El Toro Deuce Imperial IPA | El Toro Brewing Co.

El Toro Deuce Imperial IPAEl Toro Deuce Imperial IPA
Liked This Beer
3.88 w/ 65 Ratings
El Toro Deuce Imperial IPAEl Toro Deuce Imperial IPA

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

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rkhaze on 02-02-2005

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Ratings: 65 |  Reviews: 43
Photo of CAcreeks
5/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - light orange, not overmalted.

S - wonderful hops fragrance, somewhat fruity.

T - well balanced between flowers and citrus, moderatly bitter, long lasting taste.

M - thick and satisfying without being chewy.

O - double IPA doesn't get much better than this!

In my opinion this is El Toro's best brew. It is well worth a visit to the tap room.

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Photo of Denali
5/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Toronado.

Presentation: Standard pint glass.

Appearance: Clear orange amber body with beautiful frothy white head. Excellent lacing.

Smell: Wonderful sweet malt aroma mixed in with citrusy hops. The aroma is incredible.

Taste: Sweet and strong vinous malt hits up-front immediately, almost barley-wine like. Then the strong citrus-grapefruit and pine hop assault comes through. The strength of these flavors, and the way they interact with each other is amazing. The aftertaste is spicy and hoppy. The taste is huge and the complexity is unparalleled.

Mouthfeel: Lightly carbonated and slightly viscous, which is just fine for a huge DIPA.

Drinkability: The tastes are awesome. Extremely drinkable, but be warned. I feel the alcohol effects in my head much more so than I would expect from the 8% ABV. Perhaps this is due to the loads of malt and hops that are in this beer.

Comments: I had never heard of El Toro until the bartender at the Toronado suggested that I have the Deuce, and I am grateful that he did. This is an incredible BIG DIPA. The flavors and complexity are off the chart. This beer is the pinnacle of craft. There are a lot of great DIPAs out there, and while some may be just as good as the Deuce, I cannot imagine any that are better. As Venom once said, “... it can’t get any better than this. Biased? Prove it.”

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Photo of JeremyDrinksBeer
5/5  rDev +28.9%

Photo of slimntubbs
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of capolo2k
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Polished tangerine with butterscotch borders. My usual pour produced a great looking head that is currently filling half the glass. The sticky foam is somewhere between pastel orange and ecru, and is beginning to lay down an impressive array of fine, delicate, lace-like lace. Only a murky, yeasty, hop-flecked look could improve the appearance.

The nose is out of this world. I'm not the least bit surprised since the brewery has decided to use my favorite hops: Tomahawk (Columbus), Centennial, Cascade, Amarillo and Simcoe. It simply isn't possible for a good craft brewery (and El Toro is definitely that) to go wrong with that lineup. The usual kick-ass aromas apply... grapefruit, pineapple, passionfruit, pine and ganja.

Deuce is outstanding beer on paper and it's outstanding beer on the taste buds. As far as I can determine, the only difference between this DIPA and El Toro IPA (one of the unheralded greats) is more pale malt, more alcohol, more hops and the addition of Simcoe hops to an already killer hop bill. No wonder I love it.

My bottle claims an ABV of 7.75%. That's pretty close to ideal for a beer of this style (unless your name is Cilurzo) because hops are meant to dominate, not alcohol. Too many DIPAs are ruined by too much caramel malt and too much appreciable alcohol. Besides, who wants a numb tongue and a numb brain halfway through the bottle?

On the palate, spruce sap is much more prominent than it is in the nose. In addition, the same fruits mentioned above explode with monster truck force as beer hits tongue. Let's add triple sec to the list of flavors as well. If the brewers are correct about 'greater than 100 IBUs', there must be a huge amount of malt sugars smoothing off the rough, alpha acid edges.

The mouthfeel is wonderfully plush without edging into sticky heaviness. A stealth amount of carbonation sees to it that things move smartly along, keeping ease of drinkability on the high side for such a big ale.

This El Toro offering is everything that I'd hoped it would be... and then some. In essence, it's a jacked-up version of one of the best IPAs in circulation, West Coast or otherwise. It's a damn shame that more hopheads haven't had the pleasure of downing The Deuce.

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Photo of DOH1
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Toronado in San Francisco. Ordered a Pliny the Elder (a favorite), but they had just drained their last keg and the bartender suggested this instead. I had never heard of the brewery.

Appearance: golden orange, a little hazy, nice creamy head - about 3/4", nice lacing as the head slowly faded.

