Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works

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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #3,869
Ranked #20,069
3.85 | pDev: 14.03%
Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works
Pennsylvania, United States
Very Good
Notes: Hop’solutely is a premium, flagship offering from Fegley’s Brew Works. This triple IPA has become a craft beer fan favorite. The addition of brettanomyces is the logical evolution of this brew. Brewmaster Beau Baden commented about Brett Hop’solutely, “We are excited to have this beer finally available after aging for nearly 4 months. This beer is fermented with 100% wild yeast (Brettanomyces). the wild yeast gives this beer a dryer flavor, light fruitiness and an effervescent finish. This beer weighs in at 11.5% ABV just like our regular version.”

We used Brett (brettanomyces – a wild yeast) to ferment Hop’solutely instead of regular brewer’s yeast, which typically ferments our beer. Brett yeast takes approximately 3 to 4 months to ferment Hop’solutely rather than 14 or so days with typical brewer’s yeast.
Reviews: 216 | Ratings: 636 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JohnniEMc
JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

It is ambitious to try to pack this much alcohol into a beer and not sacrifice what beer lovers like. I appreciate that the triple India Pale Ale designation serves as an alert to what this is. Not without malt and hop qualities, they get overwhelmed by the booze.

May 16, 2020
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ipaForever22 from New Jersey

3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What happened to my Hop'solutely? I used to love this IPA, a complex beer with subtlety and depth, not unlike DogFish Head 90 minute. I've been drinking Hop'solutely for years. Recently bought a six pack (from Fegley's restaurant in Bethlehem) and was very disappointed. The new batch has a sharp bite, too much fizz, and totally lacks the depth and complexity that I expected. Just to check, I compared this bottle with a bottle from last year's batch: even the color is different! Last year's brew was an amber-caramel color. This one is yellow. (I would upload the photo I took of the two side by side but I don't see how to do this in a review, but the comparison is shocking.) An A-B comparison between these two vintages left us astonished and saddened. Please bring back the old recipe, it was worth 4.6 in my opinion.

Jul 19, 2019
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haines710 from Delaware

3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I’ve never had a Triple IPA so I had to give this a shot when I saw a bottle at the supermarket. No date in the bottle. Poured into a pint glass. Didn’t get much citrus scent. Mostly clove and bitter. Taste was the same. Not a favorite. Bitter and boozy. Glad I’m drinking this late night. I won’t be looking for more

Sep 30, 2018
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EMV from Pennsylvania

3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Slightly cloudy golden pour. 2 fingers of fluffy white head. Solid ring of lacing.

S: Strong citrus and alcohol... sweet, malty, and mild pine.

T.F : Strong and malty... rich grains and sweet malts/alcohol. Bitter hops, citrus forward with milder pine and herb/spice. Sticky on the tongue... medium bodied and oily. Well balanced.. ABV not overly hidden.

O: A solid triple IPA. Boozy but flavorful and fairly balanced for what it is. Not one I'd want a lot of, but a nice big change of pace IPA.

Sep 17, 2018
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rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L---Hazy golden orange color. Thick yellowish/white head that faded quickly and left tremendous lacing.

S---Sweet & malty. More malts than hops, not that hops are missing. Grapefruit & a touch of orange.

T---Alcohol is noticeable. Mildly bitter. Fruity--grapefruit & maybe apricot. Very well balanced between hops & malt.

F---Noticeable alcohol. Juicier than expected for ABV. Mild carbonation.

O---A very nice, high octane IPA. Will definitely pick up more if I see it.

Aug 20, 2018
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JJKBeerLvr from Pennsylvania

4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into pint glass in November 2017. Packaged date of 6/12/2017 on the bottle, and drank less than 1 week after purchase.

Appearance: Deep gold body with thick light-tan head. Beer is cloudy as typical of an American IPA. Head is thick, and leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: Aroma filled with a strong hops aroma, and includes grapefruit, pepper, other citrus, and pine smells.

Taste: There is a noticeable bitter hops flavor, as expected from an American Double-IPA. There is good bite from the hops along with other flavors like citrus, and the hops bitterness is not overpowering. This is not as bitter as some other American IPAs, and there is a little sweetness. The aftertaste provides a variety of flavors over time. Not overly bitter or hoppy, and has a nice balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Strong alcohol, which matches the 11.5% posted.

