Boatswain American IPA
Minhas Craft Brewery

Boatswain American IPABoatswain American IPA
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
American IPA
Ranked #6,848
ABV:
6.7%
Score:
66
Ranked #47,743
Avg:
2.74 | pDev: 25.91%
Reviews:
105
Ratings:
333
From:
Minhas Craft Brewery
 
Wisconsin, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  2
Gots
  54
SCORE
66
Poor
Boatswain American IPABoatswain American IPA
Notes:
View: Beers | Events
Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 333
Photo of DIPA69
2.64/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Bought at Trader Joe's. Woman at the counter said it was a to style IPA.
Appearance: Poured into a 16 oz New Belgium snifter. Cloudy orange copper pour with a one finger head of quickly dissapating off-white bubbles.
Smell: Sour Malt, mustard, venetian chicken, wild clover honey
Taste: Heavy caramel and toffee notes, toasted almond, vanilla bean, mild tart notes of apricot and pear.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, slight carbonation,
Overall: Not brewed to style. Thought there are a few redeeming qualities of this beer, it is not an IPA. The caramel, malt notes dominate and the hop flavors are virtually nonexistent. I would buy this beer if my buddies were over to watch the Lynx, but would not purchase for my friends that actually appreciate and review beer. Trader Joe's puts out some good wine and beer, but as someone who loves hoppy beers and double IPAs, I would have to say that this beer falls short of the mark for an acceptable IPA.

 942 characters

Photo of tkreancty
4/5  rDev +46%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Folks, taste this beer blind. Seriously. I can't believe how reviewers are affected by a price tag and a label. This is a damn good beer - arguably the best value in generally available craft ales today. There is no doubt in my mind that with a different label and a higher price point folks on here would be lauding its clean balance of caramel sweetness and assertive but not over-the-top bitterness. Maybe it doesn't belong categorized as an American IPA, as it avoids the hop excess that defines the style, but it does deserve more appreciation than it is getting, being a well-balanced and flavorful pale ale. Try it again. With an open mind.

 647 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
2.29/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Picked up at Trader Joe's. I guess it's their house beer. It's a disaster.

In a pint glass the beer a brassy color with no head and no lace.

Sweet malt, maybe a hint of citrus. Sure didn't smell like an IPA.

Nor did it taste like an IPA. Cloyingly sweet and sugary. Some lemon, maybe a hint of grapefruit.

Gag! Way too sweet, virtually non-existent hops.

 358 characters

Photo of TheMarkE
2.99/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Appearance: Copper colored with moderate foam and lacing.

Smell: Malt, with a hint of hops.

Taste: Sweet malts, with a hint of herbal hops.

Mouthfeel: Watery, medium bodied, and slightly metallic. The only real semblance this has to an IPA is the bitter aftertaste.

The Verdict: Fair. It’s a cheap Trader Joe’s beer, and it’s drinkable. That’s about the best I can say about it.

 390 characters

Photo of lighthabit
3.28/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

just had a half glass from the neighbor, not really enough to do a full, decent review, but i had to say something, because i think this is getting a bum rap. it isn't the most awesome beer on the planet, but for a killer price, it does rather well. i'd say its quality is in the $4.50 range. flavors are a bit simple, strong, not refined, and i got the impression it would go a bit astray as it warmed, but keep it cool on a late summer night, and i think it'll be worth giving a try. it's not like it's priced in 120 minute territory.

 536 characters

Photo of ckollias
3.11/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Enjoyed this beer out of a pub glass

A: copper hue with a thin white head leads to a wispyace and no trail.

S: musky hop aroma.

T: crisp musky bitter flavored followed by some off malt flavor and finishes sweet and dry.

M: medium body and medium carbonation

O: not a very well rounded beer - lots of off flavored and the hoppy punch not there.

 353 characters

Photo of Jabberwocky
2.37/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Pours copper orange with only very minor amounts of foam. Can clearly see little bubbles in the beer. Carbonation is fairly high. Very weak smell, not a strong scent.

