Bale Breaker Brewing Company

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American IPA
Ranked #109
Ranked #2,364
4.17 | pDev: 8.15%
Bale Breaker Brewing Company
Washington, United States
Notes: Our flagship IPA is a well-balanced yet aggressive West Coast IPA that showcases Yakima Valley hops at their finest. Late additions of Simcoe, Citra, Loral, and Mosaic give this beer its complex citrus, fruity, and floral aroma and flavor. Named for a unique piece of farm equipment that removes hop vines from the trellis during the annual hop harvest, Topcutter IPA delivers loads of hoppiness all year long.
Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 465 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of MacMalt
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Received from @woemad in a BIF. Canned on 3/18/2020. Poured into a Bale Breaker can-shaped class (also supplied by @woemad). It pours a hazy, golden-amber color. The creamy, milk-white head dissipated quickly leaving a thin sheen of lacing. The smell is malty and grassy with hints of grapefruit and lemon peel and is quite herbal. The taste is classic West Coast IPA: there is a hearty malty, sourdough base with bitter, biting hops that validate the 70 IBU. The Simcoe hops provide lots of resinous pine while the Loral hops contribute an earthy bitterness. There is also tart citrus courtesy of the Citra and Mosaic but it's subtle. This ale is medium-bodied and pleasantly carbonated and it drinks easily at 6.8% ABV. Overall, Topcutter is a well-crafted, impressive West Coast IPA from a fine brewer.

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Photo of Jaminrice
3.49/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a clean pint glass on 4/23- bottom of can says “pkg ondec2818”- it’s almost 4 months old. Look is not appealing, as there’s a transparent strawish orange color with a bunch of odd, flaky looking floaters. Other than that, it’s not bad, but it’s really hard to get past the flakes... they remind me of the little plastic particles that used to fall from an old cover into my parents hot tub. I hope to try this on draught from the brewery someday to see how it compares.

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Photo of CanConPhilly
4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L - 2-finger dense white head atop a translucent orange body.

S - grass, cheese, grapefruit, herb.

T - cheesy hops, citrus, freshly-mowed grass. Lemon, earth, bitter melon. Moderate bitterness. Low sweetness. Moderate-low booziness.

F - medium body and carb.

O - some tasty stuff right here.

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Photo of hreb
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz can served in a can glass. Beer is golden in color, and shows tons of sediment matter, now suspended in my beer?! Medium white head. Fruity, tropical aroma with pineapple front and center. Taste delivers the flavorful, tropical notes of Simcoe and Mosaic. Very hoppy, but particularly bitter, and also not at all sweet. Malt profile is negligible. A prototypical, West-coast New England IPA? Hard to imagine this is 6.8% or 70 IBU. It drinks like a really good single IPA.

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Photo of DaveMaciolek21
3.6/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Classic West Coast IPA. Yes, it is plenty aggressive with citrus on the attack from first taste to aftertaste. My only complaint is that for a beer that contains so many hop varieties, there was very little complexity. Topcutter shoots straight from the hip.

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Photo of ManapuaMan
4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed straight from the can - punt to 4 on the look but I’m guessing a golden orange with sticky lacing based on the hop and taste profile.

Nice west coast zing to the nose - pith, leafy green hops, pine, citrus rind. Great combo. Toasty malt somewhere nearby.

Taste is right there - pith, pine with a citrus marmalade on the backend. Nicely buttered but nothing too heavy.

Crisp, clean, citrusy and hop-bittered. My style of beer.

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Photo of Ronl12
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz can into IPA glass. Dated July 10 2018.
Nice semi clear golden yellow look. Nose is stick hop/pot smell. Taste sort of follows. Nice hoppy taste. Feel is medium. Overall a very nice ipa more west coast style. Would drink again.

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Photo of beergoot
4.11/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Crystal clear, golden body; slow rising carbonation; Thick, soapy head, some foam sticking to the glass; a few floaters in the beer. Very floral and piney aroma; pungent sweetness. Big hop bitterness hits right off followed with a mild, biscuit-like malt taste. Heavy body; some sharpness over a heavy fluidity; somewhat warm; crisp; mostly dry finish.

Other than a few minor floaters in the beer, this is an awesome IPA. Punchy and zesty with an intense hop presence. It is west coast styled all the way and damn fine...

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tasted in a Spiegelau IPA glass from a 12 fl oz can on August 7, 2018. Brewed with Simcoe, Citra, Loral and Mosaic hops. Citrus, fruity and floral aromas and flavors.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Top Cutter pours an absolutely beautiful golden color, but my God look at all those floaties! The white cap above is immense and takes forever to finally settle, leaving soapy looking suds all down the glass.

Sticky weed, tons of pine, and just a little bit of berry sweetness pops in the aroma. A little burnt rubber in there as well, and only a trace of clean and sugary light malt.

Pine, weed, and a little bit of citrus. That's all I ever need to be happy. It's actually quite resinous with just a touch of that burnt rubber coming through. The sweet malt background is barely even distinguishable.