This is a smooth medium-to-full-bodied beer, that is complex and enjoyable to drink. It is one of my favorite IPAs, and is very well balanced. The aftertaste is really enjoyable. I will definitely buy this again.

February 3, 2018 update:
Compared Hop Explosion to the brewery's Hop'solutely IPA. The Hop Explosion had a much larger head and more lacing. Both have citrus and pine aromas, but Hop Explosion has more sweetness, while the Hop'solutely has more bitter aroma. Both has good IPA bitterness with citrus flavors, but the Hop'solutely is more intense. The mouthfeel of the Hop'solutely is heavier and stronger. Overall I prefer Hop'solutely over Hop Explosion, but both are good, and Hop Explosion is a good daily drinker.

Nov 05, 2017
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therica from Maryland

4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I got a 64oz growler of this at Castle Liquor, Williamsport MD and immediately poured 6 ounces into a pint glass half an hour later at home.

A= Lovely golden clear color. Adequate white active head with plentiful lacing.
S= Nice malts, some hints of fruit. Not as much hoppy nose as one soon finds in the Taste.
T = Very bitter on the front of the tongue, then rather sweet on the back of the tongue. Somewhat dissonant for me but still an adventurous IPA. Someone suggested pineapple. Yes maybe I sense that, and or tart apple. Definitely some hints of fruit.
F= Not liking the dissonance of the nearly cloying sweet versus strong bitter although it's almost like a magic trick, bitter on the front of the tongue and sweet on the rear.
O= I'd drink this again but it doesn't make my list of favorites.

Sep 11, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This was poured into a snifter. The appearance was a nice hazy orange color with a moderate white quarter finger head. The head faded within about twenty seconds and left some light stringy lacing. The smell started off with a ton of citrus with a nice light dosing of pine and tropical fruit. The taste was basically the same but added a nice light sweet bready maltiness. On the palate, this one sat just a tad above medium on the body with a more of a sipping quality to it. Once again, I didn’t really find this too sessionable, and that was probably due to the fact that this one was just too high in ABV. Overall, for the most part this was a nice DIPA (er uhmmm...Triple IPA perhaps) as the alcohol isn’t noticed that much. I’d have this again.

Jun 08, 2017
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottled on 03/16/17

Pours clear amber orange with a dense creamy white foam head with good retention. Smells like mango nectar, papaya, melons, pineapple, grapefruit, tangerine, peach, slightly boozy toasted bready caramel malts, some toffee, with floral earthy herbal grass and dank resinous pine sap. Tastes like boozy toasted bready caramel malts, some toffee, mango nectar, papaya, melon, pineapple, grapefruit, tangerine, peaches, with bitter floral earthy herbal grass and dank resinous pine sap. Feels medium-light bodied, creamy and slick with moderate carbonation. Overall a nice and boozy triple IPA.

May 27, 2017
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ithacabaron from California

3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked a single up before I realized it was 11.5 percent ABV. Yikes. Well, let's see what's in store.

Pours with a bright, zesty Tang-like glow. Small bubbles gather up into a slim head that soon dissipates into film and lacing. Celebratory, and promising.

Aroma blooms out with a major aroma of underripe mangoes and candied orange peel. Mellow and blanketing. Bit of a jolly rancher glycerine thing going on as well. Rich and tropical.

Taste is surprisingly bitter and focused; after the pillow-like tradewinds on the nose, I expected a similarly diffuse flavor. Pinecones and cloves on the finish. No juice, no sugar. Incidentally, while you'd never think this was a session beer, the booze is fairly well balanced. A few sips in, however, you feel it.

Mouthfeel is nicely done. Not too flabby, not too sharp. Again, unexpected, and demonstrating skill with how much is going on here.

Overall, a surprising, mildly flawed, and unexpected delight! Drink it fresh; this is not a beer that's built to age. Will I be buying another? Probably not. But worth a try on your end.

Dec 24, 2016
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Sorcerer from England

4.85/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Let me tell you about this beer.
11.5 ABV

It's really really Good.

