O'Brien's IPA | Alpine Beer Company

62 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by sfoley333 on 01-10-2008

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Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 135
Photo of Sideswipe
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler graciously provided by mnbearsfan. Thanks Matt!

Poured into my New Belgium snifter. Initial pour yields a finger of off white head which recedes quickly leaving a small ring around the outside of the glass. The beer is a crystal clear, deep amber color. Looks great! A column of bubbles flows steadily upward from the middle of the glass making a small, round, mound of foam in the center of the beer. My last growler of Hoppy Birthday did this also. The nose is citrus rind and pale malt. Taste follows with waves of bitter grapefruit and orange rind. There is just enough malt to back up the hops, but bitterness is the star of the show here. The finish is dry and bitter. Mouhfeel is light with a fairly high level of carbonation. ABV is completely hidden, adding to the very enjoyable drinkability of this beer. Alpine knocks it out of the park again with this one! An incredible take on the classic west coast IPA. Recommended.

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Photo of drewba
4.29/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden orange, fluffy white head with pretty solid retention, sticky lacing. Looks fantastic. It even pours nice, it looks like it's going to be stagnant, then a wave of bubbles blows up and produces this fantastic head.

S - Gobs of citrus; lemon, grapefruit, orange, bit of mango and a hint of pine. A hint of caramel in the back adds some malt goodness. Overall a low aroma, but what i'm getting smells good.

T - The citrus tastes REALLY fresh, lemon, grapefruit and pine are working well together while the mango and orange are giving a bit of sweetness. Nice bitterness, but not in any way overdone, my kind of ipa. There's s a tiny bit of nut and caramel offering a great break (not that I needed one) from the fresh citrus, but then finishes with the bitter, yo.

M - body is right where it needs to be, carbonation is spot on: creamy, a bit tingly.

O - Note to Alpine: bottle this please. Super high drinkability, the fresh citrus is cash money and the bitterness isn't overbearing - I'm wishing I could turn this into a staple.

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Photo of Lunch
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

64oz. growler shared by Dr. Abmuh, thanks!

Poured into a Jest King snifter as I, like Matt, do not have an Alpine glass...damned embarrassing. Great carbonation, head formation and retention. The goddamn growler has treated this bitch well. Looks pretty clear and light orange.

Smell is all hops as there is no balance in this one. Really nice aroma that is loaded with citrus and perhaps a hint of pine. Taste is pretty much the same with perhaps a few floral notes.

mouthfeel is certainly good, but perhaps a little bit thin even for an IPA.

Really a nice beer and glad that I got to try it. Another great beer from Alpine.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler obtained in a trade with MrHirschybar, shared at a local tasting with some other gentlemen and one gentlelady.

Beer served in a Bruery tulip, no Alpine glass for Matt. Beer is amber, light amber with a nice great head, the growler was filled to the tippy top, awesome overall. Very awesome.

Aroma is hoppy, excellent, earthy, mildly piny, fruity hops. No malt sneaking through.

Beer is medium to light in body, very bitter finish but it is not too dry on the back. The forward is a nice mixture of hop flavors and components, mild sulfury CTZ chewiness with some great tropical and citrus flavors. A very good IPA and a very good beer. Have it again? Yes please.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at O'Brien's

A: Golden orange color with a thin, tan head.

S: Big resinous hop aroma full of some nice floral hops and a bit of earthiness.

T: There's a sharp citrus hop bite upfront. Big grapefruit flavor off the bat. Malty smoothness towards the middle and a bit of bready malts on the finish. This one wasn't my favorite of theirs but it's still a great IPA. The keg had been tapped a few days before I got to this and I think because of this, the beer didn't taste as fresh as I think it should have. Still a great beer though.

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Photo of beagle75
3.98/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft pour into a shaker pint glass at the Alpine pub.

A: Clear, medium golden color with less than one finger of diminishing white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Hops-dominated featuring fresh grass, pine, and grapefruit citrus. Clean, not cloying, but lacking somewhat in intensity.

