Spiced IPA (Rotator Series #4) | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

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Spiced IPA (Rotator Series #4)Spiced IPA (Rotator Series #4)

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Docer on 01-25-2012

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Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 243
Photo of CHickman
1.71/5  rDev -51.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours very hazy orange amber color with a 1 finger foamy white head that was full of bubbles and faded kind of fast and left minimal spotty lacing.

Smells very spicy up font, like clove, ginger, coriander, pepper, light cinnamon, allspice, potpourri, pine cones/piney hops, lemon zest, grains and herbs like mint and tea leaf; this beer smells like a spice rack was just knocked over, not like an IPA and I don’t care for it.

Tastes of spices and herbs, and like the nose includes ginger, coriander, pepper, clove, cinnamon, allspice, potpourri, pine cones/piney hops, lemon zest, floral hops or dry hop leafs, toasted grains, grass, herbs like mint and tea leaf, orange peel, yeast and cardboard; tastes like a broken tea bag full of spices was dropped in an IPA, and failed to impress me. Ginger lingers at the end with some spicy bitterness, but the bad taste does not fade.

Mouthfeel is smooth, with light carbonation, a medium body and an herbal spicy overload that just destroys your taste-buds. On the positive side, all the spices hide the ABV quite well.

I understand the concept of this beer, but I would never have it again – now let me go scrape my tongue.

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Photo of RJLarse
2.08/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On-tap at the Q. Served in a pint glass.

Appearance is a deep gold color and clear with a small white head.

Smell is faint and spicey. Clove and ginger aromas.

Tasteis a dry spice flavor. Artificial tasting. Slight malt flavor and very little citrus.

Mouthfeel is clean and very dry.

Drinkability is questionable. Spices are overdone. I will not have this again.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
2.49/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance - Pours a hazy, golden copper with a 3 finger head, excellent retention, and leaves behind a semi-sticky lacing.

Smell - Smell is primary pine, backed by some black tea notes.

Taste - Ugh. Pine hops mixed with black tea and pepper. I loathe this flavor.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with a decent bite.

Overall - After trying the O'ryely a few weeks ago, I went against my better judgement and purchased this one. Big mistake. There's not a whole lot of difference between the two, flavor wise... except they decided this one needed an infusion of tea? Disgusting. Not my, and pardon my pun, cup of tea.

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Photo of LeRose
2.56/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not a big fan. Weak, watery, overly spiced and unbalanced. Maybe just too much spice to it or something. Too difficult to drink and try and unravel. Did not find this beer enjoyable.

Poured a nice orangish bronze color, small foamy head. Lots of spice and fruit aromas - seems a bit schizophrenic to my nose. Taste followed in kind - too much going on for me. Think there is some cardamom taste in there - not a big fan of that particular flavor. Mouth feel was pretty thin and my impression was lack of balance and trying to be everything at once. And I swear over all of that was Bazooka Joe bubble gum...

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Photo of Ego
2.77/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

decent white head, pretty good cling/lace, dark straw hue and pretty clear, mild amounts of carbonation populate the suburbs of the beer, looks more like your average lager than an IPA but looks aren't everything....

spicy and floral, an almost herbal/medicinal thing going on, sort of like smelling natural toothpaste, definitely something minty lurking in there, the malt is also in the background and has sort of an old school bubble gum thing happening (like big league chew), interesting mix, can't tell if I like it but it is interesting...

taste etc...
the carbonation seems a bit low, the flavor is sort of like the nose, it has some strange medicinal minty thing going on, the hops and the bitterness are there but that strange aftertaste really dominates this brew, this is a bit hard to finish

strange, not my thing, the dominating flavor is reminiscent of dental products with a bitter finish, definitely different but just not for me.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
2.79/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into my slim goblet.. nice off white head has good retention and lacing... the brew is clear dark golden..

Wow... NOT AN IPA! .. just sayin' Cardamom, ginger, sweet cinnamon... clove? I have a Chai a few times a year in the colder months, and this nose could fit in with a lesser Chai.

Flavor has hints of tannic qualities that I associate with black tea.. but the spices are the only big player.. not getting anything in the way of hops... floral ginger note probably knock them out.. The sweet spices accentuate a background maltiness... finish knocks off very quickly leaving pretty much only cardamom..

Seems sorta thick for an IPA ... any light ale really .. carbonation is about right but the thick body accentuates everything that I don't like... the sweet spices, methol cardamom, etc....

There are folks that REALLY like this, but they are not going to outnumber the significant disappointments where those bottles sit in their fridge until an unsuspecting coworker comes by and gets the SPICE TEA beer... "Hey, here try this... you might like it.. It is an India Pale Ale but spiced like your wife's tea." This beer could end friendships.

