Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Heavier Handed IPA | Two Brothers Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
112 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Heavier Handed IPAHeavier Handed IPA

Brewed by:
Two Brothers Brewing Company
Illinois, United States

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 112 | Ratings: 362
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heavy Handed IPA which has been "Oak Foudre Aged", oak cellaring barrels. The beer is hazy dark copper colored with a large creamy head. Hoppy aromas dominate, citrusy and floral, with a strong malty background. As expected from the color there was a lot of caramel malt in this beer, giving strong counterpoint to the hops which I'd prefer take a stronger lead. I guess I couldn't find any oak flavors, I haven't had much luck tasting the wood in anything but stouts so far. Thick body and sticky in the mouth, this beer was very satisfying overall. My personal preference would be to cut down on the caramel malts and concentrate on pales to let the hops make a more aggressive statement. But that's just me.

 710 characters

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.

 534 characters

Photo of jhoban19
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into my favorite tulip glass (Maudite)... poured in 2 servings.

A: deep amber/ruby color with a foamy off-white head. A rush of carbonation quickly races up the glass and then disappears into the foam. When held to the light, a glow permeates through and around the glass. The head settles into thick ring with full surface coverage. Lacing is strong and retains its place on the glass throughout the entire pour.

S: Initial aroma is all hops- wonderful pine-scented hops. As it warms, rich toasty malts and honey start to emerge, along with a hint of vanilla bean.

T: Hops dominate the flavor with each and every sip, though there are enough sweet and toasty malts to provide a well balanced backbone. A hint of vanilla bean is also detected. As it warms the malts (particularly the honey) become more prevalent, but the piney hop flavors (and corresponding bitterness) still dominate. The second pour (bottle left out rather than back in the fridge) is a bit warmer and has more malt flavor- I preferred the slightly colder version with more hops. I'm knocking the Taste score down just a tad for this.

M: Heavier Handed is medium bodied and smooth- very smooth. Much like the pour, a rush of carbonation makes it way to the back of the throat and simply disappears, giving way to a smooth, sweet finish and a bitterness that lingers throughout. A sticky hop film remains on the lips, though the sweet malts and smooth finish keep the saliva glands working to provide a bit of moisture to balance out the sticky hops.

D: This is an incredibly drinkable beer. Too bad it was a limited release, would love to get my hands on a bit more of this. I'm glad I bought 2 bottles when I had the chance. I didn't quite get any aromas or flavors resulting from the barrel-aging, but maybe I just wasn't sure what to expect from that. About the only other negative I see is that the hops fade too quickly as the beer warms. Heavier Handed has such a wonderful hop flavor- I wish it would have lasted throughout the entire bottle.

 2,038 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.72/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pretty much a hazed beefier version of the Heavy Handed IPA aged on their new French Oak cellaring vessels. Appears a slightly clouded caramel amber glowing hue with a large frothing head that is the same color as a frothy whipped egg. Big chunks of glorious sporadic lacing presents itself extremely well from the glass, this one was poured into my Gulden Draak chalice.

Aroma is chalk full of hops including pine needles, floral accents, and citrus peels. A whopping blend of hops with a bit of malt and booze. The dominant tones come off as an oak aged dry gin with citrus squeezed into it. The brilliant oak tones come off very much like fresh cut wood giving an earthy outdoorsy experience to pair with the fresh hops.

This one is dangerous weighing in in the 8th percentile with the alcohol this brew throws huge complex hop and malt combinations at the imbiber. I'm loving the caramel booze with the citrus and earthy notes that could remind someone of some weed. Dry yet slightly tart and boozed hop candy in a glass, my mustache is coated in hops and I can honestly say this isn't an issue.

Mouthfeel is oily with hops dry with a slight oak finish boozed with a slight tone of burning sensation in both the nares and palate. Warming alcohol fuller bodied DIPA, this beer needs to be enjoyed slowly so it doesn't wreck your palate or your car. Hop oils surge with citrus peel and herbal floral hop accents.

