Thoprock | Boom Island Brewing Company

23 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Boom Island Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jera1350 on 01-12-2012

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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 76
Photo of Wobbly
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very good attempt at a challenging (and often mis-guided) style. The hops reinforce the rest of the flavor profile, rather than overpowering it. Refreshing yet complex and highly drinkable.

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Photo of garymuchow
2.87/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

I'm afraid this is the 2nd bottle that I bought that maybe shouldn't have been on the shelf, although not as bad as the dubbel.
This one holds a milder vinous quality that still dominates the aroma, but it also holds some better aspects too. A soft hop quality but he huge head prevents much of the aroma from showing forth. It also seems a little dark for style at a clear amber.
The flavor is a pleasant enough mix of a clean and relatively simple malt flavor and mild hop flavor and a streak of bitterness that never overpowers.
I still would like a fresh sample and maybe I should hit the brewpub to make that happen.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Citrusy, resiny hop nose over light biscuit.
Pours hazy gold but clears as it warms. Produces a 1" finely bubbled off-white foam cap that leaves clumpy lace.
Has the texture of a Belgian and rich light fruit and bready malt character that supports a big blast of citrusy, grapefruit rind hops that temper the malt sugars. Malt and grapefruit rind linger long into the aftertaste.
Creamy smooth body with medium heft and above average carbonation.

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Photo of Devildog
4.71/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I joined beer advocate just because I thought this beer was rated to low. I picked up a bottle at Ale Jail today and was really impressed with this brew. Bountiful head on the pour, with great lacing on a standard pint glass. Cloudy orange and great mouthfeel. Not a prototypical IPA which I think has put some reviewers off. This is a really well balanced beer with a great malty presence and a satisfying amount of hops . The yeast really shines through with a great toasted breadiness and Meyer lemon notes. This is just a great summertime drinking IPA. If you are looking for a really tasty well balanced IPA which features the yeasty components instead of a heavy handed hop hammer then you should try this.

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Photo of bsp77
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Tulip.

Appearance: Cloudy orange with towering off-white head and strong lacing.

Smell: Grapefruit, orange, and some spiciness. Dry and tart smelling. Maybe some light funk.

Taste: Grapefruit and orange over a toasty malt backbone. Some funk and tartness, likely from the yeast. Spicy on the finish, with lingering tart grapefruit.

Feel: Fairly light bodied for the abv, with ample carbonation. Very, very dry finish. Nice, but just a titch too thin.

Overall: I personally think this is a highly underrated brew. I know it has its followers, but the average seems oddly low for this well made Belgian IPA.

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Photo of NilocRellim
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle.

The beer poured the epitome of amber. The smell was almost like a honey-hop, unlike a a typical IPA (in your face hops), with a bit of citrus to it. Citrus and hoppy taste with a little sweetness to it. The bitterness that usually comes with IPAs was not really there; there was some bitterness, but very drinkable.

Would I buy it again? Yes. It would be refreshing on a hot day.

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Photo of Justin_Neff
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is the "Thoprock Wet" version. A Bottle bought from my favorite place (France 44) while in Minny on business. Poured in to a Surly pint glass I also purchased from France 44 to drink out of while in my hotel room.

A: Aggressively poured with a thick 3-finger head that has good retention and lacing around the glass. Pours a color that could best be described as caramely. Cloudy, as the Belgian-style would suggest. This screams bottle-conditioned.

S: Smells spicy more than anything. The sniffs elude to a "wild" yeast smell. There are definite hints of pine and citrus. Not a ton of hoppiness. The belgian yeast smell dominates overall.

T: The smell leads to the taste for sure. Yeasty, spicy, citrusy, and piney-earthy mostly. The wet hop taste comes throught at the end and its nice. Bready and sweet.

M: Heavy carbonation. Not creamy. Dry. Medium body.

O: If you like "farmhouse" style this is in your wheelhouse. If you dont, hopefully you can appreciate this for what it is. I happen to be somewhere in the middle. I definitely appreciate this, and think its done really well, I just prefer more hops and less yeast. I like that it is somewhat hoppy and not very malty. Probably wouldn't buy again, but would recommend.

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Photo of hoody711
3.81/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sent from a friend in Minnesota along with some other locals. First offering from Boom Island for me.

