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

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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

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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 166
Photo of mattsander
2.35/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Murky deep amber, head hangs around for a while with an aggressive pour. Nothing pale about it, but not unappetizing.

S: Sweet bready malts jump out first with some indication of floral hops. Definitely a malt-centered aroma.

T: Starts as a sweet syrupy caramel vanilla toffee bomb then reveals a long, coarse bitterness. Not much in terms of hop flavor, very disappointing. It's as though the entire hop bill was added at the very beginning of the boil.

M: Chewy and creamy.

O: My least favorite beer from this usually-awesome Canadian brewery and a poor example of the style.

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Photo of QuestionableScum
2.83/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy deep orange with some amber notes and a relatively frothy beige head. Looks pretty good, but darker than most DIPA's I had.

Smells of citrus, with some strong biscuity notes, and a slight floral spiciness. Some caramel malts as well in the smell as well.

Taste starts with some caramel malts, sweet citrus, and biscuity notes moving to a strong orange rind and grapefruit hoppy notes. The problem is that the hop bite (in the bottle I had at the very least) was quite astringent and quite metallic. Maybe I just got a bad bottle. I had difficulty finishing off this beer, and I usually love IPA's and DIPA's. The hop bitterness was just filled with too many off flavours (metallic, astringent). I don't mind bitterness but this beer's bitterness was very offputting. But again I may have had a bad bottle, given the other reviews.

Mouthfeel was pretty good. It was dry, and light to medium bodied, A little bit light bodied for me mind you.

Drinkability for me was quite low, but that may be because of an issue with the bottle I had, so I will give it a three because aside from the off flavours I noted this beer would have decent drinkability.

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Photo of tonyf55
2.96/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Beer Revolution. Served in a pockal glass.

Visual (3.5): Dark rusty red with a pure white minimal head (likely a consequence of the tap) body has a low opacity with a dense colour.

Aroma (2.5): minimal aroma of floral hops. Weak aroma with little to nothing there. Disappointing.

Taste (3): Grassy, floral, hop flavour with a little bit of malt balance. Leaves a sweet, but bitter flavour on the pallet.

Mouthfeel (3.5): nice rough carbonation over the tounge that isn't too coarse. Light to medium body with small carbonation bubbles that don't last past the initial swallow.

Overall (3): A very average IPA with minimal aroma and a stereotypical hop profile. The mouthfeel is appropriate to an IPA but leaves a little to be desired in hop complexity.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.08/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1L bottle from Private Order. Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Medium translucent orange/amber colour with one finger of fluffy cream coloured head. Some light lacing.

S - A big sweetness up front full of bready/grainy malts, caramel and some toffee. A big bitterness is present as well with some floral and herbal aromas coming through.

T - Big bitterness up front that immediately gives way to a huge malt presence fully of bready/cereal flavours, caramel and a touch of toffee. The hops provide a very English flavour profile with floral, herbal and grassy flavours. A very big malt presence for a DIPA. The finish is bitter and dry with a big sweetness, reminiscent of an American barleywine.

M - Medium body. Light carbonation.

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Photo of scootpolute
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

34 FL OZ. bottle poured into tulip glass (with left-over(s)!!!).

A - Pours cloudy brownish-red-amber, solid frothy, dark-white head...- some great lacing.

S - Hops and some spicy-like pine with lots of sweet citrus - grapefruit and orange VERY SWEET!

T - Strong bite with spice...Yes, strong hop flavor along with sweet & pine-like flavor. Due to the strong spicy tones, not so smooth...strong!

M - Good carbonation...The over 'spice' punch is too much for me. Also, in parts a bit 'too' fruity/sweet.

D - This one was highly regarded at the beer specialty-joint, "Malts & Vines" in Redmond WA (which seems to be a two in one version of Seattle's Bottle works...I was quite impressed to see something of this caliber on the 'east-side' of Seattle with the live taps patio, along with 3 huge fridges of beers to go!)...OK, more about the beer...I'm a huge x2 IPA fan...this one just has too much spice, and even though there is strong hop presence, the alcohol is the only characteristic that sticks out...So, very much a sipping beer, not the refreshing beer I was hoping for...Epiphany moment, this beer is from Canada…Not bad for a Canadian beer, eh?!!

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Photo of Converge
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

1L swing-top bottle poured into a 16oz tulip.

A - Pours with a thick tan head of creamy foam sitting atop a deep and hazy ruby-amber brew; looks really nice. The head slowly settles down to a soapy cap, leaving bits of lace on the glass, although not much.

