Gritty McDuff's 21 IPA
Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company

Gritty McDuff's 21 IPAGritty McDuff's 21 IPA
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American IPA
3.63 | pDev: 12.67%
Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Gritty McDuff's 21 IPAGritty McDuff's 21 IPA
Reviews: 79 | Ratings: 105 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by jbear725:
Photo of jbear725
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought the fist 4 pack at Florian's Market in Auburn, it had just come in yesterday 12/3/2008.

Pours a nice golden copper color with a small amount of head. It's very crystal clear and sharp looking.

The aroma is a bit lacking. I was expecting more floral hop smells due to the large amount of Cascade they said they put into this one. The smell is light with a bit of floral and not pungent at all.

It tastes very good. Definitely a hit in my book. It's got a good amount of bitterness and is well balanced between the hops and the English malt flavors. There is a slight creamy flavor which is obviously a Ringwood characteristic but it's not overwhelming like the Shipyard products. I'm assuming since this is in 12oz bottles it was brewed at Shipyard and not in Freeport. Gritty beers are definitely different coming out of the Shipyard brewery.

The mouthfeel is nice and light and crisp. It's moderately carbonated which is nice.

Overall this beer has great drinkability. The moderate carbonation doesn't blast you with extra bitterness and the balance of hops and malt is pretty spot on for an easy drinking IPA. And the alcohol at 6.8% is not noticeable at all. You can easily put back the 4-pack (like I did last night) and not think twice. Hope this brew sticks and becomes a regular in the Gritty's line up. I look forward to trying this on Tap as well as 22oz bombers.

Also I know it's trendy an all to put Anniversary and Specialty beers in 4-packs but this should be a 6-pack. The alcohol isn't too high and the price is reasonable at $6.99 a 4pack. Why not just make it a 6 for couple bucks more?

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume III, Issue II:

Clear brassy color with a good amount of off-white lacing. Buttery, fruity and hoppy aroma without one overpowering the other. Smooth and slightly chewy with a bit more body than expected, but we'll take it. Malt flavors are thick and slightly sweet with overtones of bread and light caramel. The hop bitterness tries to cut deep, but clearly it creates a stalemate, and balance is called. Buttery around the edges with a vague ripe fruitiness tagging along, a true sign of the English-style yeast. Hop bitterness prickles the taste buds for a while with light orangey and tobacco leaf flavors. Finishes bittersweet and buttery.

A stand-up beer from a stand-up brewery. The English flare is quite apparent, with enough hops to not cast any doubt that this is indeed an IPA and certainly leans toward the American IPA style.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.66/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a four finger light brown head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Crystal clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation and light bodied. Mild grapefruit hops nose. Flavor is nearly balanced but the grapefruit hops come through with a lingering bitter finish. Unusually watery for an IPA. $2.00 for a 12oz bottle from Northend Superette Manchester, NH.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.59/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 24 Apr 2010. Trade from mutterfudder, thanks!

Poured this in a 0.5 L Adambrau becker. Large amber hued head. Somewhat flat. Clear deep amber brown color, just a bit of sediment floating towards the bottom of the glass. Aroma is fruity orange, caramel and some sweet graininess. Fairly sweet with some oange pithy bitterness throughout. Finish becomes slightly watery. Bittersweet aftertaste.

Seems a little closer to a pale ale than an IPA.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.01/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A rough pour brings up a majestic head of frothy, slightly yellow-tinged off-white foam. The retention is excellent, as is the lacing - creamy rings are left behind with each sip. beneath, a hazy amber-copper body displays gleeming golden highlights at the base of the glass. Some particulate can be seen resting at the bottom, and I'll assume that it's yeast as this is a fairly new bottle (best by 8/09).

Only tiny bubbles can be seen beneath the head when the glass is swirled (no bubbles are seen rising), and that indicates a fairly low carbonation. The mouthfeel backs that up, and it's soft and creamy across the palate with a medium body and delicate caress from the carbonation.

The aroma is malty, yeasty, and hoppy. It's not boldly hoppy, but present; more English in nature than American. It's floral and grassy over a bready, biscuity, and gently caramelish malt base.

The flavor follows suit, but it's much fuller than the aroma lets on. The malt is up first, quickly followed by a shot of fruitiness that cuts through it, and is that citrus? Interesting, it didn't really come off as citrusy in the nose. The malt and hop flavors meld exceptionally well, and the brittle bitterness supports them both with just enough force to keep everything from tumbling down. Very nicely focused! It finishes with a drying, slightly chalky character due to the combination of hop bitterness and resin, and residual yeast. It lingers shortly with a sweetish dollop of citrusy honey that fades to leave the back of the mouth dried by leafy, grassy, and just slightly herbal hops.

