Belgo Hoptologist | Knee Deep Brewing Company

very good
23 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Belgo HoptologistBelgo Hoptologist

Brewed by:
Knee Deep Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Belgo-Hoptologist is brewed with Citra, Columbus and Cascade hops which give this American Belgo Style IPA enormous hop aromas of American pine & grapefruit and eccentric fruit and phenols flavors from the Belgian yeast.

Added by Halcyondays on 04-27-2013

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 179
Photo of beerthulhu
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

- Speigelau ipa glass.

A: Darkening orange in the vessel produces a generous, frumpy textured, light hay colored head with a relatively moderate rate of stay (2-3 min). Quick paced macro-effervesce within, slightly hazy forecast with a nice window dressing, of soapy spotting.

S: Freshly squeezed breakfast juice, grapefruit and orange with a slight injection of tropical notes. Hops are fresh and wet, of short duration leading more into some fruity factors such as breakfast fruit, melon, with a soft dry finish of hay and nutshells.

T: Flavor started with a bit of grassy-orange hopping, above average showing, that was backed by a bright crisp carbonation factor that seemed to make it pop a bit more. Dry grains, green melon, and floral citrus hightlight the mid-palate. Nice breakfast juice fruitiness from the yeast, tangerine and orange finish, toasted hay, with flashes of light intermittent flashes of sweetness from the speciality grains that are supportive, and never intrusive or overly used to cover the hops and yeast. Finishes with a lightly dry and bittering duration.

M: Mouthful is fairly crisp and bright, body seems a bit lean for 9.0%abv leaning more towards the lighter side of medium weight.

O: Overall nice fruity contribution from the yeast and hops, with an adequate and well balance of hoppiness (102 ibus) that shows warming floral and orange hopping with a soft belgian yeast and tropical fruitiness. This is meant to be a belgian hopped ipa, so don't expect some humongous west coast dry hopped bomb that would ultimately would cover the gentle belgian yeast attributes, instead respect and enjoy the well balance and soft features. This held my attention throughout the drink til the very last sip. A bomber is a perfect serving size here.

 1,782 characters

Photo of metter98
3.84/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear golden yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high white head that died down, leaving some specks of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose along with some faint hints of Belgian yeast.
T: The taste has flavors of citrusy hops along with notes of tropical fruits and hints of pine and Belgian yeast. A moderate amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer tastes more like an American DIPA compared to a Belgian IPA because the yeast isn't that evident in the smell and taste. Nonetheless, the beer masks its alcohol very well and is therefore easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

 863 characters

Photo of timontheroad
3.89/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 2/10, poured from a bomber into a nonic pint glass.
Appearance: Poured clear orange/amber color, half inch white head. Good lacing and retention.
Aroma: Dank, grassy and piney, with some light flowery and grassy notes. Very little sweet malt aroma.
Taste: Big piney flavors, a little citrus tartness, and some slight malt sweetness. Got a weird slightly metallic flavor that was a little off-putting.
Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied, decent carbonation, felt a little thin for the style. A little alcohol burn as well.
Overall: Certainly not a bad beer, Knee Deep really brings the hoppiness in this one, but I really missed the belgian funky yeastiness I thought it should have.

 690 characters

Photo of FLima
3.64/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Amber yellow color with a thick head with short retention but leaving laces.
Aroma with lots of pine and Belgian yeast.
Hoppy flavor with notes of Belgian yeast, herbal and piney hops, some grapefruit and spices. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Medium body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 9% is perceived but in harmony with the overall beer.
Pretty decent, hoppy and yeasty Belgian DIPA. But just not a huge fun of Belgian IPAs in general, with some exceptions.

 466 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1/2 growler filled at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY

Near clear medium auburn. fine bubble head, film, collar and mderate fine sheets of lace.

Some Belgian yea, pepper and coriander on the nose.

Full throttle DIPA with an ample malt base, and peppery hops in the finish. the Belgian character seems to be fairly minor, as I'm picking up yeasty qualities, but not really as much as I'd like. On the malty side for a DIPA. So all in all, not really what I'm looking for in a "Belgo" inspired brew. But a decent and heady drinker, none the less

 542 characters

Photo of humuloner22
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Older review from notes.

Eh, this one was alright, but for the price it was not all that special.

Look: Golden hazy hay.

Smell: Some Belgian yeast in there, really sweet, hops take back stage on this one.

Taste: I felt it was too sweet for the style, I need to try more Belgian IPA's to compare, but this is not one of my favorite styles based on this one. It was too sweet. Too much malt, not enough hops. Some cloves and herbal spices found in Belgian yeast strains, but none of the flavors really come together to make it a special beer to me.

Overall: Fair beer, interesting flavor, but not one of the best beers I have ever had.

