Hop Goblin IPA | R & B Brewing Co.

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23 Ratings

Brewed by:
R & B Brewing Co.
British Columbia, Canada

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Old name for Hoppelganger.

Added by Garin on 06-20-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 23 |  Reviews: 19
Reviews by GrimmReaper:
Photo of GrimmReaper
3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

650 ml bottle,looked good,pours a very murky cloudy,orange,with a decent tan head,and leaves a nice sticky lacing.Nose is of floral and pine and hints of citrus.Taste is pine right up front,with some sour citrus flavor in there,a bitter finish to this one with a kinda heavy mouthfeel.Upon the first sip,i thought this was a good brew,but as i moved along,i found it too piney and citrusy with a full mouthfeel that just didn't do anything for me,i think i like the american IPA'S a lot more,it was worth a try and some people might just like this more than me.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
3.59/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A few years ago, on a another visit to Vancouver, this beer heavily influenced my burgeoning hopheadedness. Now, back again, it's a Sunday night with a wanky movie and a bomber of this to share with a friend.

This pours a medium golden colour, with lots of light frothy head that melts away in a minute or two. It smells of light citrus wafting over biscuity malt. The taste is mildly aromatic, with a flowery hop twinge, that turns quickly into a cracker-like grain finish, with a little piney hop following after. Not nearly as hoppy as I remember. It has a nice soft carbonation, which helps it go down easily, and enjoyably. This is definitely not in the West Coast style, more Eastern I would imagine.

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Photo of NoDeity
2.96/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tried one for the first time today. I'm a fan of American IPAs and have some favourites but I'm always looking for something new.

Poured from the bottle into a glass, gently at first and a little more aggressively at the end to get a bit of a head. The head dissipates quickly, not a lot of lacing.

Colour, smell, first taste, all quite nice. Not quite as hoppy as I expected and a little thicker in the mouth than I'm used to in this style. The honey notes were stronger than expected and, after a few sips, got to be a bit much. I don't look to an IPA for honey. I'd like the honey dialed back a bit to let the hops come through more clearly.

Better than a macro but not good enough to replace any of the other IPAs that I've come to enjoy.

Edit added a few days later: I wanted to like this one so I tried it again tonight. The local liquor store brought it in just because they know I like IPAs. I tasted it side by side with my favourite IPA (Hop Head from Tree Brewing).

Sorry, but it's still too sweet. The other IPA had nicely noticeable citrus in the nose and the Hop Goblin lacked those and, instead, smelled of honey.

I can taste the hops in the Hop Goblin but the sweetness gets in the way and spoils what could have been a very nice drink. Too bad.

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Photo of sitbooboosit
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice off white head that foams up about an inch, doesn't linger
thin head and thin lacing remain,
surpisingly low hop aroma, malt note is present
very little aromatic hops to taste, malt doesn't pull through much either, finishes bitter but balanced to the style
mouthfeel is good, light, tingling around tongue, smooth and not too oily

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Photo of Garin
3.97/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours perfectly crystal clear, with a nice white head that quickly
shrinks to a thin foam leaving a little bit of lacing. The colour is
pale peachy copper-gold. I can't believe how clear it is, it's a bit
unsettling. The bubbles float up individually (not in a stream) and it's quite hypnotizing to watch them form and float to the top.

A bit of apple and sweetness complements the usual bright and hoppy IPA aroma. A touch of toasty malt rounds it out.

The flavour is lightly sweet and somewhat malty at first. Some citrus and resiny hops flavours fill out the middle, with a hint of apple and other fresh and sweet fruity flavours. A sturdy bite of clean bitter follows it all of, so strong it becomes a bit metallic. It's possibly a tad simple in flavour, but it's so clean and refreshing that I'll call that a bonus. For me, this is a good example of a well-balanced IPA, with the malt element that too many IPAs lack.

The mouthfeel is smooth and easy-drinking. The carbonation is light and the overall impression is dry, bracing, and refreshing.

