Hop-Ocalypse | Clay Pipe Brewing Company

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122 Ratings

Brewed by:
Clay Pipe Brewing Company
Maryland, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by on 08-04-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 122 |  Reviews: 117
Photo of brentk56
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a modest head that leaves a film and some shards

Smell: Some citrus and minty hops with a solid caramel backbone

Taste: Caramel up front, that is joined by a earthy, but minty hop flavor at mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors are rather balanced

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A pretty middle of the road IPA; drinkable, but nothing worth seeking out

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't normally mention the label of a beer in a review for two reasons: number one, it really has nothing to do with the beer inside the bottle; and number two, labels are subject to change and the one you're looking at / might purchase could be completely different. However, the colors and the design of the label were so eye-catching to me that I was drawn to it in a cooler full of beer. There's just something a little bit different about the chromatic teal and yellow colors that makes it quite different from the normally very basic color schemes. Anyway...

It pours a slightly hazy, very deep amber body beneath a creamy inch-thick head of off-white that holds well and leaves short walls of lace about the glass. Within those walls are thicker rings of lace that are left behind with each sip.

The aroma is not bold, but it's clean and pleasant, offering a caramelish malt base, some gently spicy, piney, and minty hops, and a hint of yeasty fruitiness.

In the mouth it's medium bodied, gently effervescent and then creamy and smooth once it's warmed.

The flavor is very tightly knit, keeping everything compact and together in one focused and balanced ball of flavor. It's initially lightly malty with a caramelish edge, but the spicy and gently piney hops jump right in. It doesn't even make it to the middle of the palate before the hops have risen to the top - and surfacing just below them is the bitterness! But the bitterness doesn't do any more than just come to the surface, and then subside in the dry finish. Sure, it lingers for quite a bit, but it's far from harsh. It simply leaves the palate dry and refreshed. Some minty hops are left behind, as well as a bit of apple-like fruitiness (perhaps some red berries too) and a thin note of maltiness.

As it warms, more character comes out, and I'd recommend pulling this out of the fridge and leaving it on the counter for 5 minutes before opening and serving it.

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Photo of oberon
3.27/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a lighter copper color with a quick to form one finger white head but it dissapates quickly into a thin soapy-like mass,nice hop profile in the nose citric-piney hop over top of lightly sweet caramel malt.A bit thin and a little sharp in the mouthfeel dept not quite watery but not really where it should be in my mind the sharpness comes from alot of carbonation and takes away from the drinkability and flavor.Pak some malt in this beer to give it depth and a bit more body and it would be pretty good but its left being one dimensional hoppy (wich can be good at times)with no base to it.It lacks character and body so I would pass on another.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"I love the smell of hop cones in the morning."

--Robert Duvel in 'Hop-Ocalypse Now'

Yes, yes, I know that it's 'napalm', 'Duvall' and 'Apocalypse', but what's wrong with a little poetic license? Given the name and the label (both great), this Clay Pipe offering has some work to do to live up to its advance billing.

Molten lava orange beneath a whipped orange mousse head. The foam is a little on the soft and featureless side, but does gain a little character as it melts. A moderate stickiness leads to a passable amount of sudsy lace. Actually, in the end, a generous amount ends up on the glass.

The hop bill reportedly contains American, English and German varieties. Only the grapefruit citrusiness of the first (Cascade?) reaches my nose. Other than a hint of caramel malt, that's about it. Not bad, but it's certainly no nuclear explosion of hoppy goodness.

Hop-Ocalypse, while not as delicious as its name would suggest, is a pretty decent IPA. The malt support is just firm enough and features a good bit of caramel flavor that isn't aggressive enough to completely smother the hops. I'm still unable to taste anything other than the bittter grapefruit and lemon zestiness of one or more of the C-hops (a guess). Why should German hops be present in an American IPA anyway? If it was to provide complexity, it didn't work.

At the risk of beating a dead horse, if a brewery is going to give a beer a name like this, they should at least make sure that it's scathingly hoppy. Alpha acids are more noticeable on the finish and as the beer warms, but no hophead worth his salt needs to invest in a bomb shelter. If this bottle had been fresh off the line.... who knows?

The mouthfeel is 'IPA standard'; perhaps a fraction lighter. The bottom line is that it fits with the rest of the beer's attributes and will be scored accordingly. A few fewer bubbles would have been nice.

I repeat, what a great name and what a great label. It's too bad that more couldn't have been done with that concept. Hey Clay Pipe... if you're listening... a hop-saturated DIPA using Centennial, Simcoe and Amarillo is the way to go. I might buy a sixer on occasion, but better IPAs shouldn't be too hard to find.

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Photo of Gavage
3.08/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a dark ornage color with a 2" head that breaks apart quickly. Some spotty lace paints the glass.

Smell: soft pine and woody aroma rises fromthe glass.

Taste: bready caramel, grapefruit, pine, and a biting bitterness. Some tart green grape flavors show up late.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer but a bit thin overall. Lightly crisp to start, smoother and dry at the finish. Long aftertaste here.

