El Toro IPA | El Toro Brewing Co.

very good
93 Ratings
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El Toro IPAEl Toro IPA

Brewed by:
El Toro Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 93
Photo of ClockworkOrange
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a nonic pint glass. The ale appears a hazed rich amber color with about two fingers of lingering, bone white foam. A thin lace is left on my glass with each sip. Nose and flavor are dominated by citrus (oranges and grapefruits), pine, medium toasted bread, sweet malts. A notch better than medium bodied and amply carbonated. An impressive IPA from a "new to me" brewery. Hope to try more of their offerings in the future.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Cloudskipper for providing this in trade.

Says "Brew 1334" on the label.. is this a production code?

I've been excited to try this IPA and now see why so many people enjoy it. Quite nice.

First off, rather good looking beer. (poured into my Sam Adams glass) 2 fingers of beige creamy head that show excellent retention. The beer itself is very clear and orange/amber colored. Rings of lacing everywhere.

Aroma is fresh, citrus, floral and wonderful.

Flavor is so well balanced. Nice hop presence but in no way is this a hop bomb. The bitterness really sets in later in the back of your mouth. Just wonderful. The more it warms the more you can detect the sweetness of the malt and a light caramel character. More fruit comes out as well.

Almost creamy mouth feel. Subtle but present carbonation. Medium bodied and this is accentuated by the big hop finish.

Nicely drinkable... Good IPA. Very glad I had the opportunity to try this.

One to enjoy as you let the hops cling in your throat.

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Photo of Opethsprite
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(From notes)
Pours a musty orange with a modest head, leaving lots of lacing. It smells largely of citrus--grapefruit, primarily, but with some orange. Yeast evident as well. To taste, lots of grapefruit with hints of pine. This harshness was juxtaposed nicely with the sweetness of raisins and just the slightest caramel element. Very nice! Sprightly yet hearty mouthfeel, which I enjoyed quite a bit.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Jack's Cannery in San Francisco, came recommended from the bartender.

A: Pours a golden color with some orange hints, with a decent white foam head.

S: Mostly pine hops with some hints of citrus. Maybe I was spoiled having enjoyed a Pliny the Elder the day before, but I was not overly impressed with the smell.

T: Taste was better than the smell. Got a good blend of hops that was really put together well. Just a tad of malt flavoring on the back-end, which was suprising and welcomed.

M: A really smooth beer, leaves a good hop bitterness on the palate.

D: A really decent IPA. Would have again and would recommend.

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Photo of RunDWP
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm trying to understand all high reviews on this one, since it really didn't blow me away. I went back and forth about how much I really liked this. I had it a year ago, and found it a bit harsh to drink, and now a year later, that final analysis hasn't changed much.

The beer poured a dark yellow with some red sediment in the glass. Looking at suspended red particles is not something I prefer in a beer, but if you pour the bottle carefully, the particles will stay in the bottle. Otherwise, a nice foamy head floated on top and lots of lacing action on the glass. Some piney aroma. The flavor was highly dominated by a resin-like hop character, with some citrus peel notes to it. Very astringent, borderline harshness going down. Very little malt, and my preference is for a more balanced IPA.

I'm all for the hop-bomb West Coast IPA style, but I didn't find this to be one of the better examples.

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Photo of nbblondie
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer: El Toro IPA
Review Date: Nov 12, 2008
Appearance: On tap, pours a pretty clear golden color... not as cloudy as a lot of IPAs I've had. Good amount of head.
Smell: Citrus smell
Taste: Wow, this is a great IPA. I can taste the citrus that I previously smelled, along with a lot of hoppy flavor. Quite bitter and very tasty! I'm loving this one.
Drinkability: I could easily have a few of these.

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Photo of snaotheus
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good solid IPA. But I'm a sucker for an IPA, so what do I know.

I had it in a pint glass from a tap in Darren's Cannery Bar in San Francisco.

Hoppy, floral start with a nice round finish. Not as biting as some IPAs. Clean and smooth in the mouth. Looks amberish with medium head.

