.

Aroma: Tropical mango, peach and pine with a herbal element.

Taste: Bitter, earthy, dank, pine, herbal, peppery with only hints of pineapple.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Not as juicy as I expected based on the nice aromas. It was still good to drink, but I definitely preferred the aroma.
Sep 08, 2017
Rated: 4.59 by FyreStorm from Canada (ON)

Sep 03, 2017
Rated: 4.5 by jwat from Pennsylvania

Aug 15, 2017
Rated: 4.1 by bumchilly25 from Canada (BC)

Aug 04, 2017
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Reviewed by NoahTile from Canada (ON)

4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Honestly, this beer was phenomenal. I am just starting to get into IPA's and Sours. I loved this. Sorry for the lack of technical langauge, but the smell was incredible, there was a perfect blend of bitter and sweet, and it went down so smoothly. Also love the 9%. Definitely a knockout. Was very memorable and hope to have some more on this new batch.
Belwoods Brewery is phenomenal.
Jul 28, 2017
Rated: 4.25 by TheBubblegumkid from Canada (ON)

Jul 26, 2017
Rated: 4.05 by Daniellobo from District of Columbia

Jul 23, 2017
Rated: 4.99 by StormAles from Canada (ON)

Jun 29, 2017
Witchshark from Bellwoods Brewery
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 206 ratings