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!

Death By Hops - Olde Hickory Brewery

Not Rated.
Death By HopsDeath By Hops

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

435 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 435
Reviews: 169
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 35
Gots: 48 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Olde Hickory Brewery visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ROBORB on 09-22-2010)
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Death By Hops Alström Bros
Ratings: 435 | Reviews: 169 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GJ40
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Label stated best by Feb 12.

Golden with good clarity and a small white head. Some lacing. Aroma was mostly grassy with citrus and floral contributions as well. Flavor was citrusy and grassy hop flavors with a nice lingering bitterness. It was not quite as good as I remembered when I first tried it on tap a year or so ago in Charlotte but it grew on me over the course of the glass. Mouthfeel was silky, maybe even oily, with a low to moderate carbonation.

A nice exercise in hops.

Photo of smellandsip37
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz into a pint glass

A- Nice tiny bubble head one finger deep, seems to have some carbonation, good sign that it will have a lively mouthfeel.

S- All day this is an IPA/DIPA. Pine/citrus hop nose, the closer you get the more floral. Grapefruit too, there is even a hint of sweet something, could that be malt...

T- When this was brewed by Alex last year it might very well have been a DIPA, now there is other stuff that people use as weapons of palate destruction, so for me this is just a plain IPA. Being how much of taste is smell, all those smells come through. Its not a heavy mouthfeel, but some carbonation keeps it lively and aids it not having a 'dead' or 'stale' feeling. As it warmed the heat came through a bit, not so much to turn me off. I REALLY like how this tastes, I just wanted a little more malt.

O- This is almost a back to back drink, as long as you do not have too sensitive a palate and you are just drinking beer. I really enjoyed it, now if only it was not so expensive to make I might be able to drink it more often

Photo of dmamiano
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a hazy straw color with nice bilowing head and lacing as the foam slowly fades
strong hop bite in the nose..citric rinds of grapefruit and orange..perhaps tangering.
grainy malts also noted
Taste was real big on flavor. A well balanced beer with distinct hoppiness and caramel malt.
The hops slightly overpower the malts with orange/grapefruit flavor and even a hint of spicyness.
Very nice beer.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. brown bottle, a label with the words 'DEATH BY HOPS' floating angelically amidst the clouds. Poured to a pint glass between sessions of Sunday afternoon yardwork. Big thanks to Metalmonk for sending.

I 'ensure[d] brewery fresh taste' by keeping/serving cool and enjoying before the marker-notched 'S 11' dating. Side label tells me this beer is 'the winner of Olde Hickory's first Pro-Am event ... designed by Alex Buerekholtz' - he's a homebrewer and owner of Hops and Vines in Asheville, NC.

A: Lovely golden butterscotch, barely hazy. Lots of swirling carbonation, small and steadily rising to a finger-thick tuft of white cream. Good retention and gorgeous lace in broad, twinkling bands. A dense cap of cream holds sturdily, hugging at the sides of the glass.

S: Aroma has decent strength... a notable biscuit/caramel pale malt breadiness with modest citrus (sweeter tangerine and mild/pithier orange). Grassy, meadow-like, flowery perfume. Though it's not so strong, it is undeniably enticing.

T: Grassy, herbal spice leads to a bright tanginess that hints at being 'metallic' without ever quite crossing that line. Label lists '5 different West Coast hops' (not named, but I'd bet Simcoe and Cascade lead the way) and then added dry hopping (twice), so it's no wonder that the pithy, more abrasively bitter lupulin eventually catches up to a maltier/tamer breadiness found in the first few sips. I love the balance.

M: A crisper, more 'biting' feel; carbonation seems creamy enough but the latent hop oils coat tongue and cheeks profoundly... what a 'juicy' mouthfeel! NOT STICKY! I think the 'bite' comes from salivary glands working overtime; my cheeks are actually a little sore after finishing the bottle. Alcohol is pretty well hidden for 7%, but there is a subtle warmth.

