Hopocalypse Black Label
Drake's Brewing Co.

Hopocalypse Black LabelHopocalypse Black Label
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
American Imperial IPA
Ranked #176
ABV:
12.5%
Score:
94
Ranked #1,423
Avg:
4.29 | pDev: 8.39%
Reviews:
49
Ratings:
177
From:
Drake's Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  68
Gots
  35
SCORE
94
Outstanding
Hopocalypse Black LabelHopocalypse Black Label
Notes: Pry the cap off catastrophe. Hopocalypse Triple IPA contains an arsenal of hops including Chinook, Jarrylo, Amarillo, and El Dorado. Together they’ll bombard you with notes of pineapple, mango and orange spice. Embrace your hoppy destruction with this elusive release, only available in bottles on Hopocalypse Day each year.
Reviews: 49 | Ratings: 177 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of lucius10
4.59/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very Impressed with this TIPA! It is almost looks and feels like a hybrid between West Coast and hazies. It as a sweet, tropical nose that hits you upfront. Taste follows with an almost creaminess to the swallow...gives it a good amount of depth and feel to it. Very good!

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lucius10 from California, Mar 09, 2019
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.64/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had this at Bistro's double/triple ipa festival in 2018. There seems to have been a quick run on this in recent releases/years, so I made sure to hit it up relatively early in the day.

Pours a relatively older school orange from the yesteryear of giant ibu double ipas and whatnot. Surprisingly strong head job on this, 1/3" deep, off white. Aroma is almost fresh hop greenage like, lots of vegetal pairing with citrus here.

More of the green aromas come through in the taste, I'm getting some Centennial like forest/pine impressions out the gate, big grapefruit, relatively hefty yet dry malt feels in the mouth feel category. Certainly a degree of brashness in this that won't be favorably received by some haze bois.

I dunno, I found it to be a little boozy. Definitely good for getting your swerve on after your palate is geared up I guess, but don't put this away too quickly.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.92/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From tasting notes 03/31/18
Had on-tap at University of Beer in Davis, CA

Appearance - Served up in a 10oz snifter. Hazy and burnt orange in color with a thin, broken, layer of suds. Strong lacing with broken sheets, lines and small spots.

Smell - The aroma is overripe orange and grapefruit with a bit leaf and herbal character beneath.

Taste - Follows the nose. Grapefruit and ripened orange upfront and throughout. Pine kicks in mid-taste. Slight herbaceous, anise like undertone. Aftertaste lingers with overripe citrus and a touch of dank and earth.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied with fair carbonation. Fair drinker that's thick and slightly syrupy with a dry, warming finish.

Overall - An intimidating triple IPA with classic citrus and pine that overpowers much of the experience. In the age of the easy drinking Hazy IPA, this beer may be losing some of its appeal.

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TheSixthRing from California, May 26, 2018
Photo of RyanK252
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a Drake's Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours golden orange amber with a frothy light tan head that settles to a nice layer and leaves plenty of beautiful lacing.

S: Big caramel honey sweetness, tropical and stone fruit, a very slight earthy tone, and subtle citrus.

T: Sweet tropical fruit, mango, peach, apricot, a hint of pineapple and melon, backed with subtle citrus, candied orange, big caramel honey sweetness, a little crackery malt, and some alcohol throughout.

M: Medium to full body, moderate carbonation, kinda creamy, with some alcohol tingle in the mouth and a little warmth as it goes down.

O: A little on the sweet and boozy side for me, but overall it's still a solid triple IPA. Cutting back the sweetness a bit and adding a bit more of a hoppy bite and complexity could make this something special.

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RyanK252 from California, Mar 23, 2016
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.74/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Clear golden with a short lived white head.. perfumy apricot and tropical fruitiness .. nice bitterness.. thick, sweet and borderline cloying.. Certainly a bit boozy.. IMO, too sweet... without that much sweetness the hops would bounce out on the nose and palate quite a bit more. Not bad, but not just for my palate.

4/3.75/3.75/3.5/3.75

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was lucky enough to be at a recent share when this was poured. Pretty damn good Triple IPA. Most Triples I have had are not near this smooth. Great beer!

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Photo of Mehinaman
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent overall though I prefer thhave green label DIPA to this one. Just like the DIPA it's incredibly smooth and well balanced, especially for a beer with such a high ABV. There is also plenty of citrusy goodness here, but for my taste it is maybe just a little too sweet. That's why I love the DIPA so much because it gets it absolutely perfect. Still, this is a hell of a good beer

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Mehinaman from Washington, Feb 01, 2016
Photo of Hop_God
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got at Hopocalypse day 1/23/16.
Bottled 1/21/16. Drank 1/23/16

A: creamy deep orange. Think white bubbles

S: citrus. Biscuits. Hops!!!!!!

