Pipewrench
Gigantic Brewing Company

PipewrenchPipewrench
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Style:
American Imperial IPA
Ranked #1,563
ABV:
8%
Score:
90
Ranked #5,375
Avg:
4.06 | pDev: 9.36%
Reviews:
27
Ratings:
173
From:
Gigantic Brewing Company
 
Oregon, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  10
Gots
  25
SCORE
90
Outstanding
PipewrenchPipewrench
Notes: Description: Our Gigantic IPA aged in Ransom Old Tom Gin barrels for 3 months. Botanicals from the gin meld perfectly with citrusy hops and subtle wood in an incredibly complex beer.

Tasting Notes: The seductive aromatics of juniper berries, orange peel, lemon peel, coriander seed. cardamom pods and angelica root blend perfectly with the bright tropical, citrus fruit and mango hops notes. The palate is rich and silky, with malt flavors punctuated by lively citrus zest and heady exotic notes of coriander and teak. The beer continues with suppleness and power, with the warmth and richness of the malt carrying clean, focused botanicals on a clean, elegant finish.

History & Style: Pipewrench IPA was inspire by the "cocktail" of the same name. A Pipewrench is a shot of gin dropped in your favorite IPA, akin to a Boilermaker. The combination of citrusy hops and complex Gin botanicals mix perfectly in refreshing complexity.

Ingredients: Local Bull Run water, Barley, Hops, Yeast; Malts: NW Pale, German Munich; Hops: Crystal, Simcoe, Cascade, Centennial, Magnum.
Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 173 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of bradleypariah
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite beer ever. Nothing tops it. It has the acidity of a peach, but the powdery tingle of cinnamon. Mind you, it tastes nothing like either of those things. The flavor is of intense hop oils, but more floral than bitter. There is a thick mouthfeel, a hint of spice, and plenty of that lip-smacking sweetness without the beer tasting "cloying." The appearance is murky and orange. The woody notes gained from aging in gin barrels put this beer over the top. A thick, meringue-like head will persist to the bottom of your stein. If you love aged beers, and you also love IPA, this beer will literally ruin you. I'd love to take off a point for the high cost, but it's kinda worth it. I typically score a bomber for around $11. I buy about one a week.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I have openly copped to my aversion to liquor not because I don't like it, but because I like it far too much! As a young imbiber, some of my worst adventures were due to drinking (especially) bourbon. I still do not have a taste for it as I do for Rye Whisky, but my second fave came as a result of my first Med Cruise in 1985. Yeah, we hit on better beer, like aged Chimay (Red/Rouge), but Heineken was still highly prevalent & upon meeting some English birds in Rome, I got on to (not simply) G&Ts but Tanqueray & tonic! I used to drink gin with mixers like it was going out of style until craft beer came along & I simply got immersed in beer. This will be both a throwback & a melding of two eras in my life. This was another pre-parting of the ways Bottle from Tavour.

From the Bottle: "'Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.' - Bob Dylan"; "Our Gigantic IPA aged in Ransom Old Tom Gin barrels for 3 months. Botanicals from the gin meld perfectly with citrusy hops and subtle wood in an incredibly complex beer."; "[Beer] #24 in the endless series of limited edition and artisan beers"; "Artwork by Olivia Knapp".

More about Ms. Knapp, from the brewery's website: "Olivia Knapp's intricate hand drawn pen and ink style is influenced by European line engravings of decorative relief and scientific specimens from the 16th to 18th centuries. Her tight cross-hatching technique involves long, slow, and steady curved lines that articulate the surface contours of her subjects. Most of Olivia's [my, aren't we familiar?] content explores the relationship between desire, reason, and circumstance. You will most likely find her introspecting, daydreaming or drawing in a white room with high ceilings somewhere in Washington state."