T: Begins off-dry with faint toast, acidity, and layers hops. Aromatic hop flavors tend toward floral and grapefruit citrus, but also with more persistent herbal and chile spiciness. The finish possesses moderate bitterness but is made more challenging by the lingering capsaicin quality of the spice.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly sticky and smooth on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D: Upon enjoying this beer for the first time it is strikingly middle-of-the-road; a good all-purpose IPA that does not compromise on taste but is also careful to stay well under the 7% abv barrier. Certain sensory qualities keep this offering from quite matching Alpine Duet's effortless, compelling appeal.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Chilled growler into a glass. Thanks, Brian.

A: Pours a clear, golden amber color in the glass. It's well carbonated despite over a week in the growler (plus shipping); I guess the waxing + refrigeration made it hold up. Great retention, leaving sticky lace down the sides of the glass.

S: Citrus: lemon zest, grapefruit, orange, tangerine, pineapple. A grainy malt presence with a touch of pine following last.

T: I love the citrus here. It's not quite as tropical as, say, Sculpin (one of my Gold Standard IPAs), but it has a bright presence that is hard to beat. It helps that it's deliciously fresh. Lemon zest stands out most, followed by grapefruit, orange, a touch of pineapple and tangerine. Malt presence is quite light; it's somewhat grainy, but it only lends some heft to the beer without imparting a lot of sweetness or identifiable flavor.

M: Light-medium bodied. It is well-attenuated, showcasing the hops while having j-u-s-t enough malt heft. I like my IPAs dry, so this really nails it. A clean flavor without much lingering bitterness.

D: I wasn't in the best of health when I received this, so I had to wait on it. I wasn't in the best of health when I finally opened this, either; but I think I could have put the full growler down myself. Maybe someday I will. I should have Alpine adopt me.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured a golden orange with yellow highlights that had a finger of head and left good sticky lacing on the glass. The nose was signature alpine consisting of great pine and floral hop notes alongside some citrus grapefruit but with a good sweet malt presence on this one. like the nose the hops and pine flavors worked together but the citrus grapefruit added accents and the malts helped on the balancing act and wasn't as fruity as other alpine hop bomb offerings. the brew was medium body with a good amount of carbonation which had a citric bitter and nice slight dry finish. it drank really good and went great with their beer battered onion rings.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at the Stone Bistro on 6/29. Review from notes.

a - bright golden amber color, one-inch white head with great retention and lacing, quite clear with only minimal suspended sediment

s - big citrus and tropical fruit dominated aroma, lots of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange, mango and some pineapple, really jumps out of the glass, lighter pine resin notes with an even lighter grainy malt aroma

t - like the aroma, the taste is dominated by citrus and tropical fruits, lots of fresh grapefruit and lemon with lighter mango and pineapple flavors, the pine is more pronounced on the palate than in the aroma with heavy doses of hop oil attacking the palate, there is a light maltiness underneath the hops that give it just enough backbone, alcohol is not very noticeable at all

m - medium-bodied with slightly higher than moderate carbonation, very dry, crisp finish, light alcohol warming

d - incredibly drinkable stuff, the hops are intense but they don't wear out the palate as fast as many IPAs, alcohol is dangerously hidden, flavors are so fresh and intense that you want to keep drinking

I've been wanting to try this one for awhile now, and it just so happens that I got to have it at Stone instead of O'Brien's. This is one of the top 5 IPAs I've ever tried, and it reminds me a lot of Blind Pig and RR IPA, two of my long-standing favorites. It would be great to see Alpine put this in bottles at some point. I don't know that anyone other than RR can compete with Alpine when it comes to IPAs.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a wonderful, wonderful IPA. I was really blown away by how good this one really was. A huge thanks goes out to my kind friend for finally getting me this one, I had waiting what seemed like a lifetime to land it. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was enjoyed on Memorial Day 5/31/2010.

Big pour, nice light orange amber in color with great clarity that really let me see tons of carbonation bubbles streaming in from the top of the glass. Rich lacing coming down the sides and a huge, three finger deep head of white foam capped it all off wonderfully. I really could have asked for this one to look any better then it did.

