Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

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American Imperial IPA
Ranked #145
Ranked #1,339
4.37 | pDev: 9.61%
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
United States
View: Beers
Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 93 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by ffejherb:
Photo of ffejherb
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler on 6/6/08. Big thanks to Kegatron for sharing this one!

A - Orange/amber body with copper tones and just a tinge of haze with huge, billowy two-finger off-white head that retained quite nicely and left thick patches of ornate lacing around the glass.

S - Huge pungent nose reeking of fresh floral hops and sweet caramel malts. Hints of citrus and pine blend into the mix as well.

T - Tangy hop juiciness with lots of citrus fruit and a bit of pine. Very juicy flavor! Toasted malt emerges in the middle and finishes with a hefty amount of grapefruit bitterness.

M - Thick and rich with a smooth texture and soft carbonation. Moderate bitter finish with some residual sweetness that lingers for a while and imparts an even warmth all over the palate.

D - 10.5% ABV? Superior drinkability for such a hefty brew. This sucker is extremely well-balanced and, having come right from the tap, was super fresh and tasty!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Shenk87
2/5  rDev -54.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Photo of ububru
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of BeerIsland
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of the drawbacks of this mug club is not being able to see what you're drinking. The top of this beer looked good, though. Aroma is very similar to regular Krypto; big hop nose, maybe a little more flowery. The soft, wonderful mouthfeel of this beer is remarkable; alone worth the price of admission. Flavor is very nice, maybe with better balance than the tap version. A great product and indicative of what a handpull beer can be. Folks, this one won't be around very long - check it out !

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Photo of akorsak
4.12/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the release. From a mug club mug.

A: The DIPA, thanks to the plethora of pints around me, is a golden brown color, the sheen of a slightly worn penny. Translucent with a steady stream of bubbles supporting a a white head. Lacing, even in my mug, is apparent.

S: Oh the hoppiness! Won't someone think of the children? Citrusy and oily, the hops are ample and long-lasting. Carrying a decent amount of boozy head, they don't run amok. Instead, the aroma is reasonably balanced with caramel malts in support. Oh, the oils are good though.

T: More oily hops backed by a well-balanced caramel malt base. The hops lead off, as they are wont to do, with a bang. Thick, oily citrus with grapefruit and pineapple signifies the strength of the hops. They coat my mouth with zesty heat (truth be told, the stuffed jalapenos were too much for even this beer), bitter and syrupy. The caramel malts shocked me by standing up to the hops, resulting in a well-balanced ale that still manages to pack a punch. Delightfully bitter with a citric oily taste that remains forceful throughout.

M: The mouthfeel is lush and tropical, a focus on the resiny goodness of citrus-flavored hops. Plenty of malt (and booze) follow in the wake of the hops. A very engaging DIPA, worth camping out (figuratively) at IH Lancaster for the release.

O: Plenty hoppy and oh so sweet. I'm gonna need some more soon.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Seriously growler side by side with several big IPAs and some boring stouts. Thanks to Mike, Mike, Ben, Jeff, and me for making this whole thing happen. Very awesome afternoon.

Beer is orange and hazy with a wispy white head of small bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass, carbonation light.

Aroma is really hoppy, CTZ hops dominate the whole way, very awesome aroma.

Beer is medium in body and a little sweet, nice earthy / piny hop flavors in the midpalate of the beer. Heavy with resin, nice level of bitterness on the backend of the beer. This beer is heavier than the others we sampled, mildly maltier, but a very great beer. I described it at the tasting of being a heavier Pliny the elder. Most agreed.

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Photo of woodychandler
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had intended this to be my 600th review, but I got overzealous and lost track. No matter. To (mis)quote Jimmy Walker on "Good Times": 'Kryp-to-NITE!'

This arrived with a thick, fluffy, bone-white head exploding with CO2 bubbles but still experiencing good retention. Color was a lightly hazy, deep-amber. I like it when brewers are not arfaid not to filter! Nose was quite hoppy, full of citrus, but accompanied by a subtle cinnamon spiciness. The mouthfeel was Goldilocks-medium: not too thin, not too full, but just right. The flavor was very hoppy, but not overly so. It definitely scored off my tastebuds, but it still left me thirsting for more. The finish was dry. Bone dry. Zephyr winds blowing across the Sahara Desert dry.

Bottom line - head brewer Paul Rutherford has now sent notice that he has arrived.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark gold color with a very thin head and lots of carbonation.

S - Tropical fruit and fruit rinds. Oranges, grapefruit, pineapple with super light caramel malt.