A - First off, the bottle sets a high bar for what's inside. It better be good for having a fancy-pants cork. I also find it weird that they have a review for you on the side, if you want to cheat. Anyways, poured moderately vigorously into a tulip. The head is massive, more than 4 fingers, off-white, and fluffy. It settles over about 5 minutes with a good amount of lacing. A nice golden orange. Very nice actually.

S - Not at all what I was expecting. I guess I'm just not used to Belgian IPAs. I smell very little hops, just a lot of Belgian-ness (yeast?). It's nice, not overly complex. Sweet fruit, I want to say banana but that's not right. Maybe it'll come to me. Moving on.

T - Follows the nose for the most part. Sweet and not overly complex. Leaves behind a kind of weird and somewhat unpleasant palate. I don't taste any booze. The bottle says bitter but I get very little of that. Just tastes Belgian, with a bad aftertaste. (Edit: as it warms, the hops and bitterness come out a little more.)

M - light, slightly oily, with a somewhat drying effect on the palate.

O - a good beer from Boom Island. The bottle says it gives the impression of an APA. Um, no. That's not to say it's bad, but it's just definitely not an APA. I don't usually like anything with Belgian in it as I just can't do the sweetness that well. This beer definitely picks up as the temperature goes up, gaining some complexity and more flavor. Worth a shot if you see it.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Corked & caged 750ml bottle sent from laymansbeerfan (thanks Aaron!) poured into a Jackie O's Tulip.

A: Beautiful copper color with decent clarity and a bit of chill haze...yeast was left in the bottle. Huge foamy white head from the bottle conditioning recedes slowly.

S: Starts off moderately hoppy, herbal and piney with a zesty edge. Belgian notes dominate as it warms, with farmhouse notes and some spices and funk, with a moderate pale malt backbone.

T: Follows the nose, Belgian yeast and earthy notes, hints of spices and frutiness (apricot), hop bitterness, slight malt presence and light bready sweetness with a dry finish.

MF: Soft, light-to-moderate body with a dry finish, Belgian and hoppy in its bitterness. Not as fluffy

O: A decent drinker that doesn't strike me as an American IPA (as its listed here). There is a Belgian farmhouse quality to this with a light amount of American hops added.

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Photo of hardy008
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber color with a two finger white head, with good retention and lacing. The aroma is somewhat light and has grapefruit, oranges, and caramel malt.

The taste is a nice mixture of sweetness up front, with bitterness at the end. Much like the aroma, the taste is not real strong, and has oranges, grapefruit, caramel malt, and pine.

Medium bodied with below average carbonation. The alcohol is well hidden, and the aftertaste is bitter. Overall, a good beer. I wish the aroma and taste were a little bolder though.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.04/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a caged-and-corked 750mL bottle into my Harriet tulip.

Cloudy, very nearly opaque burnt orange liquid with a champagne (color) finger of dense cream up top. Excellent retention, thick pasty lacing.

Brandy, oxidation, and dark fruit in the nose. Thus far, I'm anticipating a barleywine were this a blind tasting. This does not bode well for the style. Hops are an afterthought.

Dry moderately bitter flavor profile, grapes and a hint of specialty malt...alcohol is not well hidden, though it does seem to contribute esters and body. Some oxidation.

Effervescent, creamy, medium-bodied...

Diverges from any IPA-like off-note or two...yet still interesting - though not for $9+ in the midwest.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have to pause for a moment and consider that this is the first time a bottle of this size, full of a beer of this style, has appeared on local beer shelves, with Minneapolis, Minnesota appearing amongst the verbiage. Harriet was the first Minneapolis brewery in decades, but they haven't sent bottles to local stores, and Fulton started bottling locally last year, but not in packages quite like this. I don't know why, I just consider that significant.

This is my first Boom Island brew in a bottle, after having some in a sample months ago at the Muddy Pig. I was not carried away by the brew then, but there are so many factors at play, I decided it was best to wait to have a full serving before rendering judgement. And these bottles were only sold at a few stores, far away from me, until just now, when I found them at Chicago-Lake Liquors, mere blocks away from my home. Yay! So, away, we go, with the Thoprock, and here's what we find on the label:

"Why would anyone name a handcrafted IPA after THOPROCK, the notorious heavy metal festival in Belgium? Just how hard do the hops rock? Are they turned up to 11? Can you handle the shredding? Will it make you cast aside your clothing and DANCE NAKED IN A FIELD?"

