Amsterdam Boneshaker IPA | Amsterdam Brewing Company

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Amsterdam Boneshaker IPAAmsterdam Boneshaker IPA

Brewed by:
Amsterdam Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Hop Heads rejoice! This naturally carbonated, unfiltered I.P.A is loaded with citrus and pine aromas from a continuous hopping technique that our brewers use to create this one of a kind beer. Amarillo hops and a complex malt bill are used to create a balanced body with a large hop character giving way to a unique taste experience.

65 IBU

Added by Sammy on 05-31-2010

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Reviews: 93 | Ratings: 339
Photo of Sammy
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at C'est What Spring Festival. Hoppy aromas. Giant grpaefruit flavours. Above-average mouthfeel. Very fresh and decent drinkability. Amsterdam shows what it can do in a small batch, and one of the winners of this festival. Understated carbonation, but good balance with caramel malts, so that about 50-60 IBU came through nicely balanced.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

355ml bottle. 90 minute boil, eh? Too bad that name is already taken, but this one is a lot to live up to.

This beer pours a hazy, medium brassy amber hue, with two fat fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and somewhat bubbly eggshell white head, which leaves an attractive array of limestone shale lace around the glass as it slowly dissipates.

It smells of sharp grapefruit and lemon pith, muted pine resin, musty tropical melon, bready caramel malt, and further grassy, leafy hops. The taste is musty, uneven, and kind of vegetal grassy, herbal hops, with a now dead as a doornail pine essence, semi-sour grainy caramel malt, underripe, fleshy fruit, and a mild yeastiness. No sense of warmth or astringency from the alcohol, so, well, there's that.

The carbonation is fairly tame, just a mild frothiness up front, the body medium-light in weight, and quite pithy and tacky in its laughable attempt at smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the muddled fruitiness, weedy grass, and unfocused caramel malt all contributing to a certain sense of disorientation.

Hmmm. May be that I have a bad bottle here, but since I bought a whole six-pack (retail in Alberta: near 20 bucks, sheesh), I will surely revisit this with another soon. In the meantime, this doesn't seem exactly off, just underwhelming all around, and hardly representative of the heady marketing - my bones remain secure in their sockets.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a hazy dirty pale amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma consists of bitter hops with light citrus and earthy notes. Taste is dominated by citrus hops with light earthy note and an astringent finish. Malt profile is quite dry though strong enough to back the hops profile. Body was quite full with limited filtration and good carbonation. Well brewed though maybe a tad too astringent for my tastbuds.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz can into a tulip glass.

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

S: The aroma contains earthy hops, caramelized malts and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out with a strong earthy hops bitterness. Then some sweetness comes in from flavors of caramel and citrus. The malt character is hearty and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a decent IPA to drink for a while.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to liamt07 for tossing one of these my way. Served in a tulip.

A - White foam settles to a thin collar, wisps, and a few tiny specks of lace. Hazy golden body.

S - Sweet and malt-forward sugary backdrop, but with a more Scandinavian vibe than the typical English feel of most Canadian pale ales. Some sweet citrus flesh, a touch of grass, and a hint of sharp pine.

T - Taste is again a solid mix of sugar cooke, bread, light citrus, and fairly assertive hop bitterness.

M - Smooth medium body, lower carbonation, somewhat juicy, with plenty of residual hop resins. Lightly sticky in the finish and could stand to be a tad dryer.

D - Drinks more like a European take on an American IPA than an actual American IPA. Still, a definite improvement considering the many mediocre IPAs I've had in Ontario. Would make a solid six-pack offering for a camping trip or weekend at the cottage.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a slightly hazed, caramel-copper coloring with a thin, filmy, light, off-white head that is low profile and clingy. Aromas of biscuits and citrus highlights, with hints of caramel sweetness throughout. Flavors are pretty roasty initially, with a heavy caramel sweet backbone, followed quickly by a bitter, resiny hops profile and tart citrus highlights. Pretty dynamic, and the scales tip slightly towards the malt side, with an underlying bitterness that follows throughout the aftertaste. Rich sweetness balances the pepper spiced and resiny hops that build as you drink. Bitter, drying finish that is slightly astringent, but preparatory for continued drinking.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Replacing original review from 12-22-2010 from an old batch. Original review was a score of 2.93.

