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Hop Box - Joseph James Brewing Inc.

Not Rated.
Hop BoxHop Box

Educational use only; do not reuse.

94 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 94
Hads: 339
Avg: 3.39
pDev: 29.2%
Wants: 4
Gots: 50 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Joseph James Brewing Inc. visit their website
Nevada, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: glid02 on 03-06-2010

This Imperial IPA has a large Hop Aroma and sweetness from dark caramel malts. This brew uses Simcoe and Cascade hops and is hopped at 5lbs per barrel. The brew is 9.3% ABV, 90 IBU's, and best enjoyed at 55F.
View: Beers (33) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 94 | Hads: 339
Photo of JosiahS
2.86/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

glass: Tulip

Appears with a deep slight cloudy, amber-colored body. Lots of bubbles and a frothy, tan 2-finger head. Smells sugary, with caramel. papaya and lemon.

Taste has a bitter punch upfront but is quickly dominated by sweet papaya, caramel and generally reduced, caramelized tropical fruit. The alcohol isn't hidden and adds the the sugary flavor. Finishes with a touch of bitterness, lots of caramel, alcohol and a bit of dryness.

Mouthfeel is lively with a semi-syrupy feel. The alcohol becomes more noticeable as the beer warms and along with the growing sweetness, this is just a bit too much to enjoy. It was ok at a colder temperature but as the true flavors show, it becomes tiring and just not enjoyable.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.8/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a glowing dark orangish color with low carobonation presenting a small white cap that fades quickly. Head retention is a fail as it dissipates quickly leaving only a small white bubble, no lacing after first sip

S: Confusing. It has a big sticky, malty breadiness to it with a booze sting and pine rsin with floral notes

T: Hmmm. Breadiness upfront with a lingering pine needle, more bread perhaps some caramel, faded hops, booze sting comes in and its rather pungent. The finish is a bit syrupy, sweet, heavy and lightly bitter. It has a very distingueshed fresh cut grass with a unique pecan, nuttiness on the back blended with a soapiness. Interesting

M: Big body, heavy and sticky with a booze wallop.

O: Not a terrible IIPA but I have had better. This IIPA almost tasted like it was six months old. Like the hops were fading and making a transition to a big malty sweetness. I have had some old Pliney that tastes similar.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
2.19/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz can courtesy of steepH20. Thank you, Chris!

Pours a yellowish light orange with a thin skim that doesn't hang round much. A little mutiny of fatter bubbles puddle to the edge like confused hooligans.

Nose is very light and highly malt focused with a soapy biscuit vibe. Where are the hops?

Meh. Big caramel maltines leads to an earthy, soapy, try-and-find-me-if-you-can unimpressive hop profile. Baby aspirin with a dash of Palmolive and weird aftertaste seal the deal.

Creamy and soapy and just, well, a bit out of focus.

At least the abv is hidden well, because the rest of this package should be sent for retooling. A below average double IPA for sure.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz can into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich orange-amber hue with a good effervescence and the minutest touch of haze. Head is two fingers of frothy orange-tinged tan foam. Quite good.

Smell: rich malty aroma with some piney, vegetal hops present. There's also a mild soapiness which is a tiny bit off-putting, but is strangely not entirely unwelcome.

Taste: right off the bat starts off with a big, sweet malt flavor but this quickly grows into an all-pervading mustiness. Hops are citrusy and earthy in character, and pretty well-balanced, I'd say. The mustiness doesn't bother me too much, but some might really disagree with it.

Mouthfeel: big body with a good carbonation and a very nice creaminess. Good stuff.

Overall: an interesting and imperfect beer. I think they are on the right track with some of the flavors they've got going on here, but the soapiness and mustiness have got to go if they want an A-grade product.

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Photo of smerrell
2.61/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy amber with a lingering white head.
Smells like it may have gone bad - sour notes that are not entirely pleasant.
Taste pretty much like is smells- funky, sour, likley infected with something bad.

Overall, I hope that my bottle is the exception - I won't be buying another

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Photo of jjanega08
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

No freshness dating

A= Pours a deep orange amber color with a thin white head that falls fast and leaves spotty lacing on the glass.

