Hop Delusion - Karbach Brewing Co.

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Hop DelusionHop Delusion

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

264 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 264
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 53
Gots: 54 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Karbach Brewing Co. visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: champ103 on 03-15-2013

You are in a state of full Hop Delusion, but you knew what you signed up for when you popped this bottle. You knew that it had over 100 IBUs of hop bitterness and that it was dry hopped with insane amounts of Simcoe and Mosaic hops, but you chose to drink it anyway. It's difficult to say if you will ever snap out of it, for you have been smitten with the disorder that many can never overcome.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 264 | Reviews: 35
Photo of deltacoog
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy sh*t. Best Karbach IPA to date. Hopadillo and Weekend Warrior fans will love the transition. Reminds me slightly of LP Yellow Rose but better because I can get it cold, in a can, and with higher ABV.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.66/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce can served into a snifter.

Looks good with a pale white, frothy head and sticky lacing. Golden body with some amber traits. Trickling carbonation. 4.5

The aroma is floral, pungent, sweet and a tad solvent-like. Citrus is heavy like orange juice. 4

It's been a while but this brew has some similarities with Hoptimum. Perhaps it's a bit boozier though. Initially I found the flavors a bit messy and harsh, but some warmth does this beer good. The flavor is mostly zesty citrus flavors of orange and grapefruit along with light melon flavors. Malt caramel sweetness smooths the flavors a tad. 3.5

It suffers from some real harshness. Messy feel and flavors but warmth smooths things out a tad. Sweetness, bitterness and booze all swirl around together. It's not pleasant initially but eventually settles into a reasonably enjoyable drink. 3.25

It's cool but nothing crazy. Good aspects that don't come together well and the booziness is no fun.

Photo of ElJacobian
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the best beers I've had from Texas. Probably second to Heavy Machinery. It looks fantastic and the smell is tropical with a hint of pine. Almost smells like a California IPA. Taste is perfectly balanced. Just the right amount of tropical fruits, bitterness, and resin. Probably the least boozy 9%er I've ever had.

Photo of kevinjtee
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark copper color with plenty of creamy head. Smells of piney and tropical hops. Distinctively Mosaic. Taste is an explosion of hop flavor, touch of alcohol, and clean crisp bitterness. One of the best Imperial IPA's I've had and certainly the best to come out of Houston.

Photo of Martinus
1.8/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

On tap this DIPA is ok. This year is not great when compared to 2014. However the canned batches are acrid and horrible tasting. I call it acrid, some people are calling it an onion off flavor. This beer was canned 4/292015' very fresh. Very bleah. It only has a hint of the nice citrus and floral hop aromas. It seems like all the nice flavoring hop oils went to the kegs and we got stuck with the dregs. There is something very wrong with this beer. Avoid this latest batch of canned Hop Delusion. We deserve better from Karbach.

Photo of Joe_Howard
3.97/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy gold with a small off white head. The nose is full of the hop aromas you would expect plus some booziness. The taste reflects this but honestly the flavors seem kind of out of whack, like the different hop flavors weren't balanced very well. Overall it was kinda disappointing for me. I was ready for a hop bomb, but I didn't care for the hop flavor profile too much. I can understand the love it gets though considering there aren't too many hop bomb IIPA's coming from Texas.

Photo of Tommo
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very very good hop flavor, but sweet on the palate. Certainly worth grabbing a 4 pack

Photo of bbqnbeer
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Finally Karach has done something right.

Photo of stoverride
4.92/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The best Imperial IPA I've ever had.

Photo of dbnarley
4.83/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Excellent IPA. Hints of grapefruit. Great head and lacing. A keeper. Not too bitter.

Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz can canned on 04/29/15 poured into a becker pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden amber with ample off-white head

Smell: Bright citrus hop aromas along with some herbal notes

Taste: Strong hop bitterness with the citrus flavors that were present in the aroma which is accented by a malt base that rounds out the flavors in the finish, slight cracker and bread notes in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium with a crisp finish

Overall: This is just as good as I remember the previous releases and now the availability in cans is a win. Lots of hop flavor with just the right malt backbone to balance it and bring it all home in the finish.

Photo of ARoman
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap, poured into a pint glass. Floral and juicy citrus notes come forth initially followed shortly after by bright, danky herb. The beer is effervescent and colored orange amber with a white, foamy head that leaves good lace and has. good retention. The taste is, up front, a bright, juicy medium sweet that support the medium high bitter that follows. It's creamy and fuzzy with a medium full body. Flavors of bread come through first with tangerine and light caramel. It finishes crisp with a heavy, bitter dank and spice which is followed by sweet citrus and grapefruit as well as a toasted note. The aftertaste is slightly sticky with notes of wax and pine with a dank note that lingers.

Photo of stanleyelnats
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Always a solid beer. Not too malty for an IPA, great balance. This could be my favorite double coming out of Texas honestly, although Valkyrie is a good shout.

