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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Ratings: 871 |  Reviews: 402
Photo of hosehead83
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Copper/orange in color, with a beauty of a thick, rocky off-white head of foam.
Aroma-Whiff of toasted malt, herbal hop notes
Taste-Onrush of earthy,herbal hops, toasted malt, and an almost rye-like spiciness. Earthy, bittering hop finish. A great match for spicy fare. Recommended.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass.

A- dark caramel, light tan w finger head. Some lacing that resides quickly.

S- sweet amber malts and pine hops

T- sweet caramel/amber malts and piney grass hop bitterness

M- medium body, creamy mouthfeel

O- solid fresh hop ipa. Love that they have different hop varieties each year.

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Photo of aasher
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
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!

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Photo of lstokes
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy reddish-orange with a one finger white head and a light hop/cracker smell. The taste is lots of citrus--orange rind, grapefruit, bitter spruce--with some sweet cracker/caramel malt and a very bitter finish with lots of tongue burn. Yum! It's a good beer but doesn't necessarily have the "punch" to make it a top contender in this category.

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Photo of ChugginOil
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish amber with less than a fingers worth of off-white head. Some webby lacing clings.

The nose has an abundance of sweet malt up front with a bit of floral hop presence at the end. Not as much hop as I expected.

The taste is quite similar. Some rich sweet malt begins the journy, followed by some floral hoppiness that is juat a little bitter.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with some stickiness.

Overall, this brew is tasty but doesnt represent the style that well. I was looking for more of an hop forward ipa but got an overly malted one.

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Photo of kevanb
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes, 12 oz bottle into a tulip.

It pours a dark amber color with a slight foamy head. It has almost no aroma, but what it does smell like is mild hops, which is pleasant. It has a hoppy flavor, but its by no means robust, its very very tame, no real complexity, minimal pine or citrus notes that usually accompany an IPA. It does however, go down smoothly.

Verdict: A decent attempt at an IPA from Two Brothers and could be a nice table beer, but there is much better out there.

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Photo of match1112
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: cloudy copper with orange highlights and a full finger of off white dish soapy head that leaves minimal lacing.

s: fresh floral hops complimented by citrus notes and some pine in there as well.

t: citrus dominates this beer with a well balanced malt presence. definatly a sweet ipa.

m: a little on the thin side, still very crisp and sharp with a good amount of bitterness to it.

o: two brothers is a really good brewery producing really good beers, one right after the other.

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Photo of zeledonia
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed 30 Sep 2011, reviewed from notes. Lot 2521. Not sure of the bottling date, but I know it's recent. This is my first fresh hop beer of the fall, and I'm excited about it.

Pours a deep slightly orangey amber, clear, with about a finger of cream-colored head. Good head retention and lacing. Nice, but nothing special.

Smell is where the fresh hops really shine. Strong floral hop aroma; sweet and fruity, but dominated by a bright flowery hop scent.

Taste has a nice malt base. I'd call it balanced if the hops weren't so potent. A little bit of pine comes through, but mostly it's flowery, fruity, bright, and lifting. Strong bitterness, right on the high end of where I like it. Has a tingly, prickly feeling late, that comes from a combination of the carbonation and the sharpness of the hop acid.

Typical IPA mouthfeel: medium-bodied, high carbonation, tingly late on. Dry in the finish.

A very nice IPA, showcasing the strong floral aromas of fresh hops. I like it.

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Photo of ahq514
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into shaker pint glass.

Pours a deep copper color. Nice 1 1/2 finger head right off the bat. Pretty soon that goes down to about 1/2 finger. Seems to have moderate carbonation. Laces daintily.

Obviously lots of hops in the nose here. Nice balance between floral and citrus hops. Behind all that is a nice solid malt backbone, slightly sweet.

A lot more malt in the taste than I would have expected. The hop bitterness comes through pretty well throughout the entire taste, but the hop flavor I was hoping for isn't there. Sure, there is some floral and citrus, but not what I was hoping for. As it warms up though, more citrus flavor comes through which makes the beer much better.

Mouthfeel seems right on, lighter carbonation and a nice medium body.

Overall this is a good IPA. I love supporting local breweries so I tend to buy a lot of Two Bros. If it wasn't for that, I would see no reason to specifically seek this beer out. It's a good beer, just with the crazy amount of ipas out there, there is better.

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Photo of plfahey
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Amber in color with a slight haze to it. Sticky off-white head has decent retention and laces the glass nicely.

