Hop Heathen | Hoppin' Frog Brewery

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Hop HeathenHop Heathen

Brewed by:
Hoppin' Frog Brewery
Ohio, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by VncentLIFE on 04-15-2012

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Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 246
Photo of MasterSki
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Binny's Lakeview. Served in a plastic cup on Freddy's boat. Guessing this is about two months old, even though it only reached Chicago shelves recently.

A - Tan foam settles to a thin cap and splotchy lacework. Very dark near-black body, with some brownish glints to it.

S - A nice mixture of brown sugar, milk chocolate, citrus and piney hops, and dank herbs.

T - This is the kind of Black IPA that I like - lots of chocolate, caramel, and mild roast characters in the malt bill, but without the astringent black malts found in many beers of this style. Pleasant piney hop bitterness, and perhaps a touch of citrus.

M - Medium body that's sufficiently hefty for the 8.8% ABV. Moderate carbonation, creamy texture, and a fairly dry finish. Not much alcohol presence considering this is more of a double Black IPA.

D - Really nice beer - kind of wish I'd gotten to it a tad fresher, but the malt bill was interesting enough to support the beer when given a chance. Not terribly priced for Hoppin' Frog either at $9.99.

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Photo of Jesse13713
4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my good buddy Aw Yeh for splitting this beer with me on such a pleasant, cool, summer night.

Appearance - The yellowish/brown yeast looks like dying stars in an otherwise brownish/black sky. As the brew settles, the yeast comes to a lonely standstill. Appears thick and chunky. Laces very nicely to the glass with a thin milky film over top.

Smell - Much sweeter of a scent than expected. Reminiscent of chocolate milk. The hops remain primarily under a thin cloak, though there bitterness seeps through a bit. Contains the chocolate-esque properties of a stout in the smell, which is surprising for it being a black ale. A lightly roasted oaky smell that is very pleasant.

Taste - Has many qualities that remind me of a lighter stout. The taste, though, is most certainly full-bodied and pact with succulent deliciousness. A nice, light strike of ethanol ignites flavors of oily chocolate milk, unsweetened dark chocolate, and faint hops. The bitterness of the hops is well-balanced with the rest of the woody chocolate notes.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability - Slightly oaky wood slides into a slightly syrupy intervention of bittersweet dark chocolate and hops. The hops grow more bitter the longer the beer sits on the tongue. This is definitely more of a dessert beer. It is the perfect balance between a stout and an IPA.

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Photo of maximumu13
3.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got at the brewery while grabbing some 2012 BA Naked Evil

A: Pours a dark black with a light brown head

S: Super piney and resiny not sure what else could penetrate that smell

T: Starts off with the pine with a great transition to nice subtle roasted malt flavor and a nice finish, just a bit of bitterness at the very end of the flavor after its been swallowed

M: Light Im not sure what the mouthfeel is supposed to be for a black IPA but it doesn't negatively affect this beer

O: In words I think this beer seems unbalanced or disjointed but when I drink it I don't feel that way at all this is a great beer and definitely worth a try if you see it

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep black with ruby mahogany brown highlights, forms a thick tan khaki head. Fine even lacing forms as it fades down, to the body. Aroma has earthy piney big hop accents, with dark roasted malts bringing out hints of caramel and dark coffee roasts. Hints of dark chocolate, herbal leaf and tobacco notes. Flavors are big roasted malts and herbal leafy hops combining nicely on the palate. Roasted malts, dark coffee, dark chocolate flavors combine with herbal leafy earthy hop bitterness, very nice cohesion here. Often times these black ales tend to clash a good bit. The mouthfeel is silky smooth with a bit of heat in the back end nice linger bitterness from the herbal hops, coexists with the the dark roasted malts just fine. Overall a big hoppy beer that will be well worth the investment if you come across the newest Ohio black ale I've seen on the market.

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Photo of AJStank
4.7/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Very dark. Head is light brown, starts out about a finger thick and retains a thin head throughout. Some lacing left behind.

S-Mmmm mmm! Roasted malts, chocolate dominate the aroma and then the hops come out to play. I'm getting a lot of pine as well as the citrus notes. Smells really great.

