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Hoptopia | Hermitage Brewing

51 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Hermitage Brewing
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by pixieskid on 08-18-2010

User Reviews
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Reviews: 51 | Ratings: 125
Photo of joshuasamantha
1.76/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Wow! This was a bad one everybody...was on the discount shelf for a reason. Poured in up had a drink and it wasn't up to par at all. Honestly, I thought it was a bad batch of beer so I wrote the brewmaster to tell him (If it was bad, I didn't want them selling that stuff for a myriad of reasons). Obviously he was apologetic and offered a free tasting and brewery tour if I could make it up the road. So, although they were very polite and remorseful, I wouldn't grab this one if you were looking to try something new.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.63/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I found my notes to this beer, yeah! From 7/5/10...

There was a big display for this beer at my local BevMo, and at $3.99 for a 22 ounce bottle of IPA, the propoganda worked. Little did I know that this was a DOUBLE IPA, so this could be a bargain. But before I declare so, on to the beer:

The pour yields a bronze colored beer with orange hues. The head retention is good, and the rings of lacing it leaves at first is a sight worth seeing. It smells similar to what I expected. Some caramel and honey sweetness play to grapefruit aromas, a little resin as well.

It tastes lighter than a DIPA. More like a single IPA, but that's not totally a bad thing. There are pine needles and little kick of citrus juice in this beer. A little bit of toffee crisp is provided by the malt backbone. What makes this beer good is that there are no overbearing bitterness or alcohol. It's mellow, and the flavors are put together fine. It's a lightweight in the mouth, which is a minor criticism to this beer. Relatively easy to drink for the alcohol, yay.

Hoptopia won't kick you in the pants, but it will provide you with sufficient hops at a decent price. A fair debut from this brewery of the beer desert city of San Jose, CA.

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Photo of TylerJones62
1.52/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

So I dont quite know where to start with this one. I really did not enjoy this beer nor did I know where they were trying to go with it.

It poured like a normal IPA, somewhat clear orange/amber color. As I was pouring, I was catching wiffs of what I can only describe as 409 cleaner. The taste was very similar to the smell except now there was a mix of 409 cleaner and pine. I would really like to say something good about this beer but I just cant do it. Not very drinkable in my opinion.

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Photo of monkeylovebeer
1.99/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

After the disappointing performance of Hermitage's double hefeweisen, I was a little skeptical about Hoptopia, the corresponding IPA in the San Jose brewery's recent "double" series. Upon first pour, everything seemed on track for a decent, hoppy experience: a nice straight-up golden color with a tight, sizable head, which, after some decent retention, leaves some lace, but not enough for your glass to be mistaken for your great auntie's parlor.

The pine/grapefruit nose is present, but not as hop-forward as I expected, and it's paired with something else, either I'm sensing the alcohol, or this beer has spent some time in or around a Naugahyde couch. There is a strange polyvinyl ester leaching from somewhere and it throws off the decent malt backbone of this beer.

For a double IPA, I'm just not getting smacked silly with hoppy goodness, which is exactly what I look for from this style. The finish has an odd, lingering note of slightly rancid butter.

With so many better (read: friggin' amazing) double IPAs--i.e. Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Elder, Ruination, Maximus, Moylander, Steelhead Double IPA, yes, even Hop Stoopid, etc., ad nauseam--on the market right now, I don't think I'll be making the trip out to Hoptopia again anytime soon.

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Photo of schuey1010
1.52/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Don't really know what to say about this one that has not been previously been stated. My sister tried to punish me with a glass of this on her birthday.

Had never heard of it or seen it. Now I understand why. It smelled bad, and tasted even worse. One sip was all I needed to know it wasn't yummy. It had a smokey, maybe burnt taste to it. No real hop profile that I noticed.

Just an overall weak example of what I think they were going for.

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Photo of SDBestBeerCity
2.24/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Recommended by guy at BevMo who is usually pretty good, but not this time.

Nice appearance and pours nicely.

Something odd about smell that is different from most double IPA's, almost a spicy smell, like a winter brew.

Initial taste OK, but strange aftertaste.