Photo of shanman
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Fantastic DIPA, and IMO easily the best thing Karbach does excluding their fun series brews. Loaded with mosaic hops which is apparent in the nose and taste. I LOVE mosaic hops. Nothing compares to that tropical mango like flavor. They did an excellent job balancing out that super sticky dank hop mess with some sweet malts. If you haven't tried it do it.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.25/5  rDev -23.9%

The beer is mostly clear and golden with a lasting white head. Aromas of hops, pine, alcohol, biscuit, a touch of spice. Boozy with a light sweetness. Warming alcohol in the finish. A tad syrupy, coating the palate. A big, thick, malty DIPA. This was ok, but if I want a big, malty, high abv beer I'll seek other styles.

Photo of mbonugli
4/5  rDev -6.3%

very nice- malty and hoppy and resiny

Photo of mothman
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

White head with a lot of lace. Color is a golden orange.

Flavor profile: very juicy. Dank and weedy. A touch of onion. Some mango and orange flavors. A bit of bready malts. Hop resin flavors.

Mouthfeel: bitter and sticky. Medium bodied. Ends with a hop resin stickiness.

Overall, very awesome dipa. Maybe a bit to sticky.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: soft coppery, yellow, clarity, soft cream colored head.

Aroma: orange, peach, grass, dank, caramel, resinous.

Taste: stark bitterness, juicy citrus, dank flowers, pear, bread, caramel, toast, line resins.

Mouthfeel: full, not too sticky, drinkable, mild crisp, clean finish.

Overall: well done, intense hop experience, with a smooth drinkability, and sold malt backbone. Quite nice.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.02/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange and clear with a real nice head that had plenty of staying power and left real good sticky lace.

True to its name, it's jammed full of hops. Very high perceived bitterness, a whopping aroma, and a ;ungent, fruity, massive hop flavor scream out IPA in every possible way. There's a touch of malt flavors and profiles, but they're residual only. This beer is about the hops.

Body is thick and oily, almost full, with a pronounced hop bitterness and long linger of bitter.

Tasty IIPA for sure.

Photo of AtrumAnimus
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one pours a very elegant umber orange that is bright and cloudy with am umber tinge. The head is extremely think, long-lived and settles very slowly with condensing foam that leaves rich lacing down the glass. The head is light tan to beige in color that darkens as it settles. This is a perfect beer to look at. The cloudiness makes promises of richness in texture and taste, time to stop looking and start drinking...

The nose is sweet malt that is in submission to the hops with notes of grass, citrus, lavender, dark wet dirt, beer (Just checking to see if your paying attention ;-) pine, spring rain. The nose is very complex because many of the notes are very strong and blend. The warmer I let it get the more rich it smells.

The taste is equally complex and dominated by by the hops which are crisp, bitter and has notes of grapefruit, butter, sea weed, and it al floats on a bed of sweet malt that rises in the middle. The initial flavor is a crisp strong hoppiness that is powerfully bitter that falls to the sweet malt that then finishes with a softer more subtle and savory bitterness.

The mouthfeel is rich, coats the palate and releases at just the right time allowing the the drinker to experience the rich earthiness of this Imperial IPA that is one of the most complex and enjoyable beers ever.

Overall this is a superior example of an Imperial IPA with the typical excursiveness you would expect from an American IPA. I would go so far as to label this a Hybrid California/Imperial IPA. The difference being is that they got this one perfect! This is an exceptional beer that distinguishes itself from the majority. I find this one to be a fantastic and unique beer.

Photo of 3sheets2wind
1.45/5  rDev -66%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

22 oz bomber poured into a goblet.
Pours brownish yellow with thick off white head. Substantial lacing.
Orange peel and grass in the nose.
Very imbalanced. There is a strong hop presence here but I question the proportions. The malt presence is subdued but there is an off-putting sweetness. I get some bitter grapefruit pith and alka seltzer.
This beer set my teeth on edge. I could not finish it. Overpriced. I am glad that Karbach is bucking the Texas brewery tendency to put out Kolsch and Hefe-Weizens, but I think they need to rework this one and Rodeo Clown. Lacking subtlety and drinkability.

Photo of Premo88
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bomber poured into tulip
(drank on 6/30/13 ... no best-by or born-on date)

L: caramel orange and murky; 2-inch off-white head, huge; lots of debris floating in column, but the cool bright orange color and big lacing are hard to ignore

S: grapefruit; HOPS!; orange, sweet but not overly so

T: candied grapefruit then huge hop bite; enough bitterness to cut into the sweetness; as hoppy as any brew I've tried, possibly more so

F: strong and good; great carbonation

O: as good as any DIPA I've had, huge hops but still drinkable; it might be better than Karbach's Rodeo Clown, though "better" is relative because they're different enough to be incomparable

Photo of AMG55
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Overall this is probably the best beer I've had from Karbach.

I have had this from cans and bottle. Both versions are phenomenal.

Appearance: Golden tangerine color with a white foamy head which possesses great retention. Lacing throughout the drinking experience.

