1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

45 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 45
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 11.5%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | 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)
View: Beers (17) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 45 | Reviews: 33 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by lamarr04:
Photo of lamarr04
lamarr04

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2009 05:52:13 | More by lamarr04
More User Reviews:
Photo of doktorhops
doktorhops

Australia

3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Here he is: James Squire's attempt at an American Pale Ale... a brewery that runs the gamut from ham-fisted mass-market beers (150 Lashes to be specific) and decent examples of how Australians really can brew a classic old world style (i.e. their IPA). Hop-fully (see what I did there) their Hop Thief falls into that second category. Also noted is the hop bill of Simcoe & Columbus hops suggesting this is actually a seasonal brew.

Poured from a 345ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: The body is a clear deep rust colour with a slight beige foamy head, smack bang in APA territory right now.

S: Full and fruity hops present a passion-fruit and pine nose, with a big sweet caramel malt middle and a lingering earthy background note... it actually smells on par with a big name APA like Sierra Nevada so top marks there Mr. Squire.

T: Flavour lets it down a little bit - the promise of hops was bold in the aroma and unfortunately Mr. Squire is writing cheques that my tongue can't cash, to borrow a quote from Top Gun, plus there is a certain grain element in there that is a little bit distracting... like a cowboy at a rodeo in a Hawaiian shirt. Taste is pine/grapefruit hops with a certain earthiness and that odd wheat-bix note where delicious caramel malt should be. The finish is also too dry for an APA (should be bitter dammit!).

M: Mid to light bodied with a light carbonation (though that could be because it was drunk at room temp).

D: Overall a disappointment, however not because it was mass-market pandering but more like it was disjointed, hideously scarred for some reason, a real brewers Frankenstein, which is a shame because I do like Mr. Squire and his menagerie of attempts at making typical beer styles, and although he is hit-and-miss at times James's heart is always in the right place. Perhaps the next one will be better James?

Food match: Despite being weird in the malt department this brew is pretty balanced, I would say a grain-fed steak, fries and Diane sauce would suit this well... I've got grain on the mind now.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2014 07:57:22 | More by doktorhops
Photo of chogm54
chogm54

Australia

3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewing Hop Thief 6 (simcoe and columbus hops) from memory - had a few hours ago, with a hearty imperial stout in between. BB date of Jan 2015.

Clear, bronze with a decent frothy head. Fruity (tropical - passionfruit) and floral odours, taste was surprisingly fruity with a muted bitterness. A little bit thin and watery, moderate carbonation

Decent APA, but the nose is better than the taste. Better than most other James Squire range, if you can grab this at the same price like I did.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2014 08:37:56 | More by chogm54
Photo of danieelol
danieelol

Australia

4/5  rDev +7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2014 09:19:22 | More by danieelol
Photo of Kroehny_Loves_Hops
Kroehny_Loves_Hops

Australia

3/5  rDev -19.8%

05-01-2014 07:55:25 | More by Kroehny_Loves_Hops
Photo of Vanz
Vanz

Australia

3/5  rDev -19.8%

02-11-2014 02:10:29 | More by Vanz
Photo of BucBasil
BucBasil

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +7%

02-08-2014 00:31:46 | More by BucBasil
Photo of dking1525
dking1525

California

4/5  rDev +7%

02-02-2014 01:59:17 | More by dking1525
Photo of csmartin6
csmartin6

New York

4/5  rDev +7%

11-15-2013 11:51:00 | More by csmartin6
Photo of XsoldoutX
XsoldoutX

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

10-30-2013 06:33:25 | More by XsoldoutX
Photo of pin
pin

Australia

2.5/5  rDev -33.2%

05-21-2013 16:29:11 | More by pin
Photo of magpieken
magpieken

Australia

4/5  rDev +7%

04-08-2013 16:35:45 | More by magpieken
Photo of Jake321
Jake321


5/5  rDev +33.7%

10-21-2012 01:16:39 | More by Jake321
Photo of heygeebee
heygeebee

Australia

3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler from Warners. Many thanks to MrKennedy for sourcing.

Pours a completely clear dark amber. Fluffy white head. Lines of lace.

Aromas of peaches, mango, tangerines.

