Hop Bomb
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

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IPA - American
Ranked #4,317
Ranked #24,933
3.83 | pDev: 12.27%
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
United States
Very Good
View: Beers
Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 73 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of slee196
slee196 from Illinois

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall, a solid drinkable ipa that had some wheaty, earthy notes and had a dry finish. I had it from the River North, Chicago location and it was enjoyable. Unlike the name, it didn't have much of the hoppy presence.

Apr 19, 2018
Photo of JamieDuncan
JamieDuncan from Maryland

3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

ON draft in Bethesda Rock Bottom. Poured a nearly clear dark orange with off white head that was not very impressive. The aroma was rather strong, a nice balance of citrus and pine with even a little bit of floral hop in the background. Surprised me that I could pick up all 3. There also seemed to be just a bit of bread in the background. The flavor was similar to nose but a good bit more muted, you definitely get more of the malt but no sweet. The piney bitter comes in late but only lingers a touch. Light mouthfeel. Overall this was an okay IPA.

Jun 29, 2016
Photo of jwc215
jwc215 from Arizona

3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap in Milwaukee:

Pours dark amber with a thin lasting head that leaves lacing.

The smell is of citrus and a touch of pine with mild caramelized bread.

The taste is of citrus and some pine. Hops stand out but supported by a solid malt backbone. Long, dry finish.

Seemed more of an IPA rather than a DIPA - on the border I suppose. (That didn't affect the score, and doesn't really matter - close enough to fit the style anyway.

An enjoyable, hop-forward brew.

Oct 31, 2015
Photo of rjd722
rjd722 from Maryland

3.54/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the RB in Bethesda. Deep amber color with minimal head and no lacing. Somewhat piney, slight citrus, and malt aroma. Not really what I would consider a "hop bomb", but it's got some nice citrus taste coupled with woody hints. Somewhat sweet, malty, bitter mouthfeel but not whet I expected given the name.

Sep 04, 2015
Photo of Loveyourbeer
Loveyourbeer from Virginia

2.4/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

There was no hop profile in this hop bomb. I don't know what was wrong, but this was barely a pale ale, let alone an IPA. It tasted more like a blonde ale. Must have been a bad batch.

Aug 19, 2015
Photo of jdhchi
jdhchi from Illinois

4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at Rock Bottom..great smell and taste! Surprised its only 7% ABV considering the taste. Less than a finger worth of head but long lasting and I mean it was there on the last drop! Good lacing and color dark amber golden like. Plenty of hops make this one a real competitor and one to enjoy anytime. I would stop for another!

Jan 13, 2013
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

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

called hop bomb "c" at the westminster, co location. this is a nice big ipa. it pours clear and bright, orange to gold in color, with a nice two inches of white lace on top. the nose is fresh piney hops, bitter and bitey, with a lighter american malt profile. taste is more citrus than pine, despite the smell. grapefruit bitterness and lemon rind tartness combine nicely with a pale malt body. excellent carbonation and a lighter feel for what this is. drinkable and approachable for a big ipa. a good potential conversion beer for those who think they dont like hoppy beers, this is less offensive than most, but still featuring the hops well. for a chain beer, this one is pretty darn good.

Oct 29, 2012
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84 from California

1.74/5  rDev -54.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5


On tap at Rock Bottom La Jolla.

A: Copperish gold with a white head and some scattered lacing.

S: Oxidized bread with a little orange and pine. It really just smells like alcoholic metal and oxidized bread.

T: Again, oxidized bread with some harsh metallic notes. Good lord. The hops taste like nothing, though there is some alcohol in the flavor.

M: Medium in body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky and smooth.

Overall: Horrible.

May 19, 2011
Photo of katan
katan from Colorado

3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz into a pint

A - Pours a goloden color, with a lean towards straw. Very clear, filtered, brilliant. Lightly bubbly. Super strong head, bright white.

S - A balanced mix of caramel and toffee and american hops, floral and fruity. The hopping is not as bright as I would have expected.

T - Starts off lightly malty, some caramel, nutty notes. Mid-stream gets more balanced, with a restrained hop note. Turns a little bit husky in the finish, with even more nuttiness.

M - Solid body, stronger carbonation. Somewhat clingy and sweet at times. Light alcohol warmth.

O/D - Easy drinking. ABV is manageable for the style. Soemwhat filling at times. A little bit pedestrian.

