Talking Backwards
Ocelot Brewing Company

Talking BackwardsTalking Backwards
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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #66
Ranked #866
4.47 | pDev: 5.59%
Ocelot Brewing Company
Virginia, United States
Talking BackwardsTalking Backwards
Notes: CTZ, Simcoe, Mosaic, and Citra hops. Almost 4 pounds per barrel.

Triple IPA, collaboration with Meridian Pint, Brookland Pint, and Smoke & Barrel
Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 83 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by ThaneMcC:
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ThaneMcC from Germany

4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler fill – 64 oz of deliciousness.
Pours a lovely, hazy orange with scant head and fine effervescence. Smells strongly of apricot, citrus and tropical fruits. Tastes similar to the smell, sweet citrus/grapefruit/apricot notes forward with transition to more piney, grassy notes to balance the sweetness and a bit of pith with the alcohol note providing a good, palate cleansing astringency. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, carbonation adds a good mouthfeel and astringency that keeps this from becoming syrupy and (it may go without being said) – complexity increases as the beer warms.
Overall, this is an incredible TIPA, I enjoy the fruitier notes – well balanced – not overly bitter as many of this genre seem to be (IMHO – though I have so many more beers to try – I’ll update as my experience grows)
I wish this beer would become part of Ocelot’s enduring offering – as this is hands down the best IPA they’ve crafted (though their other IPA are solid)

Feb 21, 2016
More User Reviews:
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cjgiant from District of Columbia

4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at brewery:
This beer pours with, at most, the lightest of haze. Head for a big ABV beer is strong and lasting. A night sky of lacy still exists on sides of the beer, clumps of off-white are directly across.

Nose was initially tropical to me. My GF mentioned grassy, and i got where she was coming from, but I'd re-describe it as a bitter tropical - like unripe tropical fruit. I also do get that onion/garlic Note, but it doesn't kill the beer for me.

Taste is all of the nose, surfing upon a citrus/tropical base. The bitterness is like the skin of a tropical fruit. The onion notes are barely noticeable (only if I search), and the ABV is well hidden. The main outcomes are tropical - neither sweet nor bitter - with a light lingering skin/pity bitterness.

Well constructed higher ABV IPA, in my opinion. Actually, one of the better ones when it come to balance of sweet/alcohol/bitterness.

Feb 12, 2017
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HattedClassic from Virginia

4.64/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer pours a very nice and white head that dissipates very quickly. The beer itself is a lightly cloudy medium gold color that looks very nice. The look has a very nice golden appearance with a very attractive orange hue to it. This is definitely a really good looking beer.

The smell is deliciously hoppy and fantastic. The hop note is comprised of a few different hop notes that each add something to it. The strongest hop note is a sharp dry-hopped grassy pine that overwhelms the other notes and sometimes comes off as a lime. Underneath the grassy pine, there is a more tropical sweet orange and grapefruit smell that add a more sweeter bitter note. There is also a slight alcohol note at the end and underneath the entire hop note. The alcohol note adds a little bit of a burn to it, which works very well. The only thing is that there isn't much of a hop note.

The taste is even better than the smell. The hop notes consisting of a strong grassy pine note with undertones of orange and grapefruit. There is also a slight boozy note in the finish and a bit of honey sweetness from the malts.

The feel is very good. It's certainly heavy bodied with a slight bit of honey thickness to it. The beer has some strong biting carbonation that gives it some nice texture and makes it a bit more drinkable than one would expect.

Overall, a fantastic triple ipa and worth seeking out if you live in the area. Most triple ipas are super hoppy with the goal of being as bitter as possible. This one is art. It's not just hoppy but more complex and well-made than most other ones that I've had. Get it and a must have.

Feb 11, 2016
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Lingenbrau from Oregon

4.73/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Another big thank you out to Craig for this.

Well, Talking Backwards starts off quite impressive with a brilliantly clear polished brass color. Tiny bubbles stream endlessly from the bottom to support a perfect two finger bone white foamy head on top. It stays forever and it makes its presence known with a maze of spotty lacing throughout.