Aroma is pungent orange, rich and sweet notes mixed in as well, but a huge and amazingly fresh aroma of citrus coming off of this one. Lemon zest, touches of tropical fruits and a really just superior smell that lighten up the entire room. Letting it warm really brought out the best in it as each sip seemed to be absolutely sparkling flavor and a huge, rich profile that did not disappoint. As I take each sip I am reminded of just how good a good IPA can be. Simply remarkable balance and a soft, yet very well structured flavor. Orange, tropical fruit, mangoes, grapefruit and touches of light buttery notes all collide to really put on quite a nice show I have to admit. Amazing drinkability as I would be able to put down this entire growler without batting an eye.

Overall one of the best I have ever had. Lives up to every ounce of its reputation. I would love to have it on tap all day every day. Just a stunningly good example of the style.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - An almost clear, pretty color of gold. Near white head, about an inch, slowly leaves to disk. Lots of cling lace abounds.

S - Swirling array of hops and flowers. Malt is trying to make it's way in there, but I get mostly juicy orange and flowers.

T - Pretty spot on to smell. Hops and floral notes dominate and the malt can't compete. Pretty dry. I would have liked a little more malt in it.

M - Medium body, great carb, balances to the dry hop side. Good coating.

D - I like this one!!! Thanks Alpine. Drink Alpine Beer or go to bed!

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Photo of John_M
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Generously shared by Dyan yesterday. Probably would have appreciated this a bit more if I hadn't had the Bad Boy first. In any event...

O'brien's pours an orange copper color with very good head retention and lacing. The beer has an exceptionally pronounced orange citrus aroma that is intense (in a very good way). There's also a hint of pine, but the citrus character really dominates in this beer. Flavors replicate the nose, and right off the bat I'm impressed by how light on the palate this IPA is. There is consdierable flavor, but the bitterness is dialed down somewhat, and the alcohol is not the least bit noticeable. The beer finishes with some noticeable bitterness, but I'm amazed by how well balanced this beer is. The beer is also quite dry, very much in the West Coast style, and drinkability is just excellent.

Another flat out excellent IPA from these guys. I'm starting to expect it whenever I see the Alpine label.

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Photo of mikey711
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Smokepot23 for the growler of this treat!

A: Nice transparent firey oranges with pleanty of carbonation rushing from the bottom of the glass. The head pours about an inch and a half thick of fluffy white goodness and leaves very nice gobs of lace as is fades.

S: The first whiff provided an array of tropical fruit notes like mango, peach, pineapple. The second whiff was more piney and sticky smelling with some floral notes and bitter grapefruit in the background. Very much

T: Sticky resinous pine and bitter grapefruit are the most prominent flavors with hints of citrus coming through in the end. It also has a nice clear herbal finish.

M: Light and refreshing with a good lingering bitter note. It be a little bit smoother

D: This is a great day time/ all day drinking beer. Overall I am very happy to have had the opportunity to try this treat from Alpine

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Photo of womencantsail
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Toronado SD

A: The pour is golden in color with a fluffy white head on tap which leaves lots of sticky lacing.

S: The nose is all grapefruit and pine with maybe just an inkling of malt coming through.

T: The flavor is what you expect from the nose. Lots of bitter grapefruit and piney hops with just a touch of malt sweetness.

M: The body is medium with a crisp carbonation and a bitter finish.

D: This is pretty much what you expect from an Alpine brewed IPA. Great hop flavors and aromas.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad.

Pours a clear golden color. Nice head and nice lacing.

Aroma is very nice and hoppy. Very similar to Pliny the Elder. Citrusy and Piney

Taste is also very similar to Pliny the Elder. Almost identical. Maybe a little bit of Blind Pig thrown in. Citrusy and piney hops. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel is dry and has good carb.

Overall a very tasty IPA. Easy to drink

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Photo of Sean9689
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Alex by way of ArthurPendragon! Served into a FoBAB tasting glass. I'm had this a couple of times before (at the brewery, uber-fresh), but I'm finally getting around to a proper review.

A - Pours a light golden color with some orange hue. A good two fingers-worth of head that disipiates down to a few bubbles here and there. A slim layer of foam remains on top as the cap.

S - Hoppy, citrus, and floral notes are the predominant notes I get from this one. It's a very straight forward IPA, but it's not boring or average, it's just simply an excellent example.

T - Heavy bitterness, citrus, pine, and floral notes. Very similar to the nose. Once again, nothing mind-blowing here, just a nice example of an IPA.