All very good questions. Before we answer them, more: "Yes, we brew traditional Belgian-style craft beers. No, we're not monks. That's not a requirement anymore. Thankfully. While our inspiration may not be divine, we hope you'll agree the result very much is. Savor slowly and in moderation, and visit us, blah, blah, blah…"

More: "The skinny on THOPROCK
…wait, that part gives away my game, so, let's wait until the notes are done, okay. 8% Alc./Vol. that part I'll let go. And now, to uncage, and de-cork.

Opaque, deep crimson hue, under a slim, rocky, lacy white head, looking nice.

Aromatics: Belgian yeast funk hits the nose right off, fruity, lightly bitter, and wild and crazy. Trifle sour. Funky fruity. Tres intrigue.Some citrus. Not quite like any other beer I've sniffed.

Now, to taste: Lands on the tongue with full, fierce Belgian yeast fervor, and hop bitterness roaring behind, if a bit meekly. Compare this not to an IPA, nor to any "Belgian IPA" (still a very ill-defined category), just yet. We need to keep drinking…There's some grapefruit and pine creeping up, some nice buzz on the palate, but played very mellow. Just a nice hoppy buzz. But is it enough to be an IPA, or just a hoppy APA? There are more questions than answers, though I will offer that this is certainly not a "traditional Belgian-style craft beer." Or, is it? More questions. Few answers. It feels a little like an American-style Belgian IPA, and it also feels a bit like an extra-hoppy Belgian pale ale.

What are the hops, I wonder? Now, is the time to check that information box.
"Aroma: citrusy nose from classic American dry hops. (Which ones?And what are "dry hops"? Do they mean "dry-hopping?")
Appearance: rich amber colored beer with a tight white head.
Flavor: Assetrive bitterness balanced by a clear (?) malty backbone. West coast type hops round out the experience with a nice punch of flowery grapefruit type citrus flavor.
Overall impression: Gives the impression of a classic American IPA. It's 8% ABV is elusively achieved through a special Belgian fermentation process. "

I don't know what to think about this. Not very well written, and not quite clear, as well. And why is the Belgian nature expressed through the ABV, not the flavor? What we have is not an American IPA at 8% ABV, via Belgian fermentation, it's the flavor that is affected, not merely the alcohol percentage. Odd that they describe it this way.

I like this, despite that. It is very tasty, quite enjoyable. This doesn't displace any of my favorite Belgian-style IPAs, but it's a nice addition to the growing sort-of style, and a very good addition to the local brewing scene. I have a bottle of the dubbel in the fridge, and I'm planning on doing a side-by-side with the Borealis dubbel I've been hanging onto for nearly a month. That store nearby also has the pale ale, and there's a triple I need to get my hands on.

But, this beer? Final thoughts? Tasty. Warming. Nicely hopped. Very nice. For a drinkable, sessionable Belgian-style IPA, I'm still reaching for Harriet West-Side. If I don't mind getting a touch inebriated, here's where I'll go.

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Photo of cpolking
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours slightly hazy and a very deep, dark copper, amber, burnt orange in color. There is a large creamy, foamy head, off-white in color.

The aroma is hoppy, very ripe tropical fruits and melons, and the slightest hint of pine, over a very solid, semi-sweet malt base.

The taste follows the aromas fairly directly, it leaves out the pine and adds a tart note, but all the fruits are there over a solid malt base, with some caramel malt notes.

The finish is slightly tart, moderately dry and with only enough bitterness to counteract the sweetness of the malt and finish just this side of dry. The aftertaste is pleasantly fruity, and a lighter reminiscence of the original flavors. The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, neither overdone nor underdone.

This is a really nice and big IPA, seek it out.

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Photo of JackieTH
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged 750 mL bottle. Popped off the was well seated..and poured a nice tea-brown, hazy orangish, with a big 3-finger rocky persistent head that left sheets of lace. I had no troubles with the bottle foaming up or the pour.

Smells lightly bitter, oranges and grapefruits with a definite biscuit malt presence.

Taste is nicely bitter right out of the gates with elements of citrus pith, slight resin, juicy, then with a solid biscuity and even a fruity malt backbone that scrubs away some hop.

