The Audacity Of Hops - Cambridge Brewing Company

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The Audacity Of HopsThe Audacity Of Hops

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142 Reviews
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Reviews: 142
Hads: 590
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 8.91%
Wants: 34
Gots: 83 | 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: 142 | Hads: 590
Photo of notchucknorris
4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up on a recent trip to Boston. So glad I did!

A: Hazy dark golden color with a one finger cream colored head that leaves some clingy lacing down the glass.

S: Slightly musty piny hop notes and a touch of Belgian yeast.

T: This is pretty delicious. I was a little worried about the hoppiness fading because this bottle is dated December 2011, but it seems to be intact still. Opens with a lot of pine and citrusy hops, grapefruit pith, a touch of belgian yeast and crushed black pepper. Finish is dry and pretty bitter, but leaves you wanting a lot more. The alcohol is really, really well hidden. Super drinkable and super delicious. Wish we could get this in California. (688 characters)

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

Popped open a bottle from the first batch, December 2011. Poured into a Chimay glass.

Great appearance- hazy amber color with a thin finger of bubbly white head that reduced to a thin coating over a few minutes. Lots of dense, tiny bubbles made up the head and it left smooth lacing on the glass. Smelled strongly of citrusy hops and banana, with some grassy notes. The taste hit me hard at first with a dry and bitter hoppiness, but a subtle sweetness quickly followed. Lots of bold character that you would find in a Double IPA. The mouthfeel was chewy and medium in weight, with a stickiness and a lot of carbonation.
Overall, enjoyed this one, and I felt like it was a fun take on an IPA. I tend to think it falls more into the characteristics of a DIPA rather than a Belgian, but it's light and easy to drink, and very tasty. (831 characters)

Photo of rmcnealy
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this as a cool extra from an awesome easter coast BA'er. Much thanks!

Poured a bright medium golden amber that was non-translucent that appeared to have floaties throughout. Produced a bone white froathy head that reduced to an inconsistent layer afloat the brew. The smells are pretty potent with aromas of hop, grapes, yeast and malt. Having been bottled in December (batch 1), it might be slightly past its prime but still smells pretty refreshing. The tastes are solid and mirror the aromas. A piney hop taste is followed up by the yeastiness of a Belgian beer with a trail of slight, indiscernable malts. Not much citrus with this one. All dark pine here. Finishes up with a bitter bite but is very subdued. The 8% abv is not very obvious and is very drinkable. Glad I got a chance to enjoy this one!

Cheers! (819 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
3.31/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a bright yellow/orange with a finger of white head with good retention and lacing.

Citrus with a bit of grapefruit drowned out by the spicy Belgian yeast profile.

Some of the citrus taste carries over, but really this one is dominated by the Belgian yeast strain. Finishes with a rush of black pepper that is way overpowering.

Good mouthfeel and carb.

The yeast strain and intense amount of pepper overpowers anything that may be good going on with this one. (468 characters)

Photo of mlazzaro
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very clear beer, thin white head. Solid carbonation going. Clearly bottle condition, the later sample is quite cloudy. An orange hued straw color. Head won't hold for very long, but does lace the glass with rings. Smells resinous with hops- piney citrus musky aroma, mixed with a clean spicey Belgian yeast character (Duvel-esk). Really interesting flavors > Very strong but not scorching bitterness (yeast sample was super bitter). Tastes a bit like Northern Brewer Hops. Followed by intense piney/spicy/citrus hop flavors. Very mild maltiness to the beer, slight grainy aftertaste. The tail end of the sip is a delicious and clean Belgian yeast flavor. I've had some Belgian IPAs where the Belgian yeast really clashes with intense hops flavors. These flavor are mending and bending quite nicely. Decent ABV. Medium body. Really unique and delicious, and a very challenging style of beer.

CBC is a great place to go in Cambridge MA. heads up to all. (956 characters)

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. (1,202 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into Victory tulip glass. Batch 1, Dec. 2011.

A: Hazy golden yellow. Finger of fluffy bright white head. Good carbonation, tiny bubbles off the bottom of the glass.

