Rail Hopper IPA | Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery

very good
58 Reviews
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Rail Hopper IPARail Hopper IPA

Brewed by:
Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery
Illinois, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Seven different hop varieties were used in this brew, it screams out loud "American Hops!" on the nose due to intense dry hopping, citrus and tropical fruits followed by a bitter and very dry finish.

Added by yeahnatenelson on 08-18-2010

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Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 128
Photo of jzlyo
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The aroma is strongly of pineapple/kiwi with some yeast as well. The flavor is similar to the aroma along with a decent maltiness and a mildly tart finish. A unique IPA, the heavy tropical fruit flavor makes it stand out.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.96/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewpub on 7/22/12

Irresponsible tick #1

A) Deep amber with honey cloudiness. A thin layer of foam holds across the top. A few decent-sized rings of lace with drippy trails between.

S) The nose finds grapefruit, orange peel, pine, toasted grain, grass and, as it warms, peach.

T) Tastes of dry grapefruit and pine, and it has a lingering bitterness: harsh; nearly aspirin-like. Dusty biscuit in the background.

M) Medium body tilts in favor of the lighter side toward the finish. Appropriately average carbonation.

D) It's ok, but the finish is a downer.

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Photo of portia99
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours with a huge 4+ finger dense off-white head that holds on forever...this one is going to take several pours to get a reasonable liquid level in the glass. Body is pale golden in color with quite a bit of murkiness. Tons of webby lace on the glass.

S - Very aromatic IPA. Spicy - almost Belgian character upfront with some cinnamony/clovey aromas. Lots of citrusy hops behind the spiciness. Somehow, behind all of these hoppy aromas is a very strong malt component at the base...doughy, bready and yeasty - maybe one of the best malt aromas I've ever experienced in a hop forward beer. This really smells outstanding.

T - Spicy and I still would call this Belgian type yeast flavors - cloves especially with even a bit of a funkiness to it. A bit herbal and minty too. Fairly well defined alcohol component takes a lead role too. Hops are citrusy, grassy, spicy and have a firm bitterness. Malt base is just about as nice in the flavor as it is in the aroma - loaded with doughy and yeasty flavor.

M - Strong and assertive carbonation with plenty of tingle on the tongue. Body is medium. This IPA is loaded with flavors - big malt base, plenty of flavorful and bitter hops and nice spiciness. This leads to a somewhat big/full feeling to the beer beyond what it actually is.

O - It is very difficult with the Flossmoor IPA's to feel truly confident that you are reviewing the correct beer. As best I can tell this is the Rail Hopper, but I would not be at all surprised if I was wrong about this. The spicy, yeasty, slightly funky Belgian like qualities of this beer make me dispute the American IPA classification and cause further doubt as to what I am reviewing here. However, I am really loving whatever beer is in this bottle. This is one of the most complex and intensely flavored IPA's I've had in a very long time. A bit of a surprise as I've had mixed success with Flossmoor IPA's in the past. This really was a very good IPA.

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Photo of lurpy1
2.4/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Perhaps I got a bad bottle here or maybe I hung onto this too long (3 mo). But something was not right here. I could see what the brewery was going for, bright hops, good balance. Overall, the beer just tasted dank. I've seen dank used as a compliment here, and I don't get it. Danky is musty, moldy, faded, earthy. This beer was dank. It was like eating a mouth full of sod. I was marginally able to finish this. Really hope the bottle was off.

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Photo of SpasticKoala
3.86/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Bright orange with yellow-ish hues. Great frothy almond colored head that's sticky and lasts a while.

Smell: Fruity and hoppy on the nose.

Taste: Strongly hoppy. This is a very tasty beer with the hoppiness level expected of a good IPA. The malt balance for this is perfectly complimentary, but allows the hops to shine. Overall fruity with plenty of citrus flavors.

Mouthfeel: Warm with good carbonation.