Been on a tear tasting a lot of East Coast IPL IPA and DIPA on a temporary visit to New England. Bravely picked up a 4-pack.

Poured into a frosty chilled pint glass.

Little or no foam. Really practically no head at all. No lacing. Nada. Not a clue as to what is going on. No legs.

First scent upon opening the 12oz bottle eagerly inhaling the nose spoke of bananas, pineapple, birch sap, maple syrup.

I am not worried about the lack of foam. The smell is hella promising!

A little caution is required. It's a triple IPA. I had to select Double Imperial IPA style on Beer Advocate to rate the beer because there is no Triple category.

Having to settle on just one beer for the night, this one ought to do the job.

The first sip is heavenly. All the scents of the fragrant aroma materialize. The strength of the brew is reminiscent of a top shelf margarita. There is a sweetness that is not the malty kind. It strongly reminds me of the sherry soaked sponge cake at the bottom of the trifle.

The bitterness is very high.

Low carbonation warning. The bubbles are small and few. Still a pleasant fizz, but I know that at the pace I will drink this, it will go flat...and it did.

For this style, I am impressed!

The alcohol is really masked by the fruity hop shellac.

Drank this one as a dessert. It's delicious.

Not sure how a second one of these would sit. That would be something a clown might do!

The finish is peaty like single malt scotch.

Oct 07, 2016
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Sabtos from Ohio

2.81/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Gold amber with practically no head, just a hint of its having been present with a slight film on top.

Garlic aroma hits me first, then pine and grapefruit.

Taste is surprisingly sweet, like cherry medicine. I can't get over that so that's where I'll leave it.

Jun 25, 2016
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threeviews from Florida

4.59/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle with no freshness date (shame), into a 13oz Libbey 3807 Belgian Beer Glass. I purchased the bottles at the brewery/restaurant, so I know they were relatively fresh:

A - Absolutely clear burnt orange/copper color with only a wisp of a white, creamy head which dissipated in mere seconds...certainly signature of a high ABV beer.

S - Boom! I've had this on multiple occasions (purchased at bottle shops), but these bottles are the most aromatic I have ever experienced. Sticky, pine resin, mint, overripe citrus (orange, grapefruit), stone fruit (apricot, peach) and caramel sweetness are all represented. Unless they are lying, the 11.5% ABV is completely hidden, making this one dangerous beer.

T - Juicy citrus (orange, lemon, grapefruit) and mint pounce first followed by a malty sweetness and then the aforementioned pine lassoing it together. Hoptimum (Sierra Nevada) comes immediately to mind. The high alpha hops used (Apollo, Simcoe, Chinook, Cascade) match perfectly with the hefty malt backbone without the beer ever coming close to becoming cloying. 11.5% ABV? Nope...like the aroma, the flavor has no alcohol presence.

M - A big beer indeed...Full-minus body with a palate coating piney resinous finish. The ever-so-slight warmth from the alcohol can be detected, but exquisitely masked for such a substantial beer. Again, hop bill achieves a perfect balance between bitter and sweet.

O - In this new era of hop varieties and brewing strategies, Hop'solutely would be considered by many to be a classic, West-Coast interpretation of the Imperial IPA style. However, its ability to harness hop, malt and alcohol makes this one memorable brew which affords much of its charm. If you enjoy big, burly West Coast DIPA's in the vein of Hoptimum (Sierra Nevada) then you are guaranteed to like Hop'solutely. Unfortunately, you best get it on draught at Allentown Brew Works or purchase bottles from the source because you never know how long they have sat on the shelf. One more thing...the value. $10, 4Pack for an 11.5% ABV (year-round) hop monster is hard to beat and historically speaking, one of the first to label it as a "Triple India Pale Ale."

Batch bottled 27 December 2016 (exactly 3 months from packaging and the date of this update), the aroma, flavor continue unabated. I certainly wouldn't want to keep this much longer, but the profile of this beer speaks clearly 90+ days after packaging...a detriment to many IPA/DIPA/TIPA's on the market. If you enjoy beers like RuinTen (Stone), Seeking Alpha (Captain Lawrence) and Hi-Res (Sixpoint), you might want to seek this out...and Hop'solutely is year-round to boot!

