India Pale Ale | Bitter Root Brewing

22 Reviews
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India Pale AleIndia Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Bitter Root Brewing
Montana, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
First brewed in England around 1800, for export to the British population of India, IPA was generously hopped as a preservative for the long sea voyage from Britain. Combining both English and Northwest brewing techniques, Bitter Root Brewing's IPA is light in color, high in hops, with a balanced malt flavor.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-21-2005

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Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 44
Photo of fizzician
4.05/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft, poured into pint glass, hazy caramel color with nice head and lacing. Light hoppy and grassy aroma with similar taste profile. Good, if not particularly memorable.

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Photo of Siriusfisherman
3.07/5  rDev -14%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Not even close to what an American-Style IPA should be. To much caramel and malt sweetness. With that said, this drinks as a decent hoppy red ale. Overall the beer is pretty unbalanced and is also nearly impossible to find in fresh condition on the shelves (which seems to be more of a general montana beer problem than the brewery's). Not impressed.

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Photo of RenzoD
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The very last beer of an assorted 6 pack I brought home from Montana. Vacation is officially over : (

Darker amber color, huge head that dissipates rather quickly but white froth remains on the surface of beer throughout. Aroma is citra, citra and more citra. Not a complex aroma at all but it will make your mouth water. Very easy, not-overly sweet taste, subtle finish of bitterness (maybe a LITTLE less than I would prefer). Goes down very smooth and easy. All in all a good IPA! Would be great to drink watching a baseball game or hanging out at the ocean, in the mountains or wherever on a warm Spring/Summer day.

I'll look for it again next time I am in Big Sky country! Thanks, Bitter Root.

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Photo of schatzs
3.25/5  rDev -9%

A: Copper color, not much head when poured into pint glass
S: Sweet, citrus, not much smell
T: Quite sweet, less hoppy, citrus notes, dry finish
M: Bit syrupy, good carbonation
O: Its an OK IPA, no complaints but nothing special

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Photo of Jellopants356
4.03/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The color is a dark honey. It smells pretty bitter and alcoholic but less hoppy. Also smells of juniper/pine. Thin cream head with some lacing. Meh. This isn't the best IPA out there. In fact, it doesn't taste like an IPA but more of a Pale Ale, which i enjoy, but the hops are just too slight here to justify calling it an IPA. The mouthfeel is too thin as well. Overall not a bad beer, but not a great IPA.

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Photo of mastodonj
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 22 oz. bomber into a diconic....

Starts with a huge creamy-looking head of lighter-than-normal
for an IPA color

What sets this apart from an average IPA is the juniper-y
aroma along with a barley malt substance.
Doesn't have that floral hoppiness that I usually enjoy but
that's not what they are going for here.

Solid, strong bitterness along with that barley flavor with a
creamy mouthfeel and a clean finish.

I would definitely keep my eye out for this one. That juniper
touch makes it worth checking out.

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Photo of ChimRichels
3.66/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Semi-aggressive pour yields a hazy brilliant deep bronze with a good finger of cream colored head that holds on strong. Quite a sight for sore eyes

S - Smells very tropical, pineapple/mango with hints of biscuity malt. Nothing too strong in the aroma.

T - Tastes a lot like an english IPA. Malt provides a little too much balance, bringing flavors of fresh bread and toasted grains into the mix with the fruity hops. Bitterness seems to come from equal parts hops and charred malt.

M - very smooth and viscous, coats the tongue and mouth quite well.

O - A really good beer, but not the best IPA I've ever had. I would consider drinking again, but not if I was in the mood for a hop-bomb IPA.

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Photo of smulkowski
3.81/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from somewhat old (sealed) growler into Sierra Nevada tulip glass.

Copper/dark amber color. Small head, my fault because the growler was probably a week old. Copious lacing.

This smells vaguely hoppy, not super hoppy like many IPAs. Very bready malt in the nose. The flavor is not as hoppy as I expected, nor as hoppy as I generally enjoy in an IPA, but it is outstanding. Starts off with a bit of a hop bite, transitions into full biscuity malt, leaves a pleasant bitterness and hop flavor.

