Hop Delusion - Karbach Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 182 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
1.39/5 rDev -67.4%
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.
Serving type: bottle
05-19-2014 00:30:37 | More by 3sheets2wind
3.25/5 rDev -23.7%
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.
Serving type: growler
09-02-2013 02:25:10 | More by kojevergas
3.71/5 rDev -12.9%
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.
Serving type: bottle
09-30-2013 22:24:27 | More by UCLABrewN84
3.89/5 rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
22 oz bomber pours a lightly hazed copper color with a fairly big cap of off-white head. Decent retention and lacing.
Nose is juicy as hell! Like squeezing some hops and grapefruit into a shot glass. Malts are just a shade lighter than caramel.
Taste is pretty damn hoppy...has an interesting profile where bitterness strikes right away, then fades to hop flavor and then the bitterness strikes again as a lingering sharpness. Limes...yes, yes - remember those Slush Puppie machines from back in the day where it would dispense the sweetened crushed ice and then you could add your own flavoring?? Thats exactly what this reminds me of, a Slush Puppie with an extra squirt or five of the unsweetened lime flavoring. Malts are sweet and grainy but really dont provide a whole lot of flavor. Interesting IIPA, and I think it is really good...but, I think I like SA Endeavour better.
Serving type: bottle
06-15-2013 23:51:47 | More by twiggamortis420
3.96/5 rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Solid looking. Burnt orange with nice head and lacing. Smell is orange, tangerines, and guava. Tons of citrus notes. Good upfront bitterness that rides on the palate throughout. Like the aroma I'm getting tons of guava and tangerines in the finish. Good tropical notes. As it warms toasted malt starts to overwhelm the citrus and is really taking away from the flavor. A toasty sweetness takes over. Around 3/4 of the way through it gets pretty taxing to drink. Heavy, sweet and sticky mouthfeel. Better than Rodeo Clown.
Serving type: on-tap
05-31-2013 03:35:40 | More by jwff
Hop Delusion from Karbach Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 182 ratings.