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
Photo of bum732
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish orange, nice creamy head, great lacing. Smells of citrus rind, some marijuana, slight bready note. Tastes of citrus like hops, a nice malty backbone counters the hops. Some earthiness and pine. Finishes quite sweet, some hoppy resiny sweetness. Good full bodied mouthfeel, good carbonation complements the hops.

A really surprising beer, really good actually. Mostly one-noted, but a nice balance in a IPA that is all too missing nowadays.

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

Received as an extra from kennyo, I believe. Let me explain my confusion. I received something like 5 trades all on the same day and was unwrapping them like a 7 year old on Christmas Day; needless to say my notes on the extras are a bit foggy. So sorry and please correct me if I'm wrong.

Bottle's label notched "Best Enjoyed Before" Sept. 2009. 12oz bottle with twist off cap.

21 IPA pours a hazy bronze/orange color with a thin head that takes a while to develop and dissipates almost instantly. The head will continue to return with agitation but never lasts very long. Leaves a ring of cream colored bubbles around the entire diameter of glass where it touches the beer.

The malt seems to have pulled through the hop aromatics here. I get a sort of biscuit and slight caramel malt and some underlying citrus tones like orange marmalade. This seems a touch light and lacking the thing I love the most about IPAs which is the aromatic complexity of hops. Maybe I'm spoiled by the overblown West Coast IPAs but over half of the reason I'm beginning to enjoy IPAs more is the intriguing aromas of hops. This beer just doesn't keep me interested as I smell it.

The malt returns on the palate where you are greeted by a large amount of sweetness without much of a fight from the bittering hops. Sure the flavors are well balanced, round and without edge, but there is not much here here. Some slight oat-like grain tones, a little butterscotch and a touch of pine resin.

I do like the roundness of this beer in the mouth. I feel like they have a good feel for the texture of this beer just the flavors fall flat on it. This shows mild carbonation, with a pleasing bright, treble-y tone. This feels almost British in style if that makes sense.

Sure I can drink this with out issue, the ABV is hidden well and the beer has solid balance. There is nothing keeping me from enjoying this beer, which I do. It is just the difference between being critical and writing a review of a beer and pure enjoyment. I think that this is solid IPA for people that want less hops and the bitterness that comes with them.

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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 u2carew
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A) Copper in color. Pours with a frothy head then settles. Creamy thin bubble lacing.
S) Floral hop notes. Strong caramel aroma.
T) Earthy hop notes. Malt sweetness, but not in the form of caramel as the aroma might indicate. Honey sweetness. Orange flavor.
M) Fizzy. Gritty at times. Seems a little thin in the body.
D) Definitely drink another.

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Photo of Brad007
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with a frothy head into my glass that fades down to leave some lacing on the glass. Pretty aggressive beer.

Aroma is full of buttery bread and light hops. Seems kind of subdued though it is still quite fresh (exp 2/2010).

Taste is buttery and full of light hop bitterness upfront. Seems rather light on hops and geared more towards the malt.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering butter and light hop bitterness. Not much else is left on the tongue.

Hate to say it but this is a bit mediocre. It's more of an English style IPA so perhaps it's spot on, but may have been mis-classified on BA. It won't offend you so at least give it a shot. I've had better though.

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

12 oz bottle served in tulip

a: nice clear copper color, good carbonation but not much head or retention

s: malt first with some earthy hops in the background

t: caramel up front, hop bitterness very apparent, with hop flavor in the background. Nice earthy complexity. Tastle like an english ipa to me rather than american.

m: nice full mouthfeel, rich and chewy

d: good drinkability for a strong ipa, very nice

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Photo of gameface23
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy copper with frothy off-white head. Excellent lacing. Nice looking beer.

S: Bready malts with undertones of caramel and some floral/citrus hops. It's well balanced.

T: Nice bitterness and a ton of malt flavor without being overly sweet. Again, well balanced.

M: Medium bodied.

D: The balance of this beer leads to good drinkability.

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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 Durge
3.76/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perfectly clear copper color with a big light oatmeal colored head with plenty of splotchy lacing. The aroma is piney sodium and cardboard malt, almost sweet meat, quite odd, not sure about it. The taste is thick bready citrus pine hop with a hint of sweet malt and some lemon highlights. Slightly soapy but definitely good, just not your typical ipa, maybe somewhat of a bitter? Good constitution for the style and decent drinkability. Not bad.

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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 Jayli
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear deep amber. About a one finger thick head formed with good retention - nice thick lacing is left behind. Nose is of citrusy hops, some floral hops, pine, and light caramel malt. Taste starts off with hops bitterness - floral hops most notably here, then quickly moves in to sweetness. The pine is present in the aftertaste on this one. Mouthfeel medium bodied, decent carbonation and pretty well balanced beer. This is an enjoyable IPA but leans more towards an English IPA rather than an American.