T: hops. Pineapple(fresh) citrus. Biscoff.

F: incredibly soft and velvety. Amazing feel for a 12.5% drinks much easier

O:quite delicious. Really great event and awesome beer.

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Hop_God from California, Jan 24, 2016
Photo of elNopalero
4.73/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Ah, the elusive black label Hopocalypse.
Piney, bitter, intense with a candied orange sweetness. Finishes dry and sweet, which makes it immensely drinkable. Warms up well. Watch out for the kick from the ABV!

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Photo of rray
3.82/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Good flavor. The balance between the hops and malt is nice but doesn't stand up to the alcohol flavor.
Update: The aroma hops seem to evaporate somewhat fast. When poured from a fresh bottle or keg and enjoyed quickly, I think the hops match the alcohol %.

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Photo of Dodgerrigo77
4.71/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Hop Bomb!!! On tap at release 1/31/15, its a yearly thang.
Looks a lil dark for my taste but the hop resin is visible thru plastic cup and has a nice thick 1inch head!
Smells really great orange/tropical some pinecreepibg out but I think its just a pleasant overload to my senses:)
Really big taste, this isn't smooth & trying to hide alc/flavor, if you dont like big Dank in your face try somethi else!
Nice to drink, could probably slam 2pints if I wasnt driving.
Great job by Drakes, I always look forward to their Big IPA's, this really is Big!

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Dodgerrigo77 from California, Feb 02, 2015
Photo of BeerZombies1
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hopocalypse Black Label
Drakes brewing
Triple IPA
12.5% ABV
100 IBU

APPEARANCE: Poured a dark over ripe nectarine color, subtle but bright light honey colored variations throughout. Big fluffy loosely bubbled 2 finger head that dissipated slowly leaving a nice spotted lacing on the glass. Really enjoy the color of this beer!

AROMA: Smells like I'm cutting fresh fruit for a tropical salad. Mango, papaya and pineapple. Lemon zest and a nice malty sweetness. Very I pressed with the nose on this considering it's a more then a few months old. Juicy and wet aroma not much of a hop present. Possibly slight pine resin but that also could because I know what drinking and what I should be looking for.

TASTE: Wow! This tastes amazing. Like a party in my mouth and tropical fruit was invited. So much mango, nectarine candied pineapple but not overwhelming at all. Nice squeeze of fresh lemon comes in and I'm actually picking up some nice muted hops that work really well. I am getting some honey sweet malty goodness coming through I'm assuming more now then would be if fresh. Slight bitterness on the end that really pulls the flavor profile together.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium plus body and a lazy low carbonation that just kinda pops and tingles slightly. Light oil slickness with a great bitter warm finish from the high ABV.

OVERALL: I was very impressed with this triple for such a high ABV it was very drinkable for me. I enjoyed every last drop! Would love to have had this fresh to compare. It did drink a bit more like a barley wine almost like an aged hopslam. I would for sure search this out either fresh or with age on it any day!

RATING: 4.8/5 Zombie Heads!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle pour at the pre-FWIBF bottle share held at the Adelaide Inn in Paso Robles, CA.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, citrus zest, and slight tropical fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with sweet citrus zest and brown sugar flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with really nice citrus forward hop characteristics all around.

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UCLABrewN84 from California, Jun 04, 2014
Photo of scottfrie
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:
22of bottle purchased from the release yesterday. Poured into tulip.

A: Pours burnt amber with a dense but not as large as expected light tan head that faded into a greasy film. Not much lace. Disappointing head.
S: Extremely dank and resinous smelling with notes of weed, cat box, peach, pineapple, and orange sherbet.
T: Ultra greasy and hoppy. Crushingly hoppy and sweet with tropical fruit nectars hop resin and oil, citrus juice, pineapple, and dank weed, lemon pith, yard trimmings, boozy finish, creamy orange aftertaste.
M: Crushingly bitter and strong, a sipper of a beer, hop oil is tingly and combines with the booze to make a thick and greasy mouthfeel and heavy body.
O: Heavy, greasy, oily, boozy, hop onslaught. Bitter as hell with a tingly hop oil mouth. Like sucking on a bouquet of hops. Very unbalanced and rough around the edges. Younger is so much more refined. This is a brutal onslaught but I couldn’t drink it all day every day like some other dipas.