Very fresh batch. First distributed bottles - just hit the LCBO last week. Poured in to Bruery Tulip glass.

A - Hazy dark orange with some amber. One finger of bubbly cream coloured head formed with good retention. A lot of particles floating around in the glass.

S - Big bitterness up front with grapefruit and orange peel aromas. The malt backbone is fairly prominent adding some sweet caramel. The hops are dominant but this malt base is more than just a secondary player here.

T - A big bitterness up front with grapefruit, pine and orange peel flavours. The malt backbone adds some balance and sweet caramel flavours. The finish is bitter and dry. As this beer warms up, floral notes begin to surface and they become a fairly central component. Seems to be a mix of American and English hops.

M - Somewhat thin and watery but the carbonation is perfect (low).

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Photo of liamt07
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the brewery, can't be more than a week and change old. Consumed Jan 4, into a pint glass, 500ml.

Pours a dark orange/red, unfiltered with some haziness in there. Only a finger of head, even given a relatively aggressive pour. A collar and some light head retains, good lacing. Nose is mostly hops, fairly fresh with grapefruit, orange and tangerine. Bit of malt around as well, some toffee. Kicks off with some bitter hops on the tongue, similar fruits to the nose, maybe a slight pineiness too. Long lingering bitterness. Alcohol is sensed in the gullet. Good drink, one of the best I've have from Amsterdam.

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Photo of biegaman
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Boneshaker looks turbid and agitated; tones of sandy brown and pumpkin orange have been tossed about, the clarity has been upset by a ruffling haze and its surface is lined with fully roused, well churned carbonation. It looks like the bottle was physically shaken before opening. Knowing that's not the case, I'm impressed with how fomented this looks.

The aroma honors all of the harshly bitter and scathingly acidic character of fruits like grapefruit and orange without advertising much (if any) of their bright flavours and lush juiciness. It is intensely pithy, a sensation compounded by a stunted, but belligerent, amount of alcohol. No malts have the strength or courage to stand in the hops' way.

You never really can seem to shake off that stunted, but intently belligerent, dose of alcohol. On certain sips it fuses with the citric hoppiness to make for a kind of spicy, almost fusel-like sting in the mouthfeel. The hops' dry pithiness is kept afloat by a kind of graham cracker, sponge-cake like maltiness that dilutes all those seething, bitter alpha-acids. Still, the impression left on the palate is roughly leafy, citric and herbal.

I like my IPAs to taste like some kind of lychee, orange, pineapple, grapefruit martini and, gosh darned, it must finally be happy hour here in Toronto. The best part about this beer isn't even its hoppiness - which, frankly, I actually find astringent - but rather the relief of not having to chew your way through mounds of thick caramel malts to get to it.

Good on Amsterdam for telling the world we Canadians aren't all smiles and sunshine and that, from time to time, we are capable of making an aggressive, obnoxiously hopped beer. Nothing about this says politeness, refinement or complaisance - it doesn't try to be affable and, indeed, to most drinkers it won't be. Which, in short, is why it's good.

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Photo of Derek
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bittered with Chinook, finished with Amarillo, 7.2% abv.

A: Hazy copper-amber with an off-white head, good retention, excellent lace.

S: Tangerine and plenty of leafy/grassy hops.

T: Tangerine, grapefruit rind, pine, nectarine, biscuity malt, peach, vanilla, candied pineapple, smooth bitterness, hints of alcohol.

M: Moderate body is smooth with plenty of hop acidity and a nice crisp finish.

D: A great drinker, despite its strength.

Thankfully this isn't another Canadian IPA muddled up with sweet crystal malt. Great stuff.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle from my buddy Jason - thanks!