T - Hopped to high heaven. Tropical fruit, pungent rinds, spicy, and floral with minimal caramel malt coming through. This beer is a perfect mixture of sweet vs. bitter hops and is pretty much a full attack on the palette. The two nuances blend perfectly and creates a swirling sensation between the two going from one to the other before finishing with an aggressive pine floral combo for a long lingering finish that also coats the mouth with an almost metallic-like sensation.

M - Full bodied and smooth carbonation.

O - One of the best D-IPA's I 've had in quite awhile and well worth the effort in this out of the way Philly suburb city.

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Photo of whartontallboy
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of scottbrew4u
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of Risser09
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tapped into a 12 oz. pilsner glass - 2008 - Fridge temp

Warm weather brought on an excellent opportunity to try another Double IPA, this time a local offering!

Appearance: Pours a golden orange/yellow on the verge of becoming red. 1" ivory head sits and won't let go. Lace is formed and formed again after each sip is taken.

Smell: A nice combo of grapefruit and pine show off the freshness of this beer. Very aromatic to the point where it is becoming green with vegetation, but not quite. Underlying malt sweetness is noticeable.

Taste: Plenty of hop bitterness whacks you in the taste buds immediately. Grapefruit is the dominating flavor, but is followed by a mandarin accent. Pine needles are in the background as a secondary flavor, where I prefer them to be. There is a big, sweet, malt presence that is overshadowed by the strong hop bitterness. World class.

Mouthfeel: Comes on bitter with hop resin and grapefruity acidity. Midtones are of sweet malt that is unattenuated. Finish makes for a lingering bitterness with more acidity. This one drinks with ease, as it does have a touch of creamy smoothness to it. Alcohol bodes well with high IBUs.

Drinkability: It seems very hard not to make an enjoyable DIPA these days, and Iron Hill didn't disappoint. This is the citrusy style that I'm into, so it gets good marks. It could improve in head quality and mouthfeel, but otherwise could compete with the best of them. Very nice.

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Photo of rab53
3.24/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Deuane
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The 2010 version---the addition of Citra hops may take this one to the next if it wasn't damn good to begin with! Luckily as I enjoyed my draft version the cask became available!

A-Hazed, golden kissed copper with a thick, off-white head that reduced to a thin cap and left large swaths a foam behind.

S-Citrus hop punch is slightly subdude and not as powerful as the draft version. Don't get me wrong it is still better than most but the "softness" of the cask delivery mutes this a bit.

T-Creamy and smooth with the same juicy hop smack in the mouth as it's CO2 pushed brethren! Orange, grapefruit, tangerine and a hint of resinous pine. Only the lightest kiss of caramel sweetness.

M-Medium body with a fantastic creamy smoothness. A cask delivered hop bomb that would make any CAMRA supporter cry into their Imperial Pint! So rich and creamy with all of the hop oils swirling around on your palate....oh sweet joy!

D-Lex Luther (a.k.a. Paul) got me with this one! I cannot believe how good this is! If I could have had 3, 4, hell 10, pints I would have!

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Photo of sholland119
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at West Chester IH on 1/6/10.

A-Pours a clear light orange amber with fluffy white head and some decent lacing.

S-Piney sweet with some good citrus notes and malt behind. Delicious, big aroma.

T-Follows the nose with tangy grapefruit hops taking a back seat to a ton of sweet pine hops. Nice malt balance for the style.

M-Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

D-One of my favorite IH beers. Does not quite measure up to the awesome Chuck Norris's Beard but quite delicious.


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Photo of guzzle211
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was able to enjoy this during its inaugural weekend at Iron Hill in Lancaster, both on draft and cask. This review is based on the draft pint.

a: Pours a glowing dark orange. Appears to have a glow that eminates as it sits before me. The healthy tan head lingers much longer than I would expect for the ABV.

s: hops! Citrusy hops dominate, ranging the full spectrum. There might be some piny notes in there somewhere, but this brew is all about well-balanced citrus hops.

t/m: once again, citrusy hops dominate. But what really makes this brew so great is the perfect malt balance. The balance is so perfect its inviting. Each sip creates an anticipation for the next one. What keeps this dank hop bomb from being overbearing is the malt character which is solid enough to temper even these strong hops, but without interfering with this brew's primary mission. The mouthfeel was very pleasant and smooth, with a bite of dryness at the end.

d: incredibly inviting and drinkable for a brew with a 10.5% ABV. this is one sneaky little devil.

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Photo of largadeer
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler from Centennial. Thanks!

