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Heavy Handed IPA | Two Brothers Brewing Company

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Heavy Handed IPAHeavy Handed IPA
Very Good
876 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: 876 |  Reviews: 402
Photo of BB1313
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a transparent dark copper, nice white fluffy head and very sticky lacing. Very impressive looking beer. The aromas are nice, pungent grapefruit and pine, but not overwhelming. The flavors pretty much match, the aromas.. nice, but not really intense. I'm picking up some orange peel as well. The mouthfeel is extremely impressive, light, very smooth and creamy. It's one of those beers you could chug, if you chose to, but I wouldn't recommend that. Nice brew, very easy to drink..

There's alot of good things about this beer, but I can't help but think of what this could be. I just wish the flavors and aromas were more pronounced. Either way, I'm glad I tried it and it's not a let down at all. I just wish it was more intense.

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Photo of pdoran10
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Heavy Handed pours out a deep amber color into a snifter. I get a half a finger of head that leaves reasonable lacing.

The smell is citrus and grass, slight vegetable quality going on.

The taste is much more positive. I get a big grapefruit and slight resin flavor. This blends with a sweet caramel malt profile that somehow doesn't overwhelm the hop flavor or bitterness.

The mouthfeel is a bit chewy but still smooth and creamy with moderate carbonation. Well done here.

Overall this is a nice offering and I find myself really thinking the flavors are solid. Would like a slight bit less caramel malt profile.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Dank piney, citrusy, and earthy hop aromas up front. Just a touch of caramel background malt sweetness. Low fruity esters as the beer warms and that adds a touch of complexity.

Appearance: Cloudy copper colored pour with a low white head. Leaves nice lacing on the glass. Appears still in the snifter.

Flavor: A well balanced blend of citrus and pine hop flavors all up front. Some bready background sweetness provides a counterpoint. Balance is firmly bitter. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is long, lingering, and powdery in bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-low carbonation. Some prickly carbonic bite is present but is welcome. Low astringency due to the hops. No alcohol heat.

Overall impression: A well done fresh hop IPA. I can't see this lasting much longer than a month as the hops seem like they've faded a little even with my bottle. Still, well done and enjoyable to try.

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

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Golden tan/copper brown, 1/4 inch creamy head, decent lacing.

Smell - Hops, sweet fruits like orange, grapefruit, pineapple. Some sugars, a little malt aroma.

Taste - Wet hops mixed with some carmal malts at first. Spices add a herbal flavor. Very dry piney hops in each drink. Malts are sweet and counter act the bitter hops.

Mouthfeel - TOunge gets hit with the hops, then coated with the sweet malts. Palette is bittered and gets alot of the hops. Tounge is left dry, and aftertaste is dry and bitter.

Overall - Really nice and hoppy. Easy to drink, with enough bitterness and sweet malt combination to give balance. Really enjoyed this, and everything ive had from two brothers, i think this brewery is dangerously close to be the most underated in the us.

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Photo of kzoobrew
2.79/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Oreo for the bottle. Cheers Mike!

Lot 2521

A moderate pour into my Stone IPA glass leaves a frothy three finger egg shell colored head. The retention is outstanding, leaving heavy lacing blanketing the walls of the glass. The body is a slight hazed burnt orange color. A bit darker than I expect for the style, overall a nice looking beer.

The aroma rather malt forward for an IPA. Warm bready malt with a touch of caramel is far too prominent up front. The hop aroma is present but not all that assertive. Slight citrus but leaning towards a very green floral aroma.

The flavor does a much better job of showcasing the hop flavor. Sweet citrus flavor rolls onto the tongue before transitioning into a strong pithy bitterness. The hops flavor leaves the tongue with a substantial piney flavor. This would be great for most IPAs, the problem with Heavy Handed once again is the malt. Rather sweet, caramelly flavor does the beer no favors. The malt is simply too prominent.

Medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. The finish is rather long due to the malty nature of the beer. The sweetness lingers long after the beer. IPAs do not have to be bone dry, but there should not be this much residual flavor lingering on the tongue.

Heavy Handed is a decent beer, unfortunately a poor representation of an IPA. This is not one I would seek out but I really have no objection to drinking. The beer is certainly better than the score. Easy to drink and moderately enjoyable.

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

Pours amber-orange with a finger of sisal-colored head that leaves copious lacing. Smell was rather malt forward, then with pine and earthy-spice taking over. Taste was initially well balanced with hearty caramel malt, although the hops do show up with restrained force, and finish strong, with resinous pine, earth, florals and a distinct spiciness. Finish is mildly dry and bitter. Mouthfeel is sub-par compared to the beer's other qualities, and falls apart a bit over the tongue. Overall this one is very enjoyable, looking forward to the other five.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
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 -6.3%
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%
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 +1.6%
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 -10.7%
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 -10.2%
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 +7.9%
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 +7.9%
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 -0.5%
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 +11.3%
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 +5.5%
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 +15.2%
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 +4.7%
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 -2.4%
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 +8.1%
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.

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Photo of Seebs847
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
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 +7.9%
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 +9.9%
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 +5.5%
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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Heavy Handed IPA from Two Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 876 ratings
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