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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: 601
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 19.06%
Wants: 34
Gots: 89 | 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: 601
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellow-orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus zest, tropical fruit, funk, earth, and Belgian yeast aromas. Taste is much the same with tropical fruit, earth, funk, and Belgian yeast flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a nice balance between the citrus and tropical hops and the Belgian yeast.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

real solid belgian double ipa here. belgian yeast gives it a beautiful white head on top of a partly clear golden liquid with lots of rising bubbles. looks lighter than it is. the nose is herbal and spicy belgian yeast with big oils west coast style hopping present. i get a little tropical, maybe pineapple, but the rest is resinous pine type hops, which stand out above a rather bland malt base. the flavor is even better, a beautiful marriage of hops and yeast. furthermore, the yeast has completely fermented whatever sugar was left here, and so a dry and bubbly brew results that drinks dangerously easy for its alcohol strength. the hops are huge and bitter all the way through, but also quite vegetal, adding a fleshy fruitiness to this that works with the yeast. an excellent beer overall, one of the better examples of this often underwhelming style. not for the faint of hop!

edit: the bottled version of this, when fresh, is even better than on tap. i get a way more tropical fruit hopping, like fresh pineapple juice even more than the tap. it honestly reminds me of abner from hill farmstead as far as the hop profile, which is about as high a compliment as an ipa can receive from me. its less west coasty, and more refined than we usually associate with that. amazingly easy drinking for its size, and just a beautiful beer all around. top quality belgian ipa, the only one i can think of right now that i could drink every day and not lose enthusiasm for. cambridge is awesome.

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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 brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden color with a frothy head that leaves some splashy lace behind

Smell: Floral and piney, with some rye spice and sweet Belgian yeastiness

Taste: Biscuity, up front, with a bit of rye spice and stone fruit jumping in just before the audacity begins; the hops are floral and piney, with plenty of pith as well; after the swallow, the hops really burst forward, and mingle with the malt in layers of complexity

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with lively, though moderate, carbonation

Drinkability: Unlike many other Belgian IPAs I have tasted, I would characterize this one as 3/4 American IPA and 1/4 Belgian; I really like that profile rather than 50/50

Thanks, jleblanc, for the opportunity

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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 Thorpe429
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Reagan1984. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a fairly-clear light golden color with a thin white head that dissipates fairly quickly. Some spotty lacing and a thin collar throughout. The nose carries some pepper and a bit of Belgian yeast atop a bit of floral hops. Slight earthiness in the background. Flavor is hoppy with some yeast character in the background. A general earthiness pervades. Medium body with crisp carbonation and a moderately-dry finish. Some bitterness throughout. Pretty good.

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Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazed orange tinged lighter golden with a nice looking half finger almost creamy-like head.Citrus fruits in the nose with a tinge of spiced Belgian yeast although not real big,very citrusy.Mild yeasty notes on the palate with a big burst of the fresh citrus and tropical fruity hops,light earth in the finish.A refreshing beer that doesn't seem to show it's "size",very drinkable.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I never thought I would land this one in a million years. Huge thanks to the dr for throwing me this one as an extra. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 11/12/2009.

The pour was very solid, rich amber in color with a nice two inch cap of white that came up and over the top, settling down nicely with tons of side glass lacing and a good bit of carbonation that could be seen bubbling up toward the surface. Huge aroma of grapefruit and rich citrus hops are all over the one. Nice balance of light buttery malts as it warms, but this one was truly a hop monster, just what I wanted indeed. First sip nearly ripped the tongue out of my mouth with a bitter joy. Huge ripe grapefruit notes, rich touches of pineapple, and the tongue buckling hops that pierced right through to your soul. Huge flavor here that really did not stop. Very floral and fresh with an enormous bitter flair to it. Just and immense IPA by all accounts. Nice medium feel with a good solid crispness to it, this went down well.

Overall I am very glad I got to try this one, it was truly one of a kind and one of the most bitter IPA's I have had in recent memory. Would love to do this one again.

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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 nickfl
4.39/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - One finger of white foam on a slightly hazy, golden body. The head settles quickly but leaves decent lace.

S - Strong fruity hops, citrus and pineapple. A backbone of toasted malt with some bready character.

