Total Eclipse Of The Hop | Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

very good
61 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Total Eclipse Of The HopTotal Eclipse Of The Hop

Brewed by:
Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
A strong India Pale Ale brewed with 100% barley, six varieties of hops, water and yeast. Extra barley balances the variety of hops in this brew. This is definitely for the hop lover. This beer is brewed in limited quantities as part of the John Mitchells series.

92 IBU

Added by BDTyre on 09-07-2008

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 166
Photo of lumikuuro
5/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Howe Sound brewpub, late September 2009.

This review is less detailed than normal as I was entertaining a visitor so did not take notes.

Appearance: Quite dark for an IPA; must be a lot of malt profile to come.

Aroma: Masses of hops, you barely need to get to the glass to experience the assault.

Taste: This is very heavily hopped, more so than their well hopped Devil's Elbow IPA, but this has a very pronounced malt profile to accompany and balance the hops, without taking away from them. I have been needing a break from the throw-as-many-hops-in-as-possible mentality of the pacific northwest, but with this amount of malt flavour as well, who needs that break? Noticeably strong abv. A beautifully balanced, intense imperial IPA.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, hops dance on the tongue. Everything you would want.

Drinkability: Very rewarding, easy to have a few of these. Just watch the abv!

 910 characters

Photo of Tolosa
4.72/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A : deep, troubled gold. Marvelous regular head, abundant.

S : It's like a bouquet of fresh hops has been thrown in your face

T : Hoppy as it can be. VERY bitter, very hoppy, a bit of toffee. Alcohol is stealthy.

M : ample feeling of bitterness, lightly sparkling, aftertaste is definitely bitter.

O : if you like hoppy bitter beers... don't look anywhere else.

 365 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.48/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from 6/2011 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark, clear copper-orange amber. Two finger head and heavy lacing. Nice constant carbonation bubbles from the glass. Light sweet malt and citrus aroma. Hop forward with a background of light malt, mild dark and light fruit. Hoppy finish with a peppery, citrus, grapefruit flavor. Deceptively hoppy in the start and finish, but has an underlying complexity that supports the hops. Refreshing and different IPA. Will buy again.

 493 characters

Photo of andrenaline
4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one's been sitting in my fridge for a couple weeks, building the anticipation!!

A - Pours a cloudy golden caramel/orange colour with a solid couple thumbs of head, leaving a noticeable amount of lacing scarring the glass. Head is a light golden brown as well.

S - Sweet lemon citrus scent. Hops are quite noticeable on this one, only further developing the anticipation of the taste.

T - Quite bitter, the lemon citrus hops come through quite strong, and the bitterness is left on the aftertaste. Almost a bit metallic on the aftertaste as well, but the hops definitely compensate to overpower the stronger alcohol content.

M - Pretty light on the palette, foaming up nicely on the swallow. Nicely balanced.

D - Having already known that the reviews for this one were quite positive, I wasn't all that surprised that it lived up to my expectations. A nice hop bomb, and totally fulfilled my craving for hops this evening. Would totally recommend this to anyone looking for a nice DIPA that isn't overpowering or offending.

 1,033 characters

Photo of MAB
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's too bad that Howe Sound makles so many limited edition beers -- this one would quickly become one of my go-to choices for an IPA.
It looks like a bitter, it smells like a bitter, and it had the big, thick head I associate with lots of hops, but the taste is so much more complex. The initial hit to the mouth is not so much hops and hop bitterness, oddly. I immediately detected caramel and other sweet malty notes, with a hint of hops. The bitterness arrives later and it is mighty fine.
It got better with every sip. Lovely!

 531 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had reviewed this previously, but it was an older bottle at the time, so this warrants a fresh review
A - a murky burnt orange, two solid fingers of off white head, which retained at half a finger with very sticky lacing all over
S - fresh citrus and grass, toasted grains, lightly fruity
T - strong citrus and pine with a little herbal note, toasty and bready malts provide nice balance to a hop bomb, with some light caramel sweetness coming through on finish
M - fairly smooth medium body, finished bitter and somewhat bready
D - a treat for the hop lover with fantastic flavours, the high alcohol is not noticeable, i wish this was a year rounder

 650 characters

Photo of CrazyMike
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy copper-red appearance, with a small amount of thick head that leaves decent lace and retention. Smell is sweet and citrusy, picked up a hint of toffee and malt as well.

Taste is a powerful combination of malt, fruit (picked up apples and citrus), bread, caramel and toffee. Everything is tied together with a strong hop ending, the taste is balanced. Surprisingly the alcohol isn't evident. Medium bodied with good carbonation. Aftertaste is a lingering bitter hop taste.

