Molotov Hoptail Double IPA | Mad Fox Brewing Company

very good
15 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Mad Fox Brewing Company
Virginia, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Thorpe429 on 08-20-2010

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Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 52
Photo of Chaney
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this one last month at Mad Fox. Review almost verbatim from notes.

Served in a snifter.

A: Poured an orange-red color with a mild chill haze and a crisp, whispy white head that stuck around throughout the session.

S: Pow hops! Yep, this was very hoppy and fruity on the nose, with a good bit of candy-coated booze that reminded me of "Dreadnaught."

T: A bitter, explosive hop bomb for sure, with sweet candi sugar and fresh whole leaf hop taste. I got a good bit of spicy white pepper in the background.

M: This one coated the palate extensively, but in an awesomely memorable way. Very low lacing and carbonation level, just like it should!

O: Man, when Mad Fox is on, they're really on!

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.91/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the brewery. Half finger head on a clear crimson with golden hues body. Very thick circunferential lacing. Aroma is nicely balanced with caramel malts as well as citrus and earthy hops. Candy sugar also is prevalent in the one. Bitterness is provided by some floral presence. Medium body and moderate carbonation. This is a hard genre to stand out in and this one is good but not great.

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Photo of jacewg
4.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 (Citra/Simcoe)

Appearance: very similar to previous years. Deep orangey red, golden hints. Really nice head retention for a beer of this ABV/hop character. Pretty and clear with a hint of dry-hop haze

Aroma: Enormous. Tropical fruit, mango, pineapple, orange. All come across almost candy-coated in a sense thanks to a malt presence that is perceived sweet but with very little caramel or toasted flavors. Wonderful

Flavor: Opens with a ton of juicy hop and malt interaction. Malt lays a sweet backbone but never intrudes, only holds up the massive hop flavor: again tropical fruit, hints of pine, and citrus qualities.

Mouthfeel: On the fuller side of things for a double IPA. Rich, but not syrupy. Carbonation is medium-low for a DIPA but just enough to cleanse and reset the palate. The beer dries out on the finish but some sweetness still lingers along with tons of hop flavor. The beer stays in the mouth for minutes after the last swallow.

Overall: The malt bill on this could stand to be dialed back slightly, but that's splitting hairs. The hop flavor and aroma components are on par with any Double IPA I've ever had.

2013 (Galaxy/Simcoe)

Appearance: Pours a deep orangey red with some golden hints. Two finger head that falls pretty quickly. Lots of spotty lacing.

Aroma: Huge hop aroma. The fruitiness of Galaxy with the pine of Simcoe. This beer has a huge aroma. The only negative is the amount of sweet malt coming through on the nose.

Taste: Lots of candied fruit. Big hop flavor with lots of fruit, citrus and pine. Quite a bit of sweetness, but it melds pretty well with all the hop flavor. A dry, piney, bitter finish helps tone down the candy malt sweetness. Booze is present but doesn't distract from the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is a bit low for the style. Slick and oily on the palette. Seems to work for this beer though. The flavor lingers forever.

Overall: Really nice DIPA. A bit sticky sweet for my preference but the hop flavor and aroma are exceptional. Really surprised there's not more of a buzz around this beer as the sweetness and the Simcoe flavor immediately conjure up images of Hopslam.

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Photo of siege06nd
4.11/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From growler to my new nonic pint glass (thanks Rhettroactive!). Note that this brew is never listed on the must ask for it by name and pray they have it.

A: Lovely. A mostly clear, sunset orange copper color. Has a warm glow as it rests in the glass. Three fingers of beautiful eggshell white head emerge from the pour and quickly sift down to a half finger. The head is beautiful...dense, cloying, and finely consistent. Sticky lacing clings to the sides of the glass with a pleasing consistency. This looks really great.

S: Mmmm...candied lemon, orange zest, and pine. What's there is good, but I have had DIPAs with much more hop presence on the nose.

T: Similar flavor profile to the orange whip, which is to say it is delicious. Candied orange citrus is apparent immediately as the hops wash over the front and absolutely explode on the mid. It's assertive, yet has a surprisingly creamy and sweet malt build which balances out the hops quite nicely. A good, clean, pine hop on the finish, with a very faint aftertaste of grass and booze. This is very very good.

M: Carbonation is dialed back a bit which lets the flavors absolutely shine. Molotov is thick and chewy for a DIPA and sits nicely on the palate. A slight booziness in the finish, but I'm not complaining.