This beer is very nice in the mouth, creamy and thick.

I like this beer a great deal, it would be a favorite if it had a bit more aroma hops.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.89/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber from one of the many groceries in Kalispell who wouldn't let me buy single bottles from six-packs - you know who you are...

This beer pours a clear medium golden copper hue, with two fingers of foamy, chunky off-white head, which dissipates slowly, leaving a thick patchwork of webbed lace around the glass. It smells of mild biscuit grain, light piney hops, a bit woody, and some funky floral hops. The taste is bready caramel malt, and bitter, but even, piney hops, the woodiness taking the edge off quite nicely. The carbonation is moderate, the body medium weight, smooth, and it finishes on a pleasant crisp drying note.

A very interesting IPA - seemingly big bitter hops up front, which are deftly diminished towards the finish, insomuch as you forget the expected palate assault, and just exult in the easy-drinking joy that is this beer. Would be grand with food - too bad the pizza is at least an hour out.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 picked up at Brewforia.... $6 seemed a tad high, but oh well, I want to support them and hope we continue to see their bottles and hopefully kegs.

Pours with a 2 finger white head.... sticky sheets of lacing despite a less than stellar retention... the brew is very clear orange.

For an American IPA, I have to be a tad harsh... there just isn't enough punctuated CC hops to really drive it home... subtle citrus.. but the big player is toasty maltiness... a bit bready... like someone was a big heavy handed with some victory malt.

Flavor suffers from the same lack of big hoppiness.. there is a descent bitterness up front, but the hops really only translate as citrusy toward the finish.. mid palate malts play first fiddle.

Body and carbonation seem about right.

I honestly can't complain too much... if there is going to be a more malty IPA, I prefer a touch of toast... good drinkability.. glad we have this locally.


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Photo of RJLarse
3.31/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I bought a bomber of Bitter Root IPA at my micro brew headquarters store. $4.59 Poured in to a pint glass.

The beer is a copper/gold color and clear with a slight chill haze. Small bubbly head, and dissipates to some thin frothy islands on the surface of the beer.

Smell decidedly malty, perhaps with a bit of a dairy aroma, ice cream or milk, and a hint of a fruit scent. It's not a great smelling brew.

Taste is a sweet caramel bread flavor, with an earthy peat presence and little citrus bitterness on the finish. Tastes much like an English style IPA.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly cloying, with a dry bitter finish.

Drinkable, but like I said English style, not your typical American hop bomb grapefruit and pine needles IPA.

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Photo of Shango42
3.49/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into pint glass.

A-Amber/Copper color, almost no head. Decent carbonation but little lacing.
S-Woody, piney, sweet malt, quite floral. Very nice.
T- Good bitterness from the very beginning. Some decent malty sweetness but the piney bitterness is the dominant taste. There is definitely some woody character in the middle and the finish is surprisingly smooth with slight bitterness left on the tongue. A nice effort from a small brewery.
M-Could use a bit more carbonation. Seems a little thin.
D-Very easy to drink. Is it an IPA or Pale ale? Not really sure, but it is quite drinkable either way.

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Photo of hopdog
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle acquired in trade with kyzr (thanks!).

Poured a medium and clear orangish color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of floral hops, some caramel, and light citrus. Tastes of caramel, tea leaves, and some floralness. More sweet than bitter (but it is described as in the English Style).

Notes from 2/17/08

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.21/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, amber body with a small, white head. Pretty much looks like their PA.

Smell: Spicy toffee drops with a few drops of lemon oil.

Taste: Sweet, lightly caramelly malts. Hint of lemon oil sprinkled with spice and table sugar (again, like their PA), though with a bit more spice this time. Medium bitterness lingers on into the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Strinkingly similar to their Pale Ale, just with a slight increase in the hops.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
2.8/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours cloudy orange red with a light 1/16 inch head. Below average lacing. Under carbonated with a super sweet hoppy flowery citrus smell. Very fruity that is unusual for an India pale ale. The light flowery hops dominate the malts . It finishes with a light sweetness with just a hint bitterness. This is does not taste like an IPA ale.

