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Hopzilla - Lawson's Finest Liquids

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HopzillaHopzilla

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

253 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 253
Reviews: 77
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 381
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Lawson's Finest Liquids visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 04-21-2009

This monster of an India Pale Ale will make you pucker up! Loaded with high-alpha US grown hops and enough malt backbone to balance the intense bitterness. Dry hopped and wicked strong to terrorize your taste buds.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 253 | Reviews: 77
Photo of BrewUSA
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Lawson's Hopzilla

Look 9/10
Smell 16/20
Taste 38/40
Feel 9/10
Drinkability 20/20

Overall 92/100

Very unique malt bill. Stays juicy and creamy. Devastatingly drinkable and rich. I'm going to miss Vermont and Lawson's dearly :( How could so much great beer come from one area?

Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a snifter glass.
Pours medium amber with low bubbly head. Very nice lacing and retention.
Smell is very nice, some sweetness and hoppy floral aromas.
Taste was very interesting, the taste of caramel was very present for me but not overly sweet. Mixed with the delicious blend of hops, this caramel/hop profile was very unique on my tongue.
Mouthfeel was slightly sweet and sticky.
Overall, delicious and very unique.

Photo of tbeckett
3.79/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had this at Blackback in Waterbury. From notes.

A - Dark gold pour with good carbonation and one finger of fluffy white head. Cloudy. Spotty lace and a film of retention.

S - Juicy mango, grapefruit, sweet fruits.

T - Lot's of citrus, boozy pineapple, syrupy fruits.

M - Good bitterness, good carbonation, medium body.

O/D - I thought this was a regular strength IPA until i went to write this review. Not what I expected, especially for Lawson's. It was, however, pretty tasty and drinkable. Nice stuff.

Photo of JMScowcroft
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Lawson's Finest Liquids - Hopzilla, poured into a DFH Spiegelau IPA glass.

Look - Pours a hazy caramel amber with a luxurious foamy head that leaves behind exceptional lacing as it dissipates.

Smell - Citrusy and piney fresh, malt is almost untraceable in the nose.

Taste - Rich malt only slightly present and immediately overrun by some citrus and a ton of fresh pine. Finishes pine extreme.

Mouthfeel - Rests hyper bitter. Moderate carbonation and heavy-medium bodied. Quite hot and boozy. Big brew.

Overall - Another stellar brew, this one a king of piney bitterness with a boozy face smash on top. Definitely recommend.

Photo of Stevedore
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Reservoir in Waterbury, VT. 12oz pour into a Lawson's snifter yesterday, 10/23/2013.

Pours a lot like Triple Play. Hazy orange body, beautiful and thick foamy 1cm white head that the bartender used a knife to whip off the top of the glass. Lacing is very sticky and present leaving lots of lines on the glass.

Smells deliciously fruity and so complex. So much citrus and pine but without the typical hops. Its like a dry grapefruit pineapple juice or something like that. Very intense with minimal malt presence, though it is there as a mild sweetness.

Lots of citrus- grapefruit, oranges- complemented by a nice mild caramel flavour from the malts. Finishes off with a nice resinous pine flavour and above-average bitterness that is just right. Very tasty but not that much different than the Triple Play.

Mouthfeel is fantastic. Medium bodied, creamy and well carbonated. Dry and refreshing, with the aftertaste being a piney bitterness that is well balanced by the sweet dryness of the brew.

Another example of Lawson's finest liquids; the mouthfeel is outstanding and the smell is just something else. The flavour isn't too different from the other pale ales I had on this trip, but it is delicious in that Lawson's way (e.g. Triple Play, Double Sunshine, etc.)