O: A well-balanced 'just bitter enough' IPA that satisfies my like of hops and need for maltiness to match. With a name like 'Death by Hops', I miscalculated for a ridiculous West Coast (where I live) hop-bomb taste bud murderer. and instead got a pleasing, flavor-forward IPA/DIPA. Sure, it's a bit simpler (not quite living up to its name), but it's plenty appealing, above average and is something I'd be happy having again. Thx, Jeff!

Photo of MacQ32
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a golden orange color with a nice finger of creamy off white head. Nice lacing and good retention, looks great!

S - Smells like heaven, seriously. Amazing citrus hop aromas as well as piney hops. A bit of sweet malt shines through as well.

T - Tastes pretty damn good, a bit of sweetness but citrus hops primarily and then floral hops come through. Just a great IPA

M - Perfect carbonation, medium bodied, good all around

O - Smell is magical, taste is damn good and drinkablity is great too, this ones a winner

Photo of engagechad
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade with n2185 - thanks! - DFH snifter

Pours a really nice slightly hazy gold color with perfect head and nice lacing. Smells amazing, I wasn't expecting this but it was big on grapefruit.. very very fruity and I love it. Taste follows, perfectly bitter with great finish and feel. ABV is right on, not too much not too little, this was just a perfect beer and it makes me wish I lived down there in NC

If you're near this brewery you must pick this up

Photo of jsanford
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Pours a hazy orange with a 1-inch creamy white head that recedes to a craggy haze, leaving tons of soapy lacing behind.
S - Hops! Incredibly pungent hop aromas, very green and vegetal, with notes of pineapple, pine resin, and grapefruit.
T - Again, very hoppy, with lots of dank flavors of grapefruit, pineapple, and pineapple with a long-lasting bitter finish. Not as much up-front hop flavor as I'd expected, this is more on the bittering hops end of the spectrum. Still, for a "regular" IPA this is HUGE.
M - Smooth and slightly creamy, with a medium body and crisp carbonation. You can really feel the hop resins in here.
O - Excellent IPA, certainly an intense experience. Hop-heads rejoice!

Photo of beerwolf77
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes to GehenHerzog for this bottle. Split into tulips.

A: Cloudy golden orange hue. About a finger of cream hued head recedes leaving sticky lace.

S: Full on piney hops burst out of the glass. Like fresh cut evergreen branches. A hint of burnt rubber comes through as it warms.

T: Wow this is bitter. Loads of piney hops and burnt rubber. Almost acrid and harsh as I sip it.

M: Medium creamy body. Soft carbonation.

O: This was a pine hop bomb. Good but maybe a bit over the top for me.

Photo of LiquidBread219
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy, golden color..almost orange. Thick 2-3 fingers of soapy, white head. Slow to fade. Leaves a thick film with both large and small bubbles. Lots of sticky lacing. Great looking beer.

S: Sweet citrus, floral and tropical fruit smells. Not terribly strong, but nice.

T: Starts off sweet with the citrus and tropical fruit flavors...very juicy. Finishes overly bitter and toasted. Really like the start, but not a fan of the finish.

M: Medium bodied, good carbonation. Finishes very bitter and dry.

O: I really liked this one really Drinkable.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Label claims this is a "double IPA," the ABV puts it right on the fence...it's really going to be for the palate to decide, but I'll consider it a double IPA since the brewer says it is.

So, Death By Hops, eh? I can think of worse ways to go...like most other ways. The label is great too, making it clear that death by hops could be a rather peaceful alternative to the many messier ways to go down. Anyway...

The pour results in a fairly thin, wispy head...full coverage of the liquid for about 20 seconds, but then minimizing to a skim real quickly. Color is on the paler, more washed out side of the sunny orange/reddish double IPAs you often see.

Aroma has Death By Hops sitting on the double IPA side of the tracks. Big juicy whiffs of orange flesh, citrus rind, grapefruit and mutant peach. Nice piney exterior too. Ultimately the malt sits back and lets the hops dance all over it.

Taste is a rather green, leafy, slightly strained bit of hoppiness, with a thinner body than expected. Some warming helps bring out the more exotic citrus/rind tones, and while the hops try and reach levels of crazy intensity, something is holding them back. I'm wondering if it might be a stingy brewer trying to save money and not chucking in enough malt to really give this that extra special something? Who knows. As the label states, the hop profile gives it a total West Coast IPA feel ("brewed with 5 different West Coast hops"), and that's really the factor that I enjoy the most here. Had it had a thicker, stickier body and a bit more malt presence, this would definitely impress more than it does.

