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Pompeii | Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

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136 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
Iowa, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Inspiration for our newest Hop Patrol IPA comes from the House of Faun in Pompeii, Italy. At this site, some of the world’s most famous mosaics were preserved under layers of ash after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. In this fashion, Pompeii IPA preserves and showcases the luxurious taste of the Mosaic hop. This single-hop IPA offers a floral aroma and a truly complex “mosaic” of taste: dark citrus and pineapple flavors, with deep earthy undertones and a persistent bitterness in the finish.

60 IBU

Added by BarrytheBear on 01-31-2013

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Reviews: 136 | Ratings: 783
Photo of BEERchitect
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Landing in the oddly familiar but no-man's-land of beer, Toppling Goliath's Pompeii is such an enigma because of it's IPA style-sake that's far too mild in alcohol to qualify, but isn't quite a session IPA either. Too hoppy and too dry for American pale ale- whatever Pompeii is, it's working for me.

Underneath that hazy golden hue and its arid swath of foam, the ale billows over with juicy tropical and citrus flavors with an exotic herbal weave that nods ever so gently to wafts of cannabis. Its dry caramel taste is short and delicate, seeming of mild honey before dissolving effortlessly on the palate.

The middle palate is all about the hops and supple creamy underpinning. Pink grapefruit, tangerine, apricot, mango, pineapple and passionfruit all carry that majestic culmination that only Mosaic hops guarantee. As the tropical flavors trail, its herbal essence garners steam and eventually finishes bitter with muddled botanical herbs, including those dank cannabis flavors.

Dry to the bone, the light bodied IPA carries an arid structure across the palate as the ale seemingly dissolves on the throat, leaving behind an aura of fruit, herb and a smooth citrusy bitterness that lingers deeply in aftertaste.

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Photo of brentk56
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: An impressive bubble show leaves behind the cloudy honey-colored liquid; the head stops at one inch but leaves streaky lacing around the glass

Smell: Dank, with a hint of sugar cookie; floral mango, pineapple and lime tones waft

Taste: A touch of sugar cookie, up front, and then the tropical fruits take over, with mango, pineapple and lime forward; after the swallow, there are hints of orange and blueberry, leading to a bright and dank finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: After the awful can of Pseudo Sue drain poured yesterday, this bottle brings back memories of the Toppling Goliath knack with IPAs of which I am so fond

Thanks, ta_hagen, for the opportunity

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Draft: Poured a bright orangey color ale with a nice foamy head. Aroma of juicy hops notes of citrus and tropical fruit. Taste consist of intense flavours of juicy hops notes of citrus and tropical fruit with some residual sugar notes and almost no bitterness. Body is about average for style with great carbonation. This one is quite the treat and shows that he brewer was really able to extract as much as possible from the Mosaic hops.

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Photo of emerge077
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy orange with some micro particles hanging in suspension. Dripping lace down the sides of the glass. Creamy head of foam initially, fades into a thin broken web on the surface.

Aroma is great, dry and fruity, white peach, slight passionfruit.

Taste is lightly peachy, leafy green with a lingering earthy hop bitterness in the aftertaste.
Feel is well balanced with a slight heft, light carb lends to a supple feel.

Now this is a Mosaic IPA, intoxicating at all levels. Aroma, visual, taste, feel, etc.
Extremely drinkable and well crafted, others should be taking notes.

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Photo of jlindros
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to irish-hawkeye (Reddit) for this one. Shared with rudzud.

Pours a great fluffy creamy almost 2 finger head that fades slowly with nice soapy lacing, hazy orange juice color.

Nose brings tons of dank citrus hops, a simcoe like dank musty grapefruit with citrus resin and pith, dank tropical fruits with papaya, little grassy oily earthy, citrus and kiwi like hops, even a little melon rind, nice pith.

