El Toro Deuce Imperial IPA | El Toro Brewing Co.

very good
43 Reviews
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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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Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 65
Photo of rodbeermunch
1.91/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Copper pour, half inch of head. Aroma was wet horse blanket and no hops allowed. Terrible.

Taste, just as wet horse blanket, in an ipa. . . I can't even; So many weird things going on, substantial hoppiness, to accompany the barnyard smell of burning hair. This was just terrible. It was on tap, so maybe they had just tapped a shaggy dog keg before this one. ..

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.04/5  rDev -48%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Copper pour at the Bistro dipa fest. 1/2" head on it, looked nice. Aroma was just rough, bitter dog hair. Needs more dog? No thank you.

Taste, was even more rough, the bitterness was accompanied by terrible off flavors. Plenty of hops, but it made you wonder if it was infected, or just awful at times. All three of us that went to the festival together drain poured this and joked about how the 'drains to ocean' sign made us feel bad for the aquatic life that was going to get the remaining ounces. It tasted like the beer came through the most wretched tap line of yesteryear, uncleaned, and hooked right up to this beer.

I'd like to think this keg was just terrible, but I've never really been into El Toro's stuff anyways. We'll see, they're often at the Bistro fests, so I'm sure I'll take one more plunge into their creations, even this one, just for the sake of knowing if it was just a bad batch, or if they truly just make something so offensive to me and my crew.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.08/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a 12oz bottle oon 12.29.11

A - Pours a cloudy dark orange with a two finger yellow-cream colored head. Good retention and nice lacing.

S - Very carmely, malty and sweet.

T - Similar to the nose, Carmel and sweet. Some hoppiness in the background, but not much.

D - Good carbonation and an average body for the style. Slightly bitter finish.

O - It was sweet and not much hops. Makes me wonder if it was an older bottle, but I don't think it was.

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Photo of ccrida
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into my Murphy's Stout tulip, Deuce is dark burnt gold with a tight, sand colored head that leaves scattered, foamy lace, as well as some nice rings.

Smell is a hop explosion, no two ways about it. Loads of resiny pine, apricots

Taste is super fierce. This one's got plenty of hop flavor, but a very gritty, intense bitterness that lingers on the long aftertaste. There's some sweet alcohol flavor but it's mostly hop bitterness and fruity and resiny hop flavor. Extreme.

Mouthfeel is on the thick side, dry.

Drinkability isn't too high for me. Too bitter, a strong bite from the alcohol, which is only listed as 7.75% on my bottle, and fairly expensive as well. Worth a try for hop heads, but only lovers of extremely bitter IPAs will really dig this.

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Photo of SacoDeToro
3.54/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Toronado in the city that is... San Fran

The beer was a light golden with a minimal head that faded quickly.

The aroma of the beer was that of citrusy hops and notes of grapefruit.

The flavor of the beer was dominated by a powerful burst of hops and followed by a thin sweetness of malt. In all honesty, the beer had a very flat flavor profile. The bouquet of hops didn't develop with each sip the same way that many other DIPAs, such as Pliny (either one) or Moylan's Hopsickle do.

The mouthfeel was thin for a DIPA and the carbonation was too high.

I like El Toro, but this beer was probably their least impressive as far as I'm concerned. The competition amongst double IPA brewers is getting fierce these days and unfortunately El Toro has not won this round.

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Photo of kitty66
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Must have been an old or sun-exposed bottle. Can only assume that much of the freshness of hops had disappeared.

2/3 Caramel sugar soda, 1/3 california pale ale. Girls would probably like this one as a sipper.

Will hold final verdict until having a chance to visit the brewery, lots of talk about toro, kind of disappointing with this one.

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Photo of Duane_Opfer
3.64/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle with no date. Poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass.

A - Peach in color with only some light white foam in center after pour. White flaky sediment visible in bottle and glass. Moderate carbonation. Some delicate lacing as liquid receded.

S - Strong fragrance. Sweet molasses, peach and apricot. No booziness.

T - Peach, apricot, apple, and raisin, with an orange rind/harsh finish. Finish is rather unbalanced. Initial flavor is rather pleasant, although not distinct. Mostly hides ABV; somewhat warming.

M - Moderate carbonation. Rather unremarkable.

O - Average DIPA. Nothing exciting here.

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Photo of mj001jk
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had the opportunity to try this on tap at Toronado, SF.

This beer is all about hops and bittering and it is apparent on the nose. Tons of grapefruit, orange and west coast attitude hop treatment, there is also a toasted caramel and slight funk aspect that rounds it off nicely.

Flavors are intense, a ton of hops as is expected and it has a rich, chewy texture and extremely bitter on finish. It is a little too harsh for me, I would call it brawny and that is why I cannot score it higher although I am sure many like this style.

If you want a big and bitter DIPA this is it.

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

On tap at the Toronado. I think very highly of their regular IPA, so I was looking forward to this one.

A: Pours a slightly murky, fruity orange-colored body with coppery edges against the light. The bartender knows what he's doing, and delivers this with a perfect 1" of head. Retention is decent, and it leaves webs of lace down the glass.

