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XHOPS Pale Ale (Red Label) | Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

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XHOPS Pale Ale (Red Label)XHOPS Pale Ale (Red Label)
155 Ratings
XHOPS Pale Ale (Red Label)XHOPS Pale Ale (Red Label)

Brewed by:
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
Iowa, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Deep in the labs at Toppling Goliath, through the vaulted door, down the steps, and past the room labeled “Beware the Leopard” lies a series of experiments long forgotten. The Xhops series - a biological hybrid of many experimental hops. Each color a unique flavor of pale ale. Released throughout 2013 and 2014, this beer begs to make a return, but can you handle it?

Added by BottleCaps80 on 12-15-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 155 |  Reviews: 20
Photo of chadwicktorres
3/5  rDev -29.1%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of TxUltraRunner
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

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

Photo of drummermattie02
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of kscaldef
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of kingsuecac
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of jarrgal
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of cmeyerhofer
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of yourefragile
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of mattafett
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of LoveStout
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of lonewolfcry
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of jrallen34
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of dheldman
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.77/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pours with a small white head. Chunky collar. A bit of lacing.

Smell - Kinda dank. Citrusy. Some pepper. Really interesting.

Taste - Grapefruit. That same pungent and kinda peppery herbal flavor. Cracker malt and some spicy bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. More bitter than others.

Overall - Odd hop flavor, but fascinating. Keeps me interested more than the others.

 439 characters

Photo of kevanb
3.79/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle poured into a Toppling Goliath Teku. Enjoyed on 4/1/14, reviewed from tasting journal.

The beer pours a very clear copper color, hues of light amber and orange, slight chill haze with some noticeable bubbles rising to the top of the glass. A thick, white head, soapy in texture, about 2 fingers high rises from the glass with nice retention that leaves a big wall of lace behind. The aroma is sticky, sappy, very earthy, lots of resinous pine, crisp and bitter hop spice with some tangy citrus peel as well as some high profile malts, sweet and rich, almost sugary at times. The flavors mirror well, plenty of earthiness, pine, hop spice, perhaps some grassiness, almost a hint of black pepper or something vegetal, with a fair amount of tangy grapefruit peel that amps up the bitterness before a potent counterbalance of malt sweeps over the tongue, rich, thick and sweet. The mouthfeel is nice, juicy texture but a bit slick and almost oily at times, nice amount of lively carbonation that coats the mouth well before finishing strong with a lightly dry kick.

Verdict: A nice pale ale from Toppling Goliath, perhaps a bit earthy and malty for my liking, but it's very well constructed and balanced. The hops show off a variety of earthy flavors, one of the more unique experiences I've had with the vegetal and peppery influences to sit alongside the fruit flavors.

 1,382 characters

Photo of mjpolzin
3.84/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Without doing a side by side, I can't completely decide if I like Red or Blue best of the ones I have been fortunate enough to try. Based on my ratings though, I think I am giving Red the nod.

This beer looks like just about every other Toppling Goliath Pale Ale I have had; a pale, cloudy golden color. The smell was better than the taste. The smell was a pretty straight forward hoppy, bitter, citrusy scent. The taste though was a little overly aggressive and bitter...which seems to be the consensus of many reviews on this website. After awhile though, my palate adjusted to the taste and I eventually really enjoyed this beer. I put it above the Blue because it didn't have a watery aftertaste like Xhops Blue did.

As much fun as the Xhops experiment has been (and probably hard on people's wallets as we all run out to buy the latest color), I had a PseudoSue right after I finished the Red and realized that these experimental hops do not hold a candle to a world class brew like Sue!

 995 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

We did the blue, red, green, and yellow xhops side by side last Wednesday.

All these xhops have a similar light straw golden color.

Predominantly pepper hops smell. Really unique. Not sure how I feel about it. Kept me interested.

Smooth creamy mouthfeel.

Pepper is somewhat stronger in the taste. Not offputting just unexpected. Aftertaste smoother than others ending with a citra type flavor.

I did a little blending and really like this blended with the blue.

 467 characters

Photo of Brewwarrior
3.96/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of darthvohn
3.96/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Glass Used: Nonic tumblr

Appearance: A crystal clear copper body with a fluffy cream white head. As the foam melts, an even lacing is left behind. Pretty ale.

Smell: Dank hops and green onion vapors, a bit of citrus ,a bit of resin and malty sweetness fills the nose.I get some peppery notes as well.

Taste: Dank and oniony qualities, indeterminate citrus, and spicy malt on the back end with a short bitter after taste that vanishes quickly.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation. Stickiness coats the lips and cheeks.

Overall: A very enjoyable and easy drinking APA. The Yellow label is still my favorite. I plan to try the Orange label next.

 642 characters

Photo of Pintofbrown
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Into a snifter it goes.

Red label is a hazy gold with amber highlights. The foam builds to about a finger's width before devolving into a white ring around the glass, very nice sheet lacing.

The aromas are aggressive and citrusy. The edge to the bouquet comes from a green onion dankness and menthol, peppery quality. The citrus is more sour, grapefruits, some lemon.

The palate focuses on the dank green onion quality with a tinge of earthiness. The citrus that does appear is heavy on grapefruit juice on the back side of the throat and in the swallow. Very subtle peppery quality throughout the drink. The bitterness in the swallow and on the cheeks feels like pine or menthol, also mixed with some orange.

More watery over the tongue, with decent creaminess. The light-medium body is wholly appropriate.

Overall, the Red label of XHOPS is slightly more aggressive than Green label. The hop qualities come across more dank (green onion / garlic), with the impression of sour citrus and almost no malt detectable on the palate. A very nice pale ale from TG, once again.

 1,078 characters

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -5.4%

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XHOPS Pale Ale (Red Label) from Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 155 ratings
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