Hop Riot IPA - High Water Brewing

Not Rated.
Hop Riot IPAHop Riot IPA

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BA SCORE
82
good

61 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 61
Hads: 160
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 8.86%
Wants: 3
Gots: 17 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
High Water Brewing visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: womencantsail on 02-05-2011

Hop Riot IPA is our flagship beer. Brewed in the American IPA style with a definitive "Left Coast" attitude. We brew our IPA with an aggressive bittering level which is complimented and balanced by a defined malt backbone. Our final signature is the dry hop step where fresh hops are immersed in the finished beer to provide the floral and citrus aromas of our IPA, a Hop Riot indeed.

7.3% ABV 73 IBU
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Reviews: 61 | Hads: 160
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a clear light honey orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus fruit, citrus zest, and some slight tropical fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with some malt flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a nice mild tropical presence in the aroma and flavor. (588 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had to adjust my ratings because this beer has changed dramatically. First two batches were excellent beers, newer batches are decent but very different and much less impressive.

Original review:

4.5 / 5.0 / 4.5 / 4.0 / 4.5

On tap at Gourmet Haus Staudt.

Clear orange-amber with a dense white froth. Bright and clear, spot-on for the style.

Awesome hop aroma. Mango and pineapple, a hint of onion, grapefruit, just a touch of sweet malt. Sharp and pungent, this smells great.

The hop flavors mirror the nose, sweet up front with notes of juicy peach and pineapple, citrusy grapefruit, spicier notes of onion. The body is light, just malty enough to have a backbone for the hops. It finishes with a sticky, resiny, lingering bitterness. The hop character is massive here, belying its 7.3%. Phenomenal stuff. (814 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear and amber in color. A nice big off-white head to go with it.

S: Really a nice citrus aroma to start this one off. Plenty of grapefruit and tangerines with a hint of grass. Light bread and toffee notes in the background. Quite a bit of floral character is present as well.

T: A bit more malt forward than expected, but still some good hops. Grapefruit, tangerine, and various floral notes give a decent hop profile. It is a touch watery, however.

M: Medium (barely) in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: A decent enough IPA, but it doesn't quite stack up to my expectations. (607 characters)

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.47/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Library Alehouse today.

Pours a hazy, egg yolk yellowish orange with a good foamy white head which fades to clumpy lace. The smell is fantastic with white grapefruit/citrus notes, and pungent spring flowers. Taste is juicy citrus fruits, some sweetness from the malt, very hop forward. Bitterness and balanced malt combined with a nice carbonation feels just right on the tongue. Overall, so glad Steve Altimari of Valley Brewing in Stockton has found a new home in San Leandro to brew. The 7.3% is so well hidden and this is a must have when it is fresh. (566 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.25/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A really big hop ale. Comes on in an alluring malty rush. Nose is quite nice, resins and pineapple. It is quite sharp. I wouldn't call it dry, as there is an underlying sweetness, but that is crowded out by the hop acids or whatever gives it that tartness. More like a very tart berry with a lot of grapefruit peel that smothers it out in turn. Okay, plenty big hop, bro, but after a few tastes it gets more harsh and lowdown.

There are so many big, big hop beers out there that the occasional stars greatly outshine all these regular IPAs. It won't be wasted, though. Should be a good flavoring hop juice to add to those Trader Joe's bock beers and Simple Times lagers. (671 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a light amber with a small white head. Leaves solid lace.

S: Very biscuity malt and toast initially with pine and orangey citrus.

T: Fairly heavy malt character, bready. Tangerine dominant with pine and cedar, definitely some good hop character in there but a bit erratic.

M: Medium-bodied, smooth, resiny, soft carbonation.

O: Just a solid CA IPA. Certainly more to the East Coast style, but an enjoyable effort. (442 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased from Whole Foods in Los Altos, CA.

Pours a very clear, but slightly murky amber golden colour, laced with a dusty brown hue. Head is filmy and frothy, but settles down to large bubbles pretty quickly. Decent lacing. Body is right on what you want for around this ABV. Looks pretty good.

