War Elephant
Rushing Duck Brewing Company

War ElephantWar Elephant
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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #174
Ranked #1,319
4.28 | pDev: 7.71%
Rushing Duck Brewing Company
New York, United States
War ElephantWar Elephant
Notes: War Elephant is as unapologetic as Double IPAs get. At over 4lbs. of hops per barrel, War Elephant contains a completely irrational amount of hops designed to create a unique hop experience. It has a “smack-you-in-the-face” hop aroma consisting of pine needles, grapefruit, tangerine, and other citrus fruits. Unlike many other Double IPAs, though, War Elephant has a subdued malt character so it’s never cloyingly sweet, and at 80 IBUs it isn’t overly bitter. Like all Rushing Duck beers, War Elephant is unfiltered so as not to strip any of the precious hop aromas from the beer. As a result it has a hazy golden color with a thick rocky head.
Reviews: 57 | Ratings: 277 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Shiredave
Shiredave from New York

3.34/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Cool can art rendition of a LOTR Battle Oliphant of the Haradrim. It offers it's own presumptuous review, and suggests it be consumed fresh, yet shows no canning or best by date. >(insert FAIL buzzer here)
Color is a hazy gold with a dense white head of foam. Little to no lace clings after the fall.
Aroma is as the can states; "the smell(s) of citrus, tropical fruit and pine will assertively invade your nose".
Invade indeed. Pure grapefruit and melon to my nose. It's like smelling a lunch box fruit cup when you wanted to smell beer.
So boring and NOT different from 99/100 IPA's available these days and a perfect example of how more is not always better.
Flavor is "a full on assault with a barrage of more fresh hop flavors". Yeah citrus flavors. Big deal. Try some new - old hops.
This is almost sour it's so bitter with citric acid character.
I mean, I can picture some assistant brewer standing over the wort boil and laughing maniacally as he/she continuously dumps Mosaic hop pellets into the kettle for 90 minutes.
Seriously, if I had wanted a Mimosa I would have gotten one.
This just makes me sad for beer in general.
This is juicy all right if thats what you like in a beer. It's a horrible example of an IPA though in my 40 years learning and teaching about beer.
Finish is non existent. A faint hop bite at the back of the mouth and a light tingle of alcohol in the throat.
The 8.6% is fully enfolded in the medium bodied, pulpy thickness while providing the only reason to be happy I drank this, as it might help me forget it.

Aug 21, 2020
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NYNorseman from New York

4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quality beer from a local brewery Rushing Duck. This was a NEIPA before their popularity blew up. This is a very good beer. I am drinking a pint poured out of a growler. It has a great cloudy glow to it and hides its ABV well enough. It is good-not spectacular. This has a big following around here. I would not pass it up on tap but I wouldn't go crazy to find it.

Apr 13, 2020
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metter98 from New York

3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is hazy amber yellow in color and poured with a thin layer of off-white bubbles coating the surface and the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose along with hints of pine resin.
T: The taste follows the smell, except that the flavors of pine resin are stronger and stand out in front of the citrusy hops; slight hints of alcohol are perceptible. There are also underlying hints of caramel and pale malts with a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The alcohol also lends hints of warming to the mouthfeel.
O: This beer feels like it is on the heavier side of Double IPAs but drinks rather well because it mostly masks the alcohol from the taste.

Serving type: growler

Jun 09, 2018
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captaincoffee from Virginia

3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy peach-gold with medium head that leaves some lace. Nose is very dank with very sweet onions, a bit of garlic, and overripe mango. Taste retains the sweet onion and overripe mango, along with a bitterness that doesn't mesh. I had high expectations for this one, but honestly didn't care for it. It does have a lot of flavor, but is a bit too sweet and too oniony, and not quite what I was looking for.

Mar 16, 2018
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SABERG from Massachusetts

4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Word from a 32 ounce growler in to the test glass
A - dark golden straw backdrop gently carbonated feeds at frothy white cap
S - tropical know it’s all the way lots of mango some papaya and dried pineapple slices
T - follows that aromatic theme with a sweet malt bass that acts as the canvas
M - medium in body an oily slick feel across the pallet with of surprisingly slick finish carbonation moves toward a dry finish
O - A bold offering the 8+ percent alcohol isn’t hidden very well but robust complete and quite delicious

Feb 01, 2018
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PicoPapa from Connecticut

4.11/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

32oz growler from the brewery. Pours a hazy orange color with 2 inches of frothy head. Lots of lacing. Sweet and juicy fruit aroma. Grapefruit, pineapple, guava, passionfruit, melon, white grapes and orange. The taste is more herbal hops than I expected from the aroma. Mint and tea with some toasted malts. Maybe even a hint of peanut butter? Papaya, citrus peel and grapefruit towards the end. Tea and mint leaf finish. Moderate alcohol warmth. Oily mouthfeel with lots of carbonation.

