Hoppe (Imperial Extra Pale Ale) | Southern Tier Brewing Company

425 Reviews
Hoppe (Imperial Extra Pale Ale)Hoppe (Imperial Extra Pale Ale)

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by shirfan on 04-01-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 425 | Ratings: 521
Photo of scottfrie
1.95/5  rDev -51.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Thanks to StormKing47 for this one!

Disclaimer: bottle may be off.

A: Pours a hazy dark-iced-tea-golden color with a thick oily head that slowly faded into a bubbly film that left great rings of lacing down the glass.
S: Smells of cooked vegetables with hints of sweet malt. Sorry, I don't think this is infected, I just don't think it smells good.
T: Thank God this tastes better than it smells, but I am still very underwhelmed. For a pale ale, this is like a slightly more hoppy and alcoholic "bigger version" of a mediocre beer. For a DIPA it's downright bad. Tastes of hoppy tobbaco and green vegetables. Finish is bitter and slightly sweet with a touch of heat. Aftertaste is tea-like.
M: Prickly carbonation over a rough mouthfeel with noticeable alcohol in the finish. Body is full and viscous.
D: I hope this is just a bad bottle, and it may very well be. Decently drinkable for such high alcohol, but I wouldn't really ever want to have this beer again. There are so many better hoppy high alcohol beers out there, many of which are made by Southern Tier! My least favorite of their beers that I've had to date.

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Photo of marvin213
2.3/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

It looks good--light and refreshing. The two-finger foam offers big bubbles characteristic of hoppier beers, and lacing leaves its mark as the head settles to a patchy top. Though it looks good--translucent yet cloudy and shadowy--I'm beginning to wonder if "imperial extra pale ale" isn't some sort of oxymoron.

I think of a hint of the smell clued me into this style suspicion. I smell a hoppy pale ale, and that just doesn't sit quite right. It's like both wheat and hop waft their way to my nose. Despite the bottle's style claim, I notice that BA rates this among IIPAs and Imperial IPAs. This smell sucks compared to the citrusy yumminess of a Bell's Two-Hearted or even the malty backbone marking a DFH 90min. Maybe it's the pale malts I don't like. Initially more gentle with my rating, I've decided to be more punitive since it's categorized here as a DIPA.

It tastes more like the pale malts I smell than the refreshing color it reflects. It's got a bite that a pale ale shouldn't have, though the alcohol certainly doesn't linger. It's a hopped-up pale ale. The more of these I try, the more I'm convinced I don't like them. Pale ales and IIPAs have their place, but I don't like the combo. The pale malts and the wheat--despite the extra hop additions--offer a taste reminiscent of chalk. It's not as bad as a barium swallow, but I'd prefer a pale ale OR a DIPA. The lasting impact here is that they don't mesh well.

The mouthfeel is blah. For a DIPA, it's subpar. The extra hops make it better than your regular extra pale ale. Since I've sorta hammered this in context of its Imperial IPA counterparts, I'll give it more credit here...and call it average.

You could drink this one in basically any environment. If this were a criterion-referenced review in which I judged this beer solely in regards to an established criteria, I'd probably call it average. Since I'll acknowledge the plethora of great craft beers flooding markets countrywide, I'll take the norm-referenced approach: with so many wonderful DIPAs available in such widespread markets (in addition to the two I've already mentioned, Hop Stoopid and Double Trouble have been readily available in NC), this production is no competition.

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Photo of bobhits
2.3/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I know what an imperial pale ale is, but extra pale?

About the clearest beer I’ve ever seen, golden, with a big white creamy head. Not much carbonation to speak of.

I see reviews of this mentioning 10% but I suppose they mixed things up as this one is listed as 8%. Perhaps at 10% there’s an amazing nose to this. I’m really struggling to find much to comment on, and it’s in a tulip. Just subtle hops, touch of citrus, and just about the cleanest malt I can think of. Certain that it is wheat, but none of the interesting parts of wheat are coming through.

Imperial pales are often way too sweet for my taste. This one, well it’s sweet but it isn’t almost syrup. Hops? Well they are showing their presence and they seem to be doing well, but no bite, not lingering, no real oomph. I really can’t think of anything to talk about with this beer. Amarillo hops are noticeable giving a decent bite at the VERY VERY finish but then that bite dies almost instantly. The malt is so bland and just sweet. Not a cane sugar, but perhaps some kind of really lacking syrup.