This thing bursts of everything you could want in all the right amounts, with out any overly sugary notes a lot of these higher and IPA's tend to have. Grapefruit, orange, and lemon...check! Melon, mango, and papaya...check! Resin, pine, and a little burnt rubber...check, check, check!

I'm glad to see the pleasantries don't end there. Talking Backwards is seeping with flavors. The citrus notes dominate initially, with the tropical fruits weaving in and out. Blueberry decides to check in along with some toasted sesame before all of them fall victim to the intense sappy pine.

Sappy is a perfect word as this is oozing with texture. It's rich and its sticky body coats everything it touches. Yet, it manages to be fluid enough to crave sip after tiny and rewarding sip. The sweetness clearly submits to the bitterness, and a surprisingly low level of alcohol warmth gives a tingling sensation all over.

I've had a couple of the highly sought after TIPA's in my life, and this one is unarguably on their level. For some perhaps, but not me. This is it. This is a fantastic beer, period. Thanks Craig! Cheers.

Feb 13, 2018
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HopAttack3 from Virginia

4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer does not drink like a 10.8% triple IPA, it drinks like a double the the color is that of just a single IPA. Well done by the boys at Ocelot, they keep putting out great beer. Such a treat to have this gem in N VA.

Feb 06, 2016
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jacewg from District of Columbia

4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Leaving my original rating. Just want to update with my new tasting notes. Yeast change this year to English Ale from American Ale. Still Maris Otter/Pilsner malt and massively hopped with Citra, Simcoe, and Mosaic.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, almost glowing pale orange this year. Good head retention and lacing for the style and hop saturation.

Smell: Bigger aromatics than ever. Still no astringency or onion. Melon and tropical fruit at the forefront with some citrus and pine as well. Supported by hints of malt sweetness.

Flavor: Despite the yeast change, still big efforts taken to dry this guy out and it shows. Alcohol is well hidden and the beer dries out on the finish. Malt sweetness but no intrusive caramel character. Very tropical on the palate with big melon and more citrus than the nose. Bitterness is balanced. Present, but not forward.

Mouthfeel: This is where the yeast has most impacted the beer. Bigger than ever before with a lush and pillowy side. Really nice, lingering, orange pith type finish.

Full disclosure: This was a collaboration between Ocelot and three of the restaurants I work for. Given that I said "let's make a Triple IPA" and they 100% wrote the recipe, I feel marginally okay doing so. I did toss some hops from a bucket into the kettle.

Look: Pours a hazy, deep orange that leans toward yellow when held in the light. Big, tight white head that retains very well, especially given the amount of hop oil in this guy. Nice lacing as well.

Aroma: Enormous tropical fruit, citrus, floral, and pine. Only a hint of sweet, pale malt. Shocking given the 10.8% ABV.

Taste: This is where this beer really separates itself, in my mind. Incredibly easy for the ABV. Big orange citrus and mango with accompanying resin and pine. Malt character is shockingly subdued. Bitterness is balancing but nothing more.

Feel: Booze is present but very well hidden given the ABV. This must be the driest 10.8% beer in the world. Literally no residual sugar on the finish. Dry, citrusy, resiny.

Overall: Bias is unavoidable, but I've tried to review this as fairly as possible. Take with a huge grain of salt.


Feb 08, 2016
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IvoryFoxhole from Virginia

4.51/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from 2/1/17. Poured into Belgian ale glass.

L: 1F+ head with moderate retention. Some lacing and a cap and ring. Beer is a clear light amber with visible carbonation bubbles.

S: Supertropical fruitbomb. Lots of pineapple, mango, passionfruit, melon along with some earthy, dank tones (Simcoe). The Mosaic and Citra dominate, though.

T: Follows nose and delivers bigly. Pineapple, mango, guava, melon, followed by light malts and earthy dankness and a very unexpected but unmistakable strawberry note on the finish. Have never quite had anything like it before. No hint of ABV.

F: Light to medium bodied (rather light for ABV) and medium carbonation, which leads to some pretty crisp results and good drying. Drinks much lighter than ABV would indicate, so be careful. Great construction and superb balance.

