Houblonium P38
Bullfrog Brewery

Houblonium P38Houblonium P38
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IPA - Belgian
Ranked #60
Ranked #16,937
3.98 | pDev: 10.3%
Bullfrog Brewery
Pennsylvania, United States
Very Good
Houblonium P38Houblonium P38
Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 31 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove from South Carolina

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

light golden amber in color with a big head of white on top. Took forever to settle down though and the first few pours were on the foamy side I have to say. Aside from that though, nice side glass lacing and a rich look to it overall had me going in for another look. Light aroma, mild hops with a hint of bready notes to it right under the surface. This peeled back into light peach and banana hints the more it warms and a touch of light grain. Flavor was again interesting, bready and grainy at first with hints of lemon and orange sprinkled in. Warming seems to really mellow the hops completely and allow almost a spicy tone to take hold. Interesting

Sep 14, 2011
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

3.03/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Growler shared by durwoodx. Thanks Darrell!

The beer is slightly hazy and appears golden orange in color. The head is small and leaves minimal lacing. The aroma brings a prominent sweetness, with oranges, yeast, hops, and a general scent of candied citrus. The flavor tastes similar to that of a tripel in many regards. Overall, a bit too sweet and out of balance with alcohol presence too forward.

Apr 17, 2011
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brokensail from California

4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this one, Tim.

A: The pour is a hazed golden orange color with a finger's worth of white head.

S: An intensely fruity aroma which I wasn't quite expecting. Pineapple and citrus (grapefruit and tangerines). A bit of apricot and peaches. Some sugar and pale malts, and plenty of yeast.

T: I was surprised by how hoppy the flavor of this was. A touch of bitterness but overall really fruity. Pineapple, apricot, peach, mango, grapefruit, melon, and tangerine all come to mind. A slight sugary quality and a little bit of bread. Yeast and oak are there, but in the background.

M: Medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation.

O: Really solid. This one didn't sound like it had too much promise, but an awesome flavor all around.

Apr 04, 2011
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Bmoyer0301 from Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Tonight I deiced to break out one of my coolest but impractical glasses that I have in the cabinet, my Kwak Belgian bubbled flute in a wooden holster. I happen to come across this glass when I was buying a bottle of Tactical Nuclear Penguin and it was sitting on the shelf for a measly $2.00, so I couldn't resist the temptation for such a unique glass. I unscrewed the growler cap and was greeted with a loud and generous hiss which was surprising since this was filled on Sunday. On the pour I decided to go slowly into the odd shaped glass because from prior experience this glass seems to create a lot of foam if your not careful. When I was done I was left with a perfect two finger thick head that was bone white and very frothy looking. As I hold the glass up to the light there is a huge burst of golden hay and orange blossom honey colors that are perfectly clear and vibrant. Not an ounce of haze or yeast chunks and I can see through my glass perfectly. As typical fashion, I gave a generous swirl and noticed the viscosity is pretty decent but not overly thick, leaving foamy legs that run down the walls pretty slowly.


Right out of the gate this shines more Belgian than IPA style. Lots of candy sugars and phenolic bananas with flowers and earthy undertones. The hops are definitely present which present a mossy and citrus mash up to compliment all of the peppery spice going on. Slightly peachy on the finish with some faint heat alcohol aromas.


Very impressed with the first sip! Smooth and very clean, almost creamy on the mouth feel with loads of green apples, bananas, pepper, and that classic Belgian yeast flavor that is present is any great triple. Sweet caramel and toffee round out the middle and blend with the hops to create a very easy drinking beer for 8%. Let's not forget the hops here, which is a huge aspect of this creative style. Earthy and mossy but yet mango's, oranges, and tropical fruit seem to push through the finish and make some form of muddled mess that works perfectly here. In the finish, a long and semi-sweet coating lingers around my mouth and has just a touch of bitterness that really makes me want to come back for another sip.


