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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: 28
Gots: 42 | 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
Photo of Thorpe429
2.44/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Matt for picking this bottle up. Served in a cervoise. Pours a fairly-dark caramel-copper color with a short off-white head. The nose has a fairly-pronounced bit of poplar wood with some backing citrus and pine. The hop aromas aren’t really overpowering at this point. A bit too malty as well. Flavor is again fairly malty with a fairly-strong bitterness. Heavy wood presence. It seems like the hop flavor either wasn’t really there, or has fallen off. For wood-aged IPAs, I’m never normally too much of a fan, but I’m not sure why places don’t just ferment in the barrel to extract the character and not lose volatile hop flavors and aromatics while it’s wood aging.

Photo of chefduff2
2.75/5  rDev -31.1%

Photo of Dreadnaught33
2.75/5  rDev -31.1%

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 JoeD15
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of kbuzz
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of mikeburd1128
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of kniles38
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of Akravatz
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of lindseyanne79
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of nandemo1
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of atrocity
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of TD2
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of bubbaoyster
3.01/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The poplar aging does not sit well with my palate. Rather than the floralness of a good IPA , I get more of a acidy mouthfeel which combined with a lot of carbonation kind of kills this one for me.

I'm a native Richmonder and happy about our recent explosion of microbrews but this needs some work.

Photo of Sammy
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of rvajohn
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of Dorsch
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of JLD78
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of Hopbully
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of Didier
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of wisrarebeer
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of Shilt
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of Sludgeman
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of alexgilez
3.32/5  rDev -16.8%

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.

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