Nose is green and sharp, with big, leafy hop characters coming through on top of a rubbed citrus and spicy resin aroma. It's almost too vegetative—there's pine and cedar, clipped grass and eucalyptus in there, and the mellower, fresher, fruitier citrus characters get lost. All power to them, though.

Taste is in the same vein, with a powerful, biting resiny hop character coating the centre of the palate and refusing to let go of its mighty grip. By the time it eventually dissipates, there's nothing left on the palate, leaving a dry and rather jarring experience on the finish. Malt on the front cushions the hops slightly, still perhaps not giving the level required, but pushing the biting hop character to a more citrus sherbet character.

A pretty exhausting beer to drink, truth be told. The hops are big, and not necessarily all that well balanced—furthermore, it's one type of persistent, goading, sharp bitter hop character, which makes it harder to understand, or appreciate.

It's a pretty respectable IPA, especially if you like huge doses of bittering hops, but by the end, I was wondering when I'd choose to drink it again. (1,444 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
3.05/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

5/29/2011

Bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Deep amber with a white head that quickly fades. 

S: Orange, grapefruit, onion, and heavy pine resin. Faintly tropical, with restrained caramel notes. Alcohol is evident. Somewhat floral.

T: Bitter grapefruit with orange pith and pine. Traces of caramel malt. Upper moderate bitterness and very dry. A bit astringent. Alcohol is quite strong in the flavor for the ABV.

M: Lower medium in body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky and somewhat heavy.

Overall: I found this to be just okay. No particularly strong attributes and some evident flaws. I preferred the growler version I had. (645 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hop Riot IPA is a deep caramel colour that does offer some clarity but you need a bright light source and the right angle to make it happen. The ring around its circumference and splashes of white on the surface are hardly what you'd consider a head, but it certainly isn't flat.

A note to High Water Brewing: dry-hoping is not your "signature" move, a lot of brewers do it. And if you're going to boast about it, do so in the aroma not on the label. There's an awful lot of toasted biscuit and bread crusts that come through in the smell, considerably more so than anything citrusy or floral (although bitter pine resin is abundant).

Indeed, bitter pine resin is a recurring character, making appearances also in the taste and aftertaste. Sharing the spotlight again, however, is that toasty, bready maltiness. It is tasted equally along with the candied citrus notes and a grassy, lightly pungent herbal flavour. I could probably name more herbs than fruits when it comes to taste resemblances.

The beer has some sweetness - like burnt brown sugar - but by and large it's the bitterness that'll impress upon you; the dry taste of fruit peel and pith reverberate but it's the very earthy, herbal, plant-like bitterness that resonates longest. Potent notes of melon and lychee liqueur are also noted as it warms, but things never get out of hand with regards to alcohol.

This beer falls a little short of what I'd consider a hop 'riot' but it does bring a respectable ruckus to the palate. Its bitter hops have a definite snarl but the turmoil arises from a bulky maltiness that tempers the beer's citric, floral personae. It doesn't succeed entirely; all that resinous pine flavour delivers the characteristic 'Left Coast' formula with gratification. (1,759 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

fresh bomber into a fw tulip.

pours a dark golden with a nice head. resiny, cannabis nose. quite hoppy. the taste is also very resiny, extremely bitter finish. malty as well. not my kind of IPA but high water nailed what they were trying to do. medium bodied, with mild carbonation.

overall pretty resiny...good. (314 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.96/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chuckanut pint glass. Pours a medium golden amber with a half finger white head with good retention and light slippery lacing. Nice aroma of resiny pine and citrus hops, mild malt. Flavor follows with strong pine and citrus hops, lightly floral, with a substantial but neutral malt body, light citrus. There seems to be some light stone fruit flavor here too, but it is subsumed into the up front hop bitterness. Medium bodied with great carbonation. A nice blend of citrus and herbal hops, well dry hopped. This is quite hop forward, but is supported well by the malt body. A well made and enjoyable hoppy IPA. (625 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark amber pour, off white head. Aroma was hoppy, but not dry hoppy.

Massive bitterness that stays forever. No discernable descriptor to call the flavor, not much citrus or pine to it, would have to go grapefruit since it is so bitter w/o much else to sport with it. All bittering hops. One trick pony.

