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: 1,023
Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange and west coast flavour. Great hop aroma. The 102 IBU is an assault, yet good malting with caramel that makes this very smooth and drinkable.Piney and resiny.Understated carbonation works. Very nice and worth trying for DIPA fans.
Mike's bottle from SF.

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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 kylehay2004
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: single finger head which dissipates quickly. Lots of lacing. Clear, amber with slight golden hue body.

S: very hoppy, nice pine and citrus with a slight burnt aroma as well.

T: nice hops up front which transitions to a piney and sharp flavor with a mild pine aftertaste. buttery and bittery.

M:medium body and moderate to high carbonation

Overall: This one isnt terrible. The aroma is excellent but the flavor is very simple even if it is good.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at drewone’s tasting.

Pours a clear copper orange color with an off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is of malt and herbal and citrus zest hop flavors. There is a medium amount of bitterness with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a better smell than taste in my opinion.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev +3.4%

For me this was a better drink in a lot of ways than was the hoparillo, which I found sweet and way too boozy. This one has a far different hop complexion, more bitter and abrasive, more challenging, just as long in the finish, and way less balanced. The abv here thankfully is irrelevant, and it ends up being the hop intensity that slows me down, not the strength. As sticky sappy as the other, just not loaded with grain and even maybe candy sugar, more traditional in that way. Yeast is solid here, cleaning up sugar well and putting just a slight fruity theme in there with the big boy hops. Even a touch of darker crystal malt gives this glass of suds some skeletal support. I am yet to be floored by these guys though, which given their reputation is now overdue

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Photo of Knapp85
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a slightly hazy orange color. The head on top was white and fluffy looking. The retention and lacing of the beer is decent. The smell of the beer has a floral citrus aroma with a bit of malt sweetness in the back end. The mouthfeel was easy going, not overly carbonated. Overall it a a nice DIPA. Glad I got to try it.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, more kooky punnery in the naming of this hop-forward (ok, that remains yet to be seen) IPA.

This beer pours a clear, pale golden yellow colour, with four fingers of puffy, barely foamy, and mostly just bubbly dirty white head, which leaves some stellar chunky webbed lace around the glass as it slowly melts away.

It smells of dank pine resin from two feet away, with a decent bready and doughy caramel malt, a bit of domestic citrus rind and more exotic tropical fruitiness, and some further leafy, weedy, and perfumed floral hops. The taste is bready, grainy caramel malt, resinous pine sap, muddled red grapefruit and blood orange citrus, and more leafy, earthy, and floral hop bitterness - the alcohol still holding its fire.

The bubbles are pretty understated in their barely (at times) perceptible frothiness, the body a solid medium-heavy weight, and generally smooth, the booze starting to make some minor ingress, in collusion with the big-ass hoppiness. It finishes sweet, sugary, fruity, and bitter, in varying amounts depending on the molecular makeup of each glug.

A definitely heady and engaging DIPA, with the warm, simmering fruitiness large and in charge, after pushing aside that brash pine character from the opening act. Not a world beater, but more of a local hero (I'm imagining) sort of thing - I'd happily put this one back at any of my neighbourhood (craft beer) watering holes, if it meant not paying stupid exchange-rate inflated prices.

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Photo of largadeer
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Ale Arsenal. Brilliantly clear amber with a finger of sticky froth that leaves sheets of lacing. Huge dank hops on the nose, very weed-like and resinous. Somewhat herbal and grassy, with lesser notes of orange pith. Similarly hoppy on the palate, intensely bitter and surprisingly dry for a 9%er. Marijuana and pine flavors up front, with more of an orange peel and fresh herb bitterness toward the finish. Malt is barely present. This is great stuff on the whole, very drinkable despite the sharp bitterness and high alcohol.

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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 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 nickfl
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on a head on a deep copper colored body. The head settles rapidly but leaves a very attractive film of lace clinging to the walls of the glass.

S - A nice, strong hop aroma with notes of grapefruit and pine. Some toffee and toasted bread in the background.

T - Sweet malt and pine hops up front. Some more toasted malt in the middle with a sweaty, onion like hop note. Finishes with sweet, thick malt and moderate bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - The aroma is really nice and while the flavor doesn't live up to that promise, it is still pretty nice. I would probably prefer it to be just a touch lighter in malt character than it is, but still a nice surprise from a random brewery I have never heard from before.

