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 SolipsismalCat
3.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear light golden color with a giant three-finger, white, rocky head that lasted a while. Good lacing.

S: Very nice floral hop aroma. Light malt accents as well.

T: Moderate sweetness and strong hop bitterness. Bitter and minty is the first impression. Herbal hops and tea flavors. Very interesting Spring-time flavor, but a tad too bitter for my tastes.

M: Light to medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Crisp and dry.

O: Very interesting Spring ale. I like the minty tea-like flavors, and this beer looks excellent in a glass.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased as part of the mixed 12pk at Somersworth Market Basket. Pours a crystal-clear amber-yellow body with over an inch of khaki-colored head. Citrussy hops with a touch of spice in the aroma. Flavor is a plethora of grassy herbal and citrussy hops vying for dominance over minty and spicy notes from the spices. Takes a bit of getting used to, but not a bad beer. Glad to have tried it.

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Photo of IPAguy2009
3.57/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- poured a good head that fades but leave good looking sticky lacing. Nice tan clear lookin beer.

S- this smells like a lagunitas beer! That real sweet malty smell. I also smell a faint juniper rosemary like smell. Hmmm weird haha

T- bitter rosemary juniper berry with earl gray tea like essence. Very different here. Very assertive bitter bitter hops that stick with you for awhile.

M- pretty thick with good carbonation to go with it.

O- well this beer is very strange. It's just so strange that it leaves me undecided as to if I like it or not. For what it is (beer with tea addings in it) it's very well done and nothing less from what I'd expect from widmer. Different without a doubt and an experience but not sure if I will get it again. Good work widmer!

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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 WastingFreetime
3.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

A. Semi hazed golden yellow in color with a two finger head for about a minute, leaves medium lacing behind on the glass.

S. Very complicated aroma on this one. You can smell each and every facet of the Chai tea blend perfectly (Green cardamom most strongly of all) on top of the fruity orange peel, passionfruit, cracked black peppercorns, weedy herbal tones, and pine resin blasts of the hopping. It even almost smells as though there was a dairy product or some kind of cream in there despite clearly not containing any of these things!

T. But in the flavor, the star anise and bitter black tea actually start to overstep their boundaries, and the malts don't quite hold them back enough. It tastes less like a tea-spiced beer and more like an IPA-infused tea, if you catch my meaning. The bittering also comes more strongly from the tea than from the hopping at times. Its... just not quite balanced right between the beer and the tea, not to mention not quite malty enough to provide a proper canvas for all the bitter elements to be painted upon. It hammers down on the bitterness so hard that the complexity of what is happening gets lost in the shuffle.

M. Lighter side of medium thickness, crisp carbonation helps accentuate the flavors.

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Photo of ahemahem
4.37/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After my first bottle I was disappointed; it tasted "put together" like it was an experiment; adding spice as a gimmick.

It wasn't the ale. I didn't give it a chance. The next day I drank another bottle only because I had purchased the six-pack. I'm officially sold on it.

A --- meets the standard

S --- not extremely spicy

T ---Not as pungent as most IPAs. I'm not particularly fond of IPAs but this would be my favorite

M --- bubbly enough

O -- I still love the taste 15 minutes later

I don't always drink beer, but when I do, and I can't find my very favorites, I drink Widmer Bros. Spiced IPA.

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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 Arithmeticus
4.42/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured chilled in ordinary glass

A: beautiful dark amber, one-finger head (foamy); good carb action
S: bouquet of floral hops, very herblike; lingers nicely
T: very strong dose of grapefruit, tangerine in a classic IPA; the spices are strong, and give it some complexity; I detect allspice and cinnamon, with bass spices contributed by the hops
M: very mealy

Really solid IPA. Cheers!

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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 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 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 secondtooth
4.15/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very light but cloudy yellow in complexion, with a full head and detailed lace. Impressive.

The nose is positively delectable, being intensely fruity with a deep citrus hops ester vibe.

Flavor is tough up front, with a bitter pine/grapefruit hops bite. I get a light hint of tea and spice towards the finish. Unique and quite enjoyable!