Drinkability is killer one of the most enjoyable well represented oak aged beers I've come across this one is focused on the wood rather than iself, the hops, or it's alcohol content. Okay children sit down and surround us while we take on a thrilling twisted and turned navigation. Well represented oak brew in front of me way better than other run ins with Oak barreled DIPAs namingly both the New Holland, Southern Tier, and other Bell's offering Founds did something well original.

 1,906 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear yet rich copper amber. The head is only one finger in thickness,but this thin foam lasts through all 22 ounces. The yeast adds some depth to the oak aroma as it offsets some of the heavy orange peel hops scents. I'm starting to like oak aged IPAS more and more. The taste is caramel sweet then quickly orange and mint bitter hop cones. That same caramel malt turns into a more oaken flavor while giving the hop flavor a more even keeled bitterness. The abv. is only noticed in the smell just a little, but not really in the taste. Resiny bitter palate with a touch of caramel and honey syrup sweetness. A DIPA that isn't just a slap to the palate, but more of a warm and smooth intro to what hops and oak have to offer. Just a lovely local sipper. For me anyway.

 776 characters

Photo of plaid75
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at The Blind Tiger, NYC.

Poured a medium amber hue with a one and a half finger foamy white head. There was good retention and very good lacing.

The smell featured a resimous hop and a moderate caramel.

The taste was very well balanced with an upfront balmy hop oil that quietly leveled out and melted into te moderately sweet malt.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side of the style.

Overall a a DIPA with very good drinkability.

 448 characters

Photo of danman83
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an 8oz mug

Appearance- Bronze, fantastic head and retention.

Smell - Very dank resiny wet hops.

Taste - Very smooth upfront then the wet hops overtake the palate with a dry finish requiring another drink.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and wet upfront with a very dry finish.

Drinkability - It's easily a session beer if you can handle more than a bomber bottle of it.

 373 characters

Photo of fropones
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into my La Fin du Monde tulip.

A - Pours a nice copper color one loves to see with a (D)IPA. A finger of creme head with good retention and nice lacing.

S - Very floral and hoppy. Smell very inviting. Some candied grapefruit and a bit of pine as well as some cantaloupe. Just the faintest hint of oak. I wish the oak was more pronounced, which is why this didn't get a higher score.

T - Thankfully the oak is more pronounced in the flavor. Up front a bit of malt sweetness and oaky tones, with the hop bitterness in back. The oak is noticeable throughout and quite nice.

M - Nice and creamy. Could use a bit more carbonation.

D - Very good drinkability. Goes down nice without the alcohol very detectable. This one could be trouble...

 762 characters

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.

 964 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4.39/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A continuation of the IPA and DIPA project, this is the first beer I've had from Two Brothers and am looking forward to this review.

Beer poured from a bottle into a Stone Arrogant bastard glass. There appears to be a blank box on the side of the beer label where a freshness date COULD go but there is nothing printed there.

Beer is brown / copper and slightly hazy. Carbonation is moderate there is a single fingered head made up of medium to small sized bubbles. Leaves lacing as the beer is drank. Looks good.

Smells awesome. There isn't a lot of malt up there but there is a lot of nice hops, a mixture between the pine and citrus variety. Amazing wonderful smell.

Medium body (approaching full), sweetness and nice hop flavors in the midpalate and bitterness up back. There is a slight aftertaste but overall really smooth and good connectivity. Second taste, its a little thin in the front mouth but it carries well. Mouthfeel is good and drinkability is high.

 971 characters

Photo of aerozeppl
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Just about picture perfect deep copper color with nice looking tight lacing. On the glass I can see each sip I have taken. Really cannot ask for much more out of an IPA.

S: Big hop bomb right up front. You do get the oak a little behind that. Quite subtle but I think it works well for the beer overall.

T: The taste is just really nice. Big hops with quite a bit of citrus. Little bit of orange in there as well. The oak and the hope are in perfect balance.

M: The best part of the beer. Very creamy while still having a touch of that hop thickness you want.

