Heavy Handed IPA | Two Brothers Brewing Company

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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

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Reviews: 400 | Ratings: 866
Photo of tavernjef
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is a jello hazed honey brownish gold with slowly suspended small particals floating around within and some even slower gurgling bubbles. Very tight and thin cap of off-white appears from the pour which slips away quickly. Keeps a bubbly collar and the lacing sticks in stringy thingys.

Aroma is not as hoppy as one would hope, much disdain along that realm. Mostly a nice warming and fairly fresh caramel tone wafts about while a soft biscuit-like grainyness and very slight dry cardboard note the last of each wiff.

Taste is about the same with an understated caramel nougat and a dry papery hop. Some soft grainyness applies a bit of grab and toastyness but tends to be overall "weak-handed" and not nearly as hoppy as its potential given the floaties seen in it. I keep coming back to a cardboard and slight chalky finish which just isn't helping. Somewhat smooth and clean up to that point though. The finish ruined anything that potentially could have left an impression for me yet somehow I wasn't completely put off by it.

Feel is a bit draining and weak, with a less then medium body and a slight build of grainy husk flavor and texture in the middle where it then takes a turn towards the undermanaged cardboard and chalky finish. Touches of tin and/or tannin don't help either. Nothing is overly striking or terrible, its just mediorche and haphazardly drawn out. No real hop tone other then then cardboard woodish thing. It's still clean and somehow drinkable though, the flavors aren't all that off, its just that there's not enough of them and the ones that are there just don't work for me. I keep thinking its what you'd get if a cross a saison and a pilsner. Weird, but strangely effective and tolerable. A hard brew to put numbers to.

Thanks to rhoadsrage for the samples!

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Photo of ppoitras
3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity... Note, can see hop leaves suspended in the bottle before opening!

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a smallish 1/4" of off-white head over the light amber brew. Two hop leaves are mixed in with the head (cool!), which may have limited it somewhat. What head formed stays put, and lacing is good. Aroma is sweetly malty, and remarkably low in hops character for the style, and the visual cues. Taste is sweet malts, with some hop notes, but slight for the AIPA style. Mouthfeel is smooth and tasty, and drinkability is excellent. Although I question it's hoppiness, it's a very enjoyable brew. Try it!

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Photo of 99bottles
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy body, same old amber-peach color. Head shows and retains in patches and clouds.

Smell: Sweet and fruity hops lend scents of pine, orange, honeysuckle.

Taste: Tasty, but not interesting. Smells like a malted-up SNPA. No, strike that. This is a SNPA, with a bit of class. Full, piney aroma with a sweet hop character that wraps the taste fully through a weak biscuit malt. nice hops, nothing earth shattering except that our east coast earth doesn't move nearly as much. More citrusy and floral than bitter. In many respects, like the classic SNPA.

Mouthfeel: Nice and dare I say creamy? For an IPA, this goes down smoooth and soft, without too much bitterness or carbonation. Nice.

Drinkability: Quite satisfying. It's not so over the top that your tastebuds would be done after 1 or 2. I'd venture that if this were on tap, I'd order more than one. It's not able to distance itself from the horde of IPAs out there, but it is a nice version that sits well within the lines.

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Photo of Suds
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light copperish-orange color with a white head. The head is relatively thin, and really doesn’t last very long. The aroma is piney and grassy. It’s a very hoppy-smelling beer. It sort of reminds me of a SN Pale Ale, but with suped-up hops. Taste is hoppy, bitter, and has an undertone of malt. Finish is bitter and fairly well balanced. Not a bad IPA.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours yellow and amber with a thin white head that leaves small strips of lace on the glass.
Aroma of caramel, grain, floral and herbal hop notes.
Flavors of caramel, some citrus, bread, butter, whole grain and some flowery and perfumey notes.
Mouthfeel starts sweet then moves to a gritty, grainy middle and a finishes with a very small, tangy finish. Little bit underwhelming to be frank.
Drinkability is solid. Good well made beer, just nothing extraordinary. Solid effort.

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Photo of rugger
4.34/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I absolutely love this beer. I can not find it around here anymore, but If I could I would buy a lot of it. I am a hophead and this beer is wonderful. The bottle is even green and has pictures of hop cones on it. The aroma is right on for the style, and the mouthfeel was what I was looking for in an IPA. I could drink a lot of this and I would love to have a homebrew recipe for it. I am a little heavy handed myself when it comes to hop additions. I highly recommend. If you do not like hops then you may want to steer clear. This ranks up there with Alesmith IPA and Stone's Ruination IPA.