Upon first mouthful. This beer is watery, it taste, in mouth feel, and in general. I will not be buying this again. Roasted barley notes are there and is probably the most enjoyable part of the beer. There is a good amount of sweetness. It is not very hoppy, with the only hops being a very mild aftertaste that sticks to the tongue for a few seconds. For the price, with an emphasis on the price part, it isn't terrible, but it isn't good either. It lacks character and doesn't have a bold IPA signature which I've become accustom to in IPAs. Bottle says 6.7 Abv, but the beer tastes much more watery.

 771 characters

Photo of scootny
3.18/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A 22 oz bottle for less that $2.50? I'm in. Thick full head with lots of lace and a nice clear deep copper color. Smell is mild an malty with a goodly amount of grains and caramel. Notes of toffee and english ale yeast fruitiness. A touch of alcohol. Taste is not bad. Not great but certainly drinkable and a galaxy above what is offered by BMC at this price point. Body is like a big pale ale with lots of caramel/toffee and an alcohol finish. Hops are quite mild and earthy. Short finish with a dry tea leaf bitterness Certainly firm but not what is generally in the realm of what is the norm for IPAs these days. Feel is nice with decent weight and gentle but persistent carbonation. Does it set the world on fire? No. Does it give quality flavor with drinking satisfaction at a rock bottom price? You Betcha'!. A decent mildy hopped IPA leaning more toward an English interpretation of the style than American. drink it with that in mind and you will be happy.

 964 characters

Photo of Broseph
1.67/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I purchased this beer from Trader Joe's in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota after finding Steel Toe Brewing closed on Monday so I couldn't fill my growler. There was a sharply dressed man stocking up on these in 22oz form so I asked how it was. He replied favorably so I grabbed one for the fridge. At $1.99 for 22oz of 6.7% IPA, I had little to lose, right? Lesson learned. This was a classic "if it sounds too good to be true, it is" scenario.

The next day I poured half the bottle into my trusty pint glass and could immediately smell the boozy aroma. It poured a nice dark golden with a very small head that dissipated immediately. At first sip I was overpowered by the alcohol taste, which never improved and made it tough to finish my glass. As the beer warmed from fridge temp, it only got worse and I had to dump the bottle. Not much going on here for hops to mask this either.

If anyone from Trader Joe's in SLP reads this, please realize that the best IPA in the state is brewed 1/2 a mile from your door at Steel Toe Brewing. Yes, its more money, but Boatswain is giving a bad name to your selection and American IPAs in general.

 1,138 characters

Photo of dabeanman310
2.14/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

If you like craft beer dont buy! Is it horrible. To me yes. I mean I rate it better than a bud or miller lite but I dont buy something that is marketed as a craft beer and tastes like crap. Okay... If you are into the american beers ( miller, bud, busch) look the other way because this is a real improvement. Here it goes if you actuall like actual all malt beers.

Aroma was sweet and honestly straight up awful! Smells like a hopped up bud. The taste isnt much different than the added some darker color grains (along with there rice). Really hated this beer just because its market in trader joes as a craft beer and sewer. Craft my ass!! My beer is 100X better than this shit. I buy craft beer to be inspired not to have a beergasim and die of this shitty beer!

 766 characters

Photo of JayQue
3.32/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Interesting beer. As an IPA, it is very mediocre. Thin mouthfeel, weak nose, lacking in hoppy goodness. As a session type beer, labeled as an ESB instead of an IPA and considering it is $1.99 for a 22 oz bomber, this is not bad at all!!!!

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. Clear copper color, medium size fizzy white head with spotty lacing and average retention. The aroma is just not there as an IPA. Call it something else and it is more acceptable....light grassy and floral hops and a little biscuity/bready malt.

