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Exponential Hoppiness - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Exponential HoppinessExponential Hoppiness

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

1,126 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,126
Reviews: 386
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 9.23%
Wants: 1,430
Gots: 65 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This Hop Monster uses multiple kettle hop additions with the technique of doubling the hop amount each addition (exponentially). Add in the hop back and the continuous dry hopping and your starting to get the picture. The beer is finished off with a "body-bag" sized hop-bag full of hop cones and oak chips. There it ages and mellows, disguising the alcohol content for a double strong, incredibly hoppy, yet drinkable beer.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 12-08-2003)
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Ratings: 1,126 | Reviews: 386 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pwoods
3.58/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. brown bomber poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a deep amber/copper with some light ruby highlights and pretty good clarity. Decent head on the pour with a thick skim of retention. Decent lacing.

S: Good hop aroma. Citrus isn't as big as I'd expecting, the sweet malts seem to overbalance the citrus a bit. Still lots of pine and oils. Malts, again, are sweet and rich with caramel and toffee notes and maybe a dark fruitiness.

T/M: Bitterness isn't nearly as strong as I'd anticipated. Citrus and pine are tasty. The malts again seem to overbalance the hops a bit. Thick, rich, sweet with the caramel notes and some fruitiness. A little bit of alcohol squeaks out as it warms but overall it's surprisingly well hidden. Body is nearly full with average carbonation.

D: Pretty drinkable for 10.5% but not the hop monster triple IPA that I had expected.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A well carbonated pour from the growler easily produces a three-finger thick, creamy textured, light tan colored crown of froth. The beer is a lightly orange tinged, full amber color that shows a lightly hop-hazed, orange-copper hue when held up to the light. The aroma is very sticky with hop notes; candied grapefruit, huge lychee, apricot & other tropical fruit notes are quite noticeable even while pouring this brew. A focused sampling of the aroma gets aromatic notes that lean much more towards the herbal / pine side of the spectrum. Though the beer still smells of sticky, sugar preserved hop buds. The sharper side of the hop produces notes of grass, pine sap, some slight chive notes, a huge hemp oil contribution. It is interesting that this was so intensely fruity smelling as I was pouring it, but that a focused inspection of the aroma is much more dominated by concentrated herbal & essential oil components.

Sweet and thick tasting with a ton of residual malt sugars, these are not by any means overwhelming though as this has a huge hop character that easily offsets the malt; in fact the residual malt sugars are not even overly noticeable because of all the hop character. Sharply bitter, with lots of green, astringent hop notes and a finish that tastes like what I would imagine chewing on a fat, juicy, marijuana bud (though there is lots of malt to keep this from becoming over-bearing). Up front and through to the middle some nice, underlying citrus & tropical fruit flavors are found; these contribute flavors of lychee, candied ruby-red-grapefruit, orange-marmalade and peach concentrate. This is clearly dominated by the greener hop flavors; in addition to the piquantly expressive hemp-oil flavor there are notes of chives, mentholated pine, lots of herbal turpenes (rosemary, garlic chive and a touch of sage oil). Thick and chewy, this is approaching a Barleywine in heft, it just retains enough lightness to retain the IPA allusions though. The plethora of hop character also keeps this from every getting sticky or cloying. The malt character is clearly a supporting character, really not noticeable on its own, but it plays a significant role in carrying the hop character.

My second pour of this beer reminds me how very well carbonated this beer is; visually it is quite apparent, but the beer is thick enough that it is not as noticeable in the flavor as one might think, though it does add a certain prickle / lightness to the beer as it flows across the tongue. This beer doesn't seem to take to warming as much as some, the combination of hops and alcohol gets a bit harsh after a bit.

Big, powerful, overbearing, an exercise in self inflicted tongue flagellation, but is it good. It most certainly is, but it is a bit too astringent & hemp-oil dominated for me. There are times when I can enjoy a scathing, tongue scraping, astringently hoppy beer, but most times I like something a bit more drinkable. Definitely a beer for the enthusiastic hop head. I am not sure if I am getting more discriminating or if I am just getting burned out on over-the-top beers, but this is not nearly as enjoyable as I expected. I really do enjoy excessive amounts of hops in a beer, but it has to have a drinkability and finesse that this beer just doesn't quite have. Still this is a good beer, though it is one I really only want a 12 oz serving of (luckily I could share my growler, because there was no way I would finish it on my own).

