Hops Explosion IPA | Watch City Brewing Co.

Hops Explosion IPAHops Explosion IPA
Liked This Beer
3.87 w/ 54 ratings
Hops Explosion IPAHops Explosion IPA

Brewed by:
Watch City Brewing Co.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 10-05-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 54 |  Reviews: 37
Photo of Acochran
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at a company sponsored event. As the name reads, "hops explosion," this is definitely one for the hop lovers. Poured by Watch City staff via tap into an 8-ounce sampling glass. Poured with a nice frothy head. It's a pale ale with what seems like a number of different types of hops...and boatloads of them at that. Not overpowering though, balanced and sweetened a notch with Munich and Vienna malts. I came back to this one several times during the event. It's a must try for all beer lovers, especially hop lovers!

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From a 64 oz. growler filled almost to the very top. It pours a fully opaque, nearly uncarbonated toasted amber hue, with a somewhat creamy finger of off-white head that leaves a few patches of lace. Pretty tropical in the nose, with lychee, pink grapefruit, mango?, sweet/toasted malts, and some late pine. Definitely a bitter explosion on the palate, with orange peel and pulp, white grapefruit, lychee, spicy green hops, pine and perhaps some crystal malts. Very low carbonation in its dry, yet creamy body, and the hops linger nicely for a while. I bought the growler pre-filled, so maybe that explains the lack of carbonation. A good IPA, not great, but having just moved to Waltham, it makes for a nice introduction to my new local brewpub.

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Photo of taez555
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This review is from a Dunkin Donuts napkin that I did while sitting at the bar on a Friday afternoon. :-)

Poured a somewhat cloudy, brownish/tan body with a very small white head. (the bartenders here have something against pouring beer with any head, so...)

Nose is, as always, tricky in the bar atmosphere. Mostly a nice big MOR citrus hop smell and some clean caramel malt.

As for taste? My notes say "Wow!!!". Big, hoppy and citrusy with a mild caramel malt backbone. A nice strong overall bitterness that doesn't distract, but is big and noticable over the malt. This isn't one of your over the top dry super bitter pallette killers, this is just a nice big, and very well balanced IPA. It says 68 IBU's, but it's just not a pallette killer.

I think I've found a reason to actually want to come back to Watch City. I've found a lot of their beers to be watery, or even having a soapy flavor. This though.... this is a magnificent beer. Just a perfect IPA. I'll be back a lot more often.

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Photo of YonderWanderer
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on cask with crystal hops at Watch City. I reviewed this a short while ago, also on cask at Jake's up the street. I was hoping a second go-round would be better. And sure enough, it was much better. Probably because, later that night, I talked to the bartender at Jake's, and the cask had been there for quite some time. So just a word of warning if you're at Jake's.

A: Pours a dark amber with a thin layer of head. Dissipates quickly, but good lacing.

S: Floral hops, a bit of earthiness to it.

T: Much better this time. The hops are much more present and flavorful. Floral and hints of citrus. An earthy malt backbone balances it nicely.

M: A little thin, but smooth overall.

D: Again, much better the second time around. I could definitely throw down a few of these as it was much more enjoyable at the brewpub.

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Photo of RixBeer
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Light amber 1/8" head with nice lacing. stick nicely to the sides

S- Hops, hops, hops, earthy, citrusy, just smells delicious

T- My god this beer is very very hoppy. As a hop head I can only commend the brewer for an excellent beer. It's biscuity and hoppy and slightly orange and a nice sweetness not normal for this hoppy of an IPA

M- Medium body, lightly carbonated

D- If you're a hop head, this is pretty close to heaven.I mean this is more of a double IPA than an IPA.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewpub on 07.08.2007.

Clean copper with a slight haziness beneath a creamy off-white head. Patches of condensed lacing with good strength. Musty floral hop aromas with a slight touch of hop resin. The flavors begin where the aroma leaves off, but the bright, floral hops quickly subside to a weak, adjunctory, and stiff wheat flavor. Yeasty astringency lingers leaving a dry finish, and a confused bitterness. Medium in body; yeast-filled film on the palate. Not impressed from a local brew with some past respect. The flavors seem all over the place with a noxious yeast character.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.72/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 64oz. growler, which was purchased & filled at the brewpub on 5/10/07 and consumed on 5/11/07, into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color with a thin dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: It has a very fruity citrus aroma with a good hops background and a little bit of caramel in there.

T: The taste starts out with a sweet burst of citrus and caramel, but then a strong flavor of floral hops bitterness comes in and dominates the taste, thus earning the beer its name. The malt character is a little thin, but that’s not a bad thing; it works very well for this beer. The after-taste is hoppy with a little bit of sweetness.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not filling at all, good representation of style, good kick to it. I could drink this beer all evening, but alas the growler disappeared rather quickly. I guess I’m going to have to head up to Watch City and get some more very soon.