Not bad, not bad at all...a rather hopped up North Carolina beer that is all San Diego in spirit, though no tongue-ripper and with a reasonable ABV that makes it an easy drinker. Not Olde Hickory's best (that's Event Horizon), not their worst.

Photo of MasterSki
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jason for sharing this one. Served in a Three Floyds pint glass. The bottle implies this is a DIPA, but the alcohol seems low.

A - A finger of creamy white foam settles to a thick cap, leaving some splotches of lace. Good retention on this one. Transparent golden orange body.

S - Smell is definitely DIPA in nature - copious orange and grapefruit zest, pine, bready malts, burnt sugars, and perhaps a faint bit of alcohol. Quite pleasant and very enjoyable.

T - Unfortunately the taste goes of the rails a bit. Bitter, astringent, and strangely papery. Bread malts and not much in the way of hop flavor. If I plug my nose while drinking, this isn't very good at all.

M - Medium-full body, lower carbonation, some faint warming alcohol. Lots of residual resinous hop oils.

D - Initially quite promising, but the the taste is a miss in my book. I'd try this again if I heard about some recipe tweaks, but as it stands this is a miss for me. I had a hard time getting through my 4oz due to the unpleasant taste.

Photo of russpowell
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BBD of 12/11

Pours an effervescent bronze with ine finger of pearl white head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Mucho pine needles & grapefruit, these fade over time

T: Follows the nose, rindy grapefruit & orange especially along with nice bready notes hiding up front, plus some caramel. Woody hops leak through as this warms, along with more grapefruit & pineyness. Finishes slighlty fruitty (pineapple) with a touch of booze sting mingling in with grapefruit & pineyness

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, decent balance. The malt back bone seems to wilt a bit once warm

Nice, but slighlty under malted take on the style, Would rate this higher as an AIPA, thought it was slightly better on draft...

Photo of MichaelinFishers
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber with "Best by" notching of December 2011. Thanks to n2185 for this one.

Poured into two Crate & Barrel 14oz tulips. Not a lot of head, but decent carbonation. The aroma is somewhat milder than expected for the name, but definitely pine/resin hops. The initial taste is a nice firm, but not overpowering, crystal malt backbone with a nice hit of hop flavor and bitterness. The bitterness lingers for quite a while. I thought it was great, but could have been balanced with a little more aroma; my wife thought it was a little too much on the bitterness, and she is quite the hophead.

Overall, I really liked this beer. It straddles the line between IPA and DIPA. Even the brewer can't quite figure it out. The label says "India Pale Ale" while the web site says Double IPA. The ABV, and flavor and aroma hops are more in the IPA range, while the buttering hops are firmly in DIPA territory. The finish reminds me of Victory Hop Wallop. I'll have to get another some time.

Photo of bobhits
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Death By Hops Olde Hickory Brewery

Deep orange, high density (protein and perhaps yeast), tall shell colored head, and a mild amount of carbonation. Looks like a bit thick heavy double IPA and a good one at that.

Very citrus and fruity hops with a pine finish. They say 5 different hops and dry hopped twice on top of that…I believe it! The malt is rather sweet and certainly powerful. The pine aroma with the rest of this gives this beer an odd but very nice aroma.

There aren’t a lot of words to explain American IPAs. They all more or less are the same with radical differences in execution. This one executes wonderfully. Wonderful bitter bite backed by caramel malt. The beer leaves a lingering ripe fruity (almost like grape peels leave) flavor with some bitter dry hops. I would say there’s a touch more malt here than needed, but nit picking.

The one part of this beer that doesn’t work for me is the body. The beer feels double IPA thick, lacks carbonation in the tongue, and just seems out of line for an IPA and at the same time I can tell it isn’t really thick enough to be a double IPA. 7% abv does put this beer right on that IPA/Double IPA line.

