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Exponential Hoppiness - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Exponential HoppinessExponential Hoppiness

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

1,000 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,000
Reviews: 381
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 9.21%
Wants: 1,411
Gots: 60 | FT: 2
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,000 | Reviews: 381 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This is now a contender for best DIPA I've ever had. It was in a growler.

Pours a light orange (closer to yellow) color that is nice and clear. Decent amount of foam, not much retention. Decent lacing.

The aroma is very hoppy. Tons of citrus (orange, lemon) and some pine. Surprising amount of malt smell coming through all those hops. Not sure when this was brewed but theres a good chance that some of the aroma is starting to fade.

The taste is beautifully balanced between malt sweetness (not too much) and loads of hop goodness. There is fairly high bitterness level but because of the sugar content its tough to say just how much, 100+ most likely. A little alcohol is noticeable once the beer warms but when its cool its just an amazing beer.

The body is a bit thin but the high CO2 level makes up for that. Very drinkable beer and I would love to have more of this.

t0rin0, Apr 21, 2008
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.3/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear honey orange with a foamy beige 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 herbal, earthy, and slightly vegetal hops. Taste is much the same with a honey flavor. There is a mild amount of citrus zest bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with some nice aromas and a great flavor.

UCLABrewN84, Sep 17, 2012
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -21.3%

djrn2, Sep 28, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at O'Brien's in San Diego in August 2009.

Pours a nice golden color with a good white head. The hops absolutely dominate the malts in the nose, but it's not quite as hoppy as I would have expected. The same is true of the taste, where everything just doesn't blend together as well as it could, and the hops shine through, but only give massive bitterness without as much of the beautiful hoppy taste that I enjoy. Not at all a bad taste, just not as good as I was expecting. The body was medium with moderate carbonation, and drinkability was good for a hop monster, but nothing too great.

Thorpe429, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -10.1%

zestar, Nov 11, 2013
Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

nmann08, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -15.7%

acurtis, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of brentk56
4.93/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Arrives at the table with a hazy medium amber body and a white head that leaves lots of lace

Smell: Sweet grapefruit and spearmint aromas

Taste: Fruity and malty flavors kick off the tastebuds followed by extraordinary but but sweet citrusy hop flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Amazing that a beer this bitter and hoppy could also have such a sweet and drinkable character

Note: I had the Dec 2009 bottled version and was surprised at how different that beer tasted from my memory when I had it on tap in 2006. I didn't recall the woody and fusel alcohol character that the bottled version has at all and, I have to say that I was somewhat disappointed in it. The bottled version was decent but far from what I had anticipated.

brentk56, Apr 02, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.7/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of BEERchitect
4.43/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's alway an honor to tackle such a coveted beer. The beer has many of the characteristics of a Pliny The Elder but with the power that differentiates it but also detracts from the drinkability. Let's explore more...

A strong golden-light copper color gives a light haze and moderate carbonation. The hop additions give a nice even frothiness to the foamstance that covers the beer consistently from the first pour 'til the last.

Strong aromas of fragrant hops: citrusy grapefruit, orange zest, lemon grass, and secondary notes of pine, perfume, flowery notes and honey-like nectar fill the nose... strap this to my nose and leave me alone, I'll die happy. A background of malty substrate acts as a spring board for all those hop aromas.

Hop flavor also dominates the taste. All that citrus, pine, resiny, tropical mix comes more alive in the taste- especially as the beer warms. More estery fruitiness comes in with apples, appricots, mangos and begins to reach English ale proportions. Estery-alcohol blends bring about a solventy, rose, non-descript fruity alcohol blend that creates as much intrigue, comnplexity, and flavor as it does soapy, light fusal, and nail polish notes. Isn't is always a give and take?

The beer does a great job of seeking an elevated Double IPA status (...as a Triple IPA) without sacrificing the well-attenuated body with a dry finish that hurts most ultra-aggressive hoppy beers. Though the alcohols create confussion and eventually lead to a hard-to-drink character, the beer has enough mystery and intrigue to reel it back in.

On a side note: the light oak aging that is used in conjunction with the dry hops help to give a cotton-candy smoothness to the malts while tempering the malts just a tad (to sand off the rougher edges) and adding a marshmallow creamy malted milk note... reminds me of Double Bastard in the oak nature of the beer...

... aaahh, I hate to see this session end. IndiaPaleAle, you've given me great pleasure in sending me this beer. For this, I thank you!

BEERchitect, Feb 14, 2010
Photo of Texasfan549
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Texasfan549, Sep 19, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to give a big, big thanks to a wonderful socal BA for sending this growler my way. It has been a long, long journey trying to track this one down. Served cold and poured into several pint glasses, this one was consumed on 04/20/2009.

The pour was wonderful. Rich amber in color with a huge billowing white head on the top of it. Lots of coating side glass lacing. Lots of carbonation could be seen streaming up toward the surface, reinforcing the head with each passing moment. The aroma was perfect. Huge floral hops that were as fresh as could be. Lots of sharp citrus notes, pineapple and bright grapefruit notes were totally leading the way here. So pungent, bright and sharp, it was absolutly just a wonder to behold. As I went in for my first taste I was anything but dissapointed. This was the biggest, baddest, and smoothest tasting DIPA I have ever run across. Such huge hops, some may say one sided, but this is the mouth shredder I would have wanted. It was huge, bad ass, and simply wonderful. Tons of ripe grapefruit just tearing my mouth apart with each sip. Super fresh and dry finish with a long, lingering sharp aftetaste. Smooth medium feel and wonderfully carbonated. I could not have asked for anything more.

