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Hop*A*Potamus - Great River Brewery

Not Rated.
Hop*A*Potamus
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BA SCORE
86
very good

89 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 89
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 14.58%
Wants: 4
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great River Brewery visit their website
Iowa, United States

Style | ABV
Rye Beer |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Hop*A*Potamus is a double dark rye pale ale made with a ton of pale and six kinds of rye malt for a "full" body. This double dark rye pale ale is fiercely hopped with a Northwest blend for a stampede of flavor and aroma.

(Beer added by: mynie on 12-25-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 89 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spoonhawk
1/5  rDev -74%

spoonhawk, Aug 19, 2012
Photo of schimschim
3/5  rDev -21.9%

schimschim, Feb 11, 2014
Photo of ffshore545
3/5  rDev -21.9%

ffshore545, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of JakeMorgan13
3/5  rDev -21.9%

JakeMorgan13, Feb 08, 2013
Photo of Herky21
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Herky21, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of mattafett
3/5  rDev -21.9%

mattafett, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of Iowacraft
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Iowacraft, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of Sunn
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Sunn, Apr 14, 2013
Photo of dbossman
3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Reddish brown hue with an enormous cream-colored head

S: The rye and the hops not surprisingly steal the show: some grapefruit and pine and weed--more the latter of the two with the spicy slightly malty grains and rye sneaking up behind

T: Something is not quite right here; I like the rye and the piney hop resin is there too and that's good but there is a medicinal and slightly buttery flavor in the finish--not to mention the prevalent alcohol flavors that make this beer finish in a way it shouldn't

F: Sticky and oily like it should be with medium overall body

O: This is a strange beer; I love Great River and I love everything about this beer except it's taste...but that's a pretty important part--there's just something not quite right for my taste here

dbossman, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to AndrewK for sharing this one at jmgrub’s tasting.

Pours a clear brown with a foamy tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, rye, and spice notes. Taste is the same with some herbal and medicinal hop flavors. There is a medium amount of bitterness with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer with a very muddled and somewhat dirty taste.

UCLABrewN84, Apr 17, 2012
Photo of BSuter
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

BSuter, Apr 14, 2014
Photo of marine1975
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

marine1975, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of maximum12
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

All tingly to find a new rye beer showing up in Minnesota, especially one that might be around with some regularity. Now, it just can get all Scott Klingenbeck on me. Nice juicy 16 oz. can.

Poured into a gallon-holding snifter, the brew is a deep red bordering on light black. Nose almost smells like a wort in progress, very rye, unvarnished, The advertised hops are missing.

Hop*A*Potamus doesn't shadow the nose at all. First comes a huge mouthful of earthy dampness that eats the hops & rye alive. The rye gets disgested & shat out by the dankness, with spare breadiness & a flash of spice. The hops bite but are creamed over quickly. Hops do reassert themselves on the finish, but only as a middling bitterness with flavor lacking. The soiliness looms over all.

Not bad, but not what I was hoping for; the can tells a great tale that the beer doesn't back up. Too much farmland soil for me; pretty good, but won't be a repeat buy.

maximum12, Apr 20, 2012
Photo of mynie
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

One of their fancy barrel-aged beers that's available only at the brewery. No information was given other than its name and style and the fact that it was aged in a rye cask.

Also, I don't know whether or not its name is an intentional reference to Kenny Vs. Spenny, but it'd be pretty cool if it were.

Pours like iced tea. Very little head, limp looking brown.

Smells malty and rye-ish. Name's a little misleading, I guess... The rye is exceptionally smooth and quite pleasant, but it overrides the whole rest of the aroma.

And it tastes like it smells. Nicely woody, with that crisp rye flavor that's kinda like a very mellow, very zippy oak. It's nice, but like I said, it kinda overrides everything else. Can barely taste the titular hops.

mynie, Dec 25, 2011
Photo of kojevergas
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml aluminum can with interesting label art reminiscent of Diamond Knot brewing acquired in a trade with the very generous Duff27 and served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; this is me first beer from this brewery (I think). 99 IBUs. "Double Dark Rye Pale Ale." 9% ABV confirmed.

Served straight from the fridge and side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

I'm really in the mood for a good pale ale (dark though it may be...). I loved the rye in say, Alpine Nelson so I'm excited for this.

A: Pours a luscious two finger mocha-khaki colour head of great cream, great thickness, and fantastic (8+ minute) retention for the high ABV. Body colour is a surprisingly dark, rich amber colour. Translucent. Semitransparent. Nice lacing as the head recedes. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. I'm not sure what I expected, but this is very interesting. Boy, that head is gorgeous. Soft and inviting. I can't wait to try it.

