Hop Bomber Pale Ale - Rivertown Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Bomber Pale AleHop Bomber Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
80
good

84 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 84
Hads: 270
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 9.14%
Wants: 3
Gots: 36 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Rivertown Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: pwoods on 02-25-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 84 | Hads: 270
Photo of pwoods
3.44/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6er purchased at Vonderhaar's in Reading. Poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours a dark amber with pretty good clarity. Maybe a half inch of head on the pour with little retention and decent spotty lacing.

S: The description on their website says it's dry hopped but I'm not really getting much hop aroma. Some light malts. Hardly any aroma.

T/M: Decent bitterness level. Some light citrus, maybe some pine. Malts definitely balance and the light rye adds a nice complexity with the touch of spiciness. Body is about medium with a good carbonation level. Some dryness on the finish.

D: Drinks easily enough and the touch of rye keeps it interesting. Might be a bit overbalanced to the malt side but that's probably just me wanting a super hopped IPA whenever I drink an APA. (778 characters)

Photo of NCalement
3.44/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Copper color with a thick white head that holds well. Looks sticky.

S- Rye, spice, bitter hops, honey, biscuit, and hay.

T- Bitter soap, rye, citrus, sweet malt and pine resin.

M- Medium body with a crisp finish. No sign of ABV and has a lingering flavor.

O- Not a bad rye IPA at all. Nothing to heavy on the hops but well done for sure. (344 characters)

Photo of rinhaak
3.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

With a name like "Hop Bomber," I think expected something that was, well, a hop bomb.

Quite the contrary, Hop Bomber Pale Ale is a pretty mild and very malty English-Style Pale Ale (I don't care if the Beer Advocate style listing says otherwise). Despite being hopped and dry-hopped with American hops (though exactly what hops, I'm not terribly sure), they definitely take a back seat to the full maltiness that make up the centerpiece of this beer: caramel, toffee, and even a raspberry-fruitiness are the primary flavors.

Hop Bomber is very drinkable and pleasant though grossly misnamed. A worthy beverage for a session ale that isn't necessarily worth going out of the way to seek out. (692 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
3.41/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle. Dark copper color, with an off white head. Great head retention. Lots of sticky patches of lace. A little sediment floating about. Not a bad looker.

Aroma is very slight. Hard to imagine this is dry hopped. Slightly spicy hop aroma. A few fruity notes. Bready, almost biscuity malt character.

A fair amount of bready malt. Spicy rye character. Some earthy flavors. Good amount of bitterness.

Lighter side of medium body. Carbonation is good. Alcohol well hidden. Not bad. (492 characters)

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A. Pours a golden amber with a thick billowing tan head that makes it's way down the glass very slowly leaving some residual lacing.

S. Smells of caramel malt sweetness with a mild citrusly hop aroma.

T. Piney hops upfront and throughout. The sweet malt helps balance out the flavor at first, but then the hops come in and dominate especially in the swallow.

M. Thin to medium bodied with a fairly high level of smooth carbonation.

D. Although it's rather one dimensional (not unlike many pale ales), it's light and crisp and refreshing.

Definitely good enough to continue to support this small local brewer. (613 characters)

Photo of damndirtyape
3.38/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle (no date) served in a Libby globe stout/porter glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy orange-amber. Looks almost identical to a glass of iced tea held up to the light in regards to color. Very little head upon pouring, thin white skin that died back to just a ring of foam at the edge. With some swirling the foam came back a bit, but then died again. Some small islands of lacing, but not persistent.

Smell: With a swirl, orange citrus. After the foam died back the orange citrus is still there, along with some leafy herbal smells. A few floral notes come out as the beer warms up.

Taste: There is an attempt at some hop flavor and malt at the beginning, and then wham, a massive bitterness settles over everything. A bombing of the palate with bitterness if you will. Not sure I want my palate carpet bombed though. Even Ruination by Stone, which was another beer that really hit my taste buds hard, had more nuances of flavor in every sip. This is unbalanced. The bitterness is a combination of pine, tea-like bitterness, and some strong grapefruit citrus. There is an attempt of the malt to come out as the beer warms up and I can taste some buttery notes under it all, but the bitterness again clouds everything. Certainly more flavorful than some beers I've had, but way out of balance unfortunately.