Smell: sweet citrus/malt/hop smell with an emphasis on the hops. Smelling this beer was almost as good as smelling an ounce of fresh cascades. I wasn't expecting much when I was talked into ordering this beer, but my skepticism was vanishing pretty quickly.

Taste: a triple assault of malty-sweet, hops and refreshing citrus. Like super-hopped grapefruit-beer-flavored candy without being sickeningly sweet. My non-beerophile companions (who I talked into trying this beer) liked it, but could talk about nothing but overpowering hops. I honestly did not think the hops stood out that much, given the balancing effect of the malt and citrus.

Mouthfeel: the creamy head was excellent while it lasted, but, after that, the beer was a touch more syrupy than I would prefer.

Drinkability: I may just be in the honeymoon period with this beer, but this was one of the few DIPAs I feel I could drink as a session beer. I went back for a second pint, which is something I seldom do at the Toronado given the variety of delicious beers they've got, and I would have had another, were tomorrow not a workday.

Overall, a great beer, a great find and a new favorite.

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Photo of watermelonman
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This arrived as a nice gold and orange without much head. Lace is minor.

The smell is very nice, bringing floral smells on top of the more raw hop flavors. The taste brings a fair amount of malt, which is taken over by slight and somewhat tropical fruit flavors and hefty amounts of hops. The mouthfeel is medium, while drinkability is very good.

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Photo of cbarrett4
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass at APEX PDX.

This was recommended by the bartender as I am a huge fan of Fort George Vortex and Pliny the Elder (which I consumed that same night).

Pours a lovely golden/copper hue, pretty clear with very nice head fading to a good lace. Low-ish carbonation. Smells of hops and malts, mainly a diverse mixed bag of fresh green aromatics like mint, pine, and loam with some dried hay notes. A little citrus, but not much. Pretty one dimensional but good nose.

Flavors expand upon the palate, building to an impressive crescendo of hops with emphasis on the pine and fresher hop oils, very nice malt backbone with a faint raw oat, roasted nut character and some fresher citrus, perhaps lemon, kiwi, and tangerine. Lovely texture, rich and savory without being overtly alcoholic. Balances nicely on the long and exciting finish.

Overall this beer is a blast and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for some pretty intense yet balanced IPAs.

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Photo of rkhaze
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed El Toro's regular IPA and was glad to find their double IPA on tap at the Toronado. The bartender said it was @ 8% abv
Poured a slightly hazy copper/amber color with a small creamy off white head.
Sweet malt, caramel and citrusy, sappy hop aromas. Not as in the face grapefruit as their regular one.
Taste is malty and sweet with caramel and tropical fruits. The hops enter the picture earthy and citrusy with hints of pepper and a mild grassiness. Nice balance of hop/malt. The rich malt and complex tangy hop bitterness really came together well.
Medium bodied with a full rich and creamy mouthfeel. A little viscous as well.
Alcohol was hidden well and it was highly drinkable.

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Photo of Talisker
4.37/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Absolutely brilliant beer. Why isn't El Toro better known? They nail every style they attempt, and their IPA and DIPA are both at the top of the (very competitive) West Coast heap.

12oz bottle purchased from the brewery, where they store their bottles in the cooler. Love that. (Also had this several times on tap at the brewery and the Toronado, but this is a review of the bottle.)

Slightly murky medium gold, off-white head. Aroma is downright magnificent, and married perfectly with the flavor. Hop-led, primarily citrus, but still a ton of edgy bitterness and malt to balance it out.

Closest comparison I can think of is Marin's White Knuckle (another robust citrus/malt DIPA) as opposed to Russian River's Pliny the Elder (an edgier, piney version) or Stone's Ruination (a gloppy viscous hop sludge). The citrus doesn't dominate here in the way it does with El Toro's IPA, but there's still no doubting you're on the West Coast.

Texture just perfect for the style. Not light or crisp by any means, but doesn't overstay its welcome, either.

Love this rendition of the style. Up there with White Knuckle (similar) and Lagunitas' Hop Stoopid (not so similar) as one of my favorite renditions. Absolutely worth seeking out - don't let the lack of beer geek cred dissuade you.