Taste is fine (as an ESB or Amber Ale, but not an IPA). Grassy and floral hops, some bitterness but not the hop bomb that the term AIPA conjures up. Nice balance between biscuity/toasty malt and the mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin for an IPA, more acceptable for another style. Nice balance, somewhat crisp and refreshing.

For a $1.99 22 ouncer, Trader Joe's has done pretty well. As a lawnmower beer/summer quencher...not bad at that price. Not a particularly impressive IPA though.

 1,028 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
1.97/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, cooked vegetables, non-stick cooking spray, and subdued herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with harsh malt and medicinal-like hop flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a horrible beer with super harsh flavors that make it a huge chore even to sip on.

 598 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.16/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer pours a slightly dense deep dark orange body with a light tan cream and a slowly dancing carbonation of bubbles.

S- The flinty clean aroma has some green herbal notes in the finish that might be hops.

T- The touch of sweetness gives way to a citrus juice hop hint with a bit more hop bitterness in the finish.

M- The medium mouthfeel doesn’t have any alcohol heat and a tight little fizz.

O- The hops are very soft and the malt flavor is just a touch bigger making it a bit bland but I didn’t have high expectations for a $2.99 bomber. It was a bit watery but there was some hop bitterness that did linger.

 657 characters

Photo of zoolou
1.37/5  rDev -50%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.25

Tastes like a 'hoppy' forty. The smell reminded me of bad college parties and the taste didn't do much to help. Smell has a corny/syrupy aroma with some indistinct hops, and the taste is a little better, especially when it warms up a bit, but misses the mark completely when compared to even 'middle of the road' IPA's.

 319 characters

Photo of darksunshaman
2.08/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Barely worth writing a review about. This was a prime example of a poorly executed beer. I don't know what went wrong here or what would make it better, or what the brewers were actually trying to accomplish. I swear I was tasting seawater...the first beer I have poured out in it's entirety after the first taste. Glad it was under $3 for a bottle....

 352 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

6.7% ABV confirmed. 650 ml brown glass bottle with standard unbranded gold pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average given its current ratings.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a three finger beige colour head of fair cream, decent thickness, and pretty good (~3 minute) retention for the above average ABV. Body colour is a clear translucent copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Generally appealing for the style, but unimpressive.

Sm: Way too malt-emphatic. Light floral hop character, but mainly just malts. Clean grainy malts. Horribly simple. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. Not very appealing considering the style. A mild strength aroma.

T: Overly sweet malts. Bland grains. Severely limited floral hops. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Simple, boring, and bland. Uninteresting. Poorly constructed for the style. Lacks balance.

Mf: A bit thin. Smooth and wet. Carbonation is off. Okay body. Poor presence on the palate. Doesn't suit the flavour profile all that well. Disappointing.

Dr: A badly executed beer that doesn't even satisfy the parameters of the style. Hides its ABV decently. It's drinkable but forgettable. The price point could be worse, but it's still not worth picking up. I certainly won't be getting it again. Very underwhelming.

Low C

 1,533 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
2.31/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.25

Type: 22-oz. bomber
Glass: Firestone restaurant glass
From: Trader Joe’s in Grossmont Center (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $1.99
Purchased: April 4, 2013
Consumed: April 4, 2013
Misc.: N/A

Poured a caramel copper hazy color with two fingers of off-white head. Reminded me of an packaged Lipton iced tea. Good amount of sporadic lacing on the sides of the glass. Very good retention (thick and white) on top all the way down.

Smelled surprisingly (but not surprisingly considering it’s a Boatswain) malts more than hops. Got bread, roasty nuts, caramel and toffee malts. Earthy, grainy hops, probably more resin than grass. Definitely some skunkiness in there.

Medium body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, bitter finish.

About what I’d expect from Boatswain, but it was $1.99. Had to give it the old college try.

 833 characters

Photo of Jemonster
3.14/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 2.5

A: Nice clarity, golden body with small bubbled and heavy looking carbonation. Thin white head indicative of the style.