Photo of cetherid
3.63/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a tulip

A.

Beer is an orange/amber color with about 2 fingers worth of thick, pillowy eggshell colored head. Great lacing on the glass as well.

S.

An absolute hop bomb on the nose. The aromas I am getting are onions, weed, grapefruit, very sweet malts, alcohol and perhaps a touch of pineapple. This reminds a lot of Devil Dancer with the exception of subtle fruitiness I pick up in this one. I wasn't really a fan of this years DD and this one is slightly better, but still a little too over the top for me with the plant dominance. I'm not getting the citrus dominance that many are describing in previous reviews. If judging this based on how strong the aroma is, it's a definitely A+.

T.

A little less enjoyable than the nose. Big time bitterness and a fairly big sweetness to this one. The bitterness is right up front, then the tastes of onions (not really pleasant), plants and citrus rinds that meld with a very big sweetness that could be described as sticky/sweet plant nectar. A few aspects of the taste I like but again, the onion/plant notes are a little too dominant for me to enjoy finishing off a whole bomber.

M.

Medium bodied with great carbonation. Fairly sticky/syrupy as it cloys to your lips and mouth however the high ABV give the tongue a slightly drying finish.

O.

Definitely a powerful DIPA...along with Devil Dancer, probably the strongest DIPA I've had going by taste and aroma. I prefer the more citrus or dank-forward DIPAs but the plants and onion is a little too much for my palate personally. It is in fact a nice looking beer and I like how powerful the flavor and aromas are, I just don't enjoy these "specific" flavors and aromas.

Photo of Cisco619
3.65/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into Ballast Point pint glass.

A: Slightly hazy golden amber with 3 fingers of white head after a vigorous pour. The way the carbonation slowly bubbles up the glass, overcoming the hop oils is mesmerizing.

S: Mango & pineapple. A nice hop dankness rounds out the scent before getting hit with that tropical fruit sweetness. Quite enticing.

T: Dank hops & bready malts. Very mild hop bitterness rolls through to the back of the tongue leading to a crisp finish. Not as intense as the nose, but nice balance.

M: Medium mouthfeel with a nice hop tackyness. Slight bitterness mingles with the carbonation to tickle the tongue. Dry finish that leaves a hop oil veil in the mouth.

O: Good but not great. Maybe fresher this is a more intense beer. Good nose, but doesn't follow through to the taste. Still better than alot of overly bitter, unbalanced hop bombs masquerading as palatable ipa's.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.68/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Courtesy of BrianTheBrewer30. Thanks Brian.

A: The pour is a clear, bright orange-copper body with tons of off-white head. Nice lace deposited down the sides of the glass.

S: Huge citrus (grapefruit, pineapple), tannins, mild pine, and dominant, huge bread. I had pictured some citrus bomb on the nose. Not quite what I expected. Tannins?! It's a little maltier than I would have expected.

T: Starts off with grapefruit and proceeds to get more tropical as the taste progresses. Enter pineapple, apricot, peach, and lychee. The finish draws to an astringent, tannic close. It's fairly malty, though that's not very noticeable when the beer is fresh. Boy does this thing drop off fast though! I had two bottles a week apart, and the second one was noticeably worse.

M: Light-medium bodied. Moderate-high carbonation. Semi-dry. There is NO heat on this beer whatsoever. Very smooth. But it has a light astringency that gives the impression of a burning finish.

D: I enjoy this beer, but it's the weakest one in Alpine's lineup. I'd have it again, but if I were forced to choose between it and comparably fresh Pure Hoppiness or Duet, I'd go with the latter two. It's simply maltier than I care for, and it falls off so quickly that the effect is especially magnified for any bottles over two weeks old.

Photo of paco1029384756
3.68/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat cloudy orange color with one and a half fingers of thick, sticky white head.

