Heavy Handed IPA | Two Brothers Brewing Company

Heavy Handed IPAHeavy Handed IPA
873 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 873 |  Reviews: 401
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 kylehay2004
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

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.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

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.

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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 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.

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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 WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

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.

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Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

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 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 nickfl
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of atrocity
2.75/5  rDev -28%

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 paulish
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

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.

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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 Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of jgunther71
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

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Heavy Handed IPA from Two Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 873 ratings
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