Overall, this was another great beer in the Bullfrog's line up. With beers like this I am sure lots of people will love this place and want to try more. They only downfall is that they only have a very small distribution area and not everything makes it out of their brewpub. So if you really want to get the full line up of beer be sure to swing by their pub or find a friend who lives close and get them to send you a champagne bottle or growler. For the price this is a no brainer if you love Belgian beers or if you are looking to try a out of the box IPA this would be a great candidate. So if you get a chance to visit or are going to be passing by Williamsport be sure to stop by the Bullfrog because you will not be disappointed trust me.

Mar 15, 2011
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akorsak from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a tulip at the brewpub.

A: The Belgian IPA is an amber hue, brown and red conspiring together to leave it nearly opaque. A small head, white, came along for the ride.

S: The nose is Belgian sweet, spices and yeast, before the full hoppiness kicks in. The hops are earthy, noble almost, and stand in contrast to the sweetness of the Belgian side. That contrast gets me every time.

T: The sweetness of the tripel is nearly overpowering, a spice laden journey through pale candi sugars, coriander, and fresh pepper. As the sweetness builds, the hop side runs in to balance things out. That hoppiness is grassy with herbal flavors. For the normally mild grasses and herbs, the flavor is quite concentrated, able to stand up to the sweetness of the Belgian side. Bold, the IPA leaves a nice lush hoppy finish.

M: Principally a tripel-style ale, the flavor profile runs with sugars and sweet adjuncts. The hops, as they ride in like the cavalry, seem to augment the sweetness with the grassy notes...

D: ...it all comes together nicely though. A nice beer that won't let your palate get complacent.

Mar 11, 2011
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Kegatron from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Bullfrog Brewery (Williamsport, PA) on 2/26/11. Served in a cervoise.

Pours a deep hazed apricot in the glass, topped with a near finger of frothy bright-white head. This retains with a rich sudsy look that leaves back a good looking sticky latticework of lacing. The aroma is freshly floral and initially smells of bright citric fruit and bitter rind that is backed by a backbone of caramel and bread to add a deep tang in the nostrils. Yeast adds a spicy earthiness and a touch of bubble gum to the nose.

The taste is fairly aggressively bitter up front with citrus peel and spice, before being surrounded on the sides by balancing notes of sticky ripe fruit, sweet caramel, and a toasted graininess. The yeast finishes this with an earthy and musty feel that lingers on the palate. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a touch fuller, with an easy creaminess to the carbonation that makes this feel much softer than it is. There is a bit of crispness towards the back of the swallow that helps pop that bitterness and a touch of alcohol heft helps strengthen the yeast presence here just a tad.

Well done Belgian IPA here, with the yeast nicely complimenting all of that bitter and juicy hop character. I think that smooth and creamy feel really sealed the deal for me though, as it keeps this much more drinkable than I thought it was going to be. I'm glad that I finally found this one on tap here before Terry leaves. It was quite good.

Mar 07, 2011
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Deuane from Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Slightly hazed, deep copper with a veil of off-white head. Foam hangs on strong and leaves surprisingly nice lace.

S-A boatload of fresh, fruity hops. Notes of apricot and lemon with a nice spicy zing from the yeast. Light biscuit malt sweetness in the background.

T-Big, fat, juicy hops with a counter punch from the sharp, spicy yeast. Malt sweetness pokes through in the background but it is barley noticeable. Building dry finish.

M-Medium-light to medium body (gets thicker with warming), sharp and crisp with long lasting lingering bitterness.

D-Simply a superb Belgian IPA. Spicy and light with tons of fruity hop goodness. My favorite style done right!

Mar 17, 2010
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koopa from New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml batch 2 bottle consumed 7.19.10

The malt is much more pronounced and the hops have died down a bit but this one is still drinking like a well balanced American IPA. Not getting much Belgian here but enjoyable none the less!

750ml bottle purchased at Capone's in Norristown PA.

Appearance: Pours a radiant blood orange to murky caramell with a light yellow white 2 finger crown. Retention is decent and lace is everywhere. Attractive albeit yeast murky.

Smell: Light amount of candied malt, toffee, a hint of alcohol, and some beligian yeast.

