Cambridge House Big Hoppy | The Cambridge House Brewpub

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Cambridge House Big HoppyCambridge House Big Hoppy

Brewed by:
The Cambridge House Brewpub
Connecticut, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Boto on 12-18-2006

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Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 71
Photo of JayPee
2.61/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1.75

I'm going to forego the usual appearance, smell, taste with this beer and say simply that it should not call itself an IPA. As a beer it is okay. As an IPA it sucks. The malt completely overpowers any hops that might be in the beer. Are there hops in this beer? I do not detect them in anything near the levels that a double IPA should have.

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Photo of argock
2.72/5  rDev -29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22 oz brown bomber into an oversized wine glass. No freshness date. Purchased at Total Wine (Norwalk, CT) for $4.29.

A: Copper-red with nice 2-finger light-beige head with decent retention and craggy lacing.

S: Unfortunately, this beer goes downhill after appearance. The aroma is mostly dank and resin but light on all accounts. There is some cardboardy, vegetal aromas as well.

T: The flavor is not much better. It tastes astringent, tea-like, and grassy with too many tannins, like an oversparged beer. There are some dank hops qualities with some resin but not much else. The malt component is cardboardy. Overly bitter but thankfully there are no bad fusel alcohol flavors.

M: Not a bad feel although it is a little too carbonated, but not by a lot. Medium body but the tannic quality is pretty overpowering.

O: This might be an old oxidized bottle, but without bottle dating no one will ever know. Would definitely skip this beer. It tastes like below-average homebrew.

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Photo of Flounder57
2.84/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle was poured into a large tulip glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a crazy two finger head that reduced to a thin layer and left nice lacing on the glass. It is a copper amber color with some haziness and slow moving bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Caramel malt, toffee, fruity, buttery, some citrus, and orange marmalade.

Taste: Same as above, but the hop bomb bitterness takes over and the malts don't holf up well too.

Mouthfeel: it was tough to get a few sips down. I poured the rest down the drain.

Overall: Pretty dissapointed about this one. I'll let the store owner know that he needs to take the beers off the shelf.

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Photo of ThreeLions
3.06/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

The Cambridge House
Big Hoppy Double India Pale Ale
22 oz bomber
9% abv
Split with Hab11

Poured into my Night Shift Brewing chalice. Dark amber cherry color, hue of pink grapefruit
when backlit. Half inch head lingers leaving nice lacing on the glass. The more I drink, the
better the lacing gets. Long lingering legs decorate the sides of my glass.

Low hop aroma, strong maltiness shines through the hops.

Earthy taste right up front. Smokiness? Hops fade away very quickly leaving behind strong
smoky malts. Hops primarily for bittering, almost no flavoring. Complex malt flavor. Not too
bitter. Has the feel of an irish red as opposed to a double ipa.

Decent carbonation. Thick at first, then very drinkable. Not too heavy. This beer gets lighter
the more I drink it. I think I’m just trying to get through it. Feels strong. High alcohol content not
masked well.

Not at all what I was expecting. Probably wouldn’t drink again. Had to struggle to get through this one. The name 'Big Hoppy' had me expecting big hop aroma and flavor but the 'big' seems to have been referring to the grain bill. I felt like I was searching around to find any hops at all.

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Photo of Boomblaze
3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured a bomber into my Chimay chalice.

A - Pours a dark amber with a solid 1" head that disapates quickly. The ber is pretty cloudy as well

S - Not getting much of a nose from this one.

T - I get some fruity hops from it, mild grapefruit and citrus and some mild bready malts. There's also a medium alcohol burn on the back end almost

M - The beer has a nice medium body that is pretty easy drinking if not for the alcohol burn.

O - I feel this beer is more of a barleywine then double ipa just doesn't have those pungent hoppiness to it and has a good amount of malt backing it.

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Photo of Crazy4LegMoose
3.32/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Born on date 5:24:13 poured into a wide mouth drinking jar.

A: Dark opaque brownish orange color with a good 1 finger of creamy off white head. The head lasts throughout the drinking of this beer and produces good lacing on the glass as it goes down.

S: On first open there is a good whiff of grapefruit hops that fade quickly into bready thick malt flavors. Hints of toasted bread, biscuits, and honey in the nose with a bit of fruit sweetness from the hops.

T: Waves of bready malts that turn sweet with hints of caramel and honey that blend into the fruity sweetness of grapefruit. The beer fades into a clean sweet finish as hints of honey linger on the palate.

M: Very creamy great feeling beer. The carbonation blends the subtle sweetness of the hops with the thick malty flavor.

