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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 65 |  Reviews: 43
Photo of Livid
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
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 ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.08/5  rDev -20.6%
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 JeremyDrinksBeer
5/5  rDev +28.9%

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 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 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 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 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 kitty66
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
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 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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Photo of ccrida
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
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 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 vacax
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
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 ThreeWiseMen
4/5  rDev +3.1%
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 gford217
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
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 DIM
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
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 Arbitrator
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
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 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 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 mj001jk
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
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 Kegatron
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
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 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 Stoneman78
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
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 ibbjamin
4/5  rDev +3.1%
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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El Toro Deuce Imperial IPA from El Toro Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 72.3% out of 100 with 65 ratings
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