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Photo of squaremile
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first El Toro beer since they are new to the Portland market. The guys at the store were waiting for someone to try it since it runs upwards of $4 for a 12oz. Pours a pretty close to perfect for style clear golden orange with a sizable bubbly head that leaves a very thick lacing. The nose is incredible: pine sap, tangerine, and pink grapefruit dominate. Just at the smell I knew it was worth the $4. Taste was complex. Pine dominates the first wave, followed by a slight drop off toward a blend of citrus flavors and caramel, then a punch of bitterness, and finishing with earth bready notes and a pinch of alcohol. Mouth is pretty thick for the style, very sticky, and relatively dry. Drinkability suffers a tad due to the heaviness. Overall this thing is legit. For a real hophead, there was plenty of hop flavor along with the bitterness. If you are into "unbalanced" IIPAs, here is the ticket. Definitely want to try more El Toro stuff.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

03/19/05- On tap at the Toronado in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- from the tap into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Nice golden-orange pour with a textbook 3/4 inch head which settles in at about 1/4 inch. About the most maginificent lacing I have seen on a beer. Covered the entire glass most of the way through the beer.

Smell- Very fruity and floral, but not over the top, which could be good or bad depending on the brew.

Taste- Was expecting a hop bomb because I am used to the hardcore hops in their regular IPA (which happens to be my all time favorite brew). It certainly was hoppy, but in a mellow kind of way. Very good mixture between the malt and hops, with nice pine and grapefruit flavors carrying the beer.

Mouthfeel- Not a mouthcoating as such beers as The Younger or The De-nogginzer, but still a bit heavy on the mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Two thumbs up here. One of the better DIPA's oput there on the west coast. I shudder to think I passed this up at least 50 times or so at the Toronado. Shame on me. I should have known better.

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Photo of brentk56
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy peach nectar color with a sturdy head that throws a few shards of lace around

Smell: Lots of grapefruity citrus but a solid caramel malt base in there, too

Taste: Lays down the caramel at the outset with a growing grapefruity citrus element that builds through mid-palate; after the swallow, the citrus flavors continue to maintain their prominence but the malt never fades

Mouthfeel: A bit thick with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: With a minor demerit for the thick mouthfeel, a first class DIPA

Thanks, Lothore, for the opportunity

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Photo of czechsaaz
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The aroma is thick with hoppy goodness. Lots of citrus and grass. Underneath is some caramel malt and some spicy yeast, almost peppery.

Orange with a solid small layer of white foam. Cloudy but lots of rising carbonation from the bottom of the glass. Moderate lacing too.

Big malt backbone, lots of caramel and some crystal. Then come the hops. Good bittering and some grassy and citrus hop flavor. Big hop oil lingering aftertaste too. As it warms up, there's more malt comlexity. I get honey and brown sugar. Overall, pretty balanced in that it's got a ton of malt balanced by a ton of hops.

Body is thick but not heavy. Prettty high carbonation level adds to it seeming lighter than it is at 8%.

Nice, nice beer. Maybe even better than some of the sought after examples of the style but less well known and a bit more rare outside its home market. If you see it, get one.

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Photo of Lothore
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Golden in color with a small eggshell head that fades and leaves a little lacing.

S- Smells extremely hoppy. Grainy pine scents dominate the nose.

T- Piney hops are prevalent from start to finish with a bitter kick. Grainy bready taste masked beneath the hops.

M- Thick and chunky with a blast of carbonation that compliments the hoppy bitterness perfectly.

D- Definitely a sipper but certainly very drinkable for a double ipa.

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Photo of MichaelBigbone
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Mark
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was a deep amber topped by a thinnish head that retained all the way down, lacing was excellent. Nice aroma of fresh hop, not as strong as I expected but a definite presence. Sharp hoppy bitterness, almost grapefruit juice like, still balanced and smooth. An excellent Double IPA, very drinkable. I might like the regular IPA as much. El Toro is a very underrated brewery.

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Photo of RunDWP
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Morgan Hill Brewpub, and was impressed, so bought a six-pack there. Pours a dark amber color in my tulip glass with a thick, fluffy head. Strong piney and citrus aroma of hops. Decent amount of malt, which I detected to be a little caramelly, held its own against considerable piney, warm resiny citrus hops. Creamy mouthfeel and not at all bitter for all that blast of hops, very drinkable for the style.

I'm not a fan of their IPA, but love this double IPA. The only other brewery I can think of where I'm lukewarm on the IPA and a fan of the double IPA is Russian River (Blind Pig (yechh) / Pliny the Elder (yay!). I guess that puts El Toro in good company.

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Photo of rayjay
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brew 1107. I just scored this 12 oz bottle directly from the brewery. Bottling this one seems to be a new, limited scale thing for El Toro. I frequently enjoy it on draft at the Toronado, so I made a special trip to pick these up.

