The Audacity Of Hops | Cambridge Brewing Company

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The Audacity Of HopsThe Audacity Of Hops

Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Belgian Double IPA.

Added by EPICAC on 11-12-2008

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Reviews: 147 | Ratings: 618
Photo of VelvetExtract
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a slightly hazed honey color with unbelievable amounts of rising carbonation. Brilliant head. An inch high that laces and retains masterfully.

S-Very aromatic. Hops galore. Tons of floral hops. Citrus and pine too, leaning more towards the pine. Nice Belgian yeast notes too that let you know this is not an American styled DIPA. Excellent smell. Malt is detectable but far behind the hoppy aspects.

T-Audacity is correct. Floral and pine hops assault the palate. This beer boasts one of the grassiest finishes I have come across. High amounts of bitterness. Very herbal. Belgian yeast has the right amount of potency. Malt sweetness sets in but the hops still manage to set fire to the tongue. Nice, nice, nice.

M-Heavy side of medium bodied. Nice carbonation. Sharp but not too much. A bit resinous. Really digging the bubbles. Dry and bitter finish.

O/D-Overall, this is a kick-ass beer. American IPA/DIPAs I find to be far superior than their Belgian counterparts. However, this beer trounces many of the American DIPAs I have tried. Super fresh and super tasty. Seek it out. Gotta try more CBC.

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Photo of perrymarcus
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

fresh off the bottling line, picked up at CBC tonight.
(batch 1, bottled Dec 2011)

pours a slightly hazy, medium amber / gold tone; fairly aggressive pour yields a solid 2+" head - great retention and lacing.

fragrant hops come bull-rushing out of the glass; nice bouquet of floral / pine / citrus... secondary malty notes and a hint of candied sugar.

flavor follows the nose pretty closely. opens very hoppy with some sweetness emerges mid-palate before finishing on the drier, more bitter side. very flavorful with hops obviously showcased but nice cameos by the candied sugar and some spice.

overall i'm incredibly impressed here, maybe my favorite beer to date from CBC.

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Photo of rinhaak
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear golden copper. Only a tiny head.

Nose of faint Belgian yeasts, pine, and rich hops.

Wonderful in the mouth, with little hint of the alcohol content. Choppy beyond belief - the hops may be contributing to the alcohol cover-up.

The hops are the only story here. Though a Belgian IPA, the Belgian yeasts are really only noticed in the finish, and then they balance out the hops quite well. Despite the astronomically high hop levels, not too bitter in the mouth, but the bitterness is unavoidable afterwards.

One can also discern hints of honey, citrus, pine, and fresh cut grass.

Overall stood beer for what it is - hops, hops, hops and hops with a Belgian yeast. I could probably enjoy it more with a lower ABV.

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Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap @ CBC. Poured into tulip.

A - Pours mirky golden, white thin cap, sticky lace.

S - Bitter hops, slight malt sweetness, tropical citrus. There's a large amount of hops, more then expected, for a Belgian DIPA. Yum!

T - Tropical citrus sweetness, malts, hoppy bitterness, orange peel. Nice dose of bitter hops and the citrus sweetness works well together and neither takes away from the other.

M - Medium body, oily bitter finish, good carbonation.

O - A wonderful Belgian DIPA that I enjoyed very much so. A nice way to end a wonderful trip on the East Coast. I hope to get back to CBC to try some of their other offerings.

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Photo of SiphonKing
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'll admit I let this bottle sit a little longer than I should have. It still retains it's Belgian characteristics and yeast profile. Being a one off I would have liked to have it on draft as well. Nice head retention/Belgian lacing. Cloudy body with a spiciness that lingers. Not that hoppy, hints of earthiness(?) (not that it needs to be for this style), but once again it may have been hoppier while fresh. Not much rye character but a little dry in the finish. If you still have a bottle than I suggest you drink it ASAP. IPA's do not age well. I look forward to the CBC this April in Chicago and what it has to offer!