Taste: Same as nose but with a small amount of orange citrus acidity.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with slightly prickly carbonation and a medium finish.

Drinkability: Despite a bit of bitterness and an soft alcohol tinge it remains fairly drinkable.

Feb 20, 2010
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Popkas from Colorado

4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden amber with a mountainous head that lasts and lasts.

S: Interesting. Complex yet subtle. Grainy, sweet, hoppy, spicy.

T: Slightly spicy yeast right off the bat, then citrusy hops. Nice.

M: Medium creamy body.

D: Good drinkability.

Feb 17, 2010
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the brewpub. Its these beers that continue to keep me driving long distances back here. Pours cloudy grapefruit with a white head. The aromas, initially pineapple, and then orange. The hop selection is yummy with significant orange and fruity. Alcohol warming, bit still very drinkable and not to be missed. Creamy mouthfeel, and no overt taste of the yeast. If it began to fade over the 16 months, even better.

Feb 14, 2010
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BTPete from New York

3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up at brewery. Have had for awhile and this is the 4th time I've shared a bottle.

A: Golden red, nice head and bubbles.

S: belgian yeast, bready, and hoppy. Hops not as pronounced as once were.

T: Really yeasty and bready tasting. I like it but as it warmed it became increasingly intense in flavor. Probably shouldn't have stirred up the yeast as much as I did.

M: Relatively highly carbed, nice bottle conditioned ale.

D: Highly drinkable and everyone I have shared this with has agreed. I enjoyed the belgian yeast aroma and flavor though as I said the yeast got swirled up and it became increasingly intense as the brew went on and warmed. Would drink again.

Jan 25, 2010
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gford217 from Georgia

4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle courtesy of barleydine, labeled batch #2 and 8% ABV, poured into a tulip.

Pours a hazy orange with a big thick, creamy beige head that recedes very slowly to a small cap with lots of thick lacing along the sides.

The aroma is spicy with Belgian yeast and a bunch of sweet light fruits, pears and apples especially. There is also some earthy hops with plenty of citrus as well.

The taste is very sweet with the light fruits up front and a good bit of spiciness from the Belgian yeast. The earthy hops are also present with hints of citrus and a slightly dry finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with tons of carbonation and a very dry mouthfeel for the style though there is a solid lingering fruity sweetness as well.

This is an impressive beer and one of the best Belgian IPAs I've tasted. The previous Bullfrogs I've had have been inconsistent, but I enjoyed this one immensely.

Sep 30, 2009
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JamesS from Indiana

4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very nice mid-copper color with some nice head and decent lacing. Very nice strong hop scent with a tiny bit of citrus and fruit in the nose. Great taste, a very hoppy beer with a nice amount of malt to keep it thick; a little on the dry side with a bit of wild zest and a nice fruity (cherry?) taste; finishes smooth with a nice bitter taste on the tongue. Goes down quite well for an 8% brew!

Sep 14, 2009
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weeare138 from Pennsylvania

3.41/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is of a mildly hazed gold with a huge white head of fluff that slowly fades into a 1 finger cap. Scattered bits of lacing are left all around the glass.
Smell is of a floral, herbal, grassy, citrus blend with caramel notes. A bit odd and "off" up front.
Taste is of the aromas with more of a sweet & herbal note pulling through the flavors. Belgian yeast and hops seem to get strange at points.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, dry, earthy, lip smacking, and bitter during the finish.

Jul 30, 2009
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Kadonny from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap at Capones in Norristown PA into a standard pint glass.

A: a medium orange color with a slight white head. Full glass lacing.

S: Earthy hops with some citrus and yeasty spicyness. Sweetness is detected.

T: Wow, this is very good. Hops jump with flavors of citrus, floral, grass. The yeasty spicey malt flavor jumps next with hints of dark sweet fruits, some candy and some caramel sweetness towards the end. Finish is uber bitter and hoppy. Very nice beer, very creamy through the middle.

M: Full, coating, creamy delicious. Minimal alcohol detected.

