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Hop Bomber Pale Ale - Rivertown Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Bomber Pale AleHop Bomber Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

84 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 84
Hads: 271
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 16.57%
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 84 | Hads: 271
Photo of AleWatcher
2.53/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hop bomber, eh? Sweet...
Hmmm... So where are the hops? I smell some hop activity... And there is a larger bitterness present... So they used the whole hop bill on bittering and aromatic, eh? Ok. That's gonna hurt the score a hair:

Looks ambery orange in color with an off-white head of 3 fingers. Decent retention, but no lace.
Smells of bitter hops, perhaps a citrus and floral profile.
Taste is pretty bland except for the bitterness, and that is no exaggeration. I wish I were able to pick up more here, but I get virtually no malts and only pungent and abrasive bitterness from the hops.
The body is very carbonated and that leads to it feeling thinner than it is (and should be).

Overall-- meh. This isn't bad, but I love too many other Pale Ales to ever drink this one again. It isn't terrible, by life's too short for mediocre. (840 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 nlmartin
3.56/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer was served chilled in an Imperial Pint glass.

Appearance: The body of the beer is a clear amber. The head is a nice pillowy off biege coloration. Great head retention with lots of residual sticking to my glass. They say we eat with our eyes. Very often I drink with my eyes. This beer looks tasty. Very nice!

Smell: I am not blown away with the aroma. Nor I am offended by the aroma. The beer kicks up a flash of pine and just a very light citrus aroma. The malt splashes up and brings an interesting maple syrup / caramel aroma.

Taste: The hops seem to lead with citrus. Then the malt steps in with caramel / vanilla sort of flavor. The hops at this point reassert themselves and finish with a nice bittering finish.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The body is medium carbonation levels work well with the beer. This is a nice throw back pale ale. Not super aggresive but not in the least boring. Well done. (918 characters)

Photo of Omnium
3.46/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Pours out a cloudy amber color, half a finger of fizzy head, no lacing.
S - Juicy citrus aromas, honey, then some rye and a little toasted grain, toffee and biscuity malt.
T - Some mild hop bite in front and middle, but its rather weak, the rye hits you strong mid way, some diacetyl in here as well, not a totally appeasing flavor.
M - Buttery feel, mild bitterness, meh.
O - Kind of a disappointment, I like the name and the label. But there's no hop bomb to be found here. (502 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 jmarsh123
2.83/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear deep amber with barely any head or lacing.

Sweet malts and just a hint of citrus/earthy hops.

A bit of a citrus hit at first, followed by sweet bready/caramel malt finishing with a buttered popcorn flavor and slightly bitter. Kind of odd.

Thin and watery. Not the highlight of the beer.

Not terribly great. Outside of the butter flavor it isn't too bad, but very mediocre aroma and mouthfeel. (410 characters)

Photo of Beejay
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Copper red, with a nice tan head.. a good bit of floaties in there as well. Little dark for the style..

S: Sweet carmel, and maple undertones. Slight hop scent from in the finish, but mostly a very sweet scent. The hops that are there are earthy.. Surprised there isn't more hop scent.

T: There are the hops.. Grapefruit, and citrus (tangerine) with a nice burnt carmel flavor in the finish. Fruity hops (tropical) with good balance of malt.

M: Medium body, with decent carbonation.

D: Good, well balanced, not amazing, but nice. A good balance of malt and hops, with a nice clean finish. (596 characters)

Photo of tmoneyba
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear dark copper color with an average frothy white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate citrus hops and earthy malt aroma. Medium body with a smooth texture and soft carbonation. Medium bittersweet flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration. I would recommend this to a freind. (320 characters)

Photo of RickS95
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A bit dark for a pale ale, kind of a bronze color. The head is more cascading than forming; a soft pale yellow, it's got an IPA-like look in that it's thick and craterous, leaving a nice lace behind.

The smell is very yeasty and malty up front. Smells like some sort of fruity bread. On the back end, some floral hoppiness shines.

Very malty and earthy. Some flowery tastes, tree bark even. There's some sort of berry flavor, but I can't put my finger on it.

A bit thick and medium bodied. Has some IPA qualities, like a piney, hoppy resin, oil feel. Very bitter and slightly dry finish.