Mouthfeel: Sticky on the teeth - lots of hop oils attacking the enamel with this one. Thickness above water, but nothing special.

Overall / Drinkability: Neat label and name, and perhaps some truth in advertising with the name but unfortunately unbalanced. I like my hops, but the malt backing is mostly absent in this beer, and so one and done. (1,668 characters)

Photo of TheHoppiest
3.38/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

SEE UPDATE BELOW.

Poured from a squat 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours with an enormous white head that takes forever to dissipate. The brew itself is a slight cloudy amber color.

The nose is almost nonexistent, with the slightest hint of a straw , and floral whispers flitting about the glass. Even pulling these in, however, is an effort.

Taste is jarring; slightly funky and sour, with a metlallic bitter that is completely out of place. No malt at all, this is nothing but a lemon-sour acidity that is not very pleasant.

Lighter bodied, with a metallic alkaline feel that leaves you wanting to pour this own the drain.

Wow. I'm struggliing to find something positive to say, but it was a poor pour, a non-existenet smell, and a sour taste; what kind of pale ale is this? I only bought this a month ago, so I know it is not old. Perhaps a bad batch? Whatever it is, I certainly can't recommend this to anyone.

UPDATE:

So I decided to give this beer another try, hoping that my earlier review was an aberration.

The pour into a mug revealed a copper color brew ith a 1" off-white head that reduces with a bit of pillowing.

Aroma is malty, with a bit of creaminess, grassiness and corn. Certainly better than I was the first tine I reviewed, but still not a typical pale ale smell.

Starts with a nice citrus bitter, with mild pepper, a bit of biscuit, grassiness and hops. Finishes clean and bitter.

Light to medium bodied, this has a dry clean finish that is rather refreshing.

Much, much better than the last time I had this beer. A serviceable pale ale with a session-like quality, I'd definitley try this again, and a glad I gave it a second chance. (1,674 characters)

Photo of PDXHops
3.38/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Ryan011235 for this 12 ounce bottle, poured into a Duvel tulip. See-thru singed amber with a promising off-white head that dies down to a skim in short order. Good retention from that, though, and scattered creamy patches of lacing are left.

Smells citrusy but not juicy. Almost a little spicy, like orange marmalade on rye bread. Sounds weird, but it works well enough.

Robustly malty without a lot of sweetness; more toasty than anything. The rye works quite well with the malt profile, expressive without being oppressive. Could perhaps use a touch more of the orange zest hops. Gets a little cedarish toward the finish.

Overall impression: A unique and enjoyable take on the style. (700 characters)

Photo of confer
3.36/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The color is amber and it is perfectly clear. The head that comes with it was unexpected. Big and fluffy, looked like whipped cream on top.
The smell is what you would expect from an apa, faint piney hops.
The bitterness doesn't come through until the aftertaste. A little to watery.
Overall a decent pale ale. (310 characters)

Photo of rangerred
3.36/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 12oz bottle.

Pours with a nice rocky 3 finger head. Excellent head retention and great lacing as well.

The smell is of caramel and toffee along with some earthy hops.

The taste is immediately dominated by an odd butterscotch flavor. Not sure if it is intentional or not but it gradually fades as the beer warms. The rye is detectable along with moderate hop bitterness and flavor.

The more I drank this beer the better it got. Still not sure if I would drink it regularly but it might be worth revisiting. (525 characters)

Photo of brown2cu
3.35/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice amber color, it was definitely one of the darkest pale ales I have had. The head was nonexistent after a minute of pouring and there was no lacing to speak of

S: Hops are relatively mute the rye stands out the most.

T: Not too bad. The hops are more affirmative in the taste but the rye makes a serious contribution. It doesn't taste similar to most pale ales infact in a blind taste test I would probably assert that it was a rye ale. It is definitely interesting though and worth a try.

