Hopstitution #2: XPL
Jack's Abby Brewing

Hopstitution #2: XPLHopstitution #2: XPL
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Lager - American
3.9 | pDev: 10.26%
Jack's Abby Brewing
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Hopstitution #2: XPLHopstitution #2: XPL
Notes: Our first release of Hopstitution XPL will be released Thursday, December 5th. It will feature three new experimental hops, HBC-344, HBC-291 and HBC-462.
Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 284 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of benjaminkhlaw
benjaminkhlaw from Hong Kong

3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours golden amber with a finger of white head, good amount of lacing.

Not as big on the nose as the other Jack's Abbys that I have had, got a bit of nice grassy, hoppy aroma.

Tastes just what you want from a lager, crispy and clean with nice citrusy from the hops, finishes with good amount of bitterness. Medium to light bodied with nice amount of carbonation.

Overall a very good summer lager! Crisp, hoppy and bitter, refreshing beer!

Jun 21, 2015
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cjoc83 from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +9%

Bottled on 10-4-14. Poured into a Tired Hands pint glass.
This reminds me very much of a lager version of a "session IPA". Crisp, grainy pilsner malts prop up a substantial hop bill that veers between piney/resinous and tropical/citrus notes. Pine, grapefruit, orange peel, mango, and fresh cut grass intermingle wonderfully before finishing dry, clean, and slightly bitter, with a lingering stone fruit flavor. Super smooth and super crushable, yet still packed with bright, vibrant hops. Amazing stuff... This would be a regular in my rotation if I had access to it. Recommended for sure.

Nov 23, 2014
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PSU_Mike from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip. It pours a straw color with a big 2 finger white head. Very clear and highly carbonated. The smell is grassy, a little spicy, and a tiny hint to lemon on the back end. The taste is quite spicy through and through. I get spice up front and on the finish. Some grass in the middle with a citrus note mixed in there. I think it's a subtle lemon flavor. The finish is clean with a low bitterness. Very active carb and light bodied.

Nice but not Jack's Abby's best. Very drinkable.

Sep 28, 2014
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SteveB24 from New York

3/5  rDev -23.1%

The taste wasnt necessarily bad but it was not for me, it was like a crisp lager but there was an overwhelming dank taste, that strongly made me think of marijuana. Not for me.

Aug 24, 2014
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DrJay from Texas

4/5  rDev +2.6%

Quite enjoyable. Straw yellow with a big, bright white cap, lots of clinging lace. Solid hop nose, a bit citrusy and fruity. Balanced bitterness with sweetness in the finish. Soft carbonation and smooth texture. Another winner from Jack's Abby.

Aug 24, 2014
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev +9%

Bottle from Drum Hill Liquors
The hops used portion of the label has nothing written on it so I assume it is this version.
Pours a slightly hazy light straw color with a huge frothy bone white head that persists forever. Aromas of floral earthy pine and resin with just a hint of bready malt deep underneath. Pine earthy resinous hop flavor with moderate bitterness. Faint bready maltiness. Medium to light body with a moderate level of carbonation. Very nice brew! I am so ready for you to distribute to NH!

Aug 16, 2014
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Florida9 from Illinois

3.57/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Light pale, pastel, yellow in color. Forms a large, fluffy white head. Good retention and plenty of lacing.

S: Aroma is there. Hops are there. But there is something there distracting from the hops. Juicy citrus, tropical fruits, and stewed greens.

T: Taste is about the same. Starts clean and crisp. Green apples, neutral grains. Then the hops kick in. A little citrus, a little ambrosia. Maybe some passionfruit. But then there is a "fermented" taste. Somewhat dirty and out-of-place.

M: Lighter bodied. Appropriate carbonation. Mild bitterness.

O: I don't know what it is about lagers that doesn't translate to hoppy beers, but this beer just seems to be proving that point. Yes, it's hoppy, but there is something about that smooth lager base that seems to distract from the hops more than accentuate them.

Jul 04, 2014
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Slatetank from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +9%

The color is golden sunrise with light haze and thick proud cap of pristine white with ultrafine bead and lasting retention with thick lace is observed. The smell is excellent tons of hop odors with herbal and dank aroma w/lush green odors that present noble aspects with light pepper and mild sweet grass with a slight lemony odor. The malt is present yet mild with sligtht mineral yet not quite sulfuric yeast ester. The feel is tinged with spice and citrus zest elements with herbal qualities and resins from the hops with medium carbonation and a light creamy texture with malt blended as the dry yeast quality is evident with a low alcohol aspect in the finish.

