Hopfest | Legend Brewing Co.

very good
78 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Legend Brewing Co.
Virginia, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Legend Hopfest begins with a sturdy barley malt background including Munich and aromatic malts, as well as a few medium kilned malts producing a rich , deep orange colored beer. Step two, the hops; Hopfest sports a distinct pine/fruit aroma. Expect an intensely flavored brew, with hop flavor lasting throughout. There is a toasty, earthy background, adding a rich, malty dimension to the long finish. The end result is a full flavored IPA with a strong malt backbone and long satisfying hop finish.

Added by OldFrothingSlosh on 01-28-2003

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Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 157
Photo of asabreed
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: A nice golden color with some amber in it depending on the light. Very nice lacing and huge head that billows throughout the sipping.

Smell: One of the seemingly freshest hop aromas I've had the pleasure to take in. I don't smoke a lot of pot, the aroma is very much like fresh and top quality marijuana, before smoked of course. Still, there doesn't seem to be as much complexity as I'd like, as there's a leafy, oily, and pungent aroma of citrus and pine, but it could be a lot more amazing I think, more nuanced, more wild.

Taste: Is this really 7.3%? Crazy. I don't taste alcohol at all, and if someone told me this was 4% I wouldn't be surprised. I originally thought this was an IPA, but it does taste more like an APA, which it is. A nice balance of malt and hops, with the oilyness of the hops taking over a bit, letting the finish hit semi-dry with nice bitterness and citrus.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, a nice fullness and good carbonation.

Drinkability: Once this warmed to room temperature it mellowed out and let the flavors come through a bit more, so I wouldn't suggest drinking it right out of the fridge. Another Legend brew, though, that I enjoy, and would purchase again.

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Photo of dsigmon
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark amber with huge long lasting head.
S:citrus and hops
T/m: citrus and bitter hops and ripe grapefruit. As it warms the beer becomes more balanced and the caramel malt cleans up the taste.
D: very easy drinking well balanced beer. Reccomended.

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Photo of PhageLab
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a weizen glass.

A - Dark amber coloration which produced a massive head of cloudy froth. Both lacing and retention were good.

S - Sweet aroma of apricots and grapefruit, with a nice mild hop tinge behind it. Very enticing.

T - Citrusy body that is balanced and smooth. A wash of hop flavor, mostly pine, shines through in the middle of the body, providing a nice amount of bitterness. Then abrubtly it disappears with a crisp, clean finish. All in all not too complex.

M - Light bodied, low carbonation level, nice oily feel.

D - Pretty tasty brew overall, not too potent or complex, but good none the less. If you can find it I'd say definitely pick one up.

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Photo of boston2bburg
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I renewed my love of hops this Valentine's Day with a 22 ounce bomber of Hopfest Ale. Poured vigorously into a snifter. Three fingers of foamy, beige head slowly tapers off to a clump, not quite covering the glass, and leaving slight lacing. Color is a deep dark orange.

Scent is soft and seductive, sensual even. Seriously...piney hops are combined with an overwhelming cherry aroma. Very sweet, thick, pleasant smell. It took me 5 minutes to even taste the beer.

With an aroma so strong, I was imagining a flavor akin to a Double Simcoe IPA, but am soon reminded that this is truly a pale ale. To that end, it tastes about right. But at 7.3%, I was hoping for a little more body. It certainly doesn't taste as strong as it is, making drinkability not an issue, like an Oktoberfest IPA. Brilliant!

Some grapefruit on the tongue and faint residual caramel flavors but mostly raw bitterness. Thin mouthfeel, true to a pale ale but if this beer tasted like it smelled it'd be a beauty.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, copper body with a small, off-white head.

Smell: Fresh-smelling hop aroma of pine, citrus fruits, and flowers. Some toasted caramel in there as well.

Taste: Toasted caramel malts with a sugary sweetness. Resinous hoppiness with a followthrough of the notes from the aroma. Moderate bitterness. Dry, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: No diacetyl? I'm stunned! Not bad, especially considering it's from Legend.

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Photo of timtim
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 edition... reddish orangeish amberish, with a big, off white head that holds very well and leaves nice lace. very nice to look at. nose isn't overpowering, and is mostly hops (of course) with a faint malt backbone. taste is the same pretty much. not as balanced as hoped for in an apa (even ipa for that matter), but delicious and great for filling that hop jones. nice medium body. very alive and fresh with a nice, long finish. i could go for several pints. hopefully i'll make it down there for a few soon.