Taste brings a malty sweet start, toasted soft reddish malts but dry. Then hops, a kiwi like tropical fruit mild earthy grassy note, with more dank fruits, tropical mostly, papaya, hint passion fruit, resinous notes, little grapefruit pith again, touch spicy too. Nice dank tropical fruits mostly, linger for a while, nice dank resin on the back end with lingering musty tropical fruits, little bitter earthy spicy hops, big lingering spicy rind, hint of baking spices too.

Mouth is med bod, decent softness, nice carb.

Overall very nice, great hop profile, nice bitterness, dank resin and musty tropical fruits with nice pith and mild citrus, etc.

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Photo of mothman
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First of all, the label on this beer is a masterpiece. Beautiful.

The beer is amazing as well.

Golden orange color. Off white head with lace. Nice retention.

Flavor profile: Very tropical and juicy. Pineapple, papaya, and mango. Earthy hops. Very green and citrusy.

Mouthfeel: A nice amount of bitterness, but it ends clean. Some grapefruit citrus and hop resiny flavor sticks around in the finish.

A well done ipa. Very enjoyable and definitely up there with the best of them.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful appearance; burnished gold with a couple fingers of rocky head with moderate retention. Nose has some pineapple, tangelo, something herbal (like thyme and / or sage) and a bit of damp leaves. Flavor follows. Mouth feel falls a bit flat. Definitely a weak spot - it's creamy but not bright or crisp feeling. As it warms, the damp leaf smell becomes a bit dominant and unpleasant. Very good but a bit short of great.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.71/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle from John's Grocery in Iowa City, IA. This store is a must stop if you're in the area.

Hazy orange body with an inch of white head. Oh the aroma...what a showcase for the lovely Mosaic hops. Teeming with tropical fruit and citrus. Delightful palate. Mango, orange, juicy melon. Smooth and tangy. Outstanding.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle. Clear orange. Smells tropical and citrusy. Strong caramel malt, at least stronger than I expected. Tastes of orange before the hop profile turns dank and garlicky. Hefty sweetness. Medium body. Strong bitterness. Very nice.

 238 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.41/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bottle:

Pours hazed golden with a lasting white head. Trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of musty/dank citric and tropical notes with a mild herbal spicing.

The taste is of grapefruit, orange/tangerine, pineapple with a mild herbal/grassy touch. Hops pulled together and bitterness smoothed out by crackery/bready pale malt backbone. Bitter-ish, fruity/juicy, long finish. (In-between scores, even after the whole 22 ounces, but good enough to give it the higher of the two scores I've had in mind.)

A fruity, slightly herbal, pleasantly bitter beer that showcases the mosaic hops very well!

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Photo of smakawhat
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a Spiegelau IPA glass. Bottled June 17th 2015.

Thick headed, three finger top of sudsy and whipped up thick retention on the pour, with pill like lacing and lots of staying power. Body color is a little dull, opaque with a hint of lemon glow, to hues of tangerine orange. Nice mix of body color, but very little noticeable rising carbonation. Interesting mix of solid appearances, but also dullness to match.

Nice hop aroma that isn't all out explosive. Woody and full of dank earthy quality, with a mixed spice note on the hop bent which give a hint of passion fruit like sweetness. A hint of vanilla and soda cream like character just feels like it wants to poke out of this, but very much hiding. Not sure where this is going, but very solid, with a good solid hop profile. After some time, the dank aroma dominates with a pickle salty character taking over that is inescapable.

Body and flavors do the job, but in a simpler way. Pale ale like body, with a much simpler feel and backbone for the malts, but with some full bodied juiced tropical kick character. Hop angle comes nicely with a juiced almost tropical hint, but more accenting on lemon and bitter zesty rind. Aftertaste really brings the earth and and dank tones. Sticky finish, but with also a lighter feel that hints towards more juice and sweetness but not quite giving the magic, and giving the impression of purposefully being toned down.

Real interesting brew, and nice drinkable to match feel. Fun brew.