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

Pours into an impy nonic a clear medium golden with a tightly formed half finger white head that left a small mount of lace as it settled,good clarity to the pour.Sweet alcohol and big citrus fruits in the nose,it smells menacing.It's big and sweet on the palate but the citric hops cut thru it and make for a big balanced brew,the IBU's are no joke but either is the boozy sweet alcoholic base.This is something to finish the night off,it's big in all aspects,it's all 4'ers here.

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

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 5/13/2014. Pours crystal clear deep orange amber color with a 2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big peach, pineapple, mango, tangerine, grapefruit, orange peel, lemon zest, floral, grass, pine, caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity and balance of juicy citrus/tropical hops and nearly balanced malt sweetness; with great strength. Taste of big peach, pineapple, mango, tangerine, grapefruit, orange peel, lemon zest, pine, floral, grass, caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Moderate amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of peach, mango, tangerine, pineapple, grapefruit, orange peel, pine, floral, grass, caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity and robustness of juicy citrus/tropical hops and fairly balanced malt sweetness; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth, fairly creamy, and moderately crisp/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn good DIPA. All around nice complexity, balance, and robustness of juicy citrus/tropical hops and caramel/bready malt sweetness; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of russpowell
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had to buy this based on the label!

Pours a hazed amber with a pinky of pearl colored head.

S: Grassy & catty, woody notes as well. Good head retention & below average lacing

T: Follows the nose, dryness & a little lemon grass up front. Grassy & cattiness, so dry with maltyness & pears as this warms, a little peach & pineapple. Finishes dry, weedy, with a little grapefruit & woodyness

MF: Medium body & moderate carbonation, decent balance

Nice effort, a little too catty for me, worth a go

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Photo of smcolw
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The liquid is dirty gold and quite cloudy. Fluffy head that initially leaves a blanket of lace. Later sips provide small spots.

There's a bit of a cabbage smell to this beer. I also detect freshly mowed field of weeds, perhaps reminiscent of the aroma of thistle. Overall, it's attractive but it's also very unusual. In the background, I pick up melted butter and pine needles. Extremely complex.

Starts off creamy with a fully round base pale malt taste. The hop comes quickly and sharply, like a spike on the tongue. The full force of the bite comes in the swallow and leaves the palate dry bitter in the aftertaste. The linger hop-pellet taste lingers longer than any beer I think I've ever had. Full Bodied (creamy) but with enough carbonation to give it balance. This starts soft and ends extreme.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Darrell. Thanks man.

The beer appears a murky orange color with a small, white head. Decent aroma with hops in the front and sturdy malt bill behind. A bit sharp on the palate. Hops first, followed by a healthy malt presence. Not balanced particularly well. Medium bodied with solid carbonation. Lingering pine and hops with subtle notes of alcoholic warmth. Overall, an ok beer.

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

The beer looks nice. (As does the label. Lol. Funny.) The beer is good. It has some interesting woody malty tones to it. But the hop tones are very vibrant and firm and working well. There is an earthy and salty tone that really works nicely. Floral tones really kick in on the end. It's nice. It won't win style points, but I certainly think it gets the job done (well). I can suggest this one.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Trying this beer at Yards in Long Beach. It poured a clear golden with white head that is leaving a nice lace. The scent is faint citrus spice and pine. The taste is bitter through the drink with sweet malt battling the pine and citrus bitterness. The Mouthfeel is fuller in body with good carbonation. Overall this is a decent beer and worth a try for those that like DIPA.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to Matt (donttazemebro). Served in a Bell's tulip. Bottle says 012 D-1 1606, whatever that means.

A - Near-perfect appearance - two fingers of creamy white foam that slow settle to a creamy, thick cap, leaving behind glass-coating lace. Transparent golden body with stray bubbles rising throughout.

S - Super piney, with mild dank and bitter grapefruit rind aromas as well. Undercurrent of tropical fruits and brown sugar malt, with the latter intensifying as the beer warms up. Perhaps a touch of alcohol as well.

T - The flavor is heavier on tangerine and orange-esque citrus, with balanced sweetness, zest, and bitterness. Again, some mild tropical fruits, grassy notes, and a bready malt character. Moderate bitterness in the finish.

M - Smooth, medium-full body, with a chewy texture to it. Fairly low carbonation, and minimal alcohol presence. I started to get a buzz on my second glass, so the alcohol is there, but not very perceptible. Finish is surprisingly clean, with some mild resinous hop oils that linger.

