Hop Bullet | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Hop BulletHop Bullet
BA SCORE
3.97/5
Very Good
784 Ratings
Hop BulletHop Bullet
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
sierranevada.com

Style: American Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with a double-barreled blast of Magnum hops and lupulin dust.

Hops are the name of the game with a Double IPA, but we knew we had to take it one step further. With Hop Bullet, we’re using a new technique, hitting the beer with a double-barreled blast of Magnum hops and lupulin dust—pure, concentrated hop flavor—directly into the tank to emphasize the intense pine and citrus flavors of classic West Coast hops.

BEGINNING GRAVITY: 17.6° plato
ENDING GRAVITY: 2.4° plato
BITTERNESS UNITS: 60
YEAST: Ale yeast
BITTERING HOPS: Magnum
FINISHING HOPS: Centennial, Cascade, Chinook, Magnum, Crystal
MALTS: Two-row Pale, Wheat, Dextrine, Chocolate, Acidulated

Added by jeff1973 on 07-12-2017

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#9,472
Reviews:
261
Ratings:
784
pDev:
7.81%
 
 
Wants:
9
Gots:
204
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 784 |  Reviews: 261
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

really good beer. its great to see these guys doing so much new hoppy stuff lately. i really like the fresh hop cans, and this one is nice too, even though i dont want to see a spring seasonal in december, its just not necessary, but that is my only critique of this beer, and its not even a critique of the beer itself, its excellent stuff, one of their best in ages, and i reckon another step toward the lupulin powder thing really becoming mainstream. its golden orange brassy and shiny in the glass, exquisitely clear, under a full inch of gorgeous white head, creamy and snowy and lasting, bubbles creeping slowly to the surface, this thing looks amazing. the nose is brightly hoppy, with a soft citrus profile, vegetal fresh bitterness, and a ton of fruit suggestions to it, but the flavor is really where its at! its sort of classic sierra nevada for the first half, but then there is this glowing wash of mango and mandarin orange that arise out of nowhere and totally turn me on through the finish, must be the lupulin dust, because i sure dont know magnum to taste like this, not in the least. white wine and pine too, but the mandarin and mango really lead, but most of these flavors come at or even after the swallow, unique for this to me the most prominently hoppy moment in this way, its just awesome. fuller bodied but not real sweet and certainly hiding its strength really well. one of the better sierra nevada releases in a long time, and while i wish they would wait a few months before putting out a spring seasonal (this in fact contributes to the problem of seasonal creep), i genuinely enjoy the beer! well done!

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Photo of jaydoc
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Knapp85
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of metter98
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short white head that quickly died down, leaving some patches of bubbles on the surface, a narrow collar around the edge, and some specks of lacing running down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of orange citrus hops are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of orange citrus from the hops along with notes of pine resin and hints of pineapples. The pine lingers a bit into the finish. There is a moderate amount of associated bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I liked the flavors imparted by the lupulin dust as they made the beer taste a little "juicy". As any traces of alcohol were well masked from the taste, it drinks rather well for an Imperial IPA.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of biboergosum
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle - not much exposition necessary here, other than to say that I am really looking forward to this one! Oh, and it still amuses me to no end that they feel the need to print 'use bottle opener' on the cap.

This beer pours a clear, medium golden yellow colour, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly off-white head, which leaves some stellar wafting cloud form lace around the glass as it slowly sinks out of sight.

It smells of dank pine resin, bready and grainy caramel malt, muddled domestic citrus rind, and further leafy, herbal, and gently perfumed floral green hop bitters. The taste is gritty and grainy caramel malt, some blood orange, red grapefruit, and lemon citrus flesh, a hint of house yeast, and more zippy leafy, floral, and resinous pine verdant hoppiness.

The carbonation is average in its workaday frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and mostly smooth, with nothing really getting in the way of a swell time at the moment. It finishes trending dry, the malt faltering, while the mixed hop bitters mill about, as if looking for a place to happen.

Overall - this 'hop bullet' seems to be more of the rubber variety, i.e. it gets the point across, but doesn't exactly kill, if you get my drift. Not bad, and it sports its 16-proof booze quotient well, but there's just something lacking, and I'm at a loss as to what it is.

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Photo of superspak
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 12/23/2017. Pours slightly hazy medium golden yellow color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky white head with awesome retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, peach, pineapple, apricot, mango, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, pepper, pine, wheat, cracker, white bread dough, light honey, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/fruity/earthy hops and moderate pale malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, peach, pineapple, apricot, mango, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, pepper, pine, wheat, cracker, white bread dough, light honey, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Moderate pine, citrus peel, herbal, grassy, peppery bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, peach, pineapple, apricot, mango, lemon/orange peel, citrus rind, pepper, pine, wheat, cracker, white bread dough, light honey, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/earthy hops and moderate pale malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and zero lingering hop astringency after the finish. Fairly crisp/clean finishing. Moderate increasing dryness from bitterness. Medium carbonation and light-medium body; with a very smooth, moderately bready/grainy, and sticky/resinous balanced mouthfeel that is fantastic. Zero warming alcohol for 8%. Overall this is an excellent DIPA. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/earthy hops and moderate pale malt flavors; very smooth, crisp, clean, and easy to drink with the modestly bitter/drying finish. Really old school feeling DIPA, and surprisingly light on body for the ABV. Dank, earthy, and vibrant classic C hops; with just enough pale malt to balance the bitterness. Never overly aggressive. A bit vegetal/green peppery tasting, but I really enjoyed the hop profile. A very enjoyable offering.