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Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden color with a frothy head that leaves some splashy lace behind

Smell: Floral and piney, with some rye spice and sweet Belgian yeastiness

Taste: Biscuity, up front, with a bit of rye spice and stone fruit jumping in just before the audacity begins; the hops are floral and piney, with plenty of pith as well; after the swallow, the hops really burst forward, and mingle with the malt in layers of complexity

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with lively, though moderate, carbonation

Drinkability: Unlike many other Belgian IPAs I have tasted, I would characterize this one as 3/4 American IPA and 1/4 Belgian; I really like that profile rather than 50/50

Thanks, jleblanc, for the opportunity

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I never thought I would land this one in a million years. Huge thanks to the dr for throwing me this one as an extra. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 11/12/2009.

The pour was very solid, rich amber in color with a nice two inch cap of white that came up and over the top, settling down nicely with tons of side glass lacing and a good bit of carbonation that could be seen bubbling up toward the surface. Huge aroma of grapefruit and rich citrus hops are all over the one. Nice balance of light buttery malts as it warms, but this one was truly a hop monster, just what I wanted indeed. First sip nearly ripped the tongue out of my mouth with a bitter joy. Huge ripe grapefruit notes, rich touches of pineapple, and the tongue buckling hops that pierced right through to your soul. Huge flavor here that really did not stop. Very floral and fresh with an enormous bitter flair to it. Just and immense IPA by all accounts. Nice medium feel with a good solid crispness to it, this went down well.

Overall I am very glad I got to try this one, it was truly one of a kind and one of the most bitter IPA's I have had in recent memory. Would love to do this one again.

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Photo of mat
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tried this on tap at The Armsby Abbey at the meet the brewer night. Poured a nice golden color with a largish head which dissipated and left a nice lacing on the glass. Lots of good hoppy aromas, very strong. At first all I could taste was the hops and was really questioning the Belgian IPA classification. As I continued more Belgian yeast characteristics emerged. The drinkability is okay, at 8.5% I really only wanted one. I would love to see this brewed again and bottled.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.61/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a clear, bright, golden body with a smallish, sudsy, white head.

Smell: While you do detect a light, understated maltiness, it's mostly (an audacity of) hops, with deep notes of pithy citrus fruits, grasses, pine flowers, and gooey resin.

Taste: Starts with faintly bready, crackery malts with a mild, brief sweetness and small zip of rye. This sets you up for the intense hop flavors of white grapefruit pith, crushed pink peppercorns, freshly-mown grass, and distilled pine resin. Very pronounced bitterness as the somewhat delicate malts can only do so much to counter the hops. There are some mild hints from the yeast but, for me, the heavy hop additions have almost completely overshadowed the lesser Belgian yeast characteristics. Finishes as dry and staunchly bitter as one might expect from an audacity of hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Certainly a beer for the hopheads out there. It's about as caustic and bitter as I can stand without having to tap out on the mat. Though, having said that, I was happy and relieved this was available in a sensible twelve ounce format, as finishing anything bigger might prove to be a daunting task. Even with the lone twelve ounces, it might be best to share this with a friend. Or as dear Samwise Gamgee might say, "Share the load."

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at PPRBSG09. Pours a clear yellow with a white head. Aroma of citrus hops and caramel malt. Flavor of sweet melon, citrus, with a bitter hops finish. Hmm, I thought this was just a regular IPA when I had it, although now I can see how there were some Belgiany notes in there too. Pretty decent.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on-tap at publick house in brookline, ma, on april 21, 2009, during the week of the craft brewers conference.

deep straw w brown amber tones. very hazy. creamy head fades to wisps. some thin rings of lace here and there

aroma: lots of fresh pine and grapefruit. passion fruit? bready malt underneath but faint.

taste: fresh pine and grapefruit again, but with more of the rind this time. passion fruit note more apparent. sweet and fruity from the hops and possibly the yeast, into the bready malt with another hint of yeast. bold and resinous bitterness but crisp and lingering.

light body, quite sharp with resins and carbonation though.

bold american hopping is nice, although seems to blunt out the belgian yeast character more than should be for it to still be classified as a "belgian ipa".

