Heavier Handed IPA | Two Brothers Brewing Company

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very good
112 Reviews
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Heavier Handed IPAHeavier Handed IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Two Brothers Brewing Company
Illinois, United States
twobrosbrew.com

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Wet hopped IPA aged in new French oak tanks.

Added by emerge077 on 11-14-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
112
Ratings:
362
Avg:
4
pDev:
15.5%
 
 
Wants:
36
Gots:
29
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 112 | Ratings: 362
Photo of weatherdog
3.56/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a tulip glass

It pours a hazy burnt amber with a beige pillowy head. A huge coat of lingering lace lines the glass

The nose is pretty muted to me. Some orange and pine type hops with a large dose of malt in there.

The taste once again didn't attack me with the hops. I've had this beer on tap about 2 months ago and i remember it being much hoppier. Maybe the 2 months of aging in the bottle really killed it. The pine and orange hop is there but once again pretty muted. There is a large amount of bitterness up front but the sweet malt at the end is too much for my liking and tips the scales into almost too sweet an IPA for me. The oak is noticeable though and lends a redeeming quality to the brew and is more prevalent than in the draft version

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Photo of Etan
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, just released.

A: Pours a clear golden orange with a nice white head.

S: Very clean, sweet aroma. Maple, citrus, cakey, mild green character underneath.

T: Mild herbal and slightly citric hop flavor, plenty of bitterness, lots of bready and caramelish malt, palpable alcohol. The oak gives the beer a dry edge.

M: Light-bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: This tasted more like a hopped up amber ale than a DIPA. It tastes fine, but it's sort of disappointing going into it expecting a DIPA.

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Photo of sidetracked
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with a cream colored head. The second pour is cloudy, but the same color.

Smells of bitter citrus, but not as prevalent as expect. A bit piney too.

The upfront taste is mellow of bitter-grapefruit hops. The bitterness gives way to a maltiness that's hard to place with a bit of oak. In some sips the aftertaste seems almost off. The finish is dry.

Mouthfeel is good--somewhere between the thin and medium body one would expect.

I'm glad I tried Heavier Handed, but there are a lot better double IPAs out there.

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Photo of jwc215
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours copper with a thin tan head that holds up pretty nicely. Trailing lace follows the body down the glass.

The smell is minty/spicy with woody notes, vanilla and some citrus. Some caramel backing comes through.

This is a barley-wine-ish DIPA. Caramel, pine, vanilla/oak and fruity alcohol mingle. Sweet-ish, but with a bitterish bite that shows more in the first few sips. Oak and booze dominate as it progresses.

It hits full bodied - not too thick. Has a rawish kick, but pretty smooth despite that.

The booze and oak aftertaste. It has a strong malt, hop, oak and booze character. An interesting sipper - a pretty intense one.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Imbibed at Finnegan's in Plainfied, IL on 12/03/2010

Appearance -- Pours a deep amber hue with gold highligts, moderate haze, and a finger of stiff beige head. Wide bands of thin lace. Lookin' good!

Smell -- Juicy citrus, tropical fruit, grapefruit pith, melon, caramel malt, faint woody oak, and a little vanilla-like oak sugar. Overall, juicy and a little sweet; lots of good stuff going on, but not a great deal of hop bitterness.

Taste -- Hop notes of bright and juicy citrus, tropical fruit, watermelon jelly beans, and mild pine resin. Malt base is on the sweet side for the style: well-caramelized but also with cracker and husky grain. Oak presence lends some gentle woodiness and vanilla-like oak sugar sweetness.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied with milder carbonation. Mild wood tannin astringency in the finish. Just okay.

Drinkability -- It tastes good overall, but it is a bit of a malt bomb by IPA/DIPA standards. Lots of juicy fruits and caramel malt paired with moderate hop bitterness makes for a muddled compositon (Good Will Hunting? No?). The oak character is nice: really heavy on the vanilla-like notes, but unfortunately it tends to accentuate the caramel malt that was already a bit out of hand. A tasty beer, but not a great DIPA.