Overall: Flossmoor Station has done a great job with this IPA. It's wonderfully hoppy and is a good go-to if in the mood for this style.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.71/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Simply delicious, Flossmoor's IPA enjoys a simplified palate that focuses on the common yet high display of hops that's supported by caramel malt underpinnings. Without stepping out of the shaddows of many other IPAs, the beer still delivers a highly refreshing taste with crispness and bitterness throughout.

Hazy honey in color, the amber ale allows a glow of golden highlights to permit its medium cloudiness. A creamy and dense head builds on the beer with cottony white foam, leaving rings behind the firm retention as the beer falls.

Grapefruit, citrus zest, pith, and pulp gives a luscious scent that shies just away from furniture polish. Caramel maltiness supports the hops but without competing with the intensely hoppy nose. Light plastics, grass, and medicinal notes come out of the hop phenols and complex alcohol scent.

Flavors do much the same but in reverse. Caramel and bread crust provides a semi-rich sweetness that's both simple and hearty. But the sweet tone is short lived as the onslaught of hops develops deeply citrusy taste at mid palate in the form of ruby red grapefruits, freshly grated oranges, muddled tea leaves and grasses. Free of yeasty esters, but the spicy plastic/medicine notes persists ever so slightly as the malts fall off and the hops continue its development towards a medium-resiny bitterness of pine sap.

Creamy early as the caramel and carbonation plays moderately on the tongue. But the sweet and cream sensations are quickly shed and the dryness of hop resin, alcohol warmth and receding malt character take precedence in finish. Only a long citrus bitterness persists in aftertaste.

As delicious as the beer is, it never establishes a "signature" taste that tells me it's Flossmoor Station. Because of it's tame recipe, the beer is surprisingly forgettable. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice IPA, but so are most of the others.

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Photo of Sammy
3.76/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at the Maproom. Almost no aroma.understated and smooth orange citrus taste, but still a good IBU. Dark golden colour, with a big bubbly head. A fresh draft taste. Very drinkable.Well rounded like an English IPA,smooth gentle mouthfeel for an IPA, caramel.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a hazy orangish-gold with two fingers of creamy white head. A good amount of lacing left behind.

Lighter aroma of lemon, orange, and floral notes, along with sweet caramel malts.

Sharp bite of bitter lemon and pine upfront followed by rye bread and caramel malts. Bitterness lingers through the finish.

Medium bodied and quite dry with a sharp carbonation.

I enjoyed the bitterness and the sharp hoppy notes of this IPA. Glad I picked this one up on my visit to Chicago.

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Photo of 312HopBomb
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured into a Two Brothers "Why can't we all just be hoppy?" pint glass.

Apearance: Three finger head retains it's body nicely. It falls to a dense clumpy mass which is appealing. Colored a golden light orange slightly hazy but now cloudy after I dumped the bottom contents into the glass. Great spiderweb pattern on the sides.

Smell: Not much smell. Was expecting more from a fresh bottle from the brewery. A light aroma of citrus hop. Actually gets stronger as it warms. Some biscuit malt is noticaeble

Taste: Piney hops hit the palate with some citrus backing and slight sweetness of malt. Long bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Nice level of carbonation is refreshing and drinks easily.

Overall: A good IPA not great and a bit pricey.

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Photo of thydarkprevails
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft dozens of times, first time review in a bottle. 22 oz bomber poured into a duvel tulip. 2 inch white head shrinks to cover a orange copper beer with slight haze. Aroma is grapefruit, floral, light pine, and caramel malt. Flavor is pine, bitter citrus, oranges, caramel, and toasted malt. Somewhat light mouthfeel and well hidden abv. This is a local classic that deserves national recognition.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Davesway10 for sending me this in the Birthday BIF. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Hop Leaf tulip.

a - Pours a murky yellow-brown color with three fingers of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for several minutes and leaves two inches drinking throughout. Spotty lacing left on the glass.

s - Smells of citrus hops, oranges, fruity malts, light pine hops, lemons, floral hops, and light bready malts. Very fresh and nice.

t - Tastes of fruity malts, oranges, citrus hops, floral hops, earthy notes, light pine hops, bready malts. A tiny step down from the nose but still very nice.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth and creamy, with no real bitterness at all.

o - Overall I thought this was a really good IPA. Lots of oranges and citrus hops, and very easy to drink. The nose was very good, bordering on a 4.5. Would like to have it again sometime.

