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Hoplar Imperial IPA - Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Hoplar Imperial IPAHoplar Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

278 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 278
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 27
Gots: 41 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: siege06nd on 04-22-2012

Hardywood Hoplar follows the wood-aging tradition of the earliest India Pale Ales, which were matured on oak. Rather than oak, we’ve selected the delicate wood of a fallen Virginia Tulip Poplar, which was TreeCycled by CitiWood and toasted for use in this hearty IPA. While this Poplar can no longer rustle in the wind or give shade, it is able to offer balance to the bright citrus and pine character from heaps of Cascade, Columbus and Summit hops with subtle notes of caramelized vanilla. And the tree was hoppy.

In the mid-1800s, when the early IPAs were being shipped in wooden barrels from the breweries of Burton-on-Trent to thirsty British colonists in India, our Tulip Poplar was a mere sapling on the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia. On September 18, 2003, this towering Poplar prevailed to the fierce Hurricane Isabel and fell on Bell Creek Road. Richmond-based CitiWood Urban Forest Products helped us transform the wood from this fallen Poplar into custom designed flavor- and aroma-enhancing infusion sticks. Post fermentation, Hoplar is dry-hopped with a generous helping of whole-flower Cascade hops and conditioned on the toasted Poplar.

Hardywood Hoplar is mahogany in color with a hearty, tan head and offers an aroma of grapefruit brûlée and pine needles, as well as delicate vanilla toffee and a hint of campfire. Medium- to full-bodied with assertive (100 IBUs) yet delightful hop bitterness, Hoplar is balanced with ample caramel malt backbone. A bit of earthy tannin from the Poplar harmonizes with the resinous hoppy character, which dissipates into a lingering finish.

100 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 278 | Reviews: 41 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BabaBeer
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of uiucpilot
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of PA-Michigander
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ZachKelly
2.92/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Unfortunate that I did not try this beer anywhere near peak freshness. I will certainly seek it out again this year when it comes out in the Spring. I drank it in January, so almost 8 months after release. It was still tasty, the wood flavors came through strong but with a malt taste that was just too overpowering. The dulled hop notes still had a good floral aroma but it was very muted.

Photo of Rmbr2
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Drifter1
4.31/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Camjmorton
4.11/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of curasowa
3.46/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy, dark copper color with a huge head that fades slowly with a thick curtain of lace.

Aroma: Candied fruit, brown sugar, lots of toffee, some earthy hops and woody.

Taste: Caramel, thick, syrupy-sweet up front, then some building earthy hop bitterness. Real dank and chewy. The bitterness intensifies through the lingering finish along with residual sweetness and is a bit hot and medicinal.

The Rest: Love the aroma, less so the beer itself. A really interesting aroma descends into a overly sweet, syrupy, somewhat unbalanced beer. For me, it sat too heavy without enough carbonation or hop character. It's definitely bitter, just not very nuanced.

Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of campfirebrew
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Treyliff
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle, poured into a snifter

A- pours a murky amber color with a creamy off-white head that retains long after the pour, leaving some lace behind

S- the addition of the poplar wood is noticed right away with big woodsy aromas, it even brings our some aromas of dried chili pepper. There are some earthy hop notes, but primarily woodsy

T- woodsy flavors dominate up front that still resembles a chili pepper taste, underlying piney and earthy hops, finishes dry with more woodsy flavor

M- medium body and moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a creamy finish

O- I liked the addition of the poplar wood, but it overpowered the hops, definitely unique

Photo of Fieldzy27
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours apricot orange with a fairly dense head raising easily even with a gentle pour. It deflates over time leaving big sudsy globs of appealing lace scattered around the glass , the head is a khaki color with good retention. The color of this beer is just phenomenal and clarity is perfect.

Aroma: Sweet bread and caramel , vanilla , orange zest and light citrus, aroma is strong and a hint of alcohol melds well the the other scents. There is also hints of all spice or cinnamon. Hop aroma is juicy and full. Great nose.

Taste: This beer has the most distinct actual wood character I have had in a beer. Almost like a tinge of fresh cut pine. Hops dominate soon after though the large amount of orange and tangerine character. The malty sweetness is really a flash in the pan and finish is bitter and clean. Small amount of alcohol can be tasted. The flavors are good and well rounded. Not insanely complex but a solid set of flavors that drink very well.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is lively and bright it carries the hop bitterness very well. Alcohol is felt on the pallet and on the swallow as it warms after. Its viscous enough to carry its bold flavors very well.

Overall: A good tasting beer with no flaws, although it doesn't really shine. The wood character is very cool and im glad it showcases it well however other than that I feel like if someone were to ask me how to describe the "average" DIPA that this would be what I would say (minus the aging). All and all a great beer.

Photo of TwistofKane
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of HOMEPL8
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of ShadyRigglesbee
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of TomT2
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%

Photo of Akravatz
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of Beerasaurus
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of EuphonicHops
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%

Photo of SonOfKyuss
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of Dominic_Decoco
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of tranquilocigars
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of VBWharfRat
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of hoppymcgee
3.76/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of sendbeer
3.75/5  rDev -6%

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Hoplar Imperial IPA from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 278 ratings.