S: Shocked to get some Belgian yeast and some farmhouse right away. Masks the hops a bit, but I still get some fruitiness and pine from them eventually.

T: Interesting flavors. You don't get assaulted initially with hops, it's the Belgian spice. This beer lives in the middle of the mouth. Lots of fruity and piney hops. Really bitter dry finish. It's a tasty little beer. Different then other DIPAs.

M: It's medium bodied.

O: I like this one. A little different but very tasty. (667 characters)

Photo of brewandbbq
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, batch #1 bottled in December.

Pourd hazy gold with a copper hue. An inch-plus head of dense white retreated to a solid coating on the surface with ringed and tattered lacing throughout the glass.

Aromatics lead off with a blast of grapefruit, pine, cut grass, and biscuity malt. Hints of apples and cloves follow through.

Medium bodied with a crisp, slightly tacky mouthfeel.

Pine and grapefuit start the palate with a drying, smooth bitterness. Malt is near zero and the beer is bone dry beyond some hints of tropical fruit and apples.

Finishes with piney resins, grapefruit pith, and biscuity malt.

Tasty, tasty brew. With the low bitterness and and dry character, the beer is seriously drinkable as well. In comparison to the original draught version for the Symposium though, this bottled version is a bit subdued in the hop department. (859 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Translucent straw color with a fingerswidth head. Glass bottom retention leaves a ladder of crusty lace in its wake.

Complex and busy aroma consisting of spicy pepper, cantaloupe, mango and freshly vacuumed carpet all laid out on a blanket of wheat cracker malt. A few drifts of sharp pine cut through here and there.

Tastes like it smells: Mango pineapple sorbet and pepper with an herbal theme. Pretty dry. Course mouthfeel not plush and sexy enough to induce images of Belgium. Dry, cracker malt backing.

There seem to be two camps of Belgian IPAs - the traditional ones with intense swampy/herbal characteristics (De Ranke Bitter) and the more American ones with a mix of herbal and citrus hops (Audacity of Hops). I prefer that later. (743 characters)

Photo of mltobin
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a bomber of this at Yankee Spirits in Surbridge MA.

Appearance is a nice golden tone with two fingers of bright white head. Its` nose contains citrus hops, pine and flora. Taking a sip confirmed my suspicions that this is a fine beer, sweet from orange and other citrus components with more hops and pine. Mouthfeel is medium, good carbonation level and a lingering, pleasant bitterness to the finish. For those who appreciate a nice BIPA, be sure to pick this one up, it does not disappoint. (505 characters)

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

Batch 1
Poured in to my Portsmouth tulip

A: This beer pours a hazy, deep straw yellow color with a one finger of bone white, rich foamy head. Head retains nicely leaving ringlets of sticky lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is all hops! Big citrus, grapefruit and lemon notes. Some grassiness. For a belgian IPA, the spicing is muted - really plays an under current tone and works well for this beer.

T: Taste starts with a good deal of lemon, slight wheat, and then pale malts come through. Middle is mingled wheat and spicing - very very muted so that it compliments and not dominates the flavor. Big, big grapefruit notes come in during the finish with a hint of grass to cut the grapefruit bitterness.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, oily and slick body.

O: Goes down easy, VERY tasty, not too filling, well hidden kick, good representation of style. This is a belgian IPA that I could sit with for a night! (915 characters)

Photo of axeman9182
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle from batch 1 (bottled in December 2011). This one was poured into my Bruery tulip.

The Audacity of Hops pours a hazy, but not opaque light orange, with plentiful tangerine to goldenrod highlights. The off white head approaches, but maybe doesn't reach two fingers in height. Head retention is just OK, but there's a decent amount of lacing coated onto the side of the glass. The nose is a little on the weak side, but there are definitely clove and tropical fruit notes there to appreciate. The flavor profile steps things up big time though. The front end has some candied sugar sweetness, before an aggressive charge of bitterness come through. The back half is where things get interesting though, as phenols, esters, and hops come together to bring wave after wave of flavor coming through. Notes of bubble gum, tropical fruit, light citrus, clove, and a bit of earthy herbs all come through in time. No one sip is exactly like the last, but they're all delicious. The body is nicely dialed in, not desert dry, but tending towards the dry side of the spectrum. The carbonation however, is just a little bit dull. I'm thrilled that CBC is bottling some of their beers now, and only wish I lived in MA so I could have a glass of Audacity of Hops (or any of their other beers) at home more often. (1,311 characters)

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

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 3/4" light beige head over the slightly cloudy golden amber brew. Pillowy head slowly collapses, with sporadic chunky lacing. Aroma is skanky green hops.