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Photo of cncbofh
3.31/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Enough sediment to imagine your drinking mud. Coppery rust color.

Pretty intense flavor. The hops are appropriately displayed on the front of the bottle - but they are good hops. Nice hops.
Mmmmm.... zesty flavors of lemongrass and a tight fruity banana. A slight bitterness I can't discern. And hops...

To many of these though, and you are left with a mouth of herbs leaving you looking for the nearest glass of water. Low ratings on mouthfeel and drinkability. Couldn't stomach more than two.

Overall a decent beer I would try again.

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Photo of filabrazilia
3.52/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy copper with a tan head. Great lace.

There is a sweet malt aroma that complements the grassy hops in the nose.

This is one hoppy beer. The hops envelope the tongue and overwhelm the taste of this promising beer. The sweet malts that I expcet from an IPA just don't assert themselves enough to balance the hop bitterness. I was left liciking my mouth like a dog that just ate a spoonful of peanut butter.

The hops lay waste to the mouth and that's all I really experienced. I wish I could say more about it, but that's it.

I love heavliy hopped beers (especially IPA's) but I just can't get excited about this one. I really like my hops to have a balance of sweetness.

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Photo of Weissenheimer
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Usually I describe the appearance of beer in terms of amber, but the color of this beer doesn't have enough of a red constituent for that. With its pale brown color it reminds me of slightly weak tea. The big, frothy head is quite nice, especially after it pillows beautifully into cloudy meringue craters and hummocks. At first the fluid seems clear, but then I look closely and see lots of tiny bubbles floating upward. As I drink, pleasing eruptions of lacing are left on the glass.

The robust, hoppy scent is a very pleasant surprise. It's a bit sweet, and perhaps mildly citrusy, but both of these scents only serve to bring out the slightly roasted character of the malts. It's a really excellent smell.

I take a taste and... um... what is that? Mesquite? Charcoal? Up front it's nice and creamy, and then comes a citrus acidity without the usual accompanying sweetness. The finish is mildly bitter and a bit metallic. Eventually I realize that the citrus flavor is not orange or grapefruit, but lime! The hops are beautifully done. Not quite what I'd call round but not sharp either, they're robust without being pugnacious.

This is a good beer, but the lime bitterness overbalances the hops. My girlfriend takes a sip and makes a very astute observation about the lime taste: "They didn't leave out the white part." She's absolutely right; the unpleasantly bitter white part of the rind made it into the flavor. It's too bad, because if this was toned down a bit I think it would be a great beer.

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

Presentation: Extracted from a cardboard box from the back of xlperro’s Caddy (and we weren’t even playing Golf) in San Clemente before we hit the Pizza Port for a beer or three.

Appearance: A hazy-cum-murky orange amber color, IPA-ish in its dress code. A massive off white beige head that forms readily but stays around. Interestingly it has one of those ice cream floatie heads that completely moves in its entirety when you tip the glass to your mouth. The beer oozes out from below – quite weird. Super carbonation when swirled – always replenishes the head to a smooth ½” covering.

Nose: Kentish hop-fields heavily laden with dew from the night’s rain mixed with the stench of well engrained grass stains from your Cricket Whites as you slid to prevent at Boundary at deep square leg.

Taste: Fresh hops, very fresh grassy hops fill the mouth and lend a grass stained lick to the inner cheeks. I like a cheeky lick every now and again – oooeeer. Bitterness in the middle but this is never overpowering, the power of the flower, the hop in this case, is what the beer is all about.

Mouthfeel: Solid, quenching for thirst yet wholesome enough to retain attention for the quaffers amongst you.

Drinkability: Sadly I only had one bottle, highly enjoyable and very put-down-the-neckable. I like a good fresh hoppy beer and this really hits the spot. It would go well with a spicy Chicken Madras or ring-burning Vindalooo.

Overall: A very enjoyable IPA. My West Coast mates may find this one a bit tame, but I quite enjoyed it to be honest, in fact I was really taken with it.

