Hopocalypse Black Label | Drake's Brewing Co.

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Hopocalypse Black LabelHopocalypse Black Label

Brewed by:
Drake's Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by KevSal on 02-04-2012

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 170 |  Reviews: 46
Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

 643 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of largadeer
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bomber purchased at Drake's.

Clear pale orange appearance, fairly effervescent though it doesn't pour with a large head. Doesn't look terribly heavy for a 12.5% beast.

The aroma is pretty intoxicating, definitely alcoholic but in no way harsh or sharp. This is one instance where an IPA smells better from the bottle than the keg. It was slightly muted on tap, but the bottle has a huge nose. Peach, pineapple, grapefruit and guava backed by a lightly sugary malt backbone. It's impressive how rounded this smells for such a massive beer.

If the nose was good, the taste is even better. It's like fruit purée, with big pineapple and peach flavors up front, backed by lighter notes of papaya and mango. Moderately sweet and impressively light-bodied for its size, it's hard to believe that this is 12.5%. The finish exhibits a light resiny bitterness that's met by lingering notes of tropical fruit and alcohol.

When I think of DIPA this strong, I think sweet, heavy, borderline barleywine beers with substantial caramel malt backbones. That isn't the case here; it comes from the Younger school of deceptively drinkable and light-bodied yet massively alcoholic IPAs. While it isn't bone-dry, it isn't all that sweet either. Compared to, say, Hopslam, this is lighter in body, less sweet, but more aromatic and even a bit more drinkable. Pretty impressive stuff; Drake's has been killing it lately and this beer is no exception to that trend.

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Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
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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Photo of jlindros
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
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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Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a clear Solo cup. Drank this right after the regular Hopocalypse. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Slightly less dreary looking than the regular version. Small white head. Decent lacing.

Smell - Bright citrusy orange hops. Not as much grass and pine as the regular one. Sweet smelling, but the hops drown it out nicely.

Taste - The sweetness really overwhelms the hops in the taste, though. Citrus, but dominated by sugar. Still slightly bitter. The malt overshadows all the other flavors.

Mouthfeel - Not as thick as I thought it would be at 12.5%, but overly sweet. Low carbonation. Not that tough to drink, really. Not a lot of booze.

Overall - Good, very hoppy, but too sweet. Somewhere in between this and the regular one is probably a great IPA.

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Photo of PA-Michigander
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of MasterSki
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to largadeer for sharing this Drake's offering. Served in a tulip.

A - Transparent bronze body. Nice finger-plus of off-white foam, thin cap, and splotchy lacework.

S - Tons of pungent, dank, and catty hops, pine, tangy citrus, lemon and underripe oranges. There's a hefty candied malt backbone to support the higher ABV, but thankfully only a hint of alcohol present.

T - Juicy, with tons of citrus, mild tropical notes, and a surprisingly rich and complex malt backdrop - sugar cookie, caramel, and biscuit. The choice of Maris Otter is quite interesting but is quite successful. Nice moderate bitterness in the finish and well-hidden alcohol.

M - Medium-full body, medium-low carbonation, super dry, resinous and oily, with a hint of alcohol warmth.

D - It's Younger-esque in some ways, but the malt complexity is a nice twist and makes me believe that this might actually develop into an enjoyable hoppy barleywine in the future - this is a definite style-straddler in the mold of Boneyard Notorious Triple IPA. Drake's is really coming on strong with their hoppy offerings. 22oz would be a lot for one person, but it'd be worth the hangover.

 1,158 characters

Photo of GClarkage
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of ShanePB
3.38/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 ounce bottle I received after winning KevSal's LIF. Poured into a tulip glass. Instructed to consume immediately so I did.

A: Fairly clear dark orange/copper body with a little bit of chill haze initially. Rocky, fluffy white head with great retention and huge sticky lacing. No complaints about the appearance here.

S: Sugar-coated candy orange slices, citrus fruits - pineapple and some peach. Very sweet smelling overall with plenty of bitter hop notes (floral and citrusy) especially considering this is over 100 theoretical IBUs.

