Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 84 | Hads: 289
Photo of BeerTruth
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up this one at the Warren Store, only place Lawson's bottles are sold.

750 ml cork and caged bottle. Rare Batch #74. Bottle #32 of 72. Poured into a nonic.

Pours an extremely clear light copper hue with a generous two finger off-white sticky icky head. Lots of gooey webbing holds on to the sides of the glass. Aroma, wow...hops rape the nose. Grapefruit, orange peel, and some dank mary jane. The slightest touch of sweet malts and a bit of toasted grains, but this is really all about the humulus lupulus. Taste starts off with stinging floral notes followed by a big citrus burst, mostly bitter grapefruit. Midway some pine emerges with a touch of caramel and earth. Aftertaste is more sticky hops, herbal and more sweet citrus. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but medium body overall. A steady carbonation with a grainy feel left on the toungue. For the 8.7% abv, this won't last long. I have another bottle but that's going in the fridge right now. I've had a handfull of Lawson beers so far and all of them are top notch. Sean is brewing some great stuff in VT and I'm really looking to what eles he pumps out. Hopefully he plans on expanding in the future because I'm not sure I can drive to Warren everytime I crave some of his stuff. Keep up the good work!

 1,267 characters

Photo of Bendurgin
3.88/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for this one Alec! Poured into a tulip. This one pours a slightly hazy golden for with a finger of fluffy white head.

The aroma has a sweet orange character and nice piney resinous hops. The pallet has a nice piney hop flavor with hints of citrus hops in the background. Nice subtle malt character to it.

The body is medium with soft carbonation. Overall this one is great. Real enjoyable.

 399 characters

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)

 992 characters

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.

 628 characters

Photo of RuckusDu
3.71/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excited for this tonight. Poured from 22oz bottle into New Belgium globe. Larger than average head and I can smell it right away from over a foot. Head is slight off-white with some yellow in it. Body is clear and a gorgeous amber color. Nice lacing. Aroma is strong and sweeter than I was expecting. A little bit of artificial sweet, nice pine and a little orange citrus. Flavor is well balanced between bitter and hoppy and sweet. Very earthy, a little orange, some spice, and pine. Mouth is great with full body and nice carbonation.

Overall, a very good DIPA that hides the alcohol well. I wouldn't say there is anything special here, but I would drink it a lot if readily available.

 689 characters

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.

 192 characters

Photo of andrewinski1
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Bendurgin for sharing. Poured into a wine glass. The color is orange/melon. There is a small white bubbly head.

The aroma has a great dose of hoppy pine; that's about it. It's potent and great.

The taste if full of zesty piney hops. There is a lingering bitterness in the finish. This is a tongue bruiser. There is mild malt sweetness, but it's hard to detect beneath all the hops.

This is super tasty. I love it.

 426 characters

Photo of warriorsoul
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Sean for dropping these off early at the Warren Store the day of SIPtemberfest. Batch #153 - bottle 68 of 68.
$10 for the bomber.
Pours a hazy gold color w/ a full two fingers of fluffy white head...thin lacing.
Ever stick your nose in a bag of fresh Cascade hops? This is just about what you get when you keep a lingering nose over this one.
Flavor is what you would expect from a name like Hopzilla. An incredibly bitter, sticky brew w/ a very slight citrus peel addition in the finish. There is nothing juicy about this beer, it is all bitter all the time and just superb if you like your bitter hops. Despite the bitterness, it finishes quite clean and incredibly dry...the alcohol is nowhere to be found...I love the fact this one is under 9%. One bomber is all you need, as you will have very little palate left to taste anything hoppy beyond this.
A pleasure to have this offering from Lawson's Finest in my home....very well received.

 952 characters

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.

 446 characters

Photo of NiceTaps
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

 392 characters

Photo of sisuspeed
4.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch # 107
Bottle # 16 of 48
Wax dipped bomber

Poured into a Foothills signature glass. Hopzilla has a slightly hazy honey nectar colored body with a big billowy white head. Beautiful lacing all over the glass. Looks fantastic.