Not enjoyable to drink. Thick, unexciting, and I’m starting a burp a bit more than I like to be.

They might have a decent beer at 5% or even 6%, but this beer doesn’t need any of the imperial effects. I have no idea why one would seek this out. It is the bud light of imperial beers. Lacking character, lacking style, oh hell just lacking anything memorable.

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Photo of jdankens
2.32/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Why does this beer have such great reviews? I like how other reviews say it's 'Hoppy' and 'Citrusy', are you kidding me? This is a terrible IPA. I've noticed most east-coast brews are far more 'maltier' than west coast. Honestly it tastes like a mediocre home brew made by a novice. Maybe this crap passes on the east coast but in the NW this beer wouldn't stand a chance.
Waste of money, should be $3 for a pounder. Had to come back to this site because I've never had a $6 pounder that is this bad.

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Photo of JDV
2.82/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottles courtesy of demitriustown and holdenn
Pours a gorgeous glowing, light sunny orange color with a nice white head that leaves good lacing. Smell is nicely balanced with sticky malt and a moderate hop presence. A touch of alcohol in the nose as well, which increases a lot as it warms. Taste is nice at first with a smooth creamy body and very light carbonation. Moderately hopped and balanced with hop flavors of hibuscus and tea. Very mild bitterness, but in the end the alcohol presence is way higher than it needs to be and becomes obtrusive for me. Otherwise, a nice beer.

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Photo of 0110x011
2.86/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a pale orange with a thick two finger head. Nose is all hops, citrusy and floral. Pure hops on the palate, with little malt backbone to back it up. Major bitter bite at the end, with notable alchohol burn. Dry and astringent. This beer proves that a beer is not made by hops alone. Not one that I'll revisit.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.95/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hoppe was something I was very excited to try when I stumbled upon the bottles of it at Wegman's one afternoon. I generaly love most of the stuff Southern Tier puts out. So since this was new to me I was ready to try it before I even got to the register.

Finally got around to opening it with a friend of mine. The pour was a hazy yellow color with a fizzy white head. Not much retention really. The smell of the beer had an earthy quality similar to some Saison's, it also had an interesting type of hop aroma too. The taste however threw me back and was kind of displeased by it. The taste was almost medicinal with a rubbery taste to it. Really not pleasing at all to me. The mouthfeel was on the lighter side so i just drank it as fast as I could and moved on to whatever we had lined up next. Overall, not my cup of tea I guess. This beer may be great but to me I wasn't feeling it.

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Photo of charlesw
2.97/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Note: this is a bottle of the 10% Hoppe. I'll try, somehow, to review the 8% one at some point.
Really pale (like the name implies). Low head that's gone quickly but with a lasting lace. Smells weird. Maybe some malty sweetness and grassy stuff going on but something else, too, that I'm at a loss to describe. Give me a second. OK, you're in the woods behind the house and you're climbing up a maple tree... You get up to maybe 10' from the ground and there's a patch of moss on the side of the trunk. It smells EXACTLY like that patch of moss. Weird, I tell you. (You only know what that moss smells like 'cause you were having a little trouble climbing that particular tree and your face got mashed into the trunk as you were trying to hold on with your arms and legs wrapped around the trunk. But that's another story.) It just tastes like a Southern Tier brew. Wow. Amazing. I mean, yeah. OK, as a homebrewer I tend to use ingredients that I like and it seems like a lot of my beers are just variations on a theme well... This is the commercial version of that. You could make something taste like this by blending their trip, ipa and phin/matt. You'd miss the syrupy mouthfeel, however.

To make it an extraordinary beer... I'd knock the body way down. Funny thing... I'd probably add a little more bitterness. Yeah, there's a lot of hopness going on but it's just a bit weird and doesn't go all that well with the HUGE body. For me.

Oops. I forgot to talk about the taste, in particular. Well, it doesn't really matter. You could probably pick this out as an ST beer. You like their stuff, you're all set, this is the beer for you.

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Photo of Cresant
2.99/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a Stone IPA glass. No date. A bold pour creates more than three fingers of white head. The body is clear, light golden-brown.

Smell was muted at the beginning. Oranges. Floral notes later.

Taste was of sweet malts matched by hops bitterness. Balanced as an APA should be but ramped up like a DIPA. Alcohol is evident. Strong without full flavor. Unfortunately, this just doesn't do much for me (Similar to ST Unearthly IPA).

