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Rating: 5.0/5 (8 votes cast)

Beer Profile

  • Brewery: Three Floyds Brewing Company
  • Website:
  • Country: United States
  • State: Indiana
  • Style: Imperial / Double IPA
  • Malts:
  • Hops:
  • ABV:
  • IBUs:
  • Tasting Notes:
  • Preferred Glass:
  • Food Pairing:
  • PHM Grade: A

Three Floyds Dreadnaught IPA

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Buying this beer was confirmation that I have fully committed myself to IPAs. Not so long ago, they were the style I avoided most: the bitter hop taste really made me cringe. But now, as I’m sipping an IPA made by Three Floyds, I know that it’s for real. Three Floyds never brews half-assed.

From the label (I’ve learned to read these): A hophead’s dream beer. This Imperial India Pale Ale has an opening salvo of mango, peach and citrus hop aromas that sit atop a pronounced caramel malt backbone. Although Dreadnaught is a strong and intensely hoppy ale, its complex flavor is both smooth and memorable.

Poured this bad boy out into my favorite snifter. Half a finger of head, faded quick. The color is a hazy reddish brown. It looks like there’s been a hell of a lot of brewing done to achieve this beer: an elixir with mysterious ingredients galore. Or, just a ton of hops. The smell is wonderful: super fruity/citrusy. The label says mango and peach are in the mix as well, but I’ve got a slight sniffle and I couldn’t pick those up as much. Still, the smell was just excellent.

The taste was out of this world. I am telling you, this is the hoppiest beer I have ever had. It kicks you in the tongue, the back of the throat, the tonsils, and even the hippocampus. However, the finish is not strong at all: it’s the best combo in an IPA, a supermassive taste experience, with no ill-tasting after effects. If you’re in the mood to try a serious IPA, this is definitely a good one since it will deliver the hops but they won’t stick around after you’ve swallowed.

I cracked this beer at around 8pm, and it’s 9:17pm as I’m writing now. I still have about 12 fl. oz. to go in the snifter. The Dreadnaught has been my evening companion, and it hasn’t let me down. It’s mellowed out and come up close to room temperature nicely. Definitely a sipper. No guzzling this one. My hat’s off to Three Floyds again for another great brew. I do think I like their Alpha King better than this Dreadnaught, if for no other reason than it isn’t so heavily hopped and filling. But honestly, this Dreadnaught IPA has to be one of the best of its kind. Hands down. I would highly recommend it to any serious hophead.

ABV: 9.5%

Grade: A

Three Floyds Dreadnaught IPA, 5.0 out of 5 based on 8 ratings
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Comments
  1. There you go Tay…way to push the limits. Nice review!

    Tom — January 2nd, 2010, 5:21 PM
  2. Just found your website and reviews – have posted a few and just had to comment on the Three Floyds Dreadnaught IPA review. I’m in the minority and admit it, but the Dreadnaught is just toooooo malty for any serious hophead. The malts totally overwhelm the hops in the beer; the alcohol level is so high that they have had to over malt it to get to that level. The beer is not balanced at all and while I understand you can smell and taste the hops, don’t the malts seem to be overwhelming? Perhaps I’m just a bad taster – or perhaps I am a really sensitive taster? But for me, this beer is not worth all the hype – I have nothing against Three Floyds, in fact, quite the contrary – they seem to be great people making some great brews – this just, in my opinion, doesn’t happen to be one of them. On my top 20 IPA’s or DIPA’s, this one wouldn’t be there. Pliny the Elder, Alpine Nelson, Ballast Point Sculpin, RRBC Blind Pig, Pliny the Younger, Alpine Pure Hoppiness, Alpine Exponential Hoppiness, Alesmith IPA, Just Outstanding IPA, Lagunitas Hop Stupid, Founder’s Red’s Rye PA, Troeg’s Nugget Nectar, Stone Ruination IPA, Avery Maharaja, Oskar Blues Gordon Ale – yes, all would be on the tops list. Dreadnaught, no, no, no… Did I say no?

    Richard — March 23rd, 2010, 7:36 PM
  3. Good thoughts Richard. Here’s my take (completely unbiased of course haha).

