Hop Mess Monster | Hart & Thistle

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14 Ratings

Brewed by:
Hart & Thistle
Nova Scotia, Canada

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Vital Stats:
Gravity - 22.5 P/1.094
Calculated IBU's - 533 (theoretical)
Hop Rate - 11 lbs/bbl
ABV - 11.0 %
Colour ~ 10 SRM
Malts - Pale Ale, Melanoidin, Crystal 30, Dextrin (CaraPils), Munich
Hops - Magnum, Chinook, Cascade, Sorachi Ace, Simcoe, Citra, Columbus

Added by Mandrake on 05-17-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 14 |  Reviews: 13
Reviews by demcorhip:
Photo of demcorhip
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, glad to get to try this beast. A nice looking brew, had a finger of pale tan head, decent enough retention, especially considering the mild level of carbonation. Almost clear, bright bronze coloured body. Some sticky lacings that decide to stick around.

Nice aroma of hops greets the nose. Nice citrus scents of orange and lemon, some papaya, red grapefruit and a hint of pine also present. Malts are almost hidden behind the hop assault, but hint at multigrain crust, and a touch of caramel.

Wow! There is a wonderful monstrous mess of hop flavour in the hop mess monster. Floral, tropical, a pretty much full range of citrus flavour, along with a mild grassiness and blond tobacco... something to sip and contemplate, repeatedly. Malt never really manage to assert much presence, but they almost manage to provide a reprieve from the monstrous hop assault.

Smooth yet stripping, richly resinous damn near full bodied hop bomb. Nice mouthfeel, mildly carbonated, creamy and damn near oily IIPA.

As drinkable as an 11% abv hop bomb can be. The complex and delicious hop profile is a delight to savour as all the IBU shred my palate. Ill be tasting hops when i wake up tomorrow. And it will be good, reminding me of the pleasurable indulgence which was the hop mess monster. Not for newbies. Not for those who arent into hoppy beers. Highly recommended to fans of hop bombs!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Mandrake
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep reddish amber, very cloudy and with a moderate medium tan head that is reasonably well retained and leaves scant lacing. Aroma is really something, bright tropical fruits and juicy citrus, but complex in its way, with some earthy undertones and interesting floral notes. Taste, on the other hand, tilts more to the herbal and earthy end of the hop scale. Interestingly, after I'd put it down for 10 or 15 minutes to eat a plate of chips, I found that the woody and earthy tones had taken over the smell, and the bottom of my pint was dominated by a grassy kind of hoppiness, quite bitter. Mouthfeel is excellent, full bodied and oily, and drinkability is simply remarkable for such a giant beer. 533 IBUs on the tag, but much more balanced, in the loosest possible use of the term, than that might suggest. Deadly stuff, really fantastic.

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Photo of grub
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

another one that Viggo shared, courtesy of NASH. thanks eric and greg!

16oz swingtop growler. sampled july 1/2010.

pours deep orangey red with a big light tan head. the head quickly drops to a ring around the glass and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is great. candied hops. caramel. toffee. grapefruit, orange, tangerine, pineapple. bit of other tropical fruit. light alcohol. bit of white bread.

taste is great. candy coated citrusy hops. grapefruit, orange, tangerine. bit of pineapple and mango. biscuit and whole wheat bread. light alcohol. bit of caramel.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is great. great hop profile. nice balance. this is one damn tasty dipa!

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Photo of Long813
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark cloudy brownish-red body with one finger of tan head. Head has good retention and leaves moderate lacing.

S: Pine. Huge fronts of pine, hops and a strong earthiness to it.

T: Wow! Tons of pine, very oily and earthy. Tons of hops here too, but not to extremely bitter.

M: Thick bodied and medium high carbonation. Thick chewy texture and leaves a oily bitter finish. No detection of alcohol here at all.

D: Just an amazing brew. It is everything it was hyped up to be and I'm glad to be around for it. I've already drank this a number of times and it will be missed when it it gone. For was NASH was going for it is amazing, but for more regular drinker, I would prefer some citrus. A a mix between this and the Citra Smash would be out of this world.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
2.34/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Notes from 7-08-10, in Chicago

Huge thanks to Alex for sharing this brew. 'Twas interesting, albeit terrible.

