Castle Island Brewing Co.

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IPA - American
Ranked #1,379
Ranked #9,574
3.97 | pDev: 7.81%
Castle Island Brewing Co.
Massachusetts, United States
Very Good
Notes: Keeper is our take on a newer class of IPAs that cuts back on brutal bitterness in favor of a deeper hoppiness, while still maintaining the bold aromatics loved by hopheads all around.
Reviews: 36 | Ratings: 213 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of CTHomer
CTHomer from Connecticut

3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: crystal clear; deep gold in color; 1 finger ivory head that receded to a wispy cap; little lacing;

S: pine and herbal;

T: pine and herbal to the middle; balance shifts to herbal through the moderately bitter finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish;

O: been a while since I tasted a WC-style IPA that I hadn't already had; very nice;

Apr 28, 2020
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek from New York

3.51/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Eataly in Boston, MA.

This one pours a slightly hazy golden orange color, with a small head, and lots of lacing.

This smells like bready malt, lemony hops, grapefruit, and pine.

This certainly isn't bad, but it's also very basic. The hop character is basically grapefruity bitterness and some pine, and it kind of feels a bit stale to me. There's a bit too much malt, too.

This is drinkable, but not especially interesting, with a crisp finish.

This is nothing to write home about, but I guess it's something to write on BA about.

Feb 17, 2020
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SierraNevallagash from Maine

4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A big thanks to a coworker of mine, Bill, who will never actually see this review.

Pint can - dated 4/11/19 - poured into a tall, flared pint at 44F.

Pours a beautiful deep brass hue, moderately hazy, with brilliant sunglow orange highlights, and two fingers of thick, creamy, ivory head, that slowly deflates, leaving some very tenacious lacing behind. Some slow visible effervescence trailing upwards.

Nose: A base of sweet, toasty biscuity/bready malt, with undertones of honey and pastries supports a bouquet of clean, bright, aromatic hops, wafting the nose with lots of citrus. Meyer lemon, tangerine, sweet grapefruit, and some key lime juice set up the main aroma profile. There's also secondary notes of melon, kiwi, pine, white grape, and even a hint of coconut, and some underlying fresh green, almost grassy notes in the background. Very bright, clean, and citrusy.

Palate: Lightly sweet toasted biscuit malt takes the lead out of the gate, immediately followed by a big punch of bright citrus. Grapefruit, lemon, and orange kick it off, with some of that melon and white grape trailing behind, with little hints of kiwi and coconut popping in and out. The malt base becomes slightly toastier, and fairly early on, a pithy-piney bitterness shows up. There is a remarkable balance between boil hop flavours and dry hopped flavours, with a really beautiful toasty foundation. As we get into the finish, the bright citrus and fruity characteristics fall back, exposing an increased pithy-piney resinous bitterness. This continues to linger on, slowly losing heat, in a very West Coast-esque fashion.

Mouthfeel/Body: The beer is fairly medium bodied across the board. 6.5 shows its weight pretty openly, and everything feels appropriate for that ABV. The toasted grains add some heft and body, and in addition to being quite crisp and drinkable, there is a subtle softness to the feel of it. There is also a little bit of hop oil cling, particularly in the finish, which also contributes some additional texture. Effervescence is a touch on the low side, given the beers relatively lower ABV, but it is by no means flat, and there's still enough to keep the beer crisp and refreshing, which this beer already excells at.

Overall: I have no bias or preconceived notions surrounding this beer. I had never heard of them before, and I had zero information to go off. That's a good setting to go into a beer blind, and get an accurate review in. I have to admit, this is just a stellar beer. I love to see small, modern breweries not shy away from using hops in boil, and pull some really beautiful classic flavours and aromatics out of them, while not flinching at the slightest suggestion of a little bit of bitterness. This beer walks a fine line between classic West Coast style, and juicy new age dry hopping. This is like a crossbreed between Cigar City Jai Also (or perhaps a Dogfish Head offering), and your favourite NEIPA. Classic warm toasty malts, classic citrus and pine notes, with a little bit of resinous bitterness, and juicy, succulent tropical fruits, and soft supple texture. I would not place this that far below a beer like Dinner, from MBC. Different, yes, but truly an enjoyable pint. This is a little hidden gem, and I am very pleased to have discovered it.

May 22, 2019
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VoxRationis from New York

3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served into a 4 oz (118 ml) flight glass at The Emerald Rose in Billerica, Massachusetts.
A: Pour a golden orange color with a decent, white head, solid retention and copious lacing, literally the entire glass covered all the way down.
S: Aromas of honeysuckle, peach, grapefruit, and light pine predominate. Definitely a cookie note.
T: Peach, lemon citrus, and honeysuckle sweetness with a moderate, but refreshing, piney hop presence.
M: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
O: A very enjoyable, drinkable American IPA

Apr 08, 2018
Photo of Holderness
Holderness from Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very west-coast 2.0 style NEIPA with a little haziness in the golden orange body. Piney dank aromas alongside grapefruit and grass. Flavors are bitter and deeply resinous, with a surprising amount of depth for the ABV. A little harsh , though, which detracts from the pithy citrus presence a little.