T-Just fantastic. Plenty of the roasted malt comes through with the chocolate on the back-end. Despite the 70 IBUs, the hops do not dominate the flavor and instead add just the right amount of spice to the flavor.

M-Smooth drinking, medium carbonation. Easy to drink even at 8.8%

O-So I might be a bit biased because I really like what Hoppin Frog does, but if you see this beer, try it! I'm fortunate enough to live 30 min. from the brewery and I had a hard time not stocking up on this one. Very impressed and I hope that they make this a mainstay in their lineup.

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Photo of prototypic
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hop Heathen pours a dark mahogany brown color. It’s reminiscent of dark chocolate. It’s not opaque. Backlighting shows some nice garnet highlights at the edges. A tan head rises to about a finger in height before falling back. Retention was definitely on the shorter side. Lacing was a little sticky, but very light overall.

The nose is good. It kicks off with a nice mix of dark malts. There’s a bit of roasted, chocolate, and sweet caramel malt. Hops follow quickly and are very aggressive. They feature mostly citric notes of grapefruit, pineapple, and orange. There’s definitely a piney aspect there, as well. Hops definitely take center stage in this one. The malts add a nice dimension, but they’re clearly secondary in the overall mix. Alcohol is noted, but doesn’t come through too strong.

The flavor is excellent. Very impressive. The malt base is diverse. It features a mix of bittersweet dark chocolate, sweet caramel, and roasted malt flavors. It’s an excellent base. Hops are definitely strong and flavorful. Grapefruit and pineapple flavors are noted throughout. They’re certainly piney, as well. They do add a nice bitter kick to the flavor. It’s balanced to some degree by the malts, but it remains a little bitter. Roasted coffee and charred barley emerge on the tail. Alcohol is blended well for nearly 9%. It’s not warm or hot at all. Finishes hoppy and slightly charred.

Hop Heathen has a medium body. Carbonation seems active, but feels nice and soft. It goes down smooth and easy for a bigger beer. Perhaps a little too easy for its size. This bomber is not much of a challenge.

Hop Heathen is a really nice release from Hoppin’ Frog. I continue to be impressed by their beer. Two things you can count on from Hoppin’ Frog doing right – big stouts and hoppy beers. This one falls into the latter category, but does feature some really nice dark malt flavors. Very good stuff. Summon the heathen in you and find a bottle! You’ll be glad you did!

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another black ale for me try, now that I’ve had more experience with the style: Hop Heathen. This one’s new, too; let’s see how Hoppin’ Frog does it.

A: Dark black, as thick as a stout, with a good inch or so of tan head. Light retention and a little bit of lacing.

S: Chocolate and lots malty goodness to start with; syrupy with some hints of nutmeg and maple syrup. Dark and rich, not very roasty, but with that anise astringency that I’ve come to expect from the style. A bit of pine hoppiness, too. Not bad at all.

T: Damn roasty! Campfire, chocolate malts, and pine give off a good bitter flavor, joining with a light fusel taste from the alcohol (though it could be the anise popping up again). Maple is not as pronounced here, but there is some caramel and syrup in the maltiness. Just a hint of dark fruits peek out in an imported coffee flavor, a quite acidic presence, before the molasses rolls out. Finishes with a taste of dates, rum, and a slight toasted dryness.

M: Astringent and syrupy, almost like cough syrup. It hits the tongue with a profile of thickness and chewiness – pretty thick. The drying-out comes pretty quick, which turns this into more of a bitter-forward beer.

O: Well-balanced: every flavor has its time in the spotlight. If I were Hoppin’ Frog, I’d keep this beer year-round; it’s excellent.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a half inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The brew smells like pine and citrusy (grapefruit) hops, roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, and some coffee. I think the taste is pretty much just like the aroma, but the flavors seem to be stronger overall in comparison to the aroma. There's also a nice lingering bitter hoppy and roasty finish. Good balance between the hops and malt in both the aroma and flavor. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating and a bit sticky with moderate carbonation. Overall, I think it's a very good brew. $9.99 a bottle, I'd certainly buy this again in the future.