T - Sweet with fruity, spicy hop flavor notes of pepper, orange and pineapple. Moderate bitterness comes in next with toasty, sweet malt. The finish is spicy with sweet malt notes and fruity hops competing with assertive bitterness, spicy alcohol notes, and a nice, smoky tobacco character.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish with just a hint of hoppy astringency.

D - A nicely balanced, fruity and drinkable IPA. The belgian character is not overly strong, as any spice and fruit notes from the yeast blend with similar characteristics form the hops. The hop character is excellent, with a strong aroma and flavor as well as smooth, balanced bitterness. Overall a very nice beer, too bad I can't get any more.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.61/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a clear, bright, golden body with a smallish, sudsy, white head.

Smell: While you do detect a light, understated maltiness, it's mostly (an audacity of) hops, with deep notes of pithy citrus fruits, grasses, pine flowers, and gooey resin.

Taste: Starts with faintly bready, crackery malts with a mild, brief sweetness and small zip of rye. This sets you up for the intense hop flavors of white grapefruit pith, crushed pink peppercorns, freshly-mown grass, and distilled pine resin. Very pronounced bitterness as the somewhat delicate malts can only do so much to counter the hops. There are some mild hints from the yeast but, for me, the heavy hop additions have almost completely overshadowed the lesser Belgian yeast characteristics. Finishes as dry and staunchly bitter as one might expect from an audacity of hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Certainly a beer for the hopheads out there. It's about as caustic and bitter as I can stand without having to tap out on the mat. Though, having said that, I was happy and relieved this was available in a sensible twelve ounce format, as finishing anything bigger might prove to be a daunting task. Even with the lone twelve ounces, it might be best to share this with a friend. Or as dear Samwise Gamgee might say, "Share the load."

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Photo of jlindros
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glad to see CBC bottling so it's much easier for me to get a hold of.

Pours a nice larger fluffy but bubbly 1 finger head that fades fairly quickly with a bit of sticky lacing, lots of bubbles rising from the bottom to reinforce it. The beer is crystal clear tan pale malt colored beer.

Nose is a nice Belgian IPA, a perfect blend of Belgian yeast and floral citrusy hops. A nice fruity Belgian yeast, typical from a Belgian golden ale with hints of Belgian sweet malts. With that comes some nice subtle hops, with some light floral characters, and a bit of citrusy almost lemongrassy like, as well as a bit of grapefruit and I don't mean hop smelling grapefruit I mean real freshly cut ruby red grapefruit. Light saison like yeast spices touch the end of the nose with a kiss of more Belgian yeast. The hops are in perfect balance with the malts and yeast for a true Belgian IPA.

Taste starts a bit malty, and bitter hops this time. A bit heavier than I was expecting from what the nose lead on to be. The hops bring a light spicy taste, with more ruby red grapefruit and the bitter tartness that a grapefruit would bring, a bit grassy and some lemongrass, and a light herbal touch. The malts are sturdy in the base, a nice big Belgian golden malt taste with a light sweetness, hint of booze, and bit of fruity esters that bridge the gap into the Belgian yeast. Again with nice Belgian yeast flavor, light Belgian golden fruity yeast, as well as hints of Saison like spices and esters. As much as I thought the hops were going to get very bitter and spicy, they seem to tease on doing so but don't ramp up like I expected. however, on the finish the hops get a bit astringent, and fairly bitter, with more spicy hops, a bit of grapefruit and grassy hops again, as well as light Belgian yeast flavors and spices. The finish dries quite a bit which accentuates that bitterness, and doesn't really get sticky either.

Mouth is med to full bodied, with good carbonation, and a hint of warming booze.

Overall very impressed with this beer. The nose was a perfect balance of Belgian yeast, malts, and American and Euro hops. The flavor comes on a bit stronger and finishes a bit astringent, but otherwise balanced well and nice hop characteristics. A very drinkable and well balanced beer. They did well on the hops, didn't go crazy overboard like most American style Belgian IPAs that drives me crazy. If you overdo the hops (like Raging Bitch) you don't get any of the Belgian, and it's not even really a Belgian style IPA IMO, just an American IPA with a different yeast that you can't even tell the difference. Anyways, I'm rambling again, thanks for a very well done BIPA.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a couple of tulip glasses.