D - Wow, the reviews for this one seem to be all over the map. While it's not a top tier DIPA for me it was pretty easy to drink and didn't seem plagued by any of the issues cited by other reviews (diacetyl, thin body, etc.). I'm surprised it beat Pliny at the Bistro DIPA fest, but it's a fairly enjoyable, above-average beer. I had no problem finishing the bomber, but I'm glad this was an extra.

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

Poured from a bomber into a snifter, the beer is a hazy, orange-copper coloring, with a filmy, clingy, white head. Nose of booze forward, with high resinous hops characteristics, tropical fruit notes, and herbal highlights. Flavors of sticky pine pitch forward, with very resinous overtones throughout. High alpha acid palate, on a bold, oily body. Hop heads rejoice. The aftertaste is piney and mossy, with the bitterness still going strong. Slick, lingering, sticky finish, with a solid hops linger. Boozy hop bomb.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Brad at a recent tasting, Thanks! Unfortunately this was another mediocre double IPA.

Beer is amber, darker than expected, white head, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation, looks OK.

Aroma is bready and sweet with lots of malt and some piny resiny hops.

Beer is meh...a little too thick, not bitter enough, hop flavors lose to the malt flavors. Not horrible just not worth crossing the street to get a free pour of.

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Photo of Gavage
3.83/5  rDev -1%

Cloudy orange in color with a short head. Nice lace develops during the session. Aroma is typical citrus and hop centric. Caramel, pine, grapefruits, mango, mild alcohol, and some floral and earthy hop bitterness round out the flavor profile. Crisp throughout. Dry finish. A slower sipping beer but nicely refreshing.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Knee Deep Brewing Co.

LOOK: pours a clear orange color with a off white head and rings of lacework.

SMELL: Intense grapefruit notes and a bit of sappy caramel. Earthy hop signature.

TASTE: Strong resinous bitterness, citrus rind and boozy alcohol. Finishes bitter with a sticky hop flavor. Fairly dank and herbal, with hemp oil and pine notes. Caramel note from the malt.

FEEL: Full bodied, strong flavored, and well carbonated. Has a drying hop bite that adds to the enjoyment of this beer.

OVERALL: This is a good Double IpA because the malt body balances well and the hops taste good. Any lover of hops can appreciate this beer when fresh.

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Photo of biegaman
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The forecast for Hoptologist looks green - even if the beer itself is golden. Looks are deceiving - just because there aren't melon skins, grapefruit peels and pine needles floating around in it doesn't mean it doesn't taste like there are. What isn't misleading is the super foamy, well sustained head; it's a true indication of a well constructed beer.

The aroma is so jammed with herbal, leafy notes I wouldn't be surprised to wake up tomorrow to find vines growing out of my nose. It's a considerably crude hoppiness that shares a pungency similar to its closest relative (marijuana) but is tempered with juicy, tropical fruit flavours as well. It smells as though it were grown on a farm or in a greenhouse.

Is my face breaking out into a green rash? Each sip coats the tastebuds in an emulsion of citrus peels, grass clippings and a tree bark note with a peppery, root-like bitterness. I bet it was even more buzzing two months ago at the time of bottling; the toffee and toast qualities of the malts are fairly noticeable.

All those hoppy flavours inexplicably hide a lot the alcohol (9%) and bitterness (100+ IBU). Indeed, this comes across as more balanced and harmonious than other offerings in its weight class. A Double IPA aught to have more heft and punch then a standard one but the best ones also drink just as effortlessly - this is a big beer that doesn't require small sips.

It's apparent Hoptologist completed his doctorate in lupulin, with a minor in drinkability. Double IPAs have been a staple in the California microbrewery repertoire for some time now and that state's brewers have only gotten better and better at it. And Knee Deep in particular, as evidenced by Hoptologist and their ten or so other IPAs, have really pinned hops down to a science.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%


Bottle picked up at Brewer's Haven on Vista for a pretty pricey $8.50ish... Poured into my standard goblet.. clear dark golden with a nice white head... good lacing and retention.

Nose is about what I expect from Knee Deep... Pretty spot-on big boned hoppiness with plenty of pithy grapefruit and aromatic tropical fruits and melon.

Flavor shows big pithy bitterness up front.. fruity hops from that point forward..

Light/medium body with a nice bubble accentuates the drinkability and moves this one forward..

Hoptologist seems very similar to most Knee Deep beers I have had recently... Not really a knock, but I guess maybe I would hope for bigger differences between their different big hoppy bottles.


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Hoptologist DIPA from Knee Deep Brewing Company
3.87 out of 5 based on 1,023 ratings.
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