Hoptologist DIPA | Knee Deep Brewing Company

very good
182 Reviews
Hoptologist DIPAHoptologist DIPA

Brewed by:
Knee Deep Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An American Double India Pale Ale that packs a punch when it comes to hops. The aroma and flavors will give you citrus and pine with a slight malt sweetness that finishes dry.

Added by kevanb on 12-03-2011

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Reviews: 182 | Ratings: 1,025
Photo of CTFalcon
2.42/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 1.75

I had always heard people describe beers as onion and garlic flavors, never tasted those myself in a beer. This changed that in a major way. Look and feel are pleasant but the nose and taste are straight garlic and onions. First drain pour in a while.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.58/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a EKU 28 snifter in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Acquired at Wally's Wine in Westwood, California. Expectations are high; I don't usually like this style but the label (of all things) makes me think it'll be pretty good.

A: Pours a half finger head of fair cream and thickness, and bad retention - though in fairness the ABV is pretty high. Colour is a clear butterscotch-gold. Appealing.

Sm: Hoppy, with caramel, a hint of vinegar, floral notes, Some fruit esters. Some raspberry. Light toasted malt. A mild strength aroma.

T: Nicely hoppy, with the bitterness qualmed by the other notes. Unfortunately, the other notes coalesce in a way that isn't much better than the plain hop bitterness would be. It's an interesting yet unnecessary solution. The fruit ester hops are poorly handled, bleeding about the profile haphazardly. It's horribly imbalanced as a result, and never feels quite right. Built badly overall for the style. I don't particularly like the flavour.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Thick enough, but never quite right. Some awkward patches of coarseness are present at times, and on the finish - a poor characteristic. Suits the flavours only by coincidence.

Dr: Drinkable. Hides the ABV well. But the flavour is imbalanced and I don't particularly care for it. It tries to innovate a solution to the problem of balancing the potent hop bitterness, but the solution may be worse than the problem. I like that they're experimenting, but ultimately this is a mediocre double IPA I won't be getting again. I'm wary of the brewery as a result.


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Photo of AleWatcher
2.79/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber into tulip pint.
This was an extra tossed in by sideswipe. Thanks a lot John. This 60 pound monster of a box is another in a series of boxes in which each has outdone the last-- you're the best.

Clear, bright, lightly orange-tinted golden color. Light off white head of 3/4 finger head... Really great retention. Average lacing.

Smells faintly sweet, but predominantly dry bready malts lead the way.
Very bitter-- I think this beer overdid the bittering hops and skimped during the other parts of the boil. There is a little citrusy note, with a floral hop note alongside.

Feel is a a touch thin, but decent carbonation.

Overall-- this is not bad, but it isn't really good either. It is average.... The best thing it has on its side is that it hides the 9% ABV pretty effectively. Otherwise, it is unimpressive, though not unpleasant either.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
2.84/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 22oz bomber to Hess imperial pint glass on 6/14/12
*From notes

-- Thanks, cayenne --

A: Clean, fairly dark amber. It looks like a Marzen. A tight 2.75 finger head and good retention follow. Decent lacing coats the glass.

S: The nose is disappointing. I get a lot of stale pine and not much else. Hints of barley linger, too. A touch of booze and an odd Christmas-like spice are present as it warms.

T: A pretty big dose of rustic hops and a bit onion-like up front. Not a lot of fruit, sadly. Dry. There's a coffee ground thing going on. More pine and a big, bold charred malt backbone hits the mid to finish, like it was left to cook while the maltmaster when to lunch.

M: Fairly nice. Big, creamy and dense. Loads of texture, and the carbonation is well done.

O: Meh. This DIPA is at best just ok. Would I appreciate it more if it were from the East Coast? Doubtful, though it certainly drinks like it's from this side of the Mississippi. Lacks the kind of character I look for in a bigger, hop forward West Coast brews. In my opinion, this isn't worth seeking out, as there are better and more readily available DIPA's on your local shelves.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.91/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Copper and orange color yielding a substantial one inch head on it, a pretty looking beer. Aroma was soapy bitterness, imparting minimal citrus smells like orange and grapefruit.

