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The Audacity Of Hops - Cambridge Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The Audacity Of HopsThe Audacity Of Hops

Educational use only; do not reuse.

144 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 144
Hads: 600
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 19.06%
Wants: 36
Gots: 85 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: EPICAC on 11-12-2008

Belgian Double IPA.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 144 | Hads: 600
Photo of koopa
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber purchased at the Hunger Mountain Coop in Montpelier VT for $8.99 this past weekend.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy honey soaked copper with a 1 finger white crown that shows moderate retention and some lace.

Smell: Lots of pepper, some other soft belgian ester, light grapefruit and lemon citrus notes, and a moderately bready malt.

Taste: Same as the nose but with a firm hop bitterness that meshes very well with the belgian yeast character.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium to moderate carbonation.

Overall: This is a tasty take on a DIPA that I would probably drink regularly on draft if it was available at my local pub. Not something I would put much of an effort into trading for though.

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Photo of olfolxholme
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip and a SN IPA Glass

A - Clear and bright golden beer with nice, crisp white foam. Good head retention, especially in the SN IPA glass. Almost no lacing.

S - Apricot. Some Belgian yeast character. Enjoyable. Especially nice from the SN IPA glass.

T - Nice, dry, hoppy bitterness. Mostly apricot from the hops, but some herbal character, too. Malt presence is golden and a little sweet, especially in the Duvel tulip. Very nice belgian yeast flavor. Dry and reserved.

M - Pleasantly dry. Refreshing carbonation.

O - Excellent example of the style. One of the best I've had. I think it's a real challenge to successfully marry big hop character with Belgian yeast. They are both such strong and distinct elements that it's easy for them to be in conflict. But, they did it near perfectly. I'm really impressed with this beer. I also don't usually enjoy apricot anything, but they made me love it. I was not expecting much from this beer but it delivered in spades. Bravo!


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Photo of RickS95
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A bit on the dark side for a pale ale, it pours a weathered burnt orange. Depsite the relative darkness, it's kind of a pale burnt orange, though it's still dark enough that it's opaque. The head is attractive while it's there, but lacks retention, so look quick. You'll see a contrasting white lid of small bubbles. Eventually you're left with just remnants up top and a bit of lace.

The smell is the cat's meow. Full of citrus flavors like orange, pineapple and grapefruit, with some pine for balance. I'll put the smell of this beer against any other.

Taste follows suit, though the citric items are toned down a bit and the pine is ramped up. A little bit of a cracker taste as it works it way across the tongue.

Acidic early on with a gentle sweetness, the teeth of the beer greets you mid-sip as the hops start to take over and the piney resin coats your tongue with a lingering bitterness. There's plenty of hoppy bite, but it's welcomed and manageable making it reasonably tame for a DIPA. There's plenty of carbonation to clear your tongue, along with the citrusy acid, but the hoppy oils won't let go.

Overall, this is right up there with the best IPAs or DIPAs I've had. It's got good flavor, is easy to sip, and has a nice kick to it...and the alcohol lets you know it's a beer.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Audacity of Hops opens to a bright burst of citrusy hops, pink grapefruit, grapefruit rind, pine resin, and lemon oil resounding, with lesser notes of dandelion stem, mint, and anise. While the hop aromas are very strong, the 70+ IBUs immediately apparent, there’s also a large Belgian presence that lies just beneath, with bananas and cloves mixing very nicely with the citrusy, fruity, spicy hops. The balance here is very nice, the Belgian and hop notes mingling generatively, whereas in many Belgian IPAs they end up clashing fiercely. These fruity notes are bolstered by heavy orange, berry, cherry, and apricot fruit esters, and the beer is somewhat grounded by an undercurrent of light toast crust, biscuit, and Grape Nuts cereal. As a whole, this is one of the more balanced, potent, and aromatic Belgian IPAs on the market, and while the beer does swing more in favor of IPA than Belgian, there is still enough of the latter aroma to make itself known.