S: Lots of sweet malt up front. Sweet white sandwich bread. Not smelling much in the way of hops aside from a light citrus scent, like the sweet lime.

T: Sugar bomb, no idea how they got this so sweet. Tastes like it came off the yeast a little too early and then was force carbonated. Not even close to 75 IBU worth of hops like the bottle says. Very, very mild hop bitterness in the aftertaste, no aroma hop flavors in the middle...did they forget the hops that they meant to add? Tastes like a standard pale ale, and a light one.

M: Nice and creamy, they did this part well. Really excellent feel, nice carbonation and body. Isn't perfect though, because the sweetness distracts.

O: This might be nice for some people who don't like the bitterness of an IPA, but the problem is that this IS an IPA. Maybe I've been drinking too many DIPAs. It would make a not-bad pale ale and would have received better scores as such.

 1,047 characters

Photo of Spikester
3.79/5  rDev +38.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear amber with two fingers of off white head. Rings of lace as level drops.
Smell is light resin herbal grassy hops with sweet bread malts.
Taste is grapefruit zest resin and sweet bread crust malts.
Mouthfeel is medium good carbonation. A lightly dry finish.
Overall a simple IPA much closer to a Pale Ale or even a hoppy Amber. Very drinkable though.
Date code 19 262 07. From a 12 ounce can. Much improved from the bomber bottling.

 444 characters

Photo of BeerNinja007
1.93/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.75

Can't believe I'm trying another one of these Trader Joe's beers, after the revolting experience I had with the Boatswain Twin Screw Steamer Double IPA. This one can't possibly be any worse. From that perspective there's definitely room for improvement, but that's not saying much.

22oz bomber for $2.49 at Trader Joe's in Newington, NH. Served cold in a tulip. Code 13 310 14 stamped on the bottle, whatever the hell that means. Hopefully that's not secret code for "ass beer".

A: Hazy reddish copper brew, fizzy light brown head 1 finger high from a moderate pour. At least it looks like beer so far.

S: Immediately upon pouring it put up a decent amount of rough hop aroma, but this faded away too quickly for me to really get a handle on it. What's left is a clean semi-sweet light malty backbone with some raw starchy grain aspects. Smells almost like a cheap Euro Dortmunder/ Export lager. Hops are completely gone at this point, like a fart in the wind. At least it doesn't smell like asparagus piss like the last one did. (Sorry, still hung up on that nasty Twin Screw Steamer).

T: This is pretty rough. A tad bit of coarse malt and a mild generic hop, combined with an equal amount of green vegetable stuff and a really pungent EtOH peppery heat. Tons of fusels. Wow. Like half as nasty as the other one. Yes an improvement, but nowhere near enough of one that I'm glad to be drinking this. Borderline drainpour material. Really unrefined, raw, choppy. What a train wreck. Who the hell is making this stuff??

As it warms/ airs, counterintuitively, it seems to improve a bit. Maybe some of the offensive volatile stuff is burning away, who knows. A light syrupy sweetness emerges to balance out the raw grain. Some mildly tropical thing going on in the body. Not much hop still... just a tad bit of generic bittering hop in the finish, mixed up with the fusels and rubbing alcohol.

M: Unbelievable how poorly-hidden the EtOH is. It's only 6.7% but I'm pretty sure you could dilute rubbing alcohol down to this point with pure water and it'd go down more smoothly. Carbo is appropriate. At least it's not flat or overly fizzy, so at least I can give them that much.

D: A step up from the Twin Screw, but again that's not saying much. Not worth $2.50. If I was a homeless bum and this was $1, it might be an option versus MD 20/20 or Boone's Farm every now and then.

 2,380 characters

Photo of DmanGTR
1.47/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.25

Bottle from TJ's. Was only $2.39 for a bomber so I thought nothing to lose...

