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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

251 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 251
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 26
Gots: 36 | 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: 251 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.25/5  rDev -18.8%

Sammy, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.51/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pour for New Brew Thursday's 3rd Anniversary event held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, citrus zest, and brown sugar. Taste is much the same with a tangy flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but I am not sure where the tangy flavor is coming from.

UCLABrewN84, Jan 22, 2013
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev 0%

zestar, Sep 17, 2014
Photo of Thorpe429
2.4/5  rDev -40%
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.

Thorpe429, Dec 15, 2012
Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

nmann08, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev 0%

Texasfan549, Jun 24, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
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

brentk56, Jul 18, 2013
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev 0%

kjkinsey, Jun 22, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

GRG1313, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

ygtbsm94, Jun 08, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

kylehay2004, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of Jason
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750ml brown corked and caged bottle, vintage date on the label.

The head retention alone won me over ... to start. Seriously, an amazing head and perhaps the best looking one this year! Hazed copper hue is inviting. Aromas of wood, spice, fresh pine sap, melon rind, mango, papaya, parsley, yeast, yellow cake. Deep smoothness, semi-creamy medium body. Big hoppiness, very bitter, heavy wood, earthy, spice, vanilla, peppery, resin, slightly pungent, hint of caramel, dried grass, yeast, tropical fruit, warming alcohol, long bitter and woody finish.

Someone pinch me ... mind-blowing.

Jason, May 15, 2013
Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev 0%

Kegatron, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of drabmuh
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Eh, wood aged IPAs hardly ever turn out to be good. This one is OK though. Beer is amber with a mild haze, a white / off white head of small bubbles, low retention, no lacing, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is piny with some oak.

Beer is medium in body has an odd bitterness on the backend, an interesting beer all around but the hops are subdued, some pine in there some resin but nothing else. It is OK but I doubt I'll have it again.

drabmuh, Aug 03, 2012
Photo of oline73
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

oline73, May 05, 2013
Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Rifugium, May 25, 2013
Photo of beernads
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

beernads, Sep 16, 2013
Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

drewone, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of orangesol
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

orangesol, Mar 24, 2013
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Gift from the ever generous Brad. Shared with the dudes in the band this afternoon.

The beer is transparent and radiant orange with an inch of off white head. Hops and wood in the aroma, as expected. Fresh cut pine, woodshop scents. Very dry finish. Grandiose wood presence. Extremely dry finish, like sucking on a board (that's what she said). Grapefruit rind and pine cones. Wood aged IPAs are really not my thing, but this is done well. Worth a try.

Huhzubendah, Apr 06, 2013
Photo of smakawhat
4.58/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

smakawhat, May 06, 2014
Photo of tdm168
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

tdm168, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of billab914
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

billab914, Apr 27, 2014
Photo of Rhettroactive
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 750mL C&C bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 7/10/12
*From notes

A: Hazy blood orange in hue. A 2.25 finger eggshell white head lingers on a good pour. Solid retention, lacing and collar follow.

S: Unlike any IPA I can recall. It's herbaceous. It's woody. It's got a really rustic and old world vibe to it. Nothing if not unique.

T: Not too far off from the nose. Very sticky, and pine forward. The wood works it's way in there, and adds a complexity I've not found in an IPA before. It's like they brewed the beer knowing that the brewed product was the rough draft, like they brewed it with the wood fully in mind. Really tasty stuff. I'm getting some tannic acid, light toast and a firm malt backbone. As it warms, intense lemon becomes more prevalent.

M: Chewy and dense. This is easily the best mouthfeel of all the Hardywood beers I've quaffed.

O: I am always down for something different, and this, then, is right up my alley. The integration of wood and hops is really well done, as I've never encountered an IPA that sat in wood and was actually good. But I guess there's a first time for everything. Another solid offering from what's quickly becoming Virginia's finest brewery.

Rhettroactive, Jul 17, 2012
Photo of atrocity
3/5  rDev -25%

atrocity, Aug 02, 2014
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Hoplar Imperial IPA from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 251 ratings.