The taste is very hoppy with oily and zesty flavors with resinous spiced and fresh herbal hop qualities melding seemlessly with a layer of yeast with moderately full malt foundation and light mineral lager flavor. The hops do have a mild grassy aspect but very light and still contributes positively to the overall flavor. I really enjoyed this -fresh and hoppy lager ...not the ultimate of the style, but very drinkable and worth getting - I would seek this out, too bad it isn't available in PA.

Jun 26, 2014
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stakem from Pennsylvania

3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Thank you for sharing this with me Slatetank. Poured into a snifter, the brew appears a clear pale yellow color with a white cap. Some big bubble composition hangs around the edges.

The aroma displays some fresh bready grain, slight sulfur and citrus to fruity/floral hops as it warms. Towards the back it gets a little grassy.

The taste is bitter and rindy yet clean with an herbal to sulfuric finish with a snap of carbonics and mineral character. Like the nose, there is a slight grassy hop aspect once it warms up.

This is a light bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is crisp, snappy l, refreshing and very easy drinking. Another fine hoppy lager from this brewery.

Jun 24, 2014
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REVZEB from Illinois

3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Clear golden body with a finger of white foam, lacing too. Herbal and piney hops await you in the aromas, with lager malts, yeast and grains. Taste adds a dash of honey and dried berries, but the finish is oddly herbal. Well made beer, good lager body with the hops adding a clean finish. No real weaknesses, but wonder if some different hops would provide a better match and some zip

May 31, 2014
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AndyAvalanche from Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

1 pint .09 oz. bottle poured into a bulbed pint glass. Liquid comes out a straw yellow that gets darker as more liquid collects. There's a strong haze to it that's evenly distributed throughout the glass. Sort of like if you let the sentiment of a homebrew come out for the first few seconds before it collects its way around except that it stays evenly hazy.

Smell is good, just not really much to it. Hoppy, but mild hoppy. Some nice, maybe cascade, or some other type of west coast, hops because it is slightly citrusy, but not too citrusy, a little spicy and somewhat grassy/floral. Smells like some type of weat or biscuit base pilsner malt. Nothing overly special, but done well.

Tastes really, really good, but again, not really much to it. Some sweetness from the malts, somewhat toasty/bready. After that it's again followed by some slightly citrusy as well as earthy hops. Nothing to strong, but really well balanced, more so than the smell. Flavor of this beer could be paired with just about any food, but good on it's own.

Mouthfeel is really good. Flavorful while at the same time being light and refreshing. The sweetness upfront gradually turns to a nice dry bitter, crisp finish. Really drinkable; nothing not to like about this beer.

Hopstitution is supposedly a beer that will be brewed off and on based on "small quantities of speciality hops that are enough for one batch of beer, but no more" according to the bottle. The beer even has a spot on the label that says "Hops used:" however it's blank so I can't say for sure what is used. I like it either way, this was not something I really wanted to or felt like reviewing, but good for me to keep in mind if they decide to brew a Hopstitution #2.

Overall a really good "safe" beer. Nothing sexy, but really reliable.

May 31, 2014
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brureview from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a light yellow color with a 4F head in a Pilsner glass. The head retained itself and slowly diminished to 2F. There were carbonation bubbles from the bottom of the glass.

The aroma: grapefruit, malt, and mild funk.

The beer is lightly carbonated.

The aroma transitions well to the taste: grapefruit, malty texture.

The finish is light hops, clean, and smooth.

Excellent drinking- especially for a beer with a low ABV.

May 30, 2014
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dogfishandi from New York

4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a tulip. No freshness info.

Pours out a hazy deep golden color with a big, fluffy 3 fingers worth of nice white head. Great retention as well as leaving behind lots of great looking sticky lace.

Big aroma. Really nice juicy, tropical fruit hop aroma. Fresh peach, fresh cut grass. Hints of nectarine and pineapple.

Maybe a bit more hop complexity in the aroma, but still a damn good hoppy taste. Fresh juicy, tropical fruity hops, fresh cut grass. Some resins and hop oils in the finish. Hardly any malt detectable.

Fucking drinkable. Lingering hop bitterness, but just shy of that of an IPA. Light in body.

Definatly one of the better hoppy jacks Abby lagers I've had the opportunity to try and once again, like most of their beers, I wouldn't have guessed this is a lager. Definatly worth a buy if you come across it.