Lots of big, piney, bitter, grassy hops on the nose, followed by sweet malts and a touch of citrus. Lots of hops. No mistaking this is a DIPA.

Sweet, chewy malts quickly turn to a bitter wave of piney hops on the tongue. Orange citrus flavors mixed with somewhat bready malts. Delicious! I would put the flavor right on par with Pliny the Elder and Heady Topper. Wow, this is good. Hops give off some stickiness while dancing around with subdued honey notes. Leaves a bit of malt, but mostly just clean hop bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is bitter, but smooth. Chewy malts, slightly sticky, nice bite. Body thickness is about right for a DIPA.

Drinkability is through the roof. I'm currently splitting a bomber with another BA and it is disappearing very quickly. Great flavor, not too heavy and the ABV is unnoticeable. So easy to drink.

Overall, this is an excellent Double IPA. Lots and lots of hops, with bits of citrus and honey to keep it interesting. Very smooth and just extremely enjoyable to drink. My only complaint is that this isn't easier to get. Next time I make the trek up to northern Vermont I'm going to be looking all over for this beer. Keep up the great work Sean!

 1,426 characters

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.

 589 characters

Photo of treyrab
4.83/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A big thanks goes out to my friend Dan for sending this one over to me last week. I already knew that Sean over at Lawson's had made amazing maple beers, so I was unsure what to expect from his Double IPA. I now know that he not only makes great maple beers, but makes great beers in general. Keep it up over there Sean!

I am not sure if you are supposed to drink the night before a marathon or not, but I decided to as I wanted to drink this fresh. Split with my dad, mom, and girlfriend.

Batch #113, #27/48

A: Pours crystal clear amber into a snifter. A beautiful look with an unbelievably perfect head. One finger thick, frothy white head. Slight lacing as it goes down.

S: Very robust with nice huge hints of orange, and a very big scent of spicy citrus, most likely coming from the Centennial hops. Some grassy note as well with some blended caramel as well. Amazing.

T: This is one of the best blended Double IPA's I've ever had. The spicy citrus from the Centennial blends perfectly with the Cascade and Chinook. The caramel backing is amazing with some sweetness and a hint of toffee. A nice hint of grassy notes as well.

M/D: Smooth, creamy, perfect carbonation.

Overall, this is one of the best Double IPA's I've had. Keep up the good work Sean!

 1,263 characters

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.

 1,963 characters

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?

 278 characters

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.

 449 characters

Photo of UA8
4.83/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served into an 8 oz goblet style glass. Pours a golden amber color with a thinnish cream colored head.

Smell is big but somewhat hard to sort out probably due to atmosphere. Citrus, tropical fruits, and caramel malts.

Wow! Leads with lightly bitter grapefruit citrus hops. Midpalate absolutely explodes with tropical fruit basket notes of mango, pineapple, and tangerines which I attribute to both malt in sweetness and hop in flavor. Finish with a heavy yet not abusive bitter hop finish.

Mouth feel is near perfect with medium heavy viscosity and medium light carbonation.

This is now the second best imperial ip I've had right behind heady topper and barely right before and similar to pliny the elder. An absolute must try for hop lovers.

 747 characters

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.

 213 characters

Photo of Bubba83
3.96/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks so much to Kegatron for hooking me up with this much sought after beer.

This was shared at a tasting tonight with largadeer, nickd717, alfrantzell, chswimmer, dabecassis, and Arbitrator.

Poured a nice looking vibrant orange with good clarity and a bright white, small head with decent sized bubbles. Propped up into a fairly good sized head when swirled in the glass, and had good retention and nice lacing. Really nice to look at.

The smell reminds me of Stone 14th a bit, I get some kind of british hop character, with a bit of stinky cheese. Following that up is a good bit of pine, spice, and earth, maybe some floral notes, but no real citrus or tropical fruits at all, which I have to admit I was hoping for. There's a little bit of caramel too, and overall it smells pretty good, but I wanted more of the vibrant aromas I'm used to from a fresh hoppy West Coast DIPAs.