I Pop!ped the cap & began a slow, gentle C-Line pour. I was a little taken aback as it huffed & it puffed & it created a massive three-plus (!) fingers of dense, rocky, foamy, French Vanilla-colored head with excellent retention. 8=O While I waited for it to fall back, I inhaled deeply. I could really smell the Gin botanicals! Man, talk about a groovy trip down Memory Lane … Color was a deeply cloudy Amber (SRM = > 7, < 9). Lifting it to my nose was a revelation! I could smell the hops, the gin & the wood, all very strongly. The common thinking is that one should not bottle-age AIPAs, but in this case, the few months since it was bottled have only helped it. What if the hops had been enough to overwhelm the gin & wood? 8=( I was blown away by the nose! Mouthfeel was medium, about par for the style. I let it roll around on my tongue to warm & in doing so, the aromatics just seemed to flood my sinus cavity! The wood of the barrel also came through as the hops lent it a very pleasant minty bitterness. Lemon bitters with gin from a barrel. That sums it up. 8=O OMFG! I just realized that I have no Gin in the house! I must go out & get some! I now want a T&T or at the very least, a G&T, in the worst way! In the meantime, I just want to savor this beer. Finish was insanely dry, only a step away from gaspingly dry. It was veddy dry in an English sort of way, don't you know. The botanicals remained on my lips, causing me to lick them in fond memory, like a departed girlfriend. I really don't want to go back to Tavour, but I will be watching for other Gin-barrel aged beers henceforth & now that I know how to make one, a Pipewrench beer/liquor cocktail will be in my future!

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Photo of arini10
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

One of the more creative and exciting beers I've tasted in a long time. Foam forms fairly stiff peaks and the flavor is multidimensional, the hops fornicating with the gin and malts into an unanticipated and rich flavor, only slightly let down by the smell.

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Photo of beergoot
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Orangish body with a soft haze; thick, rocky and sculpted head. Fine light grain aroma with a mild gin fruitiness. The taste somewhat follows the aroma; biscuit with a gin-like quality overall; some woodiness; muted hop bitterness. Heavy body; fairly rich and smooth; nice cross-mix of dull sweetness and boozy dryness.

I've never been a gin fan (I am a bourbon guy), but the subtle aspects of wood and sloe in this IIPA do the beer justice. The gin barrel-aging seems to have amped up the hop bitterness and flavor aspects to refreshingly and enjoyable level. A very fine twist on the imperial IPA style.

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Photo of degueulasse
3.19/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This beer pours a beautifully glowing orange and smells like citrus. The taste is citrusy and hoppy, though it is overlaid with a somewhat bitter gin flavor. Whiskey barrels tend to add a mature, deep, rich flavor, whereas this tastes simply more alcoholic to me.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The appearance was a nice hazy golden looking orange color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within about a minute. There was some light glossy lacing sticking but ending up sliding down. The smell was practically almost perfect. The gin - barrel aging did this beer well as a really nice sweet to woody citrus to big piney/sprucy and somewhat juniper - ish booziness overcomes my nose. The taste took all of those previously mentioned flavors and combined to touch and flavor for a sticky piney taste, thoroughly bittersweet all the way through. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a fairly decent sipping quality about it. The carbonation was good for the AIPA style and for me. It’s not as harsh as expected but I think that could be the gin - barrel aging. Overall, I could be biased but because I love gin and AIPA’s this is an absolutely awesome beer that I would love to have again.

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Photo of SargeMcCluck
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, cloudy honey. Average head.

Nose is fruit cordial. Not going to lie and say I'd be able to pick out juniper without the label, but I get blackcurrant, elderflower, sweet bread. Barrel hits the palette immediately, but transitions quickly into bitter lemon, grapefruit, tangerine. Maltiness props everything up.

Expected a meme, but this is a beer that invites sip after sip in discerning the flavours. I'm sure we'd all be wet for it if it achieved this with hops alone. A great little experiment.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. Bomber

Poured into a tulip a pretty nice clean/clear dark golden orangy color, pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice thick/creamy one-finger off-white head, which also leaves some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, malty, with some nice gin notes, with some nice citrus, kinda piney. The taste is pretty nice, hoppy, malty, with some gin, nice touch of citrus. Medium body, ABV hidden pretty well, a different take on the style. Overall, a pretty tasty brew.

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Photo of gman1602
4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy orange with a really solid head that recedes fairly soon with decent lacing left.
Smell is actually a little bready with the malt - I'm picking up some but not much of the gin barrel or hops here.
Taste actually starts off with a juniper gin flavor backed by the malt, but transitions seamlessly into hop characteristics of dry lemon and finishes a little dry in the mouth. Really good body to the whole beer and the carbonation helps move the flavors along.
Overall I'm really liking this beer and would recommend it for their spot on meld of gin and hop flavors to make a really nice IPA. My bottle poured pretty cloudy but I'm personally fine with that; it may have helped give more body!