May 27, 2014
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cpetrone84 from Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour is lightly cloudy golden amber with a darker center and a tight white head. Nose has a very nice toasted grain right up front that shifts to a hop punch of citrus and tropical fruits and lightly dank hops behind. Taste is much of the same, a hint of malt sweetness up front with the grain bill mid palate. Hop punch is strong, bitterness in the finish is nicely done by being assertive but not lingering. Hops are citrus and pineapple with a danky hop through the finish. More great stuff from jacks abby.

May 27, 2014
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zoober911 from New York

4.59/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served Bottle to tulip glass.

A - Clear golden pour. A good inch of white head. Lacing sticks to the glass nicely.

S - Pine, nutty, and delicious hops. To me it smells exactly the same as Stone's Enjoy By.

T - Grapefruit bitterness. Pine. Very crisp and dry.

M - Good carbonation and smoooth. Easy to drink.

O - Overall it is very good. I was fairly surprised that it wasn't rated higher than it was. I would buy it again if I see it and would recommend that anyone give it a try for sure. Another great beer by Jack's Abby.

May 25, 2014
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SawDog505 from New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz tulip, not sure of the bottle date. Pours s bright slightly cloudy yellow, with a massive two inch fluffy white head that leaves behind gobs of lace.

Smell is lemmon, pine, grapefruit, and maybe grapes.

Taste follows perfectly pine, grapefruit, and lemmon are most dominant, but it works nicely.

Body is light and crisp, plenty of life, not dry, and easy drinking with loads of flavor.

This is another solid beer from an amazing brewery!

May 18, 2014
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DrinkSlurm from New York

4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into tulip. No packaging date. but I know my local store just got it, so I believe its pretty fresh.
Nice golden looking brew with a bit of white foamy head. Aroma here is killer...smells a lot like mary J...super herbal, dank, fresh hops. Taste is hoppy citrus and pine with a great malty fruity backbone. Its crisp and chugable...smooth and dry. Really another fantastic brew. Also want to note, they price their brews very well. This was $5 for a 16oz bottle. Id gladly pay that any day.

May 10, 2014
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JMScowcroft from Vermont

4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jack's Abby Brewing - Hopstitution XPL, poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass.

Look - Pours a pale straw yellow almost fully clear filtered with a luxurious foamy head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smell - Slight sweet malt with a mid-strength pine and grapefruit hop overlay.

Taste - Crisp. Quick malt intro with a good balance of pine and grapefruit hop blast. Malt seems lacking, which is not something I usually say.

Mouthfeel - Light-bodied with moderately high carbonation. Dry, crisp, and quite drinkable. Zero booziness with a juicy linger. The leftover felt slightly lacking but characteristic of this style.

Overall - Not a big fan of EPL/APL/XPL/APA/EPAs in general. In terms of Jabby this is probably my least favorite of their beers, but it has a good hop profile. it feels lacking compared to their other offerings. That being said, it's still probably the best pale lager I've had.

May 02, 2014
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jlindros from Massachusetts

3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Yay new beer from Jack's Abby, so exited. This one was Calyptra, Citra and Calypso hops, on 4/9/14.

Pours a nice 2 finger fluffy creamy head that fades at a slow pace, nice spotty soapy lacing, crystal clear tan slight watery yellow colored.

Nose brings mostly hops, a cascadian base hop like aroma with mild earthy spicy notes, floral, a bit fruity and juicy fruit hop notes, with a bit of citrus. Very light malt profile, little lager malt and light grainy, hint of lager itself.

Taste starts with light hops, mild to fair bitterness with earthy floral hops, little pine and forest floor but not much, mild grassy notes and a bit spicy. Malts are very very light almost non-existant, with hint of a honey malt flavor, and light soft lager, mild grainy. Hops get a bit resinous and more piney and spicy towards teh finish with some sticky citrus and friuty notes, as it dries from the very light malt start, it gets quite bitter, little sticky still somehow, bit more honey flavor, with more resinous floral piney like hops, little flower nectar and grassy notes, and a bit of a crisp lager note.

Mouth is med to lighter bod, lots and lots of carbonation, perhaps too much.

Overall, meh, fairly bland... for a Jack's Abby beer that is, from most other breweries it would be pretty good, but the hops are just meh, malts are almost nothing, lager is drowned out, overcarbonated, bit too light overall. BUt as they mentioned, this is their way of cleaning out some hops they can't use otherwise, so I commend them for making a decent beer from that.