    Certainly everyone has their taste preferences. And I can’t say I’m a huge IPA (or double IPA) guy, so most of these beers I’ve never tried. Strictly from a style perspective, however, I’m of the opinion that the bigger the beer, the more complexity it should have. And while hop complexity should be at the forefront in an Imperial IPA, I don’t think you can DISCOUNT malt complexity in there. Some people just like loads of hops (a minority, like you said). Others like loads of malt (another minority). So yes, that means the majority of people are falling somewhere in between…myself included. I suppose in my mind, the most important thing when I’m asking myself “Is this a great beer in this particular style?” isn’t actually whether I personally like malt more or hops more, it’s “Is this a unique and flavorful interpretation of the style that still retains the fundamental characteristics of that style?” The IPA as a historical style certainly retains a malt presence amidst its more dominant hop character…so I’d argue the “Imperial” moniker applied to the IPA suggests not just cranking up the hops, but the malt as well. The hops should always win out, but to what extent they do that is up for debate.

    I guess I will have to dive headfirst into Imperial IPAs to find out where I truly stand on this one, though. Cheers for pushing me to expand my palate, good sir.

    Noel — March 23rd, 2010, 11:06 PM
  4. All good words. I’ll add that in my IPA quest I have personally only sampled a handful of West Coast pales, since it’s so hard to get many of them here in Chicago. Pliny the Elder’s rep puts it atop my list … and that I love the citrus hop. I do, however, know that I like my IPAs to have that dual complexity of hops and malts, and I appreciate that Three Floyds remains true to the elemental IPA, while adding its own interpretation. After all, craft beer is all about doing something slightly (or grossly) different (or better?) than everyone else.

    Ever since brewers first hopped the hell out of their ales to make them exportable, the idea of “What defines an IPA?” has been more of a gray area. West Coasters will always say theirs is the truest, and so will everyone else.

    For the curious novice, which was me a handful of months ago, I think the enjoyment and understanding of IPAs comes with a brief history lesson and subsequent exploration of what flavor combo simply tastes best to the palate.

    While I thoroughly enjoyed Dreadnaught, I don’t think you can argue with Goose Island’s IPA. It is easily the best tasting, most consistently heralded IPA I’ve encountered.

    Taylor — March 24th, 2010, 8:15 AM
  5. The first wiff I took of this beer I could tell it was going to be intense. You can smell a tinge of alcohol. I think if it didn’t have the malty-ness in there it would be too overwhelming. Just a thought.

    John — July 1st, 2010, 4:32 PM
  6. I’ve been pulling toetgher stuff to have a go at this myself tentatively titled, Pilen, Please’ but I’m not concerend about two (or more) of us having a go. So:1. Was it 1994? Vann claims my first words to him were about Oasis i.e. What’s the Story Morning Glory, which my record sleeve says came out in the US in ’95. There’s a slim chance I bought them in ’94, but I doubt it. They were billed as the new Stone Roses’; they weren’t’; so I resisted until Wonderwall.2. Liam Gallagher resembled somewhat eerily Russell. Not the other way round. This in particular on the cover of the Live Forever single. (Kevin: Is there a title in there? Or maybe that’s cliche and simply poor poetics.)3. Russell and Vann (and Aaron, too) were more popular with LHA girls or the Hermes scarf-wearing second floor girls’. We all may have had our luck but, it should be known years later, when I’d run into old colleagues they’d say, Russell! ..So I’d kick them toothless. And then poke their underarms, like Travis might.4. I learned more working alongside Russell and Vann than I did at university. Far more and far more fun, too.5. Russell is correct about my trousers hanging low. But what would Freud say about it? And, anyway, it’s because I’m assless.6. The massage chair in the basement.7. Jarod Joslin8. Jessica Legs’ Nixon. Jesus.9. There’s video footage somewhere, on HGTV.10. Vann’s really from Leicestershire. And listens to Marillion.11. Don’t foget Aaron in all of this. He’s the lyncpin. Without Skog

    Jashanjot — November 10th, 2015, 3:56 AM
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