The drinkability is quite high. It's a light, clean, refreshing, bitter IPA. The initial sweetness softens the inevitable crunch of bitterness, which means that as soon as you finish one swallow, you want to take another. This is my first R & B beer, and I really like it -- I'll be reviewing more as soon as I can find them.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yet another of the samples I brought back from the West Coast (and I'm still harassing some of the locals to send more stuff!). I'd never heard of R&B Brewing before, yet Hop Goblin sounded familiar--due to the fact that two other places in the States make one as well. The design on the label gets my Spidey senses tingling, malto was right about the Green Goblin comparison.

Pours out of its 650 ml brown bottle a stunningly clear light apricot gold, a decent large-bubbled white head initially, which falls to a foamy cap and leaves some lacing. Toasted malt on the nose up front, but it is soon contained by a nice citrusy hop domination, elements of pine and grapefruit. The flavour is quite balanced for an IPA style, the malt leads into the anticipated hop presence, but is still noticable in the background, it isn't fully overpowered. Otherwise the flavour contains pine in the middle, with a resiny earthy finish to it, followed by a grapefruit rind aftertaste. A coniferous forest taste overall. The mouthfeel is not as oily as I was expecting, it is pretty balanced in itself, but still fairly light. That all said and done, although the hops barely made an impact on my palate (defiant of the "not for the faint of tongue" warning on the label), they are not agreeing with my system, thus the drinkability rating which would have been higher otherwise. An okay IPA, but if shopping in B.C. it doesn't match Tree's Hophead for punch.

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Photo of LampertLand
3/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of Timfromthemainland
3.64/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of noeldundas
3.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

white, moderate head, that disipates quickly and leaves moderate to heavy lacing in my session beer glass.

nose of malt more than hops and some slight DMS (canned corn-like smell)? the mouthfeel is medium with a moderate carbonation. taste of honey and caramel sweetness, there is really little hop flavour.

fairly pronounced metallic and astringent finish. like when you have blood in your mouth from a lost tooth, bit lip or punch. not kidding or being cute.

overall an ok beer. not neccesarily as hoppy as the name might imply. Honestly, I guessed 45 IBUs and then read the label on the side which says "more than 45 IBUs..." which means I was pretty damn close (they didn't say more than 50!). personally, I think this has too much caramel sweetness in it to make the hops stand out.

I would have thought this an APA not and IPA but smekermann might be right about the age problem. these have probably been shelved a while. not something I'd seek out based on this attempt. I will try this again.

2nd review of the above.

white, moderate head, that disipates quickly and leaves moderate lacing.

Aroma is definitely lacking for an IPA. Malt doesn't dominate but there is litte hop strength or complexity. The mouthfeel is medium with a moderate carbonation. hop falvour more pronounced that last time, a light lemon pine flavour with honey and caramel from the malt.

still had a slightly metallic finish, although less pronounced than last time.

really misses the boat on an IPA, (45 IBUS is the low end, as is 6% ABV) and still has several flaws that prevent you from excusing that mistake.

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Photo of TR0219
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Derek
3.58/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dated 4 - June.

A: Very clear, golden-bronze; white head, some retention and lace.

S: Floral & citrus hops, light bread, caramel, candied fruit and sulfur.

T: Earthy bitterness, but some residual syrupy sweetness. Some floral & citrus hop flavour (needs some more); caramel and a touch of biscuity/bready malt.

M: Slightly heavier than moderate body; creamy; moderate carbonation.

D: Perhaps a good introduction/gateway to the style, but too much syrupy sweetness.

Aug '07: The bitterness is more assertive, but some more pine & citrus hop flavour as well. The aroma has certainly improved a little.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.42/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

10/23/05- Purchased at the BC Provincial Liquor Store in Kewlowna, BC.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Darker semi cloudy golden pour. Practically non existant head or lacing.

Smell- Smell isn't too bad. Good amount of grapefruit and piney scented hops with a decent deep malt smell.

Taste- Semi well rounded. Hops are decent, but not as high as the label claims. I guess compared to a few of the other Canadian IPA's I've had this may be considered a hop-bomb. Decent grapefruit and a bit of fruit sweetness. Somewhat of a tiny metaillic and medicinal taste though. Malt comes through decently.

Mouthfeel- This guy was fairly watery. Thought I was drinking an overcarbonated cask beer. Carbonated, by very slight my bottled beer standards.