Appearance - Hazy copper colour with an above average size fizzy and frothy light beige coloured head. There is a high amount of carbonation and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes. There are also some small particles floating around - but I guess it mentions that it's unfiltered..

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, grapefruit/orange, pineapple, resin

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste hops, malts, and caramel. There is also lots of resin and some pineapple/oranges. It ends with a quite hoppy bitter aftertaste that lingers for a few seconds.

Overall - This beer walks the line between IPA and DIPA. It reminded me a bit of Dale's Deviant DIPA mixed with a Spearhead Pineapple Pale Ale. While it's not a mind blowing IPA; it has a taste that is enough to keep you interested and well worth a repeat purchase. Good stuff!

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Photo of wordemupg
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle poured into tulip 22/10/13

A hazy dark brownish orange, not enough clarity to see many bubbles but there's enough for a well sustained finger of foam that leaves a thick ring followed by some random patches

S lots of rind and caramel, I get a little pine and booze, has some herbal tea and orange creamsicle

T much like the nose but even more rind if that was possible, some bready malt and dry cereal, a little malty for the style but its passable

M has some body and enough bubbles to give it some life, a little grit and bitter enough to please, rind lingers strong

O OK but not all that exciting, could use some more hops to be honest or perhaps I grabbed a faded bottle but I doubt that;s the case as this is new to Alberta

not a bad beer but on the same shelf for the same price as Red Racer I doubt I'll be drinking this again anytime soon

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Photo of bylerteck
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at Darcy Mcgee's. From notes.

A - Poured a hazy copper colour. Good carbonation, two fingers of thick light beige head. Great thick rings of lace and a finger of retention. Spot on IPA appearance.

S - Tons of citrus, tropical fruit, and pine. Resinous hops and caramel.

T - Resinous hops again with that tropical fruit and a caramel note up front.

M - Strong lingering prickly pineapple bitterness at the end of a nice full body and good carbonation.

O/D - Solid IPA. Great in the mouth with a wonderful flavour profile. Good. An IPA I would buy regularily if it was available.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Cask at Volo, after the Cask Days IPA Challenge

A nice copper/amber in colour, dark . Not surprising for a cask ale, a very small froth of bubbles on the top- not really enough to call a head, but it is there nonetheless. Looks pretty nice.

Only really noticeable smell is the hops. I tend to find cask ales do not have a strong aroma, and this is not an exception. The glass initially carried a srong hop whiff, but I found that I could not detect anything beyond that. Nice but not interesting or exciting.

As for taste, there is lots of citrus and "juiceyness" to the taste. Quite a bold and flavourful taste. Bitter at the end. Really quite a nice taste.

Mouthfeel is great. Unsurprisingly, a minimal carbonation coupled with a a soft, smooth body, somewhere between light and medium bodied. Really felt great to roll around the mouth.

Overall, a nice beer, and a pleasant surprise from Amsterdam. This is not a brewery I would have expected to make something particularly enjoyable, to be honest, so I was quite happy with the beer. Really quite a good Ontario IPA.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one at the LCBO.

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, one finger, medium looking, off-white head with good retention. Hazy burnt orange in color with no carbonation evident. Head quickly fades to a faint, thin wisp and sticks to the sides of the glass. A splotchy wisp remains leaving some decent lacing down the sides.

SMELL: Caramel, honeydew melon notes, some pine and grapefruit aromas on the nose. Light floral hops and citrus as well. Medium strength, but well put together.

TASTE: Pale malts, caramel, a touch of grainy malts, then a pile of hop flavor and bitterness at the swallow. A big aftertaste of grapefruit and citrus lemon, a dose of hop bitterness, and a base of caramel is bold and lingering on the palate, Pretty solid stuff; bold and very well balanced.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating. Bitterness lingers. Very creamy smooth with a nice, bitter-sweet finish. Really good.

OVERALL: This is a really good American style IPA. Lots of hops with a good, solid malt foundation and a nice, creamy smooth feel. Well balanced for sure. This is a top Canadian example of the style and deserves to be ranked hither. Highly recommended.