S= Smells interesting to say the least. I would say the hops are present in a subtle way with some grapefruityness but the major player is sort of a buttery cheesy smell. Smells like a grilled cheese sandwich with a bit of sweetness and a light whispy hop character. Mostly grilled cheese however.

T= The taste is not like a grilled cheese luckily. A ton of sweetness for the hop character in it. Without freshness dating I can't say whether it is old or not. The balance is decent though there is still a hop character that comes off as on overripe fruit sort of taste with a bit of bitterness. Caramel malt is prevelent as well as some straight grainy sweetness.

M= The mouth I have no problems. A solid amount of carbonation and weight. The lingering sweetness seems to be a problem however.

O= Possibly an old can? Maybe just an overly sweet DIPA. This isn't a bad beer but it's nothing I would buy again. Cheap for sure and the flavors are somewhat bold so it could be a poor mans craft beer.

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Photo of beertunes
2.14/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into straight pint glass. Poured an attractive, though somewhat typical, clean, clear light amber color with about an inch of just off-white head that had very good retention and good lacing.

The aroma was very sweet and somewhat malty, with just a bit of piney hops far in the background. Not what I'm looking for in an ImpIPA. The flavors were (very) slightly better, still very malt forward and sweet, with some pine and citrus hops showing up in the background. The beer had a very bitter (and not in the good way) finish that lingered too long to be enjoyable.

The body, despite the maltiness of the beer, was well on the thin side for the style and had that harsh finish I mentioned. Drinkability was OK, but with the other aspects being off-base, why have more than 1? Overall, not a very good beer, don't feel bad if you skip over it. That said, at $1.50 for a single 12oz can and less than $9 a sixer, there might be a place for this on those budget beer runs.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange with a 2 inch foamy orange-white head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. A nice latticework of lace forms around the glass on the drink down.. Smell is of herbal hops, malt, and alcohol. Taste is of herbal hops and alcohol up front with a malty finish. The aftertaste is slightly vegetal like onions/garlic. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good DIPA in my opinion. I am surprised by some of the lower reviews on this one.

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Photo of peabody
3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a darker amber well filtered and decent carbonation. Lacing on the glass.
Smell is grapefruit rind/pine and alcohol. Not really strong but def. there.
Taste is boozy at first then sugary malt and grapefruit rind leaving behind a sticky tongue.
Mouthfeel is a little sticky but finishes like any good IPA.
This is not a great IPA but it is a very decent one.

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Photo of TheSarge
3.67/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this one into a 10oz beer stein, and the brew makes a durable two finger thick off white cranium presentation, and the body is cleanly filtered with a dark copper color.

The aroma is arid and quite hoppy. There is more of an orange appeal here, more so than a grape fruit characteristic. Slightly perfumy too.

The taste is overwelmingly in the malt's favor. Very syrupy, figgy, the hops are detectable by a slight lemon drop finish. This tastes like lemon tea on steroids times two!

Feels very thick, syrupy, oily, mildly carbonated, with warming with a dry finish.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. can,

A: Pours a clear dark amber with a medium white head, leaves some sticky lace.

S: Some vegetal notes, lots of pine and citrus peel.

T: Has a solid malt flavour with a lot of pine and some ethanol. The heat is there, but is well contained and it works with the other flavours.

M: Medium-bodied, soft carbonation, certainly has some ethanol there, but never really gets in the way.

O: This is from a brewery that is 'just there.' The ethanol is prevalent, but never takes over the beer. Well made, these guys have just come into CA, so I'd like to see what they do next.

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Photo of EricCioe
3.18/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to schmittymack for passing this one along.

This pours clear copper with a nice one finger offwhite head that sticks around well. On the nose there is orange, pretty pungent, with some with a big caramel backbone. In the mouth there is an upfront bitterness that returns along with some heat in a long finish. The body is very sticky.

Overall, I loved the nose on this one, but the taste just didn't seem as well integrated.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.03/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a little dark for my ipa preference, owes more to the color brown than it does orange or yellow. 1/16" of head isn't so impressive looking. Aroma is anything but hoppy. Not repulsive, just a kind of empty wet wood and earth kind of aroma.

Taste, a little more yeast estery than almost every ipa I can think of sans, flying fish maybe. Big malt base, low carbonation, heavy thick mouthfeel, hops just really absent from this thing.

