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Hop Thief Ale - Malt Shovel Brewery

Not Rated.
Hop Thief AleHop Thief Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

48 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 48
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 0
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Malt Shovel Brewery visit their website
Australia

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: DaveFL1976 on 03-20-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 33 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of csmartin6
4/5  rDev +6.7%

csmartin6, Nov 15, 2013
Photo of Vanz
3/5  rDev -20%

Vanz, Feb 11, 2014
Photo of MrKennedy
3.08/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

16oz pour at 30 Knots.

Pours amber in colour with some golden highlights. White foam on top provides some spotty lacing and retains well.

It has a nice passionfruit aroma, strong to start with and stays with it for some time. Not a lot else to compliment it though.

Taste is a bit of a mix. At first it was a little metallic, then some stale passionfruit, before improving with fresh passionfruit and a little bit of chalky sherbet. A little tangy later on as the sort of stale passionfruit back end has an encore. Good at times. Not good at others.

Medium bodied, decent bitterness and consistent with it. A little chalky which helps it. But the tang of the stale passionfruit comes back to haunt it and hurt the drinkability.

Decent, but done staleness really does hurt this beer. Could be quite good, shame this wasn't at that level though.

MrKennedy, Sep 13, 2012
Photo of goodbyesoberday
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear and gold with a moderate head that dissipates. Aroma of mandarines and rockmelon with a hint of fleeting cinnamon/nutmeg spice. Mandarine and slight rockmelon continues into the flavour with a nice light malty presence. Some slight sulphur qualities dissipate. Good strength of hop flavour plus malt-hop balance lend the beer a certain sweetness that is refreshing rather than cloying.

Lovely beer and well worth buying. I had heard reports that the new season's batch was lacking on hop flavour but the case I purchased lives up to its name.

[edit] Mulling over another bottle a day later, I think the malty sweetness is a little too overbalanced for what I think this beer is trying to achieve.

goodbyesoberday, Mar 25, 2007
Photo of CrazyDavros
3.18/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2009.
Dark amber approaching a coppery brown. Small head fades rapidly.
Sweet floral hop aroma, some clean malt with a bit of caramel and toffee. Resinous, a hint of pine. Very enjoyable but not that complex.
Taste is too sweet - the hops don't manage to keep the sweet malt in check. There's a fair whack of resiny hop flavour, but next to no bitterness.
Undercarbed in my opinion. Almost watery.

CrazyDavros, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of Kulrak
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep orangish golden color with fluffy white head that takes a while to fade away. The smell is faintly of spicy and citrusy hops, and not much else. The taste is very very hoppy. Citrus and floral hops, lots of hops. Not a whole lot of bitterness though. There's some malty sweetness there along with it. I'm really liking this. The finish is a little sour from all the hops, but if you like hops, it's worth it. The mouthfeel is creamy and heavy, not a whole lot of carbonation. Overall, this beer is very drinkable, especially if you're a hop lover.

Kulrak, Apr 01, 2007
Photo of eric5bellies
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from my Duvel Tulip

A - Pours a dark honey colour with a large bubbled white head that reduces to a film.

S - Plenty oh piney notes here.

T - Hops, hops and more hops with a hint of sweetness at the finish. Mostly piney flavours balanced out by a little malt honey.

M - Light to medium body with well balanced carbonation.

D - The best one limited release from James Squires so far.

eric5bellies, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of Jake321
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Jake321, Oct 21, 2012
Photo of rec
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This years batch is the first I've encountered, and I was pretty impressed. While resembling Squires much loved Golden Ale it was different and intriguing, despite not neccessarily being better or worse.

The pour delivers a golden copper body with one finger head that dissipates quite quickly but laces remarkably well.

Straight after pour I stuck my nose over the bottle. The aroma is delicious, consisting of fresh hops, florals and unique light fruits such as lychee. Quite simply fantastic.

The taste is sweet, but not too sweet. Those lighter fruits come through too, with strong honey undertones upon first sip. Spice and hops are also present and help to balance that sweetness.

The aftertaste is flat and mildly bitter, and due to the carbonation probably won't be considered a session beer, which is a trait shared by most in the James Squire range.