Mouthfeel was medium to full in body. Light lip coating hops oils. I will not seek this one out again.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This thing pours a lightly-hazed, bright golden/straw color with a monstrous bright-white head that leaves some incredibly sticky lacing as it slowly, ever so slowly, dissipates. The initial smell is chock full of hops. A sharp citrus note hits in the background, akin to oranges more than anything else. A subtle sweetness is there as well, but barely. It's got some serious kick to it...yay for IPA! The taste is...is...well, it's unbelievable. The hops are there, but they're not playing by the rules. Their oily nature is second to a rolling, full-bodied, malt and citrus explosion. Less on the malt than the citrus, but it's there...I swear. The alcohol burns hot for a couple seconds before the other flavors kick it out. A few more sips and the hops start to take over, but that alcohol is still there. The alcohol burn is similar to vodka, smooth, clean, and almost tasteless. A little warming mellows this thing out, giving the hops a nice platform on which to build. It's a solid bitterness through and through, which I like. My only gripe with this beer is the alcohol. I've had more than a few high ABV beers and this one just can't mask it. It's hot, it's in your face, and most of all, it tastes like a really good vodka. Of course, that's not an issue if you like vodka, which I don't. If you can tolerate the alcohol, this beer is fantastic. For me, a little something died inside today. This beer could easily have been an solid B, but that alcohol just killed it.

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Photo of Kraken
3.03/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 03/28/09

Split with the GF, she picked it out. Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Floreffe chalice. Firm pour evokes a 1/8 inch head that recedes quickly leaving a light lace. Color is a lightly cloudy dull amber.

Nose- Sticky sweet, none of the hop presence I was expecting.

Taste- Syrupy sweet. Lots of caramel notes and a large amount of bittering hops. Slightly spicy. Alcohol is detectable.

Mouthfeel- Dry, and slightly cloying.

Drinkability- Decent.

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Photo of John_M
3.03/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Had this on tap at Max's the other night.

The beer pours a solid gold color with nice head retention and adequate lacing. I don't get a lot on the nose, which seems pretty subdued. I get just a trace of ginger and bitterness, but one thing that is very apparent is the abv. I know it's 10%, which is up there, but the alcohol on the nose is really apparent in this beer. On the palate the abv. is even more noticeable and just dominates the beer. I get some flavors of apple and burnt sugar as well, but this beer has no where near enough hops or malt to carry this amount of alcohol. The beer tastes heavy and the finish is miserable. This beer is no fun to drink and I ultimately told the bar tender I couldn't finish it.

A couple of thoughts. First, I have nothing against high abv. beers, and in fact am a big fan of imperial stouts, DIPA's and most Belgian strong ales. Whoever added this beer to the data base indicated it was a DIPA, which was clearly a mistake. Yes, it has the alcohol of a DIPA, but the label (not to mention the beer list at Max's) indicates this is an extra pale ale. ST's Unearthly DIPA has the hops and malt to handle the high abv., but this beer clearly does not. The folks at ST need to understand, I believe, that just because a beer has a high abv. does not make it a great beer. Obviously, ST knows how to make good beer (IPA, Unearthly and their trippel, to name just a few). but IMO this is not one of their better efforts.

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Photo of mentor
3.05/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light-tanned head over a mildly hazed light copper liquid. Smells garlicy hops. Creamy oranges and tangerine with mild pine. Mild aromas overll, but enticing.

Tatses garlicy grassy hops. Bitter doesn't dominate. balance betweeen hop flavor, hop bitter, and malt. Hop flavor is garlic, grapefruit pith. Hop bitter is clean, avoiding edginess. Esters are oranges and tropical (pineapple, etc). Malt is non-descript sweetness. Md-light body, but comes across as less due to the alcohol that cleans the palatte. Driinkability is meh, as the beer is too simcoe hopped (garlicy).