Photo of dasenebler
2.99/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11/22/13
Lawson's Hopzilla
22oz, purchased at Hunger Mt. Coop

Pours a hazy medium amber. Glowing orange, nice white head retains at a finger very well. Good lacing. (4.5)

Aroma has fruity hop and a ton of ester. Pineapple, banana, bubblegum, pear. Lacks hop "dankness" and intense citrus. (3)

Lots of rindy bitterness on the palate. Fruity hops, very tropical, very tangy. Not that citrusy or piney. A little bit of heavy-oil sulfur and garlic on the finish, but not much. Malts are supporting, maybe a hint of caramel. Grassy bitterness really builds up on the tongue. Mouthfeel is resinous, slick and full, but pretty damn flat carb-wise. (3, 3)

Overall, I'm not very impressed with this beer. I know it's a different beer, but the Double Sunshine I had on-draft in VT a few months ago was way better than this stuff. This bomber tastes very amateurish, and the heavy esters indicate a stressed fermentation. Drinkable, but not worth $9/bomber. Bad batch, or just not a good beer? (2.5)

Photo of Hendry
4.93/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've been waiting all year to finally try Hopzilla, and was glad to get in on the bottle grab for the 2013 release. As with all Lawson's Finest Liquids, the expectations are high.

Super fresh bottle poured a deep apricot hue with a super creamy 1 finger Navajo white head, lovely retention, all kinds of lacing in the Lawson's tulip.

Aroma is what the armies of beer geeks drive to Vermont from all over the country for: completely hop forward with prominent ruby grapefruit and pineapple tones as well as fresh pine needles, delightful. The abundance of summit,amarillo,centennial and cascade hops are an all out assault on the nostrils,and the dry hopping beefs up the aroma to a high level of intensity.

The expertise of Sean Lawson and his small hand crafted batches makes that wonderful aroma translate into a flavor explosion of epic proportions. Hopzilla is what great hop forward IIPAs are all about for me: tropical fruitiness accompanied by a solid lingering bitterness that sticks around and makes you crave that next sip. There is a touch of heat, but the 8.7% is nicely obscured by the bright and bouncy flavors in this 22 oz. palate wrecker.

Mouthfeel is heavy medium, carbonation perfect, and a sensational dry finish accompanied by some mouth puckering makes way for the next delicious sip. A touch resinous but in a way that makes me appreciate the quality of the hops that are sourced to brew this masterpiece.

Sean Lawson continues to produce excellence from the small barn in his back yard located high in the mountains of rural Vermont. The level of expertise, care, and quality ingredients that include superior on site well water, make for some of the best Imperial Ale money can buy. Meticulous execution of dry hopping and cold conditioning in concert with quality ingredients create a truly world class ale that comes with my highest recommendation: one that makes me appreciate having access to such excellence on a regular basis.

Photo of jlindros
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a few days ago on our last Vermont trip. Nice Sunday afternoon beer I think.

Pours a nice creamy semi thick foamy 1 finger had that fades at a med pace, leaves some lacing but not a ton, semi clear slight maple orange faint toasty color.

Nose is pretty nice, a nice hodgepodge of great hops, my fav style hops before the invent of the huge tropical variety and the great Kiwi hops came around, nice citrus, a little tropical fruit like mostly a little melon and hint of grapefruit pith, touch of candied orange peel, mild resin and some pine,little spicy chewy hop profile, etc. With a nice malt base, big sweet candy like malt base, little caramel and toasty, reddish malt, a decent sweet malt base, more hops than malts but borderline imperial red ale.

Taste brings lots more hop profile again. Again a great hop profile, with some spicy hops to start, right into a pine profile and a little resin, into mild citrus, hint of grapefruit pith, and some mild melon again, with the sweet malt a little candied orange peel again too. A nice overall fruity hop that is there but mostly background to the spicy piney hops, and quite a bit of bitterness overall. The big bitterness is balanced though by the big sweet malt base, not super sweet but enough to balance. Mild caramel malt, some toasty reddish, and just overall big malty flavor too. There is a hint of booze but not much as it's hidden well by the sweet malts and big hops. Finish is long, big bitterness again as it attempts to dry but stays pretty sweet, little candy malt sweet sticky feel, some pine and chewy like hop profile lingering.

Mouth is med bod, nice carbonation too, faint hint of booze, and a little sticky feel.

Overall pretty nice, reminds me of what a great DIPA used to be a few years ago before teh advent of the huge tropical fruit bomb hops, a nice big pine and slightly spicy hop, a little chewy hop, little resin and a bit of citrus and melon, nice malty base with good balance. Still not on par with what the DIPAs are like these days, even their own Double Sunshine, or something like Abner or Heady Topper, but still pretty tasty.