And the kicker, this stuff is relatively expensive. Kick me in the balls and steal my wallet why don't you . . .

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Photo of jsh420
3.92/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours slightly hazy copper amber with a 1+ finger head that left some spotted lacing

smells of candy malt and candy fruit hops some pine

taste - this reminds me a lot of dbl crooked tree - bubble gum candy malt with pine and tropical hop flavors

mouthfeel is a medium body with low carbonation - very smooth

overall - with just a little more work this beer could be world class - it has convinced me to try more JJB offerings

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.43/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked this up tonight at the COOP... shared a bottle with inflatablechair... Pours a pretty clear lite orange.... nice lacing and retention.

Nose is good... a fair amount of citrus hoppiness and a bit too much caramel maltiness for my preference.

Pithy bitterness is a bit minor up front but finishes big and bitter... perhaps blowing out mid palate hops a bit... still a little bit of citrus hops show ... a touch of sweetness makes the bitterness a bit more enjoyable... body and carbonation are about right.

I think this is a steal of a deal at less than $2/bottle, but it seems pretty muddy on the palate IMHO... Okay beer at a fantastic price.


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Photo of GPHarris
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - poured a two-fingers fluffy, light tan head into an english pub glass that left great lacing and sheeting throughout. the body was a bright amber color.
s - big grapefruit and orange aromas with some floral hops in there as well.
t - big malt grains with some toffee and caramel in there. some citrus fights through as well. i would have liked more of a hop punch here.
m - medium and bubbly on the tongue.
o - incredibly drinkable due to it's balance.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.21/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance has a slightly hazy copper color supporting a steady head and nice curtain of lace. Smell has a nice aroma of hops, citrus with a good amount of malt to the nose. Taste is dominant in saline fallowed by a balance of grapefruity hops and malt with hardly any alchohol present considering. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. Not a bad brew, but not exciting either.

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Photo of Flightoficarus
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a brisk, carbonated amber hue, with a nice, two finger off-white head. Retention and lacing are a bit tamer than expected.

S - Smell is of ripe, candied orange and grapefruit peel, caramel malts, and hints of lemon.

T - Taste is of candied citrus fruits (the aforementioned grapefruit, orange, and lemon) with plenty rich, biscuity caramel malts, and a bit of pine and alcohol at the end. Hops are a bit tame for DIPA standards, but nonetheless, it's pretty tasty.

M - Medium-full body, with moderate carbonation. Not much "slick, hop oil" feel to speak of that's common in DIPA's, which makes this one too easy to quaff down for it's strength.

O - Overall, it's a decent contender in the competitive DIPA category, and it's cool to start seeing some craft beers out of NV. However, the hardcore hop disciples might find the hops too docile in this one. I enjoyed it though.

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Photo of indiapaleale
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

POUR: dark auburn in color with some reddish hues and a big, off-white pancake batter-like head on top. Clean in appearance with some serious lacing as that big head retreats into the hoppy depths.

AROMA: sticky and sweet with scents of pine needles, pineapple, Cara Cara oranges and ruby red grapefruit. This smells like a big, bold, hopped-up red ale.

TASTE: smooth and sweet with lots of sweet citrus notes. Plenty of hop bitterness and some astringency. The tongue is bombarded by an onslaught of IBU-laden hop rockets and caramel maltiness. As this warms a bit it really comes out just how easy to drink it is even at 9.3%. It's a tad bit scary.

OVERALL: a very nicely put together Imperial IPA from the folks at Joseph James. Not knowing much about this Nevada brewery we weren't sure what to expect. This was a nice surprise. If you like a BIG hoppy brew with a very generous grain bill to match than this is one to hunt down.

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Photo of ehammond1
1.9/5  rDev -44%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1


Acquired via trade
Thanks, MrHirschybar!

Clear golden orange and amber with a thick, pillowy, persistent whipped cream colored head that leaves sticky sheets of lace all the way down the glass. Gorgeous.

Quite a strange aroma, and certainly not like any other DIPA aroma I've ever experienced. It's tough to pinpoint, but this smells like soured citrus and grapes, a bit of lemon, and some funky barnyard/wild yeast. Strange. This smells wild...literally. Below average for a DIPA. Strangely unique and somewhat interesting for a wild ale. Though, with a name like Hop Box Imperial IPA, I can't give it very high marks.