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Photo of bitterthebetter
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is dark amber similar to a Barleywine, but a bit more golden and cloudy.

The aroma is full of hops, to me cascade showing lots of citrus.

The head is a rich white with carmel brown hues.

The taste is full of citrusy hops and intense bitterness. The hops last long after the sip and even bites about 30 seconds after swallowing the sip.

A festival of the hop persistent on the mouth and it is a glorious beer to savor and enjoy. Very reasonably priced for such a delightful beer.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber tall glass mug. The liquid is a dark brown red, yet clear, save for the huge carbonation. the head is a tan 2 fingers with a rocky surface and some lace.

The smell is big fresh and citrus fruity, just an awesome combo and amount of hops here.

The taste is a great citrus APA with a great thick malty back bone. Pepper notes are quite welcome.

The mouthfeel is very good nice big sticky body and very satisfying carbonation.

The drinkability is very good, I will be looking for more and I highly recommend this for a try. Prosit und Zum Wohl. MK

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Photo of FenwaySquid
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz brown bottle, no dating on the label, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a hazy deep amber color, small carbonation rising through the center. The head formed a thick and creamy 2-3 fingers and stuck around.

Aroma: Piney and floral hops.

Taste: Sweet malts in the background, a well balanced hoppiness starts out subtle and gets strounger throughout, dominating the finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy, the carbonation was in good balance as well.

Overall: An excellent American Pale Ale. The following was proclaimed on the label: "An aggressively hoppy, partially unfiltered celebratory ale in honor of thirteen years of great brewing" Cheers to that!

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Photo of L4t3rg4t3r
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= Pours Dark Amber into a 10oz Pint Glass, with a thick fluffy head that takes quite a while to dissipate.

S=Hops, Hops, and more Hops! I was pleasantly surprised; this beer has quite a floral and hoppy nose. I think this is more of an IPA than an APA.

T=Good Hop bitterness, well balanced, not quite as hoppy as the initial nose might suggest.

M=Medium, from the color, initial appearance, and smell, this might seem heavier but it is quite quaffable.

D=This hides its alcohol well; it has a good hop flavor, but does not leave a lingering taste in your mouth. There is a hop tang on the back and sides of your tongue; this fades as it works its way down your throat.

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Photo of Enola
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Much thanks to wcudwight for the bottle.

This beer is a darker orange than typical for a hoppy brew, brown almost. The head is thick and stays around a while. The smell is like pitch pine. This beer smells like kindling. The taste is good the hop profile is certainly not hidden but there is a slight medicine like taste which affects the score somewhat. The mouthfeel is sticky and the hop bitterness lingers. Drinkability is good. This beer does not seem to be higher in abv. Overall, A very hoppy beer with a huge hop profile, and although it lacks the sweetness in the hop profile I like, is mighty tasty.

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Photo of atsprings
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep ruby amber with a thin head that diminished to a ring and left no lacing. The aroma was piney hops and caramel malts. The taste was a good balance of earthy pine hops and caramel malts. The beer was mostly light on the palate and the alcohol was well hidden. This is a decent beer, very enjoyable.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright ruby/amber color with a massive 3 finger head that holds it's shape and last longer than the beer. Sticky spiderweb lacing covers the glass.
Very floral and caramel in the aroma. Actually makes a nice combination.
This is one of those woderful beers that doesn't overwhelm you with hop bitterness, but still is loaded in hop flavors. Earthy, citrus hops. Pinapple. Huge caramel malt backbone makes this beer wonderfully balanced.
Mouthfeel is light to medium which makes the beer more drinkable IMHO.
APA or IPA? I don't know which style it tends to more. What's important is that it's a very flavorful beer that is easy to session.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a solid head that hangs around but doesn't leave much lacing behind

Smell: Pineapple, caramel and pine

Taste: Starts with a sweet bready malt and caramel flavor; after the swallow, the pineapple bitterness kicks in along with undertones of pine as well; the finish is just a tad too sweet, however

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Nicely balanced APA

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Photo of arguemaniac
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep orange-brown with a brief creamy tan head. Nothing but hop spice in the aroma. The palate has definitely got a ton of citrusy hop bitterness and flavor, but it’s very well balanced but a lot of bready malt sweetness. A touch of caramel in the otherwise hoppy finish.