Photo of rudzud
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this on a recent Vermont beer trip a few days ago. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a crystal clear coppery orange hue with a nice two finger super, super creamy off white head that fades to leave light lacing and a creamy blanket. Quite appealing.

S - Hmmm...not exactly the all out hop assault I had been expecting. IT is quite balanced between light malty sweetness and tropical fruits. Fruity hops, light pineapple, mango, and citrus. Wish there was more hop aroma though.

T - Taste is, well, quite bitter like the label states. The juicy hops are upfront, more of the fleeting tropical notes. On a heavy sip I get lots of tuttifruiti bubblegum on the finish. the main notes though are fleeting pineapple, mango, and citrus. The malts hold the hops back. I understand, IPAs do not always have to be in your face hops, but that's just more fun than a balanced beer. Still, a very balanced flavour profile of softer (flavour wise) hops and malts. Lingering bitter finish which is always fun. Alcohol is hidden wonderfully.

M - Mouthfeel is quite nice. Dry, medium bodied. Solid carbonation. Again, alcohol is hidden nicely. I'm a bit let down...the label made it seem like this would be super bitter. Its bitter, sure, but I have had MUCH MUCH bitter.

O - Overall, this is a delicious beer. Very balanced, which is always a plus I suppose. Alcohol hidden very well, just not NEARLY as bitter as I wanted it to be. Unfortunate, however, still a worthy beer.

Photo of HookemHoos
4.76/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass in Arlington VA.

Appearance - Pours a golden color with a thick foamy head.

Smell - A big rush of hops, but not an overwhelming amount.

Taste - The taste has a burst of hops, but also has a creamier almost caramel flavor to it. It has a very sweet malty aftertaste that is very nice and not overly bitter.

Mouthfeel - Great carbonation and outstanding mouthfeel

Overall - This is a great IPA. I tasted it next to Heady Topper and it stands on its own. It separates itself as completely different than Heady, but still very delicious. Outstanding beer.

Photo of Jimmys
3.44/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber into snifter.

A: pours a very clear copper color. head retention is decent. tons of spotted lacing. vinous.

S: smells super fruity and sweet. too sweet. im afraid I get some diacetyl in this aroma. battle of hops and diacetyl.

T: resinous. melon. bitterness is fleeting. certainly piney. a little bit of lime. better as it warms. the diacetyl in the nose is not nearly as glaring as in the nose. a non-glaring bitterness in the finish.

M: carb is pretty mellow. very mellow actually. full bodied.

T: tis a shame regarding the off-flavor of diacetyl. everything else I have had from Lawson's has been nothing short of fantastic. I see a boatload of positive reviews which leads me to believe I got a bad batch and this beer is typically much better. certainly would be willing to give this another try.

Photo of mikem0487
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into Green Man snifter. No Enjoy By/Drink By date.

A-Pours a mildly hazy copper body with a very thin head. The thin head does have nice lacing and good retention.

S-This beer is all about the aroma. Ridiculous. I have never given a beer a 5 in a category and this aroma deserves it. The use of cascade, amarillo, centennial and magnum hops work out beautifully in this beer. Pineapple, peach, kiwi, mango all stick out and blend together. Throughout all that intense fruitiness you almost get a candy like caramalized sugar smell?!?

T-This beer is definitely bitter like the label entails. Very juicy upfront showcasing the hops and than the bittering attributes of the hops come in and linger on the back of your tongue. Clean yeast lets the hops do the work and the malt help to balance it out. Only thing that I do not love about this beer is the after taste which is just very bitter and contains some fusel alcohol notes, minor but apparent between all that hop bitterness.

M-On the dry side for a Imperial IPA. Medium bodied, good natural carbonation.

O-Highly recommend this beer and would love to try it fresh on tap in VT. Everything about this beer is enjoyable and makes me want to drink more of it but the overly bittering finish with the alcohol heat takes away from the overall greatness of this beer.