Aug 28, 2017
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cbutova from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Marshall Stack, NYC.

A- Snifter receives a draft poured brew with a slightly hazy golden body. The white crown forms up to about an inch high with a thick and creamy consistency. Good head retention and massive, tall ring is left at the edges dropping sheets of lace after seemingly every sip.

S- Dank weed, passion fruit and plenty of stone/tropical fruits. Mint, mango, papaya and generally all things tropical fruity. White grapefruit juice but no sweet citrus-peely oils.

T- Follows up the nose carrying an excellent dank, skunky weed bomb with passion fruit, mango and oniony hop notes. All about the hops with a tiny sweetness and some cereal. The white grapefruit juice intensifies here with a noticeable lack of anything like orange or sweet citrus. Stone fruits, weed, mint, melon and grapefruit hops find a very harmonious balance and each sip feels fresh. Juicy and bitter without any nectary sweetness.

MF- This body is so smooth and creamy. Silky and even a bit chewy but still retaining the high carbs to make the dank fruity hops pop off. Ends with a big herbal grapefruit, but clean, hop bitterness.

Nice to meet you too Rushing Duck. This brew made my list of things to try while in NYC and my first week here is about to come to a close; what a way to start. Incredibly tropical and dank without any juicy sweetness and an excellent white grapefruit juice aspect that lends a unique flavor when combined with the rest of the hop profile.

May 19, 2017
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richj1970 from Alabama

4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 16 oz can dated 3/1/2017. Many thanks to @cavedave for the chance to try this one.

A: Mostly clear straw yellow with one finger white head. Moderate retention and nice sticky lacing.

S: Punch of citrus with mango and pineapple. Fresh pine and a touch of caramel.

T: Juicy tropical citrus and big hop assault. Mango, passionfruit, and pineapple. Dank resinous hops and a nice malt backbone. I with knew this was going be be a treat from the first sip.

M: Medium body with average carbonation. Finish is slightly bitter.

O: Outstanding DIPA. So far everything I've tried from Rushing Duck has been a winner.

Mar 17, 2017
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NYIPAguy from New York

3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Honestly was expecting more. Pours pretty bright and clear. Aroma is there; but not as much as I was expecting. Tasting was lacking slightly as well. Obviously it's a good beer but heard a lot about these guys and was expecting a little more

Mar 14, 2017
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ScaryEd from New Hampshire

4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 16 oz can with no discernible date.

Pours a lightly hazed golden orange color with a finger of effervescent off-white head. The head hangs around for a while before finally settling into a thin film, resting gently atop the beer. Leaves a few random splotches of lace as it dissipates.

The aroma is extremely piney, with plenty of citrus notes and a touch of peppery spice on the back end. Herbal, and exceptionally dank. Very light tropical notes throughout.

The taste is more malt-forward than the nose lead on. Sweet caramel and toffee lead the way, before a wave of bitter pine and grapefruit barge their way in like a fat woman during Black Friday. The faintest hint of pineapple caresses the tongue before a finish of doughy, sweet bread.

The feel is medium bodied with lower carbonation. Smooth and creamy, yet extremely resinous and oily. The alcohol is very well-hidden.

Overall, a very good DIPA. There are some who might not care for the level of maltiness this beer offers, but I find it incredibly well balanced while still delivering a nice, hoppy roundhouse kick to the balls.

Mar 09, 2017
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Gregaroo from Pennsylvania

3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

1-18-17 - On tap at The Pony Bar (10th Ave) in NYC. Short 8 oz. pour in a tiny pilsner-like glass. Dark copperish color with a slight head. Fruitier than I was expecting and not overwhelmingly hopped up. Nice DIPA from these folks, but I chose to move on to other options at The Pony Bar.

Jan 19, 2017
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Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 16oz can into a speiglau IPA glass.

Look is a hazy yellow amber with a full white head.

Taste is an herbal lemon.

Taste is more of that herbs lemon. Crazy bitter and so good.

Delicious beer hope this isn't a one of collab.

Jan 16, 2017
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mnj21655 from Massachusetts

4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear pale golden orange in color with a bit less than a finger of white head. Aroma has pine and indistinct citrus with some sweet malt. Taste has a burst of pine with a good amount of tangerine and grapefruit. There is clean malt here, the sweet malt that I got in the aroma is largely absent. Medium body and carbonation. A great west coast style American Double IPA, super drinkable, very tasty, highly recommend.