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Photo of smcolw
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice lace on the glass, thin, but typical bar head; amber in color; clear.

Very low aroma; frankly, I detected a little soapiness. No discernable hop. SECOND TIME REVIEW: Simply an awesome prickly, grapefruit-like hop aroma...very floral.

Excellent floral hop in the taste which was completely missing in the smell. The hoppy flavor is high but not overwhelming. Good body with appropriate amount of carbonation.

A nice IPA, but lacks the nose to be a great one.

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Photo of lawrence76
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

although I may have had this at a beer fest at some point in the past, I finally had a chance to really sit down with a whole pint and think about this beer @ the pub last night

pours a nice orange colour, decent white head which strangely didnt last very long. Aromas of spicy hops, piney, mustardy, earthy citrus...must be 5 different hops in there

Taste is of a wonderful hop "salad" -I swear I can taste 5 different types...hop flavours span the range from oregon to the czech republic. For some reason I feel that they dry-hopped with cascade pellets...not sure.

There is a bit of a malt presence mid-way through the sip, but nothing to remark upon; this beer is all about the hops.

Very drinkable, only criticism is that it could use just a BIT more body....

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Photo of hermesch
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an inviting deep copper with a formidable head that doesn't quit. Neither does the lacing for that matter. An impressive sight.

Smell: Strong hops backed by spicy pine notes that tickle the back of the nose.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Dominant hop/piney taste, though backed up nicely by sweeter citrus notes and a trace of malt.

Drinkability: This is a solid IPA with individuality. I drank several at the bar less than an hour after slicing my finger open and getting six stitches in the ER. They eased my pain and brought back my smile. Try this beer!

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Photo of Gavage
4.36/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: clear orange in color sporting a 2" head that lasted a long time. Super thick lace painted the glass. Handful of carbonation bubbes slowly rise to the surface.

Smell: citrus and mild pine bitterness.

Taste: caramel, grapefruit and lemon citrus, and a hefty dry pine bitterenss which help balance the malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: slightly heavier than some other IPAs. Very crisp at the start, less crisp and dry at the finish. The aftertaste was long on the bitterness.

Drinkability: for me this was what I like in an IPA. Bold flavors, mildly refreshing, and easy to drink. Outstanding.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer had a good, floral nose that was up front and left no question as to what style it was. The head was light and bone-white, but man-oh-man, did it leave a sticky lace. The color was a cloudy, lemon-yellow, speaking to the importance of not fining the crap out of beer. It may not have been sparklingly pretty, but the bite of the hops on the tongue is unbeatable. The mouthfeel was medium, but not inappropriate. The finish tended towards dry, which was a direct result of the hop intensity (65 IBU, 5.7% ABV). A gooood beer!

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Photo of Franchise
4.62/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy pale orange color leaving a thick frothy white lace that sticks to the glass. The smell is orange, peach, grapefruit, sun ripened fruit bouquet, delicious nose. The taste starts smooth slightly hoppy followed by a bitter grapefruit nudge but not overpowering sort of mellow to compliment all the flavors in the beer. The sweetness of fruit really balances this beer. The finish is again smooth, mellow fruity esters, with one last helping of citrus rind to leave you with a bite in the back of the throat.

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Photo of bjohnson
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy yellowish copper color with an initial one finger white head that dissipates to a fine dusting after about 3 minutes. Nice lace.

S: Aromas of fruity hops and biscuity malts.

T: Initial taste of citrus hops, maybe grapefruit, then a nice smooth bitterness and back to hops, then finally finishing with a good bitterness and a bit of malt. Very good tasting IPA.

M & D: Mouthfeel and drinkability are good. Nice smooth beer finishes dry making it an easy drinker. Good levels of carbonation don't overhelm the hops. Well balanced IPA. I would have another!

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very hazy mandarin orange. Good-sized white head that recedes to a thin film with some stronger concetrations of larger carbonation bubbles. Some spotted lace. Nose is hops and a bit of dough.

Flavor is one dimensional. Just loads of citrus hops with just a faint bit of pine. Malts are present and give a nice doughy aspect but fail to help with any semblance of balance. Just a lot of hops going on--kind of tingles in the finish too. Medium body that is a bit astringent. Slight dry finish which is very nice. Fine but not a solid representation for the style.

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Photo of orsulacp
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer had a hazy yellow-orange with a white small head. Excellent smells, citrus like a grapefruit then some malt. I like when I can smell the malts in an IPA. Medium body lets the hops and malts mix very nicely, get bitter hops then some malt to balance the hops. Leaves a slightly bitter after taste. Really well balanced, glad I made the trip to Waltham. I took a growler of this back to the hotel.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on-tap at Watch City in April 2005.