A huge thanks for this extra, it blows every Kentucky IPA out of the water! This beer in my opinion could be placed up there with virtually any IPA out there and hold its own. A few flaws in the mouth feel keep this from having the resume to call itself exceptional, but it comes darn close.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

4.0 A: Clear dark yellow color. Two and a half fingers of creamy/frothy off-white head. Retention is average and a decent amount of lacing is left behind.

3.5 S: Piney, floral and citrusy hops. Pine, grapefruit, and orange stick out the most. Also a touch of sugariness in there as well. Malts are bready and slightly biscuity. Not bad.

3.5 T: Pretty much exactly like the nose. Bready malts with a touch of caramel. Hops are piney with orange and grapefruit citrus.

4.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Very nice creaminess.

4.0 D: Good beer. I usually don't prefer bready IPAs, but the mouthfeel is so good that it brings up the beer as a whole.

Photo of thegodfather2701
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at First Street just today.

A-Pours a hazy gold with a bright white fizzy head that dissipates quickly leaving no lacing.

S-Dominated by citrus notes, especially grapefruit. Not an over powering nose or complex for that matter.

T-Very hoppy as expected. Strong notes of grapefruit with a touch of caramel from the malts. Overall not that complex and dominated by hops.

M-The mouthfeel was on par for the the style, not to thick or to carbonated.

D-I could drink more than one in a sitting, but it didn't blow me away.

Overall, I have drank much better versions of the style. To be honest I thought it was just a regular ipa. It lacked the complexity and overall fresh hoppy flavor needed to be a truly great double ipa in my opinion. However, I would recommend it and would drink it again.

Photo of Onenote81
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle picked up at Peabody's in Boone. Best by September '11 marked on the label. Poured into an Allagash chalice. Pours a dark honey-gold with a thick off-white cap. Decent retention. The nose is fresh with tones of pine, grapefruit, mango, but it just doesn't last long. Smells nice, just not really bold. Good full creamy mouth. Carbonation level backs it up nicely. Not too heavy, as I downed the bomber happily, but just "big" enough. Good fresh hoppy bitterness. Alcohol is non-existent, which is no surprise since this is only 7.0%. Juicy citrus fruits, caramel, light toffee-like sweetness, mild finish. This beer wasn't a smack in the face, and it surely wouldn't cause 'death,' but it was tasty nonetheless

Photo of Retsinis
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fellow BA (thanks Skuter) got this in a trade, and brought this to a recent tasting.

A: Poured from the 22oz bomber into a Bruery tulip glass. The beer pours a copper color, with a half inch of white head that quickly fades without deposting much in terms of lacing.

S: I pick up citrus scents of grapefruit, some floral hops, grass, and a mild earthy note.

T: Grapefruit again up front, with a little too sweet caramel malt background. Mild pine also comes through.

M: Lightly carbonated, and a little thin.

O: Not bad, glad I got to try it. It's a bit light for an Imperial IPA @ 7.00%. Admittedly though, with the large high quality, availability, and variety of IPA's, DIPA's, IIPA's in California, it's hard for me personally to be impressed, for what it's worth though, this was good, and certainly not average, in my humble opinion.

Photo of corby112
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber received in a trade with McNuts. Thanks again Keith! Best by 7/11.

Pours a hazy dark golden orange color with burnt orange edges and a two finger frothy, pillowy white head. Very good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the glass with soapy lacing.

Uber fresh hoppy aroma that's bursting with tropical and citrus fruit notes. It also smells slightly dank and sticky with faint pine. More floral than earthy. Hints of mango, papaya, pineapple, grapefruit and orange peel. Faint pale malts.

Chewy full body with a blast of dry bitter hops up front that linger throughout over the sweeter notes into a bone dry finish. More earthy and bitter than the aroma suggests with a very prominent resinous pine needle flavor. Very dry. The sweet tropical and citrus fruit notes are there but not nearly as prominent as expected. Subtle hints of orange peel, mango and grapefruit that become stronger as the beer warms. This slightly balances out the bitterness but not as much as I hoped. A decent malt backbone balances things further without overpowering the fresh hop flavor. There's some slight heat toward the end of the palate but overall this is pretty refreshing and easy to drink.