A - The pour is murky and is the color of an Arnold Palmer (half tea/half lemonade). There is a small amount of soapy off-white head.

S - Oh no. We have a problem here. This growler was filled only 2 days ago. The aroma is an unprecedented combo: innertubes and horse farm, as well as alleyways in the vicinity of Central Park. The pungency of several aromatic elements is converging to make something disgustingly awry.

T - The 11% DIPA drinks hot and and has an unpleasant tea-like bitterness. It tastes like it was Randall-ized 15 times through Fuggles. I've said enough.

M - Sticky and unpleasant.

D - Not a fan.

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Photo of Derek
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy, copper-amber, off-white head, good retention, excellent lacing.

S: Absolutely HUGE hop aroma, resiny pine, grapefruit rind, mango, tangerine, grassy reefer, AWESOME.

T: Initially I would've called it a barley wine... but the more I drank, the more I thought 'DIPA'. This one is definitely bridging the styles. Piny resin, mango, grassy, grapefruit rind, tangerine, nectarine, plenty of bitterness (but it isn't harsh), alcohol is perceptible, but considering the strength, it's fairly well-hidden. Hints of fruity esters.

M: Very smooth, moderate body has plenty of hop acidity, off-dry with a drying alcohol finish.

D: Although this is the strength of Piny the Younger, it's MORE drinkable than Pliny the Elder! Extremely well-crafted.

Anyone can brew something big & brash, but this one is smooth and enticing, despite its strength.

World class.

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Photo of Viggo
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler and some bottle courtesy of NASH. I owe you buddy.

Pours a very lightly hazed dark reddish orange, nice and bright, thin white head forms and settles down to a thin ring around the glass, drops some lace spots on the way down.

Smell is insane, HUGE pineapple nose, tons of grapefruit, floral, citrus, honey, caramel, biscuit, this is like hop candy, very fruity, a bit of booze but its well hidden, more grapefruit and pine, this is wicked big.

Taste is similar, just massive in all its flavours, pineapple juice, big floral, grapefruit and pine, lots of citrus, caramel, hop candy sweetness, rock sugar, honey, lightly fruity, a bit of booze, more hops, huge bitterness but still balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Some warmth but ABV is scarily hidden, this is a monster but so good. Thanks Greg!

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Photo of wordemupg
4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

500ml swing top bottle poured into chalice with cgymatt oct19 2010

A deep reddish amber with some suspended particles, a little too thick to see any bubbles, thin head leaves some specks of lace down the glass

S earthy hops with lots of pine, tropical fruits and some toffee all pretty strong and not sure where the 11% is hiding

T mimics the smell quite well but with more pine and citrus is a little more pronounced, hops are firmly in charge here but It works very well

M WOW this is one of the roughest liquids my mouths ever encountered, sandpaper on my teeth and gums and it's just amazing how much this one leaves behind in your mouth. I'm thinking I'll still be tasting this next week, many people would hate a beer this course but I'm loving it

D what can I say this ones pretty easy to drink considering how strong it is, not for the beginner that's for sure

thanks NASH for this one it was a treat I could only imagine what this would be like from a fresh tap.

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Photo of korguy123
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Super special thanks to NASH for sending me two extra bottles he had.

Poured into Imperial Pint

A- Darker cloudy amber pour. Huge three finger off-white head. Lacing is impeccable, it just won't let go to the side of the glass.

S- My mouth is watering... Grapefruit, mandarin oranges, pineapple, sweet candy smell, pine. This literally smells like a field of fresh hops! Fresh cut grass and strawberries.

T- WOW!!! Hops, hops, and more hops! This is amazing! Fresh cut grass, pine, sweet malts, pineapple, honey, grapefruit, earthy greatness.

M- Chewy, juicy, dry rewarding finish. My tongue and cheeks are in heaven right now!

D- For 11% This is the most drinkable hop monster I've ever had. The 533 ibu's do not offend or detract from this beer, just makes it better to drink!

So thankful to try this. Can't wait to have the other. There can never be too many hops; and this is a perfect example of that. A+ NASH for an awesome experience!!

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Photo of whartontallboy
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Seanstoppable
4.17/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this while it was on tap at the Hart and Thistle when it was originally released, and again about a month ago when there was a small re-release. Found some notes the other day about my initial experience.

