Houblonium P38 | Bullfrog Brewery

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Houblonium P38Houblonium P38
Very Good
31 Ratings
Houblonium P38Houblonium P38

Brewed by:
Bullfrog Brewery
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by LilBeerDoctor on 12-28-2008

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 31 |  Reviews: 25
Photo of ObeMaltKinobee
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of sideshowe
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.8/5  rDev -4%
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

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.03/5  rDev -23.5%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of Bmoyer0301
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of Deuane
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
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!

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Photo of koopa
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of Popkas
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of BTPete
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of gford217
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of JamesS
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
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!

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Photo of weeare138
3.41/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

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Photo of Kadonny
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
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!

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Photo of bwd110
3.71/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4/5  rDev +1%
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%.

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Photo of John_M
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Houblonium P38 from Bullfrog Brewery
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 31 ratings