Taste was overly bitter and butterscotchy. A little bit of grocery paper bag with this one. Obscures the hops that are supposed to be the draw. At least the abv wasn't apparent.

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Photo of brydeen
2.91/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into a snifter, thanks to cayenne

A: Pours a dark amber color, with a thin off white head. Little retention, and some lacing.

S: Smells musty and dank. Some pine, with a bit of mango as well.

T: Much sweeter than expected. Fruity and moist. Not much bitterness at all, but has a bit of a stale feel to it.

M: Full bodied and creamy. Very subtle carbonation. Slightly heavy.

O: Really dissappointed in this one. It just doesn't come together. The hops just don't pop, in either the smell or the taste. Wouldn't recommend this to anyone

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.93/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a solid copper color with orange, nice 1" head to it, looks the part. Aroma was more sweet and bitter than hoppy, but the hoppyesque flavors imparted leaned towards citrus of a grapefruit, orange and tangerine nature.

Taste of sweet bitterness and butter. Makes you wonder if aged hops were thrown in a bag of microwave popcorn and sprinkled with sugar. The paper flavor of the bag also seems to have come along for the ride. It just keeps on going on and on in the mouthfeel the entire time. A few notes commensurate with a decent flavor profile for a chardonnay, but I just don't jive with butter and paper/cardboard flavors in any beer, even if they are like in this beer, small and nuanced, they don't lend positive feelings to the beer as a whole.

On the positive side, at 9% alcohol, I didn't really pick that up, so this beer is pretty good at hiding the alcohol.

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Photo of JoshuaMason
2.95/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Cloudy Copper, minimal off-white head, low visible carbonation, no lace.
Smell: Peach, Apricot, Honey sweetness
Taste: Peach, Apricot, Honey, Bitter finish
Mouth-feel: Low carbonation, medium body, almost flat, midrange finish
Overall: Just okay. Average Dipa. Nice bitter finish, but one note and unremarkable

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Photo of kscaldef
3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Similar to the Breaking Bud, but amped up. Picks up a slight sweetness when it first hits your tongue, but that's quickly overwhelmed by aggressive bitterness. Again, not my style.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.03/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear garnet color with a tight, white head that leaves little bits of lacing.

Smells of caramel malts with some light hop notes.

Tastes of the caramel malt base with some decent hop notes. Malts lead off with caramel and toffee. This leads to a moderately bitter hop character that has pine and citrus. The hops feel quite underdone in terms of aroma and actual flavor contributions. Alcohol is noticeable with some astringency.

Mouthfeel is medium-light with a small, underwhelming amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is mediocre and could use more aromatic hops.

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Photo of DocJitsu
3.03/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this beer at the SLO Xtreme beerfest. It pours a copper golden color with a white head. The head dissipates soon after the beer is poured. The bouquet is identical to sticking your nose into a bag of magnum hop flowers. Strong, resiny hop flavor from the start and throughout. Finishes with resiny bitterness and alcohol warmth. Not carbonated well enough, but since it was poured from an open bottle, it could've been a little flat.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.06/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Brad for bringing this bottle to our most-recent tasting. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a moderate orange-copper color with a good white head and a bit of lacing on the way down. The nose carries a bit of citrus and a bit of bready malt in the background. Not quite integrated and the hops aren't molding and popping like I'd like. The flavor follows the same track. Decent body with some bitterness through the finish. Decent enough, but the label was likely my favorite part.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.09/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Again, reviewing this time to allow help beer get sufficient reviews for a score.

Pours a clear orange amber with a very short white head that is very fast in the fading.

Nose is a pleasant citric orange, sweet tangerine character that is very simple but pleasant.