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scottfrie from California, Mar 17, 2014
Photo of mc4z
4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle from the brewery. Pours a nice orange that is barely see through. The head dissipates really quickly and there is not a lot of lacing. The smell is sweet and citrusy. The taste is just like the smell with sweet malt and then lots of grapefruit and pineapple. The mouthfeel is thick with lots of hop resin and some booziness. Overall this is one of my favorite triple IPAs, a style I have a love/hate relationship with. Plus, the release party for this beer was a blast - highly recommended.

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mc4z from California, Feb 16, 2014
Photo of JackTse
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Hopocalypse is probably my favorite triple IPA because of how drinkable it is.

Appearance:
Deep amber, great to look at - make you thirsty looking at it

Smell:
Could have better nose but it's not outwardly friendly. Still smells fresh, hoppy as is

Taste:
Black label wins in taste. Great balance for a triple at 12%. For me, a triple should be shooting for this balance rather than palette destruction

Mouthfeel:
Wins in mouthfeel as well. That malt sticks with you in the right way and that intricate balance with the IBUs is just heavenly.

This is an outstanding beer and you should try it while it's available.

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JackTse from California, Feb 03, 2014
Photo of kaseydad
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I could have sworn I had reviewed this before since I have consumed a few in my past...guess not. Had it on tap but this review is from the bottle. Picked up yesterday 2/1/14 from the brewery release.

Pours a nice clear orangy/amber colored ale with a off-white foamy head that dissolves a little quickly but leaves a ring to keep me company. Maybe a touch of lacing....but not much.

The aroma was hitting me first with big blasts of pineapple. Huge. Reminds me of those small dole pineapple juice cans I used to drink. That slowly fades and then the citrus and pine notes are brought forth. Oranges and grapefruit offer sweet whiffs. The 12.5% booze is apparent in the background but very subtle. Just enough whiffs of malt to let me know it's not all hops. Outstanding.

The taste is almost tangerine/pineapple/and any citrus fruit rind tasting. Just big gulps of fruit blasts with a touch of tartness and a finish of bitterness and light heat. Excellent. These guys did a great job of placing 100+ IBUs in this and really keeping it relatively smooth. Almost no booze presence on the sips....but it definitely creeps up quickly, but not enough to keep me from finishing the bomber. There is just enough malt to keep it nicely balanced. It works.

Overall this was worth the 3 hour wait for only a two bottle allotment. Some say the green label is better...and so be it. I prefer this gem and though I only see it once a year and for a few hours, it is a reward worth seeking out and repeating. I had it on tap yesterday and I must say, for once, the bottle version bested the draft. Go figure.

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kaseydad from California, Feb 02, 2014
Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got in a trade with TheFugitive. 22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours very hazy deep orange amber color with a 2 finger dense off white head with great retention; that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of huge pineapple, tangerine, grapefruit, mango, orange peel, lemon zest, floral, pine, caramel, honey, grass, and floral earthiness; with some light booze. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of tropical/citrus hop notes with a good malt balance; and big strength. Taste of big tangerine, pineapple, grapefruit, orange peel, lemon zest, floral, pine, caramel, honey, grass, and floral earthiness. Good amount of earthy pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, pineapple, floral, pine, caramel, honey, grass, and floral earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice balance and complexity of citrus/tropical hop flavors; with a moderate malt balance that doesn’t overpower the hops; and minimal cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a slick, sticky, and fairly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is fairly well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent big Imperial IPA. All around great balance and complexity of tropical/citrus hops with good malt balance; and quite smooth to sip on. A bit boozy, but not bad. A very enjoyable offering.

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superspak from Michigan, Jul 17, 2013
Photo of macrosmatic
4.01/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to eyebereej for hooking me up with this one! Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into a Russian River pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy deep gold with a huge white head. Good visible carbonation.

S: The nose is similar to regular (White Label?) Hopocalypse (Pine, tropical fruit, mango, citrus) but more caramel malts, and the apricot and mango hops seem more prominent.

T: Follows the nose. Almost a sticky candied bready fruit aspect, but is quite boozy. The sweet malts come to the forefront more than expected. Booze and bitter hops on the hang.

M: Chewy, thick body, and the alcohol heat is obvious. Reasonable amount of carbonation.

O: Well, it's a huge, hoppy and malty "Triple" IPA. Not one I'd be likely to have a whole bomber by myself, but it's good - don't get me wrong. I would prefer the standard Hopocalypse to this one - just less boozy, and it lets the hops shine through better.