Top Cutter is light and crisp with a healthy dosing of bitterness. Again, that's all I ask for and this delivers. It actually feels more like a Pale Ale than an IPA to me because it is so surprisingly smooth and thin.

I think Leota Mae wins on flavor between the two, but this wins on feel. Overall, a solid IPA and damn I'm glad to see Bale Breaker around here. Cheers.

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Photo of Zachkary
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just wanted to portray the differences I noticed doing a self blind test of a can of 1 year old sitting on a warm shelf Top Cutter VS a less than a month old one. These were opened and poured into identical taster glasses at the same time, temperature, style, angle, and amount of pour(6oz.).

Aroma: The year old can held up so well I actually picked it as the newer one. I thought I smelled a little funk from the new beer and the old one smelled smoother and less offensive(I have yet to observe the oxidation). Obvious notes of tropical pine from both however.


New Can: Near brilliantly clear while leaving only a small ring of head after a second of pouring. Pale orange.

Old Can: Had a 3/4 inch head that lasted for about a minute. Only slightly hazy and had a few chunks of protein or hops? floating around, no big deal. Seems slightly more yellow, maybe due to haze.

Both moderately carbonated.

Flavor: Here is where I really got my kicks...

Old Can: Amazingly held up so well. Subtle notes of an almost Brett-like character and not much oxidation or papery flavor. I have been drinking a lot of Orval lately and other Trappist beers and this somehow reminded me of them. Then of course you have the orangey piney flavors from the hops, but not quite as strong as the new can, but still quite present.

New Can: Almost tastes green... I'm noticing now. This could be the funk I smelled earlier that threw me off on the aroma. The hops are all there up front and throughout the whole 4 minutes of taste you get off this mouth pucker of an IPA. Bitterness is moderately high and resinous.

Mouth Feel: Great example of an aging IPA here.

New Can: 8/10 on the resinously cloying scale. The hop bitterness sticks to my tongue for like I said, about 4 minutes or more. This makes the new can much more of a sipper, which is fine for me, it being an IPA. The carbonation is proper for balance of flavor and style, but still leaves no escape from the bitterness(that is probably not a neutral bittering hop like magnum).

Old Can: The bitterness has faded more than the flavor it seems; leaving the tongue more apt to tasting subtle flavors from the many layers of hops. The dryness and seemingly finer CO2 bubbles from the aging act as a palate cleanser, mainly taking away from the cloying resinous bitterness (were different bitterness hops used? I'm asking you Bale Breaker :D) All this together, I highly prefer the mouth feel of the year old can. It's my best experience with an aged IPA to date.

New Can: Wonderful NW style IPA. Perfect for sipping slow and enjoying some spicy food or anything else off the charts in flavor, and company.
Old Can: "[Expletive deleted]... tastes like they brewed an IPA at Orval! *BURP* maybe I've been praying too much tonight ;)" Really though... I would love to try a 2 and 3 year old Top Cutter.

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Photo of RJLarse
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich copper color, clear with a creamy white head. Well balanced with a nice malt flavor and a tasty dry bitterness. And it comes with an eastern Washington agricultural theme. What could be better?

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Photo of Buck89
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to beertunes for this one. Can dated 2/20/18 poured into a snifter. Great look to this one: clear golden color with a large and fluffy head. Killer laces on the glass. Bright aroma with pine, some citrus and floral notes, and bready malt. Tastes was about as expected. Clean aggressive bitterness with bright pine, some earthiness, and grapefruit on the finish. Medium body. Excellent.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.79/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Packaged 1/17/18

A little malty smelling and tasting to me. Maybe a little age has something to do with that, but still a consistent bitterness throughout with a grassy hop flavor, some grapefruit and lemon rind, and a touch of orange.

Hop oils linger. The body is fairly fluffy with a slight chalkiness.

Pretty straightforward west coast style and solid overall

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Photo of tone77
3.59/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A thanks to the captain of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a rich golden color with a 1/2 inch head and a few floaties. Smell is of pine, some tropical fruits. Taste is pine, minty, mild bitterness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.64/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I signed up for Tavour on a whim, but I am loving the plethora of CANs that are suddenly available to The CANQuest (tm)! Jeez-O-Man, this is better than I CAN hope for.

From the CAN: "A well-balanced yet aggressive West Coast IPA, named for the tractor unique to the annual hop harvest."

On that note, an early episode of "Route 66" had the heroes working in WA state during the hop harvest!

I Crack!ed the CAN open & CAnmenced a slow, gentle Glug into the awaiting glass. Once acCANplished, a vigorous in-glass swirl was the order of the day. This action produced just under three fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, bone-white head with great retention that left behind beautiful lacing in its wake. Color was Golden-Amber (SRM = > 5, < 7) with NE-quality clarity, calling forth The Gelt Gang of Croesus, Midas & Mammon, all wanting a taste. Nose was very earthy, like freshly-harvested wet hops with an earthy maltiness. If you were looking forward to a NW hop bitterness, you might be disappointed. Mouthfeel was medium. Taste was very earthy & very evocative of a wet-hop AIPA. I was enthused, but not enthusiastic about this one as a whole. I would have preferred a good deal more bitterness, in keeping with the style's description. Finish was dry, more earthy than bitter, but still tasty. All said & done, I was done with one.

