Heavy Handed IPA | Two Brothers Brewing Company

very good
400 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Heavy Handed IPAHeavy Handed IPA

Brewed by:
Two Brothers Brewing Company
Illinois, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Heavy Handed IPA is brewed to celebrate the harvesting of the hops every year. Within moments of harvest we add freshly picked "Wet Hops" to this IPA. Since the hops have not been dried before use, they add a wonderful character found in no other beer. A hop lovers dream. (Available September through December) Each batch is "single hopped" with a different hop variety.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-03-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 400 | Ratings: 866
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Heavy bitterness. On-tap at Town Hall in Minny, and appropriately carbonated by them. Medium orange body with bubbly head and noticeable lace. This is wet-hopped and I feel the high IBU. Hop heads rejoice. Full-mouthfeel, and you can detect hops in the aroma.

 259 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.3/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours out as a pretty nice looking copper color with a white colored soapy looking head. The lacing is decent. The smell of the beer is hoppy with a little malt in the background. The taste of the beer has a hoppy pine flavor, there is a dry aftertaste. The mouthfeel is a little watery on this one. Not my favorite IPA but it could have been worse.

 359 characters

Photo of metter98
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy orange amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that slowly died down, leaving a very large patch of bubbles on the surface, a thin collar and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of oak are present in the nose along with some hints of citrusy hops.
T: While oaky flavors are prominently featured in the taste, there is also a good balanced between malts and hops, the latter of which contribute a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels a little more than medium-bodied and a relatively crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is lots of lingering dryness from the oak barrel aging.
O: I enjoyed this IPA because the oak barrel aging completely changed the dynamics of the smell, taste and mouthfeel, making this quite unique compared to other beers in the style.

 922 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Heavy Handed is a very good IPA that just misses the tangible marks that make very good IPA's great ones.

A fantastic appearance of deep copper colors, typical haze of dry-hopping, and great head formation and retention of a moussey, creamy off-white foam.

The nose demonstrates a citrusy hop aroma that just edges out a smooth malty, bread-crust scent. Very clean and appealing.

Malt flavors hit up front with deep caramels, bread crust, and light toast. Hop flavor remains citrusy with grapefruit and orange rinds while contributing bitterness that dominates the taste from mid palate on.

The mouthfeel is the best part of the session. Creamy and smooth early on but without the sticky sensation of unresolved sugars. The beer dries out with the hops and alcohols making greater impact towards the finish, but still remaining smooth, refreshing, crisp, and with a fleeting malty texture.

Heavy Handed is a very good IPA but it needs greater hop complexity in aroma and flavor, as well as a more neutral malt/toast flavor to allow the hops to shine. But the attenuation and mouthfeel is amazing.

Thanks Cheezdawg!

 1,120 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lot 2660 - Cascade Hops

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a sturdy two incher; a decent lacer but stands out with its stickage

Smell: The toffee malt holds its own against the Cascades, and for an aromatic hop, there is hardly any citrus - just resinous pineapple

Taste: Sugary toffee flavors, up front, with an overripe pineapple character that develops by mid-palate; after the swallow, the sweeter malts get the better of the hops, though there is some residual bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; a bit sticky

Drinkability: Certainly an OK drinker, just not what I was looking for in a harvest IPA

Thanks, welosiped, for the opportunity

 710 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass, it has a fine surface of creamy foam. Sticky lace coats the sides. Head retention is above average. Color is a reddish amber jewel tone.

Smell is grassy, a touch sweet, juicy pear with wet hops. A medicinal note reminds me of a homebrew with fresh hops my friend made last year.

Clean malt with unique fruity pear notes, some residual piney bitterness. Slight sweetness at first that segues into a more dry, bitter finish. Mild butterscotch midway through that doesn't linger long. Light bodied, could use a touch more carbonation. Very easy drinking, unfortunately I only had a single.

 608 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with ruby highlights. It had a tan, foamy, one-finger head that left some thick rings of lace.

S - It smelled very citrusy, like orange zest. There were also distinct floral notes and subtle caramel aromas.

T - It tasted of orange peel, roasted malt, and sweet caramel malt. Very well-balanced and fairly fruity.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a smooth mouthfeel. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice IPA. Yet another strong offering from Two Brothers.