O: Molotov Hoptail is another great IPA/DIPA from Mad Fox. They've really seemed to master this style. It's surprisingly easy drinking, yet full of bold hop flavors and complexity. It is very similar to Orange Whip, with a bit more "pop" and a touch more booze in the finish. An excellent beer.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From growler to nonic glass on 2/21/11
*From notes

It should be noted that this is my 50th review!

A: Clean, rustic amber. 1.75 head on a suitable pour. Thick, sticky lacing remains and invites me to the glass.

S: Alcohol and sweet hops on the nose. It's complex, yet balanced and luxurious.

T: Wow - this is a big one. A payload of bitter yet citrusy hops and alcohol esters invade my mouth. The maltiness arrives just in time to provide a backbone to such a massive brew.

M: Rich, creamy and perfectly suited to the profile of this DIPA.

O: What an outstanding DIPA. Yet again, Bill Madden and the Mad Fox crew have come through with another insanely amazing hoppy treat. Two big thumbs up for a beer I'm so very glad is brewed right around the corner.

PS - Mad Fox's Molotov Hoptail is served off-list. You'll need to ask for it by name at the brewpub.


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Photo of drabmuh
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler from Thorpe, thanks buddy.

Beer is copper with a thin off white head that doesn't bother to stick around to see what the rest of the beer is like. Leaves some lacing on the sides, carbonation low.

POW...hops. Pine and earthiness are the colors this beer paints with. Wow...what an aroma, it's really really strong. Seriously.

This is a nice IPA, medium bodied, grinding resiny hop character, that slight sulfurish feel you get from an uberhopped beer is in the late midpalate, thankfully this beer doesn't finish too dry, that would probably make it undrinkable with the levels of IBUs in this one. A very solid DIPA offering from Virginia of all places. Nice, I should make my over there for a pint of this on draft.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich and pleasing fresh DIPA, with a distinct fruity finish.

Presentation: Growler from Bill Madden´s Mad Fox. Ale is absent from the menu at this time despite offering both on tap and cask. Server notes a typical 9% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass from the growler (also had on cask on a half pint glass at the brew pub).

A - Hazy deep amber pour with some floaters, good frothy head with medium retention, and some nice strokes of lacing. The growler holds itself very well in the initial servings, maybe not so much in the following pours. On cask head was light and frothy but was there with also a nice presence.

S - Nicely hopped nose, assertive, nicely woven, plenty of resin, citric notes, and a fruity sense woven back to the sweet malty sense.

T - Rich hoppy profile, long and well built up bitterness with an expansion on the citric and resinous notes. The fruity range in the backbone as it is woven back with the malty sense is quite particular and rich.

M - Medium body with light carbonation. It holds itself rather well on the growler, its softer sense adds a smoother touch on cask. Some stickiness on an overall soft bite with a great deal of smoothness.

D - Hmm, nice DIPA, worth seeking out, and sure enough bring home.

Notes: Pity that I´m not that close to Mad Fox but the brews are quality. This DIPA was great. The overall price-quality ratio is fantastic and I enjoy every visit.

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Photo of JDH2000
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Mad Fox on 9/18/10.

A- poured into a snifter glass, copper/dark golden with about a finger of head that dissipates to a collar around the glass.

S- Beautiful hop aroma of pine and some citrus fruits followed by light, sweet malts.

T- Again, the nice pine hops fade to more fruity/citrus flavors with a nice level of bitterness to offset the light, yet sweet, malt backbone. Had a very fresh taste to it.

M- medium bodied with a nice level of carbonation. Nice and smooth.

D- Overall, I was impressed. I'll definitely be having this one again when I return to Mad Fox

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Molotov Hoptail DIPA, on tap at Mad Fox, Falls Church brewpub. Enjoyed on 09/05/10.

Appearance: Arrives a crystalline copper, light, bright, and reflective, with tons of randomly dispersed and pinpoint carbonation. The one finger of lightly tanned head fades slowly and leaves a nice amount of surface dusting and a thick collar, even if the lacing on the sides of the glass leave a lot to be desired - only faint and erratic tendrils manage to cling.

Aroma: Pine and great west coast hop fruit notes - both of the citrus and tropical fruit variety, both on the heavy and sweet side (grapefruit and pineapple) - dominate over a honey sweet malt foundation. Very few hop astringencies.

Taste: This beer's best aspect. Tastes like a less bitter (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) and slightly more chemical-ly (which is) Maharaja. That is, its strongly citrusy, with tons of grapefruit and orange zest, tons of tropical fruit notes - pineapple, mainly - and a healthy amount of minty, herbal zestiness. The malt backbone is only faintly roasted, mostly sweet, simple, honey, cane sugar-like.