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Photo of kwjd
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from the brewery yesterday, so this should be fresh. Pours a copper orange colour with thick white head with some mild lacing around the glass. Head does dissipate, but still leaves a small ring on top of the beer. Smells of really big caramel malt with pine and floral hops. Nice bitterness, lots of sweetness too. Very balanced IPA. The bottle says 7.1% alcohol, I'm not sure if this has changed since this was originally entered.

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Photo of peensteen
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy amber/copper colour, one finger white head, lots of lace left on the glass. Smell is of fresh citrus, some pine, pineapple and grapefruit, light floral scents with a good malty backbone as well. Taste is a mixture of malt and hops, pine, sweet floral notes, some citrus, orange peel and grapefruit, very dry bitterness in the finish. Medium carbonation, lightly syrupy and at points pretty slick, medium to full body. Overall its a pretty good effort that looks and smells really good but fails to deliver in terms of taste but i'm sure this will see some tweaks along the way.

The bottle version in stores is so much better than it was in early days on tap. Much more citrus hop and far less sweet, still has a dry bitterness. Getting a bit of buttered bread in the nose form the bottle. This is solid stuff and the rating is the revised rating from the original 3.48 I gave the draft version. Now a staple IPA in my fridge.

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Photo of CHickman
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours hazy copper color with a foamy 2 finger tan head that faded very slowly, leaving excellent foamy lacing and thick rings as it went down. A great looking beer from the bottle.

Smells of floral hops, graham cracker, husk, piney hops, spruce tips, yeast and a lot of earthy accents. Not very hoppy, more malty, skunky and earthy.

Tastes of sweet malt, toasted grains, graham cracker, piney hops, light grapefruit, dry yeast, chalk, wheat bread and some orange peel. More like a malty English pale ale, it's not very hoppy nor similar to an American IPA in the flavor department. This was a tame IPA at best.

Mouthfeel is slick and watery with little to no carbonation, a medium body and a grainy, chalky finish that had a very mild bitterness.

Overall a dull and below average IPA which to me was the opposite of how it is described on the bottle (using a lot of hops in a boil process the same as Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA).

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Photo of BigBry
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at the Amsterdam Brew House in Toronto.
After the sweet Brown Ale, I couldn't wait for something hoppy.
Poured slightly hazy (obviously unfiltered), amber gold color with a tall head. Good foam retention and some lacing lines.
Aroma of bitter, earthy hops and a bit of citrus.
Taste has lots of citrus or grapefruit-like hops, ends with some earthy pine notes.
Body was fuller than expected, good carbonation, dry finish.
Very nice, this would probably be my go-to from this brewery.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

355 mL bottle from the LCBO. This is one that I've been hearing good things about for a while, and really wanted to try - but I just couldn't find it anywhere locally. This particular six pack is only in my possession because of a chance pit stop in Vaughan.

Pours a cloudy amber-copper colour, topped with one finger of frothy, off white-coloured head that fizzles away disappointingly quickly. At least it has the courtesy to leave a coat of sticky lacing behind, and a decent cap/collar on the surface. Enjoyable aroma with plenty of prominent fruity hop notes; lemon zest, orange/grapefruit citrus rinds and pine resin definitely come to mind, underlain by a caramel malt backbone.

It definitely tastes as hoppy as it smells, if not moreso - definitely rather astringent, and clearly made to appeal to hopheads. Brown sugar and bready malts provide a subtle backdrop for the various hop flavours to showcase their stuff - including pine resin, grapefruit rind, orange peel, and maybe even a hint of pineapple. Finishes with a pleasant, piney bitterness that lingers on the palate well into the aftertaste. Medium-bodied, with a smooth feel in the mouth due to the restrained carbonation levels.

Definitely a solid IPA, and probably the best Amsterdam brew I've yet tried. It's not much of a session beer, though - two bottles a night would be my max, due to the palate-scrubbing astringent bitterness, and the fairly high abv (by Ontario IPA standards, anyway).