This IPA poured a clear, amber color with white foam that clung and left lace. The smell was very hoppy with lesser malt coming through. The taste was dominated by the hops with a good malt backbone. The mouthfeel was smooth and hoppy with medium body and moderate carbonation; relatively clean with a light hoppy and malty aftertaste. This was good and enjoyable overall.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally had the chance to meet up w/ carln26 for a few pints and thanks to Longstaff, I was in for a treat...Watch City's Hops Explosion IPA offered cask conditioned.
Pours a bright golden orange w/ two full fingers of creamy white head, so dense the majority of it remained the duration of the pint.
Lacing was thick and clingy...holding strong to the side of the pint glass.
Aroma was very fruity...citrus and grapefruits mostly...nice.
Taste was delicious...my first experience having the IPA on cask, so I was very pleased. Mouthfeel was slick, but not over the top...the hops dominate, but it also has a decent malt backbone...making this brew very drinkable. Bitterness is all up front and is very mild...the aftertaste is so clean and drinkability is through the roof.
A must try if in the area...thanks again for the tip Longstaff and thanks for meeting up carln26.

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Photo of Truh
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Filled an order of nitro for Wile E. Coyote with this one on 10/22/2004. 16-oz. pour in a pint glass at the brewpub.

Film of coated head at start with some excellent stick and lace all the way down. Hazy, yellow straw hue with amber touches at its core. Huge, juicy hop nose made up of grapefruit, oily hop resin, some sweet grass, and freshly fallen, wet leaves. Bitingly hoppy as it passes the lips; tough to find any malt in there, or much of anything else for that matter. Begrudgingly, as pour warms, hints of malt start to break through the hop barrier. More than one of these could be deadly on the palate. However, this is a nice addition to the brotherhood of the bud.

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Photo of fdrich29
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I ordered this on tap initially, which was a fine brew. After realizing it was available cask conditioned I had to order one and see what I could see.

Wonderful orange coloring with a little, frothy white head.

More citrus than hops smell and taste, but hops do kick in on the way down. The beer, of course, was not as cold as were used to with tap beer, something I was not used to but cherished with each sip of this baby.

Good mouthfeel here, lots going on, many feelings going on. The beer had attitude and I can't help but think as it swirled in my mouth that this beer was taunitng me, daring me to enjoy it and allowing me to go to another level of beer appreciation.

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Photo of AllThingsNinja
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What sort of strawberry madness wafts off this frothy tulip? The beer is dark and hazy, somewhere between amber and milk-chocolate. It's no dainty golden pink berry brew but has a startlingly strong strawberry aroma. Its flavors were intense, with a citrus bite followed by a malt sweetness with some subtle strawberry notes. It's good, but not as impressive as the awe inspiring aroma led me to believe. Now, I wasn't looking for a chocolate-strawberry-cheesecake beer, but this one had me hoping.

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Photo of carln26
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hops Explosion was the 1st beer I tried from Watch City. It’s often on tap there, so I go back to it whenever the current seasonal doesn’t agree with me. Color: medium brown towards orange; nice head with a good lace on the glass after a sip or two. The aroma is mild hops with a surprising citrus smell. The citrus carries over to the flavor as well. For a beer called Hops Explosion, I was expecting more in the “hops” area, but this beer is all about balance. The hops flavor is tempered by the other characteristics of the beer. This is very drinkable, and because of the citrus/hops balance, is an excellent warm weather beer. I’ve had the beer on cask too, but will not write a separate review. It is worth ordering it off the pump. The texture and flavor are improved by the cask-conditioning.

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Photo of mschofield
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown topped with a two finger tan head, laced in bits.
Citrus and floral aroma, clean and fresh, toasted bread, a note of tea.
Also get the citrus and floral notes in the taste, bready, caramel, well balanced, even though it's a hop-forward brew, you can still taste the malt.
Medium bodied and smooth, easy drinking for the style.

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Photo of gentlebubbles
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just came on cask.

It came to the table an incredible bright orange creamsicle complete with brilliant white fluffy head. As it cleared, the color dulled to an orangey amber haze with tan shadows down the back side of the glass. All along the citrus scent drifted across the table, and when I leaned in for a sniff, the aroma leapt up my nose.

It had a tender mouthfeel that went down easily, tasting mostly of sour, citrusy hops and a yeasty finish. The head stayed firm halfway down the glass, leaving streaks down the side.

This isn't exactly what you might expect in an IPA, but I like it. If a nice juicy orange could be turned into a beer, this would be it!

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Photo of PatandDavid
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

4/4/04 Had this again yesterday at Watch City, this time the abv was listed at 5.9%. The only thing I can add is the the initial taste of this beer was the most citrusy I think I have ever tasted. That went away after a while, but, whoa! was my first impression.

Had this on tap...orange amber color. Not much head when poured, but left some nice lace in the glass. Pleasant hop aroma.

I thought this was a very good, not over the top, hoppy IPA. Nice balance between the malt and the hops. Would have had more than one, but I wanted to try another style.

Would get again. Very fresh and easy to drink.


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Hops Explosion IPA from Watch City Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 74.1% out of 100 with 54 ratings
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