Appearance: Pours a shade of pale gold, surprisingly light and clear, decidedly West Coast style. Two fingers of lasting, frothy head cap the body.

Smell: A ton of citrus, primarily pineapple and tangerine. There are lesser notes of marijuana, cut grass and pine. The sugar cookie malt backbone becomes more noticeable as it warms, though it remains faint. This smells great.

Palate: Juicy, ripe tangerines and pineapples up front. Lightly sweet and sugary, with a clean and crisp light body. Becomes a bit more herbal and resinous mid-palate. The finish is wonderfully biting and bitter, certainly more intense than most West Coast DIPAs, but it never feels excessive. Alcohol isn't noticeable at all beyond a bit of warmth in the swallow.

Overall: Such an excellent beer. I can't believe this stuff is coming out of PA - it tastes like a Pizza Port DIPA. Highly recommended.

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Photo of DIM
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

according to Iron Hill's website this years version is 7.2% abv.

a: Iron Hill knows how to handle a cask. This was a fairly dark, moderately hazy, deep coppery brown. It was served to with long lived, neat, white cap.

s: Fresh hop aromas of pine first along with some lemon zest and a little garlic (amarillo?). Sweet balance is provided by some brown sugar. Superb.

t: Mirrors the smell. Huge, fresh hop flavors of pine and earthy garlic plus a little lemon zest. This had a fairly pronounced sweet side, but it wasn't at all astringent. I tasted simple syrup and brown sugar. There wasn't any heat to be found, so I believe this years version is smaller.

m: Simply perfect. Casked DIPAs don't get better than this. Full bodied and creamy.

d: I'm not very picky about my hop bombs. As long as its fresh I'm happy. This was outstanding.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had some of evets growler on his group brewday in Stevens Pa.
Poured cold into a pint and allowed to warm slowly.

A- Deep amber w/ a full 2 fingers of of pale cream cap that makes some serious lace

S - A pungent floral, piney, and sugary citrus like sweet valencia and leafy pine notes. The aroma is pungent, w/a bit of herbal and resinous fresh green bordering on vegetal w/ subtle spice, but very up front with what it is packin'

M - A deep leafy sweet, malty slight acidic and warming of alcohol w/ citrus juiciness and piney smooth oily feel that is full bodied and has the depth of an Imperial IPA, no question. There is plenty of carbonation in there to keep the sweetness in check and give it a creamy feel w/ a bitter slightly sharp finish

T - Fresh juiced hop flavor w/ plenty of big malt sweetness of a IIPA. The hops are fresh and herbal w/ subtle floral sweetness and rosey crisp notes. There is plenty of Amarillo's tangerine-like citrus with an underlying caramelly sweet malt flavor The hops do most of the work in the flavor dept with the boozy taste only appearing in subtle ways from all the support of the malt.

D - A great ale any way you slice it! Big and bold w/ boozy notes that don't distract from the focus w/ his Hops! sappy and sweet w/ orange, subtle grapefruit notes the hop flavors in the blend run the gamut. There is a slight residual sweetness when you enjoy multiples, but there is also a lingering fresh hoppiness w/ extra citrus. Just take heed of the potency as the easy drinkin qaulities of theKryptonite will sneak up on you.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler from my most recent growlin at the moon. I cracked this one open on Easter to share with the fam, but killed most of it myself. Served cold, this one was consumed on 04/12/2009.

The pour was very nice. Rich dark amber in color with lots of orange highlights. This was a beer drinkers DIPA for sure. Big head of white towered over the top and only settled down slightly into a thin film across the top. The aroma was loaded with piney hops. Huge notes here of deep resin and hints at a buttery, biscuit like mid palate were prominant. Full medium body here with a lots of carbonation and a smooth mellow like coating on the tongue. Long drawn out finish here with the most mellow of touches on the final taste.

Overall a very solid and very big IPA. I would have no issue at all with serving this one all the time. Rich, full and loaded with flavor we have a winner here.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Counter pressure filled growler courtesy of SpillyBeers. Thanks! 

A: Hazy yellow orange body with two inches of white sea foam. Impressive retention and a comical amount of lacing sheets stick to the glass.

S: Bright, vibrant hop aroma, redolent with notes of grapefruit, spicy mango, guava, pineapple, peach, and papaya. Floral aromatics waft from the glass, blending with dank marijuana. Malt is sweet but subtle, playing a decidedly supportive role for the hops. It's reminiscent of cracker and sugar cookie.