This is a strong and flavorful beer; the title should give you a clue on how strong the hops are. Still, it's refreshing beer with excellent taste. Can easily polish a bottle of this.

 664 characters

Photo of brotherloco
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 Litre Flip-Top bottle. Can't find a date. Served in a 22oz glass.

Pours a gorgeous, hazy, unfiltered deep amber w/ over an inch of beige foam. Tons of lacing left in the glass.

Aroma contains floral and citrusy hops, but also a lot of malt variation. Bready and toasty notes sit in the background. Overall sweetness. A touch of booze.

Flavor starts very nicely balanced. Bitter resiny hops on top of the tongue and sweet malt filling the mouth. A little roasty malt appears in the middle. It's a bit of a one note flavor without much development, but that one note is damn tasty. A little alcohol sting in the finish, but it fits in nicely. In fact, 8% is the perfect ABV for a DIPA, IMHO. Lingering bitterness in the aftertaste.

A medium body with medium-high carbonation. Never gets overly thick or cloying.

My first Howe Sound beer, and I dig it.

 856 characters

Photo of wordemupg
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1L swing top bottle poured into pint glass mar21 2011

A clear reddish copper with average carbonation but you wouldn't guess it by the large two finger light tan head that has great retention and leaves several partial rings of lace well down the glass

S lots of citrus and toffee with a little pine

T some grapefruit rind, tangerine, guava and even more toffee and pine then I smell, (and I could smell a fair bit), just a hint of booze and even more tropical fruits and toffee on the finish

M quite bitter, fairly full bodied for the color and it leaves a fair bit behind in your mouth, both lingering flavors and a little grit on your teeth

O I rather liked this one, flavors are pretty strong and the 8% is quite well concealed

I missed out on this one last year when it came to Alberta so I'm stoked I got one this time around. This isn't their Devils Elbow beefed up it has a completely different hop profile and is well worth trying

 949 characters

Photo of Torontoblue
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of the most balanced, perfectly drinkable IIPA's I've ever tasted.

Poured from a 1L swing top, which was closed for about 20 minutes until I wanted more. Poured a wonderful typical English bitter amber colour, with a wonderful white frothy head which clung to the glass all the way down.

Aroma is pretty subdued for an IIPA, nothing comes across as to overpowering. But nice pine, citrus, grapefruit aromas tease the nose.

Taste is creamy, malt, biscuity and a real nice drying bitter attack on the back of the tongue. The hops don't totally overpower the flavour, but really blend well with the malt profile.

This is 1L bottle is so easy to drink it's a sin. An IIPA shouldn't be this easy to enjoy. A real lesson to other brewers who 'think' an IIPA has to be hopped to high heaven to qualify.

 804 characters

Photo of spree92
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared a 1 litre bottle with my brother. Poured a orange-golden copper color. Massive foam head that had awesome retention. Messy lacing left behind but looks really good. Hop aroma is well balanced with the malts that they used. Fresh wet hops bring citrus and floral notes. Taste is great. The bitterness is well balanced and does not feel like the 90 IBUs that they claim. Grapefruit is sticking to the tongue. What can I say, an excellent DIPA that is worthy of much praise.

 478 characters

Photo of Mages64
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1L swing-top bottle into a tulip glass. 12oz. chilled.

A: Transparent amber with a slow fading head and loose lacing with a tight lively carbonation visible suggesting a pleasant mouthfeel to come.
N: All sorts of citrus: lime, lemon, grapefruit mostly, orange peel maybe and a NICE surprise of green apple and caramel.
T: So I assume that "total eclipse of the hop" refers to how the malt basically dominates this beer and uses the hops as a backbone. First sip is BAM green apple. tart with a caramel mix in it. Mid palette is red grapefruit so it's a little sweeter with citrusy hops and caramel malt prominently displayed. Finishes as if you just drank a red grapefruit drink and were chewing on caramel while you did it.
M: solid carbonation gave a really nice full bodied experience with not as much sticky as I was expecting.
D: This is a welcome addition to the pacific north west as we have so many Imperial IPAs competing for hop attention that this little import is definitely a great example to the hop heads that balance is key for a great tasting beer that you can drink over and over.

Side note: I opened the swing top bottle to pour 12oz and resealed it. I came back THREE weeks later thinking there was no way it was still carbonated. Not only was it still perfectly carbonated, but the sweetness had blended even better with the hop bitterness giving the beer an even better balance.