If Widmer brewed a bunch of this, I suspect it will sit on shelves for a long while... Bottle shops will sell 1-2 per person ... never a 6'er unless they are uniformed.


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Photo of mikechance
2.82/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I have enjoyed the Rotator Series and was looking forward to this one.

A --- Not too deep, not too dark, nor colorful

S --- I pick up some hops and spices, but not much

T --- I get an acid like taste. Slightly hoppy, but closer to a pale ale to me.

M --- medium body with decent amount of carbonation

O -- my least favorite from the Series. Instead of creating a nice flavor from the spices, I get acid and harsh aftertaste. Not interesting or creative, but just off.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
2.83/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Deep golden body with a huge foamy creamy looking white head. Tons of carbonation bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass.

S- Piney and citrusy hops are in the nose along with spices and a sweet sugary tea aroma. Spices have almost a dried floral quality to them.

T- Taste is a combination of tea, a malty IPA and a cheap spiced rum. Really does not work well in any way.

M- High carbonation, slight sting on the tongue, but also leaves residue in the mouth.

O- May work for people looking for twisted tea, but I did not like this one at all and should not be associated with IPAs.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.86/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to ygtbsm94 for sharing this brew last night. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a clear golden color with a small, diminishing white head. A bit of lace, though not too much. The nose carries some heavy spicing plus some hops. I get something akin to a sage character out of it, and I can't say that I enjoy it all that much.

The flavor has the same character as the nose. There's a bit of a sharp spiciness to it that overwhelms the hops that are present. The heavy spicing is really prevalent in the feel, which is dry and a bit astringent. Others were a bigger fan than me, but I really could not get into this one.

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Photo of iSip
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Widmer Rotator IPA: This IPA has tea mixed in, so being a beer purity snob, I was skeptical. It turns out that the tea flavor mixed in pretty well with an IPA. Brown in color and clear, the Rotator produces a thin off white head. Aroma of hops are strong, and a bit of tea comes through. The flavor starts with a big bold malty taste, which is followed by the bitter of hops and definitely tea. As the beer warms and the taste buds get accustomed to the brew, the sharp bitterness fades. I am not a fan of additives to beer, but the tea was more complimentary that I would have guessed. Still, while a novelty, this is a below average IPA. There are fantastic IPA’s out there: Odell’s IPA, New Belgium Ranger, Great Divide Titan to name a few, and that’s not diving into what is available in the 22 oz. bomber format.

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Photo of barczar
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden color, surprisingly light, with a solid one finger ivory head that lingers, leaving minimal lacing.

Aroma is dominated by cinnamon and ginger, with citrus pith and grapefruit, apricot, and bready malt comprising the background.

The flavor is mostly citrus hop, grapefruit, complemented by ginger and clove, with a substantial bready malt backbone, leading to a fairly bitter, piney finish. Spruce dominates as it warms.

Body is somewhat light, with high carbonation, slight alcohol warmth, and a somewhat crisp finish.

Overall, this beer was probably a good ipa, minus the spices. It's like Christmas meets hops...and the results do not jive. Not a huge ginger fan, though.

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Photo of rundocrun
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Body is the color of clover honey. Slightly coppery. A finger of very fine white head forms. Good retention. Some lacing.

S - Orange peel. Spicy and peppery hops. A touch of grapefruit and pine. I can also just barely detect a bit of fruity, earthy and tannic aroma--possibly from the tea.

T - Peppery and slightly caramely up front. Quickly followed by lots of hop bitterness and an astringent tannic flavor. While not extremely unpleasant, the tannins do give the impression of over-boiled tea leaves. I would prefer more of a mild, aromatic tea flavor than what this has. Finish is dominated by hops and flavors of bitter orange peel. Aftertaste of spiced tea.

M - Thin-to-medium body. Dry, clean finish that is slightly astringent. Leaves a lasting bitterness on the back of the tongue.

Overall - While they capture the tea essence quite well, I think they could have gone a touch easier on the hops and tried to cut back on the tannins. This is a very interesting AIPA, but not one I'd reach for on a regular basis.

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Photo of thechaser
3.12/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle.

Pours yellow with soft orange hue. Thin white head disappears quickly.

Smells like pizza sauce. Basil dominates, dill, musty citrus notes.

Taste; Hints of lemon linger for a bit. Slight malty sweetness pulls through at the end. Moderate carbonation and a thin to medium mouth feel.

I thought this beer was just ok. I really enjoyed the spicy, basil notes, but other than that it was kind of boring. It's worth trying.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.13/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From tap to shaker pint glass at Union Jack's in Bethesda, MD on 5/27/12
*From notes

A: Clean and rich rusty amber. A .75 finger white head fades to a solid collar and decent lacing.