T: Big sweet caramel malt up front, followed by the bitter hops coming in next. Citrus fruits again - pineapple, mango and peach are mid-palate. This seems to be much too sweet though it does have a nice hoppy balance. Alcohol has a detectable warming in the chest after swallow.

M: Well carbonated, bubbly and sticky in the finish. Nice mouth feel overall if it weren't for the heat in the chest.

This was good but honestly I think it would benefit from a lower ABV. It's a monster of a beer and not something I could drink regularly. Personally I thought it was too sweet which completely threw off the balance of the beer. With a lower ABV those residual sugars would be more controllable and I could see this being a superb beer. Thanks again Kevin for the opportunity to try this one!

 1,332 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.74/5  rDev -12.2%
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.


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Photo of fthegiants
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of rudzud
4.26/5  rDev 0%
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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Photo of waddellc2
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of HopHead84
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Bottle from largadeer, thanks! Snifter.

A: Pellucid orange with a substantial white sea foam head. Pretty good retention. It's lighter in color than I expected.

S: The aroma is deeply resinous and dank with herbal and floral notes. Citrus is vibrant, redolent of apricot, grapefruit, orange, and peach. Topical notes are present but faint. I detect a little honeydew melon. Malt is evident, imparting a little sugary bread and caramel.

T: Lower moderate sweetness with notes of caramel and bread. Grapefruit blends with orange, tangerine, and resinous pine. Tropical notes are restrained. Bitterness is at an upper moderate level but it's not harsh or astringent. There's a little sugary sweetness in the bitter citrus laden finish. Alcohol is surprisingly well hidden.

M: Upper side of medium body with medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is a little heavy, but that's not unexpected.

Overall: A beast of a beer but it hides the alcohol very well. Damn good. I can't think of another IPA of this size that I've enjoyed this much. It has a decent malt presence but it's really just a platform for the bright and expressive hops. Another hoppy winner from Drake's.

 1,178 characters

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of DefenCorps
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ah, my first hoppy Drake's beer in what? 2 years? I hear they've hugely improved. Thank you, Chris!

Pouring a clear burnished copper with a dense, off-white head with excellent retention and lacing, this is a gorgeous DIPA. The nose is a pretty riotous explosion of hops. Fresh and snappy, there's dense layers of pine, grapefruit and plenty of tropical fruit. There's mango, guava juice, candied orange, overripe papayas, and behind it all, some alcohol. Juicy and fruity. Through it all, the 12.5% ABV _is_ well hidden. The malt character is a blend of caramel and a slight bready note (from the Vienna).

The palate opens rather bruisingly bitter, almost unexpectedly so, with aggressive pine, candied oranges, mango, honeydew melon and peach. Grapefruit pith is the most aggressive component here. Incredibly resiny, this has the oily consistency of pine sap, coating every inch of my palate in a way I haven't experienced before. Through it all, the mid-palate carries all the malt flavor, with a blend of caramel and Marris Otter malt flavor. The MO , in particular, adds a smoothness and fullness to the body without an increased sweetness in a very nice way. Oily and resiny on the finish, syrupy even, on the finish with an excellent blend of hop flavor and bitterness, the bitterness and fruity notes cling on to your palate with the intensity of climbers and their icepicks. I will say the carbonation is a little higher than I'd like, but I can't dock too many points simply because (IMO) this is a game changer for oily DIPAs. As for the alcohol, it is remarkably well hidden, even on the palate, despite the mild burn.

As this beer warms up, it tastes increasingly sweet. It's tragic, because this beer is rather fragile, and even in the best of conditions (sub freezing temps during transit cross country), the intensity appears to have fallen off, if release-day reviews of lighter bodies are to be believed (and I do). Scoring the overall impression of this beer is tough, because it does get fatiguing, but at the same time, it's unique. The high enough ABV ensures that your palate and your sobriety give out at about the same time, making this truly dangerous. Plus, this is the kind of beer that really needs to be brewed a keg at a time, not bottled and emptied in a day or two. Quite simply, a feat of brewing, and so hysterically over the top, the only beer I can honestly compare it to is White Knuckle circa 2008.

 2,441 characters

Photo of BGsWo22
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

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Hopocalypse Black Label from Drake's Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 170 ratings.
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