Detonation Ale
Brooklyn Brewery

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IPA - Imperial
4.23 | pDev: 10.17%
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 72 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
FeDUBBELFIST from Pennsylvania

4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 9oz snifter for $5.25. Sampled 10/1/10.

A: A small white foamy head provides decent retention. The body has an 80% opacity that provides a color range from rustic orange through auburn, then dark copper at the core. There is a light smathering of lace in broken sedimentary fashion.

S: The nose absolutely bursts with orange, peach and pineapple plus a caramel component that is more than adequate. The crust of dark bread adds depth to the malt foundation.

T: Summer and tropical fruits combine for good flavor duration. Moderate caramelly sweetness and restrained bitterness add a bit of east coast flare to a west coast style. Alcohol comes through meagerly to no real surprise.

M: Medium body with a perfectly lively carbonation.

D: [DRINKABILITY] Detonation is a top echelon DIPA - but only by east coast standards. Easy to drink with enough complexity to add intrigue. Well done Oliver.

Dec 18, 2011
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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a nice golden orange color. The head was thin but leafy a nice lacing. The smell of the beer was very hoppy and had a piney, citrusy aroma. The taste of the beer was bitter and had a hoppy sweetness that was very nice. Tropical fruits and pine blended well together. The aftertaste was dry and leaves ya with a cottonmouth feeling. The mouthfeel is smooth and tingly. Overall this beer was pretty impressive. Much like the BLAST! From Brooklyn.

Jun 26, 2011
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metter98 from New York

4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear orange/amber in color and poured with delicate lacing covering the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of citrus hops in the nose.
T: The initial taste has some malty sweetness, which is flavored by flavors of citrus and the underlying malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and somewhat smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very easy to drink because any traces of alcohol are well hidden in the taste.

Mar 09, 2011
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Spider889 from Ohio

3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Mad Mex.

Apricot color with a small frothy head. This one left decent lacing and visible, but not vigorous carbonation.

Smelled very sweet for a DIPA, though I suppose the high abv might suggest a higher degree of sweetness. Almost like a citrus/tropical candy - tons of tangerine and mango here.

The flavor changes it up a bit. Lemon and pine create a bitterness that assures you this is a DIPA, yet it is not overpoweringly bitter. The sweetness does pervade into the flavor as well, yet the showing is not nearly as prevalent as in the nose.

Not too boozy, but the alcohol is certainly there. A pleasant warming effect takes place that keeps this beer down to a one or two glass limit. Nevertheless, I will certainly be happy to order this again the next time I see it.

Jan 04, 2011
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xnicknj from Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from fresh growler into pint glass

Pours a somewhat hazy copper caramel color with a decent head. Fades out almost completely, leaving some spotty lacing around the glass.

Strong scents of citrus and hops in the nose along with a nice splash of apricot and sweeter fruits. Slight burn from the alcohol as well.

Begins very hoppy but on the sweeter citrus side of things. Higher on the acidity level overall. Deep malt backbone attempts to balance out the hops pretty successfully. Apricot and lemon peel with a bit of spiciness from more hops. Finishes with some boozy warmth and dry lingering bitterness.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, sticky and dry. Drinks really well considering the 10.2% abv, which is masked nicely. A solid DIPA, I would definitely buy this if they ever bottled it.

Dec 12, 2010
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unclejimbay from Florida

4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tried this at the brewery Happy Hour in Brooklyn on a festive Friday evening in October 2010.

Enjoyed this poured on tap in a brand new snifter given to me by Mr. Oliver himself as I gave him a gift of a six pack of our homebrew.

Appearance was a vibrant copper color with an enduring head.
Smells and tastes of a fresh domestic hops on a noticeable foundation of caramel malt. This is a bold Imperial IPA on with a solid caramel malt backbone - but very well done.
Drinks very smooth with a medium+ body and medium carbonation.
Impressively drinkable for a beer this big, abv is very well hidden.