Jun 06, 2016
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ctylinebeer from Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a teku glass. Comes in a 4-pack. Set you back about $11.

L - bright and clear amber color. Thin foam head, more like a ring around the glass. Little bit of lacing on the glass. Bubbles look nonexistent but with some agitation they really build up.

S - soft hop aroma. Notes of grapefruit with hints of pine bitterness. Candy like scent coming from the alcohol, but no burn coming through.

T - very subtle and balanced. Pale malt, grapefruit, pine bitterness. Alcohol and hops lingers on the mouth.

F - Not so much of a slow sipper beer, drinks like a regular IPA. Little bit boozy, but not overly boozy for 12%.

O - pretty close to Pliny The Younger if you ask me. I would like more citrus hops to balance out the alcohol a little bit more. Excellent beer, Fegleys is a phenomenal brewery.

Mar 26, 2016
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dacrza1 from New Jersey

3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

DATE TASTED: March 20, 2016... GLASSWARE: Maudite snifter... OCCASION: a Sunday spent at Lenape Valley's The World Goes Round... APPEARANCE: pours a strong orange/yellow amber body with ample effervescence... the head is a thick, creamy half-finger that coats intermittently... not demonstrative as it drains, with little to trace due to its high alcohol... AROMA: strong grapefruit and resin, with dank basement and orange peel as secondary aromas--not as big as anticipated... tough to ferret out the malts ... PALATE: here is the warmth, with a stoker-sized presence in the throat... a slight buzz about the teeth suggests n IPA,, but again, not the collision expected when in the presence of royalty...TASTE: the grapefruit is pronounced, while the resin and pine makes for a classic forest-and-field wedding.... some late malt akin to whiskey, but overall the profile is decidedly one-sided... OVERALL: the unmistakable Summit and Citrus hops have this beer smiling sunshine, while the Chinook represent enough to divide the hop character... still, as solid as this is, it does not approach the power or profile of other Imperials... but a tasty, solid beer nonetheless....

Mar 22, 2016
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MacMalt from New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into IPA glass. It pours a lovely honey-amber color with a thin, ecru-colored head and lacing. It smells of malt, molasses, orange peel, and hops. The taste is quite sweet and fruity with lots of orange, grapefruit, caramel, and molasses. It's not nearly as bitter as I anticipated. It's medium-bodied and moderately carbonated, and the 11.5% ABV packs a punch. Hopheads might not like this ale but I did; it's tasty and refreshing. I'd like to try it on draught. In my opinion, Fegley's is an underrated brewer.

Mar 19, 2016
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71ADub from Virginia

3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A neighbor who grew up in Allentown gave me a 12 oz. bottle a year ago. It's been in my fridge, forgotten and neglected. Found it the other day. Good stuff. What surprised me was how smooth it is. At 11.5% I expected it to be hotter than a bottle of Everclear. If I had to be really picky, I'd say it was a just a tad too sweet. Bitter, but not over the top. Being a year old, the nose was a little weak, but that's on me. I would like to try this on draft, or at least a fresher bottle. Defintely worth having again.

Feb 13, 2016
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crisis1290 from South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Love this beer. Tried this at a sampling and this one was a winner. As soon as the bottle was popped, I noticed an amazing hit of grapefruit and orange. A solid taste of the citrus hops up front and a yummy malt on the back end. Good carbonation, dry, bubbly, clean, light, crisp. Big fan of this brewery , big fan of this beer. Nice job Fegley's Brew Works.

Jan 24, 2016
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JMS1512 from New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On the docket: Allentown Brew Work’s Hop’solutely

Poured into: 12 oz. draft offering at the bar/brewery poured into an ABW snifter

S: Crystal clear burnished orange/amber body under a beige head that quickly recedes into a soapy island on top.

A: I got quite a few tropical aromas including mango, guava, melon (my wife said grapefruit) plus a hint of heat and a caramel and toffee sweetness. This brute is also dry-hopped with Amarillo and Chinook hops, what a treat to the nose.