M - Light to medium, fizzy carbonation, bitter finish.

D - A perfect IPA to drink the crap out of. Alpine continues to produce some of the best IPA's and Double IPA's in the world. Keep up the awesome work, Pat!

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Photo of MasterSki
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ArthurPendragon for sending me this growler! Served in a Surly pint glass. Shared with friends for the pre-NotLA tasting party.

A - This is one great-looking IPA. Pours with two fingers of ecru foam that dissipates slowly to a thick cap and a ton of splotchy lacing. Transparent deep golden color with a few stray bubbles here and there.

S - Lots of pine and tangerine rind, a few floral notes, not much in the way of malt - maybe a bit of sugar cookie that comes out a bit more as the beer warms up. It's a reference-quality West Coast IPA, but doesn't stand out from the crowded field all that much.

T - Taste is a little more muted, with aggressive pine and bitterness that lingers well into the aftertaste. It's a little bit of a one-trick pony, but it does what it does very well.

M - Mouthfeel is enamel-meltingly excellent, with bone-dry finish, and tons of residual oily resins. The only thing this could use is a little more heft in the body, although for a 6% brew this isn't a big problem.

D - This is a great session IPA. If the bitterness were a little better attenuated it'd be pretty close to perfect in this regard. Wish this were on-tap in my neck of the woods.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.62/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on cask via hand pump @ O'Briens Pub (San Diego) on 11/13/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a hazy copper, with a 1/2 finger of foamy brite-white head. This stays pretty frothy, leaving some thick soapy lacing behind. The aroma is just LOADED with floral hops, pine, some more moderate smelling spice, and bitter grapefruit notes. There is a layer of grainy sweetness that floats under the hops but this is overall very bitter in the nose.

The taste also brings the hops full steam ahead, being very bitter with pine and citrus, along with some more mellow herbal accents as well. There is some sweeter bready malt character in the back but then this ends with a bitter pithy feel in the finish, which really hangs around for a while. Feels like I'm chewing on hop cones. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a mellow and bubbly carbonation that accentuates the more herbal qualities of this. I'm not necessarily sure that the cask feel works here, as a bit more firmness could have been used to handle the extra bitter taste and this is showing a bit more alcohol than I would have expected for only a 6% IPA.

I just couldn't get into this one as much as I would have liked. Just a lot of unrestrained hop activity going on here (some sweeter citrus flavors would have been welcome) and the cask conditioning didn't do it any favors. This is a good one for the hop heads but I just wasn't feeling it.

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Photo of Dijeriduster
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at O'Briens at the tail end of SDBW. Stunning from the cask.

A - Very hazy from the cask with a slight amber tint to the golden wonder. Good head from the cask, though a little foamy vs. thick and creamy.

S - HOPPY. Especially on cask the floral and citrus notes come thru strong. Doesn't smell sweet like Alpine's other IPA's (Nelson, Duet Pure Hop)

T - Devine. I look for a little more bitterness in an IPA and this delivers like the other Alpine IPA's don't. Strong bitter Cascade? hops come thru first followed by a well rounded floral and citrus finish.

M - I don't know if I would even bother getting this on tap vs the cask. Mouthfeel was superb - just enough carbonation to support the hops and malt without deadning the senses. Def a gem on the O'Brien's beer engine.

D - High. Think of a hoppier Sierra Nevada Pale. Great after a long day of work, remaining very refreshing vs some maltier IPA's.

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Photo of OlieIPA
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another pit stop I had to take while in SD. Served at 50 degrees into an Alpine pint glass.

A: A crisp and golden colored IPA that captured a ½ inch white hued head, decent lacing, and tons of carbonation.

S: Floral, piney, apricot, and citrus...almost all the aromas that hops encompass. LOL. The malt backing is mildly sweet and in many ways, reminds me of Ballast Point's Sculpin.

T: That sweet malt body apparent in the smell intensifies a bit more, especially at mid palate...adding more complexity to this beer. The hop flavor is multifaceted and I was able to pick up tons of citrus and floral notes, but the hop bitterness seems to be the main focal point.

M: Light on palate, great carbonation (especially for a growler), and a little dry.