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Photo of seeswo
3.2/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Blind Beer #7, opened with a group a while back, written up and then I forgot to enter here. 22oz. bottle poured into tasting glasses for several.

Pours orangey brownish - I guess an amber color that is a bit murky with a tannish head. The word 'murky' docks this beer a tad. - 3.5

The nose is floral hops, a slight citrus note and an abundance of malt sweetness. It smells like a DIPA or an American Barleywine. - 3.5

The taste is a bit of citrus and floral hops and a substantial malt sweetness. Relatively bitter and yet a lot of malt. Tastes a bit underattenuated, but I could be wrong about that (I'm no brewer). It's oddly both strongly bitter and too sweet - like they were intended to balance each other, but they didn't. I would have to guess DIPA is the style here, as it doesn't say 'barleywine' to me and it is not full enough in body to be so. - 3.0

The body is medium-high, a bit sticky and a bit light on the carbonation. - 3.5.

Overall, this just doesn't come together for me as I would hope. Again, I assume this is a DIPA which needs either a bit of subtlety and balance or a more interesting intensity of flavor. - 3.0

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Photo of Chaney
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this one up over at the Binny's by Goose Island Clybourn.

A: It poured an inconsistent gold color, with a darker, shadowy version in the center, and a lighter one on the sides. It was somewhat cloudy and with a finger or so head that stayed sudsy and then some.

S: Much more sugary than piny or bitter, and with a mild yeastiness to boot.

T: This was overbareingly sweet and syrupy to my mind. I got more of a citrus quality the more I drank of it, and it DID get better as the session wore on, but this didn't have the most pleasant taste in the world. I did dig the bitter finish though.

M: Like I said, this was compactly sugary, almost like an extremely high octane DIPA or something. The lacing was most generous and formed a pronounced spiral as I siphoned the liquid.

O: Since this was my first Flossmoor brew, I was totally stoke to try this, however, this was a big disappointment to me overall. Oh well...

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Photo of rtepiak
4.24/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

interesting accent of a IPA with mid west malt characteristics. pour is amber nearly clear with a smaller head that had rather good retention. nose is fantastic with a blend of that would smell differently if let sit and agitated. nose of peach, lychee and passionfruit that would dematerialize with a bit of movement. the bitterness woody notes would come out. and hardier fruit. apple and earth autumn fruits mostly. palate was balanced but a tad more bitter than the typical west coast. malt savory in balance that would cooperate with the dry finish. perfect balance of exotic citrus notes and walnut. some pine resin notes would give it more density although this one felt rather low in gravity. i can imagine this loses a lot in storage. drink it ASAP. there are some hint in there that you don't find in the midwest at all.

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Photo of oline73
3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a slightly red hue. There is a finger of off white head with very good retention and nice lacing.

Smell: This one is on the sweet side with some citrus hops and malt. There are some fairly strong fruity notes going on here.

Taste: This is a very well balanced IPA. A good amount of citrus peel hop bitterness. I'm getting a pretty strong pineapple flavor. There is a good amount of sweet malt to balance things out.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fluffy, smooth carbonation and a mildly dry finish.

Overall: This is quite different from a lot of IPAs. Very fruity. It took me a while to get it, but I really enjoyed the pineapple notes. I would definitely have another.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.03/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Chilled growler into a glass. Shared by beddachedda. Thanks, Evan.

A: Pours a clear orange-amber body with off-white head.

