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Hop Back Brewery plc

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Bitter - English
Ranked #249
Ranked #43,258
3.32 | pDev: 19.28%
Hop Back Brewery plc
England, United Kingdom
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Reviews: 10 | Ratings: 15 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by gentlebubbles:
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gentlebubbles from Massachusetts

3.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this at NERAX 2007 Wed night

Very pretty, light gold with a thin but bright white head.
Sweet, hard-boiled egg yolk aroma that entices me to take a sip. (And I usually don't care for sulfury beers.)
Easy-drinking light-bodied malt with a bit of resiny finish.
Pleasant enough, but nothing special.

May 03, 2007
More User Reviews:
Photo of Intz51

4/5  rDev +20.5%

Sep 08, 2014
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rastaman from England

2.06/5  rDev -38%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

(Cask)Pale gold. very boring, thin grainy, some citrus hops, crissp finish, served way too cold aswell, watery, grainy and a bit green in flavour. Lagery in a lot of ways, but maybe that was the fact that it was served too cold? Pretty bland for a cask ale, a bit simple and boring.

Sep 25, 2003
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GreenCard from Maryland

3.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: pale lemony yellow, slight haze, fluffy layer of white froth, great head retention

Aroma: lightly fruity hop aroma with a hint of grain, corn, and coriander

Flavor: dry, light malt profile; crisp hop flavor laced with honey, chamomile, and grass; finishes dry with a delightful bitter aftertaste

Mouthfeel: light body, zippy carbonation, crisp texture, a bit thin

Other comments: This is a great summer ale. Crisp, refreshing, and easy-drinking.

Sep 04, 2007
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bark from Sweden

4/5  rDev +20.5%

Apr 15, 2013
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lacqueredmouse from Australia

3.3/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an extremely pale golden wheat colour, with a voluminous and explosive head of crackling, large-bubbled white foam. Carbonation is extremely vigorous, streaming up the glass in massive geysers of frantic bubbling. Perhaps just too crazy all up.

Extremely citric on the nose, with big whiffs of acidic wheat, carbonic acid, dusty crushed coriander-seed and a decent dollop of detergent. It's powerful, but it's also pretty ragged.

Taste is better, perhaps because it loses some of the acidic notes, and gains a more restrained grain character. Finish is surprisingly bitter, giving green hops notes and a rustic twang of cut lucerne. Pretty clear and drinkable flavour-wise, although the carbonation leaves it bloating and overly aggressive on the palate.

Drinkable enough, but the carbonation is way overblown - it was the most dominant character throughout the experience, and severely detracted from my enjoyment of the beer overall.

Aug 21, 2010
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wl0307 from England

3.8/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle-conditioned in a 500ml long-neck brown bottle. Served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: pours a hissing, yellow-ish straw hue, topped with a rather fluffy white pillow settling in time; carbonation is quite lively at first, then loses impulse sharply in just one minute.
S: behind the rather stinky façade of hay-ish hops (just like Hopback’s Summer Lightning) comes a mixed aroma of sweet lemon, elderflower-cordial, and sunflower-seed with a mildly metallic edge, while wheats and biscuity malts are both pretty quiet as the bedrock.
T: salty-sweet yeastiness and kitchen-cloth like maltiness come in abundance, while the wheat-ish grainy-bodied mid-taste full of lemon-zest bitter flavour, hay-ish hops, some floral touches gradually concedes to a very chewy, tannic, and bone-dry aftertaste, which is not short of a good malty backbone, though.
M&D: the fizziness comes slightly sharp at first, but as it goes the mouthfeel turns out fine and refreshing. I think this Blonde Bitter is better served slightly more chilled than cool, for the crispness and dry palate are hard to manifest themselves under the temp. at which I’m drinking it. All in all, this is a pretty solid and reasonably complex ale showing some interesting effects mixed of wheats and citric hops.

Oct 14, 2007
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harpus from Alabama

3/5  rDev -9.6%

Sep 16, 2013
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BlackHaddock from England

2.5/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle-conditioned, 500ml brown bottle best before 6th March 10 drank and reviewed 15th Feb 10. Poured into a vase shapped pint glass.

Extremely lively, the beer gushed out and filled the glass with foam, a light pilsner coloured beer sat below the giant pure white foaming head. The body was also pilsner clear and bright, very strange for a UK real ale to be such a truely light colour. It took four carefully tipped pours to empty the bottle, so excited it was to get out. Each time the head just bellowed up.

The aroma given off seemed grainy and grassy, with nutmeg as an afterthought.

Light in colour, light in flavours also, refreshing enough, but not warming or full bodied, it came across as weak and watery. If I'd liked the taste I'd have said 'delicate flavours' but it didn't float my boat and is a poor impersonation of the cask version which I've had many times (but never reviewed).

I've visited the brewery with the CAMRA Investors Club and been treated royally, this beer was superb there, but the bottle-conditioned one has let them down somewhat. The bottle has had to withstand some large temp variations while in my garage, but I can't believe it has made much difference to the beer, no others have ben effected so far.

Feb 15, 2010
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Lukie from Australia

3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear golden colour, nothing inspiring. Better retention then some England Ales (in Oz).

Big coriander smell with some mild citrus. Coriander seems to overpower on my senses.

Nice citrus flavours, with that coriander coming through. It surprisingly works well, and is nicely balanced.

Good drinking here. The body makes this easy to down. Again, another easy drinking, softer ale from Hopback. Nothing overly exciting, but seemingly really good for the Australian climate :)

Apr 27, 2009
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woosterbill from Kentucky

2.2/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Handpump half-pint at Ye Olde Cock.

A: Hazy pale gold body with a nice soft finger of creamy white foam. Good retention and lacing. Nice.

S: Pretty weak. Piney hops and funky sour fruit. Musty, wet dog. Yuck.

T: Sharp, acrid mustiness up front, followed by sweet pale malt and some piny bitterness. Not as bad as the nose, but not good at all.

M: Light body, soft carbonation. Pretty good.

O: I'm not at all sure what this beer was going for, but it can't possibly have been this. This was definitely among the worst beers I've had this year. Avoid this ale.


Jun 20, 2011
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kojevergas from Louisiana

2.6/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes taken during a January 2011 trip to Glasgow, Scotland. Served at the Bon Accord pub.

A: Clear yellow colour. Thin head of poor retention.

Sm: Fresh barley; little hops.

T: Smooth, crisp open to balanced-but-limited body of barley, malt (the usual suspects), with a crisp delightful finish.

Mf: Quite smooth, but coarser on the climax. Very crisp.

Dr: Nice, but I won't be having it ever again at Glasgow prices now.

Mar 08, 2011
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EmperorBevis from England

3.72/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottled and bottle conditioned

Extremely pale with a thin head. Slight aroma of corn and some noble peppery hop. Sweetish with a little bitterness. Biscuity malt and a sweetness leads to a very short finish. Well-carbonated but a thin body

Jun 01, 2014
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4/5  rDev +20.5%

Jan 01, 2013
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SiW from Ireland

3.75/5  rDev +13%

Mar 18, 2014
Crop Circle from Hop Back Brewery plc
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 15 ratings