Smell: Lots of dank citrus, Citra dry-hopping makes this wonderful to smell. This is a fantastic beer to admire and just keeps getting better and more fragrant as it warms. Alcohol is invisible.

Taste: Very hop forward but the citrus intensity is so delightful. Passion fruit, grapefruit and sweet caramel dance on the palate. Bitterness is at a balanced level, enough to which states this is a DIPA. Clean finish as well, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Mouthfeel: Assertive, complex but very smooth and almost creamy texture. This is a beer I could enjoy over and over again.

Overall if you have any friends/relatives/trade partners in Texas, please get your hands on this one. Fantastic and a joy to drink.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.71/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, citrus fruit, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a medium 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 that is tasty but quite hop forward.

Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Reviewed live 08/31/13.

1 litre swingtop Eagle Rock growler filled at the Growler Station in Austin, Texas, earlier today, and served into a Spaten stangekrug in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Cost was $9.50 USD. Expectations are through the roof given its current ratings.

Served cold, straight from me freezer. Side-poured with extra vigor as slight carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a four finger wide head of beige colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Supple complexion. Nice scattershot lacing as the head slowly recedes. Head retention is great for the ABV – ~10+ minutes. Fluffy and appealing.

Body colour is a clear copper-gold of above average vibrance. Translucent/transparent. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it’s definitely within style conventions and looks pretty good for the style, but the appearance is far from unique or special. The head retention is a highlight.

Sm: Fairly pungent. I could smell it as soon as I poured it.

Juicy citrusy fresh hop character. Grapefruit esters. Orange. Mango. Slightly herbal, though not so much so that I’d call it “dank.” Generic floral hop character. Nectary hop character. Light oily hops. Resinous. Light pine. The hop bitterness emerges as a scratchy rough dry feel in the aroma, but the juicy aspect keeps it refreshing.

On the malty end, there’s your usual pale malt build with a dash of caramalt – but seemingly not too much. There might be some pils/munich malts thrown in; it’s difficult to discern based on the aroma alone.

There’s more going on here too. A buried hint of lime. I’m a bit concerned by a buried light candi sweetness – a characteristic that can ruin an imperial IPA. It’s certainly on the sweeter end of the bitter/sweet spectrum; hopefully this means any hop bitterness is well balanced by malts.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

A multifaceted aroma that suggests quality, but really it could go either way. The candi sweetness and inclusion of obvious caramalt makes me a little hesitant. Inoffensive and of moderate strength.

T: Tame bursts of mango and grapefruit hop character are dominant insofar as hops are concerned. Some melon. Vague tropical fruit notes come through; luckily any pineapple is minimal. There’s a bit of floral and nectary character swimming around in there too, but it never amounts to much. It’s surprisingly malty, with too much caramalt and a candied sweetness undermining the balance; the hops should be dominant with the malts supporting but not intruding, and that simply isn’t the case here. A bit resinous. No hop bitterness comes through, but I’d honestly take that over the overdone sweetness. Pale malts comprise the bulk of the foundation. Overall, the balance is off but forgivable. I’m not convinced the choices of hops here were particularly motivated toward one direction or focus; it’s certainly not a gestalt or particularly cohesive beer. Amplitude is about average.

No yeast character comes through. There’s a hint of alcohol warmth; I’d guess this was around 8-9% if I tried it blind.

Depth of flavour is shockingly shallow for a beer in this style (and for a beer as currently highly rated as this). Flavour duration and intensity are both merely average.

I don’t pick up any off-flavours. I'm not getting any onion or garlic.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A biteen overcarbonated (and this from a growler fill…). Lightly oily. Not gushed, hot, or boozy, but as aforementioned there is some warmth. Okay thickness and body; it really lacks a full wholesome feel, which brings it down significantly for me. It does have something of a weak, reticent presence on the palate; it’s certainly not as open as it could be, nor do I think the texture is ideal for full delivery of the flavour profile. It suits the flavour profile generally, but it’s far from coming off custom-tailored to it.

Dr: The cynic in me wants to suggest that locals are rating this highly – either because of a lack of experience with the best in the style or excitement over having an imperial IPA with decent balance available close by. However:

It’s my understanding that the gentlemen at The Growler Room drive to Houston to pick up kegs to bring back to sell, and that they may sit on Karbach kegs before tapping them for fills. Maybe this is a couple months old; I can’t disregard the current 95 rating with 88 reviews. I intend to revisit it, but the beer as I’ve had it now is by no means world class, nor is it even what I’d consider quite good for the style.

The highlight of the beer is its drinkability, especially when served quite cold.

It’s a pretty decent Imperial IPA which isn’t worth the effort to track down in Austin. Doesn’t hide its ABV all that well but it’s rather drinkable for what it is. I’ll really enjoy finishing the growler I got, and I think it was worth the price I paid to try it. At the end of the day, I think that may be what really matters.

C+/B-

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Hop Delusion from Karbach Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 264 ratings.