Pours a clear golden copper, with a sudsy head of bright-white foam. This maintains a rich ½ finger sized flare-up when swirled, which dots the sides of the glass with sticky lace. The aroma smells fresh, leafy, spicy, and citric, with notes of bread and bubblegum working themselves in here as well. Underlying warmth adds a touch of fullness to the nose.

The taste is fresh bitter citrus and pine, which gives this some bite, while pale malt sweetness helps balance this across the back. Bubblegum, soft fruit, and herbal textures cling to those malt flavors a bit, while that combo of hops and yeast finish this dry with notes of pith, resins, and spice. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a slick and smooth feeling to the carbonation that has just enough of a prickle to it to bring out some crispness in the body. There is a good bit of slickness to this which keeps that 8% ABV going down VERY easily.

This was a well done take on a Belgian IPA, with a complex yet balanced profile that kept this smooth and flavorful on the palate despite the occasional assertiveness of the hops. Watch out for this, it's dangerously drinkable for the size.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.43/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Were it not an obvious reference to a book title, I'd say this was a badass name for a beer. Not that it's bad 'cause it's a reference, it's just not as awesome as it could have been with the innate originality. Regardless, this stuff pours a hazy sunshine amber topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises Belgian yeast, pine sap, light clove, a pinch of black pepper, melon rind, and a hint of sourdough. The taste brings in more of the same, the yeast and the now slightly-earthier pine jockeying for position, occasionally all-out clashing. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a solid-enough BIPA, but the yeast and the hops don't fully mesh for me. It's not bad by any stretch, but not something I'm gonna be picking up again any time soon.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.82/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Truncated notes below:

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with unbranded pry-off pressure cap served into a tulip at high altitude in Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live as a Belgian style double IPA per the label. Expectations are average.

Served cold.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1 finger wide head. White colour. Decent creaminess, thickness, and fullness. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Hazy copper. Translucent. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it's an appealing appearance for an IPA.

AROMA: Floral hops, pale malts, clean barley, and mild yeasty spiciness. A pleasant aroma of average strength.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: Floral hops, pale malts, clean barley, pilsner malts, and some mild yeasty spiciness. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. Decently balanced.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, medium-bodied, slightly overcarbonated, and aptly thick. Suits the taste decently, but doesn't seem custom-tailored specifically to it.

OVERALL: Drinkable but boring. A pedestrian IPA that won't impress the discerning drinker. I wouldn't pick it up again, but it's nice enough. Not necessarily worth trying. Very average.


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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 10/17/2014 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a stange glass.

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

S: The aroma contains floral hops, fruity citrus, Belgian yeast and caramelized malts.

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

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

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a nice beer to drink for a long time.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.36/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Yes. This is a Belgian ipa. That much seems certain. It strikes me as somewhat boozy really. There is a definite burn on it and it detracts from the overall experience. If it were toned down a good bit then the hops and Belgian side of things would probably be able to shine better.

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

Solid, frothy head that settles in a dome. Leaves chunky, but spotty, lace on the glass. The liquid is deep gold with a mild orange hue. There's a steady cascade of minute bubbles upward. Mild chill haze.

Like a bouquet of peppery flowers--a beautiful hoppy aroma.

A very nicely balanced IPA. Great malt start and while the bittering hop presence is huge, it doesn't overwhelm. The body is rich but the carbonation is also high. The swallow is a mixture of bitterness and earthy yeastiness. The aftertaste is short-lived given the flavor. Less "Belgian" in taste than American.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%

From 09/16/14 notes. Had at the brewpub, been wanting to try this for a while.

Pours a hazy bright orange-amber color with one inch of bright white head and low carbonation evident. Citrus hops, fresh tropical fruits, juicy, fruity malts, oranges, and floral hops. Taste is lightly bitter but bad at all. Medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall one of their best beers IMO; well worth seeking out.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Reagan1984. Served in a FFF/Intelligentsia snifter. Bottled December 2011.

A - Quick-dissolving thin white foam settles to a thin collar and some wisps, leaving minimal lace behind. Hazy apricot body.

S - Spicy Belgian yeast, black pepper, some earthy and herbal hop notes, perhaps a touch of citrus zest. Alcohol isn't totally hidden, mingling with the flavors to give this a sharp bite to it.