 1,520 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a hazy, honey-gold coloring with a ton of carbonation action in the body, feeding the foamy, creamy, off-white head. Aromas of berry esters, kiwi, passion fruit, melon, pineapple, pepper spice, dried grass, and evergreen. Very aromatic. Flavors are tropical fruit sweet forward, with a blend of melon, kiwi, pineapple, mango, and passion fruit, all with a peppery and herbal hops character to follow, with solid bitterness in tow. Effervesced and light body, with a solid edge as the beer clears the palate. The aftertaste is more of the fruity blend, but with enough evergreen and bitterness to stay balanced and clean. Smooth, crisp, slightly dry finish. Good beer.

 720 characters

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tasted in a Spiegelau IPA glass from a 22 oz bottle. Look is hazy orange gold with a white head and sticky lacing. Smell is floral hops, bitter citrus and earthy aromas. Taste is citrus, pineapple with earthy notes and light caramel malt notes. Feel is light in body with a smooth mouth feel and crisp, bitter finish.

 321 characters

Photo of rudzud
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to JLindros for sharing.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice lightly hazy golden hue with a good two finger head that fades to leave sticky lacing and a nice thin blanket.

S - Aromas of very dank hops, nice oily resins, pine, earthy, really faint tropical.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, really dank, loads of pith, resin, citrus juice, very straight forward.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, fluffy.

O - Overall this beer was really nice, good dank hops and citrus with pine. Pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours a hazy copper tinted amber under a off-white to cream 2” foam cap that recedes moderately fast and is lacy and clingy.

S: Has a minty, resiny nose with light grains. Hop aromas are medium high, malt aromas are medium low, yeast aromas are low.

T: Starts with a blend of lightly sweetened malt and light caramel, light fruit and an assertive bitterness as hop flavors of mint, spice and traces of anise grow. The hop flavors are very herbal and spicy. The hop flavors and bitterness are medium high. The malt flavors are medium to medium high and the yeast flavors are medium low.

F: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: A very full flavored, minty IPA that is well worth repeating.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottleneck says 02/24/16.

A- Pours a hazy dark golden color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Sharp, dank, grassy blast of hops. Also piney and resinous.

T- Taste is more modest than you would suspect given the intense aroma. The bitterness and hop flavor are there but both quite restrained and balanced. Notes of peach, mango and pineapple.

M- Somewhat sharp and very bright from the hops with medium carbonation and a lightish body.

O- A hop explosion that's so easy to drink due to its low ABV and balance. Dynamite.

 719 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden color with white head. Citrus fruits, spice, and light pine on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with spice and pine, mosaic hops really shine through on this one.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a nice clear copper bronze color, soapy white lacing ring.
Thanks to Hopgoddess312 for this bottle.

S - Papaya, guava, mango, pineapple.

T - Tropical fruit rind spiciness, mango, pineapple, some earthiness in the middle, and a lingering citrus bitterness.

M - Medium body with gentle carbonation.

O - This is a fantastic beer.

 340 characters

Photo of Stevedore
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle, served in a TG snifter.

Pours a darker, hazy orange-copper body, thick and substantial one finger white head with nice retention and lacing. Smells of pineapples and grapefruit, mild sweet pale malt without graininess, not a lot of resin; very clean fruity hop aromas that showcase Mosaic well. Flavour is balanced between the tropical fruit, citrus and the pale malt backbone; it's a very smooth combination and blend of hops and malt. The malt is not too forward, but it provides a nice sweetness on top of the tropical fruit qualities. Mild resinous bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium-lighter bodied, soft, mellow tropical fruity bitterness on the backend. The carbonation is a bit lower than I've become accustomed to from TG. Overall, a very solid IPA with a nice balance to it; it's hoppy but doesn't pop like classic Sosus did, but that's not necessarily what I'm looking for here. To sum this up, it's a clean expression of Mosaic hops.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, dated 09/11/15
A - fluffy off-white head holds good retention atop a hazed amber colored ale
S - huge Mosiac hop aroma fills the room with sweet citrus, mango, mandarin, and passion fruit along with floral hop notes and caramel
T - insanely juicy and fruity: mandarin zest, lemon, passion fruit, mango, a bit of pineapple, light caramel
M - thinner side of medium, moderate carbonation, finishes modestly bitter with plenty of juicy residual sweetness
O - super easy to drink; nice and juicy. If this was offered in 4 packs I'd definitely get it again.