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Photo of jlindros
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to HaveUSeenMyCellar for this one. Shared with rudzud.

Big creamy fluffy bubbly 1 finger head fades pretty slowly tons of soapy lacing, pretty hazy nectarine orange color beer, one of the best 12.5% abv IPA appearances I've ever seen.

Nose is much lighter than I expected, light tangerine and orange zest citrus, bit of fluffy malt and balance, light candied orange, some pine, booze is hidden well.

Taste sweet candy to start, candied orange peel, lots of syrupy malts, sweet candy malts, reddish toffee like, syrupy, light tinny malt, grainy and light biscuit cereal like. Hops are quite bitter... very bitter but balanced, citrus, candied orange peel, light pine and resin, not much else. Booze is hidden very well, just a touch of warming booze. Finish is sweet and sticky, candied orange peel, pine lingering, hint of booze, little stone fruit hop flavor too. Long lingering syrupy liquid hop extract kinda thing.

Mouth is fuller bod, creamy carb, little warming booze.

Overall ok, but not as awesome as I expected. I think I actually liked the green label better.

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jlindros from Massachusetts, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of rudzud
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Again, big thanks to JLindros for sharing this bottle.

A - Poured into a palm tulip a glorious slightly hazy orange nectarine hue with a one finger white head that fades to leave a thin blanket and nice lacing.

S - Aromas of balanced sweet malts, pine, and orange peel. No booze, shockingly light..

T - Taste is well, disappointingly non assertive. Sure the sweet sticky malts and bitter hops (orange and pine) are there but everything is super balanced. Expected this to be more "in your face" but alas it was not.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely bitter with a sticky sweetness and syrup . Good lingering bitterness.

O - Overall I was underwhelmed by this beer. Was expecting much more bitter aggressive hops but alas, it did not deliver the goods.

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rudzud from Massachusetts, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of MCain04
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from a trade with WestCoastBrew2, thanks bro, hope you liked the Hopslam. This is 4 or 5 weeks fresh, 22 oz bottle poured into a Half Acre snifter.

A: A clear amber/orange body with a 1.5 finger off-white head with great retention and lacing.

S: Tropical fruits, strong mango and pineapple presence, citrus and orange, a little pine notes can be picked out as well. Smeet malts are also apparent.

T: Follows the nose quite well. Tasty tropical hops make this a very fruity beer. Not as syrupy as I expected. A lot of heat though throughout. Definitely warming on a cold day. Moderate bitterness. The aftertaste of hop resin and alcohol makes it hard to drink this quickly, although that's not necessarily a bad thing.

M: Full bodied. Sticky. Carbonation is spot on.

O: A beast of a beer. The TIPA style is hard to tackle, balancing a huge malt backbone with hops and hiding a huge ABV isn't easy. This is probably one of the better, if not best, attempts at the style. Definitely not a beer I'd have more than one of in a sitting. I haven't had the pleasure of Pliny the Younger, so a comparison would be interesting. Worth seeking out!

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MCain04 from Texas, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of Hamburgers
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear dark, dark orange with big two finger fluffy white head. Good lacing. Strong hops aroma with notes of pine, citrus and mango. Complex flavors of citrus fruit and fresh cut grass. Super malty and absolutely packed with hops. Little bit of heat. Big mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Slightly bitter finish. Very well balanced for a monster of a triple IPA. The end is beer alright...

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Hamburgers from California, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of rlee1390
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Clear orange, two finger head with little carbonation. Tad bit of lacing is left.

S-Strong malt character, some citrus hops as well. Very sweet smelling.

T-Strong hop presence, but the balance isn't there. Nice bitterness in the finish. The hop flavors and malt are all over the place. Still flavorful.

M-Medium bodied, lots of hop resins, nice carbonation.

O-The best triple IPA I've had, but like the others the balance isn't there.

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rlee1390 from Indiana, Feb 12, 2013
Photo of harrymel
3.98/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 31JAN13

Golden with a solid quilt of fine creamy foam. Smells like pineapples, mangos, some weed, some pine and more juicy pineapples; hints of honey in the malt. Flavor is a bit boozy, sweet, some bitterness, some of the bitterness is spicy and there is a certain tangerine character here also. Alcohol remains a little too much for my liking. Medium bodied with moderate carb and a semi dry finish. Nice beer.

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harrymel from Washington, Feb 12, 2013
Hopocalypse Black Label from Drake's Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 177 ratings