Drinkability- Ehhh, I'll pass on this one. Not bad, but not worth buying again for sure.

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Photo of Viggo
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks again to either Paul or Harry for cracking this one.

Pours a clear orange, very thin white head forms, leaves behind a few lace spots, settles to a thin layer. Smell is grassy and herbal, some light floral, touch of citrus, honey, bread, this should probably be listed as an English IPA. Taste is similar, herbal and spicy hops, grass, bready grainy malts, honey, light citrus. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. Not bad, pretty standard English IPA, I would probably try it again. Thanks!

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Photo of smekermann
2.38/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

To all you guys saying this had a honey-ish sort of taste, that's because you had an old bottle. It's what happened to me, as well, and this is basically how old IPA tastes like. The hop taste is almost completely gone, being replaced by a sickly honey sweetness.

I grabbed this beer from the BCL in Lougheed Mall, so don't grab any from there, they're bound to be old and nasty. Until I find a fresh bottle or have it on tap, however, I'm gonna have to give a below-average review. It's partially the brewery's fault for not pulling these old bottles off the shelves from the stores they have distribution in, in the first place.

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Photo of pnkHoody
3.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This was the fifth beer I tried during my first visit to Vancouver's fantastic Alibi Room. It was pulled into a half pint sleeve from cask. It might have been the lighting and whatnot, but it glimmered beautifully: a cloudy, faded bronze with a thinnish soapy head that hung around. The aroma was a little understated, but pleasant. I got melon, jasmine and foliage from it.

The taste is quite striking. A definite melon flavour comes through, with tangerines etc. The barman tells me it is from the cascade hops. The bittering is well-judged. It grows with each sip rather than punches you up front. Like an Indian curry as opposed to a Thai.

The best thing is the mouthfeel. It's flat as a pankcake but syrupy, slick, and just this side of oily. I suppose it is the cask that imparts this character. Very enjoyable to drink.

Nice as it was, I was a bit bored after a sleeve and might have opted for something else instead. Perhaps it is too subtle in flavour, and at 6% it woudn't do as a session beer for me, so I don't really have a place for it - but I'm glad I tried it.

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Photo of harpus
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of canucklehead
3.55/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer must be compared with Phillips and Tree for a hoppy IPA in BC, but it just quite doesn't measure up. The nose is not hoppy enough, in fact I detect more malt at times. The hops come through in the taste with a pleasant not too bitter finish. Not a bad IPA but not among BC's elite.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am trying this with an open mind after reading so many average reviews.

This is good, but not the mind-blowing IPA I was expecting, especially compared to Tree's Hop Head, Phillips' Amnesiac or even Black Toque.

Good amber colour with a decent head. A little bit pale, but nothing to disappointing.

The smell is a bit on the light side. No "aggressive hop bitterness" here. Well balanced; though the malt seems to be winning the struggle with the hops for dominance.

The taste is even tamer. A very good blend of hops and malt. Almost like an English IPA. I would score this higher, but this is classed as an American IPA, and tries to pass itself off as a "hop goblin." No strong, dominant hops here. I get a bit of wierd aftertaste, but I pass this off to the cheddar-and-beer Kettle Chips I had prior.

Mouthfeel is nothing spectacular, and this beer is fairly drinkable. Good, but not quite what it wants to be. Still, this is a good beer, and a decent offering from R & B.

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Photo of aforbes10
3.05/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My 4th Canadian IPA this week and my 4th experience with slight diappointment. Again, an IPA that promises hoppiness (or such is my interpretation of its name) but is really more just a weak hoppy sweetness with too much malt. Really not up to par with most american and english IPAs i've had (and its not clear which of those they were shooting for). Not objectionable in the least, i should add, but not what i expect from an IPA.

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Photo of francisweizen
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tap. Railway Club. Dark golden with a small off-white head and minimal lacing. Aromas are that of a simple IPA. Some nice citrusy hops, and some heavyily bready malts compete for the viewers attention. Taste is a bit hoppier than the aroma lets on, but this is barely an IPA, and certainly not something to call hop goblin. Oh 45 IBU's...i'm shaking...etc.etc. Mouthfeel is a bit light but good enough I suppose, drinkability is ok as well. Hophead from Tree is much, much better...