O: Reminds me of very good english pale ales I have had in the past. Very malt forward beer with hints of hop fruit sweetness to balance it out. More of an imperial english ipa than an imperial american ipa. Overall a good balance.

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Photo of Hab11
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Double IPA. 22oz. Bomber 9% ABV. Rich Amber to Nectarine color. Great lacing. Difficult nose to describe. Mild hop scent slightly smokey, slightly earthy with a hint of peat. Taste is a bit disappointing when compared to the nose. Bitter up front with a tangy finish. A bit of a dark brown sugar aftertaste. Mild carbonation leaves a light almost non existent feel. Reminds of a better Killian's. Not a first choice beer but I wouldn't turn it down if offered.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22-oz. bomber into an oversized pilsener glass.

A: Poured a cloudy, orange-amber color beneath a frothy, two-finger head of off-white foam that left some soapy lace and a chunky head of carbonation. Some sediment from the bottle floated ambient with the loose carbonation.

S: Musty orange peel, some spicy, herbal grass clippings and a slight, cooked veggie aroma fill the nose.

T: Sweet, candied citrus flavor hits the palate first, backed by some cooked corn and caramel and caramel sweetness. A slightly hot, spicy hop bitterness hits the palate, but pulls a punch with some yeasty twang to mask some of the flavor. The finish is somewhat chewy and boozy more than bold, bitter or overly flavorful.

M: Full-bodied DIPA with the additional mouthfeel of yeast and sweet, juicy malts, albeit a tad musty and mute.

O: I didn't have the highest hopes for this DIPA from a somewhat defunct Connecticut brewpub brewed at a somewhat mediocre, quasi-contract brewery in Holyoke, Mass. (aka Paper City), so in a sense, I wasn't disappointed. There were a few off-flavors and the 10% ABV didn't endear me to the drinkability, but the fact it exists and wasn't a train wreck of hops or booze was encouraging. I'm not running out to buy it agaon, but I might get it if it were on-tap at the brewpub in Granby.

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Photo of jlindros
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a decent creamy 1 finger head that fades semi slowly, with lines of lacing, over dark but slightly clear cranberry maroon color with a slight orange hue.

Nose starts with a big sweet malt kick, lots of big malts, candy like caramel chewy malts, then hops bring the earthy slightly spicy hop, and a bit of a candied orange peel, smells like it will be pretty hoppy and bitter as well as big and sweet.

Taste, as expected, starts with a big sweet malt flavor, lots of candy and toffee like malts, sweet and a bit syrupy with plenty of caramel too, and the decent amount of sweetness brings some booze as well, warming slightly tingly booze but not overbearing as the sweetness balances. Then hops, earthy spicy hops mostly with a fair bitterness, and a bit of candied orange peel, and some candied hop oils as well., and a slight herbal flavor. Finish is quite bitter, long chewy spicy hop bitterness, bit of herbal earthy hop, more sticky sweet candy malts and syrupy feel.

Mouth is fuller bodied, syrupy, decent carb, some warming slightly tingly booze.

Overall not bad, very sweet and candy like, quite bitter and earthy spicy hops balance fairly well, and booze is in check as well, but all that being said it doesn't really have much going for it and seems kinda boring and quite hard to drink much of it by myself.

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Photo of DrJay
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Clear reddish beer with faint haze and topped by a thick 3/4" beige cap. Good head retention with clumpy lacing. Aromas of caramel and citrus hops, bread and biscuit. Smells good, kind of barleywine-like. Medium bitterness, sweet caramel followed by rich toffee, citrus hops up front followed by sturdy bitterness. A bit earthy, slightly burnt, with mild alcohol. Full bodied with lowish carbonation, creamy texture with faint astringency. Seems like it might be slightly underattenuated. Overall pretty decent. It was reminiscent of the character some American barleywines had 8-10 years ago.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a very large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, floral hops and fruity citrus.

T: The taste starts out with a very hearty malt character followed by a strong caramel and citrus sweetness. Then a strong but not too bitter hops presence comes in. There’s a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid 2IPA to drink for a long time.

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Photo of smcolw
4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

No. 7138

Good head with decent retention. Leaves plenty near-blanket lace after each sip. Amber to brown color. Very cloudy.

Strong caramel malt aroma. Light hop in the background. Notable alcohol nose.

Big body with a big flavor--lots of caramel and alcohol warmth. There's a hop kick in the swallow but this is not a hop bomb. The aftertaste is a combination of scotch like alcohol warmth and some black pepper.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A-An interesting pour. Burnt amber or even copper. Dark but mostly clear. Head has a light orange hint of coloring. Head dies off to a thin, yellowish seam. Loose lacing squiggles line the glass.