S - Fresh, juicy hops upfront with a sweet caramel malt lurking in the background. More floral than tropical or fruity, but some orange peel and grapefruit shines through. West Coast pine character rounds it out. A nice balance of floral hops and caramel malt backbone.

T - A little underwhelming overall. The hop character is there, but the tropical and pine notes don't really come through, but neither do the floral hop notes. The hop profile really just comes across as bitter, but not very flavorful. Howe Sound don't date their bottles, but the place where I purchased this one got them in about 6 weeks ago, so there shouldn't be significant degradation on the hop profile yet. Minimal citrusy notes come through here and there, backed with a rather bland caramel malt that adds nothing to the flavor. Overall this feels poorly considered and executed, yielding lackluster results.

M - Rests on the lighter side, but has some chew to it. Overall it feels quite smooth, but at the same time a little watery. This one really suffers in the finish though, feeling hot, oily, and disproportionately bitter in comparison to the uninteresting hop profile.

D - My second somewhat underwhelming experience with Howe Sound. Overall this was a decent beer, but the lack of real hop presence and rather unnecessary bitterness and the poorly masked alcohol heat made for a sub-par representation of the style. I've heard great things about Howe Sound, and after being disappointed with their beer in the past, I figured that skipping to one of their most hyped up beers might help me see what all the fuss is about with this brewery. Unfortunately, this did nothing but further sour my opinion of their beer.

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Photo of beertunes
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Swing top 1 liter bottle. Shared with 3 friends. Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a slightly hazy orangeish yellow with a very tall, thick and long lasting tan head that left moderate lacing.

A lot of hops in the nose, but not in the In-Your-Face way of most American examples, more floral and pine hops, with some malt background. That sums up the flavor profile as well. This is much more balanced than most hop heads will appreciate. there is some citrus hops on the finish.

The body was much fuller than most of the style, due to the solid amount of malt. Drinkability was very good for a beer this size. I mean that both about the ABV and the Liter container.

Overall, this is not an attention grabbing example, but over the course of drinking this beer it really grew on me. It's not as strong as most of the style (my local brewpub's regular IPA is almost the same ABV), but that's probably good if you're going to tackle a Liter by your self. And the bottles make great Mini-growlers.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ordered from a shop in Washington. I was not expecting a 1L bottle, I can assure you of that! lol

Pours a dark caramel colour. Not totally translucent. A beige head adorns. Leaves a little lace.

Aroma was sweet malts, a hint of nuts, some earthy, spicy, flowery hop notes. Not huge; was definitely a more malty DIPA.

Same kinda went for the taste. Sweet up front, rich maltiness, though a nice bitterness, but more of a spicy, herbal, earthy hoppiness on the taste. Not my favourite hop notes, but it's pretty decent either way.

Had a creamy texture. Full bodied for an IPA.

Not bad. Not sure how fresh this was either. Initially, wasn't too keen on the price, and while the size of the bottle made up for that a bit, I probably wouldn't want to try this again.

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Photo of suspect
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a giant 34oz capped bottle with optional swing top into a Dogfish Head Snifter. Thanks to my buddy Chris for bringing this back from the Idaho Beer Fest.

A: Crystal clear light amber color. Aggressive pour leads to a 1.5 finger head that disappears after a few minutes. Leaves a small ring around the edge. Little to no lacing to speak of. Lots of tiny little bubbles push their way to the top.

S: Lots of bitter citrus his the nose up front. Strong grapefruit smell with some lemon in the mix. Slight piny notes follow the grapefruit. After that it's some malt and a small touch of alcohol.

T: Not quite as hoppy as one would think from a IIPA but it's nicely balanced and really full of flavor. The citrus hops are toned down but are the first thing I taste in this beer. Followed by caramel malt and bitter pine hop. Some spices in there as well that I can't quite put my finger on.

M: Well carbonated, less bitter than other IIPAs I've had. Medium body, aftertaste doesn't linger quite as long but it still leaves me wanting more.

O: A decent beer, one that I'm glad I tried but not one I would spend a lot of energy seeking out again.

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Photo of Brad007
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a beautiful amber-gold color with a frothy head into my glass. Lacing is present afterward.

Six varieties of hops congeal into one large, messy pine blueprint with just a touch of citrus somewhere.

Lots of sweet, biscuity malt to tide you over, in addition to that huge, messy hop bite. Speaking of which, it's also buttery and full of pine needles.

Finishes clean. Not bad.