T - Taste is a little more smoothed out. Grains, bread, yeast, stone fruits, and only mild earthy hops. Surprisingly low bitterness for the style.

M - Medium body, lower carbonation, minimal alcohol warmth, a tad dry in the finish.

D - I'm not sure I would have used this name for a Belgian IPA, but in any case it's not as hop-forward as I was expecting. Still, for the style it's pretty well done and largely enjoyable.

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

Thanks Thorpe for this tick. At the time of this review, this beer is the #16 beer on the "Top Beers - Belgian IPA" list on beeradvocate.com.

Beer is eyllow with a slight haze, thin wispy white head of small bubbles, some lacing, low carbonation.

Smells exactly like a Belgian IPA, mildly peppery yeast with an earthy hop backbone.

Beer is light in body and sweet on the front with a dryish and mildly bitter finish. The center of the palate is earthy with hops and a little sulfur and mild spiciness from the yeast. Pretty good, I'd have it again.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served from the bottle and poured into a tulip glass. A little old, bottled May 29th 2013.

A dull orange and opaque body, with a good glowing tangerine colored edges. Frothy large white head with good clumping and retention. Grows large off the pour nice and even with a creamy appearance and whipped up top.

Nose has some slight candi sweetnees, but a good hop bitter that dominates and is subtle. Perhaps somewhat faded, but quite chewy leafy and almost minty smelling with a little floral kick.

Palate comes with a large hop bitterness. Minty washing front, with sharp finish on the swallow that lingers on and on. Get out the toothbrush it's warm and minty hot. Chewy palate with a very subdued and hammered down Belgian sweetness. THe heat almost translates into a bretty quality which it's not, but it's a very similar sensation. A little light bodied, but the lack of chewy malt depth provides an easy drinking beer on what could be overly hot.

Real nice take on a Belgian IPA and a large hop presence. Enjoyed my first CBC brew.

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Photo of Billolick
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Glad to see the CBC beers being distributed to Conn. and now available only about 20 mins from my house!

Bomber bottled May 29, 2013...not super fresh...maybe better luck next time I venture to get a few bottles cross the border

Pours hazed lighter amber, real nice looking head, goes to a well developed meraingue (sp?) cap, then leaves all sorts of classy looking fluff, sheetage and lace.

Yeasty, fruity, hoppy, peppery nose. nice.

Love the style and this one hits the note pretty darn well...I get the Belgian yeastyness, the spiced up qualities as well the hoppy IPA character. Well done.

Ample pepper, yeasty ripe fruit notes, super dry biting hops in the finish. Yeasty final pour to boot, with the expected lingering and always enjoyable nutty note.

Great with food. Goat cheese, salad, and some peppery sausage went great with this one..well worth a try...hmm when's the next time I can get to Danbury?

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 1 bottled Dec 2011 Wicked fresh :)
Pours a slightly hazy deep straw yellow color with a decent sized head that slowly recedes and leaves marginal lace. Wow this is hoppy! Huge amounts of pine and citrus waft into the air long before I get my nostrils over the top of the glass. Slightly spicy with a hint of green onions and just a touch of yeasty esters. Taste is resinous, pine, citrus, spicy, woody hops with barely enough bready malt to call this anything other than fresh squeezed hop juice. Belgian yeast adds a hint of phenols and a touch of pepper to round out the flavor. Medium body with a spirited level of carbonation and a bubbly, prickly, resinous mouthfeel. Finally a Belgian IPA where the yeast funk doesn't hide the hop funk on my palette. Very nicely done.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: very murky orange hue with a finger of creamy ivory foam. Not bad, but a little mysterious with all the murk.

Smell: nice funky aroma with just a hint of sourness. The funk must be due to a combination of hops and a saison-type yeast; whatever the proportions, the effect is quite nice.

Taste: funky and earthy, yet bright and not nearly as dank as I might expect a formula like this to be. The combination of brightness and earth really works for me. Bitterness is relatively high, but it's smooth and not rasping. I dig it.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a big carbonation and a very satisfying creaminess. It really works for me.

Overall: this is a very fine Belgian-inspired DIPA. I can really get behind beers like this, which are interesting and refreshing despite the high ABV.

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