Dec 03, 2010
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mdfb79 from New York

4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap tonight at Galaxy Hut. Served in a snifter.

a - Pours a nice reddish amber color with two inches of off white head and light carbonation evident. Looks pretty nice.

s - Smells strongly of pine hops, also citrus hops, grape fruit, and fruity malts.

t - tTastes of pine hops, citrus hops, caramel malts, grapefruit, and fruity malts. There is no real bitterness or alcohol in the taste which was very surprising.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation, pretty good feel. Very smooth and not bitter, surprised the ABV was so high. Very easy to drink.

d - I really enjoyed this DIPA. It might be one of the smoothest DIPA's I've had considering the high ABV; I didn't get any alcohol or bitterness. I loved the fresh citrus and pine in the smell, and would love to have it again sometime.

Nov 23, 2010
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a vibrant copper color, thin lacing ring, minimal carbonation, and lacing sticks to the side of the glass.

S - Juicy, spicey, overripe oranges, orange rinds to the max. Aroma smells just like ju-ju fruit (no kidding!). Hop oils max out the olfactory bulbs.

T - Has a slight vegetable taste and massive amounts of spiceyorange rinds and hop juice. Has some garlic character and the alcohol is definitely not shy in this baby. Minimal malt flavoring dominated by spicey hops. Tastes like West Coast in a glass.

M - Incredibly smooth on the tongue, medium body, very boozy, dry finish. Leaves a boozy effervescence, and a metallic lemon and citrus aftertaste that lingers on and on.

D - Not well balanced, just how I like my Double IPA's!

Definitely worth trying, I'm incredibly impressed with this Brooklyn creation. Wow!

Nov 20, 2010
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CrellMoset from Virginia

4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Taco Mac, Peachtree St location, Atlanta, GA. Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Arrives a cherry copper golden body, very still and serene looking. There's hardly any carbonation at all when it arrives, and very quickly there's truly nothing at all that disrupts the stillness of the body. About half a finger of snow white head fades rather quickly after the glass's arrival, leaving absolutely nothing on the top, around the rim, and on the sides of the glass. Sure, it's 10.2%, but gimme something here.

Aroma: Now that's more like it. Strong herbal notes dominate the landscape here, with mint and slight pineyness contributing as well. Citrus is also strong - white grapefruit and juicy orange - and all the hop notes mingle well with a sweet sugar cookie base, slightly roasted.

Taste: Very similar to the nose. Honey and slightly roasted and caramelly but still very sweet malts provide a nice floor for a slew of hop notes and a mild to moderate amount of bitterness. Lemon mint, white grapefruit tobacco, and orange thyme notes run roughshod all over the tongue. A very intense and varied but still elegant tasting brew.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth and click, with a very low level of carbonation - in line with what I noted above - which helps amplify the hop notes but not the bitterness. It's thick and sweet, though not sticky or saccharine. A little more carbonation would have helped a little.

Drinkability: An excellent DIPA from a brewery not known for its double/imperial beers, though this one proves that it definitely knows how to pull them off. At 10.2%, you won't be having too many of these (especially when they come served in a pint glass, whew), and one was definitely enough for me ... though if I'd been eating that evening, I might have helped myself to another. Recommended.

Nov 18, 2010
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soze47 from Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this at the Lower Depths on 11/10/10. Kind of stumbled across this one and was glad I did. Very limited (they say it is one of only 5 kegs that will be sent to New England) and after tasting it, I can see why they would like help enhance the legend by making it hard to get.

Appearance: Deep golden color with a brownish orange twang. Nice sudsy foam on the head, very thick lacing.

Aroma: Citrus hop bomb on the nose, but there is a substantial sweetness that comes in too. Hmmm, from the nose, this one promises to be a big beer.