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Photo of TheMoxieMan
3.61/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap in a 25oz mug at Gritty McDuff's in Auburn, ME.

Much darker than expected, but citrus-y hops smell was very faint. 1" head when delivered by the waitress, kept a nice 1/8" film on top through the drinking. Left a nice lace along the glass. Not as strong or bitter as I usually like an IPA to be, but very drinkable. I had two.

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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 damienblack
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Horseshoe Pub in Hudson, MA for the Gritty launch.

Pours a rich brown, darker than most of the paler IPAs, it seems. Billowey head leaves lots of lacing around the glass. Frothy and pleasant-looking. Smelling sweetly of earthy hops featuring grapefruit and citrus, not much in the way of pine.

Overall, a very well balanced IPA. Little bit of sweetness up front, when the hop character kicks in shortly thereafter, prominently hops tasting of citrus, especially grapefruit. Bit of earthiness there after, not much pine. Hop presence lingers on the palate after in a very pleasurable way, like I am not used to. A very easygoing beer, nice and easy to session. I am not the biggest fan of IPAs, but I could drink this all night. Very similar to SN Harvest to me, overall very drinkable for an IPA, and well balanced in the overall character, not too sweet, and not overbearing with bitterness.

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

obtained from a trade. poured from a bottle. smells kind of butterscotch and tastes like it too. this is def a one of a kind IPA. very sweet with light malts that remind me of muffins, not biscuits. an interesting IPA, not very bitter at all. carbonation is medium light and releases the butterscotch esq flavor. i could drink this now and then but not all the time. overall, a very interesting take on an IPA.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. dated for sept '09 (best by)

clear coppery amber. decent head, but quickly fades to only wisps and thin ring. lacing somewhat sparse.

aroma has grassy hops that are only mildly citrusy and piney. some caramel base.

flavor seems like a blend of english and american hopping. grassy with only light citrus, but the hops are still quite bold with more than moderate bitterness. toasted, caramelized malt helps to balance.

not too thin. clean finish w/ touch of resins. tight, crisp carbonation.

drinkable, but not enough flare for an american IPA, east coast or not.

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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 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 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 mikereaser
2.74/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - pours a translucent copper with 1/4 inch of foam that left a fine layer of bubble on the surface

S - not much aroma here, something that smells like wet cardboard

T - again, wet cardboard taste with a bit of a hop bite

M/D - not a very good tasting brew in my opinion. I can't really recommend it but maybe I just had an off bottle. I will have to try it again to see if I have the same result.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This 21st anniversary beer was a light gold/amber color off the tap in Auburn, Maine with a nice amount of rising carbonation. The cream-colored head was quite good and retained well as a tight cap that left good lacing in scattered fishnets. The aroma was good, pine, citrus and herbal hops with a light malt presence. The flavors were outstanding, grapefruit, orange rind and some herbal notes all producing a tart effect that was balanced by a pale malt presence. Tight and organized with a clean finish. The mouthfeel was smooth, the body medium and the carbonation perfectly soft. Enjoyable, drinkable and a good example of the style - one of their best offerings.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.09/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Fairly clear light copper in color. Minimal white head.

S: Very nice floral nose. Quite a bit of sweetness as well.

T: Weird floral hop taste. I dont know if it is good or bad. Some malt in there. Fairly well balanced. A little bit of that gritys yeast taste as well.

M: Nice medium body. A touch of stickiness.

D: A fairly easy drinker. Brought this back from MA but I would grab this if it were local. Southern Tier IPA would win over this though.

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Photo of TonyReaves
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Might be my favorite Gritty's offering.

A warning to the hop-heads: This is actually an English-style IPA (no surprise if you're familiar with Gritty's) and thus balanced. The piney/citrusy flavors compete with toffee/caramel flavors.

It has the full mouthfeel you expect from this brewer: heavy, but not chewy, and a moderate carbonation level that makes this easy to drink fairly quickly.

I hope they keep this stuff around.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber color with a decent head but it fades fast and leaves no lacing.

Smell is mostly dominated by the malt with a backing of hops, not overly strong hoppy aroma for an IPA and more balanced towards the malt side.

Taste is similar to the aroma, balanced IPA but leaning towards the malt, slight piney aftertaste but not nearly enough hop bite. Easy to drink but I'm sure Gritty's could have done better for what is supposed to be a 21st anniversary beer.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained as part of a four-pack purchased at Whole Foods in Portland, Maine. Pours a crystal-clear light amber body with a thin film of off-white head. Grapefruit, pine, and butterscotch dominate the aroma. Grapefruit, pith, lemon, grass, caramel, toffee, butterscotch... As feared, there is some diacetyl playing a role in this beer, but with so many bright bold pleasant flavors here, the diacetyl at worst fades into the background and at best plays well with many of the other flavors. A very solid IPA for sure and a slam dunk for Gritty's.

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