Final Grade: 3.94, a solid B+. Amsterdam's Boneshaker IPA would be a welcome addition to any LCBO's cold shelves. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to get distributed nearly as far as most of its main competitors - Mad Tom and Smashbomb the foremost amongst them. Truth be told, I'd get along fine with just those two. Boneshaker is a nice changeup, and a great effort from a brewery I have never been especially impressed with, but it's not something I feel the need to have a constant supply of.

[Updated Jan. 4 2014]

I grabbed a single bottle from the LCBO reject bin to compare it to a few of my other favourite IPAs (Red Racer, Mad Tom and Baldwin Fisheye PA). Boneshaker is one of the better IPAs in Ontario, with a fuller body than average as well as plenty of hop astringency when fresh (and an earthy, baker's chocolate bitterness when not fresh). My only real problem with this beer is the format - put this in a tallboy can and I'd definitely get it more frequently than I do. This isn't my favourite IPA, as it's a little stronger than I prefer, but it's a still a good one that I will return to again at some point.

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Photo of bobsy
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy peach-orange mix with a finger of creamy off-white head. Nice retention and lace. The nose is a touch muted, but immediately brings marmalade to mind, with its zest citrus notes, though there's also a admirable biscuit malt backing.

More than anything, this seems like a cross between an American and a British IPA, and I'm comfortable with the fact that it doesn't neatly fit into one camp or the other, and in fact, its bizarrely representative of Canada. What it does have is a bracing bitterness that compares well with anything south of the border. Its accompanied by big citrus notes - mainly orange marmalade and light grapefruit - but backed with a prominent biscuity maltiness that provides a great balance. Notes of peach and mango peek through, as does the occasional hint of a floral, malty British ESB. The alcohol is well hidden.

I'm really impressed by the body, which is quite substantial for the style, and provides a depth which really boosts the flavour. Its kinda neat, because Amsterdam often have problems with carbonation, but this one really hits the mark.

Overall, a very competent ale, pitched somewhere between Plymouth and Plymouth Harbor. A style defier that's well worth trying, and a local IPA that actually lives up to the expectations of the style. Finally.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

tap at the brewery

Pours a hazy amber with white suds for a head.

Smells of honey and piney floral hops.

Honey and bready malt flavor with piney citrus hops.

Medium to full body with tingly carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

Pretty decent IPA with good flavor and aroma. Nothing super special but decent and enjoyable.

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Photo of portia99
3.59/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a medium orangey amber color with a huge, dense, 3 finger pillow of cream colored foam that shows endless staying power. Finally, after several minutes, it falls leaving behind tons of webby lace on the glass.

S - Very fruity, estery aroma up front...citrusy oranges, mild sweet grapefruit, caramel maltiness.

T - Bitter up front, a bit metallic, still lots of estery fruitiness,, more citrus - grapefruit especially, earthy and caramelly malt at the base.

M - A bit watery in body, quite high carbonation...Perrier like in feel. Earthy with bitter hops that linger past the swallow.

O - Overall, not bad. Solid but lacking in complexity. Pretty easy drinking.

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Photo of TerryW
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a big head that is rather long lived and gives up lots of lace. Hazy dark amber colour with plenty of small particles floating around in it (unfiltered, not gone bad). A pretty decent looking beer.

Nose dominated by grapefruit hops and drinks the same way. Malty sweet up front, but very quickly gives way to a very strong flavour of grapefruit rind - tasty, but not to all tastes. Finishes with strong citrus bitterness.

Decent enough, but a little one-dimensional.

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Photo of SebD
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice hazy orangy/amber color to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves very nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of citrus, pineapple, mango with sweet caramelly malts and a touch of breadiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some citrus, not getting much of the pineapple/mango, some piney hops and some sweet bready/caramelly malts .

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

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Amsterdam Boneshaker IPA from Amsterdam Brewing Company
3.84 out of 5 based on 339 ratings.
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