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El Toro IPA | El Toro Brewing Co.

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El Toro IPAEl Toro IPA
Very Good
93 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 93 |  Reviews: 77
Photo of beveragecaptain
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. This beer pours out a hazy yellowish brown color with a creamy head. Big piney hop aroma. Very hoppy flavor. This is a good example of a west coast ipa. The malt isn't completely overpowered, but the emphasis is definitely on the hops. The abv is noticably high. Full mouthfeel. I'm suprised that this brewery isn't better known. Nice ipa.

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

Rich pumpkin orange with a wild flurry of yeast that damn near makes the beer opaque. The cap is lightly toasted marshmallow in color with a hint of pastel orange. It's firmly creamy and looks like it's full of hop resins. The upper edge of the head is sticking to the glass and is beginning to leave lace that looks like paint daubed on with a sponge.

It's been a while since I've had a truly hoppy, high quality IPA. What the hell was I thinking? The aroma on this one brings my hop love back with an immediacy and a vengeance. It's a smashingly good nose of pure, unadulterated hops with an emphasis on juicy orange and white grapefruit. A modicum of caramel malt is noticeable, but has the good sense to stay in the background.

El Toro IPA is a wonderful IPA from a brewer who doesn't get enough respect. The flavor is balanced if you approach it from a hophead's perspective and consider a 2:1 hop:malt ratio to be a fair fight. The caramel malt backbone is on the firm side and permits the huge hoppiness to have the run of the deck without coming close to going overboard.

Pithy, bittersweet, resinous orange and grapefruit are still ascendant, with a drop or two of spruce juice for good measure. This beer has a classic West Coast hop profile, carried out with aplomb. A long finish with echoes of bitter citrus peel is made all the more enjoyable by the presence of a mouthcoating stickiness. The medium mouthfeel feels slightly more full as a result.

While I was impressed by this brewery's Oatmeal Stout, I had doubts about whether or not they could pull off a top-notch IPA, even taking the relatively high scores into account. If it's so good, then why hadn't I heard more buzz? Make no mistake, this is a killer beer that will satisfy all comers, hopheaded or not. In terms of excitability, waving a hoptastic IPA like this one in front of me is akin to waving a red flag in front of a bull. Bravo! El Toro. Bravo!

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Obtained in a trade with GClarkage. Second one I tried from the stash.

The beer poured out with a HUGE head... half a pint had a 4 finger hear, very rocky, and I had to wait for it to die down.

The bottle was labeed Brew 948.

The aroma was powerful, all grapefruit and lemon hops. It also smelled a little sweet.

Taste was of MAJOR citrus hops, with a light maltiness. The hop lingered a long time in the aftertaste. But it wasn't very bitter, oddly enough.

Mouthfeel was a little thinner than I expected from the aroma, but I could drink this as a session beer easily.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.63/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This review was from a 12oz bottle sampled on 12-18-04. Appearance is a murky orange yellow with about one inch of off white head on top. The head stuck around leaving thick rings of lace as this was consumed. Huge hop aroma, citric hops are just jumping out of the glass. It reminds me of the hop juiciness I have noticed in wet hopped brews. There is also a nice backing of bitter floral hops as well. First sip is a grapefruity hop bomb that comes on strong gripping your tongue with and not letting go. Strong earthy/floral hops are there as well. Even in its huge hoppiness a slight malt sweetness can be detected lurking in the background. Ends on a bitter earthy note that has some bite to it. Medium feel to it with a prickly component found in the hopped up beers. Goes down pretty smooth and it a prefect IPA for a hop fix. Definitely a top 5 IPA for me and a great hoppy beer. Thanks to gclarkage for the bonus brew that was excellent.

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearence: Pours a hazy orange with loads of carbonation ripping up the sides of the glass. A nice, rocky, bubbly head sits beautifully above the brew, and leaves massive lacing.

Smell: Hops! Hops! And more hops! Grapefruit and lemon greet my nose at first, with an almost complete absence of malts. Very herbal, very fruity, and very hoppy.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Wow. A huge hop presence at first, almost over-bearing, but just right. The middle a nice amount of malts shine through, and the end is nice, dry and hoppy. An incredibly hoppy taste, with hints of pine, herbs, oranges, and so much more. But so how it manages to remain well-balanced.

Drinkability and Overall: An outstanding beer to say the least. Hugely hoppy, and still well-rounded. I wish I had more than one of this, but thank God I got to try it. One of the best IPA's I've had to date.