Taste is a fruit salad hit on the front palate, then a somewhat duller back palate. Hint of honey sweetness. Hops are there, but not in a zesty crisp way on back palate. After a while a certain staleness grows, sadly. Big plus - flavour lingers for a looong while.

Mouthfeel is a little oily, unusual for the low ABV. Medium weight. Carbonation a little low, maybe from the growler.

Definitely up there at the top of the James Squire range, if not the Mad Brewers...

Serving type: growler

10-17-2012 09:04:26 | More by heygeebee
Photo of cammo84
cammo84

Australia

4/5  rDev +7%

10-09-2012 07:01:33 | More by cammo84
Photo of MrKennedy
MrKennedy

Australia

3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-13-2012 08:29:48 | More by MrKennedy
Photo of hopnerd
hopnerd

Australia

3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

08-31-2012 12:55:57 | More by hopnerd
Photo of DrNo
DrNo

Australia

3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

01-12-2012 22:52:42 | More by DrNo
Photo of Stew41
Stew41

Australia

3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

There’s been a touch of hype around this beer in the past and from what I can see on this tasting mostly well founded. Fluffy head on pouring but fairly short lived; leaves a residual spotty frothy cover. Bouquet is very encouraging with very lifted aromatic notes of fresh tropical fruits and passion fruit…loads of character but not powerful like you might see in an equivalent US micro. More subdued in the mouth but still shows the very attractive fruity, aromatic hop character. More passionfruit early but the palate sharpens up (as expected) with a firm bitter finish and just a slightly bitter, hop resin ending. Good stuff from a generally over-rated (IMHO) brewer.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 13:03:55 | More by Stew41
Photo of eric5bellies
eric5bellies

Australia

3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2010 14:51:35 | More by eric5bellies
Photo of dgilks
dgilks

Australia

3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear copper colour with lots of visible bubbles flowing through the beer. Tight, lingering, 1 finger pale tan head with nice lacing.

Good aroma with grapefruit, passionfruit and a hint of menthol in the background. Sweet and juicy.

The flavour is good but disappointing compared to the aroma. Thin front palate with just a hint of malt and bitterness flows into a light, grapefruit hop flavour. The finish is a lingering bitterness. I can't help but feel that there is too little mid-palate depth to hold up to the back-palate finish.

Medium body with vibrant, above-average carbonation.

A tasty beer that just lacks a bit of depth through the mid-palate. Nonetheless, refreshing and worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2009 03:24:15 | More by dgilks
Photo of Cs1987
Cs1987

Australia

3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Red, 1 finger of head which reduced. Good retention.

Smell - Plenty of fruity esters, mostly kiwi fruit.

Taste - Sort of like a milder version of the IPA, but here they have done a better job with the hop balance, creating a strong, bitter grapefruit flavour. The malt content is also higher than usual for an APA, but the malts don't stand out in the taste.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, carbonation is a little too high.

Drinkability - Again, like JS IPA but easier to drink.

Overall - Another very good beer from Malt Shovel.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2009 12:26:08 | More by Cs1987
Photo of BeerNutta
BeerNutta

Australia

3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hop Thief Ale from Malt Shovel Brewery (2009)

A = Poured a dark copper with a thin foam head.

S = You couldnt smell the Hops at first. But as the beer warmed, the aroma of the hops and a hint of citrus started to come out.

T = For a JS beer this beer is definitely hoppy. The hop profile this year is not as crisp as the other years.

There is also a malt backbone to this beer with a hint of citrus orange. I cant help but feel, that this beer is nice but somehow lacking from other years.

M = Carbonated but not over carbonated. Good.

D = Very drinkable. Great to drink on a hot day.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2009 17:41:08 | More by BeerNutta
Photo of CrazyDavros
CrazyDavros

Australia

3.18/5  rDev -15%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2009 02:55:03 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of ADZA
ADZA

Australia

3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

After trying the first hop theif ale i was looking forward to this one and to be honest it was quite dissapointing i mean it wasnt a horrible beer just nowhere as good as the first one,it pours a orangey amber colour which leaves a two finger head,as like the first the smell of this beer is wonderful it is very hop driven notes of citrus,pine and passionfruit come thru and on taste it is citrusy with passionfruit flavours coming thur definately nowhere near as good as the first and couldnt see myself buying any of this in the future.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2009 13:01:53 | More by ADZA
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Hop Thief Ale from Malt Shovel Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.