Taste is pale sweetness to start, spicing and earthy hops in the middle, giving way to biting bitter numbness and a slight alcohol warmth. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, and drinkability is good as well. Almost as good as I remember.

8/3/09 - 4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5/5
12oz bottle gifted from a kind individual.

Poured into a Mayflower nonic, formed a 1/2" off-white head over the slightly cloudy golden brew. Head lasts and lasts, with thick coating lace. Aroma is spicy hops and candi sugar. Taste starts with a light pale sweetness, hits with spicy hops in the middle, then floral bitterness to close, with a shot of warmth. Mouthfeel is smooooth, and drinkability is way easy. An example of hops working hand in hand with flavors in a brew, instead of just bashing around with the bitter club. Audacity of hops, indeed. (1,082 characters)

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

A: This beer pours out a beautiful honey color with golden highlights. The body is rustic and unfiltered crowned with a solid one finger white head that recedes at a moderate pace.

S: Hop aroma is definitely present, your typical pine and very orange citrus. There is a fantastic sweetness that surround this whole beer, honey, tea with lemon, Madeline cookies, dry wheat, touch of yeast.

T: Whoa! There is a roll of hop bitterness that just edges of puckering, but manages to pull back just in time. Hefty pine, fermented orange and grapefruit flavors, touch of lemon. There is a sweetness that it almost dry in nature, that same touch of yeast coming in to play, herbal and earthy like dry grass.

M: Medium bodied and crisp that finishes dry like Champagne.

O: Audacious, absolutely. Brilliant? Borderline. After eating at CBC yesterday after a 5 mile road race, I felt compelled to review one of their beers today. This is powerful, potent, and worth your time. (969 characters)

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. (840 characters)

Photo of MexicanSkittel
3.56/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in a recent trade.

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a orangeish, yellow gold, with some haze. hints of red when held up to a light. a light white 1/4 head, dissipates to a ring around the glass.

Cut grass, herbs, a little bit of white pepper, hay. Grilled lemon. Some very light hop aromas, but maybe musty hops.

I get the white pepper on the back of the sip, with some 1/2 green 1/2 brown grass initially. some citrus zest makes a pass on the pallet but just a slight appearance. A bit of limeon, you know the stuff they make sprite out of.

The mouth feel is good, although it's a cooler evening, it's very refreshing. Not very viscous, or overly hot from the 8%ABV. Not bitter, balanced, and overall pretty good.

I'm very fond of west coast IPAs but I really like this beer over all. (823 characters)

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

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. (551 characters)

Photo of Duhast500
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a La Fin Du Monde tulip glass.

The color is a yellow gold with a good amount of bubble on the inside of the glass. There is a nice 2 fingers of foamy white head and some nice lacing left on the glass.

The smell is all hops at first with a nice pine aroma. There is some nice malt aroma hanging there with the hops that hop thing down here.

The taste is hoppy which is no surprise but there is a really fruit juice flavor that is giving out some sweetness from the malts. Good Belgian flavor comes out with a nice crisp pear and apricots coming out at the sharp edges. There is a slight bubblegum flavor just back there in the way far background but is there with some hops coming back to finish the flavor at the end.

The feel of this beer is bitter but medium bodied with some mellow feel. It seems to be just the beer for kicking back and relaxing. This beer just seems to soothe the sense. (928 characters)

Photo of Chelsea1905
3.61/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Strange one this. The looks are great, nice tangerine and yellow with a bit of lacing.

The smell initially is of onion like hops, and then it all gives way to malty and spicy and earthy tones.

Taste is the same as the smell

Mouthfeel is great, and over all it's not bad.