Thank you GClarkage for another phenomenal beer. The beer Gods smile upon you.

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Photo of rkhaze
4.46/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy orange/amber with a nice sized creamy white head and a few floaties. Decent retention and excellent chunks of sticky lace.
Huge grapefruit and pine smells upfront. There were some other citrus aromas and perhaps a bit of sweet malt. This one is all about the hops though. A little one dimensional.
Wow! Tastes like a fresh, zesty and juicy grapefruit with pine resin poured on top. The sweet malt that was lacking in the smell showed up in the taste and balanced rather well. Finishes dry tangy and bittersweet. Excellent!
Medium bodied with a full creamy mouthfeel that was oily/resinous and a bit sticky. Perfect!
Great drinkabilty. A classic west coast IPA and quite a surprise.

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Photo of Troyone
4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased in a 12oz. bottle, label says 6.5 abv; Recommendation, after one pops the top shake the bottom of the bottle before pouring it in the glass.
Poured a hazy somewhat copper and light iced tea to apple juice color with two inch head, also had lots of material in the haze like tiny hop flakes or yeast floating around. The floating specks of hops or yeast are almost uniform in size and seem to be spaced evenly throughout the glass, no beer drinker will see them all (or even the majority) settle to the bottom.

The smell is slightly malty with a rich flowery pine/resin hoppy aroma.

The taste has a cookie, toasted, nutty, and taffy malt; heavy to harsh slightly herb, pine, grapefruit, resin, slightly lime, and different flavors of tea hops; light doughy yeast; and has hints of toffee/cola. However the hops are smooth and dominate throughout to the finish.

The mouthfeel has a light/medium body, slightly syrupy dry texture, soft carbonation, with a smooth but manly finish.

The drinkability is great the carbonation is medium throughout and the aftertaste lingers the hops with the medium carbonation.

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Photo of bditty187
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

“Brew 930”

Surprisingly hazy, hell I’d call it cloudy! Dark amber with a tawny-coppery hue, lovely. The head was slightly off-white and it billowed to over two fingers in height before it quickly faded to a half finger cap. This cap lasted awhile. Nice. The appearance is better than ordinary. Subsequent lacing was prevalent but unorganized. This is a handsome beer. The nose is very bright; well-rounded citrus zest with soft notes of pine and mint. I detected a hint of wild flowers but the majority of the hoppiness in the nose is grapefruit rinds and pine trees. Lovely. Simplistic in that “hoppy as hell” kind of way! Soft melon scents and tropical fruits. Not much malt. Still the nose is inviting. It smells like a West Coast IPA, what more do I need to say? The palate is just raw enough, perfectly hoppy with a blast of dry, sticky, hop leaves. There is a hint of dankness like good marijuana. Plus there is a big bite of citrus, mainly rinds. Pine needles. Mint leaves. Wild flowers. Fairly warm entering my throat; I wonder what the abv is? The malt is very secondary, hints of caramel and some light sweetness. The taste is a good, hearty, American hop-bomb. Thankfully there are enough layers for me to care. This is a really pleasant IPA. The aftertaste is dry, hoppy, and bitter. It makes me want to eat a big, fat, juicy burger with a big slab of cheddar cheese. Yummy! Medium in body, low but natural carbonation, the mouthfeel doesn’t strike me as noteworthy in any way. It is not thin or flat and I can’t find any faults, still it does leave me wanting something more. Maybe a tickle more malt? However, there isn’t any obstacle to cross in order to like this beer. Drinkability is high; I really enjoyed quaffing this dandy. I purchased one bottle of this IPA in Brookfield, WI because I never heard of this brewery before. Now that I’ve visited the IPA I want more. Recommended.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.79/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed in October 2004. Purchased at Bevmo in San Mateo, CA. I have had this beer so many times at The Englander in San Leandro, CA. I've always had it from the tap though because I could never find it in the bottle. Well, I finally found it and I am happy I snagged a six pack. Pours with a very nice head and pretty decent lacing. The smell is utterly perfect for an IPA. An emense magnitude of hops hits you smack in the face. Smells of grapefruit, lemon and pine. Oh, this beer is heaven! Such a huge hop taste. Would think it was a double IPA, except it just isn't quite strong enough. Huge grapefruit and pine flavors. A dry finish and goes down pretty smooth. I can't see myself doing this as a session beer though. A bit to much punch in the face for me. Two or three would be just right though. Ultra-yummy beer. Getting more tomorrow.