Drinkability: this is an average IPA that comes across a bit more biting and unbalanced. One bottle was enough for my session.

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Photo of bigred89
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of drabmuh
2.26/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Hop-octopus. Copper in color, moderate to low carbonation, clear, clear, clear almost no head, diffuse, does not vocer the top of the brew Subtle aroma. Definite hop character but not overpowering. Boring taste. I do not like this beer. My wife also thought this beer was uninteresting and bland.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tranquairlover for shipping this to me.
I saved this for about 2 months, not wanting to deplete my fridge of IPAs (I had only 6). Alas, it was a good time to sample it. Keep in mind, hops and IPAs are NOT in India.

Sitting on my rooftop terrace in 75 degree weather, slight breeze, sunny. India has its perks. I wanted a beer...beer, that is, not Kingfisher.

Poured into my Singapore Beer Fest 2008 glass, er, plastic mug. Oh, the color is great! Mahogany, deep, rich, amber/brownish. Glowing. Head is dense, a bit filmy with very small bubbles. Nice.

Smell has a good pine zing to it. I can smell the metallic/pine hops from about 4 feet away. It rips through the aromas of smog, dirt, cow crap and child poop...Oh, joy!

Taste brings a tear to my eye. It has flavor! Slight sweet caramel at first then the hops barge in to party on my palate. It's not intense per se, but it's dominant. Pine, earth tones and pinch of clover, i think. Some metallic sense as well.

Feel/Drink. Good bite to it. Slightly filmy and a touch of alcohol in the end. I struggled not to gulp this and drink it over 45 minutes. Bliss.

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Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a wonderful malt scent that boasts of pale, carapils, and bisquit malts along with a really nice hop aroma. The taste is good. It has a solid malt component that balances well with the floral hop taste. It goes down easy and finishes mildly bitter with some lingering crystal malt flavor. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer. It's a well rounded IPA. It's got excellent malt character with a nice hop element. I'm not tasting a hop explosion, but I am tasting a good IPA.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper/amber with a thin head that leaves some slight lacing. Grassy hops and a slight underlying graininess predominate. There is also aslight meatiness as the beer warms. The taste is tannic and tea like with some of that same grassiness and a finish of spent grain and floral hops. Slightly prickly mouthfeel, but not bad. This beer could use a bigger malt hit to balance it and some more citrusy hops.Okay, but there are so many other nice ipas out there.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.28/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Copper colored with an overly large pillowy light beige head, decent carbonation, and solid lace sheets.. Balanced earthy and citrusy hop aromas that lean bitter. Similar hop flavors and decently balanced but more bitter than hoppy. Medium bodied and smooth with a dry bitter finish.

Boring bitter-driven American IPA ...

Per CPBC website:
13.5 OG (1.055 s.g.)
50 IBU
Ingred: 2-Row Malted Barley, 20ºL Munich Malt, 60ºL Caramel Malt. Amer, Engl & German Hops.

'7006' lasered on bottom
Tasted: 06/28/07

($1.99 / 12 oz.)

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Photo of weeare138
3.03/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to egajdzis for sharing this...
Appears a hazy orange toned amber with a small white head of foam that leaves streaky lacing around the glass.
Smell is of biscuit, orange, toasted malt, and a touch of caramel with pine.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with more of the citrus and caramel coming to the forefront.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a citrusy, lemony bitterness grabbing the palate on the swallow.

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Photo of akorsak
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a 12 oz bottle of Clay Pipe's new offering. I am drinking from a tumbler.

Appearance: The ale has a copper color with a thick head that does not retain well.

Smell: The ale has an earthy hop aroma on the first sip. That aroma is rather strong but fades quickly and eventually disappears.

Taste: Again, the first sip has a real bang to it, leaving me excited for the rest of the beer. That first sip was floral and strong. After that, the hop tastes disappeared (as in the smell), leaving a grainy cereal flavor from the malts.

Mouthfeel: The initial hop blast is nice but it does fade fast, leaving the beer with an amber ale maltiness.

Drinkability: I will gladly try this again as that first blast was very intriguing.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to give it up to the label on this beer, it just looks cool. I guess that is strange since it is a depiction of a mushroom cloud wreaking nuclear holocaust. Hmmm, I did love the end of terminator 3 when the missiles launched. Anyway, lets discuss the actual IPA. Nice orange color in my Killian's (GASP!) nonic glass. very rocky, craggy white head. Very hoppy nose but I can't tell what type of hops (I suck at that). Very good balanced flavor with hoppy bitterness but yet subdued. Good, bready flavor with a nice amount of hops but this is no hop bomb. Hop heads you will like this but it ain't gonna blow your mind. The IPA's from the east are definitely more balanced and sometimes that is a nice alternative to the West Coast pine juice I normally like.

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Photo of mynie
3.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Decent A/IPA pour. Dark filtered amber with a small, fairly retentive head.

Smells nice, very complicated and strong west coast hop profile balanced well by a thick, bready malt.

Hop profile is muted in the flavor. Regular bitterness, light hints of citrus but nothing much going on really. Nicely balanced, I guess, but there's very little happening here.