S: Lots of citrus: flowery grapefruit, orange rind, and bordering on tropical with pineapple and passionfruit. Also a substantial amount of pine, with a hint of dank weed underneath. Great aroma.

T: Phenomenal on the taste buds. It's drier than the IPA, which is something to appreciate in a beer that has obviously much more malt (and hops). It's not completely attenuated, and I get some caramel and pale malt flavors in there, but it's definitely hop-forward, with citrus leading the way. I love the ganja flavors underneath all of this.

M: Medium-heavy bodied; it threatens to coat the tongue and mouth, but it's helped along nicely by carbonation that pushes the sticky hop oils out of the mouth. Can't detect the alcohol, which is always good thing.

D: Pretty high, I'd say. I want to sit down and review this out of a bottle, and maybe side-by-side with their IPA, to get a better understanding of the differences. But so far, 2 for 2 on their IPA offerings.

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Photo of gford217
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle courtesy of EinWeizenbitte.

The aroma is big and fantastic, just full of juicy citrus, namely grapefruit and pineapple. On top of that is a slight herbal character with maybe some sweet malts.

The taste doesn't live up to the aroma for me. It's got a huge spicy bitterness throughout but doesn't have nearly the juicy citrus presence that I was expecting given the aroma. There is a hefty sweetness underneath as well. The finish is slightly metallic.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and very bitter and dry in the finish.

This is a very good DIPA that could have been great if the taste came together a little better. That said, I still enjoyed it.

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

Thanks to Aaron for this bottle of the Deuce! This one pours a golden orange color with a touch of haze, big head with large beads, high retention and thick lacing. The aroma has a lot of lavender and floral hops with citrus, tropical fruits and an underlying malt backbone evident. The flavor is resinous along with lavender, orange peel, full bitterness with a finish of cookielike malts, geranium, and leafiness.

Body is relatively thick for a DIPA with a moderate carbonation that lends itself to a smoother thicker body, though a touch of astringency is present for me with a bit too many botanicals. Pretty nice beer though the hop bill is a touch too floral-astringent for my liking, though there may be some batch to batch variation obviously, the two bottles I have tried have displayed this. Pretty tasty though, if this were available for a fair price I'd probably get a six pack from time to time.

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Photo of Stoneman78
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Toronado SF

Appearance is a translucent murky orange hue, thin layer of white creamy head, sticky lacing on the glass

Smell is pine resin, sweet citrus, cotton candy, touch of mustiness

Taste is bitter pine resin and grapefruit dominated hops, orange and lemons creep in with some grassy hops, cotton candy bubblegum appears near the end, finishes bitter and resiny

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, big thick oily resin texture, biting carbonation

Drinkability is moderate, a nice sticky and resiny hop bomb with a nice balance of sweet citrus and candy sweetness, the finish is a touch too harsh

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

Thanks to zrrbrrt for this brew hand delivered for my BA Anny. A little foamy while taking off the cap. The foam settled quickly with the pour. Not very strong in smell. Typical IPA color. Taste is predominantly citrus hops with a good bit of bite. Mouthfeel is smooth. Pretty good DIPA but not special.


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Photo of Livid
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler from draft. Pours a hazy amber color with about 1/2" of white head, laces nicely down the glass. Aroma is almost all hops - citrus, pine, floral and grassy notes. Good body and mouthfeel - not oily like many high IBU IIPAs. The flavor is very hoppy and unbalanced. Big hit of citrus rind and pine flavors, with faint malt flavors of caramel peeking through right before a long bitter aftertaste. This is a borderline hop bomb. I happen to lean towards the hoppier end of the spectrum, so this is right up my alley.

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Photo of Bosazga
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured at NW Growlers in PDX

I'm one of those weirdos who like heavy beer so this one hits the spot! Cloudy beers to me = heaven, so that looked good. High ABV rocks, and don't you connossiuers (sp?) tell me otherwise. Went down a little bitter at first but commensurate with IPAs in general. The bouquet is a little flat but, remember, I'm about the ABV. Sits nice and warm in my stomach and makes me wish fall was here. Overall all a solid, strong IPA.

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

Had the pleasure of having this one with dinner last night, I am always happy to get a new IPA whenever I can find one. This poured a very nice and somewhat hazy amber, with just a touch of a golden hue to it. Very nice three inch plus head of foamy and sticky lace formed on the top and gradually settled down to just a thin layer across the top and a very nice set of concentric rings of side glass lace. Smell was thoroughly and deeply hopped. Big floral bouquet of bitter pine and a touch of grapefruit. This followed over very well to the taste. Not a tear your lips off bitter, but defiantly a big IPA for sure. Very nice mixed of orange and tangerine like hops with jus the slightest touch of pine to even it out. Great smooth feel and nice carbonation gave it a medium body and a very nice drink ability. Long drawn out dry finish and a nice touch of sweetness added into the back rounded it off very nicely. Overall this was a fine IPA, and definitely something I would like to try again. Nothing earth shattering, but just very nice and well crafted. A good version for the hophead to get themselves wrapped around.

