Holgate Brewhouse / Keatings Hotel

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American Imperial IPA
Ranked #3,856
Ranked #36,969
3.65 | pDev: 10.41%
Holgate Brewhouse / Keatings Hotel
Very Good
Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 43 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Everydayoff
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle poured into a teku glass.

The pour yields hazy deep copper amber color liquid with very thick silky off-white head that stands with good retention before gradually subsiding to an eternal bubble sheet atop and leaving plenty of sticky lacing here and there.

Quite fruity and piney hop in the aroma, it consists of citrus, tropical, lime, papaya, mango, as well as intense pine, resin, floral, and spice. Malt is there also with its biscuit and rich caramel toffee.

The taste is still led by hop with its citrus, tropical, lime, mango, as well as intense pine, resin, and spice just like the aroma while malt being in support with its sweet, biscuit, and caramel toffee. The end and aftertaste is covering by quite solid hop bitterness.

Surprisingly light body considering its character with good crisp and lively carbonation that is suitable to carry all the things well under the smooth mouthfeel, finish is pleasantly dry. Maybe the body is a bit too thin for DIPA for my liking.

There is rich piney and citrusy hop profile here against the rich malt bill of biscuit and caramel. The result is pretty good IPA without doubt.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.55/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown and filtered with lots of slow rising bubbles. A head of 3 fingers that sports a light beige colour.

Pistachios and pine nuts , hints of coffee and toffee as well.

Citrusy and piney, lime zest and toffee. Fresh but not overpowering for an imperial. Really digging it!

Medium body, resinous quality and moderate carbonation. Slightly tannic finish.

Got at Beer Lab, Chiang Mai. Drank on July 11th, 2016. I really dig this brew. It stayed fresh coming from Australia to Thailand, and its subtle and complex for the style. I think the others are underrating this brew. The score was 82 with 27 reviews today, and I hope this will change.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4.06/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle, amber with orange tinges. pine and citrus hop aromas taste of pine leading the way with some toffee malt backing. Highly drinkable for a dipa.

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Photo of SmashPants
3.96/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: good quality 330mL brown bottle with stylish quality label. Nice.

Appearance: poured deep copper-brown in colour, with plenty of fine carbonation visible. An off-white head bursts up before settling to a semi-creamy one-finger head. Looks good!

Aroma: a touch sweeter than I expected from a double-hopped IPA. There are certainly some heavy pine hop aromas, but they are almost dominated by sweet caramel and toffee. Not unpleasant, just a tad awkward.

Taste: again the hops are present, but are in this case equalled by the malts. Where the malts were slightly overpowering on the nose, however, the hop and malts flavours integrate nicely on the palate. Sticky malt flavours with spicy pine hops; the only thing missing for me is the AIPA hop bite, which is a bit lacking in the Hopinator.

Aftertaste: the hop bitterness is again slightly dominated by the malts, but is still complex and sits nicely in the mouth. Lingers nicely also.

Mouth feel: medium in body, I think that a bit more carbonation would really bring those hop flavours through a little bit stronger, which would really rounded out the flavour profile.

Overall: a lovely American Double IPA with a well-rounded palate of hop and malt. The only 2 things that stop me giving it 9.5 or 10 out of 10 are the slightly lacking carbonation, and the truly prohibitive price tag of AU$110 per case of 12 x 500mL (2013).

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Photo of biboergosum
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle, a Liquor Depot import special, currently only available at their new Wine and Beyond superstore.

This beer pours a hazy medium apricot amber hue, with two fingers of dense, somewhat creamy off-white head, which settles at due pace, leaving some broad, sparse splattered lace patterns around the glass.

It smells of bitter pine needles, a bit of resinous, sappy, sugary caramel malt, a subtle mustiness, and a softly soused orchard fruitiness. The taste is bready caramel malt, a more tamed earthy, leafy pine bitterness, tangy orange and grapefruit fruitiness, and a bit of dank dustiness. Very little in the way of alcohol warming.