Bit it's an interesting one. Te Belgian yeast isn't that noticeable. (344 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Hazy golden with a prominent white head. Retention is good, but eventually the head settles into a crown of about a quarter-inch. lacing is wispy and patchy.

S: Pine, grapefruit. Citrus scents of pineapple and tangerine come from both hops and esters. Lightly spicy and chalky yeast aromas, and a touch of clovey/metallic phenol if you search for it. Biscuity malt is just noticeable.

T: Citrus notes play on the palate for a moment before being swept away in a tide of bitterness. Hop tastes at this point are very oily and leafy. Grapefruit bitterness builds. Belgian aspects start coming to the forefront toward the end. Clove and vague spicy Belgian yeast tastes, along with a distinct yeasty chalkiness. Green apple esters are well hidden, but there. Malt starts doughy but eventually dries out and turns more cracker-like. Finishes with ample leafy hop tastes, strong bitterness, and chalky yeast.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied. Very oily from the hops, and enamel stripping. Somewhat creamy, though the high level of carbonation cuts through and seems to lighten the body even further.

O: A solid entry into the Belgian IPA style. More bitter than most, but the Belgian aspects of it aren't completely swallowed up by the bitterness. Body seems a bit lacking, but it isn't too much of a distraction.

Notes: Might benefit from lowering the bitterness just a tad and beefing up the body just a hair. Minor complaints though, it's still a good beer. (1,511 characters)

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip. Poured a beautiful hazy orange with a two finger head that quickly receded and left some nice uneven lacing and a few splotches of foam on the surface and a ring around the edge.

The smell is pretty straightforward- the citrusy aromas of Cascade hops dominate the nose. Nothing complicated but pleasant.

The taste is much like the smell- nothing complicated but pleasant. Tastes more like an American IPA than a belgian one- I'm missing the yeastiness.

Mouthfeel is very nice- an oily texture thanks to the hops and a light body coupled with medium carbonation makes for a refreshing brew.

This is definitely a solid IPA but perhaps not worth what I paid for out of the bottle. I'm sure at the brewery it's great. (760 characters)

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. (522 characters)

Photo of stonermouse
3.56/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

The bottle is loaded with sediment. I let the bottle sit, and a slow pour got this one fairly clean. It pours yellow with perfect carbonation and a lightly regenerating head.

The aroma is quite muted, but what's there is a little musty. There's a little banana, and some sweet malt, but it's tought to tease out.

There's a lot going on in the flavor here. I'm not yet sure if the flavors are all compatible, but it is interesting nonetheless. There's a nice bitter bite, and a pure, dry grapfruit hop profile. This is the most grapfruit I've ever gotten from an IPA. Banana flavors are also present, moreso as it warms. And, as weird as it sounds, the flavors combine into something slightly nutty, perhaps walnuts. There is also a bit of a medicinal flavor here, but it's easily ignored.

The mouthfeel is dry and sticky, and the flavors coat the tongue big time. I'll still be tasting this in the morning.

This is an interesting brew, and I don't really know what to make of it. I taste a lot of distinct flavors, and when they combine, I get a strange nutty flavor. I suspect that most others won't experience this. Overall, this brew will intrigue you and keep you guessing. (1,213 characters)

Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one as an extra in a trade - Thanks Drew

Batch 01 -Bottled December 2011.

A: Pours a cloudy/hazy deep orange with a three finger head that descends into a thick frothy lacing that leaves it's mark as it lowers.

S: Grapefruit Slight citrus/lemon, pine and hops.

T: Slight bitter hop bite followed by grapefruit /slight pine with hints of Belgian yeast and a slight sweetness is in there too.

O: Overall a solid double Ipa with a Belgian twist , Very drinkable and one I would have again.. (501 characters)

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

Poured in my Duvel tulip from a bomber. Dark golden color with average head after a fairly hard pour. Smell was very piney from hops. Taste was dry and piney, not much of the citrus that other IPA's may have. Very refreshing and tasty; light in a way despite the alcohol. Mouthfeel was great, a very enjoyable IPA that I could, and would drink any time. (353 characters)

The Audacity Of Hops from Cambridge Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.