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Photo of RB3
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Almost nothing about this beer is offensive. Clear pour and tastes like almost nothing (maybe grass with a twist of fruit). I was shocked to see that it was an IPA at 6.8 anv and 70 ibu.

Fine smell but terrible head. This is the antithesis to the overly done IPAs coming out of the PNW.

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Photo of superwho24
4.51/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really good and refreshing. Smell: Pine. Taste: Pine and malts, with a hint of sweetness. Overall very very good.

Pairs well with fried chicken gizzards and Tapatio hot sauce.

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Photo of cbutova
3.96/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Seattle vacation review dump.

A- Can pours out with an almost clear golden body and a creamy white head. The cap ascends to a finger high with pretty good retention dying to a thick ring at the edges. A few small sheets of lace stay around.

S- Hops are the tractors operator here and the West coast style certainly noted as it brings strength but is not a pungent juice bomb. Citrus, mostly oranges, pine and floral qualities joined by a hint of tropical fruits, cereal and a slight sweetness

T- Close to a carbon copy to the aroma as far as the balance and shape of the flavor goes. The sweetness is a bit more serious here but it really doesn't do much to disturb the citrus, pine and floral hops which are the focus of the beer. Grspefruit, orange, bitter Clementine peel oil, slight stone fruit are noted with hints of pale barley mash, cereal yeast bread and a moderate sweetness.

MF- Medium bodied overall with a touch of slickness and a creamy chewy texture. The carbonation is moderate and it ends with citrus peel oily bitterness coating the taste buds.

Reminds me of some of those original West Coast IPAs before things shifted towards hop nectar explosions. Sweet but in a way that it has no effect on the balanced profile of pine, citrus and floral hops.

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Photo of kitch
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A 12 fl oz can with a packaged on date of June 2017. Poured into a Holy Mountain tulip glass.

Appearance: A clear dark-ish golden orange colour with a one finger white head that had decent retention and left nice lacing.

Aroma: Citrusy grapefruit and orange followed by hints of caramel, grass and pine.

Taste: Grassy, grapefruit and orange with hints of honey, caramel and floral.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, light bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Very nice and easy to drink. I feel this could be my everyday IPA if I could find it easily.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a becher pint glass, the appearance was a glossy bright yet semi-dark yellow color with above a two finger rocky foamy head that stiffened just before it slid off at a mild pace. Not much lace.
The aroma spoke of floral hop portions, a brisk clean cracker malt and a little bit of hop spice.
The flavor leaned into the sweetness of the floral hops and cracker malt and then bringing in the hop spice ever so delicate. Aftertaste was lenient towards the floral hop and cracker sweetness.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sessionability about it. Carbonation felt good and seemed to blend with the hop spice for a decent settling harshness along my tongue. ABV felt appropriate.
Overall, pretty nice Northwest AIPA and very cleaned up making it a nice drinker along with it's respected food.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz can, about 2 weeks old

Crystal clear medium golden in color, nice white head. Good lacing. Big hop aroma- grass, pine, floral aromas. Medium bitterness, minimal crackery malt flavor. Thinner bodied.

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Photo of LeRose
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh my, this is a fabulous beer right here.

The pour is mostly clear, kind of a brassy color - deeper than yellow, not quite golden. Big, frothy head that lasts a very long time and lacing clings tenaciously.

Big citrus on the nose that is predominantly fresh grapefruit backed by orange. There is some pine resin on the nose and something else I can't quite place. The malt is pretty faint in the background, but it is there.

The taste is where this shines for me. While the flavors are assertive, this is no face peeler. Well balanced hops, the malt shows up more in the taste than the smell, and there is a nice honey-like sweetness. This is an IPA I can really enjoy because it is so well-crafted. The grapefruit flavor is very fresh, and the orange tempers it along with some floral tangerine notes. As I drink it I am noticing these elements more in the aroma as well. The pine resin comes on late in the taste giving me a little tingle.

Very cool can art, cool name. Diggin' this one a lot. If you see it, buy it and drink it.

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Photo of d_harvey
4.41/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great PNW IPA, full of hops and pleasant bitterness. Citrus forward taste with pine and a hoppy finish. Nice full head, great body and hazy, golden appearance in the glass. Easy drinker for an IPA without feeling at all watered-down or session-style.

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Photo of brenn79
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz can- Pours clear golden with a medium head that holds nicely. Aroma is spicy hops, dank and resinous, with a sweet malt backbone. The taste is pine resin, woodsy, dank, medium level bitterness that lingers leaving a drying finish. This is one of those beers that i always try to keep in the fridge, great everyday IPA.

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Topcutter from Bale Breaker Brewing Company
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 465 ratings