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Photo of SudSavant
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma 9/12
The aroma is not as strong as I would have hoped for considering that this brew utilizes some ingredients that are quite easily accessible to olfaction. Pine is readily present as is a grapefruit citrus, but otherwise fairly clean as far as hops go with the exception of a distant, peppery, spice note. As this beer warms the malts take over and they do a fine job. The dark roast is first and initially seems somewhat mild (relative for the style) until the cocoa aroma blends with it and brings a bit of toffee along for the ride. The three together are an excellent harmony. Granted, I'm on the tail end of a cold, so my sniffer might not be 100%, but I can still breathe rather well through my nose, so I assume everything is in working order. Boy! Do those cocoa and toffee scents really ratchet things up as the beer warms! Even the ABV shows up to play! Spectacular. I only wish it was a more powerful smell, because what they have here they should be proud of.

Appearance 3/3
All things appear to be black as night in this IBA, but when held to a window, the bottom of my glass revealed a nice coffee brown hue and even a ruby glint or two! Unexpected and welcome! The head is just over a finger high and the same creamy texture and tan shade you might find on top of a Guinness (ok, so initially it's more soapy). It leaves a little lacing on the way down and maintains a higher than average retention.

Flavor 19/20
You're given a brief warning shot of cocoa and toffee before being flooded with burnt, roasted malts and a resinous hop. It's a great combination that is bitter and means business, even if it is eventually cut with a lactose. In any case, they settle down a bit and allow other flavors to play their part. The resinous hops also show a piney note and the toffee comes in to sweeten the lot. The reprise of the toffee is gently brought in, as well as an occasional, very authentic grain note, like toasted whole wheat bread (you know, the good kind with the nuts in it). As it is held in the mouth the charred, bitter malts are primary, but now bring a strong, peppery spice with them that settles all over the surface of the tongue. The finish enjoys the strongest collaboration of the brew as the pepper, charred notes, prickly alcohol warmth, and hop bitter all come together at just the right time and the result is fantastic! All those flavors even allow for a bit of the hops' grapefruit to peek out and truly showcase the complexity of this beer. Can't say enough about this beer's finish! The aftertaste is bitter and in a way that is more char and less hops. It doesn't linger long though and I attribute that to the other hops characteristics present in this beer. Please ensure that you only drink (or serve) this beer lightly chilled. Even as this bottle warms, the beer as a whole becomes so much sweeter as the toffee and lactose sugars become increasingly bold.

Mouthfeel 5/5
I'd say that the carbonation is dead on for this brew, even down to the end of the bottle. I also enjoy a lot of the tactile sensations that the beer gives: the eventual warmth, the peppery prickle, and the moderate-full body. Nothing is distracting and the things that are distinct go well together and contribute to the overall experience.

Overall Impression 9/10
The beer starts out as a solid IBA, but as it warms it truly sets itself apart as the sweetness of the contributing flavors rises to the level of the primaries and creates a more balanced, delicious beer that is both dark and hoppy. I've had some IBAs before, but this one seems to stand alone. It has slightly less sweetness that some of the super-agressive IPAs have (120 Minute, etc), an equal alcohol presence, much less hop profile, but replaces the majority of that hop profile with dark, roasted malty goodness. Excellent technical qualities (appearance & mouthfeel) only add to the experience.

Total 45/50
While IBAs might not be my favorite style on the planet, it would be impossible to deny that this is a damn tasty beer. Now is this beer all hops? Despite the name, no. Rather, they are presented in a fashion that most are not accustomed to (including myself). Allow me to explain: most hop-laden beers are several groves worth of citrus, a pine tree or two, some grass, and a healthy dose of resin. This brew focuses instead on the hop spiciness and a lesser amount on the resinous quality. In fact, I get more of the dark malts than I do the hops. That said, hop heads might be a bit disappointed if they are looking for nothing but hops. However, those open to tasty experiences regardless of the label's description will be pleased nonetheless.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
4.85/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. The bottle bears the now-familiar toasting frog, but this label has him grayed-out, rather than in color, with a black background that really makes this offering by Hoppin' Frog stand out compared to its other bottles. I wonder if the ale inside merits such special treatment!