Verdict: try it on tap if you can, but don't bother saving your pennies for a double-magnum.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper orange color with one finger of fluffy, sticky white head.

Scent of bitter, grassy hops, caramel, sugars, and a hint of oak. Nice and hoppy with well hidden alcohol, but the sugar is too strong.

Taste of caramel, some spicy hops, and a hint of earth. It should not taste like this for being so fresh. It tastes as if it is already a few months old.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and clean with a good bite from teh carbonation.

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Photo of stewart124
3.62/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful copper color with just a touch of lacing that is developing into a nice spiderweb.

Some caramel and citrus in the nose that leans towards orange. Toffee and some vanilla that I suspect is from the oak.

I don't get as much oak as I would have thought. There is some drier notes in the mouthfeel but I get a pleasing amount of light caramel, citrus and a touch of fruity esters. Just a tad bigger then the heavy handed and this one dries out in the finish. Big enough on the hops without being too overpowering. I would guess the super galena if I was pressed to choose.

This bomber does pack a punch. A very nice tweener here. Great for the price.

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Photo of optiontwo
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Two Brothers Heavier Handed

First review I've done in a while, excited for this one.

Appearance: Glowing yet hazy orange/amber with a ¼ off white head that dissipated fairly quickly but left sticky lacing all around the tulip I poured it into.

Smell: Pungent fruity hops are definitely there, giving it an orangey/pineapple like aroma. The hop fragrance is very juicy smelling, makes my mouth water. There is also a subtle scent of vanilla that goes along nicely with the fruit.

Taste: The hop flavor is a little spicier than I expected seeing as they smelled sweet and fruity, but that's not a bad thing. The oak aging is way less detectable than I would prefer. Maybe they could have aged it longer, or maybe I could have held on to the bottle for a while. Now that I think about it, it does seem a bit contradictory to age a fresh hop beer. But I'm no beerologist, maybe they know something I don't. There's lots of bitterness to this one, which is very enjoyable. Finish is long and lingering.

Mouthfeel: If anything I think the oak aging added more to the mouthfeel than it did the flavor. I don't know if that's even possible but it feels creamier than the normal heavy handed. So that's nice.

Drinkability: Wouldn't guess that it sits at 8.1% ABV so that earns it some points. That being said I could probably force myself to drink two, but no more after that.

Overall: This is certainly not a bad beer, and it's definitely a good one for hopheads, but I find myself slightly let down by the lack of flavors the oak should have imparted. All in all it's no oak-aged Unearthly, but then again, what is?

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Photo of wedgie9
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted from bottle. Pours clear, dark, amber with a thick beige head that recedes to heavy lace. Nose is nice caramel malt with some grapefruit hops and fresh red apple. The flavors are very well balanced with hops, malt, and fruitiness coming through equally. The apple flavor is rather strong and very unique to and IPA for me. The body is medium plus with average carbonation and a long apple and bitter finish.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a shaker pint glass at The Firkin.

Glad I got to try this one on-tap before my only option was a $50+ 3L beast. It pours a clear amber topped by a thick finger of cream-colored foam. The nose comprises mandarin oranges, lemongrass, light onion, and mild toffee. The taste holds notes of miscellaneous greens, flowers, pine, and light toffee. The body is a solid medium, with a smooth carbonation and an unsurprisingly smooth feel. Overall, a fairly solid DIPA, but it seems a bit weak, as though they tried too hard to make a hop-bomb but instead came away with a strangely mild and one-dimensional brew. It's not altogether bad, though, and is definitely drinkable, but it falls short of greatness.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Half Acre tulip.

A- pours a dark caramel with a 2" off-white head. Trails and big blotches of lacing remain on the glass.

S- caramel, toast, pine and slight spice.

T- big malt forward dipa, with lots of sweet toasted malts, caramel, slight grassy bitterness as well as pine bitterness.

M- medium body and carbonation. Slick, syrupy feel and drinks very easily at 8.1%.