Jan 10, 2017
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MacMalt from New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on draught at the brewery so it was very fresh. It poured a hazy, golden-yellow color with a milk-white head and lacing. The smell was rather subdued, I suspect because it was served on draught. I may re-evaluate when I can drink it from the can. The taste is quite dank with abundant malt, pineapple and grapefruit, as well as pine and resinous hops. It is very good! It has a very pleasant mouth feel, rather creamy, with moderate carbonation, and while you can feel its 8.7% ABV, it is far from overwhelming. For a "standard" DIPA, War Elephant is very, very good. I plan to make it part of my regular DIPA rotation.

Dec 30, 2016
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Ikeithbot from New York

4.99/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look: Amber. Mostly translucent but a slight haze; 20% opacity. Little creamy head; most dissipated fairly quickly but held at the rim throughout the drink.
Smell: Rich caramel. Piney. Slight over ripened fruit, especially mango.
Taste: Very piney. Resinous. Just great.
Feel: Pretty smooth and creamy up front. Little bitter bite at the end but not unpleasing.
Overall: Nice to try this world class beer again and be more critical. Makes me realize how much better it is than all the tropical bombs out there right now. Best of the piney IPAs I've had.

Nov 05, 2016
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rudzud from Massachusetts

3.42/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to JLindros for sharing.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a lightly hazy golden hue with a thin white head that fades to leave light wisps.

S - Aromas of big malt sweetness, sweet caramel, light cardboard.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, huge malt bomb. Caramel sweetness, very spicy chewy hops. There are some light citrus as well.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, alcohol hidden nicely. Maybe a bit thin.

O - Overall this was a very malty beer. Really unfortunate.

Serving Type: can

Nov 04, 2016
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jlindros from Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Canned 9/20

No real head, little lacing, candy orange color lots of yeast chunks floating

Nose big candy sweet malts, big fruity hops, stone fruit, banana thing, spicy hops and little orange cream thing, little candy white choc orange cream

Taste big malt, sweet candy malt with hint if booze warmth, smooth sweet candy malt, huge spicy chewy hops quite bitter, faint orange peel, little generic fruity, candy cereal malt, little chewy creamy thing too. Finish big spicy chewy hops little orange zest big sweet sticky malt

MOuth is med to fuller bod decent carb, little booze.

Overall too malty bit booze, hops are not very good and the decent characters are just poking through.

Nov 04, 2016
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GreatStoutman from Texas

4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is basically perfect for me. Tons of fresh hops, but balanced with a strong body that is neither too sweet or overly bitter... so easy to drink, sneaky abv, awesome!

Oct 22, 2016
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kemoarps from Washington

4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Received as part of the wonderful NBS BIF#4 MWK thanks to @TongoRad
Light golden body is capped with a decent white head with good retention and moderate lacing.

As soon as you pop the can the aroma of sweet sweet tropical fruits burst forth. Pineapple mango pineapple papaya... it's a veritable liquid fruit salad. With lots of pineapple.

The flavour presents slightly more diverse than the nose with pithy grapefruit bitterness joining the sweet fruits and caramel/toffee-esque malts and keeping it from being too overwhelmingly sweet and cloying. There is a not-insignificant note of alcohol as well, brash and unashamed. Candy sweet touches flourish and light off the rest of the core of the beer, which finishes with a lingering moderate bitterness accented with more sweet trim.

I look down the page and see that this thing has some great numbers. There's a reason for that. Thanks Michael!

Oct 14, 2016
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beerbully from New Jersey

4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Weyerbacher cuvee from growler filled at brewery

L-Clear, light golden, 1/2 inch head, little retention, mild lacing

S-Blend of hops and sweet malts........stone fruits, berries, papaya, guava, apricot, passion fruit

T-Follows the nose.......sweet tropical fruits as mentioned in the nose, mild bitterness in the finish.........tasty

F-Medium bodied, just the right carbonation for the style and taste

O-excellent DIIPA........can't wait to have it again

Jun 21, 2016
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musicsherlock from New York

4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25


Crystal clear, yellow with a clean white, soapy head. Tiny bubbles

Smells fruity and piney. Pineapple, mango, tree sap, wet mulch

Hops override the malt, bitter and hot

tingles the tongue, slightly creamy, slightly cloying

An excellent DIPA. Classic

Jun 05, 2016
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njcraftguy from New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up at the Brewery. Excellent brew. Wonderful flavor. Not quite as fruity as most East coast style IPA's, subtle piney notes. Smooth and easy to drink. Rushing Duck is making some stellar brews.