Tastes much like the smell, caramel at first, but not too long before it melds into a bunch of pine, earth, and spice. It's actually pretty dank and has a nice piney flavor, but it's not rounded out by the citrus or tropical fruit flavors that I love so much. If this beer had those flavors as well, it could be out of this world.

Feels quite nice. Medium body, well carbed, and oily/smooth on the tongue. There aren't many DIPAs that I've had which trump the mouthfeel on this one. No problems here.

Overall it is definitely a complex DIPA that I would recommend everyone try. I have to say though, for my tastes, I really want more of a vibrant fruity profile with more citrus and the like. It drank pretty well for an 8.7% beer. The bitterness didn't really get cloying or anything like that and I didn't taste alcohol character at all. This is probably the highest rating I could possibly give for an IPA/DIPA without the citrus/tropical flavors, so if that's up your alley, you'll like it a lot.

 1,890 characters

Photo of Pinknuggets
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a long trail pint glass

A: The appearance is golden honey like in color. There was a small pure white head that dispated to leave a heavy rings around the edges. It is hazy and varies from dark to light throughout.

S: The nose starts out with what else but, hops and lots of them. I can detect some citrus and piney mixture but this is one of the first DIPAs that ive had that really reeks of hops.

T: The taste follows the nose with lots of hops upfront but the citrus comes through much more in the taste then it did in the nose. There is also a lot of piney crisp taste toward the finish that leads to hop bitterness that is right on par with my liking (not overwhelming) and fades nicely for a fairly long time.

M: The mouthfeel is smooth and crisp and goes down easily. There is no hint of alcohol which is pretty decent for DIPA.

O: I may be partial as I live in VT but this is definitely one of the best DIPAs or IPA I have ever had. It has a lot of hops without being well overwhelming. If you can get your hands on this beer do so it is one of the best Lawson's or anyone else for that matter has to offer.

 1,151 characters

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.

 958 characters

Photo of gregmoscetti
3.93/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dear Hopzilla,
As much as I want to beat you up for having a notably uncreative name, I will refrain. Why? Well, because you're pretty darn tasty. As a reviewer from the depths of southern california, I have had more than one IPA. In fact, I have had just about any big name IPA available to the voting constituency of Los Angeles. That being noted, I have to give you a tremendous about of street cred... I have just as much respect for you as i do only white guy in the cryps. You hold it down. Im not going to jock you and tout you as a "pliney killer" or even a "sculpin/racer x/anything alpine killer" but you are without a doubt an avid and talented "sculpin fisherman."

I severely suggest this beer to hop heads but dont trade an arm and a leg for it. A friend of mine and I went botttle for bottle with some speedway stout and that seemed like the perfect match (considering he drove 2 hours to get some the first time and they were sold out) go $4$ and enjoy the hell out of this beer.

Mr. Lawson. Well Done.

 1,021 characters

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.

 1,340 characters

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.

 522 characters

Photo of BTPete
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with a few friends. Thanks Brian. I've had hopsong and chinooker'd so I was interested in this one.

Poured to big DFH snifter.

A: Pours a clear amber color. Nice little head with decent retention.

S: Big time hops. Lots of citrus and pine. The hop smell really is running over anything else that might be coming from this brew.

T: Really hop forward and bitter but not in an undrinkable way. The hop nose is so powerful that you almost can't tell that there is anything else going on but the beer is not overly sweet despite the 8.7% This one is another winner.

M: Nicely carbonated and medium bodied. The bitterness makes it feel a little bigger, almost chewy.

D: Surprisingly drinkable and like I said, another winner by Lawson's. Put side by side with a Wachussett Larry but the Larry was drank second and I think my palatte was a little shot ;) I'd have another for sure. Not sure which was better this or HopSong but I know I loved the hop song too.

 978 characters

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