The carbonation is level, and just generally supportive, the body a solid medium weight, and fairly smooth, as the usual hop interlopers are present, but mostly inert. It finishes off-dry, and quite muddled, the bitterness of the lingering hops barely standing apart from the flat bready malt.

A so-so DIPA, lots going on, and lots of it right, but there's an overall restraint to things, one that I find underwhelming in something with such a heady moniker. Worth a try, but maybe not at the existent dear exclusive/import/stingy allocation price.

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Photo of heygeebee
4.06/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

No date on bottle. From Beer Cartel.

Pours an amber mid-brown clear body. 100% clear. Aggresive pour yields half finger head, dies quickly. Spotty lace.

Intense aromas of resiny pine, hops, grapefruit.

Taste is grapefruit dominated. Significant dry hop bitterness. Malt comes through as it warms with toffee.

Mouthfeel is too lightly carbonated. Poor, almost watery.

This is an average beer in a crowded market. The smell suggests quite fresh, but the rest of the package is a let-down. As it warms it does alter, but still too watery overall.

EDIT 2014

Have just sampled the re-badged 500ml bottle version and a significant improvement. Worth a rescore

OLD 3/4/3/2/3

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Photo of dansmcd
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - One finger of creamy head crowns a red orange body, excellent sloppy lacing decorates the glass.

S - Wow, that's not what I expected. Very different. Some woody hops, but overshadowed by red lady apples, soft cheese and ricotta. Both soft and sharp aromas. Weird.

T - Again, this is unusual. There's plenty of fruity hops, but not citrus. Strawberry and red apple. I'm not a fan of the cheese flavour though.

M - Low carbonation, light to medium body, solid bitterness.

O - Nice to see a change up from the typical IPA profile and good on Holgate for throwing in something different, but it's certainly not an improvement on citrusy, tropical, piney IPAs if you ask me.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.31/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle from Purvis in Melbourne.

A - Bright. Light brown with a film of head and mild carbonation. No lace and no retention.

S - Some pretty rich malt with lot's of caramel. Strong citrus hop with boozy fruits. Really nice.

T - Straight hops and caramel, boozy pineapple maybe as well.

M - Good carbonation, meduim body and a decent bitterness.

O/D - Not alot of depth of flavour. Not a bad DIPA, but lacking a bit. Boozier than I would expect for 7%.

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Photo of jjkatter
2.84/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

330 ml bottle poured into a goblet...

A- brown/amber with 0 head and just a trace of carbonation

S- floral with plenty of hops and wheat with toasted barley.

T- they don't call it Hopinator for nothing... it is plenty hoppy with flavors of unsweetened tea and toasted/smokey barley.

MF- unfavorably flat. Could do with more effervescence. The bitterness is well balanced with smokey barley.

O- I don't know if the beer I got had a leak was flat for that reason, or if that is what this beer is typically like. It is plenty hoppy, but still drinkable.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.11/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a rich earthy red, the colour of scorched earth. Head is nice when poured, tan colour and creamy with decent sticky lace. Looks quite English; good body to it.

Smells very caramelly with English toffee and an odd note of sherbet. Rosewater that's a bit too sweet as well, and overall smells a bit muddy, with hops coming across quite dank in spite of their floral, tangy aroma. Can't say I'm huge on this.

Taste is also malty, with burnt toffee, rich earth and salted caramel upfront. Gets dank and resinous hop character midway for a slight mouldy note, touch of lemon pith and astringent pepper on the back. Needs way more lift, this is a heavy and murky palate, with only one flavour note. Needs more cut 'n' contrast.

Bit full in the mouth, but ultimately slick. Alpha acids pull the mouth back a bit, still a bit heavy, but not bad stylistically.

Not a huge fan of this; quite heavy and full-on, and would like something there to cut through more.

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Photo of danieelol
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Nice appearance, golden red with nice head and lacing.

S: Definitely in the "Australian IPA"style. Malt bomb. Bottled in May which puts it within 4 months old. Gotta be honest, I actually like this one's malt profile. Sweet and chocolatey with a bit of tropical pineapple hop breaking through, almost barleywine-esque.