S: Smells of citrus (grapefruit, orange zest). But I'm more enamored of the butter and cardboard aromas permeating this one.

T: Earthy, bitter, diacetyl-laden, oxidized... bad.

O: I'm not going to elaborate. I will quietly mourn the calories I sacrificed to taste this.

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Photo of russpowell
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Always thrilled to get to try any beer from these guys! Got this one kenm1228, cheers Ken!!!

Pours a very effervescent amber with 3 fingers of cream colored head.Superior head retention & lacing

S: Grassyness, breadyness & lemons. Grapefruit & pine assert as this warms

T: Pineapple, pears & ruby red grapefruit mixing with bready notes up front. Herbal & woody hops back-fill as this warms up along with King's Hawaiian sweetbread notes, plus piney notes. Tropical fruittyness battles it out with grapefruit bitterness & herbal hoppyness for taste dominance, no clear cut winner. Yes there is pineynes & grapefruit mop up in the finish, mucho bitterness with just enough pineapple sweetness to balance this out

MF: Slight thiness & grainy feel up front, smooth carbonation. Gets a bit maltier as this warms. Good, not great balance

Great take on the style, wish I would've tried this a few weeks ago, as I'm sure sitting in my fridge did it no favors; still a worthy AIPA for your consideration. Very quaffable for the style & abv

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Photo of cadizkyguy
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased this bottle and two of Pullman Brown at the Flossmoor Station Brewpub on Sept. 6 as part of my five-breweries-in-three-states over Labor Day weekend. Thus far I've enjoyed my haul. This one has been chilled on ice or in my man room fridge since purchasing so it should still be brewery fresh.

Poured into a Duvel tulip, this is one majestic looking beer. A cloudy magohany with a frothy head that comes from nowhere upon pouring but stays long after. Leaves an incredible lacing on the glass with each sip.

Not sure what hops are used here, but it smells and tastes like an IPA and had I done a blind smell and taste test, I'd swear it was one of Flossmoor Staton's IPAs, they just have a distinctive smell and taste to them. It has a nice bite as IPAs should, but it isn't overbearing.

I'm pairing this with a fresh cut salad, with strips of steak cooked on the George Foreman grill and it's a marvelous combination. I know Flossmoor Station has gone through some transition lately with a changing of brewmasters and brewing philosophies. But this one hits the mark and is a must-buy if you're in the Flossmoor area. I'm definitely stocking up on my next road trip.

As you can tell from my scores, I'm loving this beer. IPAs need to be fresh and that's why I went directly to the source for this one. It's every bit as good as my favorite IPAs. It's a well crafted IPA and glad Flossmoor Station decided to make this their house brew for year-round enjoyment. I'm definitely pairing this with Flossmoor Station's beer-b-que ribs on my next visit for a sit-down meal.

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Photo of Goliath
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy orange color with a half inch, yellowed, frothy head. There is great head retention and a bit of lacing as it subsides.

The aroma is nice. Notes of citrus and pine are prominent with a bit of spice.

The taste is decent. Again, citrus and pine are present in a big way. There is a nice subtlety to the beer which is followed by an appropriate hop bitterness. This is really what I think an American IPA was designed to be. Most way over or underwhelm me but I think the balance of this beer is just right.

The mouthfeel is full bodied, thick and oily leaving my mouth slick and interested. The carbonation level is relatively low with a very gentle bubble, but it's nice.

Overall it's a solid beer. Like I said before I feel the balance is right for an American IPA which I believe a lot of breweries get wrong. That said, it's not my favorite IPA to date.

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Photo of abrand
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a pint glass. No bottled date.

Pours a deep orange color with good vibrancy. Very good looking pour that is topped with a pillowy 2 finger head. Smell is sweet with citrus fruits and a nice floral backbone. Some hops as well but not overpowering. Taste is amazing. It would be nice to know how fresh it is cause the taste was spot on. A nice bitterness leaves the palate after a smooth citrusy start. Medium body. Overall this is so good. I will continue to seek this out as it is distributed to the area now.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours orangey, slightly cloudy, small pale head that sits like a mossy growth on the beer. Not much carbonation going on. Smell is really nice -- flowery, orangey, sweet, hoppy, very appetizing.