Apr 22, 2014
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EdwardK77 from New York

3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Yellowish golden with a limited head which leaves particularly good lacing on the glass. Somewhat hazy with no effervescence.

S- I am sensing a slight sweet odor, nothing overly powerful.

T- Pleasantly well balanced between sweet and bitter. Less powerful flavors than an ale but certainly easy drinking.

M- Smooth with no over the top crispness.

O- After a long run of drinking ales this was a pleasant lager. I would definitely go back to this one in the future.

Apr 19, 2014
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.86/5  rDev -1%

On-tap 3/23/2014 at British Beer Company, in Walpole, MA served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a short dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains fruity citrus, grassy hops, lager yeast and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with a floral hops bitterness that is quickly followed by some sweet flavors of fruity citrus and some caramel. The malt character is hearty and provides a decent balance. There’s also an odd herbal/fruity flavor that is difficult to place. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while.

Mar 24, 2014
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Kendo from New York

3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from the growler into a Duvel tulip. Body is slightly hazy golden with a small white head. Little splotches of lace on the glass.

S: Surprisingly fruity, with a touch of perfumey and grassy hops.

T: Modestly toasty malt up front, then balanced with a decent amount of fruity hops - think citrus and tropical fruit. Finishes with modest bitterness.

M: Light to medium in heft, carbonation is moderate, leading to a slightly slick feel.

O: Good; not earth-shattering.

Mar 15, 2014
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smcolw from Massachusetts

4.31/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy, dirty gold color. Excellent head for a cask pulled beer. Leaves an initial blanket of lace.

Interesting smoky aroma--very subtle. Great blend of soft pale malts and light bittering hop pellets.

Served at cellar temperature I think this really draws out the malt flavors. This is a well balanced beer. Starts with pale malt and a touch of some light roasted crystal. The hop is light but definitive with a white pepper backbone. There's a notable alcohol warmth in the swallow. Rich body, low carbonation like cask beer should be.

In short, this is really a well done beer.

Mar 15, 2014
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CloudStrife from New York

4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

32oz grumbler poured into a snifter. First batch with the 3 experimental hops.

A: Pours a clear golden yellow with a decent white head. Not a lot of visible carbonation but it is from a growler. Leaves some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Mild aroma, a light blend of hop and pale malts. Resinous pine and a touch of tropical fruit with a backbone of toasty lagery malts.

T: Balanced flavor with an ample dose of hops. The toastiness in the backend gives it a solid lager flavor. Fruitiness from the hops is real pleasant, nice mango and other tropical fruits. Blends with a bit of a coconut like toasiness in the finish.

M: Light to medium body with ample carbonation. Crisp finish with a great sessionability.

Overall this is a very easy drinking lager with loads of flavor. Saw that the second batch of this brew is available and will have to give it a shot.

Feb 15, 2014
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VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

4.34/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Batch 2? Brewed with Sorachi Ace and Wakatu hops.

A-Cloudy golden color. An aggressive pour brings forth a thick, foamy, white head. Consistent rings of lacing.

S-Sorachi Ace hops are one of my favorite and I recently learned Wakatu hops are from New Zealand (my favorite hops are New Zealand hops). I am not surprised that the Wakatu hops smell a lot like my favorite hop: Nelson Sauvin. The Wakatu hops give off a similar aroma and the Sorachi Ace amplifies the aroma with its lemongrass scent. Behind perhaps the best hop pairing ever is a crisp, clean Lager yeastiness and a airy cracker malt.

T-More balanced than the nose. The yeast and malt are more prominent here. The seemingly customized hop profile is still the big ticket; it just concedes some of the flavor to the yeast and malt. The hops are musty, tropical and juicy...my favorite. The yeast and malt bring forth a dry and crisp flavor. Reminds me of a sweeter version of Saltines. I'm truly enamored with the hop bill here.

M-Vintage Jack's Abby. Super flavorful but addicting in its sessionability. Light bodied and vibrantly carbonated. Medium bitterness. This may be a personal best for 'fastest growler ever imbibed'.

O/D-When one of my favorite breweries makes a beer using some of my favorite hops, it is an automatic success. A divine mix of flavor and drinkability.

Feb 03, 2014
Hopstitution #2: XPL from Jack's Abby Brewing
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 284 ratings