Surprisingly well-rounded, this is an exceptionally drinkable IPA in that, number one, it's quite accessible; two, it's nicely balanced; and three, there's more than enough flavor overall to keep you coming back for more than one. I certainly wouldn't question having three of these in an evening. Worth trying, for sure.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

21 IPA pours a slightly hazy copper color with a frothy white head on top. As the foam dissolves spots of lace cling to the glass.

The aroma malty with caramel notes and some pine mixed in. A little bit of orange citrus too.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is smooth and soft with a mild carbonated fizz. The flavor is malty with a taste of caramel and toasted malt. It finishes bitter and grassy with a touch of pine and citrus. There's an odd flavor in there too that reminds me of rock candy. It's not a bad flavor, just seems odd to me. Once gone the caramel malt and citrus notes linger on the palate.

This is a pretty good beer, but not as hoppy as I'd expect for an IPA.

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Photo of ralphw56
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of ppoitras
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle purchased as part of a 6-pack from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head over the clear amber brew. Head fades gradually, with good sticky lacing. Aroma is fruity hoppiness. Taste starts with sweet grains, goes bitter in the middle, and then the citrus hoppiness comes out at the close. Mouthfeel is very smooth, soft over the tongue, and drinkability is great. Good stuff.

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Photo of smcolw
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good single-finger head that drops to a single layer of bubbles within five minutes. Leaves good ring lace on the glass. Nearly clear (slight haze), beautiful copper color

Strong caramel malt aroma--very British. For the style, the hop nose is very muted; I'd love to see a little more sting here.

Lots of caramel flavor as the nose indicates, but the pleasant surprise is the hop bite which shows up front. Very creamy, if a tad bit sweet. The carbonation is moderate to low, but good enough to balance the feel. In fact, I'd describe this beer as very well balanced all around.

If you like rich caramel laden, but bitter, pale ales, you'll like this one.

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Photo of brentk56
3.28/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a thick head that retains well and leaves a bit of lace behind

Smell: Very malty, with toffee that verges on butterscotch; some grain in the background

Taste: Toffee, up front, with a grainy bitterness developing by mid-palate; after the swallow, the grainy flavors merge with a bit of the diacetyl through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I'm not a fan of Ringwood yeast and between the Ringwood and the grainy flavors I am one and done with this

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Photo of BeTheBall
2.51/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured a golden color with a decent head from a 12 oz. bottle. Smelled slightly of hops, but more of bready malt. Taste was the same for me, although I could taste hops, there was a huge bread-like malt flavor that essentially nullified the hops. I expect hops to outweigh everything in an IPA, so personally, I was disappointed. Mouthfeel was good; nice and carbonated and clean. Drinkability for me due to the taste was not good. Got this as a gift, but would not purchase on my own.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of outdoorbrewer
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first bottle of this beer was cloudy and a little rough on the taste buds. After a few weeks in the fridge the haze settled out nicely and gave a true sense of quality and a review. The beer poured a rocky creamy off white head mostly lasting with excellent lacing over a clear amber hue. Moderate toasted malty aroma with a light flowery pine hop presence. Lightly sweet malt blend with hops in the initial flavor. Slight alcohol noticed in the middle that finishes with a malty/hoppy bitterness that lasts favorably on the palate. Medium body, creamy texture and a lively carbonation combined with the awesome flavors makes this beer really nice and a worthy ale. I really enjoy this and would like to try some more!

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Photo of Risser09
2.69/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a snifter - Fridge temp - 2008

Appearance: A clear, golden orange beer is quite active from the carbonation that streams to the surface of the brew. A 1/2" yellowish white head shows great retention and enough sticky lace to write home about.

Smell: This beer is unique. It smells like diacytel. A burnt, roasted malt aroma combines with cereal, wheatena and truffle oil.

Taste: Hmm. Butter cream. Diacetyl. Malt. Bandaids. I might have gotten a bad bottle or this is a funny flavored beer. A little hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Thin, buttery and mild. Alcohol is noticable, but not strong.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, but what's with all the weird aromas and flavors? A decent beer.