D: I really enjoyed this beer. I have enjoyed everything I have had from them and this is no exception.

 670 characters

Photo of Dotcubed
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A big bottle of IPA can be a potent thing.
Too much of a good thing? Can't wait to find out.

Opened without much gas. Could be flatter than I'd like.
No date on the bottle so I assume it's a fairly recent release.
Fluff of foam came down to a nice ring of lace.
Amber color.

Resin scent. Reminds me of the bow rosin for string instruments.

Fresh flavor, Medium-heavy body. Not something that you find often, long mild hop flavor that isn't overwhelming. Piney.
Clearly more of a show piece. And it has the taste to back it.
The oak mellowed it, probably gave it a nice dark amber color.

Good low carbonation. Not a problem drinking this one, not like some IPAs. Just be prepared to pay for it in $$$$

 712 characters

Photo of brow1901
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear medium amber copper color with a bone white one finger head. Good retention with some very pretty lacing.

S- Primarily earthy hops in the nose. It's a rather spicy hop smell kinda tingles the nostrils, I attribute this to the fresh hops used. The normal lemongrass citrus smell of fresh hops isn't around in this beer, perhaps its a bit too old.

T- Very light and smooth, not nearly as much of a hop bite as one would expect from the smell. Not picking up the oak really but the aging I'm sure accounts for the smoothness and toned down bitterness. The beer finishes with just a hint of sweetness left on the tongue.

M- Nothing really exciting to report, medium thickness I would classify as standard for double IPA's. I do like how it leaves the mouth mostly dry but just slightly slick, its a nice touch.

D- good drinkability, you would never guess this beer was 8% and it ends up sneaking up on you. Good smooth flavor that won't wreak your paleate, and I like the 22oz serving.

 995 characters

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.

 447 characters

Photo of bonk0076
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy reddish/mahogany color with a sticky white head. Aroma is dominated by pine and grapefruit notes with of caramel underneath it. Taste is dominated by hop bitternesss but balanced nicely but not completely by caramel malt. Finishes very short but sweet, literally.

 285 characters

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 ┬╝ 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?

 1,616 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)
A- This beer has a dense deep orange body wit a thick foam of light tan on top. There are strands of microbubbles glidng to the surface.
S- This beer has a perfume green hop aroma with a soft oak hint burred in the background and finishes with a pine green hop note that grows a bit when warm.
T- This beer has a rich creamy caramel sweet malt flavor with a soft hop finish that is green and pin with a slight grassy note. There is a pungent green flavor that lingers a bit and grows more as the beer warms.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat noted.
D- There is a nice full green hop flavor with a mild bitterness making it a good IPA, but nothing special. Especially for the price and hype on the bottle. I didn't really notice much wood either.

 795 characters

Photo of TaddyPorter
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We went on a random pre-birthday drive yesterday, and ended up amidst the strip malls of Blacklick, home to Blacklick Wine & Spirits. Their beer guy drew my attention to this, and since oak-aged IPAs and Two Brothers have done me so well in the past, I figured I couldn't go wrong. I was right! Great birthday present to myself. From the bottle: "This Artisan Beer is in celebration of our new French oak tanks, called 'Foudres'." I can't wait to enjoy some more brews out of those delicious foudres in the future. This one was foudrin' awesome!

A tawny golden brew with plenty of head retention. Maybe I expected less head retention because of the oak, but I should've reminded myself it wasn't whiskey-barrel-aged, just oaked. All around inviting to the eye.

Powerful piney hops dominate the nose of this beer, with a bit of sweetness from the malt that is quickly washed over by more hoppy tang. Rebecca described the smell as green, dank, and earthy. Cannabis-like, hop-oil scents float all over this one, provided by the "wet hops from Washington state" described on the bottle.

The taste is not as dominated by the hops as the scent would suggest, and the drying pucker of the oak comes through quickly to make its presence known. The tannins of the oak and dry woodiness come clearly through, making this a beautiful and successful example of oak aging for me. Truly a luscious wood-aged beer, and I'm happy to see more things getting aged on oak than just imperial stouts.