Pours a dark, dark brown that is just a tinge of auburn away from being pure black. Starts with a good 1" head that reduces at a moderate pace, leaving tan lacing down the sides.

The smell is an interesting mix of piney hops and roasted chocolate malt. The chocholate malt gives this an almost coffee/mocha like aroma that overtakes the hoppiness as the brew sits.

Tastes phenomenal! The roasted malt gives this a thick, creamy taste that seemlesly melds into a piney hopped finish. Chocolate, everygreen, resin, and mild breadiness combine for a smooth, yet assertive taste. Finish is mildly bitter, but leaving the tongue somewhat dry. Coffee notes develop more as it warms, and while there are stout-like qualities to this brew, the hoppiness is more prominent, and the feel is a bit thinner. Almost more like a porter, but there is simply "more" here than you'd find in a typical porter.

Medium to full-bodied, this is smooth at the starts, with a sharper bite to finish.

An excellent brew, this is the second absolutely fabulous beer in a row I've had from Hoppin' Frog. Simply put, this small operation out of a warehouse in an industrial space outside Akron, Ohio is putting together some of the best beer to be found. Hop Heathen is a seasona/one-time release so far as I know, so absolutely grab it if you can. Still, if you can't, grab anything else you can find; you won't be disappointed!

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Photo of nrbw23
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a black color with a nice foamy brown colored head. Head becomes a thin layer of foam on top of the brew and leaves some nice lacing.

S- Quite a bit of hops here in the nose. Mostly tropical fruits and pine. Picking up some sweet malts, chocolate and quite a bit of roast.

T- Quite an awesome balance between the hops and malts. Nice and hoppy with a good amount of sweetness too. Good amount of chocolate and roast with a good amount of hops.

M- Medium in body and carbonation.

O- I really enjoyed this brew for sure. Its very solid.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am a fan of darkly roasted malts in beers. I am also a fan of palate striping hoppyness in a beer. Black Ales should be a natural to my taste buds. Its like chocolate and peanut butter. You put peanut butter in my chocolate. No you put chocolate in my peanut butter. Whats my point? Sometimes a black ale leaves me wanting more dark roasted malt or hanging on for more hops. Anyhow, this beer was chilled and served in a pint glass.

Ap- As promised the body of the beer is black. No opaqueness to light noted. The is a creamy nugget coloration. The head resolved to a short ring of foam. The lacing on the glass looks like the glass has been coated in pancake batter. So in short this beer looks very inviting.

S- The bottle claims an uncivilized amount of American hop spiciness. I am not really getting a notion of uncivilized hoppyness in the nose. Yes the beer delivers a nice hop aroma floral notes, citrus, grapefruit, a quick blast of pine. Actually the hops smell very inviting. As to the malt profile I am getting a nice milk chocolate, dark chocolate kick to go along with nice dark roasted malty flavors. Its almost roasted enough to suggest a lightly roasted coffee.

T- The beer is definately delivering the best of both hoppy and malty beers. Well balanced darkly roasted malts with chocolate flavors plenty of hops to go around delivering a counterpoint of bitterness and citrus / pine flavored notes.

M- Medium bodied very smooth. The carbonation is very gentle but by no means still.

O- I found this beer very satisfying. The flavors are well balanced. If this was bottled in six packs I would seek this beer out more often. Well played!

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Photo of TriedandTrueBrew
4.76/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great Great Beer!

The taste is a rich and complex malt character that is beautifully balanced hop flavor and bitterness. If I had to be picky about one thing... I would love a little more hop character in the aroma, but that would be it.

Love this beer!!!

Cheers friends!

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Photo of VncentLIFE
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a nice tan head. Smell is loaded with pine hops with a nice touch of grapefruit as well. The taste is bitter. Loads of bitter. Pine needles, dark chocolate, hop bitterness, and a bit of coffee throughout. Very complex all the way through.

Finishes bitter with that touch of grapefruit cleaning up a bit. Youll leave still in shock of everything going on.

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Hop Heathen from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
4.09 out of 5 based on 246 ratings.
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