El Toro Deuce Imperial IPA | El Toro Brewing Co.

very good
65 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 65 |  Reviews: 43
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 BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
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 Lothore
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
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 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 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 warriorsoul
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
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 rayjay
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
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 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 Mark
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
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 watermelonman
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
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 Denali
5/5  rDev +27.6%
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 DOH1
4.47/5  rDev +14%
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 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 GClarkage
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
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 rkhaze
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
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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El Toro Deuce Imperial IPA from El Toro Brewing Co.
3.92 out of 5 based on 65 ratings.
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