 503 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice amber color with a white head and a bit of lacing. The nose brings forward some citrus and grapefruit as well as some bread and caramel. The taste is mainly hops without too much bitterness. Citrus, grapefruit, and bread predominate. Good body with nice bitterness levels for the flavor. Nothing too heavy; this is a nice easy drinker.

 370 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle conditioned IPA delivers a hazy orange-amber body beneath a creamy white cap that holds quite well and leaves some nice strands of lace at the outset of the glass. The nose is bright and welcoming with a combination of gently citrusy and mildly piney hops over a sweetish malt base. The combination of it's very fine-bubbled, restrained carbonation and medium-full body leaves it just lightly tingly on the tongue before becoming creamy and smooth. The flavor is more rounded than the nose suggests with a luxuriously soft pillow of grainy-sweet malt for the hops to sink into. Their flavors are there (orangey-citrus, delicate spruce, floral, and a touch grassy), but they also work off of, and play against the malt, giving the beer a greater depth. It's not complex (malt, hops, the interaction...), but it is rich. All the while, the bitterness is omnipresent but very well-heeled. And that's surprising because, for a beer with such a malt presence it never becomes cloying and always dries in the lingering, malty and leafy-hop finish. I was impressed! And I found it very drinkable! It's definitely worth trying.

 1,131 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of grassy hops, citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste is nicely balanced and starts with a strong burst of hops that is quickly followed by the sweetness of citrus and caramel. There's a hearty malt character that provides good substance to the beer. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is pretty clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, although there might be some better ones out there, this is a very nice IPA to drink for a whole evening.

 783 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shiny tangerine with amber highlights beneath a lovely looking cap of orangish ecru that is firmer than most and displays an active surface with multitudes of lazily popping bubbles. A nearly solid sheet of lace is beginning to be laid down near the top edge of the glass.

The nose is citrus fruit hoppy as expected. It's much better than average, but isn't assertive enough to garner high praise. The hop bill almost certainly consists of some combination of the 4-Cs, although I'll save the guessing for another day. Sweet orange barely outduels white grapefruit and there's a little spruce juiciness and tropical character thrown in for good measure.

This is a solid IPA. While it's adequately malted for my tastes, some might prefer more malt to offset the sharp bitterness of the hops. I'd have to say that Heavy Handed is an accurate name (assuming that they're referring to the hop additions) even though it isn't as mega hoppy as some. White grapefruit zest is now dominant; perhaps the bitterness is putting me more in mind of the more bitter citrus fruit.

This beer would seem to be right in my wheelhouse for IPAs, with its generous hoppiness and snappy, pungent bitterness. I can't bring myself to grant that big number though because the flavor quality isn't as impressive as it could be. I'm not sure what the culprit is (choice of hops perhaps), but that extra 'certain something' just isn't there. It's still delicious however. The body is on the full side of medium and the mouthfeel is lively with a slick, coating finish.

Two Brothers's version of an IPA is one they can be proud of. I haven't heard much buzz about this beer, or this brewery, but Heavy Handed is a minor hop bomb that the lupulin lovers among us should try if they get the chance. All 62 IBUs are used to great effect.

 1,817 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Decided to crack this one open to start the evening. Poured into a pint glass.

Nice dark amber in color with a small head of white that peaks up and over the top for a few brief moments before settling back down to a nice lacing around the sides of the glass. Aroma is deep piney and citrus hops, candied sugar and loads of well balanced malts. Warming lets the balance shine through really nicely and shows off how well this is put together. Nice medium feel and balanced profile lets the flavor sit on the palate for a good long while before settling back down and leaving a smooth, dry finish.

 597 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this from joe1510, cheers Joe!

Pours a semi-hazed caramel with 3+ fingers of sand colored head. Insane head retention & lacing

S: Resiny pine & tangerine, doughyness

T: Leafy hops, apricot, piney hops & orchard fruit up front. Brown sugar, tangerine & leafy dryness as this warms. Finishes with herbal & resiny hops, plus toffee dryness

MF: Chewy, low carbonation, good balance, skews hoppy, duh

Drinks pretty, good, kind of heavy, but this would be good for 3 or 4 before moving on, nice AIPA

 503 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pair of nonic pint glasses at The Firkin.