 567 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, I couldn’t find any Abrasive on a quick trip out for dinner & I’m craving hops, so happy to have stumbled across this one. 22 oz. stained glass labeled bottle split with my wife.

The pour is IPA Orange, the rarest of the crayons. The nose is riotous good: fresh tangerines & a damp pine forest in the morning, specifically the campsite on Sunday Lake in the Sundial Primitive Management Area. Memory-evoking. What more could I ask for?

Pompeii brings a booty-kicking that I’ve been looking for (outside of P-Sue) from Toppling Goliath. The mushed tangerines translate directly into the mouth, along with a swath of dew-covered northern pine. Mid-palate brings moderate bitterness & grapefruit pith, bit o’ honey. Tangingly dry, ridiculously drinkable. Good lord, is there crack in this?

King Sue? Pshah. I’ll admit that the cult of TG IPAs has largely escaped me, but this, this, this, damn. Either this is a masterpiece or I’m going to have to seek out more Mosaic single-hop brews. Straight-up excellent.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.63/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.
5.5% ABV,

A - The hazy, unfiltered pour of Pompeii starts an eruption of tight carbonation bubbles forming a cascading effect through the goldenrod beer to its frothy and lasting eggshell foam.

S - Toppling Goliath nails the aroma of this single hopped Mosaic IPA from it's bright and crisp citrus notes of pineapple and lime peel and the floral and earthy resin characteristics of the hop cone itself to the biscuity malt base.

T - Earthiness forward, Pompeii marries tea-like floral and herbal attributes with sticky hop resin and deep citrus characteristics of pineapple, watermelon rind, and candied lemon peel, all overlapping dry, biscuity malt.

M - It's bright citrus complexity and light body make Pompeii a crisp and refreshing IPA that has just enough malt backbone to stand up to the lingering bitterness the Mosaic hops offer.

O - Toppling Goliath makes some great beers, that's for sure but Pompeii is easily one of my favorites from them but like with most IPAs, this one begs to be drank as fresh as possible. This beer also does a great job of blurring the lines between pale ale, session IPA, and IPA as it's low in ABV for a typical IPA (these days) and crisp and refreshing like a session beer. Every now and again I come across a beer that I find so good words don't do it justice, it just needs to be tried and enjoyed. This is one of them.

 1,423 characters

Photo of ZAP
4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L-Cloudy deep golden color....low head but nice lacing on glass

S-Catty up front with onion and garlic dominating the aroma...

T-Great flavor...tropical fruits and dark berries...excellent hop flavors and onion/garlic noted on the aroma is missing on the taste.

F-Lower carbonation...easy to drink this quick.....loaded with hop flavor without a sharp bitterness...

O-Excellent IPA

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Photo of mynie
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours orange with a nice, tight head. Hazy, but not milkshakey.

Smells like raw mosaic and chewy yeast. Nodes of vegetables sneak in. Nice and crisp, but imperfect.

Tastes like it smells, only more vegetable-heavy. Fruity hops and grain up fruit, fruitier middle with nodes of honey and banana, and then a yeasty end, with an aftertaste that is green and earthy.

A good and adventrous IPA. The fruity hops dominate but it never comes across like some kind of weird juice.

Were this, say, 2007, and expensive bombers weren't expected to be weird and obscene, this beer would be something of a cult classic. As is, this would be an excellent flagship for an upstart brewery, or else a good but non-essential seasonal offering from a brewery that's already as hypey as can be.

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Photo of jzlyo
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is pungent hops, spices and slightly perfumed citrus. The flavor is complex hops, grapefruit, mild pine needles, malts, citrus, fruit and a resiny/bitter/tart finish.

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Pompeii from Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
4.35 out of 5 based on 783 ratings.
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