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Photo of snowranger05
4.08/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First impression was that it's a lot clearer and a bit lighter in color than its BitterRoot Pale Ale brethren. I like it.

As mentioned, it's clear, and with a coppery color. Unfortunately, the head retention isn't very good. somewhat of a piney hop aroma, or maybe more spruce-like. Ever smell the inner wood of a spruce tree? Not as strong as that, but in the same vein of aroma. The flavors are great. I served it cold, but coming out of the 22oz bomber it was able to warm a bit by the time I was done. This beer definitely wants to be served at cellar temps; it has a good malt character, not overpowered by the hops, although they are there. It has a low bitterness level, but lots of hop flavor. Overall, it's not a terribly complex beer, but a solid IPA worthy of buying.

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3.98/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smell: mild evergreen, milder skunk.

Appearance: Honey color, thin squat head.

Mouthfeel: Slightly syrupy and thick in the mouth, this is girthy on the pull but quaffable just the same.

Taste: Initial bitter hop twinge gives way to a full throated feeling of buttered sourdough, succumbing to a unique dandelion juice back-of-the-tongue bitterness. A very faint diacetyl wave goodbye, with just half a handful of kettlecorn scattered to the wind. This is a very interesting IPA. Label says"....combining both English and Northwest brewing techniques..." and that is pretty accurate by my estimation, as this acts like a true cross of the IPA worlds. Maybe they should have named it Daphne.

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Photo of loren01
2.68/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours light golden color, small white head, very slight lacing down the glass
S: Malty nose, not much hop smell at all, was expecting way more
T: Very light maltiness with bitter hop taste, not well balanced, way too bitter. Finishes dry and bitter
M: Light/medium bodied, goes down easy
D: Would probably not buy this again, lacked any good hop flavor, ended up just being too bitter, ended up pitching this down the drain

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Photo of biking4beer
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber bought in Bozeman.

Crystal clear copper to amber color. Whispy head with a few bubbles.

Smells fruity sweet. Sligth floral aroma with a touch of pine.

Crisp taste where the floral aroma comes though. Slight pine and grapefruit.

Nicely crisp beer. Good level of carbonation. Very enjoyable drinking beer. I would call it more of an American Pale Ale as opposed to an IPA. This beer was not what I expected, but after I got over that, it was surprisingly enjoyable.

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Photo of xmahns
3.62/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A good clean example of a well balanced IPA. Too many IPAs tend to be over the top and maybe lots of folks like that, but I like clean well balanced examples of any style and this on is a darned good one. Excellent job by Bitter Root here. Thanks Tim!

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Photo of alexgash
3.23/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Amber-rich copper, clear, with a thick gauze of sticky, off-white head. Toasted malt aroma mixes with fruit and toffee. Zesty hop fumes of pineapple, pine needles play second fiddle. Malt starts off a little buttery. Toasted notes appear, followed by singed hop flavors. Bitter and piney, but not overly tasty. Decent, but not great. Might be better fresh? Medium bodied, oily feel.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

01/21/05- Purchased at the brewery in Hamilton, MT

Presentation- 22 oz bomber poured into my 24 oz glass mug. No dating on the bottle.

Appearance- Huge white billowy head. Very chunky. Decent lacing and a nice deep golden color.

Smell- More malt than hops. From what hops I smelled, pine and a sweet grapefruit.

Taste- Again more malt than expected. The hops are there, but like the other reviewer said, there needs to be more. This tastes like more of a pale ale rather than IPA. The hops are a bit bitter and sweeter than average.

Mouthfeel- Typical IPA carbonation. Maybe a tad watery.

Drinkability- A good offering that quenched my thirst, but needs to be more in your face with the hops.

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India Pale Ale from Bitter Root Brewing
3.57 out of 5 based on 44 ratings.
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