Alcohol a little to evident.
Its not a bad beer, but even at $5 a bomber, it probably won't be anything I go back to. Would do the trick when your palate is already shot for the day I guess.

Could use more dry/flavor hops and more caramel to smooth it out. (565 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of westcoastbeerlvr (thanks Craig!), and while this is appreciated it's probably not going to be the best review.

The beer pours very clear, with a reddish-tinted golden body and a thin white foam. It smells sweet and hoppy, more floral than citric. The sweetness hints at strong caramel malt, the hoppy aromas are on the odd side (minty, tea-like, vegetal, "floral" if being kind).

It tastes VERY bitter (which I like) but with limited counterpoints (which I don't like as much). Still, on the whole this isn't a bad approach, I'd rather have brutal hops than overly sweet malts. The malts in this case are hard to detect, this is all about alpha acids.

Difficult to keep drinking through the entire bomber, but I'm finishing it. It would be good in much smaller doses, the bitterness just makes it hard to drink too much of it. (848 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber picked up at City Beer. Dark gold, white head, nice heavy lace.

Smell is strong, earthy hops, some citrus, especially as it warms.

Taste is loads of hops, citrus, wood, moderate bitterness. The orange drink comes out as it warms.

Mouthfeel is slippery, medium-light bodied.

Drinkability is fine. Solid IPA, and wholly forgettable. I'm not a fan of the British style, which this flirts with too much for my taste. (427 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into an Allagash cervoise glass.

A: A finger of white head tops a clear, bronze beer.

S: I love these hops! Loads of juicy fruit with a touch pine. An ideal IPA.

T: A solid IPA, virtually unassailable if somewhat stolid. Generous grapefruit, with a bitter hop base that surprises me in its intensity. A nice balance of fruit and hops, with a touch of something tropical before the West Coast hops return. Lingering hop finish that is not dry.

M: Adequate, if unremarkable. Sturdy.

O: Excellent! Drinkable, excellent, and highly recommended. I will drink again. A benchmark for West Coast IPAs. (628 characters)

Photo of illidurit
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Burger. in Santa Cruz. Pours a dark golden bronze with a huge creamy white head. Thinking the CO2 might be off on the tap line, because the foam is massive, billowing, and constantly fed by tons of streaming bubbles. Aroma is leafy and green, with some bitter grapefruit and a touch of metallic character. Flavor has a low-sweetness pale malt profile with a little caramel as it warms. Hops aren't too forward here, light herbal notes with a vague citrus thing going on. Nice bitterness and dry on the palate. I'm left wanting some fruitiness. Solid west coast IPA but not elite. I liked the Valley Cobra IPA better. (626 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant amber under a rocky 3” clingy white foam cap.
S: Glass smells like the inside of a lawn mower bag with a couple of cut up oranges and grapefruit thrown in.
T: Rich intense hop flavors on a rich malt background with caramel notes. After initial malt attack finishes grassy with citrus notes.
F: A creamy rich texture feels very soft in the mouth with a medium body and medium carbonation.
O: A big creamy rich American IPA with a delightful texture. (475 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

515th review on BA
bottle to bruery snifter
22oz

App- A very dark amber orange with a huge pillowy two finger head. A couple dots of cling.

Smell- This was a nice mix of big booziness with some dry hops and some sweet malts. A pretty good single IPA mix.

Taste- This was big and bitter. It's only a single I had to tell myself. Its really gunning for that West Coast IPA title. This usually isnt my favorite profile but this was pretty damn good with spicy and malty.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. A very bitter, buttery malt after taste. I just kept licking my lips and swallowing to get residule flavors.

Drink- I more than likely will have this one again. I am now excited to try the DIPA. This was a smooth beer from a good brewer. (754 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber with think steady beige head. Deep orange hard candy nose with some resin underneath.
Marmalade, burnt sugar, and a bit of bread crust that backs up gooey orange rind and sap hops.
Hint of cantaloupe to end and chalky linger. Medium, sticky and chewy, a bit of burn.

A good reference point for a Cali IPA - plenty of sticky hops which get more orangey as it opens. But it's a bit too bitter and hot to be drinkable which, at this ABV, shouldn't really be the case. A watching-sports beer that's nothing to chase.