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Photo of bbothen
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy straw color with a fluffy 2 finger deep white head.

Smells of tropical goodness, orange, pineapple, citric hops, grassy/flowery hops, slightly bready as well.

Grapefruit, tart, earthy, piney, spruce, juniper, faint bisquit flaver. Hops are the king. Bitter goodness.

Smooth, lush, Medium Bodied, moderate carbonation, puckering finish.

Drinks well. Full flavored brew. Definate hop fixer.

Most El Toro brews are quality products. The IPA is no exception. Recommended.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to golubj.
Pours golden in color with about two inches of head. Smell is very nice citrus and piney, grassy hops. Taste is more of the citrusy and piney hops, however there is something at the very end of each sip that just isn't fitting. A very dominant off flavor at the finish. Everything up until that point is very good however.

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Photo of khiasmus
4.66/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

wow, this was one surprise. I received this as an extra in a trade a while back and decided tonight to pop it open... who knew? Where the hell did this come from? Why haven't I heard ravings about this beer? I think the name and the label both suck, and that's probably it. If this beer had a killer, say, gargoyle on the label and a name like, say, Ruination, it would be one of the most sought after IPA's on the site.
So it pours a cloudy orange with minimal head... the most boring part about the beer, honestly. Except the label. Lacing is great, though, which gives it the 3.5 instead of a 3.
But it's uphill, and WAAY uphill, from there. The aroma jumps out at me with a smack in the face... wonderful, balanced hopping on par with some of the best IPA's I've ever had. Caramel-noted light malt is there, of course, but the grapefruity hops just take over... there has to be some Tomahawk, Cascade, Centennial, Amarillo... the hopping is crazy complex, and crazy wonderful.
Flavor is by no means disappointing. delicious malts with the once again outrageous hopping coming in to balance and override neatly. the finish is all hops, a hint of resin, and an astringent, bitter finish in the back of the throat.
Body is smooth and medium carbonated, a bit warming and intensely astringent in the finish.
HOP FIX! get your HOP FIX! I highly suggest getting your hands on this beer ASAP. Absolutely ASAP.

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Photo of dancinwillie
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent copper, with some floaters in the mix. Big soft off white head that hangs around for awhile. Takes me 2 pours to get it all in. Either I'm getting shittier at pouring, or the beer's I've been choosing lately are really carbonated.

A lot of yeast aroma, and a little bit of piney hops. Makes me wonder how long this has been on the shelves. There is some printing that says BREW 1248. Hoping not bottled December, 1948.

Taste is a stunner, after that less than promising aroma. I can taste the yeast, so maybe it is a bit old, but also a wonderful hop flavor. Pine, herbal, a bit minty, traces of citrus fruits. Great malt here too. A little maple syrup, bready flavor keeps it balanced.

Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, but with the taste as big as it is, I hardly noticed, until I got here, and had to rate it. A little creamy, and a bitter finish leave me ready for more.

I would assuredly drink this again and again. I would recommend this to my friends. This is a better than average IPA. El Toro lulled me, and I'm wearing red. This is a tasty brew, and one I will try again.

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3.03/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A three finger fat fluffy off white head has nice retention and leaves a ton of lace as it fades. Nose has creamy veggie laced hops with a backround hint of citrus rind. Body is like pure liquid gold. Hops are very grassy much like dandilion stems as you take first sip. The bitter feel is ling and quite butally fat on the back of the tongue. There is a bit of citrus pulp to the end of the palate. Mouthfeel is hugely bitter. The lack of balance kind of hurts the drinkabilty.

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Photo of ibbjamin
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Paid $5.00 for a pint from the Brewpub in Morgan Hill, CA.

Was delivered to me with a half finger white head that quickly dissipated. Very little lacing. Nice carbonation. Goldish copper color.

Very strong orange citrus pine nose.

The overwhelming hots hide the flavor of the malts. Finishes bitter and hoppy which lasts.

Medium body, hefty carbonation.