 1,423 characters

Photo of papat444
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to chad for this one.

Poured from a 1L bottle and enjoyed over the course of the weekend (thank you swingtop!).

Appearance: A vibrant orange body that is quite eye-catching with a not too massive head that gently settles down and leaves spotted lacing everywhere.

Smell: Peaches, orange, candy sweetness, tangerines, mangoes, soapy lemon and some pine.

Tastel: Cloves, oranges, piney hops, tangerines, caramel a bit and restrained hop candy.

Mouthfeel: Prickly carbonation that doesn't overdo it with an evident balance in the middle but just enough of a bitter kick in the finish.

Overall: A thoroughly enjoyable DIPA with a sweet touch.

 651 characters

Photo of CharcuterIAN
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1 L bottle into my New Belgium globe.

good head, light retention, hazy copper color.

smells of citrus hops w/a light candy cornish malt.

taste is very well balanced sour citrus hop and malt.

I will deafeningly be buying more of this stuff... just wish that they would do a growler deposit program, like Schooner Exact.

 336 characters

Photo of BDTyre
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Obviously the guys at Howe Sound are Bonnie Tyler fans.

Nice orange appearance, but a little bit on the dark side. It looks more like a bitter. Nice hoppy, citrus smell. Floral undertones and almost a creamy malt character.

Nice zesty hop taste, but good malt profile. The hops aren't in danger of running away, but they are definitely a force to be reckoned with. (For comparison, Dix's IPA, which was right next door is 72 IBU - this is 102 IBU.)

Decent carbonation and surprisingly drinkable. At 7.5%, I was impressed with by a minimal alcohol profile. Very easy to be lost in the Eclipse.

 601 characters

Photo of OskarL
4.16/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy golden/orange color with a two finger frothy head that has really good retention and leaves lots of sticky lacing.

Smells of fresh hops, lots of grass, caramel, grapefruit and pines.

Taste is very welll balanced with grassy hops, caramel malt, toffe, some buttery notes that fit in well and some fruity hops in the finish.

Full bodied with low carbonation and very smooth.

Sold in a 1l bottle that is very easy to drink.

 439 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 liter swingtop bottle, big thanks to my boy Sid for sending this out.

Pours a hazy dark orange, some amber highlights, almost a touch of light red, huge and rocky off white head forms, very chunky and sticky, slowly settles down to a huge and chunky layer, tons of lace sticks everywhere, looks pretty damn good.

Smell is nice, very pleasant hoppiness, a lot of floral, quite fruity, a nice strawberry note, a bit of grapefruit, alcohol, slightly spicy and herbal, some decent citrus, lightly malty, some caramel and a bit of biscuit, quite nice.

Taste is nice too, some citrus and grapefruit hoppiness, some biscuity malt, a bit of caramel, peaches and some tropical fruit, mango, orange, pretty nice stuff, decent herbal bitterness, some sharp citrus, very well balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a touch of the light side, low to medium carbonation, goes down pretty damn smooth for the ABV. Thanks Sid!

 915 characters

Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glad to get my hands on this,here in NC you may never find a BC brewed beer ever.Poured into an imperial nonic a rich bronze with a large fluffy off white head that settled into a creamy froth,alot of the head is left on the glass as it does settle.A variety of different hop aromas,a little herb,a little tea,and a shot of citrus fruit to go along with a not overly sweet biscuit malt base.What I like best about the flavor of this beer is the amped up malt bill doesn't make for an overly sweet beer,its hop profile may be a little more subtle than alot of the style but it has a well rounded hop palate,herbal and leafy,with a shot of grapefruit and light resin,the malts bring just the right amount of sweetness.This a well crafted beer,not in your face but enjoyable.

 772 characters

Photo of alpineclimber
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 1L resealable bottle into a chalice. A thick foamy head sitting on an opaque copper brew. The head recedes and leaves a lot of lacing.

Smells fairly estery and fruity, I can detect a slight medicinal smell.

Lots big hop flavours, grapefruit and pine. The finish is not as bitter as expected but this does not detract from the experience.

A full mouthfeel. A little thicker then what I typically find with this style.

This is a pretty good DIPA and better yet it's from one of my favourite spots, Squampton. I only wish that this brew came in regular sized bottles, which is the case with all Howe Sound brews.

 631 characters

Photo of Derek
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Copper-amber with an off-white head, good retention & lace.

S: Floral, citrus and pine with some underlying bready malt & caramel.