Sm: Caramel, evocative full rye grains, light rye bread, cream, amber malts, pale malts, light buried citrus, biscuit malt, and strangely executed nectary and light piney hops. It's a strangely built, yet seemingly balanced aroma. I'm not quite on board with it, but only because it's new to me. Quite grainy. An above average strength aroma. It's not unpleasant, just somewhat foreign - like somewhere between a lightly hopped amber and a black IPA. Curious. I'm intrigued. The rye notes here are surprisingly deep; I don't usually pick up on rye but I do get it here. This is one of the few beers brewed with rye that you could hand me blind and I'd bet that I actually would pick up on the rye. Though it's more hoppy than, say, a German style roggenbier. I think the combination of the hops and the grains is what has me puzzled; it's not quite seamless but it's definitely well balanced. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Hm. I like it, but it's not easy to file into a clear category. There's definite hop flavour here, with some grassy hops, light floral hop character, and more dank light oily hops. I like the hop character overall; I'm glad I don't get the pine or nectar of the aroma. But it's still missing something. On the malty end, you've got lots of grainy character and light cereals. Rye is in there, along with touches of rye bread. Caramel is quite forward here. Light amber and biscuit malts fill out the body and give it a bit more complexity. I'm not getting any yeasty character or alcohol, which is a good thing. It's nicely creamy, too. It's got notable complexity, but I'm more impressed with the subtle interaction between the dank somewhat oily hops and the thick bready grains; they go really well together. Balance is good. The finish is heavy rye; the hops have faded by that point. It's an interesting beer. I'm not sure I've had one quite like it before. Some of the best use of rye I've experienced, to be sure. Really liking this one, but it's not bringing as much flavour or complexity to the table as it would need to to really be great. Not too bitter nor too sweet.

Mf: Chewy. Moderately thick. Good smoothness and wetness, but there's enough coarseness to let the flavours come through. Slightly overcarbonated, but there's no sharpness or bite to it. Good body and depth of flavour. Good presence on the palate. Nicely soft. I'd stop short of refreshing, but it's pleasant to drink. Love the creaminess especially. Complements the flavour profile quite well.

Dr: A welcome oddity from Great River - a brewery I intend to investigate more. ABV is quite well hidden here and it's very drinkable. I'll enjoy killing the whole point by myself. Don't expect a pale ale when you crack this one open; the rye really distances it from that designation. Still, it's not a roggenbier in the traditional sense. Not sure where to classify this one - and I think that's a good thing. Love the experimentation. I'd recommend this to friends, but I wouldn't know how to adequately explain what it is. Any fan of trying different beers would do well to give this one a spin. I owe Duff27 for the opportunity to try it.

High B-

kojevergas, Mar 20, 2013
Photo of Oboogie
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Oboogie, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of TastyIsBeer
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

TastyIsBeer, Apr 12, 2013
Photo of smutty33
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

smutty33, Jul 03, 2012
Photo of HoistinBrews
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

HoistinBrews, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of Mdog
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Mdog, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

KAF, Jul 13, 2014
Photo of Parker9000
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Parker9000, Oct 02, 2013
Photo of mothman
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a finger of tan head. Good retention. Color is a dark mahogany brown.

Aroma: A big amount of rye and spice. Biscuit flavored. Floral and earthy hops. This thing is very hoppy. Orange citrus as well. Caramel with some chocolate.

Taste: Mimics the nose, but much more hoppy. Very juicy and hop resiny. Also a bit more caramel malt.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and sticky. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends sticky.

Overall, a pretty solid rye beer. Definitely drinks like a dipa. Very hoppy. I dig it. One can at a time, however. Too sticky.

mothman, May 01, 2012
Photo of barnzy78
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

3rd try with this one, and as much as I want to like it more, I can't. It's still good though.

16oz can, pours ruby/chestnut in color with a foamy tan head that holds great retention and leaves thick, chunky lacing on the glass - impressive. Aromas are malty caramel, peppery rye, citric hop. Tastes seem to be muddled, very earthy, rye, herbal, fresh dank hops, resinous citrus & evergreen. Full bodied, creamy and smooth, rather chewy, yet oily and resinous. Alcohol is very well concealed for 9%. Overall, like I said earlier: I want to like this more. I feel like the hops could be brighter and stand out more. It just seems to be too one note for me. It's not bad at all, but just seems to be missing something.

barnzy78, Jun 22, 2012
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16 oz. can poured into a shaker pint. Thanks to GraniteSkunk for a 4 pack of this one.

Appearance - Pours a dark brown with reddish tint through the light. Not much of a head, so it actually fits in my glass. Still manages to sustain some good lacing.

Smell - I get hops, but the rye smell is dominant. Heavy rye character. The malt almost smells raw, if that makes sense. Reminds me of the smell of a brewery.

Taste - Much hoppier in the flavor than the smell. Pine and grapefruit, but it again takes a backseat to the rye flavor. Solid rye flavor all the way through. Finishes with a heavy dark malt caramel flavor that verges on chocolate. Medium bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Slick and kinda heavy. Definitely doesn't drink like a pale ale, as it is labeled. Much more a heavy brown ale with tons of rye. The bitter finish maybe lightens it a bit, but it's still a slow one.

Overall - This was previously categorized as an IPA here, which is totally wrong, no matter what the can says. This is a heavier rye beer that's hopped, not an IPA with rye. Solid rye flavor and a decent hop back, but it's not anything special.

Alieniloquium, Apr 15, 2012
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Hop*A*Potamus from Great River Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.