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Photo of ibbjamin
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Paid $6 for a pint of this one at El Toro in Morgan Hill. Reading the beer list, I noted that there are a LOT of hops in this one. Uses Tomahawk, Centennial, Cascade, Amarillo and Simcoe hops.

Small 1/2 inch off white head. I didn't see the bartender pour this one, but his knowledge of beer indicated he knew how to pour a beer. Nice lacing that thins out after a few minutes but lasts.

Orange/citrus bitter hoppy nose.

Extremely hoppy, as expected with a double IPA. Orange, citrus and hops with a mild spice to finish. Bitter lasting aftertaste.

Heavily carbonated which mildly takes away from the great flavors they have working here and makes it a little tougher to drink. The only downfall of this beer.

Nice ABV. This pint and another Bock had me with a decent buzz.

This is my hometown hero and this is the best of theirs I have tried yet. Glad to hear this one is also available in a 6 pack.

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

Had this on-tap at the brewpub earlier today. Following review is based on notes taken during the tasting.

Served in a standard 16oz. pint glass.

Appearance: Crystal clear, amber-copper body shows off active carbonation for the entire session. A creamy, white halo sits on top and drags decent, web-like lacing.

Smell: Strong pine resin, grapefruit, rich caramel, earth, and sweet esters. I find a lot more fruity and floral aromas in here than I found in the El Toro IPA. Very earthy, but with sweet pleasant undertones.

Taste: Strong earthy and piney bitterness take over immediately. Toasted wholegrain bread and caramel play second fiddle. Grapefruit comes through in a big way later on, accompanied by lemon and even cherry/red currants.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, dry, prickly, and oily. Medium-to-full in body and lightly carbonated. This is a definite palate-wrecker!

Drinkability: Well done, but not very memorable. I personally liked Geno's regular IPA (El Toro IPA) better. I will say, however, that this imperial IPA was surprisingly bitter for being 3-4 months old. I can't imagine how intense it would be fresh.

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Photo of weeare138
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Toronado...
Appears a semi-transparent golden amber with a small, white head that slowly fades out into a mild cap. Scattered spots of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of brown sugar, caramel, perfumy, floral hops, honey, and graham crackers.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with honey and floral hops standing out amongst the flavors.
Mouthfeel is of honey sweetness up front with grapefruit bitterness rounding it out. Medium bodied, chewy, smooth, semi-dry, with a candy enjoyability.

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Photo of axisjones
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Toronado, poured into a standard pint glass.

Orange amber with not too much of a head. What little head there was died down pretty quickly. The remaining head haloed all the way down. Standard fare.

The smell was really floral with citrusy. Screamed Cascade. All in all, the nose was really inviting, but without a decent head I think I was probably missing out on the full effect.

Goes in a hits hard straight off, just like a good IPA should. Bitterness is almost tear-worthy, but if you are a hophead it should be just about right. This particular IIPA had massive passion fruit flavor, really intense tropical fruits coated in citrusy pine with a viscous bitterness. A base coat of bready malt barely puts a hand on the hops. Fruity, sweet, but overly harsh.

While the flavor was intense, the Deuce was too harsh to be that drinkable. Despite the intense nature of the hops, the alcohol was barely noticable, except when trying to stand up. A good IIPA, come prepared.

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Photo of DIM
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: This was a cloudy, coppery golden color. It poured with a medium sized, moderately sticky, off-white head.

s: Biting, assertive nose on this one. Rough, resinous hops notes of lemon rind, grapefruit, and pine. Sweet malty notes of caramel and to a lesser extent honey and vanilla. The alcohol is present but not out of line.

t: Caramel and vanilla sweetness with a little honey up front give way to an extremely bitter finish that tastes lemony and grassy.

m: A beefy body and gently creamy carbonation, very nice.

d: A bit rough around the edges, but definitely a tasty treat.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Thanks to brentk56 for a bottle of this in the Secret Halloween '08 BIF.

Pours a hazy orange amber with several fingers of poofy off-white head. Settles down into a rigid layer of creamy retention that doesn't budge with a fantastic flareup that leaves just a MASSIVE coating of thick lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is extremely West Coast with notes of floral hops, pine, grapefruit, and spice but it's that big, grainy underpinning of malt that gives this bouquet some beef!

The taste is much the same, with an intensely bitter hop profile that is well balanced by tangy citric notes and a hefty backbone of bready and grainy malt that more than holds it's own. The bitterness really creeps itself back into the finish with a dry and lingering feel that has me begging for a glass of water! The mouthfeel is fuller bodied with a a creamy carbonation that spreads out well in the mouth and a hefty feel that is bitter and warming on the palette.

I've had the pleasure of this on draft at the brewpub and this bottled version compares favorably, just maybe not as fresh, as evidenced by the malt really coming to the forefront of the profiles. Make no mistake though, this is a large and in charge DIPA that takes no prisoners with a fearsome bitterness that doesn't let go.

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Photo of jdense
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
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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Photo of olmatty
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
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 John_M
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
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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El Toro Deuce Imperial IPA from El Toro Brewing Co.
3.92 out of 5 based on 65 ratings.
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