O- good dipa not great. Not a lot of wet hop floral characteristics like other wet hop beers, but nice sweet and bitter balance.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 12/20/2009. Bottle. Pours a clear orange with a small white head. Aroma of piney hops, sweet citrus, tropical fruits, and caramel malt. Flavor of caramel malt initially with light citrus hops in the finish. Pretty good IIPA with strong malt overtones.

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Photo of EJNibs
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Warm amber color. Holds its head fairly well, with nice lacing.

S: Nice, floral hop aroma. Not terribly intense--nor complex--but a nice nose nonetheless.

T: Honestly, somewhat disappointing. One-dimensional hop bitterness. This is an example of the intense bitterness and sometimes heavy feeling of hops that I tolerate without the citrus or floral notes that I love. The hops are dark and heavy on the palate; a tongue bruiser in less than an ideal sense. I know some folks love that, but not me. I think that a DIPA/IIPA should, indeed, be intensely hoppy, but these hops lack complexity; it's just bitter.

M & D: Full and frothy mouthfeel that isn't too heavy. The hops TASTE heavy in the full bitterness without floral or citrus balance sense, but the mouthfeel doesn't sit too deep, keeping it decently drinkable.

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Photo of PrinceDarren
3.71/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Brixies. Pours orange/amber. Smells very soapy.

Tastes decent, but still a little soapy. I don't detect any wood notes which is probably because it was actually aged in foudres as opposed to oak barrels (in other words, they did not use bourbon barrels or similar). I think the term "oak aged" is a bit misleading since the foudres are not meant to be reflected in the taste profile.

Mouthfeel is a touch on the syrupy side but still reasonably drinkable.

It think the following description from their website describes it accurately: "It is sort of a bigger IPA or smaller double IPA whichever way you want to look at it."

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Photo of RoyalT
3.72/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This one came out a dark copper in color, a very pretty hue, but with a modest head.

Smell – The complex hop profile, led by grapefruit and light citrus but also with a bit of lemon and modest pine, was quite harmonious. There is also some malt sweetness in the nose which meshed well with the hops.

Taste – The malt came through nicely at the taste but the hops fell apart somewhat. The grapefruit was still there but the complexity was gone.

Mouthfeel – I thought this was too thin for the flavors and the bitterness awkward.

Drinkability – This went down easy enough but could have been so much more.

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Photo of brewdoc75
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Orange-amber. Mild to moderate carbonation. Awesome, fluffy, off-white head.

S: Orange, citrus, and a hint of pine. Slight caramel sweetness. A bit light in aroma.

T: Nice flavors in here. Light hoppy flavors with citrus and orange. The caramel malts are prominent and lovely. The hops trend to a faint bitterness. The oak flavors are very light and lend a faint vanilla flavor and some woody character. Would have expected more french oak character, but the subtlety worked out nicely.

M: Medium to heavy bodied. Smooth with light carbonation.

D: A nice drinkable, in-between IPA-DIPA. The oak adds some uniqueness. I wish the hop flavors and aromas were a bit more prominent. Otherwise, it was rock solid.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Gorgeously glowing topaz with a faint yeasty haze and polished brass trim. The milkshake creamy crown is equal parts pale orange, eggshell and ecru. It melts in appealing fashion and is beginning to decorate the glass with scads of sea foam lace.

The nose is modestly caramel malty, doesn't have a ton of oakiness, and has quite a bit of orange peel hoppiness. Two Brothers used three different hops (Willamette, Cascade, Super Galena), but only one per batch. Trouble is, they didn't put any sort of identifier on the bottle or label.

Heavier Handed IPA is the latest version of the oaked (D)IPA style to remind me that I'm not thrilled with most oaked (D)IPAs. The wood takes too much of the flavor focus away from the hops, which should have almost all of it as far as I'm concerned. That said, let's see how things shake out with time and warming.

