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Hop*A*Potamus - Great River Brewery

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

87 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 87
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 14.84%
Wants: 4
Gots: 3 | 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)
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Ratings: 87 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

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.

Serving type: can

04-17-2012 00:37:19 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

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-

Serving type: can

03-20-2013 03:58:59 | More by kojevergas
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

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.

Serving type: can

05-01-2012 21:54:41 | More by mothman
Photo of drewone
drewone

California

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

04-16-2012 01:15:23 | More by drewone
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

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.

Serving type: can

04-15-2012 22:16:51 | More by Alieniloquium
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barnzy78

Illinois

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.

Serving type: can

06-22-2012 01:03:14 | More by barnzy78
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Duff27

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

05-16-2012 04:32:25 | More by Duff27
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

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.

Serving type: can

04-20-2012 02:26:48 | More by maximum12
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mynie

Indiana

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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-25-2011 16:24:27 | More by mynie
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great river brewery hopapotamus - pours a very dark, clear, chestnut brown with red edges and a bubbly light brown head. The nose is interesting, it's a bit light but there is some notes of chocolate and roasted malts. There is a nice rye spice between the malt and hop transition as oily, resinous, citric hop. The taste has the pronounced rye with chocolate malts accompanying. Fairly roasted with a lighter hop presence than the nose. Basically just a light citrus and faint bitterness. A bit thick and syrupy with a lighter carb but soft feel. Pretty enjoyable balance here.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2012 15:57:46 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of morimech
morimech

Minnesota

3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark crimson color with two fingers of head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass. Funny, it does not look pale. WTF were they thinking with the Double Dark Pale Ale discriptor?

Smells like 4:20 at the local high school. Dank and earthy hops dominate. Muted rye makes its appearance as well.

Very hop forward flavor. Dank and bitter is prevalent. Some rye spice and more earthyness from hops. I would of liked more rye and less hops here. Lingering bitter, dank aftertaste. No sign of the ABV.

The poorest carbonated Great River beer. Do not know what they were going for or what went wrong with the canning. Just poor life in this beer. Big bodied, bitter beer. Does not excite the palate.

Certainly not the best rye beer on the shelves. But no others are priced $6.99 for four pints either.

Serving type: can

04-15-2012 20:23:31 | More by morimech
Photo of Whiskeydeez
Whiskeydeez

Kansas

4/5  rDev +4.2%

01-19-2013 17:21:59 | More by Whiskeydeez
Photo of jera1350
jera1350

Minnesota

4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cool name and cool label art. The description of this one sounds like it's right up my alley so I had to try it.

Very dark crimson color that lets some light through. Is is just me or do canned beers tend to have really fluffy soft heads full of foam? I mean that in a good way. This one is no different and it comes in a light khaki color.

Very complex nose that is filled with dark fruits. Prune, plum, blueberry, raisin, fig, candi sugar and rye. The hops seem to take a bit of a back seat to everything else or maybe they are creating some of them?

Such a pleasant flavor. So very approachable with the above mentioned dark fruits, but more of the rye comes into play here. It adds spice and roast to the flavor. The malt seems to have an equal balance with the hops here which add a nice resiny pine flavor.

Medium bodied, but the carbonation is just velvety soft on the tongue. It adds a nice pillowy/creamy feel to the beer.

This is a very impressive beer. It fits nicely into the Rye IPA field (or in this case Rye IIPA) and it's drinkability is terrific. There is not possible way I would have guessed this was 9%. Drinks more like a 6-7% beer. Both of the beers I have had from this brewery have been outstanding. They are putting out some very impressive things and I look forward to trying more.

Serving type: can

04-15-2012 00:04:01 | More by jera1350
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4DAloveofSTOUT

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

04-15-2012 06:52:57 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of egrace84
egrace84

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

04-21-2012 04:51:10 | More by egrace84
Photo of hoppymcgee
hoppymcgee

Connecticut

4/5  rDev +4.2%

05-31-2012 00:25:10 | More by hoppymcgee
Photo of gatornation
gatornation

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from a pint can

A- pours a clear but dark mahogany color with garnet hues, a tan head and sticky lacing

S- rye, hops and malts

T- rye first with piney citrus hops, nice spice additions malts and bread, a great taste

M- good carbonation with with nice rye and hops its rich and creamy but not a heavy brew

O- very drinkable with the ABV well hidden its rich and hoppy with loads of rye hops and spices, well done delicious

Serving type: can

04-19-2012 22:23:26 | More by gatornation
Photo of Herky21
Herky21

Iowa

3/5  rDev -21.9%

12-28-2013 17:38:43 | More by Herky21
Photo of FreshHawk
FreshHawk

Illinois

3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep, slightly murky garnet brown. Full, thick, large, pillowy, cake batter, off white head. Very nice retention leaving a nice sticky lace.