This is a re-review of a batch that is not as good as previous batches I've tried. One thing I have began to notice in El Toro beers is that consistency among their beers is somewhat lacking. This batch did not lace the glass much, had a smaller head and was even less balanced making it not as easy to drink.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to fartingdog for this brew a trade. Prost!

Pours with a nice one inch head. Nice amber color. Smells of pine hops. Tastes mostly of pine hops but with a bit of creaminess of some kind that I can't place. Mouthfeel is smooth & this is a drinkable IPA. I am glad to have tried it. Cheers.

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Photo of Chaz
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter this one impresses immediately with a billowy khaki/off-white, two-fingered head and plenty of lacing ringing the glass. A hazy, golden-brass in color and full of suspended yeast (which doesn't bother me in the least), this one is off to a great start. The nose is just what I'd expect of a fully accentuated West Coast IPA, with piney, resiny hops and gobs of 'em. But, on the first sip it's a bit more complex than high alpha acids and bitterness; there's some solid biscuity pale malt action going on right here. Bitterness is pronounced and lingers very nicely indeed. Finish is dry. Fruity esters and phenolic notes merge and dodge one another alternately, and when combined with the noted malt characteristics make for a fully-featured palate. Mouthfeel is interesting, too: smooth and creamy thanks largely to the presence of yeast, this doesn't feel overly full-bodied but feels quite a bit lighter than it drinks. A very tasty and well-crafted beer -- wish I'd picked up another bottle or two!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acquired from rayjay, courtesy of Secret Santa 2007 so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

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

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

T: The taste is decently balanced with a nice hops bitterness and sweet flavors of citrus and caramel. There's a hearty malt character. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, the finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, there are several other IPA's that I would pick first, but this is still a decent beer.

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Photo of SaucyA
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Lothore for this little gem as an extra.

A - Pours a deep, clear golden body with a foamy white head. Decent amount of carbonation visible, tons of yeast on the bottom of the bottle, so I had to pour carefully.

S - Major west coast nose of piney, sticky hops, with a light lemony undertone. Malts barely notable on the back end.

T - This is a tongue-blaster. Almost too much, but it somehow manages to work. It's like a Hopsickle but with a little better balance. Huge oily finish that sticks around longer than I prefer, at least for a regular IPA.

M - Thick, slightly syrupy, ample carbonation, dry and puckering finish.

D - Drinkability is average, because the hop profile is a little much in my opinion. I like my IPA's to be a little gentler on my palate. Call me what you will. :)

Notes: It's not that this is a bad beer by any means, I just wouldn't necessarily go out of my way for it. Definitely worth a try if you're a hophead.

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Photo of bcm119
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Copper in color with a slight haze. Puffy, off-white head that deflates to a sticky lace. Sweet, cookie dough caramel malt aromas with some spicy hop notes. Begins with soft, toffee caramel malts carried by firm hop bitterness. Hops do a nice job of bringing out the subtle caramel malt flavors while natural carbonation feels soft and smooth. Malt profile and delicate mouthfeel lean toward the English style; hops are herbal and spicy but not as citrusy as some California IPAs. The hops clean up the finish leaving a pleasantly dry, grainy flavor with a lingering grapefruit pith aftertaste. Overall a very well crafted IPA; I'd call it an English-American hybrid in style.

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Photo of plaid75
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy medium copper hue with a two finger frothy white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a resinous hop that exhibited piney and herbal characteristics.

The taste consisted of an upfront herbal spicy hop that lingered through the experience. A soild grainy malt supported the heavy hops well.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness for the style with a spice tingle.

Overall a superior AIPA that offers a different hop profile than most. Thanks to brentk56 for the sample.

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Photo of kirok1999
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2nd beer of this Saturday, again provided as an extra by rayjay.
Popped it open, turned my back to throw the cap away and damn if the thing didn't surge out of the bottle and waste a few tablespoonfulls. Damn.
Looks dense in the glass, dark orange with a thin white head and tiny chunks of lacing.
The hop smell arose from the spilled remains on the counter. Lots of hops present. Mostly seem to be pine and grass with some citrus behind.
Taste is strong in the start with lots of bitter, aromatic hops matching the smell. Bitter, lingering finish coats the back of the throat like cheap cough syrup. There's some malt hiding in the background, too afraid to show its face. Yet somehow it seems a little watery in the taste, maybe a little metallic as well.
Smooth, thick and creamy make it interesting to drink. A little malt sweetness wouldn't hurt this at all. As is, it's a nice bitter hop bomb.