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Photo of ScarletLady
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. Had to split a bottle amongst 4 people...share & share alike and drink it from a plastic up. I was really glad for the opportunity. the nose isn't as hoppy as the taste. Soapy, nicely bitter with a hint of salt on the finish. Somewhat creamy and smooth on the tongue. Drank it a room temp to get the most out of it. So complex my tongue is still riddling it out.

Really liked it, too bad it isn't available.

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Photo of PEBKAC
3.15/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to the 4-finger beer bandit for the opportunity.

Open front slit, black cardboard box laden with fireworks & a significant write-up/explanation on the back side. Looks more like a really big New Year's Eve popper then a bottle of beer. :P

A cautious pour into my sampling mug, a stiff dollop of off-white head that eventually melts into a golden wheat colored body.

Smell is intense right off the bat. Not eye-watering hops though. A potpourri of soapy florals & fresh/sharp citrus rind. Orange & lemon oils seem to separate off a little. Invigorating, but a bit overly peppery.

On taste, juicy hops accompanied by sugary malt. Alcoholic, spicy, & a bit itchy. The massive list of ingredients condenses down into a perfumey herbal soap. Plenty of carbonation there at least, accelerating all the resin, & scratching at my sinuses. A lingering, green finish.

Too much of a messy potluck for me to really enjoy. Thin enough to quickly put down that I can see it working on some levels, but really not my idea of good stone soup.

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Photo of nickfl
4.39/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - One finger of white foam on a slightly hazy, golden body. The head settles quickly but leaves decent lace.

S - Strong fruity hops, citrus and pineapple. A backbone of toasted malt with some bready character.

T - Sweet with fruity, spicy hop flavor notes of pepper, orange and pineapple. Moderate bitterness comes in next with toasty, sweet malt. The finish is spicy with sweet malt notes and fruity hops competing with assertive bitterness, spicy alcohol notes, and a nice, smoky tobacco character.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish with just a hint of hoppy astringency.

D - A nicely balanced, fruity and drinkable IPA. The belgian character is not overly strong, as any spice and fruit notes from the yeast blend with similar characteristics form the hops. The hop character is excellent, with a strong aroma and flavor as well as smooth, balanced bitterness. Overall a very nice beer, too bad I can't get any more.

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Photo of u2carew
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A) Golden to bronze in color. Thin, creamy head - moves to the outside edge and presents some nice lacing. Good transparency.
S) Hop aroma liken to Cascade mixed with a slight malty sweetness. The floral notes are pleasant.
T) Good blend of hop bitterness and malty sweetness. At the beginning of the aftertaste there is an unidentifiable earthy "funk" - good but weird.
M) Creamy. Smooth. Medium body.
D) A great IPA... the weird funkiness in the aftertaste might deter me after a pint or two.

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Photo of twelvsies
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad to have the opportunity to try this collaborative brew. Hazed yellow in a nice shapely glass, big foamy and very thick and dense head. Rings all the way down the glass with each sip. Smell is just out of control hops. Really smells like when you go to the homebrew store and stick your nose in a pouch of hops. Taste is much the same, totally hoppy, but somehow balanced by a nice caramel malt and a nice fruity Belgian yeast presence. It is almost too hoppy. I can't believe I'm saying that as a lover of all big flavors but it almost tastes more like a hop pellet than the desirable flavors imparted by hops. Still, it's unique and I dig it. Smooth on the palate and really very drinkable. Wish this would be around for longer. A great beer for a great occasion.