Jul 23, 2017
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BostonCalling from Massachusetts

4.58/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

If you live in the Boston area and love Trillium and Treehouse but you're sick of paying 20 bucks for a 4-pack of Trillium and are sick of trekking out to Monson for Treehouse, this is the beer for you.

Typical New England style IPA with strong citrus notes, floral and pine/resin notes, pretty balanced IPA with a strong hop kick and a pleasantly bitter finish. Nice, cloudy pour with a pretty good feel. Good, balanced New England style IPA that's just as good as a lot of the stuff Trillium puts out for half the price.

Mar 26, 2017
Photo of Antg8989
Antg8989 from New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A good IPA, but nothing I would search after. Pour is medium gold. Floral, citrus, piney and earthy aroma. Taste is piney/earthy/citrusy/floral. It's complex but the flavors don't blend together as smoothly as one would hope for. Feel is about average for the style..highly carbonated. Overall, good, but not great. Definitely some kinks that need to be worked out with this one. Not sure about the hop combination. Seems like there's a little too much going on, or it's not blended to its fullest potential.

Mar 04, 2017
Photo of dan_inn
dan_inn from Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The look of this in a 16 Oz. Glass is mesmerizing with the cloudy profile and nice thin bubbles. Honestly the best beer I've ever seen. The rest is exeptional with nice carbonated mouthfeel, good hop flavor and a nice aftertaste.

Sep 23, 2016
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WesMantooth from Ohio

3.42/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I thought the flavors seemed a little dull. They just were not real crisp, or distinguishable which made it taste little muddled. The worst part about this one for me was the body though. I would have sworn it was an imperial ipa, and probably in the 10% abv range. Not because it was boozy, but it was very, very heavy bodied. I honestly couldn't finish it just for that reason.

Sep 03, 2016
Photo of lic217
lic217 from Connecticut

4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: light orange yellow, very clear, clear, small white head
Smell: Mix of tropical fruit, resin, and citrus. Very mild bread like aroma arises as it warms in the glass
Taste: Citrus (Big orange) and piney hops for the most part, with a touch of tropical hops at the end. Starts a little sweet and ends with an assertive bitterness
Feel: taste is clean, resiny, and drinkable. Nice assertive bitterness, encourages next sip.
Overall: A very nice IPA

Aug 24, 2016
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

16 oz. canned on 04/29/16

Pours a fairly hazy amber orange with a frothy white foam head. Smells fruity, floral, perfumy, and dank, with some peachy mango, tropical pineapple, guava, passionfruit, papaya, orange, mild caramel malt, grapefruit, with perfumy floral earthy grass and dank herbal pine. Tastes like sweet tropical fruits, pineapple, papaya, mango, guava, passionfruit, peach, some orange and grapefruit citrus, bready biscuity caramel malt, with perfumy floral earthy grass and dank bitter herbal pine. Feels medium-light bodied, creamy with moderate carbonation. Overall a real nice IPA.

Jun 29, 2016
Photo of CNoj012
CNoj012 from New York

3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a slightly hazy vibrant golden color with a creamy off white head that sticks around forever. There is some spotted lacing as well. Smell is pine, citrus, a grassy greenness, and some sweet malt. Taste is the same although slightly muddled. Feel is light and crisp. Overall a good beer, kind of run of the mill. There are too many cheaper better options out there for me to consider buying this again.

Jun 09, 2016
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap 6/5/2016 at British Beer Company in Walpole, MA served in an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains citrus, grassy hops and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out sweet with strong flavors of caramel and citrus. Then a strong grassy hops presence comes in. The malt character is hearty and provides a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a very solid IPA to drink for a long time.

Jun 05, 2016
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Canned 4/06/16

Pours a huge creamy frothy 2 finger head that fades at a med pace, mild soapy lacing, semi hazy golden sunset orange color.

Nose starts with big bright hops, a little citrus and tropical notes quickly followed by pine and resin, a little floral grassy spicy, a little pith, faint grapefruit thing especially late, generic juicy citrus, with a little creamy crackery malt in the background.

Taste brings a mild hop flavor out front, grassy, a little spicy, some piney resiny notes but not mosaic level, big flowery hop component as well, into a little citrus, grapefruit pith notes, generic citrus and fruity flavors, into an almost chewy hop and spicy on the back end. Some mild creamy cracker malts, decent blend of bitterness and malt profile. Then the finish dries and the spicy hops ramp up, a little pine again, lots more citrus rind and pith, and a little flowery grassy hop in there.

Mouth is med bod, nice bright carb, a little creamy feel.