T: More crystal? and caramelly malts with a balanced sweetness. Again enjoyable, with a nice alcohol/hop in the finish. Pine does come through more in the taste.

M: Not bad at all. Medium/thin body with some syrup.

O: Think this works well in fact. Always prefer my IPAs to actually be hoppy, but this one's malt was nice enough to win me over.

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Photo of Stew41
3.34/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

New world or North American style. Tan brown in colour with a very thin head; about what one can expect. Big sweet nose of souped up malts and lifted sweet malts. The aromas are incredibly powerful and very American. Flavours are dry, relative to the palate, but still very much in the mould. Malts fall away a touch and more about resiny hops and a herbal underlay. Chris has read this well; the flavour does noticeably fall away and lacks penetration. Still, a pretty good interpretation.

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Photo of joecast
3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Revisiting this for no particular reason. Well, two half reasons really. #1 found a six week old bottle and wanted to try a fresh example. #2 got a bottle of legit import torpedo for 4th of July and doing a bit of side by side.

Appearance is unchanged. Clear copper, medium carbonation and a thin white head.
Average aroma for the style. Quite nice pine and floral but you really have to sniff it out.
Nice bitter hit but a bit too heavy on residual sweetness. Would be so much easier to drink if it cut back the sweetness.
Good effort but doesn't quite hit the mark. Feels like the balance is just not quite right. Meaning it is trying to be balanced when they should just focus on the hops. Doesn't need to be super bitter but can load up on the flavor and aroma. (and ease up on the crystal malt!)

---previous review from 2009 ---
surprisingly dark for an ipa. clear and copper/brown in color. very low carbonation and not much head to speak of. not much of a start.

nice hoppy aroma. mainly pine. the label says "dense". it may have been and faded, but its still ok. a bit of malt sweetness comes through as well.

too much sweetness in the taste. certainly is bitter. sharp and biting as it should be. i would gladly trade off the crystal malt sweetness for some hop flavor though. finish is all hop bitterness.

mouthfeel seems a bit heavy and slick.

way too much crystal malt here. i dont know why brewers try to balance an ipa. it actually hurts the taste and drinkability i think. plenty of hops here for sure, but trying to peel through all the malt gets a bit tiring (and it masks the hop flavor).

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Photo of vancurly
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 1 March, 2011.

a) Pours a rich, russet/chestnut hue. Creamy offwhite head, very faint fine bead.

s) Big caramel hit first up, with resinous followup. Floral, honeycomb, savoury biscuit like vitawheat or bbq shapes (nice).

t) Pine resin is noticable, some licorice/molasses, toffee. Big flavour, hint of alcohol. Good assertive bitterness

m) Lightly syrupy. Long, cloying back palate, good length.

d) A great autumnal beer. Rich & rewarding. Would limit it to two pints max, or 4 halves, which would be the ideal way to drink it.

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Photo of shambeano
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-pours almost red, with a whisper of head. no lacing.

S- whoah, smells sweet and syrupy, some herbally Hop, and a touch of pine.

T- its quite bitter, with that same herbally and piney flavours, a little peppery almost. hiding just underneath is that maple syrup type sweetness. little bit of alcohol and some dried dark fruit. finish is pretty bitter. Not to bad at all.

M- this is a little thick, carbonation is minimal, finish is bitter, and only slightly drying.

D- its not bad, and i like the flavour, but i dont think i could drink more than a couple of these in a night.

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Photo of jbowers56
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark for an IPA/IIPA. Reasonable off white head which fades to a sparse layer. A little bit o' lacing.

Sweet caramel malt, some grapefruity/piny hops. Not huge from either.

Firstly, this is, for my tastes, a poorly balanced IIPA if we are going to call it that. It is too malty, and not hoppy enough. To be fair, I am tasting this just after a jamieson beast which I really love. Either way, that been claims to be an IPA, not an IIPA, and is more powerful in its hop presence, and, in reality probably more like an IIPA than this. That being said, I kinda like it. The grapefruit and pine hop notes are there, as well as the sweet maltyness. A bit herbal at the end too. Finishes bitter, but mildly so for the style.