Apr 26, 2016
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woemad from Washington

4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz can received by that crazy NJMF known as SammyJaxxx. My first ever from Rushing Duck. No obvious freshness date on the can, which does state it's 8.6% abv.

Poured into a pseudo-IPA glass (really what looks like a pilsener glass but with Kung-Fu grip) from Mad Bomber, this was initially quite cloudy looking, and even after it calmed down a bit, was a very hazy orangey shade of amber. The head was big, creamy and off-white, and took it’s time dropping, leaving beer neglige-style lace on the sides of the glass.

Massively big, tropical fruit hoppiness in the nose.I got pineapple, tangerine, and a little grapefruity, piney bitterness, though that last bit is in the minority. Maltiness didn’t seem to be something this beer does.

The tastebuds are first hit by a Blitzkrieg of tropical fruit flavors, as forcast in the aroma. A more bitter, piney-grapefruity bitterness then followed, like the infantry mopping up after the armored division. Malts are mostly awol. The 8.7% alcohol is mostly buried under the hop assault, like ninjas infiltrating silently, targeting the drinker’s sobriety. The finish is dry, yet with a mild, lingering sweetness.

Medium bodied, with a creamy yet oily and resiny mouthfeel.

Another perfect portion size this week. A 22oz bottle of this would have been too much. This is a big, bold beer, but a very tasty one as well. I like the fact that it’s both bold and sweet. It charms you as it destroys you. In some ways, it sorta reminds me of Iron Goat’s DIPA, Impaler, though it’s a fruitier take on the style. I’d probably drink this regularly if in my neck of the woods. Thanks to the inimitable SammyJaxxx for the totally unexpected chance to try this!

Apr 20, 2016
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The CANQuest (tm) attended the 2016 BCCA Spring Thaw over the weekend & I was pleasantly surprised. I expected to be (mainly) looking at antique CANs & the like, with a smattering of the things that I am interested in - embroidered cloth patches, belt buckles & beanie caps around just for kicks. Imagine my joy, surprise & elation when I found out that they will also bring full CANs of current micros for sale & trade! I bought a load, but upon realizing that I was limited in my carry capacity, I decided to CANduct some field reviews so as not to have to lug the CAN & its CANtents home when the CANcipient was RIGHT there! My utmost thanks to Jeff Lebo for having me as a guest. Further, since it was a field review, I do not have a good picture for submission.

From the CAN: "War Elephant is an aggressive Double India Pale Ale loaded with juicy hops. Upon opening the [CAN], the smell of citrus, tropical fruit and pine will assertively invade your nose. After pouring War Elephant into a glass, you'll be lulled into a false sense of security by its pale, golden color and rocky white head. Then, when you first taste the War Elephant, your tastebuds face a full on assault with a barrage of more fresh hop flavors."; "Only when you've finished the [CAN] will the War Elephant finally acknowledge you as a worthy foe."; "From the first sip to the last, this is one belligerent pachyderm!"; "Drink Fresh, Store Cold".

The Crack! unleashed a spray that signaled its belligerence! Settling, I saw that it was due to it being a brimful craft CAN with nowhere for the tab to go once vented. The beer had somewhere to go -my belly, via my waiting glass, following an inverted Glug. The elephant came roaring out of his cylindrical cage and proceeded to destroy my glass with sticky lacing. His immense three-finger dense, tawny head was everywhere. His color was a hazy Amber (SRM = >7, < 9). When he lifted his trunk and bellowed, my nose took in a pine scent like we had suddenly been transported into a forest! My sinuses burnt, my nose hairs curled and it was like a flamethrower was being deployed into my face! Mouthfeel was medium, but the hops were mounting a frontal assault on my poor, bruised tongue! The finish was dry, but cool. It was like taking a deep breath while cutting a fresh Christmas tree during a blinding snowstorm. Yow! The heat was gone, but the attack had taken its toll. I was dead in the water as the elephant thundered away and out of both my glass and the room. Bye! See ya! Let's do this again real soon.

Apr 12, 2016
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jws7968 from Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy gold/orange color. Aroma is grapefruit, pine, maybe pineapple. The taste is very hoppy and flowery with pineapple/grapefruit and malt. Nice body to the beer. Overall, I have to say WOW. I really have to say this is one of the best DIPAs I have had the fortune to trying.

Apr 10, 2016
War Elephant from Rushing Duck Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 277 ratings