A Big Barking Thanks to mi old mucker xlperro for this one. It makes up for the Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic ya Wanker (and no, please don’t tell me the SA CL was a freebie extra in our recent trade, I pay for my trash to be taken away!!!) LMOA. Serious Cheers Mate, I enjoyed this one more than you did it seems – Irony? or Self Righteous Infliction for the Cranberry Lambic?!?! You Decide!

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Photo of Jon
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light bronze color with a thick, frothy cream-colored head. The attractive appearance leads to a fairly dissapointing nose. Knowing this beer is brewed with freshly harvested hops, the nose is fairly subdued, featuring only a hint of the expected hoppiness. Earthy, spiciness is all that I detected. Taste is more subdued than expected, too, featuring more earthiness and caramel malt than a big hop flavor profile. Minor notes of citrus and pine needles. Mouthfeel is a nice mixture of beady carbonation and smoothness imparted by the malt. Very drinkable, but not quite as dialed in as that which I've noticed in the bottled version.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice, more lightly hopped IPA than the American norm. This brew is hazy honey amber with a smallish eggshell head and light lacing. The floral and citrus hop nose is followed by a flavor that imparts citrus hops but also gives big doses of malt taste. The feel is very nice and the finish is crisply dry. A bit too much citrus bitter for big drinkability.

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Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A somewhat murky orange to amber color as it sets in the glass with a portly head that is frothy in texture and a light tan color, the lace forms a fine sheet to cover the glass. The nose has a mild floral tone, citrus like, and sweet malt also noticed, start is nicely malted, pleasingly sweet and the top middling in feel. Finish has a mild acidity with a perky hop spicy bite and desert dry aftertaste, good but more middle of the road, which is not bad.

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Photo of cretemixer
3.28/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Rusty amber in color with an eg-shell colored, creamy head. It fades to a thin solid layer and leaves a intricate lace.
Slight graininess on the aroma with floral hops greeting the nose.
A sharp bitterness hits the back of my throat first off, but then becomes more fully rounded & juicy. There is a biscuity malt there to try to balance things out, but the hops never relent. The flavor is a bit too grainy for my tastes though. The hops linger long after the beer is gone.
Slick mouthfeel with good carbonation.
Overall, I was hoping for a little more here. Not bad, but there are so many better offerings out there to choose from.

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Photo of Realale
3.57/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Lot No. 2752

Nice blush to the otherwise brassy color. Tight 1/2 inch head pretty quickly settles to a fine, complete cap.

Nose is all hops. Nice citric/piney notes, but its not horribly complex.

The malt makes its first appearance on the palate, but its quickly overwhelmed by the hops. The mouthfeel is full, but its more of a sensation than a component of the palate. The finish is decent in length and decidedly bitter, but this one needs a bigger malt note to provide better balance for me.

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Photo of jeffboo
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A golden-peach color with thick white head. The head is full of citrus and earthy hop aromas, this is a dry-hopped IPA, very nice. It has a medium texture with a creamy,malty start, a green hop flavor and dry hop bitterness in the finish.Fresh hops off the vine were added to this brew and it's apparent in a green hop flavor, which is a nice change here. A solid IPA.

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

Appearance: Pours a light copper color with decent clarity. A tan head starts small and stays that way.

Smell: Pretty much the typical Cascade aroma: grapefruit, pine, citrus, and a touch of a floral scent.

Taste: Lots of hops... There's a decent malt backbone here, but it's overpowered by the hops. It's a bit out of balance. All the normal Cascade flavors are here, just like in the smell. Finishes with a strong, almost burnt, bitter note.

Mouthfeel: Fairly thin-bodied with a crisp mouthfeel. Finishes dry.

Drinkability: It's not a bad IPA, but there are so many others out there that put this brew to shame. I'd drink this if it's what's available, but if given a choice, I can pick several off the top of my head that are far better.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy, amber/orangish in color, with an off-white head that leaves a nice lacing when sipped down. The aromas are hoppy, very citric. On the first sip the flavor is of grapefruit, with other fruity flavors following. It definately has a good deal of hop bitterness, but it is not overpowering. The malt flavor is evident as well, balancing out the hop bitterness. It is overall a medium-bodied brew, which leaves a lingering bitterness with you. It is a very tasty IPA, I would definately drink this one again.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted at the Barrelhouse Brewing Company Microbrew Fest on November 9. This had a better bite than The Bitter End. Better-than-average IPA with a crisp dry finish. I liked this one.