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Photo of blackie
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: shaker pint, deep amber in color with a light head

s: big malty caramel aromas with some darker toffee, lots of biscuit and grain, hops give an earthy citrus aroma

m: carbonation light-medium, body around the same, alright but not much to grab onto here

t: base of malty caramel and some darker toffee, grain, biscuit, earthy hop flavors, sweeter but reasonably balanced between the malt and bitter citric hop finish, as others have mentioned the Ringwood diacetyl is indeed present, but it's well reigned-in and shouldn't be a problem for most

d: just fine, not the best out there but a decent shot at the style

draft at Gritty's, Portland, ME

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Photo of tempest
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a bottle at Little Ortino's with my Hawaiian pizza, nice pairing. This had a nice, big hop character, but the Ringwood and diacetyl were very obvious. I don't say that as a bad thing, but those who despise Ringwood beers should stay away. Otherwise, there was a rich mix of citrus peel and grapefruit. It's not amazing, but completely satisfying. All in all, a pretty good IPA.

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Photo of jim102864
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear copper pour into my Avery IPA pint glass with a steady supply of carb bubbles and the faintest head. Big buttery and creamy nose. Nice creamy body with a tight hoppy bitterness in the finish. Biterness diminishes as it warms. A nice standard IPA. Good but it doesn't distinguish itself from the miriad of other IPAs.

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Photo of albern
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not sure if my bottle of 21 may have gone a little soft with age. The beer isn't much carbonated, didn't have much of a head, poured a copper amber color with a small head, just a touch of lacing. The nose on the beer is loaded with diacetyl, caramel, sweet malts, and zero hops that I can discern. The taste has a bit of a drying leafy hop bite and things do come to life, but after reading Gritty's web page, this doesn't have the character of a beer that is the product of pounds and pounds of Willamette hops. What you do find is a beer that is buttery tasting, but slightly prickly on the tongue. There is a toffee and butterscotch taste to the beer. Things dry considerably in the finish and one is left with a slightly nutty, drying caramel flavor. There is a slight mustiness and a metallic tinge to the beer too. This just isn't an American IPA in character. There are some flashes of an English IPA, especially in the dryness, but the diacetyl and the lack of a bready malty backbone and a lack of a creamy smoothness diminish this beer. This might be my least favorite offering by Gritty's.

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Photo of Deuane
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Bright copper with a thick white head that reduced quickly to a thin cap and left spotty lace.

S-Very balanced and fairly subdued with a light pop of citrus hop followed by a mild dose of caramel malt.

T-Again very balanced with a sweet caramel malt backbone followed by citrus hops and light hit of spicy bitterness. f

M-Medium bodied and rather soft and smooth seems to work well with such a balanced brew.

D-Quite drinkable and certainly a beer with nothing wrong but I find it a bit dull and not overly complex or exciting.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of citrus, honey, caramelized malt and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts with a burst of hops bitterness that is quickly follow by sweet flavors of honey, caramel and citrus, but the hops flavor remains dominant. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and provides some substance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean & dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, this beer seems to blur the boundary between the American & English IPA styles and represents both well, nice beer with some substance that is worth drinking for a while.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a large tan foamy head,not a bad looking brew. The smell is pretty strong with bread yeast and a citrus hop aroma present. The taste is crisp with citrus and bitter hop flavors along with some roasted malt. The m/f is light with all the flavors mixing well. A pretty good IPA from an underrated East coast brewery.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$6.99 at my local Hannafords. Label said Best Before Aug 09 on the label. In a pint glass the beer was a golden color with a medium-sized white head and a bit of lacing. Aroma was primarily floral, with a little hint of citrus. A little malt presence also. I thought it tasted more grapefruit than anything else. The taste intensified on my palate. A crisp, easily drinkable beer, and a nice one to celebrate 21 years.

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of mvanaskie13
3.06/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass: nice light tan head that lingers, with good lacing and fluffiness. Nice amber/copper color, with light effervescence and translucence.

Smell is very mellow, more on the caramel malt sweet side with light bitter finish, dry and piney hop notes but the maltiness overpowers.

Taste is very smooth, but a bit malt forward with caramel notes, hints of biscuit; mild dry hop finish with feint grassiness.

Mouthfeel is nice, but not quite as bitter as expected for an IPA, these crosses lines to me to a stronger pale or an extra pale ale.

Overall, this is a tasty brew, but a touch subdued for an IPA.

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Photo of willabys
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a White Grass Touring pint glass.
Nice, clear Coppery Golden Color.

Somewhat thin head that cascades down the side of the glass with minimal lacing.

Smells of some nice citrusy hops. MMM

Tastes of a nice hop touch in the front that fades quicker than I would rather, I am thinking this is not completely fresh but a yummy drink nonetheless.

I would definitely like to explore this beer and brewery further on my next NE trip.

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Gritty McDuff's 21 IPA from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 105 ratings