Finished the first glass but poured out the rest of the 22 oz bottle onto a potted plant.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank in July when the brewery was not on the site. Just now realized the brewery had been added.

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle. The beer pours a orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is orange hops and caramel malt. The flavor is orange citrus and caramel malt. The beer is very juicy. Low bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of jpwiii
2.58/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a Surly pint glass.

A - Promising appearance. Stable 2 fingers of head and in the cave like light of my living room, the color is a copper orange.

S - There is a smell of candied grapefruit, bubble gum???, heavy malt. There is something synthetic about the aroma of this beer.

T - Moderate bitterness. This beer tastes smoky. It took me a while to put my finger on it, but this beer tastes like Bacon Jelly Beans. It has an odd, smoky, synthetic/engineered flavor. It's not great, it's almost intriguingly bad.

M - May be the best thing about this beer. A little thin, but fine carbonation.

D - I keep drinking this hoping that I'm wrong, but I'm half way through it and I keep getting the same thing.

This was an odd beer. Was it terrible...No. Was it a DIPA...No. But if you like Bacon flavored jelly beans, you'll like this beer.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up at BevMo and finally consumed for fear of hop breakdown. Hermitage still sat in the queue when consumed in July. Review from notes at that time.

Pours the amber side of pale from a 22 oz. bomber filled almost to the lip. Half an inch of slightly off white foam sits atop the pour and offers decent retention and lacing.
Pour is clear and offers a slightly orange hue.

Nose is malty like many of the Northwest style yet more endearing. Hop notes are citric in nature yet offer little depth, and with less bitterness than expected. Bit of smoke and caramel in the malt nose.

Offers a decent yet moderate hop presence on the tongue, with some citric malts that match well and convey more bitterness than anticipated from the nose. Simple and beginner nonetheless. Actually a well balanced beer
of the Northwest style that has a subdued though present malt presence along with a lightly drying bitter finish with a bit of grapefruit on said finish. This beats out many a NW style IPA yet still pales when compared to a preferred and drier San Diego version.

Smooth mouthfeel, slightly buttery and viscous for the style with just enough balancing bitterness to pull it off. Touch of citric breadiness and a light chalky feel.

Decent drink though the lingering orange sweetness gets a bit old.

Decent and well made though not quite my style, yet better than many that try to be what this is.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Amber color, above average carbonation, but below average head. Aroma was just not going on.

Taste, super bitter, brought a good amount of hops, malt and especially bitterness. Not exactly balanced, on the puckering side of things. Was able to extract some enjoyment out of this. Caramel and citrus. Alcohol represented throughout.

I think these guys have a bevmo contract, nice that they get their beers out there for a relatively cheap price, definitely helps with drinkability, at $3.99 a bomber, I'd try this again. A nice beer to have on hand for when your palate is already ragged at a tailgate.

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Photo of jfh
1.96/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

22 oz bottle purchase at Bev Mo in Sacramento, with many other bottles. Hadn't heard of Hermitage, but it's fairly local. Seeing the other reviews, the only thing new I can add is that the cough syrup/excessively pine bark/grapefruit hop character hit the back of the roof of your mouth after you swallow. It's a bad flavor and comes out of a not that bad initial mouth feel and taste. The beer looks good, clear, amber; I like a bit lower carbonation. But my wife and I split the 22oz bottle and the drain got 16 ozs of it. Racer 5 cleansed our palates.

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Photo of SDtastentune
2.51/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Deep yellow amber brown/tan'ish with hardly any head or lace.

S - Fruit and hops, possibly more apricot or ?

T - I usually like double IPA's but something is off here...wierd apricot/metal/hops taste. Not impressed for an IPA kinda unbalanced.

M - Pretty good, higher carbonation but not balanced.

D - Average to kinda weird, so I am not liking this one too much. Has a unbalanced overall thing going on, too much fruit taste or something I cant describe... But it was a cheaper DIPA ($3.50 at bevmo.)

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Photo of brewandbbq
2.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle.
Pours clear copper with a whisp of white on the surface and some dotted lacework.

Aromatics lead off with sweet malt, mild hops, and wet paper. A bit minerally with a hint of pine. Pretty weak and old for a IIPA.