M: softer carbonation than I was expecting. It was also dryer than I was expecting, it suited the beer nicely though.

O: Not bad definitely worth a try. A most non-traditional pale ale.

Edit: From my notes after finishing the 6 pack: taste needed reevaluated wasn't at the 4 level after some consideration. (816 characters)

Photo of zimm421
3.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a standard pint glass at Bodega on 6/8/11. Appears copper with a thin white head and some slight lacing left after each sip.

The aroma is subdued, with a tiny amount of sweet malts and citrus notes. The taste is more powerful with earthy and floral notes as well as some nice spicy rye malts, but still nothing that flows really well or that makes you think about each sip.

Medium bodied and carbonation, something that goes down fairly easily even without it being great tasting. Overall, this is a decent APA, but not overly impressed. The aroma was so faint and the appearance was just a little off as well. The taste was definitely the best part, but overall there are much better options for local APA's. (721 characters)

Photo of Rhynes2
3.2/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this one up about an hour ago. First beer I have had from Rivertown Brewing. Poured a dark orange color with an over foamy head. Even with a careful pour it still almost overflowed. When it did back off after about 5 mins it left some great lacing down the sides. A notch at almost every sip. My problem with this beer is just that there is no outstanding characteristics. I prefer a beer that has something that jumps out and grabs me and this beer just doesn't have that. It you are looking for a mild pale ale with some decent malt character this might be up your alley but not something I would buy again. (616 characters)

Photo of phiberoptik
3.16/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Local brewery time... I had to give it a review.

Poured 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. This pours a very clear copper/amber color with a two finger white foamy head. The head seems to hang around a bit too but not much in the line of lacing.

This doesnt smell or taste like an ale. It actually reminds me of Sam Adams lager more than a hop front ale. It smells slightly musty and not any clear hop character, despite its name. Tastes of spice, malts, and some bitterness with very little hoppiness otherwise.

Feels pretty clean and nicely carbonated.

I want this to be good, being from Cincinnati but I am not a fan. Maybe I got a bad batch... something tastes off. I will update this review if I try it again and notice a difference. (749 characters)

Photo of alpinebryant
3.13/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is almost a brown ale color. Dark copper with a large fluffy tan head.

Smell of caramel and malt. Taste of mainly roasted malts , Caramel and brown malt flavors. Pretty dry and malty, almost an English Pale in terms of hop flavor and aromas. A change of pace for a Pale Ale. Its not quite pale and its not quite as hoppy as I imagined with a name of Hop Bomber.

Medium carbonation and a relatively thick mouthfeel for a pale ale. (438 characters)

Photo of beerman207
3.13/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear reddish color that has a nice white head that sticks around a little while.

S - Definitely could be better here. Can't really pick much up other than malt and some faint hops.

T - Some rye and some bitterness that isn't strong enough in my opinion.

M: Decent but nothing special

D: Can't say I'd try this one again. However, being a Cincinnati brew, I had to try it. (381 characters)

Photo of DrinkinBoy
3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a deep amber to light copper. Thick head with good retention appears an off-white color. Did have some sediment in it.

S - Aroma consists of hoppy resin with some slight fruit candy and caramel tones.

T - Light sweetness and tiny bit of roast on the front with a lack of a mid palate presence. Finish with expected hop bitterness for style, but without any nuances.

M - Slightly lighter than expected, with appropriate carbonation.

O - Overall this beer is a pretty average APA. There is some slight complexities which makes it just interesting enough to keep you attention. But in a market full of Pales, this one doesn't really stand out in a good or bad way. Worth a try, if you like to try things from all around. (731 characters)

Photo of DeFaz
3.06/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Their first mistake might have been putting the word "hop" in the title, and the second was the use of the word "bomber".

This is a pretty tame beer, even for an APA, and there isn't too much flavor from hops at all. What does spice it up, literally, is the rye, but most of this is about the malt, which would normally be OK, but perhaps the advertising is wrong here. It smells and tastes more like bread than pine/citrus hops.