On the tongue, the beer opens with an initial heavy shock of hops, with grapefruit rind, pine resin, eucalyptus, dandelion stem, mint, and anise sweeping across the tastebuds in bitter fury. Against this onslaught, it’s actually difficult to detect the Belgian flavors, the bananas and cloves largely subsumed, as are most of the fruity notes. There’s still a dollop or two of them, however, adding not only banana, but also orange, berry, and cherry. Toast crust, biscuit, and wet wheat add small bits of earthy grounding. The aftertaste is heavily hopped, being largely a continuation of the main mouthful, and lingers on the tongue in bitter remnants for a long time. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is good beer, and hopheads should certainly seek out a bottle, as the hops are potent and varied, showcasing a powerful array of hoppy goodness. However, the Belgian part of the beer is largely lost because of the potency of the hops, and seems imbalanced because of it. Had this simply been labeled a “Double India Pale Ale,” rather than a “Belgian Style Double India Pale Ale,” there wouldn’t have been such a problem; as it is, the fruity, spicy bananas and cloves seem almost an afterthought. This is not to say that the beer is bad—in fact, it’s very delicious, though likely far too hoppy for the novice—just that it seems mislabeled.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a golden yellow color with a white head on top. The retention of the is thin but holds up well. The lacing is sticky, leaving some foam on the glass. The smell of the beer is floral, some fruity citrus notes. The taste is piney, some lemony citrus in there as well with a resin-like finish. There is a very subtle breadiness in there also. The mouthfeel has a good amount of carbonation with a lighter body. Overall this beer is pretty good.

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Photo of Brad007
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a mild golden color with a decent head into my glass. The color just screams "Belgian IPA" to me.

Citrus, pine and spice notes pepper the nose. Very inviting profile. Sometimes these IPAs go overboard on the yeast but not here.

Crisp, spicy yeast combines with an excellent profile of five different hops, which contribute a degree of citrus and pine flavors to the palate.

Lingering citrus and spice notes dominate the mouthfeel.

Very well done for the style. It doesn't hit you too hard with the hops or yeast.

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Photo of popery
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, transparent yellow-gold. Medium cream-colored head. Mix of small and big bubbles. Nice enough. The aroma is an interesting mix of flavors. There's a lot of hops. Quite juicy. Big pineapple and bright citrus with a twist of a floral, spicy noble hop aroma. That part is very nice. Belgian esters and simple malt sweetness round things out. The hops are so nice that I can almost overlook that the flavors don't quite mesh. There's also a bit of booze and a touch of acetone, but I'm still loving the hops. The taste has more grassy and spicy hop flavor and less tropical fruit and citrus. It's not quite as gentle as I was hoping. Fair bit of pepper. A touch more booze. I hate to say it, but I get the feeling that the hop loveliness is hiding a not so great Belgian-style base. Mouthfeel is a bit prickly, and there's a definite booziness right at the start of the finish. I like this beer, but I think I'd love it with a cleaner yeast. If they just brewed it as a standard DIPA, I'd probably be happier. That said, the hops are so bright and flavorful that it's easy to see past the flaws.

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

The world of Belgian fruit and spice collides with American hop flavor and bitterness for a surprisingly well-rounded taste that balances with candied sweetness for not only a profound taste, but smooth one as well.

Glowing with its proud golden hue, the beer is lightly hazed and showcases dispersed streams of light and carbonation very well. Streams of carbonation rise to construct a creamy ivory head. With the character of Belgian and hoppy ales, you bet the head character is sturdy, long lasting and laces the beer impressively with each sip.

Bright and citrusy aromas hedge on the complex hop blend that spans the gamut of citrus and tropical fruit with mild herb, grass and pine notes. Confectioner's candy sweetness allows the hops to have a juicier and riper impact on the nose and paves the way for the fruit esters and yeast spices to spring upon.

Fruity taste extends from citrus hop notes of grapefruit and orange peel. Softer tropical hop notes of pineapple and apricots buffer against pine resins, fresh-cut grass, and herb botanicals. But then a muted ester character of orchard fruits- apples and pears blend into the hops seamlessly; just as the middle palate spices of light clove, coriander, and white pepper extends into alcohol taste and resinous bitterness to close the session.