Aroma-Fresh, perfumy orange, grass, hay, with light grapefruit and resin. A very solid toasted caramel malt backbone lays a strong foundation underneath the hop bouquet. Smells good, but isn't quite as aromatic as I would have expected. Hops grow sharper and pine-ier as the beer warms.

Flavor-Toasty, bready caramel, is quickly overtaken by orangey grapefruit hop flavor and a pronounced, yet smooth hop bitterness. Finishes with a smooth, resiny flavor and moderate to moderately high hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel-Smooth, medium body, with soft, moderate carbonation. Almost creamy.

I find a lot of wet-hopped IPAs to be awfully grassy, but this one manages to carry a lot of orangey/juicy hop character. Also, the flavor profile is superbly balanced and delicious. Love it.

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Photo of Holland
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a deep orange with light head. Fairly cloudy to start. The lacing looks beautiful.

S: smells sweet and spicy with hops. Very bready also.

T: tastes spicy and bitter from the hops, but also slightly sweet and very malty on the back end.

M: fine bubbles and medium body make this very easy to drink - not as crisp as some, but it's great to have this different take.

O: very delicious beer, and worth having again. I didn't tasted the wet hopping too much, but maybe I don't have the palate to pick it up yet.

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Photo of pschul4
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into weizen glass.

A- Pours a dark copper with a 2 finger creamy head that sticks around for quite some time.

S- Very pleasant piney type smell with hops as a big part of the background.

T- This hits a big jackpot with me. I usually like my IPAs with a big citrus note along with all the hops but this sharp, clean masterpiece leaves very little to be desired other than perhaps a longer finish.

M- I dont know if it was the weizen glass or a unique batch I got but this mouthfeel is silky smooth very similar to a Fat Tire in its mouthfeel. Very liked by this guy

O- I went into this beer the same way I go into every Cubs season, wanting to love it but expecting massive dissapointment. Then oh my god 2003 happened in this beer but unlike my lovable losers this beer actually made the final 5 outs! Delicious IPA and vivid memories? You've got to love this review :)

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Photo of ssimpson89
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper colored with minimal head. Fresh hops smell great. It is more malty than most IPA's, but those fresh hops fight their way through to make this a very good beer. It has the right amount of carbonation to round things out.

I thought it was just OK last year, but was prompted to pick up a 6 this year for the following reasons (1) I love fresh hop beer, (2) I want to support my local brewer and (3) it was only $8.99.

I really like it this year, seems better than last year. I realize it can change from batch to batch, but this batch will keep me coming back. It will always be in my regular fall rotation. Rated 4.47 in 2011.

Update 2013: not as good as previous review and price went up to 10.99. It's a very inconsistent beer. I'm sure it has to do with the different hops from batch to batch. It does make it tough to buy as you never quite know what you are going to get. First batch was solid, but 2nd was flat and way less flavorful. Think I might be done this year.

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Photo of BlastBeats
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: a clean copper color with an insanely frothy head. Looks like summer clouds billowing up from the beer.. perhaps it was my pour.

Smell: I think the overzealous head created a barrier which restricted my ability to fully appreciate the nose on this one. Anyways, there's somewhat of a fresh hop aroma with a little pine as well.

Taste: a lot of "wet hops" up front are followed by some subtle citrus and pine flavors.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied with ample carbonation made for easy drinking.

Overall: This is my first "wet hop" beer and I look forward to trying a few more this season.. a solid IPA to have around.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of Seebs847
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with half inch of white lacy head.

Initial malty smell and the wet hops hit you at the end. Overall not the most amazing smelling APA but you can tell it will be tasty.

At first taste the breadiness of the malts hit the palate, however you notice the slow creep of the hops slamming your tongue. I am a hophead and can see myself grabbing a 6er or two through December. Not sure if its just the new batch for 2011, but this Heavy Handed is definitely a tastier, more complex brew than I had in the past. Go for it you will not be disappointed!

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Photo of vande
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: a nice, bright somewhat hazy gold w/ a thin layer of head

S:delightfully hoppy.. I think this first batch maybe cascade, but I don't remember off the top.. citrus.

T: hopiness, citrus with a bit of sweeter malt at the back.. nice and fresh...

M: light to medium bodied...

O: Easy drinking.. a pretty solid IPA

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Photo of jondeelee
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells of bright, citrusy grapefruit hops, with a noticeable undercurrent of sugary malts and caramel.