Nice flavors of biscuits and fresh fruit with orange citrus zest as garnish. Constant bitterness lets you know it's an IPA, but a fruity presence reminds you that it's a belgian in some ways.

Medium body with tingly carbonation. Nice beer, I enjoyed it.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from corked 750 ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. No dating visible.

Appearance: Pours a bright and somewhat cloudy amber orange with lots of bubbles and a huge seven fingers of off white foam head. Good retention and leaves lots of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A pretty vibrant hop forward aroma. Some good hints of citrus grapefruit, oranges, and a pretty noticeable pine resin presence. Some bready caramel malts and toffee. Light hints of spicy Belgian yeast. Smells more like an American IPA than a Belgian one.

Taste: A nice sharp taste of hops. Lots of citrus grapefruit and oranges up front. Also a good kick of spicy piney hops. Good base of biscuity caramel malts with some toffee. Also a subtle bit of spice and funk from the Belgian yeast. A pretty good hoppy taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a moderate level of carbonation. Chewy, prickly, and somewhat slick. Alcohol is hidden well.

Overall: A pretty good American IPA. The Belgian element is understated, but the hops are very good.

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Photo of gatornation
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from corked 750 ml bottle into pint glass

A- pours a hazy golden peach color with a small white head and a bit of lacing

S- was citrus hops malt yeast all were faint

T-Malts and citrus hops like an IPA a touch of spice and mid funkiness,sweet caramel

M- was thin with low carbonation on the sweet side

O- not enough belgian in this one its allright as an IPA this brew did not wow me it was just allright

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Photo of FightingEntropy
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick, rocky off white head piles up high and hangs on through the initial tastings. Mixture of spices in the nose from hops and Belgian yeast are blended and layered so that it's impossible for me to tell the source. Aggressive hoppy bite that's mitigated by a strong malt backbone and an oily smoothness that creates a musky bitterness that's very enjoyable. IBUs aren't listed on the website, but I suspect they are fairly high to achieve the perceived bitterness inside of this 8% ABV beer. Warmth helps the beer, and strong peppery notes (that I love) move forward--great Sunday afternoon beer to sip. Looking forward to trying this one on tap to see if it brightens up the beer a bit.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.02/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

No freshness dating on the bottle that I can see.

A= Cork pops with a huge boom and slowly starts to overflow from the bottle so keep an eye on it after you open or have a glass ready to go. The beer pours a super hazy orangish brown color with an enormous off white head on it that allows for only a few ounces of beer and a tall head. As I look back at the bottle the foam is still rising making me pour a little more. Theres a few floaties in it as well that I'm seeing coming from the head in the glass itself. A decent amount of lacing but it looks way over carbonated.

S= The smell is a bit muted and is basically faint hops. There seems to be a bit of an estery aroma coming from it as well. I've heard a few things about this being an American IPA from a "Belgian" brewery but my bottle is for sure a bit estery and has a bit of a belgian twang.

T= The taste is strong bittering hops and a bit less of the finess that I've learned to love in an American IPA. There is also a bit of an estery flavor I find familiar with Belgian IPAs. It almost seems to be a little tame for an IPA in my opinion.

M= American IPA I would call it overcarbonated. Belgian IPA I would say it's pretty decent after you let it breath out a little while.

O= I had to keep drinking this fast because I didn't have enough glasses ready to hold the entire bottle. After I opened it it kept foaming over and I kept having to drink and refill or lose the beer to the counter. The flavors aren't bad. I actually think it's a pretty decent Belgian IPA but I've heard a lot of buzz about it not being a true Belgian IPA for some reason. It doesn't scream American IPA to me but it's not quite a full on Belgian either. If this was an established breweries new product I would write it off as another beer I'll not buy again but as a new local brewery I can't say I've written them off quite yet. I'll be buying more of their stuff to try and work through the the kinks with them. Keep it up boom island there is potential.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to MBrausen for sending me this one for the sole purpose of being able to tick it! Served from bottle into a Samuel Smith imperial pint. Poured a dark yellow-orange with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a half finger slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, grain, floral, floral hop, subtle pine, and earth. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, grain, floral, floral hop, bitter hop, earth, and fruit. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was an okay brew. However, there was really no real sense of balance going on in this one. It just felt one-sided on the floral side if I am completely honest. While still quite drinkable, it just lacked a lot of the depth you get from most of the better IPAs out there. Worth trying if you get the chance, but that’s about it.