Overall I have to say this was hands down one of the best beers I have ever had. It was simply top notch no matter how you look at it. A real pleasure to have and glad I was finally able to tackle this one.

mikesgroove, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of kjkinsey
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

kjkinsey, Sep 18, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
5/5  rDev +12.4%

GRG1313, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
4.13/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a slightly hazy golden color with a finger's worth of white foam on top which has wonderful retention and leaves some nice lacing.

S: The nose on this beer is incredibly floral and piney. The hops do not provide as much in the way of citrus as many California IPAs, but this is more than made up for.

T: This is a wonderfully pungent and bitter IPA. There is a fair amount of grapefruit and orange, which is somewhat surprising due to the absence of these fruits in the nose. The finish is incredibly piney and bitter, but also has a noticeable alcoholic heat to it.

M: The body is full, but almost to a point of syrupy. Luckily there is fairly abundant carbonation after the initial pour, but as this begins to die down, things deteriorate a little bit.

D: This is certainly a fantastic DIPA and one that I'm glad I've been able to try a few times now. That said, it's just very noticeably alcoholic which takes away from the enjoyment a bit.

womencantsail, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of ygtbsm94
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

ygtbsm94, Jan 31, 2012
Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +12.4%

spycow, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
4.26/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This poured out as a slightly hazy orange color with a white head on top. Nice looking lacing with a thin retention on top. The smell of the beer is very piney, very sharp aroma of hops on the nose. The aroma reminded me of another strong IPA I've had before. The taste is malty up front kind of boozy as well. The hops fill in nicely later in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel of the beer is sharp with carbonation. There is a oily feel as well. Overall it's a really good brew, similar to DfH 120.

Knapp85, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of emerge077
4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Most recent bottling, thanks to Jason for the trade...
Shared this and reviewed from notes.

Appears to be a murky red in the glass, glowing orange in the light. Spotty islands of foam dot the surface, with plenty of that sticky icky coating the glass and the lips.

Luscious and tropical, peach and mango burst out of the glass. Utterly awesome. Kept sticking my nose in the glass the whole time!

Resiny and herbal, savory, almost like a fruit nectar with low to medium carbonation. Smooth and luscious. Tropical fruits, cantaloupe, melon, a touch sweet with a building bitterness in the vaguely dry aftertaste. Leafy and woody as it sits in the glass. Caramel toffee malt sweetness is there too, underscoring the tropical hop onslaught. It's deceptively mild for 10.5%, with barely perceptible alcohol that comes out as it warms. Pretty amazing!

emerge077, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of largadeer
4.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Beautifully clear golden amber with small bits of sediment floating about - chunks of hops, perhaps? An inch of creamy white head forms and retains nicely.

Smell: A big dry hopped orange and grapefruit aroma is the first thing to greet my nose upon opening this one. Further inspection reveals a dry bready malt backbone - noticeable but not sweet. Resin, tobacco and a touch of oak add depth and complexity. Incredible nose on this stuff.

Taste & mouthfeel: Loaded with citrusy hop goodness, grapefruit being especially prominent, with a bit of lemon peel toward the finish. At almost 11% ABV, this is surprisingly light bodied, and it's not overly malty or sweet either. In that sense it reminds me of Russian River's Pliny the Younger. The malt backbone is just barely present, lending the faintest hint of sweetness along with a note of grain. There's a slight estery quality as well, subtle enough that it adds complexity without meddling with what's important: the hops. There's a ton of hop flavor here, and the bitterness is perfect - strong, but not harsh or astringent.

Drinkability: My pint went hilariously fast for a 10.5% beer, and I could probably drink another. I'd surely be tanked after that, though.

largadeer, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of zeff80
4.4/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, amber color with a small, one-finger head of tan foam. Nice retention and miminal lacing.

S - It smelled of grapefruit, citrus and other tropical fruits. The is some burnt toast maltiness and a touch of booziness in the nose.

T - Good grapefruit and citrus flavors. It has a boozy alcohol flavor with some bitter hops. There is a mild burnt toast and caramel malt backbone.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a really good DIPA. Almost too boozy but it was quite tasty.

zeff80, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -10.1%

JAHMUR, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

SocalKicks, Oct 14, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
4.38/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ O'Briens (San Diego, CA) on 3/22/10. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear gold in the glass, with a thinnish covering of rich bright-white head. This maintains some foamy robustness around the edges, leaving a frothy cascade of lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is thick in the nose with huge hop character and backing sweetness. Pine, spice, citrus, caramel, bread are all very deep here, with some heavier warmth giving the bouquet a touch of a herbal or medicinal smell. Vanilla and oak are also very present here, really helping to smooth out those strong flavors in the nose and bringing it all together.

The taste blasts the mouth with hops, that just oozes and coats the palate with resins, citrus, and spice. A splash of caramel comes out across the back and once again, that woodiness of the oak and vanilla sweetness are really coming out, with it adding an extra layer of complexity to the profile and helping cover up some of that huge ABV. Lots of wood, vanilla, spice, and bitter fruits hangs hard in the finish. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied and creamy in the mouth. The alcohol content is large and beefy feeling but at no point (unlike the bottle) does this get stinging . This still isn't the easiest drinker out there but it does go down pretty good for the ABV involed.

Well after 3 visits in the last year to San Diego, I guess the 3rd time was definitely the charm, as I was finally able to get to try a pint of this on draft. The oak presence and ABV masking were a big step up from the bottled version, helping to make this even more flavorful and drinkable than it already was.

Kegatron, Apr 05, 2010
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Exponential Hoppiness from Alpine Beer Company
98 out of 100 based on 1,000 ratings.