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Hopzilla - Lawson's Finest Liquids

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

84 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 84
Hads: 289
Avg: 4.32
pDev: 19.68%
Wants: 388
Gots: 13 | 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.
View: Beers (49) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 84 | Hads: 289
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.81/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

one of the first lawsons beers not to totally wow me. not only did it seem unbalanced in an unflattering way a little bit, especially in the finish, but it also is one of the only beers i have had from them that doesnt stand out in any way, its not that different or unique or special, which i always expect from these guys now. a little color to it, well short of red, but somewhere in that rusty orange spectrum, nice and heady, good clarity, plenty of carbonation. smells and tastes really pine hoppy, sharp like pine needles, not quite astringent, but bold to say the least. there is a sweetness from the malt that works well with it on the front end, but sort of runs out of steam before the finish commences, and it ends up being harshly bitter, and less hoppy in terms of flavor than the vermont standard. i appreciate what they were going for with this one, but its not the kind of ipa that has made them famous, and its not the kind i like to drink nearly as much. maybe better in a deep winter context, christmasy and strong, piney and all, but i hoped it would be on par with the sunshine beers, and its not even close.

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Photo of parris
3.95/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Definitely super bitter, as advertised, but a sharply medicinal and lingering aftertaste. Tons of earth and pine, decent malt backup. Not a bad beer, but it tastes and feels like a homebrew.

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Photo of jhavs
4.48/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

4 oz. tasting glass poured at SIPtemberfest at Mad River Glen in VT.

A= Copper with a thin bubbly white head, lacing is clingy, head settles to ring around the glass. Beer is fairly hazy.

S= Big earthy and piney hop aroma up front. Floral and spice hop profile.

T= Earthy hop flavors, bit of crystal malt sweetness but balanced with bitterness.

M= Medium body and moderate carbonation matching to style.

O= Easy to drink and balanced, different hop profile than their other IPA's, great. Would love a few bottles.

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Photo of lochraneg
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: pours a golden color with plenty of haze
S: significant hops but not too powerful
T: amazing, no other words
F: floral notes, slight citrus
O: if you can get one try it, simple and great IPA

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Photo of MikeM417
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Hopzilla is my least favorite Lawson's bottle to date. It has a much maltier taste than I have come to expect from my main man Sean Lawson. Am I mad I traded for it? No. Would I trade for it again? Also a no.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber purchased on 08/14/2015.

I was expecting very big things from this beer, since *the store that I purchased this beer at* made the patrons wait over an hour for this beer after the delivery truck arrived...

My patience was rewarded with a hop forward beer that combined signature Lawson's flavor with likely the maltiest beer I have had from their collection.

It tasted like a Midwest IPA done right.

Worth seeking out.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Lawson's tulip glass. Really like the green foil on the bottle, a very nice touch.

Deep copper orange, clear if opaque, with some real nice slow rising streams of fine carbonation that actually look like rising smoke in the glass. Head is creamy off white to very light tan, almost a brown vanilla color. Two fingers and a creamy top with some good lacing and swiss cheese bubbles as well. Great looking brew.

Aroma is real soft and nice for a hop angle. This isn't particularly large, but has a nice mix of herbs and floral like notes. Some real nice green tea and herbal notes. Almost airy and minty as well. Not sure where this is going.

Palate is a big surprise mostly in the feel. This is a real juiced body, and backed by just a touch of thick malt caramel, but has a basic IPA feel and no sludgy or thick syrup like quality or excessive sugar sweetness. Juiced big leafy tea mid palate. Hints of an actual mild dank quality which is just real impressive cause that's almost never.. mild by any means. Mid palate sensing caramel as well, and large amounts of minty like herbal orange aftertaste.

Really like how this comes off as not too large either, and has one of the best earthy herbal angles with just a touch of citrus to make and almost perfect orange pekoe like hop angled brew. Real nice.

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Photo of BrewUSA
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
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?

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.39/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.79/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

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Photo of JMScowcroft
4.67/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
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.)

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Photo of dasenebler
2.99/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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)

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Photo of Hendry
4.93/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

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Photo of jlindros
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of rudzud
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of HookemHoos
4.76/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.44/5  rDev -20.4%
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.

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Photo of mikem0487
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of Jaycase
4/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

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Photo of Rheaume17
4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
2.78/5  rDev -35.6%
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.

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Photo of SpasmWaiter
4.74/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of blackie
4.82/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

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Photo of corby112
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Hopzilla from Lawson's Finest Liquids
95 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.