Medium bodied, but seeming slightly fuller at times with creamy carbonation and residual malt sweetness, the beer rewards the taste buds early on as the weight of the beer seeps into the mouth. But the finish is semi-dry and evenly fades into alcohol warmth and light peppery sensations for a relatively high rate of drinkability.

Where the beer is a justified Belgian-inspired American imperial IPA, it's Belgian character is suppressed and it's Pacific Northwest hop attributes are elevated to the point where if the label hadn't told me that this was a Belgian-type of beer, then I may have missed it and chocked the fruit and spice up to the hops alone.

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Photo of biggred1
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clear, dark yellow with a fizzy greyish head that fades fast. If I didn't know better this could be Colt 45 by appearance alone. Nice floral hops and Belgian spice in the nose. This beer tastes much better than it looks, big resinous hops and dry spicy Belgian yeast in perfect harmony. Full bodied with seltzery carbonation. One of the better "Belgian" IPAs that I've had. Well balanced between the hop bitterness and spice.

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Photo of oline73
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Pours a clear amber with a golden hue. There is a layer of off white head. The smell is hoppy, but there is a strong Belgian spice note. The taste has a nice balance between sweet, spice, and hops. There is a fruity note, the finish is bitter. Lots of Belgian spice here.

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Photo of ADZA
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed apricot hue with a creamy two finger head and similar lacing here and there,the smell is pine,citrus,lemon sherbet,candy and as it warms liquorice and aniseed,the mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated maybe a little too much and has tastes of pine citrus infused hops,peaches,nectarines,lychee,candy,the lightest hit of toffee malts and finished with a citrus bitterness and overall its nice and hides its ABV very well as i dont get much of the alcohol on smell or taste just wish the mouthfeel had abit less carbonation apart from that yeah id buy it again cheers.

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Photo of dgilks
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy golden colour with a nice, white head. Good head retention and some lacing.

Rich, dank hop aroma with the citrus and pine combining with some Belgian yeast notes to give an almost musky aroma. Very nice. Quite sweet.

Sweet malt hits first followed by a musky hop and yeast flavour. Nice mandarin and musk. Good bitterness that complements everything else.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Silky.

A delicious beer. A nice balance of IPA and Belgian yeast that works well.

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

A clear copper-amber color with a fair off-white head and tenacious lacing. The aroma offers sweet pine-citrus hops with a touch of piss and vinegar. The lemon edges blend with some skunky caramel. Very nice although I don't detect much of the usual Belgian ideas. The flavor brings a nice blend of caramel-pine and lemon along with a modest clove yeast that just hints at the Belgian theme. This stuff is pretty yeasty with a slightly funky hop. The body is medium with moderate carbonation. The feel is gentle but with a pleasant frothy quality. Although it did not provide the classic Belgian IPA flavors it is none-the-less a very enjoyable concoction. Very much recommended.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this about 2 weeks ago, finally getting around to posting the notes. This was Batch 3/June 2012 bottling.

Pours a palish orange with some haze. Good puffy white head retains pretty well.

Scent presents some light fruit, straw, yeast, citrus, grapefruit, bready malts. Nice, good balance.

Big-time Belgian yeast in the taste is a bit astringent at first but it evens out very well after some time. Good dose of American hops (earthy, grapefruit, citrus, peach) is backed nicely by saison-like goodness (straw, yeast, grass, crackery malts). Good balance.

A bit foamy on the mouthfeel and a little on the boozy side, but has a full-but-light feel to it.

Definitely liking the lighter saison feel, a nice variety of hops as well. Another great offering from Cambridge.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a 668 tulip.

A: Hazy medium-amber body under two inches of frothy off-white head. Great retention, lots of lace. A bit too soapy-looking head-wise, but still good.

S: Really spicy, quite floral, and almost minty. Good balance of hops and Belgian yeast. At times it, strangely, almost reminds me of a Philly cheesesteak - but in a good way. Interesting.

T: Fruity up front, with a mixture of citrusy hops and apple-like esters. Bubble gum, sweet malt, and some alcohol thereafter. Bittersweet, fruity finish. I wish it were spicier, but it's still pretty good.

M: Medium-to-full bodied, with creamy carbonation. Nice.