S-Pretty light. Definitely balanced. Caramel covered bread and dusty oranges. It really does have a dusty aroma. Light clementines. Not too impressed here. Not enough intensity, the hops are odd and there isn't much depth to the hops.

T-The flavor is considerably better. Hops are more fleshed out. Pine and grass along with puckering grapefruit and unripened orange flesh. Lemony and astringent. Tart, lip-smacking lemon actually. A bit of dust too. Definitely some sweetness with caramel and sugary French bread. Boy is this bitter.

M-Bitter, bitter, bitter. Dry, dry, dry. Booze hidden oh-so well. I was actually shocked to see this clocking in at 10%. Body is medium. Soft but plentiful carbonation.

O/D-Definitely has its own flavor. This is one of those rent-a-brewery brews. But they did a heck of a job with this one. It is not my favorite hop profile (I prefer a bit more tropical fruit) but I can always get down with a super-bitter hop elixir. This is a monster and I am having trouble grading it. I didn't love it…but wait…did I?

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Photo of Durge
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A thick cloudy amber colored brew with a major cloud of off-white head and gobs of sticky lacing. The aroma brings a fruity pine hop medley that pleases. The flavor offers a fairly sweet grapefruit with a mineral grain malt theme. A polite bite blended nicely with the cereal grains we all love. The body is about medium. with a solid, edible feel and fair carbonation. A very solid DIPA by my tastes.

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Photo of jim102864
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Solid effort from Cambridge House with this one. A ballsy Double IPA, coming in at 10% and served in a 12 oz snifter glass. Lovely golden yellow in appearance. Somewhat cloudy. This is jacked up with heavy citrus aroma: think oranges and lemons. I detected pear and apple overtones as well. Somewhat chewy yet smooth and still more citrus in the mouthfeel and finish. Lace hugged the glass all along. Served at the proper temperature. Their best beer on tap, bar none. Drinkable, but not something you'd seek out to exclusively consume during a night out.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

if there ever was a deserving moniker...

A - this DIPA has a coppery pinish color with a very thin creamy head and little if any carbonation

S - what else do you expect from a high quality DIPA, floral piney aromas with associated grapefruit and a lurking sweetness

T - hops hops hops hops hops, man is this hoppy, but not overly so, still slightly sweet and damn tasty, with all the aromas translating to the taste

M&D - dare i make the comparison to DFH 120 min, its that level of superhoppy drinkability, with a smooth and easy down mouthfeel, only the ABV holds it back

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Photo of scotorum
4.29/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into a Sierra Nevada IPA glass.

a: Cloudy amber with a huge tan head which dissipated slowly to a pile of heavy surface foam and dense patterned lacing.

s: Very mild pine. The aroma does intensify somewhat as it is consumed.

t; Intense citrus and pine up front, followed by expansive bitterness at the sides of the tongue which lingered for a short time. A big surprise after taking in the mild aroma.

m: Medium, but the strong hoppy bitterness makes it seem even heavier.

o: I first had this on draft at the Northampton brewpub when it was a guest, and really enjoyed it. Then I had a small glass at the Northampton brewfest in August when Cambridge House (of Connecticut) had a booth, and told the guys running the booth that IMO they had a real winner. All is further confirmed here. A quality, powerful hop bomb which I am puzzled is not more popular than it is. This would give Hoptimum, Green Flash West Coast IPA, even Sculpin and any number of others a serious run for their money if it was available where those others are. However, I am wondering if there is a problem with shelf life or consistency, because some here report malt dominance, which is completely the opposite of my experiences with this brew.

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Photo of bigone4
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew poured a hazy dark orange straw color. There was a nice fluffy off-white head that stuck around until the last sip. The beer provided a great cascade of lace down the whole glass. Unfortunately it is only served in a 12 oz. pilsner glass and there are no growlers available. But I can certainly see why. Oh well. This beer proved to have very well rounded citrus tones and a strong hop floral scent. Mild tones of grapefruit and the distinct smell of hop oils are also mixed in. Five varieties of hops were used to brew this beer. The smell is very characteristic of an American Double IPA.

Very hoppy brew not intended for everyone’s pallet but it was perfect for mine. Nice use of bitterness and the hop flavors throughout the whole taste, from start to finish. Lighter hop flavor up front with a hint of mild malt on the tongue followed by a huge blast of hoppy bitterness in the back of the mouth. The taste paints a perfect picture of hop flavor for any IPA lover. Cambridge House has crafted a true to style ADIPA. They did not use any Cascade hops for this one.