Two Brothers says this brew is bigger than an IPA and smaller than a DIPA. To my eyes, nose and tongue, it looks, smells, tastes and feels like a DIPA. Caramel malt sweetness is at least as prominent as hop bitterness, although the alpha acids are beginning to rough up my tongue now that the middle of the bomber has arrived. For comparison's sake, this bottle is now about four months of age (early November release).

Flavors include caramel-toffee, orange peel soaked in Stolichnaya, ripe apricots and more oakiness than is optimal. Less time in the foudre (a large French oak cask used for aging wine) would have garnered the next highest score for taste and drinkability. As is, they almost got there.

The mouthfeel is solid in all respects. It's closer to DIPA than IPA, is velvety smooth and has the soft sort of carbonation that makes drinking quickly or slowly equally enjoyable. The latter is definitely the way to go.

This beer's little brother, Heavy Handed IPA, is good stuff. How one feels about Heavier Handed IPA depends on how one feels about oak-aged DIPAs in general. While it isn't a trend that I fully support, there's enough hop flavor and bitterness that I don't regret a penny of the $7.99 purchase price.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter on 12/7/09

Copper colored with highlights of deep amber. Though slightly cloudy, it still has a sharp & enticing looking color. Unfortunately, it poured a marginal head (even with a fairly aggressive pour) that all but disappears. Period swirling revives a thin layer; such is retention. Lot of small spots of lace for the first half or so; it does have better swaths of lace by the end.

The nose is interesting; while not being overly complex, it seems well-structured. Pine aroma is at the fore - it by no means smell like a hop bomb but it should suffice. Floral with hints of mixed citrus - I'm pulling out a little bit of orange. A sweetish malt background offers up caramel & undertones of toasted bread. The smooth aroma of oak is apparent throughout & serves to sound out the rough edges.

As I suspected based on the nose, absent is a scathing hop attack. However, there is reasonable amount of piney bitterness upfront. That said; the bitterness is mostly short-lived with a tad finding its way to the finish. At this point a prominent malt profile kicks in via caramel & toasted malts. Some floral hits work their way throughout. The oak notes help pull the flavors together & provide some interesting overtones.

Heavier Handed is on the heavier side of medium bodied. Carbonation is smooth & creamy. There is quite a bit of resiny grit. It's a fairly dense brew that allows for a lot of lingering residual flavors.

I think it has good drinkability. I'm sure many will find it lacking too much in respect to hoppiness; that may be so, but it still has a good flavor profile. It's worth checking out if you get the chance.

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Photo of sprucetip
3.79/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. Recently turned on to this brewery, and glad to be.

Pours clear orange/amber, very active with nearly 2 inches of fluffy foam on top, and it remains for several minutes, dissipating gradually and leaving thick lacing. Good start.

SMELL is hard to find. What is there is nice, but there isn't much there there. And it's not a temperature issue. Maybe it's old? ... Peachy, perfumy floral hops. Faint grainy sweetness and lightly boozy.

TASTE Peachy and floral hop notes blend nicely with ample sweet malty base. Piny hop bitterness emerges in the middle and ramps up gradually and is the dominant feature leading into, and well after, the finish.

FEEL rich, creamy texture, full bodied, drying bitter finish.

OVERALL Surprised (and disappointed) that I had such a hard time finding anything in the nose. Clearly sufficient quantities of flavoring and bittering hops were used, but maybe not so much finishing and/or dry hops? Or it was old? Still, a really nice IIPA, and I'll be pleased to try it again sometime.

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Photo of WesM63
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a orangish amber with a 1finger off white head. Minimal retention and lacing.

S: Smells of very fresh wet hops with a hint of sweetness.

T: Some bitterness and sweetness on the tongue. A mixture of wet hops earthy hops and oak.

M: Medium body and medium to high carbonation.

O: Overall is surprised me. Just a hint of oak that doesn't overpower the delicious wet hops.

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Photo of Gyle41386
3.81/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip. Thanks, JamnesCameron!