Smooth, fairly light on the carbonation, and again dominated by the dry pucker of oak.

I could drink this one all the time, absolutely delicious from start to finish, and the oakiness and hops continue to release nuances as it warms up. It would go great with stinky cheese or something sweet like chocolate and raisins. It has plenty of flavor to stand up to a pungent dish, but is certainly delicate and enjoyable enough to savor on its own.

 1,980 characters

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.

 825 characters

Photo of Vonerichs
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The body is a deep rusty orange with an absolutely huge head. The lacing is heavy and stays packed on the sides of the glass all the way through the last drop.

The smell starts with a pleasant vanilla sweetness, then the hops bust through. There's a pointed earthy spice, pine needles, and a floral aroma.

The taste does not carry as much oak as I anticipated, and in a good way. The oak lends just a light vanilla sweetness that cuts down on the bitterness of the hops. The hops were mostly of the pine and floral variety, giving a perfume aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is crisp with a dry finish.

I would have never guessed this is 8.10 abv. The oak seems to smooth this out quite a bit.

 692 characters

Photo of bruachan
4.51/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bought this bad boy from the brewery. quite excited am i

poured a cold-hazy red-amber with a head low on quantity but insistent. quality lacing. and ooooeeee does what emerges from the foam smell damn nice: metric tonnes of wet hop dry hopping: sweeet tangerine citrus, sticky pine. honestly, this might be the finest hop aroma i've experienced in a beer. i can't prove that but i'll claim it now and do the research later. NOTE: i am not, in this analysis, advocating proponence in the more-is-better school of domestic craft beers; this one just has incredible nuance

a fine malt springboard is in place, i should mention, off of which the hops do their aerial magic. bitterness can't wait until the finish, its typical spot in the tasting chronology, to assert itself (though it cannot be appreciated in its fullness until the end). next up is fantastic bright fruit elements. the malts come next with a brief butterscotchy appearance, but gives way to more hop imperialism that imposes its will upon the cosmos of my glass. sweet juicy citrus

that's the best hop performance i've witnessed in quite some time. if only they'd let me fill a growler with it!

 1,162 characters

Photo of jsh420
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a very dark copper orange with a 2 + finger head that leaves rings all down the glass - its a very clear beer for being unfiltered

smell is not very strong but a good presence of pine and grapefruit

taste - i dont taste the difference between this and the regular heavy handed - where is the oak? still good but

mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth bu t not flat

drinkability is good - but i would rather save some cash and drink heavy handed

 451 characters

Photo of jrallen34
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this from a 22oz bottle into my Rochefort glass.

The beer pours a dark orangy brown with a very light tan head that disappointly rises only half a finger and is gone immediately. The lacing is light.

The aroma is light for a dipa, there is a light sweet citrus to start then you get some hops, alcohol, and soap.

The taste is spot on with the aroma a little sweetness on the front, in the middle you get a lot of alcohol mixed with some hops and it finishes with a light hoppiness.

The mouthfeel is real viscous and lasting.
This beer is drinkable but you probably wouldn't drink more than a bottle yourself.

 622 characters

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."

 636 characters

Photo of GbVDave
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two generic goblets. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a hazed, honey-brown color with a full two-fingers of light-orange colored foam on top. Head retention is excellent and it painted a bunch of lacey ropes and spatters all over the inside of the glass.

S: Delicious aromas of piney hops, blended with some vanilla, caramel, and a touch of alcohol. Gains a touch of brown sugar and tropical fruit as it warms.

T: See above. The only reason it doesn't score higher, to us, was that little boozy zing that got a tad too noticable the warmer it got.

M: Very sticky and juicy. I think we detected a bit of spicy oakiness. Hops are very fresh and pungeant.

D: We loved this beer! We also like how it seems like Two Brothers is throwing everything in their new Foudres!

 813 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest┬« Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!