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Hoplar Imperial IPA - Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Hoplar Imperial IPAHoplar Imperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

269 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 269
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.28%
Wants: 27
Gots: 39 | 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:
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 added by: siege06nd on 04-22-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 269 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of catboy
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of adam_e
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of BDF2000
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of joegard
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of Wyattp
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of DmanGTR
4.93/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to BJ for this awesome bottle. Shared with Jacqui last night after a nice dinner. Review from notes.

Poured a beautiful dark maple/copper with honey blonde highlights in the kitchen light. A well retained white head kept lacing the glass as the liquid disappeared. Huge hop notes of citrus, pine resins, and tropical fruit, especially pineapple. It almost reminded me of Hop Stoopid. Nice bold caramel and grainy crystal malt body to hold up the intense hop bomb. A bittersweet forefront that carried juicy pineapple and citrusy hops throughout each sip. A very earthy and piny finish. Nicely carbonated, but needed a little swirling to decrease the carbonation. If I could drink this beer as my staple IPA, I would.

Photo of RocPorterFanatic
4.83/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a opaque reddish copper with a solid 2 fingers of off white creamy head.

S - Very pungent citrusy, floral nose. This stuff could peel paint.

T - Nice malty backbone on this beer. The intense bitterness is mellowed out pleasantly and the wood aging helps to compliment the entire package.

M - A little hot yet, the alcohol is very much in the game. Agressive carbonation keeps everything in check, leaving your mouth clean sip after sip.

O - Delicious beer, near perfection. Thanks to Beejay for sharing this one with me.

Photo of 77apm
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of joshtoberfest
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of JWing
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of detrot
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of GinDC
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of KohlbeckM
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of rootbeerman
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of mhbarber
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of Hallce2
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of funcooker78
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of SmoothOneTwo
4.68/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.61/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: deep burnt orange but with a strong bright clarity to it. Two to three fingers of a tannish head that fades slowly and leaves a lacing on the entire side of the glass. Moderate clarity.

Smell: very strong smell. A hoppy mix of citrus, tropical fruits, pine and some resin. Silky sweet character as well. Small notes of vanilla to toffee with some boozy oak qualities.

Taste: opens with lots of hops. Hints of citrus, mango, papaya, strong pine, and hops resin. Pine taste comes off as a mixture of bitter and sweet pine sap. Background is full of spice, some burnt character, earth, vanilla, wood. Moderate to strong alcohol that plays very well with the beer.

Mouthfeel: wonderfully silky and smooth. Leaves some bitterness and alcohol warmth behind.

Overall: a great and unique iipa. Great variety in the character, from all aspects hops malts and barrel.

Photo of smakawhat
4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Spiegelau IPA glass. Suggested to pour slowly.

Woah, this sucker is big. Even on a controlled slow pour it's just a huge large head. Light tan and slightly yellow it is as big as a fist. Super thick retention this thing will not go away or quit, a big thick lip hangs over the glass but never cascades down. Body color is beautiful. Crystal clear and this gorgeous deep red amber, with nice rising carbonation that isnt too excessive. A real impressive IPA here in the looks department, big winner.

Real interesting nose, very enjoyable. Big dank earth and hits of pine cone and needles. Some real nice forest green spruce like senses, spicy, even kind of floral a bit. Love this aroma and walking through crushed earth in a forest sense. Inviting.

Real interesting palate. Very subdued bitterness that lingers, with a nice caramel sweetness. Rose petal sweetness and a very long and slowly large and growing hop herbality. Green and black tea aromatics on the finish, slowly builds to a grapefruit large freshness. Incredibly juiced and thick perfect mouthfeel, lush, full, oily but not slick coating with just enough sugared warmth, and subdued carbonation. Lots of leafed tea herbal notes, and mixed citrus, and minimal mid palate bitterness

This is real impressive beer from these guys, as if Great Return was fantastic as it is this one is a winner.

Photo of RVAIPA
4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: Enjoyed from a goblet at Mekong in Richmond, Virginia

Appearance: Cloudy amber would be the best way to describe it. The head started off at about half and inch but quickly fell. Beautiful lacing throughout the experience.

Smell: The poplar pops out at you like you were walking through a poplar forest. The hops are noticeable as well.

Taste: I know I am biased being a Richmonder but this would have to be one of the best IPA's I have ever had. The poplar comes to you at first and leads right to the hops. You dont get that bitter copper flavor you get with many other IPA's that lingers too long.

Mouthfeel: Like I said earlier, my favorite characteristic about this beer is that it doesnt leave a copper-like after taste in your mouth. The smoothness created by the poplar/hop combo is fantastic

Overall: If you are in the Richmond area, you have got to try this unique IPA. It is truly a religious experience. Hardywood keep it up.

Photo of Mattyb79
4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 750ml cork and caged bottle into a Hardywood Park tulip. This is my first review ever, but this beer made me want to write one up.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with a minimal 1/2 finger head. Almost looks like real maple syrup in the glass. I can smell the beer as soon as the cork pops.

Smell: I get a little piney hops first, followed by some sweet fruit smells similar to grapefruit, mango, and a touch of orange. A touch of vanilla smell comes through as well.

Taste: Wow! I have had quite a few brews from Hardywood, but this one blows me away! I get a lot of sweet citrusy fruits right off the bat, followed by some woody vanilla characters, and ending with a mix of piney hop bitterness and vanilla. This beer is amazing in the way you can pick up on so many different flavors. The only downside that kept this from being a 5 is a slight bite from the charred poplar that hits right at the finish. It doesn't really detract from the beer, just noticeable.

Mouthfeel: Perfect for the style IMHO. Just enough carbonation to tickle the tongue, but syrupy enough to coat your entire tongue with the amazing blend of flavors.

Overall: Again, I have never took the time to review a beer, but this made me want to do it. I am quite impressed with this and would buy it all day everyday if it was a bit more affordable. $9.99 for a bomber is acceptable, since it is well worth the price, but for me this will be a special occasion beer. Too bad it's not year round!

Photo of brentk56
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A magnificent pour, with a massive head forming over the hazy copper liquid; impressive retention; in fact the retention is so grand that you know that lacing will be terrific when it comes to that

Smell: The poplar wood (how Virginian that is) makes a statement and combines with toffee malt and vanilla tones; the entire aroma is buttressed by tropical fruit aromatics, which hints at citrus, mango and pineapple

Taste: A touch malty, up front, with toffee and vanilla tones but by mid-palate, the citrus and tropical fruit flavors take over assertively; after the swallow, the poplar comes through and lingers through the aftertaste, where all of the flavor elements can still be detected; there is a very nice floral aspect, too, that I didn't notice at first

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: Although I typically prefer my hoppy beers to be just that, I don't mind the malt presence in this one; another outstanding beer from Hardywood

Photo of tclipse
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of AirborneBeer
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

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Hoplar Imperial IPA from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 269 ratings.