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Hop Thief Ale - Malt Shovel Brewery

Not Rated.
Hop Thief AleHop Thief Ale

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BA SCORE
85
very good

50 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 50
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 11.14%
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: 50 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by danieelol:
Photo of danieelol
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hop Thief 6 (2014)

Pours an attractive amber with a hint of copper, almost a hint of purple. I like the colour, head recedes a little rapidly.

There's a pininess from when I first cracked the bottle- there's also a subtle paw paw and mango. There's a dose of James Squire's house character and also a pronounced "meatiness" I'm not accustomed to- not sure if it's from hops, yeast or malt. Almost has an odd note of port or fermented berries to it.

Taste is decently hoppy but in a soft way that slowly fills the palate- more mango and pine here. Also a hint of those fermenting berries (blackberries?)

Mouthfeel actually has a hint of sourness- perhaps I'm thinking of blackberry leaves? Also solid bitterness and mineral character, hops.

Both a hoppy and otherwise strange and unique beer. Definitely recommend trying this year's, will grab some more bottles if my fridge has room.

More User Reviews:
Photo of csmartin6
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Vanz
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of MrKennedy
3.08/5  rDev -18.3%
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.

Photo of goodbyesoberday
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.18/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

Photo of Kroehny_Loves_Hops
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of BrazilianAussie
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Kulrak
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of eric5bellies
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of Jake321
5/5  rDev +32.6%

Photo of rec
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Photo of goatherder
4.28/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Photo of pin
2.5/5  rDev -33.7%

Photo of joecast
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Photo of DaveFL1976
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

Photo of Stavage
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
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

Photo of rjimlad
3.13/5  rDev -17%
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.

Photo of Macca
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Photo of juju7
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of dking1525
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of magpieken
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of BucBasil
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of MenInVen
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of lamarr04
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Hop Thief Ale from Malt Shovel Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.