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Photo of arizcards
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a bomber from the refrigerated section of the Belmont Station this past Saturday for $10.39. No visible bottling date but my hope it has been in the fridge since bottling.

Beer poured orange with a nice white head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose has light hints of juniper berries, pine, and citrus.

Taste is lemony, piney from the hops and slightly medicinal from the barrel, botanicals, light grapefruit melding nicely with pale and caramel malts.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall the flavors from the base beer which seems solid and the gin barrel light aging come together subtly which is well played in my book. Definitely give it a shot if you have some extra cash and want a twist on your typical IPA.

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Photo of OmahaKF
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Smell is lemon, juniper, pine, and a sweet floral aroma. Taste is gin, a hint of basil, malt sweetness, and a piney finish. Usually I'm very underwhelmed by barrel-aged IPAs, but I really enjoyed this one. The gin flavor goes great with the citrus and pine of an IPA.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I poured this into a snifter. The appearance was a nice hazy golden looking orange color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within about a minute. There was some light glossy lacing sticking but ending up sliding down. The smell was practically almost perfect. The gin - barrel aging did this beer well as a really nice sweet to woody citrus to big piney/sprucy and somewhat juniper - ish booziness overcomes my nose. The taste took all of those previously mentioned flavors and combined to touch and flavor for a sticky piney taste, thoroughly bittersweet all the way through. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a fairly decent sipping quality about it. The carbonation was good for the AIPA style and for me. It’s not as harsh as expected but I think that could be the gin - barrel aging. Overall, I could be biased but because I love gin and AIPA’s this an absolutely awesome beer that I would love to have again.

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Photo of AbbeyIsBeer
4.96/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look: Crazy head. Nice lacing. Unique color, almost a dirty blonde. Very cloudy.

Smell: Very aromatic. The gin herbs come through very clearly with lemony citrus hops.

Taste: Amazing blend of juniper and lemons. So unique and original while still being perfectly balanced.

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Photo of Thomas_Picton
4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reading Dana Ward's A Kentucky Mothers at Gigantic, ten minute walk from Reed. Excellent: unabashed big gin flavors come through and stay, but don't completely mask the excellent IPA beneath.

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Photo of oceanman907
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On Tap at Bailey's Taproom in PDX

I will preface this review by saying I am normally not a big fan of barrel aged IPAs unless they have a brett character to them, but this beer was very intriguing and had a nece integration of the vanilla/ oak flavors, the herbal, sloe gin flavors, and the piney hop flavors of an IIPA a nice beer tha makes me question my privies ban of BB IPAs. Try if you get the chance.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle - hmmmm, gin and west-coast IPAs should be complementary, in theory, but I suppose the proof is in the pudding.

This beer pours a murky, dark apricot amber hue, with two chubby fingers of weakly foamy, somewhat chunky, and fairly bubbly off-white head, which leaves some sudsy ocean atoll lace around the glass as it gently subsides.

It smells of a sharp citrus and pine needle bitterness, melded with a floral, woody, and earthy botanical essence, some crackery, grainy pale malt, tame caramel, dank wet leaves, and a hovering medicinal booziness. The taste is semi-sweet, grainy caramel malt, a twinge of sugary toffee, a blend of muddled citrus, pine branch, floral ester, juniper berry, and generic herbal bitterness, and some softly probing gin-like alcohol.

The bubbles are swinging in quite a low-fi manner on the ol' frothometer, the body a sturdy medium weight, and mostly smooth, a bit of that dual heat poking its nose in where it's not welcome. It finishes well off-dry, the base caramel malt reasserting itself, while the guest green things finish their playful tussle with the inherent hops.

Well, this certainly comes off a whole lot better than I was expecting (barrel aging of any sort for IPAs just seems inadvisable to me), as the gin here seems able to aid and abet the big hoppiness of a DIPA, rather than depress or override it. Tasty, interesting, and still duly weird - I've been getting a lot of that lately.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: medium gold and almost clear; fat tan head persisted and draped ample lace

S: herbal and medicinal gin and barrel wood notes; subtle hints of citrus and something earthy and dank

T: floral, herbal, and fruity but with medicinal and astringent elements; dry bite of gin on the end, only slightly sweetened; dank bitterness

M: smooth but with a tingle on the tongue; numbing bitterness as time goes by; some vague stick; medium-weight

O: an interesting ale, my only experience with gin barrel aged beer - and I do like gin - the juniper from the gin recalls the few sahti-inspired beers I've had. Very interesting, and perhaps not for all, but was certainly worth the buy. This was probably not optimally fresh, as my review is a full month past the previous, so I may have had a different, but no less enjoyable experience than other drinkers.

