Napoleon Complex
Wicked Weed Brewing

Napoleon ComplexNapoleon Complex
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Pale Ale - American
Ranked #423
Ranked #12,313
3.93 | pDev: 7.63%
Wicked Weed Brewing
North Carolina, United States
Very Good
Napoleon ComplexNapoleon Complex
Notes: Napoleon Complex is a small-statured pale ale with a larger-than-life attitude. Ignoring the industry standard of diminutive hop presence and mild manner, this pale ale will have most IPA’s contemplating their inadequacy. Little beer, big flavor, even bigger ego.
Reviews: 71 | Ratings: 378 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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mothmanscott from Georgia

3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a bright, clear deep gold producing 2+ fingers of frothy, moderately lasting, white head that leaves a narrow finger of webby lacing above a thin cap and collar. A respectable level of effervesce streams from the bottom. Aroma is a bit delicate, certainly not forceful, being an orange forward citrus blend of fruit and zest; thin tropical and earthy floral with faint pine all mixed in a bready caramel malt background. Taste is orange, grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach and pine with caramel and biscuit, herbal, floral and grassy earthiness. Finishes with moderate hints of earthy pine and grassy bitterness. Aftertaste is an earthy bitterness. Mouthfeel is a light-medium bodied with moderate carbonation and body; smooth but a little grainy and lightly dry. Overall it has decent complexity, a nice balance of diverse hop notes and moderate bready malt flavors with a pleasant balance of malt and bitterness.

Nov 09, 2019
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Thankin_Hank from Texas

4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden amber with no head. It smells hoppy and very good. Tastes good and not as strong hoppy as it smells. Pretty smooth beer. Overall this is a good beer. Best by date on 16 ounce can 11/23/2019.

Oct 19, 2019
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babaracas from Florida

3.46/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear golden color some fine sediment in suspension, big fluffy white head, chunky lace clinging partway down the glass. Smell: sweet pale malt, grassy, vaguely citric. Taste: grass, pine, lemon, grapefruit zest, sweet pale malt back. Body on the lighter side, mildly astringent finish. Meh.

Mar 17, 2019
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Buckeye55 from North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'm not going to waste our time describing each aspect of this beer. Just say, drink this beer and you'll be happy you are alive.
Beer snobs call Wicked Weed a sell out, but they are not in this league.
Asheville is the best craft/independent beer town there is, and this is the best of the best! Support your local/craft beer makers

Mar 08, 2019
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REVZEB from Illinois

3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is more like a session ipa than an APA. Big hops, supporting pale malts, some biscuit, lemon, grapefruit, and mango, but feels like it needs something after initial blast of flavor, back half of sip feels empty. Smell is actually pretty full in comparison, lots of the aforementioned fruits plus nectarine, pineapple and orange. Feel is spot on, but could finish stronger. Decent enough

Jan 26, 2019
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Beejay from Virginia

3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A; A hazy yellow color with a small white head.

S: Pine and grapefruit with a touch of malt.

T: Hoppy with grapefruit and a touch of pine.

M: Light in body with, fairly high carbonation, and a slight sting in the finish.

O: Overall a pretty tasty beer, easy drinking.

Jan 08, 2019
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Reef from South Carolina

3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. can dated 8/2/18
Golden straw colored, perfectly clear, strong three fingers’ head from a vigorous pour. Full head remains throughout and leaves lovely full curtains of lacing.
Strong citrus aroma from the can at first, also pear or apple yeast scents after pouring.
Plenty of taste notes, grapefruit pith, light mint, pale malt.
Light bodied, abundant carbonation, bitter dry finish.
Enjoyable pale ale better enjoyed in a glass. Much of the visual appeal would be lost if drunk from the can.

Oct 28, 2018
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Beginner2 from Illinois

3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Part of a 4-flight at Taste of Carolina while waiting for a flight near gate B6 of the Charlotte airport.
Very well balanced APA (which I appreciate lots) that finishes dry/bitter (which I appreciate less.)
Looks are slightly below average (quickly becomes a thin film, not much lace.)
Smells and Tastes are integrated. Aromas are fruity, but tell me that the bitter hops will dominate. And they do all the way to the end. While a well-made APA and reasonably balanced for the style, I'm not likely to repeat given the choice.

This was my first Wicked Weed and I went on their website expecting the usual Mom 'n Pop shop. Finding the site a bit too stylized, I go on their BA Place page and discover they are bought by InBev. OK. That explains some of the stylized marketing. Nonetheless with a better distribution network, I hope I have the chance to sample some of this relatively young brewer's Belgian-inspired wares.

Oct 24, 2018
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argock from Virginia

3.56/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

08/23/18 stamped on can.

A: Clear amber with 1-finger off-white head with good retention and spare lacing.