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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 Reidrover
3.97/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6 pack from Fred Meyer, Wilsonville $6.99 Clear,bright golden hued ale with a large thick and frothy white head. Aroma mostly spicy,sprucelike hops with a touch of pepper and leaf black tea. Taste intresting combo of the piney hop, black tea and a peppery ginger..cinnamon appears well after the sip is down the gullet. Nice pallet//loved the long lasting after tastes. I really enjoyed this one from Widmer..well done and unusual

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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 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 tdm168
4.42/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear orangish copper with a thin layer of soft white head that has decent retention. The nose smells of oregano, thyme, parsley, maybe garlic, and some faint tea undertones. The flavor is tea first followed by some citrusy hops then some spices reminiscent of Italian seasoning and then finishes with some more citrus. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, smooth, a little dry and lightly carbonated.

This is an odd beer. I love the spices. They remind me of my grandmother's kitchen. The tea in this instance doesn't detract from the flavor by drying everything out though the finish is a little dry. The "IPA" aspect is simply a decent amount of citrusy hops and a light malt body. I will probably have this again.

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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 shand
3.97/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

I love beers with tea additives, and I love IPAs, so my hopes are pretty high for this one. Pours a little lighter than the average IPA, with a finger and a half of head. The spices and tea are much stronger on the nose than the hops, it really smells like a nice cup of tea. The taste is very interesting, it's no slouch on the spices front, with cloves jumping right out at me along with the tea aspects. There's just a bit of IPA character in there with a hint of west coast-style hops. As I drink more, I become more "used" to the spices and get more of the IPA character. Not too much malt in here to speak of. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated and dry, and the drinkability turns out to be rather good once you acclimate to it. A very unique and boundary-pushing beer that's worth a try. I'm not sure how I'd do with a six-pack, but I enjoyed the single I bought.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad.

The beer appears clear and golden yellow hued with a lasting white head that leaves good lacing on the snifter. The aroma is quite unusual for sure, offering spices and cracked pepper atop a resinous hop bill. This recipe was well executed and fun to sample, but there is only so much spiced IPA I could enjoy in a session. Interesting and worth a try. A small serving is plenty.

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Photo of morimech
4.07/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, light amber color with barely one finger of head that settled to a thin cap. Nice amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass.

Do not notice anything out of the ordinary in the aroma. Smells like a straight up West Coast IPA with citrus and herbal hops.

I can definately taste the tea and spices. This is very herbal with black tea and I'm guessing Grains of Paradise. Has a peppery,herbal finish. Bitterness is moderate and no sign of alcohol. This is a bone dry IPA in the West Coast tradition. I think it all works well.

Well placed carbonation for a dry, bitter beer. Not the biggest body for a 7% ABV beer.

I prefer their O'Ryely IPA over this one but it is still a good, interesting beer.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Chimay chalice, this is a orange-amber beer with a small, quickly fading head. The aroma smells pretty much identical to the normal Widmer IPA, with no detectable additional spices. I can pick up the spices in the taste, but they're mostly subtle and lost behind the strong hopping. It's hard to identify the spices as well. I think there's a hint of cinnamon, but the others blend well enough that they're not identifiable. Perhaps some fresh green pepper? Still, the hops are so up front to mask most of the subtleness.

Not bad, but I found it hard to find much different from the normal Widmer IPA. A different beer would make a much better base for the spices.

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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 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 KevinBrewer
4.5/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear, solid golden color with a tall white head that dissipates to a thin covering, leaving moderate patchy lacing behind.

N- Bursting with juicy citrus and bitter grapefruit rind after a fresh pour. As the volatiles wear off, undertones of dark spice, herbs, and fragrant flowers come to the front. Can't quite put my finger on the spices, but ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and black peppercorns all come to mind. The aroma also has an interesting mouth-watering saltiness to it. Soft resin and tropical fruit linger in the back.

T- Bitter grassy hops right from the start. The bitterness is firm, clinging to the tongue. The malt is rich and bready, but the bitterness overpowers it almost immediately. Lots of bitter grapefruit rind and pith, with a plenty of resin in the mix. Some juicy citrus adds a refreshing touch, softening the bitterness a bit. The spices are soft and reminiscent of cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Also a nice floral presence pervades the palate. The finish is long and bone-dry, with lingering herbal, resinous bitterness, black peppercorns, and grain.

M- Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, and a bone-dry finish.

O- Definitely a well-made beer. The spices are integrated perfectly into a dry, bitter IPA that is sure to please any hophead. Twelve ounces leaves you craving more.

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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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