Photo of Jaycase
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

a: light golden copper. frothy 1 1/2 finger white head. spotty lacing

s: tropical, citrusy hop burst (orange, grapefruit). some pine. caramel

t: starts out with mostly piney hops with accent of some citrusy hops. Caramel malts quickly come in and enact a scorched earth policy until the finish

m: good level of carbonation. medium body. juicy.

o: My first from Lawson's. Aroma was great but I was let down by the flavor as I thought the maltiness was way too pronounced for what I look for in a DIPA. Glad I got a chance to try this. Hope to try something else from them down the line.

Photo of Rheaume17
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Lawson's tulip glass at the Resevoir in Waterbury, VT.

Appearance - Pours a deep golden color with a solid inch of foamy head. This slowly dissipates. Decent lacing through the session.

Smell - A burst of hops, but not the huge tropical smells that a lot of Lawson's IPA's have. I am picking up on some sweet flavors, perhaps some caramel? I know it sounds crazy, but for some reason I keep on smelling slight hints of banana...

Taste - Very similar to the smell. A generous dose of hops are on the forefront. Picking up on slight hints of some citrus fruits and pine. The hops are balanced out with a sweet malt which is where I was smelling the caramel.

Mouthfeel - Perfect carbonation. A good bitterness that plants itself on your tongue. The sweetness cuts back some of the bitterness in the aftertaste.

Overall - Another excellent DIPA from Sean. Although not my favorite, this is definitely one to try if you have the opportunity.

Photo of Huhzubendah
2.78/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Fresh bottle shared by Lunch. Thanks Paul.

The beer appears golden with a thin white head. The aroma offers butterscotch candies, must, floral hops, candy. Sweet and sticky. Cotton candy with sweet alcohol and floral hops. I'm told that this is not a good representation of this beer. Odd and cloying. A touch of citrus, but that's entirely overpowered by sweetness and cleaning solution. Fail.

Photo of SpasmWaiter
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this beer last night at a local tasting in Stowe. FANTASTIC. This beer is on par with, if not superior to Heady Topper. I'm by no means a "HT Homer" but it still sets a local standard here in Vermont. This beer will not disappoint if you are looking for that amazing citrus hop bomb with stoutlike mouthfeel.

11/29/13 Update -I've now drank numerous bottles of this and I can honestly say there is no other beer I would rather drink from Vermont. So, so, so tasty. Better than Double Sunshine, better than Heady Topper, better than Edward, better than any of the other Vermont hype machine beers. For my money, this is the best beer available on the US market.

Photo of blackie
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

consumed a number of glasses in Waterbury and Montpelier at Prohibition Pig, Blakback, and Three Penny

Served in a Lawson’s branded chalice, hopzilla is a deep honey golden in color, served with a good finger or two of white carbonation, falling back to a solid layer on the surface. Absolutely marvelously hopped with juicy citrus and tropical fruits upfront and fresh, young pine in support. Just fresh, dripping, and sticky. Flawlessly malted as well - somewhat sweet, very satisfying weight, without too much caramel flavor in the way of the hops. Nicely but not overly bittered. My favorite DIPA of the VT trip.

Photo of corby112
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Huge thanks to koopa for sharing this treat with me!

Pours a hazy, pale golden orange color with tangerine edges and a 1.5 finger white head that slowly fades into a lasting ring.  Spotty lacing left behind.

Dank, earthy hop aroma with resinous pine needle, grassy hops and a strong citrus/tropical fruit presence.  Pale malt backbone with hints of biscuit, graham cracker and straw.  Lots of mango, grapefruit, pineapple and orange peel character but it's balanced by the earthier hop notes and subtle malt backbone.  

Medium bodied with a blast of earthy, piney hops countered by sweet citrus and tropical fruit notes.  Grassy, dry and resinous with hints of curaçao, blood orange, grapefruit, pineapple and mango countered by a pale malt backbone.  more earthy than sweet but still very well balanced with a delicious hop profile and just enough malt.

Photo of NiceTaps
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap, in a Lawsons's snifter glass, in VT during a recent visit.

A- Slightly hazy copper/orange color. Minimal head, lots of lacing.

S- Citrus bomb, grapefruit and orange. A bit of pine and grassy resin notes also.

T- Citrus bomb, grapefuit and orange. A bit of pine and grassy resin notes as well.

M- medium body, good carbonation, Nice snappy hop finish.

O- Great finish, great beer.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 11.28.12

A - Pours a hazy medium orange with a two finger cream-colored, foamy head with good retention.