This one offers a lot more balance than many other hoppy pale ales: it’s certainly got an aggressive hop bitterness, but an above-average malt sweetness. Very rich yet still quite drinkable.

Highly recommended…

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Photo of Braudog
4.95/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

In the past week or so I discovered this on tap at both Green Leafe and Taphouse-Ghent and brought home a bomber from Bon Vivant. It’s a deep shiny red beer with a textbook rocky head ... the classic visual appeal for this genre. The aroma assaults your senses with a gigantic hop flourish, piney and citrusy. Once across the tongue, this lives up to the promise of a big, oily, resinous hop-bomb, earthy and woodsy. It has a nice smooth, silky mouthfeel. This is a great big IPA and the best I believe I’ve found from among our Virginia brewers. Good job! (#2738, 3/7/2007)

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Photo of phisig137
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh 2007 bottle pours a mahogany brown color, with a two finger creamy head. Good retention leaves behind a good amount of lacing and a thick blanket of foam on top of the glass.

Aroma is deliciously hoppy. Floral and citrusy hops dominate. When backed by a bit of sweet malt, this is almost a candy like, sugar glazed hop aroma that is interesting and enjoyable.

Flavor is well balanced, but leans towards hoppy. Nice malt caramel tones up front, quickly turning to citrus and floral hops on the finish. Not terribly complex, but well balanced. Finish is moderately bitter, yet smooth and lingering. Mouthfeel is creamy and moderate. Drinkability is pretty good.

Another great seasonal release from Legend. Their regular line up is nothing to write home about, but their special releases are great. This is no exception. I don't think I'd call this a pale ale, but it's still a great beer for a fantastic price. I'll be buying it again. Highly Recommended.

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Photo of dedrinker
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007. It's an IPA. The bottle says 6.5% alc. Just a regular IPA with good hop profile of the current "in" hops for west coast style IPAs with all the sweet bubblegummy, floral up front aromas and flavors without much bitterness on the back end. It's good, but the coments on their websight get you psyched up for a better experience. There is no point putting this beer out as a seasonal specialty with such enthusiastic commentary when there are beers out there like Bells Two Hearted Ale that are produced year 'round. They should make this a core product and stop hyping it so much. Not as much malt character as they lead you to expect either. No matter. I did enjoy it, but I would never wait in anticipation all year for something that I can get in a 60 minute IPA, Two Hearted, or Avery IPA on any day of the year.

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Photo of roughsax
3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap @ Legend 02/14/07. Served in a pint glass.

A- Amber. No head, hardly any lacing. How can you pour this from the tap @ the brewery and not have a good head?

S- Grapefruit, piney/resiny. Not much malt profile.

T- Hops and more hops. Mirrors the smell. Could use more malt balance. Dry, bitter finish.

M- Fairly carbonated. Light-Medium bodied.

D- One was plenty for me. Needs more malt to balance out the hops. I compare this to Nugget Nectar. When I asked about the beer before ordering it (i've never had it before), I was simply told it's a really hoppy beer. I also inquired about the abv and was told 6 something. I have some issues with Legend's service at times, but that's for another review. I won't be seeking this out any time soon.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Freshly acquired from Bleedingshrimp...new to the trading scene but excellent right from the start.
A clear but carbonated mahogany color with two full fingers of aerated off-white head...a third of it disappears to produce some thin, web-like lacing...the rest holds strong for most of the snifter.
Gentle whiffs of carmelized malt, sweet butter, cotton candy and some carbonation.
The taste is very nice...plenty of hops up front and in the finish to justify the name and a generous amount of malt to sweeten it up and balance it out.
Mouthfeel is a tad thin and again, the carbonation is a bit high for me...regardless, goes down quite easy. Could be a bit cleaner in the finish...the malt flavor sticks around a bit too long IMO.
Another nice offering from Legend...I like their bomber line very much.

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Photo of InsolublePancake
4.34/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- nice dark copper with a good sized head; not much lace, but a beautiful color

S- Wow! Big time sweet citrus aromas in the nose. Sugar-coated grapefruit with maybe some pineapple as well. I couldn't stop smelling this one.

T- More grapefruit with a touch of pine. Not much of a malt presence, maybe a little bit of a doughy taste in the finish, but the hops are delicious. Not quite up to the smell, but still quite good.