S - Interesting mix of fruity and citrus pine with a dark malt. A bit of a dark fruit and subtle fruitiness. A bit of a rye and earthiness as well. Hard to place exactly the style and aromas.

T - Strong pine flavor with some grapefruit/citrus. Slightly juicy flavors. There is a slight dark malt, earthy rye kind of flavor. Caramel malt and a slight sweetness.

M - Medium body with below average carbonation. Somewhat thin with a bit of a stickiness.

D - Pretty nice drinkability. Doesn't fit any style really, but there is a nice mix of dark/rye and hops. Lingering bitterness.

Notes: Interesting beer. Doesn't fit perfectly in a style for me but it is enjoyable. Mouthfeel is a little off, but it doesn't detract too much from enjoying the beer.

Serving type: can

04-27-2012 02:20:58 | More by FreshHawk
Photo of bennetj17
bennetj17

Arizona

3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany with hues of amber. Thick, lasting tan foam with sticky lace. The nose is fairly hoppy but what jumps out is a tangy fruit bite, almost raisiny with some berry qualities. It's interesting but I'm sure sure I dig it that much. I'm getting some Chinook character and the malty backbone makes it smell like an Imperial Red Ale. I don't really sense the rye but hopefully the flavor will be there.

Rich, dark, bready malt taste. Doughy but without being very sweet. The hop flavor is not the dominant feature here, but there is definitely alot of bitterness imparted. The rye does come through nicely and helps leave that dry finish. Not much alcohol flavor. Lightly chewy mouthfeel with adequate carbonation.

From the name I was expecting a pure hop monster, but instead this is a malt attack with a big hop balance. I like that it's hefty without being too sweet, although it still could be a bit more refined. Not sure the price on this thing since my buddy sent it to me, but I imagine it's a good bang for your buck. Actually, thinking about it more this beer reminds me alot of Arrogant Bastard. If you like that then you will probably like this.

Serving type: can

04-15-2012 04:13:46 | More by bennetj17
Photo of bigbeers84
bigbeers84

Minnesota

4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

04-25-2012 09:59:17 | More by bigbeers84
Photo of kawilliams81
kawilliams81

Illinois

3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz can into a Bell's tulip.

A- pours a dark amber with a 1 finger tan head. Minimal lacing on the glass.

S- tons of citrus and amazing rye spices.

T- rye spice with some citrus.

M- medium body and carbonation. Some dryness at finish.

O- aroma raised expectations but flavor was a let down.

Serving type: can

05-05-2012 03:22:32 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of jjanega08
jjanega08

Minnesota

4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

No freshness dating.

A= Pours a deep deep brown color almost a black. when held to the light it's a nice deep amber mahogony color with a head on it that holds some solid retention at a finger high and some nice sticky lacing on the side of the glass.

S= The smell is a nice pungent hop aroma with a floral character to it and a citrus bite. The rye comes through in the nose in a beautiful way with some nice character. One of the best plain rye smells I've come across besides Summits unchained rye.

T= The flavor follows the nose very well. FIrst a ton of hops hit you bringing a somewhat crushing bitterenss before a smooth creamy rye character comes through. The finish is all rye and the taste lingers with a hop bite mixed with rye on the back of the tongue. A really nice mix of the two characters.

M= Tight and creamy. Not something I ususally find well done in an IPA unless it's on cask. This is carbonated great.

O= This beer is a home run. I wish it were easier to find because I would be drinking this a looot more often. Came out of the blue and I picked it up on a whim because the can looked cool and the unusual sticker over a plain can feel. Works very nicely and I hope to be able to find some more of this sometime.

Serving type: can

04-15-2012 04:35:36 | More by jjanega08
Photo of bismarksays
bismarksays

Iowa

4/5  rDev +4.2%

05-12-2012 03:32:12 | More by bismarksays
Photo of Mdog
Mdog

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

03-25-2012 20:49:01 | More by Mdog
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Hop*A*Potamus from Great River Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.