 641 characters

Photo of Greywulfken
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

A: deep golden/medium amber ale; essentially clear; few fingers of white foam

S: fruits and flowers and pine resin hops; honeyed grains and citric piths

T: combines an American DIPA with Belgian-esque flavors and feels - hops are up front, bringing the prerequisite battery of citric and pine elements; the grain base is solid - caramel sugars sweeten the grain nicely, taking the edge off the hops; fruits, pale and full, are suggested amply here

M: medium-full, soft and fuzzy swallows the bittering effect, soothing the tongue while effervescing across the palate

O: I'm giving this ale a high score because it seems to be exactly what it set out to be: an American DIPA with Belgian stylings - the Hoptologist is a great DIPA, and this is a great expression of that ale, but fruitier and fuzzier - delightful drinking. Recommended.

 839 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.96/5  rDev 0%

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. A foamy curtain of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus fruit, citrus zest, and slight Belgian yeast flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty, but I am getting a Belgian yeast presence in the taste only.

Serving type: on tap.

 644 characters

Photo of MacQ32
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours an orange amber with a 2 finger+ near white head. Fantastic lacing and good retention. Pretty ideal aside from the monster head.

S - Very nice, a great mix of dry, semi-citrusy hops and huge clovey banana notes. Some decent sweetness. Very belgianesque. Huge huge banana/clove notes

T - Starting out minimally bitter, very belgian sweet, oranges, coriander, lots of clove, and transitions into a slightly more traditional IPA flavor - citrusy orange (still pretty sweet), minimal sweet boozy flavor, finish is dry, bitter and spiced. Quite impressed.

M - Medium bodied+, leaves a thick feel to the back of the tongue, good carbonation and drinkability.

O - Really awesome, belgian heavy, transitioning flavors. Would definitely include in a Belgian IPA lineup

 773 characters

Photo of Brenden
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is the same clear, deep gold-orange as the original. The fluffy off-white head stands just over one finger in height. Interestingly, as is the case with the non-Belgo version, the retention is more in the lasting of the foam that remains rather than how long it stays at its height. Patching is solid.
The difference in the aroma is essentially that the bitterness is toned down and evened out by earth and mild sweetness, such that's it's similar to the original but softer with a very little added gentle spiciness. I still get the wood, pith, flower herb, and pine of the original, just toned down and added to. Ultimately, it ends up being give and take.
There's no hint of the slight tang and acidity found in the American version. The wood, pith, herb, flower and pine are still present, but with more juicy fruits, light sort of sugary sweetness, earth, clove, and even a gentle sting to the alcohol. The finish ends up being a little weaker, and the Belgian character needs to kick it up to reach the upper echelon of this particular style. Well done, though.
The body is still big enough to support the base and while being a touch lighter in this version. It reaches moderate levels of both crispness and smoothness with a likewise moderate and consistent carbonation.

 1,288 characters

Photo of rawfish
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Rich, clear copper tone with an off white whipped up head. The retention on this beer is fantastic and it leaves a thick layer of lacing.

Caramel malt is very pronounced nearly adding notes of toffee and molasses. Dark citrus and sweet and lasting pine hops, a very west coast profile but lacking a real Belgian feel, some red berry and fruit esters, overall the aroma is strong but one dimensional.

Sweet caramel malt with just a bit of abrasive grain and lots of fruit esters from the yeast. Thick pine and resin with sweet orange citrus as backup. Moderate bitterness despite the 102 IBUs slapped on the label. Alcohol is warming and sneaky in the finish.

Moderate body and smooth carbonation, warming alcohol is well hidden by the malts and is framed well, being neither timid or overbearing. Lacks a strong drying presence but balance is near perfect.

A West Coast DIPA base using just enough Belgian yeast and no Belgian spices to add some red fruity esters to the back end of the flavor. I was a bit taken aback at how non Belgian this IPA is yet it is very balanced and free swinging and would be best approached as a typical DIPA.

 1,144 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a copper hue this one was bottled on 2/1/14, I'd like a bit fresher but it's a Belgo version of their Hoptologist DIPA clocks in at 9% abv with 102 IBUs. Pours a hazed deep copper hue with a light shade off white head, fine even layered lacing.

Aroma has pungent hop pellets intense grapefruit, dank pine cone notes as well, spicy Belgian yeast character hints of black pepper and funky mild barnyard. Overall it smells nice inviting and makes you want to take your first sip.

Flavor has upfront hop complexity a touch of Summit or something similar with a hint of green onion/garlic spiciness, grapefruit peel bitter pith, crushed aspirin a strange hop profile that doesn't work too well with the Belgian yeast characteristics, black pepper spiciness, earthy herbal, and funky finish. The lingering green onion almost kills the experience for me, I'm pretty sensitive to that hop/similar hop varieties.