I highly recommend giving this one a try, but I think I'll stick with the Amber Ale for my choice of Malt Shovel Brewery beers.

rec, Apr 16, 2007
Photo of goatherder
4.28/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a: pale gold colour. small white head which disappears quickly and gathers around the rim. lacing all the way to the bottom.

s: a little bit malty and a lot of passionfruit. this is one lovely smelling beer.

t: oh yes, i am impressed. the malt really takes a back seat to the hops. crisp, fruity and a sharp bitter finish which goes on for ages. there is a hint of alcohol there too, a bit more obvious than I would expect for a beer with this abv.

m: the ample carbonation really showcases the hops but also helps to overwhelm the malt character a bit. i would rate the body as medium - not to big as to affect the drinkability.

d: this is a definite session beer for me. an easy drinking ale, perfect both for a summer barbie or a winter warm-up session.

I am really impressed with this brew. As far as i'm concerned, this is one of the best widely-available aussie beers on the market at the moment. I hope they keep brewing it.

goatherder, Apr 25, 2006
Photo of pin
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%

pin, May 21, 2013
Photo of joecast
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

hop thief version 2.0
best before 11/07

had this on tap a couple weeks ago. wasnt too impressed, actually, i was disappointed then with the aroma after being so impressed with version 1.0
we'll see what the bottle brings.

damn! what stands out on first impressions is how clear this beer is. light amber with little carbonation. forms a small off white head that settles to a few stray bubbles with little lacing.

now, the showcase of the beer. sniff...sniff...
hmm, its nice. but much more "standard apa" than v1.0
citrus, a bit spicy, some floral and sweet malt hints. missing the "exotic" feel of v1.0 which was easily the high point of the beer for me.

well talking about the taste seems a bit unnecessary now. anyway, good hop flavor and long bitter finish.
trying to put this beer in perspective. being a hophead, it finishes a bit flat, but anymore hops and it probably throws things out of whack.

man, would LOVE to try the two versions side by side. just shows what a change in hop variety can do. keep 'em coming james.

joecast, Apr 10, 2007
Photo of DaveFL1976
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A two-hour lunch break between classes at Melbourne Business School provided me enough time to ride my bike to the James Squire Brewhouse on Russell Street and sample the new beer, Hop Theif.
Now I'm an admitted hophead. Guilty as charged. But I wanted to criticize this beer for being not hoppy enough, too hoppy, or whatever. The fact is, it's good stuff.

Pours an amber/gold colour with a chunky white head that sticks to the side of the glass. The smell is citrusy and spicy. Smells like Cascade to me, maybe a little Saaz? But a malty backbone is evident still evident and not blown out of the water by the hops. I would have scored aroma higher than a 4 if it had a little more hop punch on the nose.

The taste is sweet up front, with a nice malt character. That is until the hops hit the back of your tongue. Mmm, good. Nice balance. It's not overly bitter like I was expecting. Actually, I'll bet it has less IBUs than the James Squire IPA, but there's heaps of aroma hops (for an Aussie Ale) that give it the zing that I like in my pale ales. It's hoppy, but not overpoweringly so. It fits right into an APA style, in my books.
A full mouthfeel, but not heavy, and good carbonation off the tap. Drinkability? For me at least, it's dangerously good.
But then again, I use hop bags as car air fresheners.

DaveFL1976, Mar 20, 2006
Photo of Stavage
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had to pour it pretty hard to get a decent head, didn't retain so well but left an ok lacing. Colour is a light brown amber.

Smelled of tropical fruits. I got a whiff of paw paw straight away. That and your typical floral hops smell dominates. Did its job well in making me intrigued about the taste.

Crystal malts lend some sweetness to the malt which blends very well with the aromatic hops. A hint of that paw paw/tropical fruit comes through with the taste, though it's nice and subtle. I'm a bit confused to be honest, I actually hate paw paw but I'm enjoying this beer. Finishes with a nice bitter bite. Be warned though this is not a hop heads delight. Focus seems to be on the subtleties of flavour and the hop bitterness definitely won't bite your head off. Suits me just fine though. I think the balance is great.

Mouthfeel is good. Medium bodied, decent carbonation, pretty crisp, pretty dry. I could drink and enjoy a few of these.