Mouthfeel is creamy and full with light carbonation - perhaps a bit too light for strength of flavor profile.

Flavors are big assertive and bold bitter hops with some orange/grapefruit tones. Very assertive and a "palate challenger," to be sure. Big flavor but perhaps a little lacking in complexity and depth.

Finishes with a large pine woodsy bitter bark tone and profile.

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Photo of WrathsU
3.11/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden body with moderately thin white head and moderate lacing. Brilliantly clear body.

S - Cloyingly sweet smell right away. Lots of caramel and toffee which is undesirable in my tastes for a DIPA. Not a lot of hop character coming out in the smell although I do get some floral and slight citrus. Not nearly enough to make me thing this is a hop bomb or deserves the name hoptologist.

T - The taste is much different than the smell. A large amount of complex flavor up front with a nice harsh bitterness to help cut through it. Definitely get some caramel and toffee flavors intertwined with some tropical and citrus hop flavors. The tropical notes are amazing, think melon. There is a weird almost coffee type flavor in the back there somewhere as well. Definitely too sweet for my tastes but an incredibly different and interesting DIPA.

M - Medium to light heavy in body, nice carbonation level and no alcohol burn which is nice for a 9% beer.

O - Although I don't think it's true to the DIPA style it's a great beer to try sometime. It's got a ton of stuff going on in it and is quite exciting.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.11/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass. No bottle date.

A: Pours a clear amber with a well-retaining off-white head and substantial lace down the sides of the glass. This is a handsome beer.

S: This has a small burst of citrus, but it is rind-like and grassy. It is not super expressive. Some malt comes through as bread and a moderate sweetness.

T: The sweetness of the nose is apparent in the initial taste, but the beer follows up with washes of substantial bitterness and grass. Citrus (lemon, a touch of grapefruit) and associated rinds are evident.

M: Well-hidden alcohol for 9%. Medium-bodied.

O: I was able to finish it, but I strongly doubt I'll buy another unless I hear of a recipe change. I think it was $7 or so for a bomber; it just doesn't measure up against other beers that are a better value and taste better. I'd be happier with any of the Lagunitas double IPAs, Pliny, Hoptimum, etc.

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Photo of calir1
3.14/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer was a complete disappointment. In all honesty I could have made this beer on my stove using unsanitized everything and would have been better. How it beat Pliny, let alone any other beer is beyond my imagination. Save the $5 and pick up a Sierra Nevada instead.

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Photo of jorgeg528
3.19/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

a- clear auburn with minimal head. little to no lacing to speak of.

s- bright citrus notes. Extremely floral. Something atypical of this style that I quite can't put my nose on.

t- a bit too sweet from my taste. With a name like this I would expect my palate to be completely overwhelmed by the hops, but the other notes overwhelm and poorly complement them.

m- light-medium body. For a 9% beer this one hides it very well. Good amount of carbonation

o- Knee Deep has some work to do if they want to keep up with other California DIPA's. Mouthfeel is this beer's strong suit but that isn't nearly enough to make it a good DIPA.

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Photo of Bobheed
3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark copper sort of color with a one finger soapy white head

S: Smelled really sweet, lots of citrus hop notes with caramel in it also. A really weird combination of smells

T: Fairly good grapefruit type hops right away, then it got really sweet. Had sort of a gumball type of flavor

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, very smooth

Overall this one was pretty good. I'd recommend if you wanted a Cali IPA that is pretty different than the typical west coast pine bomb.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.26/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

22oz bomber purchased from BevMo in Sunnyvale, CA. Brought back to Sydney and shared with Sam.

Pours a remarkably haze orange-like hue, but the haze gives it a turbid brownness and traps the light. Head forms a tight mess of white that settles out leaving fairly nice streaking lace. Body is fine, with a touch of weight behind it, leaving languid streams of carbonation. Looks okay apart from the haze and the colour, which certainly make it a little less appetising.

