Hop Cakes | NoDa Brewing Company

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Hop CakesHop Cakes

Brewed by:
NoDa Brewing Company
North Carolina, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
NoDa Brewing will release four-pack cans of Hop Cakes, a double IPA brewed with maple syrup, at the taproom this Monday, Feb. 9. The cans will be distributed around town starting the next day, but if you want to try it on tap head to the brewery this Friday, Feb. 6 (kegs, too, will make their way to area bars next week). This beer first appeared as a small-batch NoDable beer almost three years ago when head brewer Chad Henderson interrupted a lumberjack convention to tell them about the beer. The brewery has since brewed larger amounts and had it on tap at the brewery, though not often. This will be the first time they have packaged the beer. This is the second in the brewery’s line of specialty cans. The first, Hoppy Holidays, was released last December. Though it was distributed to many bottle shops around town, Hoppy Holidays didn’t last long on the shelves. At more than 3,000 four-packs, Hop Cakes will be much more plentiful than Hoppy Holidays. Still, it’s limited. I’d recommend trying to find it sooner rather than later, as it’s sure to sell like — well, you know.

Added by Bung on 03-03-2013

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 190 |  Reviews: 29
Photo of tommy5
3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of JohnKochanski
3.71/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Read other reviews of this and I had crack it open. Boy was I severely disappointed in this beer. aroma is very hoppy with a sweetness probably from the maple syrup. Taste there is a bitterness from the hops that really takes away from he overall flavor of this beer. Can't put a finger on the bitterness whether it's the hops and/or from citrus pith/ peel. You can definitely taste the 10.2% in this which again takes away from the overall taste of this beer. Can't say I'd have this one again.

 495 characters

Photo of jschott75
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of vabeerguy
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Bigdoc91
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of kylehay2004
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Dragginballs76
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours semi transparent golden color with thick white head. Spotty lacing all around the glass.

Aroma - Nice malts and caramel aromas along with just a touch of sweet maple syrup. There is alot of tropical ripe mango and pineapple as well as some pine resin.

Taste - Nice complex flavors lots of tropical fruit mango, pineapple and mango up front with the sweet maple syrup and caramel on the back end. Also showing nice pine finish as well.

Feel - Medium body well carbonated slightly slick

Overall - Just a great beer very well done, all of the flavors stand out nothing over powers, no sign of the 10.2% ABV.

 627 characters

Photo of DerekCarruth
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.77/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Type: 16-oz. can
Glass: Beer Nerd tulip
From: My friend, Jay
Price: $4 (educated guess)
Purchased: N/A; Received March 10, 2017
Consumed: March 13, 2017
Reviewed as: American Double / Imperial IPA
Misc.: Canned on Jan. 31, 2017

Thanks, Jay!

Was lucky enough to receive this as part of a 10-beer package sent by Jay. Had one NoDa about three years ago and thought it was a decent session. I believe they were still a fairly new brewery at the time. Had semi-followed them afar since and was glad to get one of these in the package. Had their Coco Loco a few days ago as part of the package as well. Have high hopes for this one.

Poured a deep gold mostly clear color with 2-to-3 fingers of frothy white head. Could see just a few bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass, but rather serene overall. Very good uneven lacing. Very good retention. (Sight - 4.00)

Smelled floral, maple syrup, caramel candy squares, spoiled nectarine, sticky resin, melon, cantaloupe, pineapple, hints of cereal milk, toffee candy and earthy herbal. Picked up Cascade hop early on, maybe Citra too, but having trouble picking out anything else with all the Maple Syrup malts. (Smell - 3.75)

Taste followed for the most part. Wow, that sticky maple syrup dominates. No hiding that 10.2 pct. ABV. Also got caramel candy squares, bitter orange peel, pine needles, toffee, resin, lemon zest and nectarine. Getting some spiciness, which I’m association with Simcoe. Really hard to pick out any other hops. It was kind of messy and unbalanced that way. (Taste - 3.75)

Medium body. Sticky texture. Average-to-lively carbonation. Bitter abrupt finish. (Feel - 3.75)

Wanted to like this better than I did. Would still like to have it again though. (Overall - 3.75)

3.77 | 85 | B+

 1,764 characters

Photo of t2grogan
2.75/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of emerge077
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks Wil for this one!
Pours a bright saturated golden orange. Thin layer of foam and a halo of spotty lace. Hoppy aroma with a light maple essence, thankfully not sweet. Very resiny and bitter with a load of hops, and some booze on the back end. Maple adds an interesting twist of natural woody flavor, not the caramelized sugars of maple syrup. Aftertaste is a little bit harsh, the 10.2 abv bleeds through. Overall it was unique and interesting to try, but could be a little smoother.