I couldn't help but think of an Imperial English IPA when drinking this. It's nothing like the hop bombs that I've had.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.49/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Redstone.
Big caramel maltiness, earthy and light citrus hop barely cuts through the malt sweetness. English inspired I assume, decent drinker.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I like this beer but I swear I wanted more hops as the malt showed up more than the hop profile. Could the sample on tap be old ( lack of hops due to aging. The beer has a very nice full mouthfeel and finished strongly( ABV was not too noticeable) but the big hops to be found for the style seemed lacking. A malt bomb DIPA

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Devil’s Elbow, Vancouver.
Creamy bishop’s collar over rusty ESB amber. 4
Melanoidins, touch of leaf, and dried orange rind - but faint. 3.5
Bang of toast, them orange marmalade, slight resin and apricot juice. 3.5
Cointreau end and peppery linger.
Medium, smooth, salty, slight chew. 3.75

This is the DIPA in a range of four, all of which I sampled, and only the Triple IPA was hopped to where it should be. Toast over caramel only exacerbates how buried the hops are - don’t get 90 IBUs for a second. Gets some salt and powder as it warms, but that’s not coming close to saving this.

More mediocrity from Howe Sound. 3.75

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Photo of hophugger
3.66/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a beautiful golden-amber with an orange hue that really sets it off. Aroma is citrus, pineapple, piney hops, some hay/grass and a very little touch of funk/skunk, nothing offensive, actually quite nice....Second whiff brings a little more of the skunkiness and a touch of overripe oranges. Taste is very hoppy (90 IBUS), yet has a nice balance with the barley. Bitterness is obvious but not overpowering and is pleasant. Taste has a touch of citrus and pine, especially hay and some pineapple accents. This beer drinks very smooth for an IIPA. As this beer warms ever so slightly, a little more maltiness and overripe fruit appears. Nice beer, hoppy and bold, yet surprisingly balanced !!

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Photo of grub
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Viggo brought this one over when sampled in 2010. thanks eric! 2012 bottle courtesy of a private order via keep6imports.

1 litre capped swingtop. sampled july 20/2010. originally reviewed at 4/3.5/3.5/4/3.5 = 3.58. revisited april 22/2012 as shown here.

pours super hazy deep orange with a huge fluffy off-white meringue head. the head drops slowly and leaves tons of thick chunky lace as it falls.

aroma is nice. sticky sweet candied orange and grapefruit. buttery toffee and caramel. multi-grain bread. cracker. bit of biscuit. bit of grain. light alcohol. on my previous sampling I noted a bit of vanilla and something else herbal or spicy that i can't quite place. this is gone today, to my approval.

taste is nice. bit of pine. grapefruit and orange. touch of tangerine. light alcohol. lightly toasted whole wheat bread. bit of biscuit and cracker. slightly powdery. again, the previous sampling noted vanilla and that odd spicy/herbal thing, both of which are not present now. just over medium bitterness level. definitely seems like a "canadian ipa" in that it's more malt focused than hop focused.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium body. medium carbonation level. carbonation is fine and well integrated.

drinkability is nice. pretty well balanced. that odd spicy/herbal/vanilla component I had previously noted threw things off and didn't really work for me, but it must have been a fluke due to an old bottle or something in my previous sampling. this 2012 bottle is clean and tasty and my only real complaint would be a lack of hop "oomph", for lack of a better word. they're there, but just not as balls-out as i'd expect in a DIPA.

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Photo of JacobusFavier23
3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L-Darker amber look. Nice frothy head on the beer. The color is very pretty.
S-Earthy sweet and malty, with a hoppy ipa finish. The smell is very pleasant.
T- Caramel/malty flavor. This beer is dark and tastes dark. The bitterness I expected is almost too masked in the maltiness, but still very delicious nonetheless.
F-Medium bodied with just enough carbonation. Very easy drinkability, the smoothness works well with the flavor of the beer.
O-Very good beer. I had this on tap at a biergarten in Mobile, AL. The whole "Total Eclipse" and "Nighttime" theme this beer has really goes well with its dark, moderate, and earthy flavor.(If the people who designed this bottle and the brewers had that in mind, props to them).
But overall, this beer isn't too exceptional. It's decent. If you can try it, its better than good but less than great.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 1L brown flip top bottle. Pours out a hazed coppery amber, capped by an impressive chunky merrengue-like cream coloured head with remarkable retention.

Mild chewy toffee malt in the nose, along with some spicy, floral, herbal hops. Good balance.

Toasted toffee malt at first in the flavour, pretty mild hops for the most part too, perfumey, light spice, more predominantly citrus and herbal, although even these characteristics are kept in check. The hops really shine in the aftertaste already, more of an English character than American variety.

Medium-full mouthfeel, moderate carbonation, a bit grainy, a bit chewy, alcohol warmth on finish.