Taste: Detonation is a proper name for this one. It rushes in with a flurry of boozy heat, malt sweetness, and great hop flavor. All together, it is almost like a big rush of pineapple fruit. Then comes the hop bitterness. Like that old footage of bomb flashes sweeping across a landscape, the hop bitterness explodes in the center of your tongue and strafes outwards. Bitterness is very citrus rind, with some piney notes. To be honest, it is just so powerful that I had a hard time picking up subtleties after the first half of the glass.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This is a huge beer in almost every sense. Not an easy drinker as the sweetness is hot, the bitterness aggressive, and the body thick for the style.

Overall: Legendary tastes on this one, but in order to make such a powerful flavor profile, the body and drinkability suffer. This is an DIPA that you need to drink like a RIS or big Belgian. If you have a chance, hopheads, be sure to buckle up to try this one. For those of you who only casually like hops, steer clear.

Nov 12, 2010
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ToasterChef from Maine

4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from my notes. Served in my Uprising Chalice at Novare Res.

A: Big soapy & foamy tan head. Body brown/orange, opaque. Good lacing.

S: Big citrus hop aroma. Grassy as well. Pungent, bitter, oily.

T: Bitter grapefruit, grainy bitter whole hops. Some brown bread malts.

M: Full bodied. Plenty of carbonation. Good sized oily coat has bitter flavor. Maintains a tingling sensation on my tongue.

D: I'm enjoying this glass, but one is probably enough. Alcoholic strength and high bitterness limit this beer. This is a good beer to have as a draft only selection; a large format bottle would be tough on me.

Nov 10, 2010
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jampics2 from Ohio

4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Brewzilla, the grand tasting for Cleveland Beer Week 2010. I was giddy that this had finally made its way to Cleveland after being pretty bummed that the Winking Lizard didn't pick-up any for a special Friday tapping. I don't know how limited this ended up being, but I finally found it and I'm glad I did!

The beer isn't as bright as I would like, but it's still attractive enough. A dark copper color with some brown and orange highlights, I'd like to see a bit more inviting hue. But what the beer lacks in color is made up for with a beautiful head that billows and beacons like the mushroom cloud on top of the explosion of dirt and debris.

The smell is huge hops: citrus, mango, grapefruit, orange all backed with a slightly toasted malt reminiscent of really good English beers. But the explosion isn't as powerful as it could be. While the hops lack a touch of the punch I'd prefer, I do need to say this is well balanced and the bit of English toasted malt and slight grassiness make this distinct.

The taste is equally impressive. Sweet and slightly toasted malt is buried under the fallout from the hops. Pine, citrus and some earthiness are like a cluster-bomb of bitterness in my mouth. Huge and unforgiving, but somehow pleasant and really distinct. The unique malt bill makes this a winner.

Mouthfeel is a bit heavy on the carbonation, but the body is substantial without being sticky or syrupy. The carbonation may just be the set-up here at the festival, so I won't ding too much for that. The downside of the mouthfeel is the noticeable alcohol that appears when the sweet malt subsides. That also hurts the drinkability, along with the oily feel that coats my mouth afterwards. But I'd have this again in a heartbeat. Certainly one of the better East Coast DIPA's I've ever had.

Nov 08, 2010
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glid02 from Georgia

4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Taco Mac Metropolis in Atlanta.

Pours a slightly hazy bright copper color with a one-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of bright citrus and tropical fruit hops backed by sweet pale and caramel malts. Also present are hints of herbal and pine hop aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells, although the hop flavors aren't quite as intense as the aromas. Robust caramel and pale malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by large amounts of wet citrus hop flavors. Joining in shortly thereafter are good amounts of lighter tropical fruit hop flavors. Midway through the sip the hop flavors lose a bit of sweetness with the addition of herbal, earthy, and pine flavors, in that order. The hops (surprised?) carry through to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I'd heard a lot of good things about this beer and it didn't disappoint. Truly a hopped-up version of an already good and hoppy beer (Blast) that's well worth a shot.

Oct 31, 2010
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beersensei305 from Florida

4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this Imperial IPA at World of Beer UCF in Orlando, FL.