Arrived in a glass as a dark, opaque mahogany color with minimal head. For the minimal amount of head, it left fairly decent lacing.

Nose is very hoppy, floral, with additional scents of citrus fruits and a bit of pine.

Very big flavor. Lots of hop bitterness that continues through to the finish. Alcohol is subtle, but detectable. Truely, nothing tasted quite the same for a while after this. Very chewy beverage. Also made my tongue feel fuzzy.

This beverage is certainly a monster. Beyond the flavor throwing you for a loop, the alcohol content kicks in fairly quickly. Had a decent buzz on part way through one glass. This is the only H&T beverage where they actually asked if you wanted a regular (full pint), or 'baby messie'. You got to be careful, or it would eat you alive.

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Photo of markaberrant
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - light red/orange, very murky, not much of a head, some soapy bubbles around the edge of the glass

S - mostly pine, some bitter grapefruit, carmel sweetness rounds things out and gives it some fruity character, good aroma, but not bowling me over like some DIPA, more like a real green and hoppy barleywine

T - tastes like you are chewing your way through a pine forest coated in carmel candy, some lingering toasty goodness in the finish, mixed with a big heap of bitterness and dry alcohol, really piney, but not abrasive like some I've come across (ie; last year's Tree Double Hophead)

M - fairly light body for such a huge beer, though the hop resins/oil add some weight, works really well, light carbonation, alcohol is noticable, but smooth, no harshness/astringency from the hops, just lip smacking deliciousness in the finish

D - a monster of a beer for sure, yet dangerously drinkable

In my humblest of opinions, the malt character and sheer size of this beer pushes it beyond a DIPA and into barleywine territory.

And this is my kind of barleywine! I like em piney, bitter, and huge, yet well attenuated. This one delivers in spades. The drinkability on this one is off the charts, yum!

Many thanks to NASH for sending this my way!

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Photo of MasterSki
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Viggo for sharing this one. Served in a Unibroue tulip.

A - Pours with a finger of off-white foam that settles to a thin cap and leaves behind spotty lacing. Very dark, somewhat murky brown-orange color.

S - There are a whole ton of flavors in here - the name is quite appropriate. There's dank weed, tropical fruits, ripe orange citrus, and a touch of Cascade soapiness, among other peripheral flavors. Not much obvious malt character - mostly just sugared hop.

T - The taste is a bit more malt-forward than the nose, with a nice bready character peeking through. Bitterness is intense, but thankfully never gets off-putting. The Columbus dankness seems to emerge victorious, but by the slimmest of margins.

M - Soft but present carbonation. Very smooth, but not as dry or resiny as I prefer my hoppy brews to be. The 11% is nearly imperceptible.

D - This was quite good - I'm glad I got another swing-top to share with the Chicago crowd. This is competitive with what the US is doing - too bad it's only (more or less) available at a brewpub in Nova Scotia.

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Photo of bobsy
4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Viggo got a growler courtesy of the brewer himself, and split it with a bunch of us this past Saturday night.

Pours a very dark orange with a slight haze and a finger of creamy off-white head. Nice retention and lacing as it drops to a film. Lots of hoppy notes in the nose, which reflect the diverse selection of hops pitched into this lovely brew. There's a lot of tropical fruit notes, with mango most prominent, but then there's also a lot of citrus, with tangerine, grapefruit and orange pith coming through strong. Beyond that there's a certain weediness and a splash of pine resin. Light brown sugar rounds things off.

After such a hoppy nose, its refreshing to find that there's enough bready caramel malt in here to achieve something approaching balance. Regardless, the hops are still the main focus, with all the elements of the nose coming through in full force. Its such a diverse mix that I can understand wht its called 'Hop Mess'. Decent bitterness for the style, but not overpowering, and kept within dangerously drinkable levels. Smooth body with a surprisingly clean, dry and short finish. I would have preferred a little more lingering bitterness and oiliness, but this is still good.

There's no doubt that this is a world-class IIPA. I've been fortunate to try several of the highest-regarded beers in this style, and Greg's version certainly holds its own, and is perhaps the most drinkable of the lot. A stellar achievement that deserves wider distribution and acclaim.

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Hop Mess Monster from Hart & Thistle
Beer rating: 4.39 out of 5 with 14 ratings