Call me a puritan if you will, but I firmly believe that if a beer promises armageddon it should provide as such. No dice here.

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Photo of Pencible
4.31/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a clear light copper with thin white head. It smelled like a mix of floral and grapefruit hops. Its flavor was dominant hops with delicious flavor, balanced slightly with some mild malt. It was watery with no carbonation and had a good bitter aftertaste. Overall this was a simple, but clean and enjoyable IPA.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
2.68/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle bought in Washington DC, $2.00. The beer is clear, dark orange shade of copper, off-white head that started at 1 finger and ended at film thickness. Much more balanced with malts than I'd like, especially for a beer named "Hop-Ocalypse". Caramel malts too... The taste is the same as the smell, lots of caramel malt, some zesty citrus but not enough for what was implied by the name.

Overall a disappointment for me. It shouldn't be hard to make a good IPA, evidenced by the dozens upon dozens you can find everywhere in the USA.

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Photo of Durge
3.07/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark copper color with a big off-white head and great lacing. Weak citrus aroma and dishwater malt. Tastes of citrus hops, kind of weak, bready, mid to weak bodied. Drinkable, but a little disappointing. A little floral hint as well as some biscuit. A mediocre IPA. OK.

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Photo of argock
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle in clear pint glass

A: Copper body with thick, clumpy off-white head with a ton of lace retention

S: Pretty average grassy, earthy IPA type of aroma with a touch of orange-lemon citrus

T: Surprising amount of malt flavors, pale and roasted, for an IPA. It's really pleasant to drink because the hops are assertive but not overwhelming as it is blended with the complex malt flavors.

M: A tangy citrus aftertaste helps but it's a bit thin, even for an IPA.

D: An underrated beer which is really flavorful and enjoyable. If the mouthfeel had a little more on the ball, this would be a really top-notch IPA.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.57/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clean copper color with a small off white head that did not stay long. Aromas of a peppery malt and a decent hop presence. As in the taste, malty and a small bitter, yet very thin. A very thin maltiness mouthfeel and a dry aftertaste. I think it is pretty light for an IPA, it does have a good nose, but just a bit more flavor.

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Photo of ROGUE16
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of prototypic
3.08/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: It's hazy and dark amber in color. Head is slightly off-white and about a finger and a half deep. Retention was very good and a solid coat of lace remained.

Smell: Light on the nose. There are some piney hops and light citrus notes (grapefruit and lemon). Caramel malts are noticeable if you stick with it. Slight biscuity aroma.

Taste: Citrusy sweet initially. Grapefruit flavor is bitter and gets really bitter once the hops kick in. There is a faint malty taste, which balance it a little but not much. Slightly yeasty or biscuity. Very interesting sour flavor on the tail.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied and smooth. Carbonation is good. It goes down easy enough. Due to its average flavor, its drinkability is average. Overall, it's an okay beer. Worth a try.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.47/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single, twelve-ounce bottle purchased from State Line Liquors in Maryland...
Cool front logo sticker with a nuclear bomb...
First-ever beer from this brewery - curious to see what they have in store for this American IPA...
Pours a ruddy, dark-orange hue with hardly any head and no lacing what-so-ever...
Nice aroma bursting with fresh, wet hops, citrus, lemon, and lime...
Very earthy, bitter taste rendolent of bitter grapefruit... certainly a more bitter than sweet IPA... Heavy on the citrus, low on sugars...
Mouthfeel was good, but nothing above and beyond - slightly loose and watered-down to say the least...
Drinkability was good, with a nice, casual, 6% ABV...
Good sample, but not great...

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Photo of hopdog
3.57/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle shared courtesy of egajdzis (thanks!).

Poured a medium amber color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of oranges, pine, and some toasted malts. Tastes of citrus, floral, and light caramel. Medium bitter finish.

Notes from: 12/21/07

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Photo of ffejherb
3.17/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle into new Sam Adams glass on 7/15/08. Thanks to Deuane for the trade.

A - Hazy orange/caramel-colored body with lots of gritty bits floating around. Almost two fingers of bubbly, off-white head retained quite well and left a bit of lacing. Carbonation is quite spry and quick to race to the top of the glass.

S - Quite a malty nose for a brew boasting a moniker like Hop-acalypse, with notes of sweet caramel and toffee. However, there is quite a mélange of hops present in the aroma, including hints of citrus, herbs and also a medicinal aspect.

T - Malt-forward IPA with medicinal and herbal hops and just a touch of mild bitter citrus. Overall, there's quite an earthy quality to this brew, which typically is not one of my favorite characteristics of IPAs.

M - Medium body with a fairly syrupy texture that's a tad watery overall. Carbonation is quite lively and spreads like a wildfire across the palate rather quickly. Finish is short and only mildly bitter.

D - I think this one's past its prime. Hops profile is a little uneven and lacks consistency, in that I mean it is hard to discern exactly what's in there.

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Hop-Ocalypse from Clay Pipe Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.53 out of 5 with 122 ratings