Overall not bad, nice bitterness although gets a little strong on the finish, malts are decent and prop up the hops well, hops don't seem to bring the flavors they wanted I think as it's more of a hodgepodge of various characters and none are the right flavor of dominance, but still a nice bitter IPA.

May 30, 2016
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mickyge from Massachusetts

3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured copper color slightly cloudy
Strong pine / resin aroma
Slightly bitter to astringent mouth feel
Citrus peel semi dry and sticky type of finish
Not a bad beer at all. Seems like a pretty good warm weather type of beer. Drinks pretty easy.

May 30, 2016
Photo of Stevem68
Stevem68 from Ohio

3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours lightly hazy golden color. Aroma is pine hops. Flavor follows nose with some citrus peel too. Has a good body with a hint of malty sweetness. Overall a solid beer.

May 29, 2016
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mnj21655 from Massachusetts

3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper in color with a good amount of white head, decent retention. Aroma is subdued. Taste is hoppy but not overwhelmingly so, mostly pine. There is some maltyness in the background. The beer finishes on a bitter note but maintains a good balance. Good mouthfeel, medium-ish body and carbonation. Overall an enjoyable beer, nothing extraordinary but well balanced and easy drinking.

May 11, 2016
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kalosjakar from Rhode Island

4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cloudy golden, slightly orange with a frothy white head.

Huge piney hop aroma with a bit of citrus in the back.

Flavor is resinous, pine, and grapefruit. A mild bitter finish.

I dont normally like piney/resinous IPAs but this one is an exception.

Apr 17, 2016
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smcolw from Massachusetts

3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Moderate head initially. Settles quickly, leaving a swath of lace. The liquid has a strong haze. Bright gold color.

Earthy with a modest hop spiciness to the nose. Some sweet pale malt in the background.

The flavor mimics the nose. Better balanced than most IPAs. The body is appropriate and the carbonation is slightly high. The taste leans bitter, particularly in the swallow which leaves a long, black pepper-like aftertaste.

Apr 10, 2016
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tigg924 from Massachusetts

3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear, gold in color with 1/4 inch head. Taste is herbal with citrus punch--tangerine and lemon with light cracker. Interesting herbal IPA. I prefer others in the style, but this has me curious about Castle Island brews.

Apr 06, 2016
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brewme from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had been looking forward to trying this brew for a while, but had not seen in any of my packy's. Finally found some at Luke's in Rockland yesterday, and picked-up a four-pack for about $11. Glad that I did. Very solid brew, nice aroma, piney taste. Good job, will buy again.

Mar 25, 2016
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Dopen993 from Rhode Island

4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can into tulip. 2/11/16

L. Copper orange, with 2 finger head and nice lacing. Just shy of being full haze.
S. Lots of nice pine and resinous hops flavors. Nice grapefruit too.
T. Upfront, getting a touch of pine and hops. Tropical fruits on the mid palate. Nice malt sweet finish with a touch of bitterness.
F. Medium mouthfeel with nice carbonation.

Mar 23, 2016
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brewandbbq from New Hampshire

3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz undated can.

Pours clear gold with barely a trace of head for the duration.

Aromatics are filled with pine and citrus. Heavy on the pine with shades of tangerine and melon. Medium bodied and crisp. Pine-smashed oranges on the palate with a light caramel backbone. Plenty bitter for the style. Finishes with pine, citrus and lingering bitterness.

Nice beer but needs less bitterness, less malt, and more hops in the nose.

Mar 23, 2016
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

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

Can shared tonight at the meeting.
Slightly hazy small off white head.
Resinous earthy pine with a bit of sweet bready malt. I went back a couple of times to revisit this one, its pretty good.

Mar 12, 2016
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cbutova from Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks Kevin for gifting the can to me.

A- Tallboy into a goblet with a clear golden body and a frothy white head. This cap builds before stopping just beneath two fingers tall and displays decent retention. Lacing forms in a mix of wide webs and somewhat plentiful sheets.

S- By modern standards a medium overall strength hop bouquet which is focused on pine and dank herbal aromatics with hints of stone fruit and citrus in the backdrop. Small touch of pale malts.

T- Dank and resinous hops with some fruit feel but nowhere near nectar or juicy territory. As far as fruits go melon comes to mind the most with orange, grapefruit and a hint of mango in the backdrop. The yeast is clean but there is a semblance of balance brought on by the malts with biscuit, cereal and slightly sweet hints.

MF- The body of the beer is of medium thickness and the texture is creamy and a bit chewy. Moderately high carbonation level and a soft bitterness in the finish.

Dank herbal hops are the highlight of this one weaved in nicely with pine and modest fruity hop notes. A very solid IPA that does not rely on total hop bombardment or the pure juicy nectar effect. In retrospect this one was extremely quaffable with the whole tallboy disappearing quickly.

Mar 03, 2016
Keeper from Castle Island Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 213 ratings