Overall, it's a pretty good beer. A bit more like an IPA than an APA, but shares characteristics of both. (697 characters)

Photo of mattcrill
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Soft orange blossom notes up front. Notes of caramel sweetness in the background. Clean fermentation character.

Appearance: Slightly hazy amber pour with a thick off-white cap. Head retention is good.

Flavor: A nice blend of bready malty and slight doughy sweetness balanced with some citrus hop flavor. Balance is nearly even. Finish is clean and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. No alcohol heat, astringency, or creaminess noted.

Overall impression: A safe, balanced American Pale Ale. Nothing over the top but not sure why it hasn't gotten more love. Worth a try. (599 characters)

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 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 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 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 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 projectflam86
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours an amber orange color with a thick white foam head that leaves some decent lacing.

S- I'm picking up alot of floral hops and caramel malt. Maybe a touch of spice? Hard to place the exact aroma...

T- Not overly hoppy but a decent bitterness upfront. A bit more sweetness than some of the more common APAs (SNPA) but a nice caramel finish. A touch of rye-like sourness is noticeable as well but it incorporates well into the flavor profile. I'd guess the ABV at around 5.3% or so.

M- Medium/light bodied with decent carbonation.

D- Overall I thought this beer was very solid. Easy to drink and flavorful. Nice to see some hometown boys making good beer! Cheers (672 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 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 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 mattboyer182
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - super dark almost brown little head that dissipates quickly.

S - subtle malts then a crazy sweetness that smells almost chocoltey to me.

T - I like this flavor. it's nice dark malt and a sugary sweetness.

M - medium bodied and light to medium carbonation.

O - decent brew. I think it's original and good too. (316 characters)

Photo of gmfessen
4.33/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, Hop Bomber is a clear, copper-amber head with a thick, soapy hop head. The nose is what you might expect from a beer named hop bomber; a nice west-coast dose of citrus and resinous hops. The taste reflects the same hop flavor as the nose but there is a subtle toasty malt backbone that adds to the flavor nicely. The hop flavor is present and apparent but the bitterness level is relatively low which makes it better balanced and that much more drinkable. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a thin but bubbly head. Overall, a very drinkable beer and another well done example from Rivertown. (630 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 Natural510
4.2/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, no dating. Sells at my local Kroger supermarket.

Pours a classic copper color with ample cloud of white foam which resembles melted ice cream.

Spicy, fruity scent of malt and hop mixture. A bit tea-like overall.

Flavor is well-balanced between a spicy, dry hop and fruity, understated malts. Notes of tea-leaf, cherry and forest-pine meld into a dry, bitter finish.

Well-rounded in body and mouthfeel, exactly what I expect in the style.

Excellent, easy-drinking beer. This could be the prototype of what an American Pale should be: balanced, dry, bitter, and well-rounded in flavor. Proof not every pale ale has to be an "India" to be exciting. (663 characters)

Photo of mwa423
3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Same clear ruby color as the nitro-tap, but the bottle has a much better white head that stuck to the glass and also had better retention.

S - Not a lot of aroma, but a well balanced malt and hop profile.

T - Spiced rye flavor forward with slight floral and plenty of steely bittering hops in the aftertaste.

M/D - Mouthfeel is nothing special, the steely hop bite takes a bit away. However this is a solid pale ale for a beer drinker who doesn't mind a very bitter beer. (478 characters)

Photo of jkrich
3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. undated bottle with a fine picture of a World War II bomber on the label - hence the name hop bomber. The ale itself is no "hop-bomb". This was a visually pleasing pour: slightly deep golden to copper color with a foamy white-head that refuses to subside.

The aroma is clean and slightly resinous with a noticeable syrup aroma that dissipates after the pour.

The flavor has a nice complement of crisp, bitterness and rye. The label mentions rye, and it surely comes through. A faint sourness lingers and then disappears leaving some lingering malt on the tongue.

The carbonation level is too high and hinders the overall drinking experience. The body is about medium with a pleasing bittersweet mouthfeel.

Overall, this is quite enjoyable and refreshing; a different interpretation on the American pale ale style. (825 characters)

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