O: Good beer, if a little weird. I was expecting more from my first CBC bottle, though, given their stellar reputation.


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Photo of natescape
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint stein out of a bottle. Batch 02, bottled in February, 2012. Given as a gift that was regifted. :)

A - Beautifully golden, with the last pour being somewhat hazy.

S - Not as much hops as I'd expect... with a bit of the yeasty Belgian Double aroma that I would expect.

T - YUMMY. Well-balanced - malty, hoppy, and very very smooth. Almost no aftertaste. Very impressive for an 8% brew.

M - Full mouthfeel, yet clean and not overpowering.

O - Seek this beer out. Really excellent example of a Belgian Double IPA. The 8% is totally lost until the very end (as it's warmed).

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Photo of Momar42
3.18/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber into Duvel tulip
Bottled 2011 (it was a gift so I'm gonna drink it anyway!)

A - hazy deep yellow color with frothy white head the dissipates quickly. Minimal lacing.

S - bready, biscuits, yeast and a hint of lemon. Perhaps even some tea notes coming through. Think the aroma has faded over time but still nice.

T - once again, I dont think the age has treated this one well. Its drinking more like a hoppy wit now. An interesting amalgam if ever. I really believe this would be a quality beer fresh.

M - moderate carbonation go well with the remaining bitterness. Not too smooth but pretty medium. Not bad given the age.

O - This gets a 3.5 because of the age. I can detect some really nice notes in here but they have faded too much. Not the beers fault but I will try and track down a fresher bottle to revise my rating. Would recommend others do the same. I have a feeling this is an overlooked good BIPA.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 2" custard head of decent lifespan. The body is a hazy light burnt orange color. It smells very strongly of piney and citrusy hops. The taste blows me away with hops just like the smell as well as a nice carmamelly aftertaste. Quite rich and with a long finish. Delightful beer.

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Photo of Maxwell
3.06/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Batch #2)

Appearance: Pours a straw piss golden yellow with a thick haze and a darkening towards the top of the beer making it a golden brown. This is another dehydrated piss-looking beer. The whole thing is slightly reminiscent of apple juice, honestly. The head is small but fluffy with a nice white coloring, and there is a good amount of bubbling which suggests some nice carbonation. There is a very light lacing that slides down the glass swiftly, leaving shaved air-pockets and pinnacles of lacing behind.

Smell: Surprisingly light smelling for something that is named “The Audacity of Hops.” The beer has a nice light tingle of fruity and citrusy hops with the citrus definitely on the back and edges of the smell. There is also a nice spiciness to the smell, and a slight, almost cheesy-bread linger in the back.

Taste: Taste is as light and clean as the smell. A nice hoppy bite with lingering spices and a slight breadiness. There is also a tingle in the taste reminiscent of almost-wheaty pine. I would go as far as to say that the beer initially suggests a stalish taste. Also, in a way the carbonation seems to push away any other tastes that the beer might have. Once the carbonation settles it does seem to give off a slight odd fruity flavor, though, which reminiscent of nectarines.

Mouthfeel: The beer feels smooth and crisp on the tongue with a very slight bite from the hops as it goes down, with a light frothy bubbling. It leaves the tongue with a slight cloying feel, which is almost sticky.

Overall: I am little disappointed with this beer, it lauded itself as having a big Double IPA hop flavor with a Belgian flair, but it seems to be quite lacking in the hoppy smell and over powering bite that I expected in a Double IPA. The beer is hoppy, just not as much as I expected. It’s not a terrible beer, but it is nothing special in my book, with an overall feel of underwhelming.

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Photo of BostonHops
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a slightly hazy, medium amber / gold tone; fairly aggressive pour yields a solid 2+" head - great retention and lacing. fragrant hops come bull-rushing out of the glass; nice bouquet of floral / pine / citrus... secondary malty notes and a hint of candied sugar.

flavor follows the nose pretty closely. opens very hoppy with some sweetness emerges mid-palate before finishing on the drier, more bitter side. very flavorful with hops obviously showcased but nice cameos by the candied sugar and some spice.

overall i'm incredibly impressed here, maybe my favorite beer to date from CBC.