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Photo of ratty918
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Boom Island puts the BOOM in bottling with it's double cage it felt necessary to cover the cork. The apperarnce is somewhat hazy even for something that is dry hopped and matches its copper description. I actually was hoping for a little more bittneress than Thoprock provided but did have a nice citrusy flavor. It had a very thick white head and had a matching citrusy aroma. Unlike the heavy metal concert it was named after I did not get ROCKED!

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Photo of morimech
3.36/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A bit of a confusing IPA that is mostly American with the faintest Belgian yeast influence. I expected more of a Belgian IPA from this self-proclaimed Belgian inspired brewery.

Pours a hazy bronze color with a massive head that is slow to settle to a thick cap. Massive amount of lacing is left down the glass.

Aroma is dominated by American hops. A lot of citrus, particularly grapefruit. There is a little bit of medicinal smell lingering in the background.

The flavor was just not that exciting. The hops fail to pop on the palate. The Belgian brewing process fails to either compliment the hops or add enough of its own charactor. The malt adds some sweetness and bready flavor, but is rather pedestrian as well. Bitterness is rather moderate. All the flavors fall off the palate quickly.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly excellant. Superbly bottle conditioned. Smooth texture and softly carbonated. Maybe more carbonation would of helped the flavor, but I find it hard to complain about this sort of feel.

Maybe with some minor tweaking this could be an excellant beer. The brewer needs to make up his mind if he wants this to be an American IPA or a Belgian IPA. Just go full out with a Belgian yeast strain.

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Photo of ChopperSmith
3.37/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a corked 750 ml bottle into a standard clear pint glass.

Appearance: A slightly hazy orange color with very minimal foam, even after an aggressive pour. Only slight lacing from the minimal foam.

Smell: Sweet and malty with a good balance of hops and a little spice from the yeast. Subtle, but inviting.

Taste: A good malt sweetness up front that is met by a good hops presence in the middle, and a slight spice on the semi-dry finish. This one tastes a little better than the Boom Island Silvius Pale Ale, and has just a tad more carbonation...but not by much.

Mouth Feel: Like the Boom Island Silvius Pale Ale, this one is too flat and needs more carbonation. It's not totally flat like the Silvius, but it's pretty close to flat. This is a shame, because it could be a nice Belgian style IPA if it had that extra carbonation.

Overall: Better than Boom Island's Silvius Pale Ale, but the lack of proper carbonation kills what could be a pretty good beer. As it is, it's OK but nothing I would buy again unless they fix the carbonation issue. Maybe it might be better on tap?

(UPDATE 1/30/2012: After letting my second bottle of Thoprock cellar for a couple more weeks, it had much more carbonation than the previous bottles of Thoprock or Silvius. My only guess is that the bottles were released to market before they were fully conditioned and aged. It was a much better beer with carbonation than the first time around when it was flatter. No bottling date or freshness date on the bottle.)

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Photo of jera1350
3.57/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the label and Boom Island website:

Why would anyone name a handcrafted IPA after thoprock, the notorious heavy metal festival in Belgium? Just how hard do the hops rock? Are they turned up to 11? Can you handle the shredding? Will it make you cast aside your clothing and dance naked in a field? Gives the impression of a classic American IPA. Its 8% ABV is elusively achieved through a special Belgian fermentation process.

A deep burnt orange color with only a few suds even after a semi-aggresive pour. Some fair sticky lacing though.

The smell has a strong caramel malt presence with some sweetness to it. Behind it is some lighter, but bright citrusy hops.

Lots of caramel and toffee up front with plenty of roasty malt. Some moderate hop bitterness and some citrus comes in at the back end. More bitterness in the aftertaste. Very drinkable.

Very light carbonation. Not as flat as the Silvius I had, but it is lacking. Makes for a light and soft feel overall.

This is a pretty nice beer. Apparently they use the Belgian process of brewing, but not Belgian yeast. As an American IPA, this is very balanced. Just an above average beer that drinks well for the abv. Relatively high pricetag though at $10.

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Thoprock from Boom Island Brewing Company
3.71 out of 5 based on 76 ratings.
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