Medium bodied with a sticky, slightly syrupy mouthfeel.

Malt-forward on the palate with a brown sugar edge. Traces of hopping more akin to the pale ale scale. A hint of pine is pretty much all you get out of this one.

Finishes with lingering cardboard-steeped malt and traces of pine bark.

Eew, this one is either long-gone or never was. Yikes.

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Photo of flexabull
2.2/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

From notes.

Pours a dull orange color with a very faint head.

Nose smells odd, some funk, with a mixture of spices I can't pin down, also some earthiness and grapefruits.

Taste starts out dry, then gets sweet, with some diacetyl butteriness. There are some funky and sour notes that don't belong here, while the finish has a creamy and grapefruit like note. Hop flavors are barely present.

Mouthfeel is thin, but at least smooth.

This is barely drinkable, (Bad bottle?) because this tastes nothing like a Double IPA. I tried to choke it down, but the drain got to drink half of it, sorry drain.

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Photo of djmichaelk
1.78/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

22oz bomber into a perfect pint. Been waiting for this to be added. Review from notes.

A - Hazy orangey-yellow, with a slim one-finger head that recedes to a thin ring around the edge of the glass. Patchy lacing as it goes down.

S - Very sweet for a DIPA, with notes of caramelized sugar and cough syrup. Not much in the way of hop character at all, which is just odd for the style.

T - Wow, this is just not very good. The sweetness is very evident here, clobbering everything else. That cough syrup note is something that I just can't get past. Bitter, but without the hop pleasantness that I'm expecting. Long, dry, alcoholic finish. Ugh.

M - Thin but velvety, with low carbonation. It would be reasonably pleasant but for the oily slickness in the finish.

D - It's a struggle to get through this bomber. It only gets worse as it warms up. This might very well be my first drainpour. Hopefully if I can get through a bit more the alcohol will make me forget.

O - What a colossal letdown. Cheap, local, and readily available made me hopeful, but this was worse that I could've imagined. I can only hope that I got a bad bottle, but this didn't show signs of infection, instead it seems to just be a poor recipe. Scratch what I said in the D, this just got poured. Couldn't finish it.

Like Ale of the Hermit, I'm embarrassed to have sent this out to a poor unsuspecting BA as an extra before trying it. Bevmo has stacks of both beers, just waiting for unknowing suckers to pick them up.

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Photo of ReDave
3.83/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Also bought this at BevMo, not quite as "old" looking as the hermit ale.

Pretty foamy head that settles down to an adequate level of off white. some lacing

Aroma, some sweetness, pine, not real strong.

Taste, not too bad, seems within average DIPA's
pretty malty, with a fairly nice does of hops going on. rather sweetnessy thing going on.
If i remember right, the price wasn't too bad, so this makes it a fairly good price per taste value.
I'd get this again.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.97/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - This is a dark, dingy, almost brownish-orange in color with a modest white head.

Smell - The pine is very soft but intense and there is a really nice orange rind balance to the nose. The two work together in perfect harmony and the toasted malt base actually stays in the running

Taste - The malts are a bit more forward and toasted at the taste and exert themselves quite well here. The pine steps back a bit at the taste but a strong non-sweet orange flavor mates very well with the big malts. This is a very personalized and unique take on the style.

Mouthfeel - This is a big beer, bigger than medium-bodied I'd say, with some modest but respectful carbonation and really very little effort in trying to be smooth. This beer wants you to pause with every sip.

Drinkability - As of this writing there are no reviews on the site and the brewery isn't even in the database yet, but I'll predict that there won't be a big fan base on this beer from the purists. Having said that, I found this beer quite intriguing and exceptionally fun to drink.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, thanks Abel!

Is this is a great DIPA? No way. Is this a bad beer? No way.

Appearance is on par for the style, color is a clear copper amber with a creamy retentive off white head and thick clumps of lacing. Aroma is more typical of an AIPA; biscuity, citrus hops, caramel malt. Balanced, but boring. Flavor is similar to the nose, a strong biscuity and caramel malt body with citric hops and minimal bitterness. Medium bodied with strong carbonation and a dry, cardboard like finish. Overall doesn't hit the mark as DIPA or live up to its name, but is a nice balanced and smooth beer that works as a malty IPA.