T: Delicious juicy tropical and citrus fruits. Mango blends with peach, pineapple, grapefruit, guava, tangerine, and orange. Very bright and very fresh. There's a little sweet crackery malt in there to support the explosive fruitiness. There's a smooth moderate bitterness throughout. The finish is dry and clean with a plethora of fruit that lingers and lingers. 9%? Jesus. Not a trace of booze.

M: Lower medium body with medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is sticky, smooth, and dry.

Overall: Right up my alley. It's clean like a Pizza Port beer with some nice tropical notes that remind me of Hill Farmstead.

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Photo of HopDerek
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Lancaster location as of 6/14/08

Poured a clear caramel amber color with thin but creamy off-white/light tan head. OK retention left great lacing in the glass. Smells awesome with lots of grapefruit, pineapple, and orange zest citrus notes along with big pine cone wafts and a nice sweet caramel malts. Tastes of citrus like grapefruit and orange and lemon zest up front with a nice caramel sweetness providing a nice backbone, and a bitter pine cone and floral hop finish. Medium in body with nearly perfect carbonation, sticky with lots of citrus and pine and a solid malty sweetness. A little unbalanced, but not much, seems to balance itself out more as it warms up, and covers up that 10.5% alcohol so well I didn't notice a drop of alcohol presence in there until it hit me. A fantastic DIPA at a time where we thought the hops were scarce, apparently no one told the guys at Iron Hill about that!

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Photo of yourefragile
4.77/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Previous review was of the first 2009 batch. Felt like a review of the 2011 batch was necessary since my memory of that first batch wasn't nearly as good as my experience with a few growlers and draft samples from this year.

Beer is orange and hazy with a wispy white head of small bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass, carbonation light. Aroma is a Pliny esque intense punch of tropical and citrus hops. Mango, grapefruit, peach. Medium thick body, chewy and resiny, with surprisingly minimal alcohol presence. Flavor is a bright, fresh blend of intense pine, mango, pineapple and grapefruit hops. When I had the first batch of this beer I thought it was a good for the area DIPA, but not quite world class. This batch fresh has changed my mind and pushed this to nearly best of class for the style (but still not on the PtY, Ephraim, Kern plane).

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Photo of Kegatron
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served on cask via handpump at the brewpub on 8/21/08. This was a special cask reserved just for members of the Mug Club.

Pours a hazy dark orange/amber with a couple fingers of huge, foamy vanilla colored head. Retains nicely with at least a 1/2 finger of thick froth that naturally leaves big, sticky, hop lacing all down the sides of the mug. Much like the draft version, the aroma is once again OMG! Huge resinous pine in the nose, along with tangy citrus notes, spice, and some sturdy sweetness behind it. Maybe also just the tiniest waft of heat in the nose as well.

The taste is much more mellow than it is on draft but still provides a pungent mix of resinous pine, juicy citrus, and just enough caramel malts to help reel things in before they become too much. The bitterness and citrus just puckers the tongue and lingers. I love it! The mouthfeel is mellow and creamy with a carbonation that is much smoother than it was on draft, where it had a bit of a prickle to it.

I didn't think that it was possible to love this beer anymore but I was glad to be proven wrong! The cask conditioning just softens the overall profile in almost every aspect, allowing an amazingly drinkable beer to become smoother and even more quaffable. This was a real treat for us Mug Clubbers and I thank head brewer Paul Rutherford for providing it to us.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Tanger for a growler of this - it feels like I've been waiting forever for the Lancaster location to do it again. This version clocks in at 9%. Served in a pint glass.

A - Pours with a pale yellow meringue-like head that dissipates to a thick chunky cap and leaves glass-coating lace. Transparent golden yellow color, with slow moving bubbles.

S - A mix of pungent dankness and C-hop goodness. Pine and citrus galore. Reminds me of Kern River Citra DIPA, which makes sense as I hear this batch was made with Citra hops. There's an adequate sugar cookie and caramel malt backbone.

T - Again, there is tons of candied citrus, pine and dank, and balancing caramel malts. Perfect bitterness that lingers lightly into the finish, and amazingly no perceptible alcohol.

M - The carbonation is a little low, but I suspect that's because the growler sat in Vermont a few days before I got there. In any case, it was still sufficient. Otherwise it's an amazingly smooth, creamy, medium body, with no heat. The finish is somehow dry and sticky at the same time.

D - I had two pints of this, and I would have had more if the growler hadn't emptied so quickly. Why don't they make this more often? This is competitive with the best DIPAs I've had in 2010 - Maverick's and Kern River Citra.

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Photo of oglmcdgl
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Kryptonite from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 93 ratings