Sampled both the Centennial and Columbus varietals from 2010. Let's start with the latter, shall we? It pours a clear amber topped by a thick finger of cream-colored foam. The nose comprises flowers, mild lemon, and caramel. The taste holds notes of minty pine, grapefruit, melon rind, orange peel, and light toffee. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry-ish finish.

The Centennial version looks virtually identical. Its nose comprises orange sherbet, light caramel, and light flowers. The taste holds notes of dark greens, pine needles, cedar, and some very light caramel. The body is unchanged from the above. Though I can't really account for the sherbet scent, it just makes this all the more interesting.

Overall, a solid IPA regardless of the hops being focuses upon.

 867 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is a beer that is destined to give this site fits. When "Each batch is 'single hopped' with a different hop variety", that means that each one should be reviewed and treated as a separate entry. I will be delineating each of my reviews accordingly until this mess can be unscrewed.

From the bottle: "Within moments of harvest, we add fresh-picked American hops to this India Pale Ale. These 'wet hops' play nicely against a crisp, complex malt character. This hop lover's dream lives up to its name in a thoroughly enjoyable manner."; "Two Brothers is a craft brewery on the outskirts of Chicago that specializes in rare and seldom-brewed beer styles. The two of us - Jason and Jim Ebel - strive to produce the very best beers available anywhere."; "We hope that you enjoy them as much as we do!"

Centennial #1 (2013): I am using a VERY light hand in pouring this as these is some obvious sediment in the bottom of the bottle and I see no reason to disturb the lees. The result is no head with the exception of a light skim of wisps, but I will take that as a trade-off. Color was a slightly-hazy deep coppery-amber. I am sure that it could have been murky if I were less caring. Nose had that earthy, leafy smell of Centennial hops and my mouth was watering. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste had a fall-like earthiness: dried, decaying leaves awaiting raking. The finish evinces a pleasant, underlying caramel maltiness which works really well with this hop varietal. The last pour was murky, justifying my earlier stance WRT the pour. The nose was much more pronounced now and I wish that there were some way to get more of the same.

Willamette (2013): Once again, I do not trust my storage and aging process to attempt anything more than a gentle pour. No head to speak of, not even wisps. Oh well. It paid off as the color was a deep-copper (SRM = 7) with NE-quality clarity. The nose was soft, minty, underlain by caramel, much like a Brach's Peppermint Caramel when I was younger. Drool. The way I have been ripping through AIPAs in the last couple of days, I may lapse into a hops coma. There are MUCH worse ways to go. Mouthfeel was on the thin side, but the hops were immediately present on the tongue. Very minty, almost like a York Peppermint Patty or snowfall in a pine forest. Man, I was really digging this action! The finish was super dry and I was gasping for breath. I wonder if hops can trigger an asthma attack? Again, many worse ways to die. I want more, more, more! No wonder that I am a hops junkie and not simply a self-avowed hophead. The last pour from the bottle had a slight muddiness and the caramel malt was more pronounced.

 2,663 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.7/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Edit this is the 2009 Two Bros Heavy Handed IPA wet hopped in all of its glory. The year I had it it didn't sit well with me, this year is right on the money. Appears a brilliant copper amber with a tight foaming off white head thick with nice speckled even coats of lacing with each sip. Aroma is like rolling in a field of hops big vinous layers of citrus, earthiness, and pine cone edges. Juicy malt body brings some caramel with that citric bitterness bringing on one of the most complex and hoppy tasting brews I've come across in recent memory. Flavor has biscuit and malt with a touch of honey sweetness to blend with abrasive hop bitterness and flavor. The wet hops are juicy and veggie like in nature with big citrus rind and pine cone flavors alot of herbal weed goodness flows up from my 1/2 liter Gordon Biersch willi glass. This year's version is 65 IBUs with 6.7% abv, I think it's beefier than years past full on resinous slick medium to full body going on, carbonation is soft and natural with each sip. Drinkability is great one of the best fresh hopped beers I've come across recently go and get yourself some if not trade for it.

Appears a deep copper amber hue with a light tan head that flows beautifully leaving lace with each and every tilt of the glass. Aroma has a flowing caramel malt profile combined with hops luscious hops at that with grassy, citrus, and pine qualities galore. Flavor provides a sugary mix of caramel malt and fresh cut hops with ample bitterness that seems a bit stale right now. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a slight oily texture and evenly carbonated flowing quite well at this point. Drinkability is mediocre so many other great IPAs why does this one seem like just another fish in the barrel.