Will have to try this again fresher.

Apr 10, 2011
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OBeerMeGreatOne from California

4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes out quite dark. The color is a deep amber with a moderate head. Decent lace.
A light scent. Caramel up with pine and citrus to back it.
The taste ups it a notch. Caramel, slight booze heat, citrus, a slight nuttiness and a touch of pine. Very smooth going down.
This was a beer I could enjoy. Very nice DIPA.

Mar 25, 2011
Photo of mrkrispy
mrkrispy from California

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

Had on tap at the La Jolla Rock Bottom in San Diego. That location has been turning out several tasty IPAs so I was excited to try this one (which appears to be a franchise-wide recipe?)

Nice golden and orange color. No haze. Minimal head.

Big hop aroma of citrus, pine, and floral. Great combo, it really jumps out.

Moderate level of carbonation. Clean base with a complex fruity and piney taste...the malt bill allows the hops to shine. Lots of lemon and grapefruit, some pineapple. A pleasant bitterness that lingers around. Again very clean, no higher alcohols/solvent flavors. The bitterness does not get overwhelming, so it is quite drinkable....several pints would be great.

A well constructed and complex IPA. Perhaps not innovative, but very well done. Not sure who the recipe is from in the Rock Bottom Family but the La Jolla crew brewed up a fantastic version. The Hop Bomb is a beer I'd love to have frequently.

Feb 25, 2011
Photo of alleykatking
alleykatking from Indiana

3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap....

A- Pours a clean coppery color. One finger white head shows poor retention. Light sheety lacing that turns into streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

S- Citrus hops right off the bat. Piney bitter hops seem to jump out next. Some caramel malts in the there that linger to and from in the nose. The ending has some light alcohol notes and more citrus hops.

T- Citrus hops dominate the front of the beer like in the nose. There is a light bitterness to offset the sweetness to the beer upfront. Middle of the beer has a nice clean malt taste which is lightly bready. This leads up to the ending of the beer which becomes a little more bitter one again with a nice clean alcohol taste. the bitterness of the beer is really balancing all the sweetness that is underlying with it.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Citrus hops and piney hops dominate everything in the palate and leave a oily resin over everything it touches. Aftertaste is mostly faded alcohol, bigger bitter hops, hints of citrus hops and faded malt. This beer is overall balanced for what it is not being either too bitter or too sweet. No off flavors were present at all. Medium high drying on the palate from the alcohol.

D- This IPA was worth trying and I would love to drink again. There is a nice balance to this beer but it is still bursting with a crispness from the hops that makes you actually want to drink it. A few flaws in the appearance and the aroma but a drinker never the less with the ABV being 7%. Alcohol is never an annoyance which I enjoyed a lot.

Feb 18, 2011
Photo of JamesS
JamesS from Indiana

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

Poured a nice light copper color with good head, but little lacing. Nice aroma with a huge citrus (pineapple and grapefruit) scent. Excellent thick malt sweetness with a wonderful huge citrus-pineapple hop flavor that lasts on the tongue. Slight hop roughness and alcohol heat, but still goes down well.

Feb 09, 2011
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz from New Jersey

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

Pours a nice orangy amber color, good retention and lacing from the cap of soapy white head. Scent is packed with piney hops with notes of grapefruit, flowers and grain in the background. First sip is pleasently bitter, not overpowering, good blend of the piney and grapefruity hops, touch of mango. Medium bodied, slightly overcarbonated. A great suprise from Rock Bottom, one of their best.

Dec 06, 2010
Photo of deapokid
deapokid from Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank at the bar on 11-26. Reviewed from notes.

Chalkboard above bar notes a birthdate of 11-24 and an ABV of 7.1%. Description states "Golden Simcoe-hopped IPA."

Pours a translucent golden/yellow with a thick white head and substantial lacing. Carbonation is extremely lively, making for a fun and visually appealing beer.

Aroma is packed to the brim with tough, alpha hops. This massive stank is balanced well by the accompanying mango and orange notes.

Taste is a bit of a shocker. Nearly all of the scratchy Simcoe hops in the aroma are nowhere to be found. What is on display is a creamy and orangey IPA with old mild hop scratch in the final moments and nearly nothing to balance the sweetness.

The smoothness can get you past the lack of floral/grassy notes and it's relatively easy to sip on, but something called Hop Bomb should be way more explosive.