Poured a deep amber, very clear, with a short lived billowing off-white head. Scant lace left behind as the head receded. It kind of looked dead after the head died down. Giving a sniffy sniff, I must say that it was superbly underwhelming. Nose is faint overall even though I poured the beer slightly below room temperature. Bit of malt and biscuit in the backbone and mild herbal notes. Bit of fruit that seems like a blend of dried orange peel, lychee, and bitter herbs. The flavor is very much like the aroma but there is a metallic distastefulness that sends it all down the drain. Barely any citrus or pine notes that I would expect in an IPA. I'm struggling here to find anything appealing about this beer. Body is pretty hefty for the mild carbonation, almost a slick feel to the beer. The beer kind of starts off with the sweetness of malt, then picks up the herbs and mild citrus, then dies, leaving only a scant bitterness in the finish.

I found water to be more appealing than this.

 1,074 characters

Photo of hreb
2.73/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bomber served in pint glass. Beer pours a slightly hazed orange amber with no head. Smells actually a little fruity / estery. Flavor is moderately hoppy, though a little bit metallic. I'm reminded of an old (as in skunky) lager in a can. Body is pretty thin and considering the non-trivial ABV I would have hoped for a little more malt. And considering the label claims 79 IBU I would have hoped for more hop flavor. The bitterness isn't overpowering, but it isn't interesting or flavorful, either. Would not recommend. But hey, it's cheap!

 545 characters

Photo of rodney45
2.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber brown with a small head that laces the glass throughout.

S: Boozy and malt smelling with little hop aroma.

T: First notes are of crystal malt and cracked wheat. Secondary flavors are of light hops and a second dose of crystal and munich malts. Finish is not dry and has distinct flavors of cherry and belgian candied sugar.

M: Medium to mid heavy mouthfeel with low carbonation and little bitterness.

O: Middle of the line brew, not bad for the price of 2.79 for 22 oz. I'd def buy again because although it doesnt seem like a traditional IPA, it isnt bad. Its more along the lines of a scotch ale or a blond ale gone dark. I liked it, and i'd recommend it (for the price.)

 688 characters

Photo of SolaceBrewing
1.86/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1.75

22 oz Bottle from Trader Joe's

Appearance - amber/orange in color; one finger head that disappears within a minute; somewhat darker than I would expect for an IPA

Aroma - faint alcohol; little to no hop aroma; hints of sweet malt

Flavor - bitingly sweet malt flavor; if this was homebrew, I would think that I needed to repitch yeast to continue fermentation; subdued hop bitterness, with little to no hop flavor

Mouthfeel - syrupy; carbonation level is good--a good balance of tingly and smooth on the tongue

Overall - I'm glad I didn't pay more than $2 for this. It is not something I would drink again. It is also lacking in hop flavor, aroma, and bitter/malt balance I would expect from an American IPA. I couldn't finish the bottle and dumped it.

 756 characters

Photo of spokeydonkey
2.32/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Got a bomber of this at Trader Joe's for under $3. Bottle claims 75 IBUs, 15.46 plato starting gravity and 6.7% ABV, which would make a pretty dry, hoppy IPA. Unfortunately, it tastes like none of these things. Their "appearance," listed as "brown" is spot on (bear in mind, this is an India PALE ale).

Appearance: Dark amber-brown. Definitely not a pale ale of any variety. Looks fairly clear wit a decent off-white ead.

Smell: Lots of caramel malt and some citrusy hops.

Taste: UGH! There's only a few beers I've poured out, but this is one of them. Syrupy caramel and cloying sweetness. Can't detect much in the way of hops. Way out of balance for the style and for any beer in general.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy. Didn't get past that and didn't want to.

Overall: Barely drinkable. The sweetness and lack of hop flavor is offensive. I dumped it. If you like sweet, low-bitterness beers relying heavily on caramel flavor, this might be up your alley. If you're looking for an IPA, look elsewhere! I dumped this and grabbed a Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye for my hops fix.

 1,067 characters

Boatswain American IPA from Minhas Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 66 out of 100 with 333 ratings