Mouthfeel is slick with hop oils, medium bodied goes down great pretty smooth for the high alcohol. A bit cloying as it warms the hops just tend to collide with the Belgian yeast they compete with each other the slightly funky spicy yeast with the garlic/onion hop tones wear me down a bit.

Overall I'm glad I gave one of the Knee Deep hoppy offerings a shot, I will keep my eyes peeled for fresh Simtra.

 1,320 characters

Photo of mac31
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this beer from 22 oz'er in a tulip glass.

This beer has a sweet, malty entry coupled with a huge burst of hops that for the most part disappear. There is some hoppy bitterness that carries through the palate. Hops are piney w/ woody/earthy notes. Grapefruit bitterness from the familiar cascade hop. Skunky, danky, orange, and pineapple/tropical flavors takeover the grapefruit/citrus hoppy notes. The beer dries out quite bit, followed up by lucky charm-like toasted cereal grains that take over along with the lingering bitterness that carried from the initial hop burst. There is some minimal remnant of yeasty spiciness that comes through on the backend of the palate. Starts out as a true DIPA, yet finish with many positive belgian qualities. Best Belgo-IPA I've had. Complex, slight boozy. Dangerous at 9%. Extremely drinkable. A must have if you like this hybrid style.

 883 characters

Photo of BB1313
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a clear copper with a fluffy eggshell white head. It leaves very sticky lacing and great retention. Looks great. The aromas have a nice balance between the fruity yeasts and fruity hops. Lots of ripe grapefruit along with some subtle garlic/onion notes. Nice amount of pineapple. Lots of fresh grass. I'm picking up a nice amount of lemon zest along with hints of orange peel. The flavors have a lasting bitterness to it, which is nice. Lots of pine needles in the mix. The yeast is there and it really accents the hops in a pleasant way. More juicy pineapple. Lots of ripe citrus leads the way. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and very smooth. There's moderate carbonation and it's pretty creamy. The alcohol goes unnoticed and it's dangerously drinkable.

This is a great Belgian IPA. It might not be my favorite for the style, but it's better than most. The craftsmanship is pretty impressive and is a very good example of the style. Recommended.

 981 characters

Photo of Tony49er
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type- Went to the brewery and had it fresh on tap poured into a Knee Deep Tulip Glass

Appearance- Hazy golden color, solid white head, a little bit of alcohol legs on this beer but not a lot, when held up to the light this beer has a beautiful golden hue

Smell- Pine, wet hops, sweet Belgian yeast, sweet notes from the alcohol, well balanced with the malts used this beer is not too hoppy but is just right, the Beligan yeast works so well with the hops in this beer great stuff

Taste- Sweet citrus notes from the hops, sweet Belgian yeast, pine notes a very solid and different take on a west coast double IPA

Mouthfeel- smooth, silky texture from the alcohol your palate does not get hit with tons of bitter hops even though this beer has a high IBU count, the Belgian yeast helps mellow that down a bit, this beer has a great overall mouthfeel

Overall- Another great IPA from Knee Deep Brewing all of their beers are solid... this beer won a Silver Medal at the GABF which is a huge honor for Jeremy Warren and the Knee Deep crew they just keep churning out great beer after great beer

 1,102 characters

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 4/12/2013. Pours slightly hazy bright orange color with a 2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange zest, orange rind, lemon zest, tangerine, clove, pepper, bubblegum, honey, light banana, floral, pine, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop and yeast notes; with good strength. Taste of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange zest, tangerine, orange rind, clove, pepper, bubblegum, pine, floral, light honey, light banana, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, clove, pepper, bubblegum, pine, floral, light honey, light banana, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of hop and yeast flavors; with a great spicy yeast ester and bitterness balance; and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a crisp, sticky, and slightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian DIPA!. All around great balance and complexity of hop and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on. Really enjoyed this one.

 1,357 characters

Photo of scottfrie
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle date 06/07/13, poured into tulip.

A: Pours a clear golden color with a thick off-white head that faded into a well retained fussy film. Spotty lacework was left down the glass.
S: Huge onslaught of sweet citrus and tropical fruit hops mixed with strong notes of floral Belgian yeast and slight biscuit dough. Very fruity, floral and citrusy. Smells great.
T: Floral yeast and fruit hops, peach, papaya, mango, tangerine, and biscuit dough in the finish. Bitter aftertaste with mint, lemon, and slight pine. Bright, sweet and bitter overall.
M: Medium body, slick, greasy and hoppy mouthfeel with a balancing amount of drying Belgian yeast. Sweet but not cloying. Drinks well. No trace of alcohol.
O: A fantastic Belgian IPA. Super hoppy but doesn't lose its Belgian yeast presence. Well done.