M- Nice medium-bodied mouthfeel, average carbonation, goes down smooth.

D- Very drinkable, I would definitely have another.

This is a great pale ale with a big emphasis on hops, as the name would imply. I'll definitely have to get some more of this and go by the brewery to try it on tap.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber with a plain label informing me it is also called 12th Anniversary Ale and is 6.5% ABV. The website tells me this year's batch is brewed with Munich and aromatic malts and Simcoe and Amarillo hops, with the focus not on hop bitterness, but more on hop flavor and aroma. I believe they succeeded. After I open, a head starts to build up in the bottle, but I pour before it overflows. It's a hazy copper/red with a good amount of carbonation and it has an inch of off-white head that leaves some lacing. At first it smells vinous, but it follows with perfumy, tropical hops, an earthy/woody character (I can't tell if it's from the hops or malts), and some toasty malts which become stronger halfway through. Lots of tropical hop flavors - mainly mango, pineapple, and ruby red grapefruit, with perhaps notes of orange and honeydew - along with pine sap and hop oils, perfume, the same earthy/woody character, and maybe buttery malts and tobacco. It has a decent bitterness but it's not too strong and it has a medium mouthfeel that is very smooth - almost creamy - and leaves a long finish. Quite good. As I drank I was thinking that it blurs the lines between an APA, an IPA, and an amber ale, as it has qualities of them all. I was thinking it's more like an IPA than anything as I've had so-called IPAs that couldn't come close to the hop flavors/aromas, and even bitterness in Hopfest 2006.

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Photo of RealityDeviant
2.92/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Twelve-ounce serving lovingly poured into a plastic cup.

Appearance: The beer pours a clear, deep red with a minimal off-white head. Almost no lacing to be seen. Like the porter I had, I’m not going to mark this too harshly due to the lack of actual glassware.

Smell: Citrusy and floral hops. Grassy. Yeah, that’s a boatload of grapefruit. Not remarkable, but not offensive. OK.

Taste: Did I say grapefruit? Grapefruit is the strongest note here, and this baby milks it for all it’s worth. But it’s not all that pleasant. Grapefruit would be all well and good, but this is more like biting into a nice, overripe ruby red grapefruit rind. I know there’s more here, but it’s tough to grasp other flavors through the rind. Caramel? Pine, perhaps? It’s tough to get more than a glimpse. Of course, the alcohol is somewhat easier to notice.

Mouthfeel: I’ve rarely had a beer that I would call “soapy.” This is one of them. It’s not especially bad in of itself, but I’m not impressed.

Drinkability: Moderate drinkability. This brew suffers from the overpowering grapefruit rind flavor which gets increasingly unpleasant as it’s drunk. Could be worse, but could be much better.

Notes: I’ve been told up and down not to be misled by the name of this brew. I’m a closet hophead and when I read “hopfest,” my expectations are that much higher. Perhaps in the context of Legends I am not shocked that the beer did not quite live up to its name, but I really think they should have called it something else. I’ve had very few beers that I thought were deserving of haughty and self-congratulatory names like “hop heaven” and “hopfest.” Legends hopfest is no different.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer arrived on the table crystal clear amber golden brown with and off-white and frothy head that lasted forever to coat the glass.

The aroma was strongly fruity and floral with a nice citrusy pineapple character coupled with some caramel.

The flavor was fruity and nicely bittered with a resinous and piney character along with caramel and pineapple flavors.

The finish was dry with a piney hop flavor lasting long into the aftertaste. The body was medium and nicely done. A nice beer, at the time I had a hard time deciding if this was an APA or an IPA. It could use a bit more complexity.

Pint at Legend.

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Photo of meathookjones
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This came in a 22oz bomber. Pours out a clear copper color with a tall off white rocky head peaking over the top of the glass. A decent sized head remained on the body for the duration of this beer and it left scattered clumps of lace as it was consumed. Smell was of light earthy hops mostly with a touch of citrus to it. The flavor started of with a prickly bitter citric hop bite that lead into earthy and piney notes. Some caramel malt in the middle helped to balance out the hops. Aftertaste was bitter and dry. Mouthfeel was medium with a clean crisp feel to it. Pretty good drinkability as well, I would have had more if I picked it up. A good beer and the best I have had from Legend.

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Hopfest from Legend Brewing Co.
3.86 out of 5 based on 157 ratings.
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