Carbonated moderately, and feels pretty good in the mouth. Doesnt make me want to go back for more, so im marking the drinkability only ok.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ML poured into a tulip glass 12/11/09 bottling date

A-- Poured a very dark reddish brown color, tints of red on the sides.t I think needs to be a bit more of a lighter color. Could pass for an ESB easily. Half finger of a light brown head that had had nice retention. No real lacing on the glass.

S-- Hops, malt, chocolate and carmel. A little bit weaker than USA DIPA's but the smell is correct. Does not have the "uumph" that a DIPA needs. Pine and citrus are there but again muted in a lot of ways.

T-- Pretty aggressive hop attack in the first sip but missing the malt also. Pine, citrus and carmel are also there but a lot more about the hop flavor.

M-- Hop feel sticks around for a while. Pretty creamy and spot on carbonation. Lacks the malt punch that DIPA's have though. Far more hop central I think.

D-- Well hidden ABV and very drinkable. Too bad it's hard to find in Sydney. Only real issue is it is somewhat muted. I mean not as big, or as balanced. as say the Great Divide Hercules or Pliney is. Worth buying more of and worth looking for. If this were bigger, as in a bigger ABV it could be quite dangerous in a very good way. I guess in a way very unbalanced. I got a lot more hops and less malt. Maybe a fresher batch than others who have reviewed. Seems to be that one way or another the beer is unbalanced in one extreme or another.

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Photo of Hanger
3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 mL bottle in oversized wine glass

A - Dark red-brown (too dark for a pale ale) with only a thin lacing, not much head at all

S - hops were strong initially along with rich malts

T - rich malts, toasted grains, hops not overly strong (doesn't fit the style)

M - smooth body with no lingering aftertaste

D - nice and drinkable, could easily drink again but doesn't the hops cahracteristics in taste of an IPA, let alone a DIPA. A really good beer but not really the style it is labelled as.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very deep red-brown colour. Extremely dark for an IPA (the P still stands for "pale", guys), with a really thick body and a full head of whitish to cream coloured foam. Lacing is excellent, and the heaviness in the body is very impressive. The colour is way too dark to my mind, but otherwise, it looks like a very good brew.

Big hoppy notes on the nose, but they tend very much towards the English/ESB style of heavy hoppiness. Notes of pine resin and sawdust, with nothing floral or fruity in it at all. Some grassy notes as well, and even something dark and malty giving it some fullness. Not bad, and very flavorsome, but missing the best components of a double IPA to my mind.

Smooth malt on the palate, but with a relatively low level of hops bitterness. Just a slight clinging hop oil on the back. The rest is full malt, and a really quite unexpected toasted grain character. The colour isn't the only thing which suggests that this is too dark for the style. Very flat and rich palate, with very little carbonation. It really lacks effervescence to me.

This beer is really missing something. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad beer, but the darkness is really way too prevalent, and it seems to miss the true hop characters of the best examples. I really wanted something better from Holgate - this is too far off-style.

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Photo of IHasaFlavaFlav
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Creamy tan head, had to work hard to get it on the pour but it is fluffy and sticking to side of the glass. The body is probably darker than the style should be but its still appealling. A little hazy but only a touch.

S - Toffee/caramel/golden syrup flavours come up first. A bit of the hop bitterness too, no massive floral/citrus aroma from the hops.

T- Similar to the aroma, the flavour has more of the pronounced malt flavours; caramel and golden syrup. Then at the end a sticky hop bitterness comes through. No real aroma hops coming to the palate. This beer maybe a bit old but I'd expect something in terms of hop aroma. It finishes with a biscuity flavour at the end.

M - The feel is quite light for all the malt and alcohol in there. Fairly balanced when it comes to mouthfeel. No major stickiness or resininess.

D - For 7% alcohol, I can't find it. For an IPA its very drinkable, if it were easier to find and a bit cheaper, I'd like to enjoy this beer over and over again.