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

Big thanks to BA MoeSizlak for picking up a sixer of this for me on a beer run to Madison. He gauranteed it to be liked, and it does not disappoint.
Smell is all hop aroma...citrus and pine just thin out the nose hairs, clean your sinuses. Terrific news.
This IPA has a medium body, medium carbonation, medium head. I guess i'd say that's why it's so damn drinkable.
The flavor hits you up front with pine cones, citrus, and some very tart rinds. THere is a slightly sticky, sweet undertone to this which made me think they were chasing AV's Hop Ottin IPA with the honeyed malts. And why the hell not? I wouldn't call it plagiarism even if I thought it truly was.
They don't make 'em like this in England.

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Photo of sweethome
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge grapefruit nose. Hazy golden color. All citrus - full of fruity esters- grapefuit, lemon. Bitterness grabs you right off. Again, lemon and grapefruit flavors with a nice carmel malt flavor coming through all the huge hops. I'm chewing a grapefruit here... Very long bitter and dry finish. Each sip provides maximum flavor and hop experience.

I also found it in Wisconsin, but have had it in past years in CA. Just as good as I remember.

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


Orange bolstered amber. Head clings and grows, and doesn't wilt and is greying khaki.
Smells of leafy pineapples and pine trees.
Brown-sugar enhanced toffee is the malt's contribution here. It drys as is lingers in the mouth. Breadier later on. Almost rye-leaning in the minor spicy tone, but those are delusions that accompany the hops. Speaking of which, the bitterness comes in spades...especially up front. Cold-edged, steely, herbal-laced pine cones. Woody, tropical fruit backs this up initially, then steps to the fore as it progresses. Pineapple is dominant, but lime rinds are noted. Bitterness wanes a bit, but remains forceful.
Medium-full bodied. Satiating. Low expressed carbonation.

What's more impressive, is that I'm inclined to believe that this bottle is rather old (and probably abused in one way or another). How monsterously hoppy could a fresh sample be? It would likely bring me to my knees.

Regardless, a worthy choice, this.

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

I got a few bottles of this, and it had "Brew 835" stamped on the label.

This actually poured a pinkish golden color. The aroma was nice but there was not a huge hop attack that I expect from IPA's, but it was very still very nice.

The taste was very smooth and balanced for an IPA. I really think that this brewery has a lot of potential if it perfects all of its brews!

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Photo of Gusler
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a somewhat bemused deep amber color, the head biggish in size, frothy in texture and a light tan color, as it diminishes in size the lace forms a nice covering sheet. Hop floral nose, underpinned my sweet malt, lemon like crispness and a real treat, start is slightly sweet, nice malt profile, the top fair to middling in its feel. Acidic bite at the finish, hops slap your palate big time, somewhat dry and bitter aftertaste, a fine California IPA, looks like another order with “Beer On The Wall” is due, as its not available here and I’m “Out”.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A hazy, deep-orange/copper body is capped by a short head of creamy vanilla foam. The retention is limited, however, and it drops shortly to a thin surface covering and leaves very little lace. Bright, piney and citrusy hops appear in the nose over a mild fruitiness and distinctly caramelish malt. A most enticing aroma! In the mouth its very fine, natural carbonation wakes the tongue with a soft, prickly sensation that fades to leaves its medium body soft and smooth in the swallow. Rich, fruit-laced malt acts as a solid base for its bold hop flavor; balanced by a bold bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste long after the malt has gone. Very nice!

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Photo of beerguy101
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Medium gold color. Small head. Aroma is hoppy and woody. This is a not a BIG West Coast IPA, but its definitely a West Coast IPA. Very hoppy with a big citrus and grapefruit overtones. Nice malts as well. Full bodied. Well balanced. Nice IPA. Woody and juicy. Very tasty. Great creamy and smooth texture. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is dry. Aftertaste is bitter.

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

Originally sampled on 1 February 2003. This is a nice looking pour. It has a cloudy orange color w/ fluffy medium head. Lots of citrus, mainly grapefruit hops are on the tongue. It is a very refreshing beer to drink. This is a very nice IPA and I hope to see it available locally sometime

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Photo of aracauna
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy copper, with a white airy head that clings to the sides of the glass as it fades. In addition to big more-citric-less-piney-hops-than-stuff-like-Stone hops, a slight fruitiness is in the aroma. The big hops don't cover a nice toasty malt and mild fruitiness that makes this a bit more than a hop monster. If they took the India out of this, it'd still be a nice beer.

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El Toro IPA from El Toro Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 93 ratings
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