Mouthfeel: High quality, with nice, fine, pinpoint carbonation embedded in a thicker body, appropriate for the style and the flavor profile. Borders on being a little too thick or sticky, but doesn't cross the line.

Drinkability: Amp the bitterness on this one up a few notches and I'd have brought a growler. I can understand why they didn't - this one had enough sugar and hop flavors to where you'd need a crapton of alpha acids to balance this one out to the degree you might want to. But it'd definitely be worth it, as the hop bouquet on this beer is spot on. A rare treat, especially from an east coast brewpub.

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Photo of deereless
3.77/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Thin layer of head on a medium pour, decent head retention, medium gold in color with a good degree of orange, no signs of any true lacing - 3.75, S: The first whiff shows some strong tropical fruits such as pineapplel, there is also a good deal of freshly cut grass as well as some pine on the nose, further down I pick up an almost herbal tea like aroma and possibly a little mint and orange, very robust nose - 4.25, T: Strong citrus flavors are present, overloaded with pink grapefruit and orange, hop bitterness is assertive but not off-putting, the herbal tea aromas also come through on the nose, there are some deep earthy and pine flavors as well - 3.50, M: Mouth feel is medium and with a slight slickness - 3.50, D: I've had this beer on a couple occasions and after my latest visit to the new Mad Fox brewpub, I purchased a growler for consumption at home, a nice double IPA, very drinkable - 3.50

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Photo of blackie
3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: snifter serving, deep copper-amber in color, filled to the rim with no head

s: lots of caramel malt, sweet with a piney hop presence, a little fruity, good start

m: medium-full body, somewhat slick, carbonation on the light end

t: big sweet caramel, very clean grains, piney hop bitterness that's pretty strong - but the hop flavor doesn't seem to be at a commensurate level, smooth and reasonably tasty just not terribly complex

d: a pretty good dipa, easily drinkable and fresh

consumed with dinner at the brewpub

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Photo of jrallen34
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to Micheal Thorpe for this growler as an EXTRA. Open with a nice hiss so there is hope it has some carbonation. Doesn't pour with much, but it is decently bubbly, we get amount a finger of white watery head. The beer itself is a really nice dark peach color...The aroma is strong, I start to get pine the second I get the tape off the cap. This is a pine resin bomb start to finish, very strong, no bitterness but smooth resin and alcohol. Very light grapefruit on the front...The taste is really nice, its not as piney as the aroma, as it warms even less so which is nice as I'm not a huge hop head. The taste is really smooth, its is mostly pine resin, but just easy to drink. Light sweetness of malt to start, but then pine...The feel is really nice, its sticky coats the palate for a long time, lasting flavor. Really easy to drink, would love to know the abv.

A dipa worth trying, a smooth pine bomb, that's easy to drirnk.

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Photo of thatguy3579
3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Clear, orange, little head.

S: Smells sweet and hoppy, like pine and apricots.

T: Tasty. A good mix of resin and lemon. Some sweet dark fruit too. Nice lingering hoppy flavor. No noticeable boozy tastes.

M: Creamy, average carbonation.

D: For such a potent and flavorful brew, this is remarkably drinkable. While I wouldn't recommend driving home afterwards, two or three of these would not be a problem.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.67/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz pour served in a sniffer.

Color is a dark clear orange copper with a thin wispy off white head that immediately fades to thin crown and minimal lacing. Flavor and aroma are much more of an "east coast" DIPA style. Aroma is dominated by floral hops and breast, grainy malt. The nose is also my favorite part of the beer as it is a fresh punch of hops well balanced by strong biscuity malts, a combination not typical for most hyped DIPAs. Mouthfeel is thick, well carbonated and smooth, just shy of syrupy. Finish is lingering dryness with floral hops. Flavor is dominated by a sweet caramel and biscuity malt body with a finish of floral hops. I'm happy to try a fresh local DIPA that isn't trying to emulate all the west coast DIPAs but I'm left wanting more balance and nuance in this beer as it is a little overly sweet in the body and biscuity and grainy in the nose and finish.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter. Pours a dark copper with a nice off-white head that recedes into a bit of lacing. Nose immediately lets you know the style. Giant hoppiness with a good majority of them being floral, with a bit of piney and dank hops in the background. Taste is quite similar with a good amount of bitterness, although not extremely high. Mostly floral, but there are definitely some weedy and earthy elements to this. Everything comes together quite well. The malt is apparent moreso in the mouthfeel than the taste, as it's fairly thick, but there isn't much sweetness coming through. Excellent finish, and very good drinkability. A very solid offering.

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Molotov Hoptail Double IPA from Mad Fox Brewing Company
4.11 out of 5 based on 52 ratings.
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