Nose is a little dull, but a forward resiny aroma gives it a certain hop dosage. There's a little slight husky malt character coming through, but it's a little dusky and dank. It certainly smells a little tired. Whether it's from age, it's hard to tell. At least there's no true oxidation character.

Taste has survived a little better perhaps, but it's still a little flat. Booze comes through as well which feels a bit unbalanced with the lack of hops and true body. Thin husky malt with a touch of pepper from the booze and the lingering hop bite, which seems stronger and the front and on the finish, but gets lost in the morass a little in the middle.

Feel is fine, with a bit of slickness to the weight.

Overall, it's okay, but the hops seem a little like they're just doing the requisite work, especially on the aroma. To be honest, it's a fairly pedestrian, below-par IPA, something that I guess they know will sell because of the "IPA" on the label, and not because it's a particular stand-out of the style.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.27/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of Knee Deep Brewing Company's Hoptologist DIPA last week for $8.99 at The Lager Mill. I have never tried any beers from this brewery and I didn't even know they were available in Michigan till i saw a bottle of this sitting on the shelf. I'm interested in giving this brewery a try, so lets see how it goes. Bottled on 6/25/14. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks good, it goes well wit the name, I like the design and I think it's pretty eye catching. It poured a very dark orange color that didn't really let any light come through and it had a little over two fingers worth of creamy white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left sticky and patchy lacing behind. This beer didn't look that great, the head was nice, but the color was didn't look good.

S- The aroma starts off with a pretty high amount of medium sweetness with the hops being the first to show up and they impart a nice fruity aroma with some tropical fruits and citrus rind like aromas sticking out the most and when combined with the sweetness they have a candied fruit like aroma with some piney and pretty light green onion hops showing up in the background, Up next comes a caramel malt aroma with some sweet malts also showing up and there's some doughy yeast coming through in the background. This beer had a pretty nice aroma, I like the candied fruit aspect, but it would be a little better without the green onion.

T= The taste seems to be similar to the aroma, but a little lighter and it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with the hops being the first to show up and they impart the exact same aspect that it did in the aroma, but this time the candied fruit is a little lighter and the green onion is a little stronger. Up next comes a light alcohol flavor that's just barely warming and it's followed by the malts that impart the same aspects that it did in the aroma with the caramel malt flavors sticking out the most and there's still some doughy yeast coming through in the background. On the finish it had medium amount of bitterness with a hoppy aftertaste.. This was a decent tasting beer, but i wish it had more of that candied fruit aspect that it had in the aroma with out the stronger green onion aspect.

M- Smooth, not overly bitter, not too crisp, a little watery, medium bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. This beer had an Ok mouthfeel, but it seemed a little flat and watery to me.

Overall I thought this beer was just ok and I thought it was an average example of the style, it had some nice aspects to it, but it also had more than a few off aspects that really held this beer back in the end. This beer didn't have great drinkability, it was smooth, not overly bitter, not too crisp, a little watery, not filling and the taste didn't do the best job at holding my attention, one glass is a little more than enough for me since the flavor doesn't really keep me coming back for more and neither does the mouthfeel. What I like the most about this beer was the aroma, it was by far the best aspect of this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was the appearance, green onion aspect and mouthfeel, they weren't that good and they held this beer back. I would buy this beer again if I knew it was fresh, but I'm for sure not getting another bottle from this batch and as it stands now I can't say I would recommend it. All in all I wasn't impressed with this beer, it seemed to be very average for a west coast style DIPA and it had too many off aspect. So far this didn't make a good first impression for this brewery, but I'm more than willing to give them another chance, I don't understand how a beer that just hit the shelfs was bottled back in June, I didn't even look at the bottling date since I assumed it was fresh since it just showed up, but it wasn't. I appreciate you guys sending your beers out here and I'll have to give this beer another chance and re review if I can find it fresh.