S: Aroma is mostly grassy and herbal with resin and some grapefruit in the finish. There is a soft medium caramel presence.

T: Flavor is middle of the road with medium-high bitterness and herbal, earthy hop notes like honeysuckle with grapefruit and lemon. There is a refreshing light-medium caramel malty note in the finish which provides some balance.

M: Crisp with a dry finish, medium-high carbonation, and medium body.

O: Decent beer but there are a lot of good APAs.

Oct 21, 2018
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ThisWangsChung from Maryland

3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Despite only being 5.2%, the aromatic hops reveal a nice, complex bouquet. There are piny and earthy notes to go along with the tropical and fruity ones. The malt isn't overbearing - instead, it offers subtle cracker and table sugar that plays well with the general hop profile. It nicely follows suit on the taste buds. In general, it skews slightly towards bitter, piny hops over crackery malts, especially on the back end. Beneath the grassy bitterness lies a subtle touch of stone fruit. Luckily, it never quite becomes "lol hop water" the way many smaller hoppy ales (oops, I mean session IPAs) do. The mild bitterness makes it extremely easy to drink when combined with the crisp, slightly sharp texture. Carbonation is decent, without being overbearing. I wouldn't call this a showstopper, but I would call it a rock-solid, everyday pale ale worth anyone's time and money.

3.76/5: Napoleon wasn't that small in real life - neither was this brew

Oct 17, 2018
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spelingchampeon from Delaware

3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can into 16oz globe glass. Straw colored with a touch of haziness. Little lacing, small head.
A: Grassy, with a touch of lemon/citrus. Fairly strong notes of malts.
T: Mirrors the aroma, but a bit muted in the front. A nice wallop of hop bitterness in the back that hangs out for a few.
F: Standard MF, a little softer from the malts, but not too creamy.
O: A good tasting PA, but it's not a must have. The lingering bitterness that is a little overdone.. in my opinion.

Aug 06, 2018
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ADawg from Georgia

3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My Intro into Wicked Weed Brewing. The first time was great, the second time it lost its luster a bit. Mostly because it is rather pricy in my neck of the woods. Otherwise this is a good "go-to" when it is available. excited about diving into more from WW and I am looking for suggestions?

Jul 25, 2018
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Ciocanelu from Romania

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear light golden color with off-white head. Aroma has resiny hops and some orange rind. Taste is hoppy, bitter, resiny, dry and slightly astringent. Light body with medium carbonation. Easy drinking and fresh.

Jul 25, 2018
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EMH73 from New York

4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap, poured a clear deep golden color with an incredibly well retained half in white head that left ample lacing. Smell was on the mild side with citrus fruits, pine and malt notes. Tastes of orange, orange peel, peach, mango, pine and a very nice balancing malt presence. Light to medium bodied, lively carbonation, dry and moderately bitter finish, crisp and refreshing.

Jun 08, 2018
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PuffySAJ from South Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A wonderful APA. Gold with a slightly hazy color. Nice foamy head. Aroma was pleasantly citrusy. A great balance of bitterness and malt. A great tasting APA!

Jun 07, 2018
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JayQue from Virginia

3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A solid APA. Poured from a 12 oz can into a pint glass. Golden slightly hazy color. Big foamy head with very good retention and thick lacing on the glass. Aroma was a bit light, some mild citrus hops. Tasted pretty good. Hoppiness and flavor more pronounced than in the nose. Good balance between bitterness and some bready and caramel malt. Mouthfeel is about medium richness but nice and crisp with some good bitterness for an APA. I would drink this again.

May 08, 2018
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The_Kriek_Freak from Pennsylvania

4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very tasty and hoppy pale ale with a head that lasts for minutes and a crisp lager-like finish. It is flavorful enough but also easy to drink so it makes a nice companion to a meal or food pairing.

May 03, 2018
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PA-hunter from Pennsylvania

4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured 12oz can into snifter glass. 5.2% abv

Appearance- Light yellow, semi-clear. Tall, finely bubbled head.

Smell- Orange citrus, Cracker, some lemon.

Taste- Light bready malt. Ample citrus flavors, orange, even more tropical notes of pineapple. Hop bitterness is evident, blending well after the citric flavors into a hoppy finish. Ends in a light peppery finish.

Mouthfeel- Light in body with active carbonation.

Overall- The name suits this beer well, due to profuse hop presence. Lots of flavor in this beer, still quite refreshing. I think this beer would be a year round great choice.