 2,184 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Initial impression from a bottle at a beer tasting:

B / GOOD

***
2018.01.01 2nd impression from another bottle:

"Double IPA" per the label. Spring seasonal. Brewed with Magnum hops and lupulin dust. 8.0% ABV.

Served cold into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

APPEARANCE: Pours a frothy white head atop a clear yellow-copper body. Clean in appearance; obviously filtered. Retention is quite good for the ABV - ~8 minutes. Appears well-carbonated.

A classic imperial IPA appearance with no obvious faults.

AROMA: Very fresh and fragrant. Floral hop aromatics, hop oils, hop resin, "green"/ripe fruit, herbaceous hop aromatics, evergreen. No pine, citrus, or grapefruit.

Pale malts/2-row is all I get in terms of malt aromatics...luckily, there doesn't seem to be a crystal or caramalt malt presence.

Aromatic intensity is above average. Promises a balanced but hop-emphatic ale.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Quite hop-forward with concomitant bitterness; I'm not convinced Magnum was a great choice of hop as it brings a bit too much bitterness into play for the 2-row malt backbone to withstand. Floral, somewhat herbaceous, and draggingly resinous but not citrusy, fruity, piney, or oily.

Rough on the palate, dragging in its coarseness. Slightly scratchy. Full-bodied. Unrefreshing. Overcarbonated.

I remembered this being more balanced, but my impression from this bottle isn't terrific. I like that it goes for hop pungency, but you've got to have a malt foundation capable of erasing any overt hop bitterness with concomitant sweetness and this doesn't.

OVERALL: I'd like to revisit this one if only because I really enjoyed it the first time around. My second bottle from the same sixer was consumed just over a week after the first one and I'm finding the beer pretty imbalanced though not undrinkable. I'll enjoy finishing it, but it's not on par with, say, Lagunitas Sucks.

High C+ / ABOVE AVERAGE

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Photo of Boone757
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of zeff80
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Poured out a clear, orange-amber color with a small, off-white head of foam. It smelled of pine and tropical fruits. Sweet toasted caramel with pineapple, orange and grapefruit flavors.

 198 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Just a slight bit of haze in the amber colored liquid; the head builds to well over two fingers and settles in, leaving shards all around the glass

Smell: Graham cracker malt underpins the grapefruit, passion fruit, key lime and pine tones

Taste: As with the aromatics, the graham cracker provides a slight sweetness that lingers from start to finish; the key lime and passion fruit lead off the hop parade, with the grapefruit and pine adding bitterness, through the middle; the finish is all about the hops, with a nice blend that is tempered by the lupulin powder

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: With this beer, Sierra Nevada moves into the new world of IPAs while keeping one foot firmly rooted in the heritage of their past

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of LXIXME
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of dbrauneis
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of paulish
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of vfgccp
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of smithj4
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada "Hop Bullet Double IPA"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "PKGD 12/13/17 0850"
$1.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: "...Magnum hops and lupulin dust..." Interesting. I'm not sure what they mean by lupulin "dust" but I'm curious. Also, this is a spring seasonal. Hmmm. OK, so it's poured a slightly hazy golden body beneath a good sized head of pillowy off-white foam that's slowly dropped to become creamy. Sheets of broken lace cover the entire area where the head originally was. On to the aroma... I'm not finding it very bold. In fact, without having one in front of me, I might guess that their standard pale ale has more aroma, or at the very least the same amount. It's floral, slightly piney, just mildly citrusy, and a touch herbal. There's some nice, lightly sweet malt to it as well. The flavor is probably much fuller though with a solid 8.0% ABV so let's see... hmmmm, yes and no. Yes, it's certainly fuller than the aroma suggests, and there's a nice note of orange in there as well, but no because it's not really that much fuller. In fact, this is one of the softest double IPAs I've ever had, which is actually a good thing. It doesn't have that hop bite you sometimes get - it's remarkably smooth. I could drink a lot of this, to my own detriment - dangerous beer! It doesn't even seem that bitter although I see that it's got 60 IBUs to it, but that makes sense as a lot of standard IPAs are 60 to 70 and this has more of a malt component to it. Wow, pretty nice. Sometimes DIPAs are also sweet at the same time, balanced by a fuller bitterness but kind of like a see-saw and that's not the case here, the sweetish malt is balanced right off of the bat. It's medium bodied with a light dextrinous edge, and gently crisp with a moderate carbonation. Again, really easy to drink. The alcohol does appear though, showing it's strength in the finish, so you know you're not just drinking a malty pale ale. I'm impressed, it's very refined, a bit of a "velvet hammer" if you will. For fans of double IPA where the malt is just as important as the hops, and a big slap of hops isn't necessary to open your eyes, this one's a winner.

 2,198 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle with a 38 July 2017 canning date stamp.
Pours with a slightly hazy honey colored body topped by a short but durable white head. There was a little sediment on the bottom of the bottle.
Medium carbonation in a smooth, medium body.
Light-medium bitterness for style. The aroma has lots of pine but the flavor has also hints of bready grains and citrus with a touch of floral.

 390 characters

Photo of jgunther71
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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Hop Bullet from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 784 ratings