Dec 04, 2010
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend from Washington

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

A: Poured a lighter gold color with good carbonation and a nice white head

S: Smells of caramel, biscuit, and pine

T: Tastes of grapefruit up front with a nice sweet caramel and biscuit backbone and a nice piney dry finish. Very hop assertive

M: Medium body with good carbonation. Crisp and sweet with a dry bitter finish. Easy to drink but just not that unique.

D: Good

Oct 13, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
emmasdad from Colorado

3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap a somewhat hazy copper color, with just the right amount good white foam on top. The nose here is all aromatic hops, orange peel and freshly mown grass. On the palate, again nothing but citrusy hops (tangerine, grapefruit, mandarin oranges) with no balancing malt whatsoever. Great hop flavors, but a bit thin for a DIPA. Pretty enjoyable, nonetheless.

Jun 17, 2010
Photo of Gobzilla
Gobzilla from California

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

On tap at rock bottom

A: poured a golden orange with yellow highlights and a finger of fluffy head that had good lacing.

S: nice piney hops with sweet malt hints of citrus fruits and caramel in the nose as well.

T: crisp refreashing piny hops up front with a pretty decent sweet malt balance and caramel citrus accents.

M: medium body with a good amont of carbonation that added to the overall taste and a crisp piney bitter finish.

D; drank very good and was a decent Ipa from rock bottom. Was really surprised with the quality of this beer.

May 31, 2010
Photo of Kadonny
Kadonny from Pennsylvania

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

Poured from tap at the brew pub into the Mug Club mug.

A: A hazy yellow golden color with a two finger white fluffy head. Glass lacing receeds back into the beer.

S: Citrus smells with some pine earth and a nice malt sweetness. Hops play major role here.

T: Citrus hops with orange, lemon and a bit of grapefruit coupled with a earthy spicy piney hop flavor. Very hoppy and very bitter. A slight malt sweetness holds it together, but the spicy biting hops leave your mouth tingling with bitterness. Great beer.

M: Full and prickly with lingering bitterness and low alcohol flavors, very nice.

D: High, damn they are good.

Overall another great beer done by Brian. His IPAs are fantasic there, kudos to him. If you have not gotten there, do so and enjoy the excellent beers he is brewing there.

Apr 28, 2009
Photo of gibby
gibby from Pennsylvania

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

On tap at King of prussia: Described as a golden ipa with centennial hops on the beer board, 7.5% abv.

Nice golden color with a soapy white head when it came over to me. Head went away within a few mins. Smelled alot of lemon, grapefruit and citrus all around. I also tasted alot of citrus qualities as well, especially lemon. Big time lacing on the glass. The hops are not too over powering but there is not much malt peeking through. I wouldn't say its balanced b/c it definitely leans towards the hops but its certainly not anything overpowering. I may be biased though b/c I love ipa/dipa's. Its a very hoppy IPA for sure and I liked it enough to have a 2nd pint. Recommended.

Apr 22, 2009
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

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

Without a doubt, the hoppiest beer that I've ever had at any Rock Bottom. The Head Brewer explained that the predominant hop used here is the Simcoe variety; and boy does it shine in this beer.

The beer shows with a solid golden-amber hue, mild haze and great head formation, retention, and lacing with eggshell tinted froathiness. A great IPA appearance.

The nose is domiated by citrus hops. Grapefruit, orange zest, and a lemony tough resinates throughout the brew. Softer grassy, piney note follow up and eventually pineapple, mangos, and strawberry jam show as the malty barley taste comes into play. The malts round out the aroma while contributing a subtle bready delivery system for the hops.

Hop flavor, as expected, dominate the beer. All the citrus notes hit the foreground while the softer, sweeter hops and barley take a quick backseat. A soft grain flavor compliment the hops well while adding just enough sweetness to keep the hops from being alone on an island. Light on esters, the yeast give a light bready taste that just add to the depth of the flavors.

Very well attenuated for a crisp, clean, refreshing malt profile. No distractions are needed from the strong bitterness that hit all parts of the tongue and throat, chasing the beer from nose to finish. A dryness ultimately takes the beer and leads to a resiny, citrusy finish.

This is a fantastic hop-dominant beer that showcase the Simcoe hops very well. A pleasure to drink. Maybe the best I've experienced at any Rock Bottom! Hat's off to the brewing staff.