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Photo of maxpower
3.16/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy amber color, citrus nose, highly hopped, decent grapefruit and piney resin flavors, some what thin with a watery mouthfeel and a bit unbalanced. Much better IPAs out there.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.42/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew is damn near orange. A sticky thin ivory white head leaves some nice lacing down the glass. This has a very nice fresh hop aroma. Great dry hopping (or hopback) utilization. Pungent, oily, piney and citric nose. The hops are the main player on the palate as well. Piney, citric, pungent, bitter, floral, rind. Very nice hop flavors. I'd be surprised if those flowers utilized in this beverage were not from the Pac10 region. This is not out of balance though. Malt profile is primarily caramel, but maybe a little bready as well. Nice lingering bitterness on the tongue. Body is about medium-full. Nice tasting 62 IBU IPA.

Two Brothers is a solid Illinois brewery. I actually prefer them over Goose Island.

2010: Lot 2660 (Cascade single hop)

Murky looking dark copper body. Thin and bubbly beige head. Lacing is sufficient. Aroma is citrusy, piney and a little sugary....like grapefruit sprinkled with sugar. Firm enough malt base of crystal malts with a definite citrusy hop flavor and lingering bitterness. A little acidic in a citric acid kind of a way. Good balance. Medium-full body and appropriately carbonated. Enjoyable. (4.0,4.5,4.0,4.0,4.0 = 4.1 OVERALL)

2010: Lot 2500 (Tettnauger single hop)

Murky orange body with particulates in suspension all over the place. Off white head recedes quickly and leaves some droopy lace. Aroma is really light. Some light herbalness and underlying caramel malts. On the buds, there's a definite leathery hop presence. Unique. Kind of an earthiness and herbalness to the hop flavor. Biscuity malt underneath. Decent beer. (3.5,3.0,3.5,4.0,4.0 = 3.5 OVERALL)

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Photo of jackndan
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wake the hell up! Heavy Handed IPA from Two Brothers Brewing Co. Assertive hop flavor, aged wonderfully well, a kick in the pants for any one who likes hops, and if you don’t, why NOT (editors note: the flavors have gone to your author’s head). Subtle, nope, spicy hops and very nice hops flavor in a great looking (reddish/amber with some lace hugging the side) beer Yeeee—up!. Get off your duff and get one.

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Photo of Wildman
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer promoted it's hops. Well time to test that out. This beer poured a light copper gold color and formed a nice bubbly very light tan head that left some nice lace. The aroma was defininately of hops, though not as heavy as Stone's and some small amount of citrus was present. The flavor was of hops and slightly of caramel. It finish was slightly bitter and the body a bit lighter than some of my favorite IPAs. A good and hoppy IPA, but Stone's still beats it out.

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

Clear amber, small 1/8 inch head with bigger bubbles toward the glass margins. Hoppy, citrusy aroma. Definitely hoppy early, grapefruit rind balanced by a good malt. Stops short of high acidity or overly bitter with a refreshing twang toward the finish. Definitely American in profile but stops short of over-the-top hop power. Good caramel counterpunch. Very good to my tastes, my only quibble is that Two Brothers Bitter End Ale is very similar in character.

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Photo of cokes
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

New review, 11/25/08.
Produces a moderately-hazed, auburn copper glass. Milky, pock-marked head is on the small side, but stays around.
Nose full of toasted caramel, apple must, and a robust hoppiness that is both floral and citric, exuding lilacs, clovers, pineapple, and red grapefruit.
Seems to split the difference between an american and english style pale ale. Toasted grains and caramel up front. A big apple must middle...and this is a lovely flavor, but this is so assertive both here and on the nose, that is ventures toward suffocating. Hops come forth from the apple mist and bring big florals, pollen, rose petals, and touch of reefer resin and pine pitch, and larger, lingering, traits of grapefruit and orange juice.
Body is medium. Seems full at first, but thins considerably towards the finish.
Kind of weird, really. The apple traits are big, but in the musty, quality cider sense. The hops don't take the spotlight that wethopping would indicate. There is a definite rustic charm here and it is absolutely hard to rate. It also seems quite different than the stuff I had 5-6 years ago.

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Heavy Handed IPA from Two Brothers Brewing Company
3.82 out of 5 based on 866 ratings.
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