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.1/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

"The simplicity of Hoppe tests the skill and ability of the brewer to create something truly majestic. We craft this much like a sculptor who uses only a hammer and chisel to shape stone into a masterpiece. Hoppe is spawned of these few essentials: barley, wheat, hops, yeast and water. This limited palette is an exercise in minimalism, with refined elements that are deliberately selected. This simple combination creates a golden shimmering brew infused with delicate aromas. The artful nature of this beer is exposed with the first taste. As the malt and hops create a composition of flavors, an elegant finish leaves an impression that your tastes will not soon forget. Don't be deceived by the innocence of Hoppe. Please enjoy in moderation." Brewed in the style of an Imperial Pale Ale. In retirement for quite some time, this has become a big craft fan favorite and one of Southern Tier's most talked-about discontinued beers.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a Southern Tier snifter. Served above 50º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Hoppe pours a whipped cream head of a golden-white consistency over a mildly hazy medium amber body. Carbonation is small and relaxed. Retention is above average, leaving light streaked lacing. 3.75

(Smell) Fruit hop aromas against a very potent grainy malt background. Aromas of biscuit, tannins and ethanol gain with the aroma. Aromatically, it's past its prime. 3

(Taste) Some herbaceous hop flavor prevails, but stands aside nothing enjoyable. Finishes with a peppery flat hop finish aside a grainy, faded malt body. Very harsh flavors on account of age, much like in the aroma. 3

(Mouthfeel) Mildly dry, slightly slick. Carbonation adds some froth and light crispness. Body is medium for the style, medium overall. Alcohol presence is high in its current status. 3

(Overall) I wouldn't buy any old bottles of this beer no matter what the price is. While Hoppe is regarded as an excellent beer by Southern Tier, there's not enough substance to keep it drinkable for long beyond fresh. I hope that Southern Tier pulls this beer out of retirement, perhaps to repackage in 4 packs. I hope to get the chance to re-review this beer one day soon. 3.25

Southern Tier Brewing Company's
Imperial Hoppe (Extra Pale Ale)

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Photo of BMoney575
3.12/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled on 9-30-07

Pours a slightly hazy golden color, with a pleasant 1/4 inch white head. Retention is good, and sticky lacing clings to the glass.

Smell is big-time floral hops, lots of citrus aromas. Big grassy hops at the back end, with a spicy alcohol kick.

Taste is all huge, grassy hop bitterness, with a very subdued malt character. The alcohol is rather pronounced and adds a spicy kick to the bitter.

Mouthfeel is not very good, monster carbonation lends an astringent quality that amps up the bitterness and alcohol.

Drinkability suffers from the intense, tongue-numbing flavors.

Overall, not my favorite style of double IPA. Basically brutal hop water, there is little complexity and not much to enjoy. The Unearthly is much better.

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Photo of mobud
3.13/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

bottle into SA glass.

A- Dark yellow with light head that goes.

S- Strong smell of wet dog and faint hops.

T- Citrus hoppy with a rich smell of alcohol.

M- Thin

D- The smell is a major turnoff. I can not place how this beer could have turned. Maybe a bad bottle. The taste is OK and the alcohol(10%) is well hidden. I will not drink this again, but I will continue to get ST beer.

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Photo of cameraman
3.19/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a yellowish/orange color with a white colored head settling on top, about a half inch high. A grassy fragrance hits the nose at first scent, then the growing scent of earthiness and citrus. But, none of those scents over shadow the dominant scent of grain, that came across as wet cattle feed, with a cracked grain scent and a twang of alcohol at the end. Strong bread flavors come out at the front, biscuit and cracked soon follow. Those flavors dominate the palate, then it gradually builds to a grassy and earthy flavors and finishing with a strong grapefruit bitterness. A watery feel at the front, that gains weight to become more medium bodied and finishing with the warming feel of alcohol. Now the bottle reads that there is wheat as a main ingredient that would explain the bread flavors and the strong hope flavors. The aroma and the mouthfeel bring this beer down.

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Photo of PBoegel
3.2/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I have tried to different 22 oz bombers of this beer about three months apart, the first one was really green and had too many rough edges and higher alcohol notes.

A few months down the road the beer has mellowed and become much more approachable, but overall it is big without a lot of great merit. There are some nice Columbus and Amarillo notes in the nose over some mild pleasant sweetness, but nothing spectacular.

The flavor has mellowed considerably but at the same time the hops have subdued in flavor quite a bit. Some pops of pineapple and orange, a tiny bit of pine.

The beer still has some lingering fusel alcohol notes.

It is good, but not grand.

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Photo of Hophead101
3.2/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

drank on 3.5.09 at home.

pours piss yellow out of the bottle. but in the glass much more of a golden yellow/orange color. has a nice head, big bubbles, didn't last long. great lacing, nice clear look overall. aroma was a wonderful malty hop smell. sweet sugars, citrus and creamy but potent smell, buttery with some subtle pine notes as well.

weird taste. not sure what to think here. can't really pinpoint what it is - but to me it is not the pleasant. almost soapy - and i know it is not my glass. hmmmm.

i love southern tier. so this might have been a bad bottle or something - but i will have to review this again sometime.

