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Hoperation Tripel Cross Belgian IPA - Phillips Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hoperation Tripel Cross Belgian IPAHoperation Tripel Cross Belgian IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

129 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 129
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 10.69%
Wants: 9
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Phillips Brewing Company visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: canucklehead on 02-13-2011

You can almost hear the sirens as you pop the cap on this bomber. This IPA slams hop first into a classic belgian yeast to create a super fortress of flavour.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 129 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
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look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

New bottle tried on 04-28-2013
A substantially better bottle than the first. Crisp bitterness with Juicy Fruit hop aromas & flavours coupled with Belgian esters. Very nice beer.

04-20-2013
650 mL bottle newly arrived at the MLCC Crestview. Bottle label appears to be notches 2 - Aug. WTF does that mean? I hope it is BB, not bottled last year!! Bottle claims to be 7.3% ABV. Served ~7-8C into a stemmed beer flute.

A: Crystal clear straw yellow with a nice white head that laces gloriously. (5)
S: Muted herbal hops and some peppery esters - expecting a lot more from an IPA's aroma. (3.75)
T: Meh. Not atrocious, just nothing like what I was expecting. Sweet malt, with a corn like finish along with some light belgian estery notes (pepper, maybe a hint of stone fruit) and some light earthy & herbal hop flavours. Very weak on the hops. (3.25)
M: Bitterness is low, but slowly builds. Carbonation comes off as being lower than expected, but it is a good amount.(3.75)
O: I was expecting so very much from this beer. Is this not always the way? Build something up, you will be disappointed. Come in with low expectations, be amazed. Sigh. (3.5)

Photo of Muhly
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on April 1 according the label. Poured from a bomber into a round beer glass.

Pour a slightly cloudy yellow with a nice white tight-knit head and strong lacing to boot.

I can smell both a good dose of light bready malts and a yeast smell that borders on funky, but doesn't stray into Saison territory. Hops are present in the background emanating a pine and earth smell.

Bread, malts, mildly phenolic peppery notes and a good, but reasonable dose of hop bitterness.

The quaff is round and smooth and coats the tongue a bit. Finishes with some astringency, but allows some sweetness and pepper to shine through as well.

I don't think throwing a bunch of hops in a belgian pale ale or whatever is a terribly inventive or creative thing anymore, but Phillips does a great job of it here. It is more or less what you expect, but everything works together in concert to provide a nice beer.

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4/5  rDev +1.8%

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3.39/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Edit 2: Nahhh, they've definitely changed the recipe or something. The new taste is way too consistent to be old batches and it definitely doesn't taste old. It just tastes... horribly mediocre. It's time for a dreaded re-review of this.

Ok, so first off I'm pretty sure they started filtering this beer, because it's pretty much crystal clear nowadays. It looks like a slightly darker shade of lager than the original iteration of the beer. Also a pretty decent white (not off-white, but white) head.

Smell is grains. There's no hoppiness to the smell, it's just grains and way off in the back there's some belgian yeast/candi sugar.

Taste is kinda hoppy, but not the right kind of hops. It doesn't taste like the hops they were using about a year back (floral, grapefruity, alpha acid-y hops), they're using some really awful, probably European bittering hops that do nothing to either stand out, or help the beer in any way. The beer tastes bitter and kinda earthy, with a thin body and low carbonation

Mouthfeel is mediocre. I won't say this is an undrinkable beer nowadays, because it's certainly drinkable. Compared to what this beer used to be, though, this is a fuckin disgrace. They literally took away everything that this beer unique: amazing hops? gone; awesome belgian yeast/candi sugar backbone to balance out the hops? gone. Hell, even the body feels thin and watery now. And they're filtering it, for some ungodly reason. Who the hell ever heard of a Belgian anything being filtered, unless we're talking bottom of the barrel macro beer?

Anyway, I'm done with this beer. It used to be one of my favorite beers out of BC, so I'm pretty sad to see it end up like this. It's actually quite baffling that they'd even change it like this. Why not just retire it and release a new beer under a different name? It'd feel less like a "fuck you" than this does.

Original review left for posterity, back when this beer was really good (the good ole days, imho :( )
---
I've had a few of these Belgian tripel/IPA hybrids before which tasted similar yet sodomized your palette with an unholy collection of widely disparate tastes and flavors that had no business trying to meld together (basically, the less said about Stone's Cali-Belgique abomination, the better), so I initially approached this beer with caution.

Beer pours a hazy, slightly pale orange, with a decent off-white head and persistent lacing on the glass. Smells of floral hops and Belgian yeast sort of assault your nostrils. First thing you taste is hops: a really strong, floral aroma that somehow manages to smoothly give way to Belgian yeast and Candi sugar with almost no beta acid bitterness. Despite the somewhat sweet aftertaste, the beer manages to feel fairly dry: the dryness of the initial hop aroma and the sweetness of the Belgian malts and yeast make this a fairly neutral beer in this respect. It also hides its alcohol content really well; I doubt many people would say this is over 6-6.5% in a blind tasting. Basically, this beer will make you think you could handle three bombers because it's so delicious and easy to drink and the next thing you'll remember is waking up on a park bench somewhere the next morning.

Overall, this is one of my hoppy mainstays, especially since it's fairly easy to find in the Lower Mainland. The hop profile is actually pretty gorgeous, especially for a Canadian beer - it's reminiscent of something you'd see brewed in California, although probably a bit mellower compared to the usual fare down there. Undoubtedly my favorite beer from Phillips Brewing and one of the better examples of this style of beer.

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Hoperation Tripel Cross Belgian IPA from Phillips Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.