Photo of PatLarsen
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass on special at Duckworths. It had more of an XPA color to it than a typical IPA. The smell is all hops! It really is death by hops. The taste follows smell. It is a little biscuity for my personal taste. There is little mouthfeel to speak of. Probably it's greatest deficiency. Overall, I liked this representation. Not afraid of being a hoppy beer.

Photo of wino47
2.83/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I was a little disappointed with this offering from Olde Hickory. Aromas of piney hops with a subtle spice. The malt is a little heavy handed on the palate with a slightly unpleasant, soapy character coming through. the finish has plenty of hop bite but it comes off a little sloppy with citrus, earthy notes and sweet malt leaving me wishing this one was a little more balanced. Overall i was glad i tried it but wasn't blown away as some other people have been on this IPA from OH.

Photo of TheDudeRules
1.85/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Poured into my pint glass.

A dark copper color with a ton of off white foam. Lacing remains. Slight and I mean slight citrus and hops in the nose. Malt is the main focal point in the olfactories. Geez, shocker here. Malt in the nose...Malt in the taste. Caramel shitty malt. I can't wrap my head around the East Coast infatuation with this horrible flavor profile. It's straight up garbage. Yes I sound angry. Why you ask? I had to waste my free time getting up from my perch to pour this craptacular turd down the drain. It borders on barleywine, which is the worst beer style ever. Figure it out and start over. Don't f'n bother with this beer ever.

Photo of titosupertramp
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to Handle for the opportunity to try this.

A: Pours a hazy, golden color..almost orange. Thick 2-3 fingers of soapy, white head. Slow to fade. Leaves a thick film with both large and small bubbles. Lots of sticky lacing. Great looking beer.

S: Sweet citrus, floral and tropical fruit smells. Not terribly strong, but nice.

T: Starts off sweet with the citrus and tropical fruit flavors...very juicy. Finishes overly bitter and toasted. Really like the start, but not a fan of the finish.

M: Medium bodied, good carbonation. Finishes very bitter and dry.

O: Good beer. Pretty drinkable, but the super bitter finish slows it down a bit. Alcohol is not present in taste or smell which is a plus. Overall, I like Death by Hops a good bit. If available in Nashville, this would immediately be one of the best DIPAs available. Thank you Daniel!

Photo of dfclav
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to n2185 for this generous extra.

A - pours a lighter amber color a little more on the yellow side with a 1 1/2 finger head, and not so active carbonation. The lacing however is very sticky and does a good job coating the glass.

S - a good bunch of floral notes, lemon peel, grapefruit, and oranges with some more subtle tropical fruits hanging around. A surprising amount of candied sugar is noted, then in typical IPA's. Barley is detected more and more as it warms.

T - taste is a good amount of lemon mixed with a slight amount of booze and grapefruit. The hops are noticed in this beer and very well balanced. Floral taste pretty big here too. That being said it's a bit bland and not too complex for an IPA. Barley really noticeable in the finish.

M - medium bodied and quite refreshing. Good zip on the carbonation but the hop twang isn't too powerful.

O - overall I'm not too impressed with this. There are a good number of flaws in this beer and many better examples of the style. This, however would be a fairly good beer for a beginner on IPA's as it's not crazy aggressive. I wouldn't recommend it unless you are just getting someone into the style.

Photo of kflack
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured From a Bomber.

A: Pours a great, bright amber color with a 1/4 inch head that has a nice frothy aspect to it.

S: A lot going on here! Lots of different hop notes, strong citrus. Also has a distinct floral scent, like standing in a wildflower field on a breezy summer day. A hint of pine. I don't think this could be improved!

T: Crisp, but not too sweet as I am seeing in other IIPAs lately. I like that they kept this at 7% abv. Has great hops flavors, you sure can tell its been dry-hopped. Lots of different citrus notes, with a nice bite right in the middle of your mouth. mild tingle in the bac. This could be somewhat sessionable, unheard of for most IIPA's.

M: Just a touch of stickyness, not too much. Makes you pucker just a little.

O: A wonderfull example of the style, without being over the top. Hope this one stays year round now! I think this may be my favorite!

Death By Hops from Olde Hickory Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 435 ratings.