This beer poured out a hazy amber with a white head that leaves a nice lace around the glass. The smell is of floral hops, some sweetness, piney and citrus. From the first sip there is a detonation of grassy hops, malt and citrus, there maybe some honey in it. Crisp and smooth with a nice kick.

Great Beer! I was lucky to have this one! Shame it is only being brewed and released once.

Oct 27, 2010
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bobhits from Kentucky

2.81/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I really don't get this beer. It claims 10% yet it really lacks flavor, body, and the mouth feel that goes with that. It is a very citrusy beer with plenty of citrus notes and some fruity flavors, but I"m at a loss as how one could love this.

It's light to medium in body. The carbination is lacking. The hop profile is extremely one dimensional. The malt is way to far in the back ground given the lack of real hop presence.

I had this tonight at The Beer Trappe in lexington and as I drank this beer I kept telling my friend "wow this is flavorless" "I'm not digging this" "Ok well i mean it isn't a bad beer but this is an imperial IPA and over 10% abv." He sampled and when compared to the seriera nevada pale ale, he even said "yeah not much flavor."

If you get offered one I'd certainly drink it, but I wouldn't spend hard earned money on it.

Oct 22, 2010
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An amazing Imperial IPA, and one that I thought I'd never see from Brooklyn Brewing. You finally get it, thank you!

The drippy citrus flavor and aromas are balanced against tropical fruit smooth hop flavors and clean bitterness. The hops completely dominate the glass but is highlighted in the flavor and aroma department. Clean bitterness ushers in the malty/alcoholic dryness and provides a long linger of bitter citrus piths. Ripe Ruby Red grapefruit, tangerine, mango, appricot, and pineapple round out the hoppy flavor profile.

Spiced with hoppy notes of orange zest, ginger, and freshly picked herbs, the beer takes on an alcoholic/spicy/phenolic flavor and feel that keeps you guessing about hop contributions vs. yeasty zest.

With just enough of a pillow of malt, the faint caramel, bready/graham cracker taste offers only a spring board for the hop dominance. Where the sweetness is tasted and felt early, the beer breaks at mid palate and provides a fleeting malty shaddow as the bitterness from hops intensifies and the alcoholic warmth is felt.

Enough carbonation to keep the citrus flavors creamy and smooth early in the sip, the fullness shows a quick fade to lightness, crispness, and dryness in the finish and allowing for maximum drinkability.

A very well done Imperial IPA that takes only a second stage to the likes of Dreadnaught, Pliney, and Hopslam. Well done Brookly, well done!

Oct 21, 2010
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John_M from Oregon

3.67/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's.

The beer pours an orange amber color with fairly good head retention and lacing. On the nose I get considerable orange citrus, light pine, and tropical fruit. I'm guessing from the aroma there will be some sweetness to this beer, but it doesn't smell as if the sweetness will be too overwhelming. Unfortunately, I was wrong. This beer has considerable sweet malt, and while there's plenty of hoppy bitterness, ultimately the sweetness wins out. The beer consequently has something of a sweet, tropical fruit flavor, with some noticeable alcoholic heat with the bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is fairly full, with the beer showing a long, bitter finish. Also, while the beer isn't at all heavy on the palate, the alcohol is definitely noticeable, which detracts a bit from the beer's drinkability.

Not a bad beer, but clearly not among the IPA elite. Probably not something I'll order again.

Oct 16, 2010
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californiakulak from California

4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer on draft at the Blind Tiger in NYC.
A. A light copper color. Quite clear. Slighlty off white head. Decent lacing.

S. Some alcohol, hops, and slightly sweet scents.

T. Nice hop flavor, pine and citrus as often is the case. Nice malt presence as well, slighly sweet.

M. lighter bodied than I would have expected, bitter with nice carbonation.

D. Very drinkable. Not the hop bomb that we get on the West Coast and that was kind of nice for a change.

Oct 14, 2010
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JoePat from Kentucky

4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a crystal amber color with a kaki head that leaves a lot of lacing as it dissipates.