An approachable DIPA, drinkable yet forgettable on the same terms, and very English in character for those looking for a more spicy, herbal hoppiness, which is a nice rare surprise from a West Coast IPA on either side of the border. Everything said and done it leaves me holding out for a hero, with another nod to Bonnie Tyler.

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Photo of korguy123
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1L bottle into tumbler.

A- Hazy dark copper pour with a two finger sticky, soapy, off white head. Lacing is sticky and chunky.

S- Sweet, sticky up front of toasted malts, strawberries, simple syrup and a touch of maple syrup. Pine bitterness and a little citrus notes are muddled in the background.

T- Roasted malts, sweet start with a bitter floral presence and a bit of citrus. Very chewy and bitterness seems lower than the 92 IBU the bottle claims.

M- Medium bodied, nice chew, dry lingering finish.

O- This is really malty for a IIPA. Problem with so much malts is that it starts to taste like a pale ale or a standard IPA. Why add so much malt and not ramp up the hops to make it stick out. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad, just could be better.

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Photo of timtwoface
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well, now this was an interesting take on the ipa, one I have never tried. Rather than being supremely hopped - which I love - it almost came across as a wonderful mix of an ipa and a solid porter style brew. I appciate it. Not a favourite but still, it's slid, easy to drink, and with a nice roasted aftertaste. Had I not known this was advertised as an ipa I could have sworn it was some porter variant. Check it out if you are a fan of either style!!

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a relatively clear reddish copper in color with light amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and hints of amber highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall sudsy foamy beige head that reduces to a medium to large sized patch of mottled thin film and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of pine, citrus/grapefruit pith, and herbal hops over a light aroma of biscuit malts.

T: Upfront there is a light flavor of biscuit malts with a light to moderate amount of caramel sweetness. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of pine, citrus/grapefruit pith, and herbal hops which impart a moderate to heavy amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly strong than moderate amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: With the blend of six hops used in this brew, it has an older school IPA feel to it rather than a West Coast style feel (flavor/aroma). Not the easiest of beers to drink but still enjoyable. Glad that the 1L bottle is resealable (swing top) as it is big and would be tough to finish in a sitting.

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Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is hazy deep amber in color. It poured with a finger high beige colored head that died down but left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface that was encircled by a wide collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of caramel malts and pine resin hops are present in the nose.
T: Just like the smell, the taste starts out with flavors of caramel malts and then transitions to pine resin hops, the latter of which linger through the finish and also contribute a moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and rather crisp on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer tastes exactly like an "old school" IPA and has a good balance between the caramel malts and piney hops.

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Photo of avalon07
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had an amber color and a cloudy texture. There was an inch of foamy head that lasted an average amount of time. Very good lacing.

S: A solid, if unremarkable, aroma of hops, citrus, caramel, and some malt as well.

T: Tasted of a little bit of caramel, mild citrus notes (oranges), caramel, a fair amount of hops, light malt, a grassy quality, light pine notes, and a light bready quality. Not a bad flavor, but it isn't quite as aggressive as other DIPAs. Pretty good, but milder than some of the style.

F: An average amount of carbonation with a basically smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: For the most part, this is a solid beer, but it has some flaws. Nonetheless, it's worth a look.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish amber with a very large white head.

Smell is certainly hop focused. Pine, orange, grapefruit, floral notes and a big burnt caramel/toasted malt scent backing it all up.

Taste does not live up to the smell. Toasted malt is upfront. Some pine and citrus (orange, some grapefruit) along for the ride. Alcohol is a little more noticeable than expected for 8%.

Heavy and full bodied, moderate carbonation, sticky. Pretty thick for the style.

Overall, decent but not great. Howe Sound does not appear to date their bottles, so I am not sure of the age of this one.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Alibi Room in Vancouver.

A: 1/4" cream coloured head that left a nice lacing over cloudy amber liquid.

S: The faint smell of lemon and yeast.

T: Citrusy and piney hops and some malt.

M: Medium viscosity and low carbonation.

O: Somewhat acidic and not the most drinkable IPA I have ever had.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 liter bottle poured into a pint glass (obviously the whole liter didn't fit)

Pours a dark amber, very slightly cloudy, nice looking head that fades down to clumpy islands in a thin film. Lots of fine active carbonation. Smell is a muted fruity bitter hoppy, lots of rich bready malt.

Taste is a little muted for an imperial IPA, nice and hoppy but not over the top. Stronger malt component than most imperial IPAs, too. Nice strong bitter grapefruit peel aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is dry and pleasant. Overall good beer.

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Total Eclipse Of The Hop from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
3.83 out of 5 based on 166 ratings.
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