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Photo of kingmaxwell
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This Hoptoloist is an enjoyable double IPA with drinkability but not much hop power. I appreciate the smoothness, which welcomes one to drink the beer, but the flavor is more funky malt than hoppy flower. Definitely appreciating the power of the beer -- it does not feel like a 9.0, but something in the sevens. The brewers have made a powerful and friendly double IPA.

A lot of it is the dominant bitter contrast that usually get's overrun with west coast hop-laden IPAs. This beer has a balance of bitter. Chocolate, whisky, and malty richness suffuse this brew. Other reviews have noted pine, which I don't really notice. It is closer to the crust of a well-baked sourdough bread -- malty almost-burned nuttiness.

The beer is dark orange in the glass and had very little head. Accessible, but not a stunner IPA. Probably better on a rainy day than a hot and sunny beach brew.

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Photo of ThePaleRider
3.34/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Starts off looking nice, with a very forward hop aroma. Then you taste it and it's a very, very one dimensional flavor. Very bitter hops and very unflattering booze. Reminds me more of an over the top triple IPA, but with very little depth in flavor.

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Photo of Chris_Cali_2o9
3.34/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber to a sam adams cup

A- Amber orange body, 3/4" white head that turns into sparkling lacing on the glass after every sip

S- INTENSELY floral & piney, like shoving your face in a christmas tree, hints of perfume, cat piss, dirty clothes (in a good way)

T- Suprise, suprise, grapefruit... slightly boozy, but not overpowering, with some heat at the end of every sip. Hints of sweet malts manage to make their presents known through all the hoppy bitterness.

M- Medium body, coats the tongue, crisp carbonation

O- When I first put my nose to the glass, all the awesome aromas smacked me in the face, catching me off guard. I thought, like knee deeps citra, i had found another diamond in the rough. Sadly, once it took a sip, i realized there really is nothing that special about this brew. Grapefruit dominates the flavor, screaming, Cascade hops!! Like every other west coast average IPA, DIPA, IIPA. Knee Deep has impressed my with Citra and Immigration Red Ale, so i wont let this one average brew stop me from trying the rest of what the have to offer.

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Photo of beer2day
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear honey gold with amber tints. 1-finger medium cream head, but no retention and absolutely no lacing. Possibly the weakest lacing I have seen in an IPA or DIPA.

Nose is very strong with citrus when first uncapped. Gives way to more floral notes after the beer is poured. Hints of sour apple and a slightly detergent feel. Not bad at first, but not growing on me.

Taste is strongly floral up front with a decent hop bite in the finish. Light caramel malt and a twinge of that sour apple from the nose. Decent amount of hot spice in the finish, too.

Feel is thick with lots of syrup in the consistency.

Overall, probably worth a shot if you find it at a good price. Otherwise ...

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Photo of stlunatic15
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Amber color with a very white head. The beer looks thick.

S: Smells fruity to me; bright red berries, specifically. Maybe a tad bit of plum as well, but very light.

T: Deep, very deep. Definitely hoppy, but not incredibly overpowering. I was expecting it to be almost insane, but it's actually more mild than I had thought. I'm noticing a combination of pine and white grape.

M: It is indeed thick for a DIPA. I know that the majority of them are going to be slightly thicker in general, but this one takes the cake. Quite a short finish though - it's not lingering in my mouth as long as I thought it would.

O: Yes, it's a massively hoppy beer, but I think Knee Deep could've done a better job. I feel like they were too determined to create this particular beer, that they kind of got off-track and only made it to meet the standards of a typical hop head. This beer actually placed 1st in the DIPA festival in my local town, beating Pliny (Younger & Elder) and many others. I honestly disagree with the judges' decisions, but hey - everyone has their own preference. Overall it is not a bad beer, and I would definitely buy it again.

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Hoptologist DIPA from Knee Deep Brewing Company
3.87 out of 5 based on 1,025 ratings.
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