 1,750 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a ruby hue (when held to light). Minimal creme head falls fast. Nose is a combination of leafy and citrus aspects. Flavor is rounded. Earthy and nutty hop tones with a citrus hint. Bitter edge on the back side. Feel is smooth on liquid and the carbonation is decent enough. This is a smooth IPA that is easily drinkable.

 345 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a business meeting today at the Two Bros Warrenville pub...Tap Room. First tried the Heavy Handed IPA and was delightfully surprised. The color was rich amber with thick white head that laced throughout the drink. The smell was malt with good hop character that included pine and slight citrus. The taste was a decent balanced beer....it was more malty than hoppy. The malt was sweet and gave into the pine/citrus undertones. The mouthfeel was good although you could tell this was a higher ABV beer. Definitely worth a try.

 528 characters

Photo of Tone
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy, copper color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, hint of rye, slight pine, hint of citrus, hint of alcohol, hint of wheat, hint of floral, and hops. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. The bitterness level is high. Tastes of sweet malt, hint of rye, slight pine, hint of citrus, hint of alcohol, and a hint of floral. Overall, a little sharp, too bitter, but otherwise a decent IPA.

 527 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer is amber, hazy, off white tan head of small bubbles. Lacing is a plus.

Aroma is sweet, mildly piny hop presence. Some malt.

Beer is medium in body, sweet, mild earthiness from the hops, sulfur, dirt, grass, mild to moderate bitterness, nice finish, decent but not a special IPA.

 285 characters

Photo of Duff27
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lot 2500 - Tettenager hops

A- Pours a dark copper with plenty of sediment within. Quarter-inch white head that leaves drink-by-drink step lacnig. Really enjoy the color of this bier.

S- Citrus and caramel malts. Fresh hops!

T- Follows the smell. Grapefruit. Pleasantly bitter. Damn good.

M- First impression is thin to medium for the style...nice carb bite at the end of the mouthful. Leaves the mouth watering.

D/O- Bitter but not overpowering. A very drinkable IPA. Three to four of these in one sitting would be right in my wheelhouse. Cheers to Two Brothers.

 567 characters

Photo of tempest
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a bottle at Sette Luna in Easton PA. It appeared amber-red in my glass with a tall, white head. I have to say, this was a pretty nice IPA. While there was a juicy citrus punch, the beer still has a tasty share of bready caramel malt. The body is a touch on the thick side, but this a great example is a relatively balanced IPA.

 331 characters

Photo of aasher
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I love Harvest Ales! This one pours a dark amber in color with a soapy off white lacing around my snifter. The aromas consist of light piny hops, caramel malts, light resin, and some oils or soap. It's more subtle than a lot of Harvest Ales but it is still effective. The flavors are of light piny hops, light resin, soap, caramel malts with a light bitterness yet overly light and smooth finish. This beer is extremely sessionable and it drinks like Honkers Ale, not a 6.7% IPA. I'd say it's a hoppier version of this year's Harvest by Goose Island. It seems like it almost has an ESB base. This one is dangerous. Great Harvest Ale that doesn't grade as well as it actually is. Try it while it's fresh!

 703 characters

Photo of WesWes
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice pale and bisquit malt scent along with a moderate hop aroma. The malts really stand out here. The taste is great! It has a complex malt character that boasts of pale, crystal, and bisquit malts. The hops are fresh and wonderfully bitter, but nothing over the top. There is real balance here, while maintaining the IPA style. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a malt first IPA that heavy handed in both malt and hop character.

 611 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to NucularGeorge for this brew.

Lot #2556

Pours a cloudy dark golden orange color, nice carbonation, huge off-white head, lots of sticky lacing follows. The nose is slightly sweet, hoppy, malty, grapefruit, watermelon, piney, and some caramel thrown in. The taste is mostly hoppy/malty, grapefruity, and piney/caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, quite a nice IPA from the brother's, highly recommended.

 417 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Heavy Handed IPA from Two Brothers Brewing Company
3.82 out of 5 based on 866 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.