Feb 17, 2009
Photo of oakbluff
oakbluff from Canada

3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap RB Minneapolis- nice frothy looking brew, light orange with white head. Nose is candied oranges and pine. Creamy body, good caramel malt backbone, piney finish, medium carbonation. Finishes smooth with dry citrus yet touch of malth sweetness. highly drinkable

Nov 15, 2008
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thoroughly hazed crimson appearance, a little towards peach in the look....slimmish, off-white head.

Bombastic hoppy nose...all sorts of pine and citrus blowing up in your face...and I did not pick those puns, they just blew out of me...Grapefruit, orange, banana, tangerine...and pine needles. And cream. Mmmm.

Taste: Bam! Boom! There it is, all over again, an explosion (I would've said that anyway) all over the tongue...and the booze creeps in a tiny bit...Fantastic stuff. Great on cask, but I never took notes from those tastings.
Moist, and bitter, and big and smooth...how is that possible? I keep drinking, and keep enjoying, the hops never quit and the body is right solid, square in the middle...Tons of hops in here, the Cascade, Centennial, & Amarillo variety, I think...just guessing...

Mouthfeel is right on, finish is long, and pleasantly hoppy.
I've bought 4 growlers of this, at $17 a pop, that should tell you how I like it!
Good one, Bryon!

Nov 06, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation from Iowa

4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Marvelously murky ochre capped by two fingers of sandstone colored cream. It's great the way the melted caramel center gradually blends into the brighter mandarin orange edges. The foam is tight-bubbled enough to last and sticky enough to blanket the pint glass with a thick coat of soon-to-be-crusty lace. So far, Hop Bomb is da bomb!

One whiff is all it takes to tell me that Town Hall isn't the only brewpub in Minneapolis capable of creating hoptastic beer. In the right hands, Centennial and Amarillo should result in a great DIPA. It looks like 'Bryon D. Tonnis, Brewmaster' (as the growler reads) has more than capable hands. Minimal caramel maltiness is blasted into oblivion by juicy pineapple, tangerine and pink grapefruit... oh my!

Hop Bomb is damn good beer if you like your DIPAs to be both sweet and hoppy. If we're shooting for perfection, though, even more biting resinousness and fresh hop flavor is needed. What was an easy 4.5 taste score after the first several mouthfuls is now threatening to become 4.0.

One positive is a massive malt backbone that is predominantly pale with caramel accents. One negative is alcohol that isn't buried as well as it could be. It's hard to complain too much, since it's easily ignored and doesn't intrude on my enjoyment in the least.

The tropical fruitiness of the hops comes across loud and clear. If my taste buds are any sort of reliable guide, the two hops were used in roughly equal amounts. The grapefruit zestiness of the Centennial plays beautifully off the orange and mango of the Amarillo. Good choices all the way around. I also love the fact that the finish is kept from being overly sticky by a burst of alpha acid shrapnel.

The mouthfeel is crushed velvet smooth, but also has a wonderfully raspy texture thanks to all the hops. Oily is another word that fits. Chewy is yet another. The carbonation is dead... solid... perfect.

Never mind my earlier waffling. Hop Bomb is great beer because it does what hop bombs are supposed to do. At least DIPA hop bombs. It's chock full of ingredients, has flavor to burn and is disappearing with remarkable ease. Thanks a million to feloniousmonk for this unexpected (and much appreciated) present that was thrust into my hand as we got ready to leave for Darkness Day. You da man, man.

Oct 29, 2008
Photo of spointon
spointon from Illinois

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

I had this one at the Rock Bottom Orland Park on 10/08/08.

A= This ale poured a slightly hazy dark golden color with a 3/4" white head. The head quickly dropped to 1/8" or so, but left incredible lacing down the glass.

S= Bursting with fresh and juicy citrus and pine hop notes. Some grass and malt backing in the aroma as well but definitely a hop dominant smell.

T= As one would expect with the name, this was one hoppy beer. Lots of West coast grapefruit and pine resin hop flavors throughout. Solid malt backbone arose in the middle only to dissappear in the dry bitter finish.

MF= Dead on for the style, medium body, crisp but not overdone carbonation.

D= Another outstanding brew from Iain. I feel that this is one of the beers he has successfully "dialed in". A treat for anyone interested in a fresh hoppy IPA.

Oct 10, 2008
Hop Bomb from Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 73 ratings