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Photo of ManuelHerrera
3.48/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This double IPA is decent overall, although not the most innovative that's out there. It's got a decent golden color and nice lacing.

The smell doesn't pop except for some grapefruit and orange peel scents presented by the hops. The taste is decent, though not quite as a balanced as some other double IPAs. It's not aggressive, whatsoever (for regular IPA drinkers) and there's an unfortunate pop to the alcohol flavor. Overall it's okay though, just nothing great.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 08/26/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours a nice amber color with little bit of white head.

s - Smells of caramel malts, fruity malts, citrus hops, and sweet fruit or sugar. Hint of pine.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, fruit, sugar, citrus hops, and pine hops.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - An ok beer, but not an overly hoppy beer. Probably wouldn't seek out again.

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Photo of DovaliHops
3.72/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes: Appearance is a light orangish amber color with not too big of a head. The smell is HUGE! Extremely fruity! Lots of orange/tanerine zest with tons of sweetness. This smell reminds me a lot like fruit snacks. Never had a beer smell like this before. The taste however, does not live up to its HUGE smell. Not bad at all, but maybe just a little watered down. Not too much though. I get a lot of sweet tangerine (like tangerines covered in sugar). Then I get some floral notes along with some sweet grapefruit and hops. This beer does not seem to be very well balanced, but it still remains highly drinkable. The mouthfeel is very nice as well. Haven't heard much about this beer, but what I heard was not too flattering...I happen to enjoy it though. I would purchase this again.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.48/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bottle.

A- Pours a amberish orange color. Two finger white head that shows good retention. Nice streaky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Smell was of citrus hops from the get go. Light caramel malts in this along with a light sweetness...almost honey like which I didn't think belonged but not offensive at all.

T- Light metallic tones to this beer at the front with a citrus hop. Caramel malts with some light floral notes. This seems to be a little faded and I don't know if it's a old bottle.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation was a little on the weak side for me. Hops on the palate but fade quickly with a light malt balance. Aftertaste is light alcohol with more of a hop bitterness. Flavors were a little on the light side and muddled. Watery at times. Alcohol caused light drying on the palate.

D- This was a enjoyable beer. It was worth the money...for sure. DIPA?? Not even close. But with a name like Hoptopia I expected a hop bomb. If they would have said it was a IPA I think it would have gotten better scores from me.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.12/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another impulse buy at the Carmel Mountain BevMo on my recent trip to San Diego. Pours a nice medium brown color, with a good off-white head. Aromas of floral hops, fragrant pine, earthy hops and warm caramel. On the palate, a little brown sugar, some hops and butterscotch.

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Photo of jzeilinger
2.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a clear amber color with a white, creamy head and active carbonation. The bubbles are bigger than I'm accustomed to seeing.

S - Has a metallic caramel aroma (pretty weird), crackery malt...there's barely ANY aroma to this beer!!! WTF?? (Is that an official beer review term?)

T - Big time caramel malt with some pine bitterness, very one dimensional for a big IPA. Has some citrus bittering and generous sweet caramel malt on the tongue. Very balanced, but I wouldn't say, "Well balanced". On the good side, the ABV is pretty well hidden, almost entirely - now that's cool.

M - Mildly creamy, medium bodied, a little frothy, and the pine and caramel linger after the sip.

D - Decent balance but incredibly boring.

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Photo of bargerking
2.18/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

You get what you pay for....

Poured into a snifter.

Pours a medium viscous dark copper amber color. Eggshell head with cloudy cluster clump retention. Soapy sticky lace. Smells like this is a little old. The hops are way subdued. There is a some pine/grapefruit scents but everything is muted. Initial contact on lips is sweet that leads to an uneventful mouthfull. Swallow gets thin and bitters with an unwanted nutty resiny finish on the backend.
Only spent $3.50 on this at Bevmo and it was worth a try I guess. Something keeps telling me this batch is pretty old though. Even if it was fresh it doesn't deserve a title like Hoptopia...

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Hoptopia from Hermitage Brewing
72 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.