T: This one has a nice balance for a brew of this strength. Some biscuity, bready malt with only a light caramel sweetness is overcome with huge depth of hop flavour citrus & pine with hints of floral & herbal hoppy goodness. Alcohol is well-hidden.

M: Smooth, moderate body.

D: Very drinkable.

 432 characters

Photo of Duke
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Total Eclipse of the Hop poured a beautiful clear but deep red amber. There was a healthy one-and-a-half-finger just-off-white head that lingered and eventually left stiff lacing. Impressive.

Smell: The nose is all citrusy hops, and it's a little floral too. It's toasty at the back.

Taste: Very well balanced with the fruity, flowery hops playing a big role all the way through. But that's about all there is. The beer is a little toasty and caramel-like.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium with what feels like quite soft carbonation. It's easy to drink.

 566 characters

Photo of BashOnABike
4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 1L resealable bottle into 16oz pint glass.

A: Orange-amber, with slight cloudiness. A huge (like, 3", woops!) off-white, tan-ish frothy head, moderate dissipation with messy lacing, plus this cool, cream-like lumpy surface pattern. Neat!

S: Faint hop, a little apple juice, lime, almost a little coriander, grapefruit, and a little whipped cream. A bit underwhelming though, but it could be my cold.

T: Smooth malt, amber-esq smoke, sweet hop, citrus, with mild hop after. Really good, a nice mix of sweet and astringent.

M: Super frothy on the head, and fairly hearty on the beer. A little tingle with bubbles, low-moderate carb, moderate body, more than an avg double. The froth on the head was pretty sick though.

O: Amazing, best of amber, cream and India Pale ales. Almost whipping cream head, with excellent flavour. A little lacking on the scent, but the rest more than makes up for it. Definitely worth a try!

 934 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1L swing-top bottle - reclosable, which is a good thing, methinks...8% ABV, 90 IBUs in this format. I like the name, a worthy contribution to the litany of pun-themed IPA monikers - Bonnie Tyler would be proud, maybe?

This beer pours a hazy medium bronzed peach colour, with three fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and rocky ecru head, which leaves some nice broken bicycle chain, sudsy lace around the glass as it slowly falls away.

It smells of bready caramel/toffee malt, warm buttery biscuits, bitter grapefruit and orange rind, mildly tart red fruit, and further leafy, piney hops. The taste is more bready, crackery caramel malt, crystallized toffee, muddled tropical fruit, a more focused grapefruit and blood orange citrus bitterness, faint roasted notes, and additional leafy, floral, and understatedly perfumed hops. Speaking of which, the alcohol is rather well integrated, and apparently not all that noticeable, at least at this juncture.

The carbonation is on the low side, but supportive enough in its wee frothiness, the body medium-full in weight, generally smooth (lending weak credence to the idea of a mostly old world hop paradigm), and a smidge creamy. It finishes well off-dry, the bready caramel malt hanging tough, and yet still pretty well balanced with a softening citrus and pine hoppiness.

The initial heady West Coast hops smack of this offering does indeed fade, even to the point of self doubt, but slowly and surely, leaves us with a decently balanced, yet still large and in charge IIPA. Once again, I'm taken by the Canadian-ness of it all - it's big, but well, not that big (except for the serving size, that is), the hops seemingly still paying tribute to the Commonwealth.

 1,714 characters

Photo of leaddog
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a hazy, toffee brown with a finger width of creamy beige head.

Smell - Piney and floral hops, grapefruit/citrus, brown sugar sweetness.

Taste - Moderate level of piney/earthy hops flavour, leaving a light bitter aftertaste. Hint of citrus comes through as well. The hops are present from start to finish which provides a complexity to this brew.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Has a pleasant dry finish as well as a creamy characteristic.

Overall - A good representation of a DIPA by Howe Sound. I thought the sweetness in the smell provided a nice variation from the style. The hop characteristic to this brew was good but it could use more to represent the style better. Besides this, a worthy brew for those venturing in this style.

 781 characters

Photo of distantmantra
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 liter bottle poured into a pint glass. June 2011.

A: Copper red color with large white head. Heavy lacing

S: Heavy citrus and pine notes with a hint of caramel.

T: Grapefruit and orange were the initial flavors, but a secondary pine flavor was evident. I detected some caramel aftertase. Alcohol slightly present but not overwhelming.

M: Bitter and full-bodied, but still smooth.

O: One of my first forays into Canadian craft beer. An excellent IIPA that I would purchase again.

 486 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Total Eclipse Of The Hop from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
3.83 out of 5 based on 166 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.