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Photo of Lothore
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep orange hue with a hearty 2 finger head that leaves quite a bit of lacing. Few carbonation bubbles present, filtered and clear.

S- Smell is faint but dominate in hops. Very piney and possibly a bit overbearing if the nose is any indicator.

T- Taste is mainly resiny, piney hops. Very strong bitterness at the end for a normal ipa. I enjoy this beer but it seems like it hides behind the strong hoppiness.

M- Semi- thick and very carbonated. I personally prefer beer with a good amount of carbonation but I think this may be a little bubbly for me.

D- Because of the huge hop presence and not much else I would say it's not the most drinkable ipa on the block. It is certainly enjoyable and I would drink it again but it is not my favorite IPA.

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Photo of seaoflament
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Label states “Brew 1168”

Pours a nice, clear golden color with very a very active head and great retention.

Aroma is of pine, citrus, grapefruit, bitterness, biscuit and toasted malts.

Taste is similar to the aroma; there is some biscuit malt upfront with some citrus notes, pine and a decent bitter and dry finish. Some grassy notes also make themselves present in the finish. As the beer warm up the malt profile steps up a bit and there is some caramel and toffee notes. The mouthfeel is surprisingly thick, thicker than I expected. A bit odd, the mouthfeel is thick yet it leaves a watery aftertaste—there is just some residual bitterness and citrus that sticks around. Refreshing, but a few of these will fill you up

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Photo of uwmgdman
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This IPA pours a golden-orange into my pint glass with a thin white head. The aroma is very high grapefruit-citrus aroma, very American hops, with a small amount of pine also in the aroma. The high hop bitterness strikes initially and lasts through the swallow, quite a bitter IPA. A medium-high hop flavor also emerges half way through the sip. The bitterness is supported by a little sweetness, but make no mistake this brew is all IBUs, all the way. The carbonation medium to medium-high with a medium body. Overall this is a nice example of an IPA. The hop aroma is very fresh and inviting. The bitterness and hop flavor lingers well after the swallow, appreciated, but knocks the drinkability down a bit for me. A nice IPA!

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Fro for this beer.

A: The force was strong in this one....pushed foam right out of the bottle once uncapped. Fortunately I'm a seasoned veteran and these things don't catch me off guard anymore....I had a glass handy. What a fantastic head it produced too. Towering creamy light tan head that you could float a cap on. Body is mahoganey copper allowing no light thru. This bad dog left rings of suds all the way down the glass. Good stuff.

S: Soap, pine resin, grapefruit rind and lemon juice.

T: Begins with a caramely red fruit which gets just steamrolled by a tidal wave of bitterness. Reminds me sort of a liquid pine cone with grapefruit zest dusted all over it. little bit of carrot, little bit of pear with just a tad of soapy tobacco. Finishes with earthy bitterness and a lymon pungentness. Oh...and its bitter.

M: Medium body with only a low level amount of carbo sting and fuzz.

D: This is one bitter beer. Little too bitter for me but for some I bet its pure liquid gold. Nice beer.

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Photo of oberon
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

If you wanna hop fix without the huge alcohol this California IPA is it,pours a hazed peach color with a very clingy 1/2 finger white head leaving the pint glas with soap scum looking lace all the way down.Whoo resiny piney hop with big grapefruit rind notes in the nose I also picked up some apricot in there with a barely noticable sweeter caramel malt note.Citrusy and piney flavors what can you say its all left coast quite resiny and sweet,somewhat oily on the mouthfeel department.A hop fixer here and quite sociable to boot,yum.

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El Toro IPA from El Toro Brewing Co.
3.92 out of 5 based on 93 ratings.
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