This one's a golden pilsner-colored ale that retains a thin layer of head for the duration. Alpha hop nose like grapefruit zest. I've tasted much hoppier beers, but this one has a solid bitterness that fades for a good 10-20 seconds on the tongue. Malts are practically out of the picture, a hallmark for the west coast IPA. The hoppiness is a simple, one-dimentional, delicious bitter bite.

As far as 2xIPAs go, this is a tame, refreshing, relatively low abv example; some beer drinkers may miss a big chewy malt body, but for hopheads like me it's pure bliss. Consider it a "session double IPA." I love it, but not quite as much as an ultra-fresh draft version. Cheers!

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (Brew 1377) into a Unibroue tulip. Listed at 7.75% ABV. Thanks to MilwaukeeCrusher for the trade!

Pours a murky orange-creamsicle for the body. Very yeast-hazed, but clarity is overrated anyway, right? The rocky head is towering, lace-leaving, and the color of lemon meringue. Fresh hop aroma absolutely drips with the scent of pungent, piny hop cones. Musty almost. The malt backing is no slouch either, with lot of caramel and toffee sweetness to support those hefty hop aromatics.

Hop bitterness pounds the tongue with each sip, but is restrained enough to allow the malty sweetness to come through. For all intents and purposes, Deuce IIPA is a lot like smelling and tasting a hop pellet: intensely aromatic and bitter, but the hop flavor makes up for it with notes of pine and resin. Bready, carmel-rich malt profile is big enough to withstand the hoppy onslaught. Mouthfeel is creamy and full-bodied for the style. Low carbonation but zesty in the finish with lots of bitterness. All in all, this is a tasty (if somewhat unconventional) Double IPA. Worth seeking out for fans of Humulus lupulus.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A special thanks to zrrbrrt for this drop-off.
Pours quite hazy...golden honey in color with less than 1/4 finger of bright white head, disappearing all too quickly and very little lacing.
Fruity hops in the nose with some caramel malt sweetness....some floral notes as well.
Taste is very enjoyable...a balane of floral and fruity hops...severely bitter with just a hint of sweetness to add some balance. Finish is bitter and dry, yet clean.
Fairly thick mouthfeel, but quite crisp...not overly oily or cloying.
Alcohol is very well masked...at 8%, this one could be quite quaffable for a DIPA...not gonna happen here, as I only have one, but I am quite lucky to get one of these to consume.
Thanks again Josh.

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Photo of John_M
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours an orange amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose in this beer is incredible and is clearly it's best feature. It really smells as if a lot of simcoe and amarillo was used in the making of this beer, as I get a huge dank aroma of fresh tobacco, wet earth, pine and skunky marijuana. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this beer, though the alcohol is a bit more noticeable and prominent than I like to see (especially for a 7.5% abv. beer, according to the label). What's interesting in this beer is that initially there's some pretty noticeable sweet malt, which is then shoved aside by the tidal wave of hoppy bitterness. This leads to very long, slightly alcoholic, very dry, bitter finish. Drinkability is OK, though as noted above, there's a bit too much of an alcohol bite for my liking.

An interesting take on the style. I tried this side by side with the maharaja, and frankly it made the maharaja taste rather tame. That's how hopped up this DIPA is from El Toro.

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Photo of olmatty
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep orange amber with a sticky white head.

Aroma is grainy biscuit and a floral spicy hop character a candy sweetness lurks deep below.

Flavor is rich and hugely hopped. Strong malt backbone with lots of cereal grains. Hops are spicy, floral bitter and piney.

Body is huge and chunky.

Overall, this bottle is lacking some if the incredibly wonderful intensity of aroma and flavor that were in this been when I had it on draft recently. I upgraded this bottle slightly based upon the strength of the excellent draft.

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Photo of jdense
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle form bottle shop in PDX, poured into Delirium Tremens tulip glass 3.25.11.

Finger and a half broken white head, medium-slow dissipation with above average lacing. Orange amber cloudy body, significant amount of floating yeast, bottled conditioned?, should have been more careful pouring. Whoa, impressive nose, huge citrus/tropical notes, no bubblegum, grapefruit and guava, a bit of bready malts in the middle, aroma maintained its fruitiness as it warmed. Taste mirrors nose, melon up front backed by a bit of citrus, then whap! aggressive skank pine resin finish. Mouthfeel is about medium, slightly above average effervescence, though this in one resiny beer. This is not a beer to be taken lightly.With this flavor profile, I'd like to see what El Toro could do with a CDA. Highly recommended for dedicated hopheads.

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El Toro Deuce Imperial IPA from El Toro Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 72.3% out of 100 with 65 ratings
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