 800 characters

Photo of Hatzilla
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear honey-amber pour with a thin white head leaving spotty lacing

S - Cardamom, cinnamon rolls, orange peels, lemon zest, caramel malts, alcohol

T - Spicy caramel, cinnamon and grapefruit but the hops are more subdued than many standard IPAs and DIPAs due to the Belgian yeast influence. Alcohol is well hidden even as the beer warms

M - Carbonation is on the light side. Smooth, oily, drinkable with a dry, citrusy-Belgian spice finish

O - A nice beer and a great change of pace from the hoppy American IPA/DIPA style. I want to try more beers from this style. Cheers!

 579 characters

Photo of SHODriver
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottled on 4-12-13

A: pours a clear deep orange with a finger of dense slightly off white head into a Duvel Tulip
S: smells piney, citrusy, fruity and spicy
T: caramel sweetness, slightly fruity esters, tropical fruit, citrus, a bit of spice and some herbal character but still very resinous hops throughout. swallow is more piney and citrusy hops with a slight belgian kick of spice in the finish
M: medium and a little slick in the mouth. carbonation is slightly prickly and the finish is pretty dry
O: overall pretty impressive. good flavors and a nice departure from regular hoptologist. seems to be to style as well and I must say it's pretty hood and the alcohol is well hidden. Not a lot of belgian character but enough to know it's there and not distract from the other flavors.

 787 characters

Photo of mhaugo
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bomber. Decanted into an imperial pint glass.
Appearance: Shiny copper. Completely clear. Thin head that clears quickly from the middle, but clings to the sides of the glass.
Smell: Citrusy and grassy. Like walking thru a freshly mowed citrus grove. Light Belgian spice, but the citrusy hops dominate.
Taste: Nice big double IPA (like Hoptologist). The Belgian yeast gives a slightly cidery taste. The hops add a puckering citrus pith bite. The yeast may contribute to that a little bit as well. Pleasant citrusy aftertaste. Base beer is sweet, but it’s cut quickly by the bitterness. Overall the Belgian quality is very toned down, and the IPA shines through.
Mouthfeel: Full and round. The sweetness tries to sit on the tongue, but the carbonation and citrus eventually wash it away.
Overall: This is a much better attempt at a Belgo IPA than this year’s Knee Deep in Beer Week. It’s just “Belgo” enough to be interesting, but not to the point where it stops being a big IPA. I’d order another one. Well done.

 1,032 characters

Photo of mactrail
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Golden orangey amber in the Ommegang chalice. rich and rather sweet. Warm malty flavors, a touch of honey, and enlivened by a tangy sensation. Very fragrant with honeysuckle and fermenting pineapple.

There is an interesting range of Belgian flavors here. A funky smell, a yeasty tang, and the distinct drying out toward the finish. Brewer claims 102 IBUs, but it's not that bitter, and I can see why some would rate this poorly if they're expecting a double IPA as the lable seems to indicate. It's just a very drinkable Belgian IPA. Flavors of green grapes and pear skins, browned biscuits. Spicy on the tongue. A pleasant surprise for $7 in the 22 oz bottle. Bought at Barons Marketplace on Point Loma Blvd.

 710 characters

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle dated 4/12/13, it's 5/1 now, so only a few weeks old.

Pours out a very nice, translucent orange/gold. It starts with a thick inch of head that dissipates slowly, leaving a ton of lace behind.

Caramel, yeasty country white bread and cumquat lead the smell. A hint of earth and grass are in the background. Very light, but good smell.

Caramel, grass, lemon and yeast meet up front. They all fight for there spot and none gain favor. Very light in taste considering the ABV. The mouth is a bit light.

I don't know what else to say but, " This tastes like the light beer of DIPAs." I didn't dislike it at all, it just wasn't anything special, which is a surprise being it's Knee Deep.

 706 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.39/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

22 oz. bomber, 9% ABV, 102 IBU, bottle 4.12.13,

A: Pours a clear goldenrod with a medium lightly fizzy white head. Average retention for the style, some lace.

S: Notes of yeast and white pepper, classic in some sense, but a bit of solvent character makes me wary.

T: The Belgian chacter is good, though the booze takes over at times and never really lets the yeast and the hops play together. Just always wishing it was something more. Nice pine and citrus hop notes, the beer is slightly disjointed though and takes away from something that could be special.

M: Medium-bodied, oily, hot at times. Fizzy.

O: I tend to be tougher on BIPAs since I like the style so much, and they seem to have a hard time when they bump up to become BDIPAs. There's a lot to like here, but in the end I just found this okay.

 821 characters

Belgo Hoptologist from Knee Deep Brewing Company
3.96 out of 5 based on 179 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.