T: Wow! An aggressive bitter hop assault of pine and dryness, and oh… did I say bitter? I’ll chalk this up to the Cascade, CTZ, Summit, Amarillo, and Chinook hop bill. After your senses recover, you can also get a nice sweet caramel to counter the hops from the Caramel malt, and even a touch of fruitcake-y sweetness.

F: Oily, slick, and coating. There’s a prickly carbonation that helps to scrub the palate, easing you into the next sip of this 11.5% abv behemoth. It ends with a bone-dry finish that enables you to go back for more.

O: Crazy, fun, fresh offering at the location. Drink with care and a smile. Reminiscent of an American Barleywine or Strong Ale, because technically, there is no such thing as a “triple IPA” and that’s fine by me. I’ve read other reviews that give this beer such a hard time. Try it fresh from the tap at the Allentown location, you might think about it differently.

S: 4 A: 4.5 T: 4.25 F: 4 O: 4

Suggested food pairing: Pasta Primavera, buffalo wings with bleu cheese, carrot cake with cream-cheese frosting

Dec 20, 2015
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PA-hunter from Pennsylvania

2.48/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 11.5% abv

Appearance- Pours a copper/orange. Two fingerhead. Opaque

Smell- Sweet malt, lots of grapefruit

Taste- Sweet malt, very herbal. Caramel with orange and grapefuit notes. Strong. The finish is of alcohol burn and a bitter hop kick.

MOuthfeel- Heavy in body, low carbonation.

Overall- Too sweet and too much of an alcohol burn. Both of these elements do not make for a satisfying double (no such thing as a 3xipa either). I'll pass

Dec 12, 2015
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jasonfrantz from Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer looks, smells, tastes and feels like it was made too. A huge mess of pine, citrus, sweetness with a bit of booze at the finish line. You're not gonna find an Imperial IPA w/ this ABV that makes everyone happy. As a Hophead I would go to this beer over just about any DIPA or TIPA that I have had lately based on the taste and $$ value.

Overall: Met all expectations of what I was expecting and after dropping $53, I don't regret one sip......

Sep 06, 2015
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SomethingClever from Ohio

3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into Spiegelau glass

A: nice bubbly head that is gone in a flash great clarity caramel light amber in color

S: A little floral and herbal with a nice pineyness to it odd juice smell on the finish

T: very hoppy nice herbal floral taste a little metallic taste some pineyness

M: Syrupy very low carbonation

O: Not a very good beer lots of flavors but that off metallic and odd smell is average its triple but not very amazing a little bit of rotten fruit taste.

Aug 13, 2015
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orsulacp from Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is the best value in high original gravity IPAs. The look is great, clear golden nice white head. Where this beer falls is the smell, I expected more citrus, floral, or some hop, but they played send fiddle to the ethanol. I get ethanol, caramel, piney, citrus and floral in that order in the smell. The tasted is better managed, all of the components play together nicely with the alcohol hidden by the caramel sweetness from the malts. The flavor starts and ends bitter but not overly. Not too syrupy showing good attenuation and a medium mouthfeel. Overall good, if it has some more nose it would be better.

Jul 29, 2015
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JPowell712 from Pennsylvania

4.14/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a beer I was really excited to try. The cost on the case made me think this better impress me! At first pour the hop odor wasn't overly powerful but there. I also got a sweet smell of citrus or orange peel. The taste was boozy and hoppy but extremely sweet and smooth. I expected a more harsh bite and sting from this. The mouthfeel is clean and fresh. The beer in my opinion is very good just a little too sweet for my liking. I am still enjoying it and would recommend a try. It is strong and boozy and hoppy, but something about the sweetness of this throws me.

Mar 09, 2015
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Homers_Beer_Odyssey from New York

4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE - Bubbles, light, clear, foamy, 2FH that lasts, a lot of lacing.

AROMA/SCENT - Hops, pine, grain.

TASTE - Hops, malts, nutty, pine.

MOUTHFEEL/PALATE/TEXTURE - Good carbonation, dry, bubbly, clean, light, crisp.

VALUE - 4-pack $11.99. Great buy.

OVERALL/DRINKABILITY - Just a hint of boozy, but still quite a pleasant Imperial.

Feb 04, 2015
Hop'solutely from Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 636 ratings