Scent of peaches, mango, pineapple, banana, star fruit, sugars, light caramel, sweet hops, bread, a touch of alcohol, and a hint of cream. Very sweet, but not overly so, and with a nice hop presence, but not as strong as I was expecting. A great scent, overflowing with tropical fruit and hops.

Taste of caramel, sugars, sweet, spicy hops, mango, and pineapple. Too much caramel and maltiness combined with very little bitterness makes for one disappointing Imperial IPA.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slick with a good bite of carbonation.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.7/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Faintly fuzzy tangerine with golden honey accents and streams of energetic carbonation. The upper third of the glass is filled with ivory colored foam that is an appealing mixture of creaminess and sticky bubbles. Great glass coverage allows the appearance score to be rounded up rather than down.

Too bad that Alpine doesn't publish the hop bill. Juicy pineapple, pink grapefruit and zesty orange guarantee that the little green cones are of American origin. Nothing else will do in a 'San Diego Pale Ale'. Notes of caramel-butterscotch are slightly worrying... and they even pull even with the hops as the beer warms.

This offering has been on my short list of most-favored wants since my Pure Hoppiness review back in 2004. Amazing beer to the nth power could only be even more amazing, right? Well... not exactly. As the label implies, is EH equal to PH squared? No it isn't.

At this point in its lifespan (late December 2009 release) Exponential Hoppiness is not my kind of DIPA. And it isn't going to improve from this point forward, since alcohol mellowing will be accompanied by hop mellowing. Negatives include too much caramel, too much oak, too much alcohol harshness and not enough bright hop flavor. That last one is the biggest negative by far.

Alpine should know better than to give us yet another hoppy American barleywine rather than a true blue, pale malted, hopped-to-the-gills DIPA. Something akin to Russian River Pliny The Younger was expected, but that is definitely not what was delivered. Has this beer always tasted like this or did they change things up for the first bottling?

The mouthfeel is American big beer good. It's both firm and full, without being sappy or sticky. The carbonation isn't as rambunctious as feared. It adds just the right amount of energy without crossing the line into annoying.

Exponential Hoppiness is the biggest disappointment of the year so far and is exhibit 'A' in proving that ridiculous hopping rates do not always result in amazing beer... even from a brewery that knows what amazing beer is all about. It looks like Pure Hoppiness is still the king. Thanks to iowahawk for the bomber.

Photo of Nichols33
3.72/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of obiwan_k3n00bi
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of huskermike12
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of beerhan
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of farnold
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of skunk242
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of vacax
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light amber color with one and a half fingers to thick foamy white head. Good retention and attractive lacing all around the glass. Aroma is loaded with spicy hops, pine, orange peel, oak, and alcohol tickle the nose. The taste is remarkable in how it meshes a mild sweetness along with the high level of hop character. This probably has something to do with the oak chips helping tie it all together. There is a tongue stinging amount of alpha acids here with gobs of pine and resin and a floral nuance. Personally the hop profile is a little too intense for my taste. Floral, alcoholic, cookielike finish. Medium to full bodied with a moderate to high level of carbonation. Sticky. I like this beer, but the extremes are too accentuated for me... stinging hoppiness followed by sticky sweet finish.

Photo of Ribsandwhiskey
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of ne0m00re
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Live review of a 22 oz bottle.
A: Clear golden with a nice frothy white head that leaves a temporary lacing.
S: Honey, grapefruit, earthy--not resinous, sweet orange and banana and strawberries... pretty good.
T: Pineapple. Like... fresh pineapple. Also, sweet honeycrisp apples. Gin alcohol buzz on the finish. A very mild orange or maybe grapefruit and a slight cheese, bordering cannabis, throughout. This is all right but it really doesn't have the complexity and depth I'd expect.
M: Moderately syrupy, with a quick frothy to crisp carbonation.
D: Overall, it's good but not GREAT. There are quite a few better options for DIPAs.

Photo of FLBeerGuy
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of BRoss242
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of T_Hass
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of zacross
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of FullObs
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of sisterthelonious
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of klipper
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

Exponential Hoppiness from Alpine Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 1,126 ratings.