D: High, damn very high.

Overall a top notch Belgian IPA that rivals the best ones out there. I was so happy I got to try this rare beer, I just wish I had time to drink more. Awesome, well done from a brewery which I don't get to taste too much.

Jun 05, 2009
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callmemickey from Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice light amber body, solid eggshell white head, great lacing.

S: I am getting more hops than yeast in the nose. Soft citrus, liight pine. Some bready malt.

T: Bam, there is the belgian yeast. Rides nicely over top the malt canvas and citrus accents.

M: Smooth. Relatively light body. Good bitter bite.

D: Solid. Enjoyed this beer than most other belgian IPAs. Went well with my meal.

Big thanks to Capone's!

May 30, 2009
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bwd110 from Pennsylvania

3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Capone's in Norristown. A nice replacement after the disappointment of KBS kicking.

A: Very striking appearance on this beer. A real bright orange/straw color, explosive bright white head. Great lacing throughout.

S: Very fruity like a Belgian tripel, some bitter notes from the hops, but not getting any real hop character on the nose - strictly the yeast and sweetness from the malt base.

T: Hops do come through in the taste, a tangy citrus like lemon and lime to complement the green apple from the yeast. Also a very spicy characteristic to this brew - peppery and almost Cajun at the same time. Overall, more sweet and fruity than anything else.

M: Decent bitter dry finish, but this one is overly carbonated, big zap on the way down. Wish there was a little more body as well, the hops feel almost watered down.

D: Tough to figure out... I enjoyed the beer, but was ready to move on after one. I think this is a unique rendering of a Belgian IPA, but not a pillar of the style.

May 26, 2009
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BARFLYB from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A- Houblonium holds a nice copper/orange mix resulting in a nice looking beer. A fluffy off-white head had some legs to it while leaving some lace droppings.

S- The Belgian Yeast used in this gives off a wonderful earthy aroma. Some fruit plus hops and malts that seem to be balanced lightly, lets see how the taste holds up.

T- Well, this is one fine Belgian IPA, even though at times I feel as though it's a Belgian Pale ale with the malts within. Some citrus from the hops as well as some floral tastes. Some spices in the finish Some candi sweetness as well but the balance on this is outstanding, well put together.

M- Medium bodied with some sweetness and a dry finish. This one has active carbonation so no need to worry about that. No problems on the mouthfeel for me.

D- Don't think I would spend the loot on a bottle and this stuff is limited in my area so I may never have this one again. Not sure of the abv on this one so i cant comment on that but i'm guessing somewhere between 7 and 8%.

May 24, 2009
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John_M from Oregon

4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Dyan for sharing a bottle of this excellent beer.

The beer pours a striking orange color with very good head retention and lacing. The head is a very attractive pillowy white, reminding me somewhat of the Chouffe Houblon (which I assume is no accident). The nose on this beer is a bit unusual, consisting of apple, soap, beef jerky, some citrus and jalepeno peppers. Not sure I've ever smelled anything quite like this. Somehow, the flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, but with some more jerky, gingersnap and leather flavor. Also some mango, papaya and cherry as the beer opens up a bit. Really a lot going on in this beer, I have to say. On the finsih there is a hint of hoppy bitterness, but really this is not what I would call a super hoppy beer.

This is really a mammoth Belgian IPA, one that is medium sweet, but one that almost implodes with hoppy bitterness. The finish is quite dry; the flavors really seem to go back and forth between moderate sweetness in the dry finish. This is a very unusual, interesting beer, one with quite the unusual array of flavors. I can see where it might not be for everyone, but I appreciate having the opportunity to try it.