I smell a lot of citrus and pinapple in the aroma. This beer has a huge hop aroma. So much that I can't smell anything else.

I get the pinapple, citrus, and cherry in the flavor. Sweet malty and huge hops but not overly bitter.

Thick resiny mouthfeel but tha does not hinder the drinkability. This is possibly the smoothest double IPA that I have ever drank.

Oct 09, 2010
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drabmuh from Maryland

4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Mike. Poured from a growler into a Bruery tulip.

Beer is a dark orange with a mild haze, one finger white head of small and medium bubbles that leaves A LOT of lacing on the glass. Looks good.

Pine bomb, the aroma reminds me a lot of Racer X. There is a mild citrus nature to the aroma as well, no sweetness or malt, if its there its completely eclipsed.

Beer is super hoppy, its almost thick with the resin. Mouth coating almost drying. Its sticky with it. Not very sweet, great hop flavor in the middle but finishes mildly dry. Its quite a good beer. I would have it again on draft in a second.

Oct 08, 2010
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soupyman10 from District of Columbia

4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a pint of this at Founding Farmers, a great surprise at a not-known-for-its-brews kind of place. This was really a nice, tasty, strong DIPA, but also highly drinkable (I had it with dinner). Pours a standard amber with a smallish white head, but it's a real win in the aroma and flavors department. Obviously a big beer, but surprisingly well balanced - big citrus fruit and flowers, with a caramel toffee offset. Really thought this was excellent - one of the top Brooklyn brews I've had, along with their Chocolate Stout.

Oct 04, 2010
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plaid75 from New York

4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Good Life, Massapequa Park, NY.

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a juicy resinous orangy hop with a sweet doughy malt.

The taste consisted of a balmy sticky hop with a full sweet malt a slight booze.

The mouthfeel was of typical fullness with a very dry finish.

Overall a well made hop bomb.

Sep 30, 2010
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

4.92/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap 9/21/2010 at The Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, NJ, served in a large tulip glass.

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

S: The aroma is an incredible mix of floral hops, fruity citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts with a huge burst of grassy hops bitterness followed by a very fruity citrus sweetness with a touch of caramel flavor. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and is perfect for the style in my opinion. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

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

D: Extremely tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, strong kick, excellent representation of style, quite simply one of the best 2IPA's I've ever had and is everything you could ask for in a hop bomb.

Sep 28, 2010
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Thorpe429 from Illinois

4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright, slightly-browned orange with a nice white head and good lacing as it goes down. Nose is overflowing with juicy hops. Lots of pine and citrus rind with a few tropical notes intermixed. Taste comes down a bit from here but still packs quite a punch of resiny hops. Mouthfeel is somewhat fuller bodied but I didn't detect much sweetness. Drinkability is quite high; certainly one of my favorite Brooklyn beers to date.

Sep 28, 2010
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cpetrone84 from Pennsylvania

4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a hop hazed orangish amber color with a thinner tan colored head.

S-the nose is extremely citrusy, loads of orange rind and grapefruit with notes of pine sap. there is some dough malts underneath that try to show through but are beaten back by a very juicy and perfumy citric hop profile.

T-this is an insanely hopped up beer. some caramel and dough malts are present but again can only fight to make an appearance. the flavor has the perfume citric hops very present giving way to a juicy blast of orange juice and notes of rind with a strong grapefruit presence. the bitterness is surprisingly low but still present.

M-medium body beer with a hint of graininess to it towards the back of the tongue. it is rather syrupy with a hint of astringency and a slightly rough finish.

D-this is an extremely aggressive beer that puts hops to the test. I tend to like overly hoppy beers and this is just that. it is slightly sweet with loads of sugar in it but the hop presence, well hidden alcohol, and fact that I can't stop drinking it make it a darn good beer.

Sep 26, 2010
Detonation Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 72 ratings