On the tongue, there's an immediate shock of bitter hops, which are set at medium to medium-heavy bitterness (65 IBU), bringing about that lovely grapefruit buzz that is the domain of hoppy beers and IPAs. This subsides slightly after a couple of seconds to reveal a nice malty backbone, full of sugary caramel flavors and brown sugar notes, as well as piney swirls. The aftertaste is mostly hops again, but a thin vein of toasted grains runs through it.

Overall, I thought this was a lovely IPA, with good, strong bitter notes, as well as nice malty counterpoints. Many IPAs seem to focus only on the bitter shock of hops, and this one nicely provided the countering sugars to remind your tongue of the other side of the equation. Much time and effort were obviously put into this, and the result is a finely-crafted, very drinkable beer.

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Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Poured a dark hazy orangey-copper color. Creamy off white head (half inch or so). Nice lacing. The nose is definitely some hops but it's more balanced with the malts. The same can be said of the taste which is definitely hoppy, but I did expect much more. The name implies that it's a hop-bomb, so it lost points for disappointment. Overall, good beer. I would try this again and enjoyed drinking it at the time.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A little bit darker appearance, brown really, cream colored head is ample with good retention for something so heavy, but the color isn't the most attractive for an ipa. Aroma was hoppy, good job. Centennials?

Taste, hey this really hit the spot during my time in the Midwest, there really wasn't much of a hoppy beer culture at the time, and just coming out from the west coast, this was a savior to my almost exclusive hoppy palate back in those days. Taste leaned to the grapefruit side of the hop descriptor. Delivered both hop mouthfeel and bitterness. Good dry finish to it, despite that the brewer was heavy handed with the malt here too. Given what I suspect the brewing cost of this to be, the decent $7-8 for a 6pack is a good deal.

A solid ipa, at a good price. When it comes to hoppy ipas, the only ones I can think of that are better, are solid top tier excellent ones. This one is very good.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
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 socon67
2.68/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours amber with some foam. Somewhat clear and mild carbonation.

S - Scents of malt and hops. The sweetness is a bit overdone for me.

T - Just not a fan of this. There are flavors of vanilla, caramel, and citrus. It just doesn't come together. Thought it was me, but none of the other tasters in my group at the time found it enjoyable. The finish was a harsh sweetness that I found unsettling.

M - It is a smooth medium bodied beer. Makes for a solid drinker, even though I didn't enjoy it.

O - I'm curious to try other offerings from Two Brothrs. Won't let this get me down on them.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
2.63/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to hurfer for the extra. Poured from 12oz bottle (no date) into snifter glass. Pours deep, slightly coppery amber with a 1 finger rocky yellowish head that has good retention. Aroma is very sweet, doughy, syrupy, pine, caramel, floral, biscuit, toasted grain, light orange peel citrus and a bit of black tea. Flavor is caramel, biscuit, toasted bread, a little butter, extreme syrup, burnt sugar, light mineral notes and floral notes near the end. Finishes with herbal hoppy bitterness and pine, just a little dough, and syrupy taste. As it warms the tea and syrup comes out a little more and the bitterness seems to increase in strength and length of aftertaste. Palate is light to medium body, slightly slick on entry, drying out a bit, but still slightly slick on the finish and has a pleasant, moderate strength carbonation. A bit too slicky and syrupy/doughy for my taste in regard to an IPA. It was a very interesting beer from a small brewery nonetheless.

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Photo of mmmhopslam
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1st review! Picked this bottle up at the Cardinal Liquors in Shorewood as part of a Mix 'n' Match 6 pack.

A - Nice amber orange color with some haze.

S - The hops are there but they're not demanding my attention.

T - Hops and caramel malt. Nice balance on this beer, not too bitter for my taste. I'm getting this odd lingering citric sweetness that seems to stick to my palate. I recently ate orange cranberry carmel corn and the resemblance on the aftertaste is uncanny. This might be off-putting for some but I quite enjoy it.

M - Rather light and crisp. Decent carbonation.

D - Easy drinker here. I definitely consider this a session beer as I would have no problem knocking back 3 or 4 at a time with a pizza and wings.

Overall I really have nothing bad to say about this beer. On the other hand, I don't have many praises to sing either. It's a pretty average beer in my mind, but one that I would not mind trying again in the future, perhaps on tap at the brewery.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Heavy Handed IPA from Two Brothers Brewing Company
3.81 out of 5 based on 871 ratings.
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