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Photo of lumikuuro
3.99/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle.

Now named Hoppelganger after legal action from Wychwood Brewery in England who brew Hobgoblin. Not even the same name, but anyway...

Appearance: Opaque, glorious deep orangey gold with big white head receding to leave heavy lacing.

Aroma: Some tart hop and hint of fruit, with quite a lot of sweet caramel and vanilla. Not quite hitting the mark here.

Taste: Much better than the aroma. Smooth, citrusy and gently peppery hop, soft malt profile. General fruitiness. Some sweetness, but it blends into the hop and malt much better than in the aroma, and as such it surprisingly gets away with it. Until later on in the glass; then it becomes just a little too sweet. The vanilla, thank goodness, gets lost, unlike in this year's Tree Double Hop Head IPA. The hop bitterness is moderate to start with, then builds into a crescendo of palate tickling bitterness that lasts for a while and then eases.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, smooth, crisp, slightly dry. Moreish.

Drinkability: Not the nicest IPA around aromatically, but it looks wonderful and tastes pretty good to start with. The building hop finish allows the beer to do more than just assault you straight off the bat and makes for a pleasurable experience, but the sweetness builds up the more you drink. Nice for a change, but not for a regular drink.

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Photo of bobsy
3.78/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wednesday night, and I'm cooking fried rice. Washed, drained and boiling away, the rice water is already starting to form the gelatinous skin that seems unavoidable with all the cheap 8 kilo bags from Chinatown. I've recently discovered that fried rice loaded with vegetables is not only healthy, but delicious, so I reach into the fridge to pull out a head of celery. As I do so, my hand brushes up against a bomber and on a whim I decide that it will join me in my cooking adventure. R&B Hop Goblin IPA reads the label. I clean the celery and crack her open.

The pour reveals a standard IPA appearance, though perhaps a tad darker than normal. Its a clear orange (though not as orange as the carrot I'm currently dicing), with a frothy bone white head. I'm left with a lot of lace as I thirstily attack the bomber. This kitchen is hot, and its about to get a lot hotter as I turn the heat high and splash some oil into the pan.

The aroma is onion. No... scratch that, I'm smelling the wrong thing. The aroma is mild grapefruit, some earth and caramel malts. The typical flavours of a west coast IPA with a bit of English thrown in too. I suppose that's a good Canadian approach.

First taste is...ugh...tinny. Thankfully its more of a palate tuner and doesn't make another appearance. As I tip in the vegetables, caramel notes become steadily apparent, and by the time they are cooked through I'm considering this to be a nicely balanced, but toned-down, IPA. The predominant flavour I'm getting from the malt is the aforementioned caramel, but it does feel like its drenched over biscuit. In fact, a touch of choclate malt and we'd have a Twix. The hops bring a slightly spicy citric bitterness. I say slight, because that's all it is. There's no mouth puckering and no whimpering tastebuds. I've had hoppier pale ales, but that doesn'y matter because I'm really enjoying this.

The body is medium-light, and solid enough for the style. The carbonation even manages to create an occasional creaminess before dying off. Before I know it the rice has been cooled and has joined the vegetables in a heavenly marriage with soy., and my glass has replenished itself with the other half of the bomber. Man, this stuff is tame, but its delightfully drinkable. I'm glad I have it, and I'm happy that Eric sent this to me (here's to you Ritzkiss).

The rice was excellent.

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Photo of allergictomacros
2.87/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Clear, light copper colour. Head is a lackluster. Lacks the rich appearance associated with the style.

S - Aroma is toasted grain with a faint floral hop.

T - Very bitter, with some alcoholic flavours. Hop flavour is on the mild side. Some slight graininess. Kinda disappointing. Bitterness lingers in the aftertaste. One dimensional.

M - Medium bodied with a bit of a carbonated bite.

D - A little unbalanced. In all fairness, the label states "this beer has a mild, hoppy aroma followed with aggressive hop bitterness", so it does does deliver. In any case, it's not one I can recommend as an excellent IPA.

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Hop Goblin IPA from R & B Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.38 out of 5 with 23 ratings
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