The pour is pretty standard (nothing special with the color or head). Mouthfeel is fair, and this one is on the thinner side.

I always like to try Ohio beers, but this is one that I won't be having again even though it's not necessarily bad. (674 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.05/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer looks nice, but it smells like hairspray. The taste of it is, okay. It's just an odd mesh of thick malts that don't really show this as a pale ale. Where are the hops? Where's the attitude? Not here. A pretty forgettable beer, and more waste of my time and money. (This whole driving south thing hasn't panned out on the beer front so well on much of these brews.) (374 characters)

Photo of jurban
3.03/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hops hit quickly but then there is a smooth and watery, but nice finish. Alcohol taste is minimal. Has a bit of an unpleasant after taste. Overall the taste is remenscent of a watered down ipa. Makes a good session beer due to its lower alchohol content and non-overwhelming flavor. (282 characters)

Photo of maxwelldeux
3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a moderate off-white head on it and a little bit of floaties in there. Nose has a little bit of hoppy bitterness to it, but not a lot of substance. Taste is balanced in that it’s not bitter nor sweet, but there isn’t a lot of flavor to it. (290 characters)

Photo of zeledonia
3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another BIF bottle, and another brewery that's totally new to me.

Pours a medium coppery amber, quite clear, and on the dark side for a "pale ale". One finger of light yellowish tan light, decent retention, and some nice gobs of lacing left on the glass.

Smells nice and balanced. Sweet malts come through most clearly, with some dark fruit and nut. The hops aren't super aromatic, adding mainly a crispness and light airy feel to the aroma. Interesting.

Taste is a little flat. Half-way through, when I want it to pick up and bring me something new, it just fades off. There isn't much to hang onto here - I find it bland, with a very light touch of hops in the back end. The bitterness actually builds after most of the other flavors are gone, but that doesn't salvage it for me. Just not very flavorful, in any way.

Mouthfeel is fine. Medium-bodied, enough carbonation. No complaints here.

I find this beer... uninteresting. There's just not much that I can point to that I like about it. Maybe I'm getting too accustomed to aggressively dry-hopped pale ales, but this beer, while fine and drinkable, doesn't present much. (1,130 characters)

Photo of ajanesz
2.91/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - Dark golden bronze in color with two fingers of creamy yellow white head that sticks around. Rather murky but nicely carbonated. Nice lacing.

Smell- A slight hint of mouth watering floral citrus scent derived from the hops. Not much else here.

Taste- The first thing that hits me is the rye followed by a medium biting hop flavor. I expected more hop bite, but this pale ale has a rather malty flavor start to finish. Unexpected but intriguing spicy rye flavor.

Mouthfeel- Light to medium body with some creaminess, but still crisp.

Overall- I like the rye kick at the beginning, but it is tough for me to compare this to other top pale ales. The finish lacks character and a notable hop character that I was expecting. Nonetheless, a very drinkable ale, but not one that I would look for one the shelf. (865 characters)

Photo of ColdPoncho
2.9/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Amber body with a veritable metric shitton of floaties. Decent white head.

S - some sweet malts...anything else? No, not really.

T - Sweet and vegetal malts. Hint of roasted malt. Some hops, but I can't tell how. jeez.

M - Mediumish body, kinda dry.

O - man, this beer is disappointing. It doesn't live up to its name, and it has a bunch of stuff wrong with it. come on, Rivertown, you're making Cincinnati look bad. (424 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
2.89/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I was able to try RiverTown's Hop Bomber during a recent visit to Cleveland. The beer poured a clear, copper/gold in color, with a nice head of frothy, off-white foam which laced. The scent included grain, toasted malt. The taste was mostly toasted malt with earthy hop note and hop-leaf flavor add balance. The mouthfeel was light to medium body with decent carbonation. Overall it was ok but I was expecting more. (415 characters)

Hop Bomber Pale Ale from Rivertown Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.