Again, this is a sour ale, and certainly no DIPA. Maybe they threw on the wrong label. The flavors consist of funky barnyard yeast, hay, grass, lemon, and stinging sourness. Sounds good, right? Well...it kind of is, but not for a DIPA!

Medium mouthfeel with ample carbonation.

Identity crisis in a bottle. This must be seriously infected. This no longer even resembles any sort of IPA.

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Photo of kawilliams81
2.53/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- Cloudy dark orange. 2" creamy white head and lots of lacing.

S- All citrus, pineapple, orange, guava, grapefruit

T- WTF! Is this supposed to be sour? Has the sweet citrus notes at first but then sour notes over power this beer.

M- Medium body, very creamy, abv is not noticeable at all.

O- Just a mess of a beer. Not hop bitterness to be found and sourness is just weird.

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Photo of kkipple
3.43/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed this because I'd never heard of it.

Bubbly, deep caramel... huge head, for a DIPA, that takes up half the glass. Massively sweet, fruity nose - all kinds of tropical, guava, especially, and orange... but also a musty, somewhat stale note that doesn't really sit well. Some hops, but they are buried under the fruit.

Yikes... this is weird... extremely creamy, mouth filling body gives way to an odd flavor blend - sweet caramel malt, very fruity (Amarillo, etc) hops, and a distinct lack of bitterness that is (usually) the hallmark of this style.. hmm... that said, it's surprisingly "light" and easy to drink, and the alcohol barely registers. At least for now. The finish is pretty basic, akin to having just drunk any malt-forward beer. Where did the fruit go?

Hop Box is just an oddity... I'm not sure if it is supposed to be like this or what, but points for being different... I don't think I've had a DIPA as sweet, fruity and easy to put back as this one... the nose is pretty average, but I dunno... I kinda liked it.

I also find this REALLY hard to believe at 9.3%.

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Photo of ElGordo
2.32/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Picked up at Whole Foods n Las Vegas before heading out to the national parks of Utah. Enjoyed in a plastic cup in a hotel room outside Bryce Canyon. Pours a golden-orange color with a pretty, creamy white head that leaves a good bit of lacing on the cup (surprisingly). Aroma is very sweet and fruity, big on tropical fruit notes and some esters more common in a Belgian golden ale than an IPA. It's possible there's an infection here.
Palate is thoroughly off for an IPA, and since no other reviewers noticed it, I'm guessing there's a bad batch or this case was left out in the sun for a while. Big tropical fruit esters up front, along with some nice hoppy bitterness with notes of grapefruit. Malt profile is subtle, light, and a touch sweet. Finish is a lingering fruity sweetness with just a touch of bitterness.
Body is overly foamy and light, especially for the style. Overall, I'm sure I got a bad or mistreated batch, but still, I can't recommend this at all.

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Photo of mikechance
3.26/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer has a very nice rusty orange color with a big head and lots of carbonation. I pick up grassy, lemon, and malt in the scent. It leans heavily on the malts for flavor compared to most IPA style beers. It goes down very easy with little to no aftertaste. It’s an interesting beer, but hard to compare big the West Coast hop monsters --- more Dogfish in style, but not in execution. An interesting beer, but nothing I will need to ever to back to.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

624th Review on BA
Bottle to Bruery Tulip

Total wine & More, Las Vegas

App- A dark glowing orange with some lighter highlights radiating outward. A bit of a one finger bottom up head and a line of lace as the beer falls.

Smell- This is fast approaching American Barleywine territory for me. A darker citrus presence with a lot of malt and a little sweet

Taste- A very rich citrus with a huge spicy malty background. It was a bit of fresh bread with some spicy nose besides the malt. A bit unbalanced and not close to a DIPA for me. Missing a lot of bitter for balance or some juicy hops.

Mouth- Medium bodied and Medium carbonated. A bit too thick for my DIPA tastes.

Drink- It was a local I had to get in LV. It was okay but a bit lacking in what I was hoping for. I probably wont come back to this one.

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Hop Box from Joseph James Brewing Inc.
78 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.