(originally reviewed: 12-20-2011 - batch 1, freshly bottled, purchased at CBS)

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Photo of TangTKE402
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Info: Batch #1, bottled Dec. 2011

A: Poured from a 22oz. bomber bottle into a pint glass. Hazy, straw-colored yellow, with a tan center, 2-finger, fluffy white head, and some lacing. Pretty to look at.

S: A great balance of hops, yeast, and malt. Front smell is a spicy Belgian yeast, with a bright hop middle and a light banana spice finish. Fragrant like a flower: delicate but complex, and very inviting.

T: Dry, with a touch of spiciness and bread. Bright hop notes on the tongue with some yeasty malts through the middle and a bone-dry aftertaste. Flavors of grass, coriander, rye bread, pine needles, pale malt notes on the back of the tongue. Flavorful, but light, with only occasional hints at it's alcoholic potency, this beer is quite a delight to drink on a hot day.

M: Chewy and grainy in the mouth with a bone dry bite to it. It has a lighter feel than most DIPAs, most likely due to the Belgian influence, so it's nice for hop heads looking for a lighter side of things.

O: A great-tasting beer, that doesn't try to do too much. Easy-going, light and fluffy, but with some great flavors and interesting feel, I would recommend it to those seeking a summertime DIPA. Nice effort, and good product.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ActonBrewer for this one. Reviewed from notes. Poured into a snifter glass.

A: Hazy, apricot orange-copper in color. Medium head.

S: I get Belgian yeast and citrus hop aromas.

T: Sweet, bready malt; biscuit yeast; citrus & pine hop. There is an acerbic bitterness that cuts through the rest of the flavor profile, and I can't quite decide if that's good or bad. Odd.

M: Mild bitter hang after the swallow. Good weight to mouthfeel.

O: Good, not as much Belgian character as I expected.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch No 1 from Dec 2011

A: pours a hazed light orange with a finger of white head. Decent head retention and modest lacing
S: smells of a nice combination of fruity esters from the yeast, some citrus and some floral hops with an underlying sweetness
T: sweet malt, spicy yeast, fruitiness, citrus and some floral hop flavors. aftertaste is alcohol some citrusy flavor and oily hop flavor along with some sweet malt flavor and more estery goodness
M: sharp and prickly carbonation and a medium to slightly light mouthfeel
O: smells great, looks good, and very nice and complex flavor profile. a well done beer that is sure to please

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Photo of C20Percent
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

*Says it was from the February 2012 batch*

A: First impression: Pours a clear pale gold with a semi-bubbly head of white foam. Decent amount of bubbles in the body. Upon pouring the second half: The body is a nicer hazy gold with barely visible pieces of sediment. Looks a lot better than initial impression.

S: This is a double IPA? No, this is all Belgian Ale. The sweet breadiness and yeastiness smell dominates. Little bit of piney hop smell in the back. Not bad, though - maybe a little too generic. A little later: With time the hops start to dominate the aroma. Starts to smell really nice.

T: A sweet yeasty taste with a nice hop backbone. It's not an IPA, but it's still good. I gave this flavor a 4 from the beginning -- but the flavor does get better much like the appearance and smell.

M: A medium body that feels a little rough on the mouth. Nice carbonation. A little generic, though.

O: Initial impression is not great. Over time this beer gets better, but -- come on. It's not a bad brew to begin with. I'd like some more hop flavor -- you start to get it with time. More than any other beer this one gets better as it warms.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear golden-orange color with a thin finger of frothy white head atop. The head fades down fairly quickly leaving behind some good lace.

S - Aroma is full of piney hops with some citrus and tropical hops, sweet caramel malts, and some light spices and Belgian yeast esters.

T - Starts off with some pine hop with some light grapefruit and bitterness alongside some sweet caramel malt. Through the middle some more bitterness comes through alongside a touch of yeast esters and some lightly bready malt. The finish is big on the pine and grassy hops with some good bitterness and some spices and Belgian yeast flavors.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry and bitter finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really great Belgian IPA with a good hop profile and a good amount of flavor from the Belgian yeast.

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The Audacity Of Hops from Cambridge Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.