Reddish-orange pour. One finger of plush, very creamy foam. Bubbles rise throughout, and the head actually grows as I drink more. Midway through the tulip, I've got at least a finger and a half. Obviously, the head retention is excellent. Great lacing left on the glass.

Sweet aroma. Lots and lots of grapefruit/orange and caramel malt. The French oak tanks that this was aged in must impart a more subtle flavor, because this beer doesn't smell nearly as woody as other oak-aged IPA's I've had.

Well, there is more wood in the flavor than the aroma, but it's still fairly subtle, which is nice. Lots of caramel malt sweetness. The 84.3 IBU's on the label aren't as noticeable as the 8.1% ABV.

Big body, really creamy feel. There is a bit of a slick/oily feel in the finish. Relatively easy drinker, though it would be moreso were the ABV not quite as pronounced. Falls just short of being sessionable.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, no bottled on date so I don't know how fresh it is. The brewery is less than 20 minutes from where I live though, so I'm assuming it's pretty on the fresh side.

A - Pours a very nice burnt orange color with about a half finger of head that goes down quickly. Scattered lacing.

S - Nice wet juicy hops for sure. A little bit of a hot booze smell coming through a bit.

T - Mmmmm tastes just how it smells, nice hop presence in the beginning and it finishes with a little bit of a warm alcohol taste. Not as bitter as I was hoping, and not as citrusy or piney either, but it is still a nice beer. The oak isn't really present for me, I guess it just comes out in the warmth of the beer.

M - The warm boozey finish lingers for a while, demanding you take another sip of this intense beer. This is good, I only wish I had the Two Brothers Heavy Handed IPA so I could make a comparison of sorts.

Overall, a nice beer. I'm not the biggest Two Brothers fan, but I did enjoy their Hop Juice quite a lot, and the Heavy Handed IPA, and this beer is definitely a step upward, although I don't know how many more times I will want to have it.

Two Brothers Heavier Handed IPA ---4/5.

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Photo of brentk56
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color capped by a couple of inches of foam; very nice retention and a pretty god job in the lacing department, too

Smell: Powerful wet hop aromatics; rather piney with both melon and fusel alcohol underneath

Taste: A dose of caramel on the front end is massacred by the piney hops with the 84.3 IBUs blasting the taste buds at mid-palate; the bitterness remains intense, after the swallow, though there is a melon tone that sneaks in underneath; the sweetness from the malts builds somewhat into the finish; rather boozy aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; warmth in the gullet

Overall: Not sure whether this is still oak-aged - neither the bottle nor the website mentions it and if it is, the treatment is very subtle; the website description of the beer seems out of date, too, as it doesn't mention the use of local hops grown on an Illinois farm and harvested by the brewery; all that aside, the beer is a bit too boozy and lacks some balance to be among the best in the style

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Photo of Gehrig
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A briefer review than usual as I took notes while out and about.

Shared with a friend, Heavier Handed pours a nice amber with ample white foam; decent retention, little lacing. Good citrus aromas--grapefruit, some orange peel, slight hint of pine, but little of the advertised oak, honestly. Same with the taste--good hop-malt balance, although I'd prefer a LOT more hops, especially for something billed as heavIER handed. I'm disappointed that the oak does not come through more.

Good mouthfeel, smooth, unfortunately not so gritty and resiny.

Nice IPA, but not as ramped-up as one may want and expect from a DIPA, especially for good coin. Two Bros ought to add considerably more hops and stash Heavier Handed in some new casks. I preferred Heavy Handed to this.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.91/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Not much head to this just a 1/4 inch that settles to a mild lace ring. It's ok.
S - Smell is good for a DIPA not too hoppy mostly malts so it might be old. Smells actually nice.
T - Taste is great balanced taste of citrus and herbal hops, crystal malts and crackers about. Super easy to drink but not great.
M - Light to medium is this 8%

Overall it is good but I found it too lacking. It was 8.99 for the bottle its for sure not worth another purchase but it is one of the smoothest DIPA's I drank. Would love to try this fresh.

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Heavier Handed IPA from Two Brothers Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 362 ratings.
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