S: Lots of dried Italian spices. It's like opening your spice pantry, as this is right there in a big, epic way. Not getting a lot of hops here, though there are some minimal fruity esters wafting around in my nose.

T: Massive herbaceousness from top to bottom. It's overwhelming in most every way. There's a lack of balance between the hops (which take a backseat to be sure) and the basil-like qualities of the beer. It's not bad, it's just not really something I could have in large quantities.

M: Creamy, thick and really well put together. I think that, had the mouthfeel been weak, this beer would've been a massive train wreck.

O: An experience to be sure. I like seeing some of the bigger breweries taking chances like this, but I can't say that Widmer's Spiced IPA was a certifiable hit. Less herbs, more hops and I think you'd find me coming back for more, though in it's current state, I'm glad to have had only one.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.13/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a bottle this beer was a clear golden color with one finger of white head. The retention was good and it left scattered bands of broken lacing. The aroma was mostly of herbal and piney hops, much like any other IPA. The flavors, however, were totally unique. I tasted cinnamon, star anise, black tea, pepper and cloves all on top of the herbal hops and some caramel malt. It was as if someone had spilled a cup of chai into a West Coast IPA. The mouthfeel was average, the body medium and the carbonation mid-level. An unusual blend and a unique beer but I wouldn’t want to drink more than one.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy golden orange with a tight white head that leaves little bits of lacing.

Smells of some spice notes and hops.

Tastes of the spice notes upfront with a hoppy ending. Notes of cinnamon and nutmeg lead off blending into a little malty sweetness. Hops come in on the end and add grassy notes. Spice pretty much dominates everything.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, the spice dominates the beer and I don't like it that much.

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Photo of Glibber
3.23/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this beer on tap at the Crescent bar in Boise, where there beers are a $2.25.
This beer has sat in my garage fridge for months as part of a variety pack I was not drinking.
I did not realize the spice/smoke flavor until I had it last night on tap. The beer has a nice appearance, and smells of northwest hops. Quite hoppy and smokey. The beer is unusual with the smoke/spice, but was not too bad.

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Photo of bmwats
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint.

A: Deep golden hue. Lots of effervescence clings to the sides of the glass. Pours a slight, bubbly, white head leaving a foam blanket on the surface after a brief appearance. Pretty distinct beer ring deteriorates into some nice spider web lacing.

S: Hoppy pine with floral tones, wild berry, lemon, and a little pepper.

T: Hops, lemon pepper, with a hint of acetone.

M: Standard IPA hoppiness in the front, with a peppery aftertaste that takes charge and almost overwhelms. Really sticks with you. Something of a synthetic fruity feel.

D: Light, but aftertaste dictates a slower pace.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Nice hue, with some pretty solid lacing. Nose is wild fruit, with hops and pepper. Flavor is a hoppy pine, harshly spiced with a lemon pepper aftertaste that sticks. Overall, this is a pretty good quaff.

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Photo of hustlesworth
3.32/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Spiced ipa? Should be interesting..

A- clear golden amber with a stable white head that becomes wrinkly and pitted as it settles and leaves some thick lace.

S- Ok the aroma is good. The chai tea spice blend (cinnamon, clove, anise, cardamom, ginger, peppercorn) work very well with the lemony pine and grapefruit resinous hops. Cardamom seems to play the major spice roll, with the rest melding together to create a warm spicy sweetness. There's a bit of tartness in there that balances things out. Very impressed so far, especially with the genius idea to use an Indian spice blend in an india pale ale..

T- and then came the aww dammit. there's so much potential here but the taste just doesn't work out. This ipa needs to be sweeter and maltier to work with the spices. The hops are astringent and just too zesty. Alchemy and Zeus hops are likely the culprits and the boring wheat and pils malt just adds to it. Not to mention the spice flavors barely even come through and I can't discern the hops from the tea until I burp. Finishes hoppy and herbal with a slight peppercorn twang and a (go figure) tea-like bitterness.

MF- highly carbonated, dry and medicinal feeling. A lovely creaminess would have been great, see below.

D- maybe I got ahead of myself and maybe I just unknowingly created an ideal of what I expected from this beer once I read their website and saw the spice bill. A quick glance down to the malt and hops and I let out a sigh. In my very humble opinion, sweetening up (AND being more generous with) the malt would compliment the spices much better. After all we are dealing with spices that are always associated with sweet and rich things. Maybe they were afraid of making something too similar to a Christmas ale, and maybe not. The fact of the matter is that the base ipa isn't all that good anyway. Aww dammit

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Photo of mactrail
3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Another well-made but surprising beer from Widmer. What on earth is this taste? Finally it hit me, basil! And not just any basil, but Thai basil. Plus a fist to the face when the bitter hops lash out.