Not what I expected but fortunately I was in the right mood to appreciate this brew for what it is. Seems pretty adaptable do, I think this would be an easy pairer for food

Stavage, May 28, 2009
Photo of rjimlad
3.13/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I drank some of this last season and all I can remember is liking it. I can't compare with this season at all. This one poured into a schooner glass leaving a short-lived head but light lacing, There was an initial herbaceous aroma from the hops but nothing I could put a finger on. There is a good balance of malt and hop with pleasant bitterness but it's not that interesting. At 5% abv I found the alcohol a little too present which may make the mouthfeel too sharp for me. Maybe at 4.5% there might be some smoothness to balance the pretty fine flavours. In wine terms you'd call this "austere". Temperature is the key to getting the best from this drop and I'd suggest around 8-10 degrees. I think I started too cool and it improved in the glass over time. I had a Little Critters straight after this and was astonished at its superiority. Hop thief is pretty OK and I'd be happy to drink it again but I would buy it over LC.

rjimlad, Apr 05, 2007
Photo of Macca
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours very dark golden colour with a hint of red. OK white head which drops away to a thin covering.

When first poured all I get out of this is resinous hoppiness. As it opens up a bit the florals come through a bit stronger. A bit of sweetmess too. Passionfruit.

A pleasant drying bitterness on the palate. Some sweet maltiness.

Medium bodied.

Not bad especially since this is a style that doesn't usually rock my boat.

Macca, May 31, 2009
Photo of juju7
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber bronze with a good collar of foam that laced all the way to the bottom. Plenty of fresh hop flower and muted fruit notes on the nose. Low-med carbonation with a good malt backbone and prickly bitterness leading into a long finish. I wish they did this all year round.

juju7, Jun 17, 2009
Photo of dking1525
4/5  rDev +6.7%

dking1525, Feb 02, 2014
Photo of magpieken
4/5  rDev +6.7%

magpieken, Apr 08, 2013
Photo of BucBasil
4/5  rDev +6.7%

BucBasil, Feb 08, 2014
Photo of MenInVen
3.75/5  rDev 0%

MenInVen, Aug 26, 2014
Photo of lamarr04
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark ruby brown. clear with a thin off-white head. smell is mostly of sweet citrus hops with a bit of sweet grain. sweet citrus hits palate first with firm caramel malt backbone through the sip. finish is resinous bitterness. medium body with medium carbonation.

lamarr04, Jul 19, 2009
Photo of vancurly
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2nd release of this fine drop...

Light amber in colour, fairly heavy white head.

Big hit of fruit salad on the nose...pineapple, lychee, kiwifruit, passionfruit.... not as citrusy as previous edition. Maybe the NZ hops are gaining favour over the ubiquitous American varieties... With time & warmth, a touch of honeycomb lifts out as the hop notes dissipate...

All there in the palate.... partic the passionfruit. Not overly bitter... most of the hops must be in the less-than-20-minutes-to-go stage of the boil.

Malt profile is subdued, or should I say bludgeoned over the head by the H.lupulus... a light cara & grain component adds a nice counterbalance to the hoppy fruitiness. But as the bitterness is restrained, there is no overt need to ramp up the residual sweetness.

I love it. This for mine is the best use of hop varietals. You can keep your hairy-chested high IBUs.... but let me have the flavour of the strobile....

vancurly, Mar 23, 2007
Photo of schoey
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought from the local bottle shop after longish wait for them to get it in, this is a seasonal limited release from the malt shovel brewery.

Served in a pint glass, pours a nice light golden amber with large head which laces to the bottom of the glass. Carbonation is rather high, which is to be expected of the style.

Very strong aroma from the first waft, passionfruit and citrus dominate.

Strong citrusy flavour from the hops is the first impression, leading to a bitterness and a very clean finish.

Light mouthfeel which is complemented by the high level of carbonation.

This beer would be good for a barbeque, the high bitterness would probably be a hinderence as a session beer though.

Definatly one for the hopheads, of which I am one. A good allround APA, will be a pity when this one isn't available anymore as good APAs are hard to find at a good price in Australia.

schoey, Apr 09, 2006
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Hop Thief Ale from Malt Shovel Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.