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Photo of beermeplz
4.46/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

What a treat - my favorite IPA in a while, and I've been keeping up with the releases from Stone, Lagunitas, Saint Archer, Modern Times, etc. Incredibly fruity and floral aroma that persists in the taste. The gin presence is subtle but detectable, imparting a distinct, lingering bitterness that I really appreciate. A very unique and complex offering among a sea of pretty one-dimensional IPAs. Highly recommended.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy orange gold with a 1” finely bubbled lacy white foam cap.
S: Piney, resiny nose, some earthiness, perfume and malt and a suspicion of juniper. T: Begins with fruit, orange, pineapple, juniper, hints of vanilla, some light white cake, finishing dry and herbal with traces of gin.
M: Very creamy, medium to medium full body, alcohol fairly hidden other than the gin elements, the carbonation is very fine and soft.
O: The beer has a very interesting interaction between the gin, the hop flavors and aromas and the yeast driven flavors.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to Oneinchaway for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus fruit, citrus zest, botanicals, gin, and slight wood aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest, grapefruit juice, botanicals, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop and earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with fantastic gin barrel aged aromas and lots of earthy and citrus forward flavors.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of kevanb
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle poured into a Gigantic snifter.

The beer pours a dark orange color, lots of amber hues, opaque and hazy with a thick, soapy, off white head, rises about 2 fingers, decent retention and huge swatches of soapy lace. The gin barrel is definitely present, plenty of botanicals, citrus, some herbiness, grassiness, strong bitter pine though the malt bill is quite potent as well, caramel and amber malts in high doses. The flavors are more rounded and balanced, plenty of juniper and botanical flavor, but with juicier citrus, predominantly grapefruit, the pine is resinous, earthy and sappy, very bitter, a touch of spice, caramel and amber malts provide a hearty backbone. The mouthfeel is crisp, medium bodied, coating, has a bit of juiciness to it before finishing very dryly.

Verdict: A very nice Gin barrel aged IPA from Gigantic and as a Gin lover, plays into my wheelhouse. Flavorful but not overpowering barrel, nice balance of citrus and pine though I wish the malt wasn't as heavy, though it doesn't impart any sweetness. A very fun take on the IPA.

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Photo of Brew_Betty
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Interesting beer. At first you get a big whiff of floral hops and you're like "where is the gin barrel?" After a couple sips and whiffs, the floral bomb subsides and things become more clear. Citrus, juniper and wood that smells like cedar appear in the aroma. I seriously doubt they use cedar barrels, but that's what it smells like. Very nice and different.

It takes a few sips and one belch before the gin becomes apparent. It's subtle at first and by the end of a bomber there is no mistaking this is a beer aged in a gin barrel. Even then, I would't compare it to the booze level you get from some bourbon beers and that's fine.

Overall, this is a completely unique beer for me and I've sampled thousands of beers. Glad I tried it. It's a limited edition beer, not widely distributed and has cool artwork, so it earns Insta-Quasi-Whale status from me. Get some before it's gone forever!

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Photo of mush
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bomber to tulip. Pours well, strong floral front. Bold juniper middle, almost to the point of suspecting more than just the barrels. Hoppy finish to stay within the style. Really interesting earthy yet floral overtones.

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Photo of mactrail
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Intriguing juniper and woody aroma. Color is more "eye of the swan" like it has raspberries in it. Lots of spritz on the tongue.

Oddly enough the grapefruit seems accentuated. Pleasantly barrel-tasting without the usual booziness of the Bourbon varieties. A lot of the botanical flavors but not excessively spicy. Mellow and cedary, tangy but less acidic than a lot of IPAs. Just enough malt body but not too much sweetness.

Thoroughly drinkable and a great variation on the usual IPA themes. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank immediately after regular Gigantic. Differences are huge...loads more bright orange here, along with some pine needles and smooth spirit bite from the gin barrels. I'm not a gin drinker, but I really like what gin barrel aging can bring to the table. An enjoyable beer...thanks Duane!

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Pipewrench from Gigantic Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 173 ratings