I was expecting something like cloves and ginger, so it was a pleasant surprise to be so different from the usual sweet spices. Still, it's so bitter it borders on undrinkable. Even makes the food taste bitter.

On tap at South Park Abbey in San Diego. Pleasant appearance in the pint glass and well carbonated.

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Photo of N3rdM3t4l
3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into standard pint. Room temp.

A: One finger of white head lots of small bubble but not quite foam. fell to a decent looking cap that is sticking around for a long time. Slightly cloudy orangeish gold.

S: Obvious hop presence with some tea in the mix. A little bit of spice but I can't say what it is from the smell alone. Nothing major from the malt coming through. The tea and spice makes it unique.

T: Oh now this is something. A hint of sweetness and then lots of hops. The tea is just as present in the taste as the nose but the spice comes out a little bit more. I still can't tell exactly what it is but I like it. As for being an IPA it is a decent one.

M: Pretty light and not very well carbonated. Makes it a little tough to drink.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.42/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle and served in a tumbler pint, the beer is a bright, pale, yellow-orange coloring with a thin, filmy ring of white head around the edge of the surface. Aromas are like a mix of hops and pizza/italian spices. There is a ton going on in there, including some oregano, basil, and piney/cedar notes. More, but my nostrils were tapping out at this point. Flavors are rich and spicy, with a subtle malt backbone quickly overpowered by a basil and peppery spicing that waits an instant, and then jumps all over your palate. Even the hops are a bit overpowered, lending only a bit of subtle resiny flavors. The aftertaste is clean and quickly receding, with a peppery profile lingering the longest. A filmy, slick lacing left along the glass, and it slides down the glass as you drink. The finish is clean and light, but the spicing left over hangs out for a while. Interesting, but not my thing. Would go great with italian food or pizza, that's for sure.

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Photo of CTBeerPope
3.42/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle to tulip

Pours clear golden color. Half finger head dissipspates quickly. Spotty lacing.

Aroma is spicy. Honestly the first thing I thought of when I took a whiff was pumpkin ale. Smells of cinnamon, ginger, some peppery spice and citrusy hops.

Yeah it tastes like a pumpkin ale too. Reminds me of a mix between pumple drumkin and Heavy Seas The Great Pumpkin. I'm getting the cinnamon and ginger upfront that rides through and meets up with some hop bitterness on the way down. Peppery flavor on my palate is left behind. I can not taste the 7% ABV whatsoever. It does taste good to me and I do like pumpkin brews.

Mouthfeel is kind of creamy with mild carbonation.

I think if Widmer released this as a fall seasonal it would be well received. It tastes like a pumpkin ale to me. I'd probably drink more than one of these if it were that time of year. I think its good for what it is and I'm interested to hear others opinions.

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Photo of harrymel
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 04JAN12

Pours a clear golden ale with a finger of white foam that leaves behind nice legs of lace. Smells nice - tropical, lemony with just a hint of "spice" - the tea is a nice addition. The flavor is more spicy than the nose with a certain mulled character and quite dry malt profile. The hops are a little over powered by the adjuncts and the flavor, although pleasant is ill balanced for the ingredients IMO. Medium on thin bodied with moderate carb. Semi dry finish. I think this is an interesting approach to an IPA. I think toning down the "spice" in the beer and adding just a hint of honey malt would certainly bring it together.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this Widmer offering in a nonic pint.

Appearance- Only a slight film is present on the top of the beer. The white foam doesn't even cover the top of the marigold-colored and hazy body.

Smell- The spice smells almost exactly like chai tea. I wish it was much stronger. It is more of a subtle smell than full forced. There is a little bit of grapefruit and sugar roiling too. Oh, and resin is present as well. I really wish this thing popped more.

Taste- The chai is not here as much, more lemon and a slight cinnamon-like flavor. The finish has some resin and is even a bit peppery. Again, the citrus flavors are a little more present, not so much grapefruit, still just hitting lemon mostly.

I would like the spice to be stronger.

Mouth feel- It is a little bubbly, and slightly astringent. The body is a light medium, and could be bigger. It is not that this beer is hard to drink, but not very easy either.

Overall- I think this beer is a good start. The chai flavors are great, but they are not nearly big enough. I don't know, maybe the ingredients and the process are expensive, so they did not make it as big as it could be.

Then again, maybe this is exactly how they wanted it and I am not the drinker they are trying to cater to. I like it well enough, but this one was certainly not a bullseye.

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Spiced IPA (Rotator Series #4) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
3.52 out of 5 based on 243 ratings.
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