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Photo of DrDogbeer
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at Union Brewhouse- quite a treat. Served in a thin tulip glass. Pale yellow color but almost had a neon hue to it, with a huge white head. The barkeeps were having trouble keeping the head in check when pouring it. Smells were dominated by the hops. Some light citrus and minty hop aromas. Taste was the same, at first. Then the belgian yeasty flavors come through. Some light spiciness and pepper come through. Very interesting. Drying mouthfeel but the hops come through again at the end for a bit of bitterness. Good beer, very original.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Deep Ellum, Allston this past weekend. Served in a Unibroue glass. Huge white head. Maize color body. Not quite opaque, but not quite clear body. Can smell the hops right up front. Interesting flavor. Hops dominate the mouth, but there is that subtle bit of Belgian sweetness that appears in there to tone down the hops just a tad so I can enjoy it. Very smooth finish. Served in small portions, I could drink a couple of these. But for a hop head, it could be an all night affair. I would consider this more of a Belgian IPA than the way it was described on the menu (to paraphrase) as a Belgian style hoppy tripel. Another high quality creation from CBC though.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3-finger eggshell head from last of the now-kicked keg at CBC on January 2, 2009...served in a goblet. Light honey/lemon zest body - solid lacing.

Big, soapy, floral grapefruit hops with mild crystal malt boiliness - big, BIG hops and slight yeast electricity.

This one fits the part - huge floral citrus/grapefruit hoppiness with only a tiny hint of Belgian yeast and accompanying esters (coriander and slight orange zest). Malt is there but is only part of the supporting cast.

Good palate feel - slightly tight on the finish - not quite one-dimensional but this is all about the hops.

Not quite a sipper but lots of power. Anyone's political leanings aside...damn, this is good.

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Photo of yossarian14
4.74/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a tasty and interesting concoction. Like nothing I've had to date. This beer flips the Belgian IPA mutant-style onto its ass and brings us an ultra-hoppy IPA with the Belgian characteristics taking the back seat. The fruity Belgian yeast is there in the finish but a big simcoe-heavy, West Coast hop aroma and flavors dominate, staying on the palate until your next sip. Lots of pine in the taste as well. The 8.5% keeps me from drinking this all night. A must try for hopheads.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one a few days ago while visiting friends in Boston. At the pub, in a teardrop glass. These are the notes from the back of my coaster:

"Appearance: Medium tawny straw w/ white 1/2 inch head, gripping the glass.

Aroma: CA-style hop profile, citrus, pine, lots of pine!

Palate: Medium- to-light carbonation, med. body, marmalade on oak, Belgian spice note on finish?

Notes: Simcoe dominates this beer, palate and nose. I wish there was more Belgian character, but it gets overrun by the delicious hops. A overall, B+/A- given style claims."

I could drink this beer all night. The only complaint is that the Belgian characters are just whitewashed by the huge, and I mean huge amount of hops!

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Photo of EPICAC
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The description is awesome, but I didn't write it down. It's not on the website yet, hopefully soon.

I have to admit, I have mixed feelings about Belgian IPAs. I love the concept, and I've enjoyed most of the Belgian IPAs that I've tried. However, most of the examples that I've had seem to be more like a heavily hopped Belgian Strong Pale Ale/Tripel rather than a true fusion of the styles. The characteristic Belgian flavors still seem to dominate. The hops are evident, but aren't the focus, nothing about them really makes me think IPA.

The Audacity of Hops is what I've wanted in a Belgian IPA. Lots of hop flavor with the Belgian characteristics providing the balancing backbone of the beer. The hops seem like the focus rather than an afterthought. You may disagree, but this is what I think a Belgian IPA should be

The Audacity of Hops pours a deeply cloudy golden. Topped by a thick white head that thins to a film leaving sheets of lace.

The aroma says IPA more than Belgian. The citric and resiny hop aromas are most evident, with a bit of underlying Belgian yeast fruitiness.

The malts start sweet with bready and caramel notes. The center is fruity, with notes of banana. The finish has a yeasty and peppery kick. The hops are noticeable throughout, but really become strong in the finish with nice resiny and herbal hop flavors that linger in the aftertaste along with a pleasing bitterness. Medium-bodied, with a bit of oiliness from the hops, and a good amount of carbonation without being overdone.

Hoppy, but balanced well. Crisp and drinkable. Like I said, this is what a Belgian IPA should be.

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The Audacity Of Hops from Cambridge Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 618 ratings.
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