D: I wasn't extremely impressed when I first tried this IPA a few months back, but since then... I have found myself digging this more and more recently. Once you get past this beer's palate wrecking capabilities (which I love in IPA's, but can sometimes make the flavor one dimensional), you discover numerous flavors and aromas. Therefore, making this particular Alpine ale exceptionally drinkable.

Overall: Another solid IPA from guys out in Alpine. A must try. Cheers!

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got a growler of this from Alpine in mid August 2009, finally sitting down to review from my notes. Pours a beautiful orange-apricot color with a white head and a nose that overwhelms the nostrils with citrus and tropical fruits. While the taste isn't over-the-top hoppy, they're just right and showcase the tropical flavors of the nose. The mouthfeel is just about right, and the smell/flavor combo lead to unparalleled drinkability--one of the best IPA's I had on a long trip.

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Photo of GJ40
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled on tap at the Toronado in San Diego.

A - Golden with good clarity and a small white head.

S - Very nice floral and citrusy aromas.

T - Loads of floral and citrusy hop flavor with very little bitterness. Some toasted malt to help support the hops. This is exactly the taste I associate with San Diego.

M - A slick and smooth consistency that helps to coat your mouth with flavor. A nice low carbonation.

D - This is a refreshing and enjoyable IPA. It would be a great every day beer.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at San Diego Brewing Co. (as a guest tap) on 7/11/09.

A - Nice sweaty glass with a clear golden/amber body and one-finger creamy off-white head that diminished to a thin veil and yielded thick patches of lace.

S - Grapefruit nose wth pine and caramel malt accents. Quite sharp and pungent overall with subtle alcohol heat. A resiny hop character emerges as it warmed up a bit.

T - Strong hop bite right off the bat with piney and resiny bitterness as well as grapefruit notes. Malt is sweet and caramely and balances the aggressive hop character. Finishes with an abundance of hop bitterness and a moderate alcohol presence.

M - Medium bodied with a syrupy, slightly carbonated mouthfeel and some oily slickness. Finishes with a lingering hop bite on the palate.

D - This is bordering on DIPA, in my opinion, just for its sheer bitterness. I'm surprised this is only 6.2%. This one packs lots of pine and resin hop bitterness with a tangy grapefruit character as well.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Chris was kind enough to send me a handbottle which was tasty enough to make me get a whole growler. Thanks to doubleo on RB for the growler, which is why I'm re-reviewing.

A: Crystal clear amber with a finger thick off-white head that's incredibly frothy and appealing. Good carbonation, great head retention and plenty of lace. Awesome

S: Massive pine hops right out of the gate, this _smells_ resiny. It's like swimming in a pool of pine sap, pretty remarkable. Orange peel and more pine sap. Malt? None whatsoever. Pure hops and pretty remarkable

T: Oh my god! pine hops dominate the palate, opening with a smooth bitterness and an incredible amount of flavor. Pure pine and some citrus, incredibly well expressed. Citrus is along the lines of orange and lemon peel. Malt is non-existent, this beer finishes dry and resiny.

M: Light in body with an incredibly resiny mouthfeel from the hops, this is incredible. Carbonation is soft and works beautifully with rest of the beer. And the finish? To die for - long, resiny and mildly bitter

D: Thank god for snow days, this growler is going to be gone in no time. Probably the best IPA I've had.

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Photo of largadeer
4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Bright amber in color with absolutely brilliant clarity. Pours with a tall eggshell-colored head that leaves sheets of lace behind as it (quickly) disappears from my glass. Awesome.

Smell: Huge resin and pine hop aroma right off the bat, signature Alpine. More attentive inhaling reveals hints of lemon peel, mint and faint tropical fruit. Malt aromas are pretty much absent. The aroma on this stuff is intoxicating.

Taste & mouthfeel: Grapefruit, pine needles and tobacco up front. I have no idea how these guys pack so much hop flavor into their beers while still maintaining perfect balance. A dry, somewhat crackery malt foundation supports the hops beautifully, while lending no perceptible sweetness; this beer is all about the incredible hop flavor. Resiny bitterness comes through strong in the finish, without ever overwhelming the hop flavor. This is a near perfect IPA, I'd be hard pressed to fault it.

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O'Brien's IPA from Alpine Beer Company
4.35 out of 5 based on 135 ratings.
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