S - Citrus - Lemon, orange, pears, and pine. Very lovely.

T - Same as the nose but with more grassy-pine on the finish.

D - Good carbonation and a medium body, bitter finish.

O - Smells and tastes wonderful. This is a stellar IPA.

Photo of billab914
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a tasting glass. Light orange in color with a thin sticky white head. Great lacing and nice looking color.

Big bright hoppy aroma with tropical fruit punch. Peach and pineapple notes are great. Some light base malts, but it's all about the juicy hops.

The taste continues with the bright juicy hops. I get more notes of peach with a little pineapple. Grapefruit rind like bitterness comes out in the long dry finish. Great hoppy flavors overall.

The mouthfeel is thin with moderate carbonation. Great beer overall, loved the juicy bright hops. Very drinkable and flavorful.

Photo of Resuin
4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a Golden Monkey Goblet. Picked up this bottle about 3 weeks ago on my trip through Vermont.

Appearance: The beer pours a lovely dark gold/amber color and leaves about 2 fingers of white, fluffy head. Bubbles can be seen floating to the surface through the translucent gold beer.

Smell: This beer smells like a wonderful IPA should smell. Hops up front, with plenty of pine. Perhaps some citrus notes in the background but mainly pine and hops. Wonderful smelling beer.

Taste: Definitely hops up front, sticky pine. Very well balanced though, nothing is too overpowering, which makes this very drinkable, especially for its ABV. It's delicious, make no doubts about it. Finishes very clean and crisp, the taste does not particularly linger, but smacks upfront.

Mouth-feel: Lovely feeling for a DIPA, with a good amount of carbonation. Sticky and a great balance between syrupy and watery. Definitely heavier than standard IPA's which I was expecting.

Overall: Very well balanced DIPA. The taste matches the smell: hops, hops, and pine with some fruity notes. It tastes fantastic, and is a great hoppy experience - worthy of even the best tongues and noses.

Photo of woosterbill
4.49/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Reservoir in Waterbury, served in a Lawson's snifter.

A: Hazy medium amber body under a finger of fine off-white head. Ok retention, nice lace. Solid.

S: Explosively resinous and piney, with some crystallized tangerine close behind. Grape skin, grapefruit, and more pine. Terrific.

T: Spicy dank pine up front, followed by bright citrus, a touch of bread, and a hugely bitter, mildly alcoholic finish. Gigantically flavorful and terrifically complex, but a bit too harsh for only 8.7%.

M: Lively, spiky, sticky, medium-full body. Suits the craziness of the beer, but it's not quite what I like for the style.

O: Great DIPA, but it's a good thing I had it as my first of the night as it didn't really compare to Abner and S&S 5. I still haven't had Double Sunshine, but in my experience Lawson's is a distant third to HF and the Alchemist when it comes to hoppy VT goodness.

Cheers!

Photo of cfrances33
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks poured into a HF stem.

Pour: Hazy deep orange with two fingers of off white head. Leaves okay lacing, and the head hangs around in the form of a thick rim, and some film.

Smell: Big dank pine up front, as well as some citrus fruits. A nice honey malt presence comes through, and balances very well.

Taste: Really huge burst of dank pine up front, followed by some citrus bitterness. This beer is a conifer forest, but in a good way. A really nice caramel sweetness provides a great balance to this hop bomb, but only enough to not make the bitterness overwhelming. Finishes bitter with citrus and pine needles.

Mouthfeel: Huge bitteress, but also quite juicy. Medium heavy body. Slight booziness is what cause me to mark off a little here.

Overall: Nice beer, and definitely shows why Lawson's has a bunch of hype. Great beer

Photo of bonkers
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was very excited to see my cousin Jeff picked this up on his recent trip to Vt. We split the bottle 3 ways, into snifters. Deep orange pour with a 2 inch head, good lacing. Typical DIPA aromas, pine, grapefruit. The beer was very balanced, lots of pine and citrus, moderate/high bitterness. The finish lingered. The body and carbonation level were where I think they should be. Well constructed brew.

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Hopzilla from Lawson's Finest Liquids
96 out of 100 based on 253 ratings.