Mar 03, 2018
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wicked Weed Brewing Co. "Napoleon Complex Hoppy Pale Ale"
12 fl. oz can, "CANNED ON: 08/25/17 10:23:52 071"

Notes via stream of consciousness: Great label, and great name. I wonder where that comes from. Ahh, I see, it's right on the label, it's "... a small-statured pale ale with a larger-than-life attitude." At least it's light in color, a slightly hazy golden that could be mistaken for a Pilsner. The rough pour I gave it brought up a massive head of foamy white that's still almost two-fingers thick. The aroma isn't really that large, let's face it, but it's bright and clean and refreshing. I get notes of a kind of apricot/peach thing going on, some citrusy but without and particularly clear fruits other than orange, hop resins, soft and smooth pine, and dull melon. It's certainly interesting poking your nose in there and trying to figure it out. The flavor is similar with some added pear that's curious and refreshing - a very nice change from the usual - and mango and passionfruit. It's very nicely balanced with a dry finish but it doesn't seem that bitter. I can usually pick out bitterness fairly easily but I'm a little confused on this one... I'm guessing it's around 25 IBUs. It's light-medium in body and delicately crisp then smooth across the palate, so I guess it actually is a small beer(Napoleon complex). It's got 5.2% abv though so I don't think it qualifies as a "session IPA", but geez is it drinkable. Looking back it still has a solid, creamy surface covering which is quite amazing, and there are some decent sheets of lacing as well although those aren't nearly as impressive. Man, I love that pear/passionfruit taste followed by soft pine in the finish, I've never had a beer with hops quite like it. And there's that melon note as well - this would make a great summer beer. OK, so, I hope I haven't missed anything. I can't remember the price on this but I know it was high because where I live anything by Wicked Weed is fairly pricey, but I'd love to have a few more of these in the fridge. Two thumbs up!

Oct 25, 2017
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PASTOR_at_DAChurch_of_IPA from South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drink exclusively IPA usually, but I was looking for Wicked Weed's "Lieutenant Dank" beer, but all the stores were sold out, so I decided to try this instead, the description said that Napoleon Complex would have most IPAs questioning themselves. Could have fooled me! This hoppy pale ale was delicious and awesome and bitter and refreshing, and a much better [I]PA than many beers I have had that were marketed as IPA. As usual with this brewery, the name is humorous, the art on the can is cool, and the beer is solid and reliable. Napoleon Complex is usually a dollar or two cheaper than Lt. Dank, and much easier to find. Napoleon is the only non IPA allowed in my fridge.

Oct 08, 2017
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drtth from Pennsylvania

4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The clear golden yellow beer pours out into a Duvel glass with a two inch fluffy white head that recedes slowly but visibly leaving behind some large patches and some legs of lacing. Sipping clears the side of the glass leaving only some tiny and moderate sized specks of lacing. Eventually the head settles into a thin layer for foam that covers the liquid for most of the beer and there are still patches of foam and a network of lacing on a few areas of the glass.

The aromas include some grapefruit and citrus zest along with some pine and some traces of mango and peach all backed up by some very light malt.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with the grapefruit and citric zest, some hints of pine, some mango and peach. The bitterness is stronger than the malt sweetness so the bitterness is smoothed out rather than concealed.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium bodied and lightly prickly with the moderate carbonation. The finish begins as the fruit, citrus flavors and most of the light sweetness fade to yield the stage to the hop bitterness. The bitterness moves to the back of the palate and gradually fades into the dryness that invites another sip while continuing to be softened just a bit by the malt.

Overall a quite nice APA that touches all the right bases and I'd be happy to have another. The flavors are well balanced, the bitterness controlled but not missing, and the ending dry in the back of the palate. However, whether it could replace any of the APAs in my regular rotation is an open question.

Aug 27, 2017
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WoodBrew from Ohio

3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I'm trying this at my Bestie's in Charlotte. It poured a clear golden with white head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent had hints of hop. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall it was a solid beer.

Aug 12, 2017
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mschrei from Illinois

4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned 6/5. Poured into a tulip glass. Mild head and lacing, hazy pale gold with slight particulate presence. Mildly dank smell. Taste is a mix of crisp hops backed by a little bitterness. Seems like a heavier alcohol presence than a 5.2% abv should have. Not bad.

Aug 03, 2017
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russpowell from Arkansas

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent gold with 3 fingers of cream colored head. Great head retention & pretty good lacing

S: Bready, citrussy

T: Follows the nose, pretty dry, grapefruit, orange peel & pine up front. Bready dryness, tangerine & grapefruit as this warms. Finishes grapefruitty & dry, with a slight bready sweetness

MF: Medium body, crisp carbonation, nicely balanced

Very easy to drink, would buy again to be sure, don't care who their overlords are now...

Easy to drink, nice hoppy agression

Jul 22, 2017
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TonyLema1 from South Carolina

3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: nice clear gold color, big thick white head
S: tons of citrus
T: earthy hops, faint pine/citrus
F: good mouthfeel for a pale ale
O: good offering, but I'm not a huge pale ale fan

Jul 09, 2017
Napoleon Complex from Wicked Weed Brewing
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 378 ratings