O: Only Ocelot's relative obscurity prevented this release from having 4 hour lines and an instant sellout, though I think they still sold every bottle in two days. This is the real deal, folks. Hopefully they make it again.

Feb 14, 2017
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SomethingClever from Ohio

4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can poured into willybecher glass canned on 1/30.

A: crystal clear light amber burnished gold body. Not much of a Head but what was there was Soapy and white.

S: cantaloupe,honeydew, a little peach, and pineapple. Mostly over ripened stone fruit.

T: lots of soft honeydew cantaloupe pineapple a little mango and slight peach with some underlying alcohol. Lots of melon though.

M: fairly dry lower carbonation isn’t super syrupy for such a high ABV.

O: This is a masterful boozy beer. Inviting you back sip after sip without overwhelming the senses anywhere.

Mar 02, 2018
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DavidHume from Virginia

4.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not normally a triple IPA guy—they're usually too sweet and boozy, more like an overhopped barleywine than an IPA. But this ain't that kinda beer. Massive hop aromas leap out of the glass, lots of citrus and tropical fruit. It tastes the same, with hints of pine around the edges of the palate. No hint of booziness. The mouthfeel is perfect, not too thick, not too thin. They need to brew this again.

Feb 06, 2016
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jjdc from District of Columbia

4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Having just drank Ephraim, I can say I like this better. It's a really great fruity triple IPA that disguises its booziness quite well. This is going neck-in-neck with Wings for the best IPA the DC area has produced. Really nice.

Feb 25, 2016
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Cpmitchno1 from Virginia

4.59/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A fantastic "triple IPA". This has tons of citrus flavor and smell. I thought the flavor was even better than the smell- citrus and some pine near the end. Dangerously drinkable given the ABV. I am a huge Ocelot fan and I think this is their best one yet.

Feb 08, 2016
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GeuzeInTheHouse from District of Columbia

4.23/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Nice dark golden color, slight haze, thin white lacy head. Not a huge aroma, but nice aroma of berries, pine, and citrus. Nice well-balanced mouthfeel with juicy up front and dry bitter finish. Another great beer from Ocelot!

Feb 10, 2016
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Dark_Scarecrow from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Feb 03, 2020
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RBorsato from Virginia

4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mar 29, 2019
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ChrisB from Virginia

4.41/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler fill on 2/25/17. Smooth, syrupy honey pine with looong citrus melon finish. One of my absolute favorite double IPA's. So glad Ocelot is near me.

Feb 26, 2017
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Pencible from Virginia

4.86/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: This poured a cloudy gold with a bit of white head.
S: It smelled like huge citrus nose with dank herbal hops.
T: It tasted like tons of fresh grapefruit and lemons and oranges, with dank herbal hops and a sweet honey backbone. It had a clean bitter aftertaste.
M: It was thick with a little carbonation. Great body.
M: This was a top tier IPA with perfect scent and taste. It had perfect body too, with a smooth finish and well hidden alcohol, so it was dangerously easy to drink. One of the best double IPAs I have ever had.

May 02, 2016
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grover37 from District of Columbia

4.21/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Feb 23, 2016
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nmann08 from Virginia

4.17/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Feb 07, 2019
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billab914 from Virginia

4.44/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mar 06, 2016
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BoilerUpNavy from Wisconsin

4.17/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Feb 09, 2017
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2dogbrew from Virginia

4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Feb 04, 2016
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KAP1356 from Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Mar 14, 2017
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siege06nd from Virginia

4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Feb 16, 2016
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gonzowestwood from Connecticut

4.41/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Apr 01, 2016
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RocketFrogDavid from Virginia

4.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Everything about this beer was spot on. at 10.8% the alcohol was well masked. You could smell the hops as they were pouring the beer into the growler. A nice straw color thanks to no caramel malts. This is the best local beer I've had and it's not too close. Well done.

Feb 11, 2016
Talking Backwards from Ocelot Brewing Company
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 83 ratings