Thanks to Chris for bringing this from SF. (570 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled:unk

Pours amber with a couple fingers of light tan foam. Smells of pine, resin, bitter matls, some special B, some smells of crackers and biscuit. Tastes bitter with good malty character with some pine and a nice grapefruit. Very drinkable. Medium bodied with moderate carb and a standard fnish. Very drinkable, not upper eschelon (339 characters)

Photo of flexabull
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New arrival at my local store. Odd that the BA listing has this as Redding, but the guy at the store said this is brewed at Drakes in San Leandro by a former Valley Brew guy.

So here goes...

Pours a bright darker orange color, pretty clear, pretty good lacing and head.

Aromas are resiny, with some pine, and mixed citrus fruits, and little bit sugary too.

Taste is earthy, with malty caramel sweetness, some spiciness, and hints of bread dough. Finish is dry, with some really lingering pine needle like bitterness that is on the strong side.

Mouthfeel is full, thick, and a little sticky. Comes off as being a bit too heavy.

Overall, this is a pretty good IPA with some flaws. The lingering bitterness is a bit much, and the earthy sweetness is a little to sticky and heavy. Reminds me of some IPAs brewed on the East Coast. Still, it's worthy of trying, and pretty tasty. (880 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.08/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a fairly clear copper-orange color with a thin half-finger of slightly off-white head. The head hangs around forever leaving behind some nice lacing as it finally fades.

S - Aroma is a mix of mostly pine and herbal hops and a bit of grapefruit hops as well. There is a bit of bready malts in the background as well. Aroma is a bit mild.

T - Starts off with a kick of grassy hops and lots of bitterness. Through the middle, the bitterness gets even stronger with some grapefruit hops and some bready malts coming through as well. The finish is big on the bitterness with a bit of pine and citrus hops lingering alongside.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The beer feels smooth and very dry from the strong bitterness throughout.

D - Very drinkable. The beer is a quite hop dominated with very strong bitterness throughout. Could have maybe used a bit more balancing, but the strong bitterness is really nice. (934 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
2.11/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Purchased at K&L.

A: Pours a clear amber body with a light beige head. Decent retention and a few dribbles of lace down the sides.

S: Mild notes of grapefruit, and lots and lots of grass, leaves, tea, earth... Oh, man. This is going to be bitter.

T: Bitter. Yes, indeed. Grass, tea leaves, earth -- it's accentuated by a light burst of citrus and some pale malt, but this is overall far more harsh than I care for. I liked the latest tap iteration better, and even then, not all that much. I just don't care for IPAs that use bittering hops over flavoring hops. It's simply not my thing.

M: Sticky, lingering bitterness and tons of hop resins. When I compare this, in a thought experiment to anything coming out of Alpine or Russian River, it falls short and seems rather amateurish. This reminds me of the old Monkeyhead recipe from Triple Rock, actually: lots of bitterness that lingers and lingers.

O: This beer simply isn't for me. (974 characters)

Photo of bashiba
3.08/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a nice clear dark amber color with a light slightly lacing head.

The smell is very malty, bready, with a big Belgian aromatic or biscuit presence.

The flavor is very strong and bitter, still a lot of malt flavor and not much hop flavor. Hardly any sort of Hop Riot going on at all.
There is a bit of caramel malt residual sweetness sneaking through the big backend bitterness.

The mouthfeel is a bit resiny with a medium body.

This is a tough beer to score, I don't really hate it, but its incredibly out of style. The only thing hoppy about it is the bitterness, no hop flavors or aroma's at all. (608 characters)

Photo of jvillefan
4.52/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: It looks like a typical IPA. The holds a decent head for a short period of time.

S: Very good. The intense hop and citrus. These aromas are nicely balanced with the smell of pine.

T: Awesome. There is the perfect balance one expects from and elite IPA. There is hops, citrus, and pine in the front of the flavor. The subtle undertones of caramel are present in the background.

M: one of the best. There is a nice buttery feel to it and is incredibly smooth.

O: You need to get it now. One of the best IPAs out there. (523 characters)

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Hop Riot IPA from High Water Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.