Taste is a very good balance of the things I love about American IPAs. It has a lot of that nice hoppy bitterness balanced with a really nice floral/citrusy sweetness, it's crisp and light and very tasty.

Mouthfeel is nice and smooth and light. Overall, this is a pretty darn good beer.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dusky amber color, like sun tea. A slightly dingy color for a beer. Lots of big bubbles in the whitish head. Very good head retention and lacing.

Smell is strong sticky resin and piney hops. Just a little bit of citrus, mostly grapefruit. Malts are there in support, but definitely in the back seat.

Taste is mostly resinous hops. Bitterness comes on mid-way through, and becomes the dominant flavor for the second half. Finish is light sticky bitter, and lasting. It is a little like drinking diluted pine sap, though not quite that strong. Very little fruit in the taste.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and light in carbonation, and sticky in a non-sugary way. Again, reminds me of pine sap. With the resinous flavors and feel, some more fizz would improve it IMO.

A hop-forward piney IPA. It's drinkable, and fairly tasty, but not one of the best. Needs more flavor dimensions and a lighter mouthfeel.

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Photo of elgiacomo
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Unknown date. Served at around 45F.

Pours hazy orange amber with a two finger off white head that leaves impressive sticky rings of lacing and maintains a good foamy cap. Nice.

Aroma is primarily apricot along with melons, a little orange and lemon citrus, fairly dank with a bit of tobacco and a decent amount of caramel and bready malt. Very good to excellent strength.

Flavor is dank resinous hops, good deal of apricot, nice grapefruit and some orange citrus, Virginia tobacco, caramel and bread in the middle and finishes with nice bitterness and a bit of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium to almost full bodied, oily, sticky, yet still somewhat creamy with good carbonation. Pretty beefy for a standard IPA, almost drinks like a Double...

Pretty big and pungent IPA...the Amarillo and Simcoe really coming through here. Good stuff!

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Photo of OddNotion
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Russian River Belgian Glass.

Appearance: A little dark for an IPA bordering on brown, minimal off white head.

Smell: Smells like a DIPA, nice malt backbone but some great citrus tones but the malt takes the front seat.

Taste: Nice bitterness but the malt outweighs the hops. Very enjoyable and a nice alternateive to the normal IPAs I have every other day. More english in style and I am a fan. Bordering on a DIPA in flavor profile but I am not complaining.

Mouthfeel: A little thick which once again points towards a DIPA. Nicely carbonated.

Overall: A nice mix up from the normal IPA. I am a big fan and would certianly seek more out. Solid beer and no hype, I am very glad my buddy brought this as a gift to me from Chicago. I would love to try this one out again!

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Photo of mulder1010
3.42/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes
Bought at West Lakeview Liquors.

Bomber poured into a wine glass

A-- Poured an orange amber color. Small bright white head that was at best a half a finger. Mostly film thought. Small carbonation bubbles showing from the bottom of the glass. Decent head retention on swirling and good rings of lacing.

S-- Pungent pine, orange and grapefruit with a good malt backbone smell. Really like the smell.

T-- Orange grapefruit, tangerine and butterscotch. Tasted nearly burnt though. Not a lot of bitterness in the taste.

M-- Orange and grapefruit with a large amount of Carmel. Not a lot of bitterness with this. Quite smooth and creamy. Medium feel and carbonation.

O-- Really liked the nose but the taste and feel were a bit short. A little too much malt for me. I thought closer to a bigger style APA than IPA. Guess that means I have more of a West Coast palate for IPA's.

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Rail Hopper IPA from Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery
3.95 out of 5 based on 128 ratings.
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