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Photo of JoeMayo
3.22/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was surprised (and disappointed) with this beer. Usually ST's imperials are excellent, but Hoppe is certainly an exception.

A- Pours a golden yellow with a foamy cap.

S- If I could consume this beer by smelling it (and not drinking any), I would because the smell is rather impressive. The hops impart a nice citrusy aroma (particularly lemons and oranges) and a piney aroma as well. Hints of caramelized sugar can be detected as well.

T- Wow (and not in a good way). It tastes like carbonated gin. WAY too much amarillo hops! The wonderful citrus in the aroma is masked by an intense pine flavor. The alcohol content makes the flavor reminiscent of cheap gin or pine-scented cleaner.

M- Feels just fine if you try not to concentrate on the flavor. Very fine carbonation.

D- Sip it as you would gin on the rocks, or better yet, buy a bottle of unearthly instead.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.22/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A high density, crystalline ale starts with a small, sandy head that quickly turns to a ring. Slightly sparkling; solid lacing. Strong pale malt dominates the aroma. It smells a bit boozy and woodsy and citrusy-- perhaps lemon oil A medium bodied ale, it's reasonably soft and leaves the tongue in a dry fashion. It tastes like pale malt extract and alcohol. Heavily. It flirts with being sweet, but the hot, peppery burn prevents it from going to far. It's appropriately and adequately hopped. The bitterness certainly has an element that wants to be rubbed into dark wood. This seems like a beer that should be aged a little bit, but perhaps the idea of this beer is to present a very simplistic approach to American Strong Ale, like an Upstate New York take on Arrogant Bastard.
(rated Sep 18, 2007)

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Photo of dedrinker
3.29/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden honey color with an off-white head. Aroma of pelletized hops and canned malt extract. At first I thought I was smelling a freshly cleaned gerbil cage - not in a bad way - shall we say cedar chips and pellet rodent food? Ok, so it doesn't sound good. Maybe some old hay in my uncle's barn that had been laying there awhile. Coarse grainy flavors with more hop pellet. There is a pleasant country field character throughout the nose and flavor. Lush medium body with alcohol and hops on the finish. I did enjoy moments of this beer, but it seemed somewhat clumsy and uneven. But it had 10% alcohol and lots of hops right? Grow up.

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Photo of bkilpatr
3.29/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Chimay glass. 08/29/08.

Pours a bright golden orange color with about a finger of beige head. The head quickly faded to a thin layer, no lacing. Lot of citrusy hop aroma with a bit of sweet malt, lemon, and tangerine.

Taste starts with a bunch of sweet malt up front. After that comes a huge piny hop flavor. Fairly bitter finish and aftertaste. All of the nice citrus (lemon, tangerine) in the aroma is nowhere to be found in the taste. Though the aftertaste does have a lot of grapefruit. It's too heavy on the piny hops, not enough sweet malt to balance it.

Feel is medium-full body with ample carbonation. Thick and slick. Aftertaste lingers but not for too long. Drinkability is decent. The bitter aftertaste gets to be a bit much after awhile. The alcohol is nowhere to be found.

A decent pale ale, though not the most balanced. A bit pricey as well - I paid $7.50 for mine. At that price I'd say it's not quite worth it.

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Photo of nick76
3.31/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The aroma is papery with citrus, yeast, and sour dough bread. The appearance is hazy gold orange with a large head. The flavor is like the aroma with a bitter, cardboard finish. The palate is smooth but no outstanding. Overall this is just one of those underwhelming beers that does not suffer from quality problems it is just not that outstanding.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.32/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber, split into with a friend into 2 snifters

Bright orange body with a smallish white head that threatens to disappear altogether, but is revived with a swirl. Minimal lacing.

Smells "fresh". Light grains and maltiness, newly cut grass, floral aromas. Plenty of citrus. A little on the mild side, but pleasant.

Big juicy orange and tangerine hop flavors. Lightly sweet maltiness, with some floral and grassy notes. A hint of earthiness. Again, pleasant but mild- where's the bitterness?

Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Nice lingering prickly grassiness.

Overall impression: Decent, but lacking in bitterness. Forgettable.

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Hoppe (Imperial Extra Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 521 ratings.
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