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Photo of dgilks
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany with a tight light tan head. The head is relatively small and dissipates quickly to a thin film.

Good aroma with grapefruit and citrus hops up front. They compete with a very big malt profile with caramel, biscuit and chocolate all playing a role. For me this leans almost too far to the malt side.

The big question is 'Where are the hops?'. Maybe this isn't fresh enough but I get a really sweet, caramelly, light chocolatey beer. A hint of vanilla also comes through. Only a hint of hops comes through and that is really only at the end with a nice bittering charge kicking in. The hops are tasty but I have to concentrate and fight to try and find their character in this beer rather than having them come to me like most good DIPAs. Tasty but far too sweet and malty for a DIPA.

Medium bodied with average carbonation the mouthfeel here is good.

A tasty beer with lots of interesting tasty flavour. If only I could get past the fact that this is called a DIPA and hops are supposed to be at the forefront of this beer. If this were called a Strong Ale or a Barleywine even I would be happy as it is a decent fit into those categories, it just seems that Holgate has missed the mark on what they sought to achieve.

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Photo of juju7
3.47/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hardly a head there at all. Very dark copper/red. Interesting enough nose there of toffee and burnt orange with a little pine/citrus lift. Surprisingly smooth on the palate with a little kick at the end to remind you wha you're drinking. The malt is quite heavy but not necessarily in a bad way. Although this isn't too old it isn't the freshest so some of the hops seem to have faded a little. Can't be helped. Fairly low carbonation. Overall pretty good. Not many DIPAs around here so happy to get in to one of these again.

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Photo of LittleCreature
3.74/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - 3.0
Poured a thin cream to beige coloured head over a clear, copper-red body. Head retention seriously lacking, in a minute there was none to be seen, although some sticky lace clings to the sides.

Smell - 4.0
An rich, enticing aroma of toffee, burnt sugar, baking cake and pine needles is only slightly spoiled by a hint of buttery diacetyl.

Taste - 4.0
A big, rich beer that is rather well balanced; assertive hop bitterness is balanced (and then some) by sweet, rich malt. Flavours of malt loaf, caramel, ripe citrus fruit, piney and peppery hops fill the palate, and the finish is quite dry. A little diacetyl spoils the party if you let it warm too much.

Mouthfeel - 3.0
Not a lot of carbonation, more would definitely be an improvement. Medium bodied, a bit syrupy and quite smooth.

Drinkability - 3.5
A bit cloying for long term drinkability, but tasty enough to come back to.

OVERALL - 3.65
Although just 7% ABV and a relatively modest level of bitterness, I have to agree that Hopinator is a real DIPA - it is simply too big a beer to be a regular IPA. There are much better American beers of the style, but I applaud any Australian brewery that brews a DIPA. A good effort, a good beer, I'd drink it again.

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Photo of Cs1987
3.42/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - Deep red, 1 finger of head which reduced.

Smell - Lots of grapefruit and kiwi fruit, though not quite up there with Feral Hop Hog.

Taste - Sorry, but this definitely tastes like a regular IPA, not a DIPA. The hoppy flavour is quite underwhelming for a beer that supposedly has an "outrageous" hopping schedule. The taste is not fruity enough, and there is a little too much sweetness created by the malt (though this would be excusable in a more fruity beer). Still, this would appeal to more people than pretty much any other DIPA.

Mouthfeel - Too light for the style, a little bit cloying, low carbonation.

Drinkability - Pretty drinkable. Actually, this is definitely too drinkable for the style.

Overall - A little disappointing, considering the description on the bottle. Fans of regular American Pale Ales should like this, but real DIPA fans will find this underwhelming.

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Photo of ADZA
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a burnt red,amber colour which leaves a one finger head that dissapates quite quickly and leaves little lacing down the glass,it smells of hops and caramel and tastes very hoppy with caramel,maltish backnotes and finishes bitter but not too bitter,quite a nice beer but no standout.

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Hopinator from Holgate Brewhouse / Keatings Hotel
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 43 ratings