It certainly holds true to its name though, Big Hoppy. Being a Red Sox fan the name was also quite appealing. This beer is exceptionally smooth and drinkable. It hides the 10% ABV very well. You would never know it was that high from the taste. But once your cheeks get rosy you know it’s in there. Great after taste of lingering hop bitters creating a very enjoyable drinking experience. I highly suggest trying this brew before it disappears. Congrats to another great beer.

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Photo of far333
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub
1.091 OG
Made with 100% organic malt from British Columbia and a variety of American hops

Deep copper colored with a thin off-white frothy head that sinks slowly down. Big aroma of sweet malt and citrus. Rich flavors of sticky oily citrusy hops, some tangerine and grapefruit. Finishes piney. Never bitter, just very flavorful. A sweetish base of bready malt gives a great base for the hops to stand on. Very well-balanced hops and malt, but make no mistake, this is a hop monster. The 10% ABV is completely hidden, doesn't take away from the flavor at all. A great DIPA.

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Photo of Boto
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draught @ Brewpub: This one came out without much of a head on it, and it dropped off rather quickly. The beer has an orangish, darker amber hue to it. The aroma is potent: almost like a glass of grapefruit juice. Needless to say, this beer is very aromatic. With a nose like that you might expect the hop bite to be overpowering: it isn’t. There is a strong presence of grapefruit hop taste, but it is not overdone. In fact this is very well balance. Somewhat fuller malt body behind the beer. Some fruity notes coming through also. Very nice.

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Photo of Hautacam
4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A slightly hazy deep amber....small tan head.
Smells like a northern spruce-fir forest..where fresh grapefruit is being chipmunks..?? Anyway, it smells awesome. First sip and the hops are on the attack...piney nice puckering bitter that knocks the malts way into the background...they're there, but it is definitely not a malt / hop balance... it's called "Big Hoppy" .... it lives up to it's name. There is enough malt. There is an almost astringent , dry finish that leaves you with nothing guessed it ...hops.
The mouthfeel is medium....carbonation is a little low, but seems just right for the flavors. 10 % ABV, but I'm not tasting it...dangerously drinkable...probably good that it is a 10 oz serving. I'll be back for this one again !

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

on tap last week of dec 06

solid amber pour with consistent, thick haze on the surface and maximum strength lace walls surrounding the surface. clear as a spring day.. but in the winter.

aroma laden with sweet clementines and peach nectar, peppered by an earthy catbox funk. west coast in its pleasant lack of sugar sweetness and apparent dry nose. smell here bleeds expert hop execution.

starts dry and tart, grapefruit juice-filled pulp chambers pop with flavor, releasing earthy citrus to much delight. finishes even drier, erasing all memory of alcohol from my brain. thick maybe, but layered with oily green hop flavor. sweetness is sacrificed in favor of piney resin and drinkability, which makes for a welcome trade-off east of the mississippi.

best cambridge house beer yet? quite possibly.

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Photo of jaxon53
4.62/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the brew pub. Came to the table in a 10oz. glass. Was a beautiful dark amber orange that was capped off with a short, tight, off white head. Head faded pretty quickly but did leave a bit of sticky lace behind. Awesome nose that was mad up of thick grape fruit and pine with a bit of sweet malt buried in the background. Taste was just about on par with the smell. Strong grapefruit and pine like hops, some sweet malt, with a bit of a bready, yeasty touch. Very west coast in my opinion. Slightly carbonated, and the ten percent alcohol was not a bit noticeable. A nice full, thick mouthfeel. This one is pretty much a taste bud burner. Not really balanced, but with a name like big hoppy why should it be. Dangerously drinkable with a 10% ABV. An excellent offering from The Cambridge House.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.77/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to goodbyeohio for this growler.
Pours a perfect orange amber with a nice half finger of white.
Aromas are immediately fresh, very fresh hops...citrus and piney.
Mouth gets hit with sweet amber malts and then a big blast of grapefruit and pine oil hops. What becomes most amazing is how fresh the ingredients taste...and how perfectly balanced they are. Often DIPAs overpower you with sweet malts...the balance doesn't work....this one is wonderfullly balanced and there is nothing cloying or sticky in the mouth after swallowing. Just a yearning for another sip.
But watch's 10% but you would never, EVER know it until it was too late.
Good stuff...maybe the best of DIPAs

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Cambridge House Big Hoppy from The Cambridge House Brewpub
3.83 out of 5 based on 71 ratings.
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