May 15, 2009
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DefenCorps from Oregon

4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, Deuane! I split this with John a couple of weeks back, finally found my notes

A: Mildly hazy orange with a massive off-white head that fills up 3-4 fingers' worth of my glass. Mild particulates, plenty of fine carbonation

S:Amarillo hops are really very noticeable, with a gorgeous hop character. Mild lime, mild citrus. Yeasty, spicy with some phenols, clove, pepper and shredded ginger

T: Incredible combo of Belgian yeast and American dry hops. I'm usually not sold on the style, but hot damn! Spiced with clove, allspice, ginger and cinnamon with the hops to make for an EXTREMELY compelling beer. Makes me think of a New Glarus interpretation of a BIPA. Finishes dry, hoppy, spicy and bitter. Very intriguing.

M: Over-carbonated in a way that hampers the palate. Otherwise, good - light body, great bitter finish. Once the carbonation subsides, the beer takes on an incredible juicy character. Awesome.

D: Enjoyable, better split, though.

May 12, 2009
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AtlasBrew from Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed on tap; see below for bottle review.

Houblonium P-38 on tap (8% ABV)
(In case you were wondering where the name of this one came from...it was Marvin the Martian's space modulator. The Houblonium P-38 Space Modulator is what he called it...)

Overall review on tap: It's still cloudy which is to be expected, but it has such a fresher aroma that just jumps right out of the glass with fresh hops. It makes me wonder if it's dry hopped. It has a beautiful fluffy white head...something you don't quite get from the bottle. It's so much fresher tasting on tap and a little bit mellower, believe it or not. The sweetness is not as pronounced on tap as it is in the bottle. It's interesting how the flavor changes ever so slighty in the bottle. I like this one better on tap, it's drikability increases which makes it very dangerous. Stop by the frog and try one!

May 06, 2009
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HopHead84 from California

4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours light copper with an enormous white head that takes forever to recede. There is a lot of lacing on my glass.

The nose has a lot of fresh apple to it. I've never smelled a Belgian IPA with such a strong apple presence, though it works very well. The hops are earthy, and somewhat citrusy, but they're dwarfed by the apple character in the nose.

The flavor is also dominated by apple. I'm not sure how this beer acquired this unique apple character, but it tastes great, and is unlike any other Belgian IPA I've tried. Some orange and grapefruit notes are evident. There's a medium level of bitterness and some earthiness. The finish is bitter and fruity. The alcohol isn't noticeable.

The beer is medium bodied with great carbonation and a dry mouthfeel.

In the world of Belgian IPAs, this beer is quite unique. I've never tasted one with so much apple.

Apr 27, 2009
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Floydster from California

3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle courtesy of KRAMER17801, thanks for sending this to me Jason, brought to the SeaO'Floydster tasting, reviewed from notes, poured into my Stone sampling glass

A-Golden orange color, one inch fluffy white head, some retention and lacing
S-Hoppiness but light and mostly floral, some pine in there, Belgian yeast, grassy accents, and citrus with mostly lemon
T-Dry at first with some nice hoppy tastes, sweet like a Belgian pale ale in the middle, little bit of booze in the finish but luckily there is some more dry hops to help balance that out, bitter and slick at times but too sweet the majority
M-Dry, sweet, slightly earthy, and bitter mouthfeel, medium bodied, moderate level of carbonation but probably could have used more, taste lingers moderately
D-This was a little heavy and that was expected at eight percent, close to balanced but not quite there, more bitterness from the hops would have helped the drinkability

This was an interesting Belgian IPA and definitely had a more European influence, would have preferred it to be more hoppy, still glad I tried and would not mind having again, worth trying

Apr 02, 2009
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hopdog from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Bullfrog Brew Pub.

Poured a medium an hazy amber color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of fruitiness (bananas), floral, spices, and caramel. Tastes of the same fruitiness, pine, citrus, and spices. Some alcohol in the finish.

Notes from: 10/26/08

Jan 12, 2009
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LilBeerDoctor from New York

3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 10/27/08. On tap at the brewpub. Pours a clear light orange with a small white head. Aroma of yeast and sweet melon. Flavor of sweet melon, light fruits (orange peel) with a bitter hoppy finish. Pretty typical but tasty.
7/4/7/4/14 (3.6/5)

Dec 28, 2008
Houblonium P38 from Bullfrog Brewery
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 31 ratings