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Photo of Bum4ever
4.34/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Dark golden color with a one inch white head that takes it's time dissolving.
S: Sweetness is the first thing I smell, followed by hops and some citrus and pine.
T: So this tastes like a sweet hop bomb w/o a ton of fruitiness. As someone who likes sweet things like stouts with vanilla and chocolate, this is a nice thing. Also some pine flavor in the finish.
F: Thinner than usual for a DIPA but not terribly so.
O: This was canned about 5 weeks ago and to me it seems to be holding up really well. To me this is different from my usual and I definitely liked it.

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Photo of sposter4
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TheElectricOne
4.19/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AngusOg
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Jason_cs
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of OldManMetal
4.29/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Hop Cakes is a slightly hazy, deep-gold beer that is alive with exceptionally fine carbonation; its medium off-white, creamy head shows modest retention and leaves excellent lacing in the form of thick slabs and caverns. The nose is a big, tasty blend of florals that hits spicy/sweet, cannabis and perfume, backed by more subtle grapefruit and a hint of grassiness; significant alcohol overtones ride above everything else. Up front, the palate is medium-bitter citrus with a significant caramel character and cannabis highlights. Mid-palate, the full range of florals from the nose emerge, and come to the forefront, eclipsing the citrus, and the grassiness becomes a bit more apparent. The caramel character is joined by a bit of bittersweet nuttiness, and the bready malt foundation stands revealed, reducing perceived bitterness to a modest level; all told, the malt/hops balance is fairly typical of the breed. Boozy undertones are quite serious, but not disconcertingly so. The finish is a good hit of booze and bitter citrus, and is the least bit astringent; it is followed by the onset of a modest cannabis/pine bitterness that lasts for a good while. Mouthfeel is commensurate with the medium body, and the texture is medium-creamy, slightly slick and slightly peppery from the understated carbonation. (growler)

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Photo of dflo32
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Agentveba
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MunsonRoyE
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of FriedSlug
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange brew with quickly fading head that smells like grapefruit rubbed pine needles with a drop of maple syrup on them. The flavor is malty and fruity with a ton of pine and a hint of maple. There is a massive bitter finish that is reminiscent of the Hop Drop and Roll. Solid beer but I'm not sure the maple brings a lot to the party.

 335 characters

Photo of BEER88
4.54/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Terptwerp
4.56/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had it on tap at the brewery last night. The 2017 batch is even better than the last few years. The hops and the sweetness balance each other well. I have to force myself to slow down drinking it, since the 10% abv is fairly well hidden. Glad that I picked up a four pack,

 276 characters

Photo of ElMariachi29er
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer gets better every year. The 2017 does not disappoint. Quality hop boom with just a touch a sweetness at the finish. 10.2% ABV hidden very well and this is a well executed beer. People were lining up at NoDa for this today which is a testament to its appeal.

 267 characters

Photo of macrosmatic
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to dogdoc sending this one! Reviewed from long-standing notes. Poured from the 16 oz. can into a Cigar City Brewing pint glass.

A: A nice apricot-gold, quite hazy. Capped by a thin white head that fades quickly, and an average level of visible carbonation.

S: Resin oil hops over the biscuit malts with a backer of maple syrup sweetness. Citrus hops - rinds and orange marmalade - as well, followed by some caramel malts.

T: Follows the nose. Resin and citrus hops over sweet biscuity malts with some caramel character and just a hint of maple syrup. Unfortunately, this tastes a little bit old (or oxidized?) as well. The maple is way more noticeable in the nose than on the palate. There are hints of grassy and melon hops as well. As it warms, the maple syrup shows up a little more, with a rock-candy-dipped-in-maple kinda thing going on. A modest amount of bitterness in the hang with some residual malt crystal sweetness.

M: The body is a bit on the heavy side but not objectionable. Carbonation sensation on the low side. It feels somewhat warming but is not overly hot.

O: I suspect that this can is suffering from being about 2 months old when I'm drinking it (April 2015). While not screamingly fresh, I feel like most DIPAs should be able to handle that amount of age. At any rate, I was hoping the sugars in the syrup would dry the beer out while leaving maple flavor…instead, it ends up in the sweeter spectrum of DIPAs, which aren't generally what I'm looking for. I would give a VERY fresh can another try, but as is I won't be actively seeking a second.

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Hop Cakes from NoDa Brewing Company
4.09 out of 5 based on 190 ratings.
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