Thomas Hooker Hop Meadow IPA | Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

very good
300 Reviews
Thomas Hooker Hop Meadow IPAThomas Hooker Hop Meadow IPA

Brewed by:
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
Connecticut, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A blend of Bravo, Amarillo, Cascade, and Centennial hops give this beer a crisp, hoppy flavor. Dry hopping with Centennial gives this beer a beautiful aroma of citrus notes. Balanced but complex, this beer is a refreshing brew.

63 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-20-2004

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Reviews: 300 | Ratings: 517
Photo of weezyfart
4.83/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The appearance of this beer is absolutely fantastic. Dark, dark amber in color. So dark, that you can't see through the glass even in front of light. This is already showing wonderful promise for the beer as a whole.

You can smell the hops from 6 inches away. Cascade hops are extremely prevalent. Oh that's huge! Big pine, citrus, even bubblegum. I'm almost wanting to open up another one to set aside for an hour to see where else the nose may go. But I must taste it!

This is a must try for hopheads. Wonderfully bitter right from the start. Yould think you were sucking on a hop cone. Malt come in midway to give your tastebuds a break, and then the bittering comes back to clean off the finish. Beautiful creamy texture as well.

This is what IPA's should taste like in my opinion. Jacked up on hops, low on residual sugar, and as opaque as limousine windows.

Brewmakers!! Use this beer as your IPA bible!

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Photo of NEhophead
4.73/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 pt 6 fl oz brown bottle.

Creamy yet rocky, lightly tan head with great retention. A pretty stable sheet remains throughout the glass until the last sip. Thin and condensed lacing all over the place with great durability. Dark copper with shades of red in color; almost mahogany.

A big pine, hop oil, and citrus nose; bubblegum as well. A touch of floral hops and spice.

A strong and thick pine-filled hop flavor mixed with a few more hop infused spices. The malt character provides an even balance, but this one is overrun by its hops. A big, slightly toasted, bitterness with a bit of lemon. Pine and bubblegum aftertaste. I would've guessed this one for a double IPA given its intensity.

Full bodied; thick and slightly grainy due to the hop intensity. A mouthful of hops near perfect on the palate for a hop lover.

This one is truly a gem! Probably my favorite version of the style (this, Hop Devil, or Smuttynose's IPA). A must try. I'd like to have this as a session beer, but the strength of the hops would probably ruin my tastebuds. Congrats to Troutbrook on a special IPA!

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Photo of mikeys01
4.7/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a tastefully decorated 22 oz brown bomber, the Hop Meadow prefers to wait until serving before it gets right up in your face and sneers at you. This is not your Grandma’s IPA, this offering from Troutbrook/Thomas Hooker is to be reckoned with and is a worthy rival for any of the hop monsters out there.
Pours into the pint glass a crystal clear reddish amber color, covered in a fluffy bream colored head, which slowly sinks into the depths, leaving delicate lacing on its way down. Aroma is rolling in piney hop resin, lots of grassy goodness and a fair bit of citrus as well. Upon tasting, the hops perform an immediate assault on your tongue like it was a punching bag at the YMCA, stripping you of your senses and leaving you reeling with bitterness. Hop flavor starts out like a bushel of oranges and quickly transitions to sharp and piney. A good dose of sweet, barely caramelized malt whines over in the corner and actually manages to put up a somewhat worthy fight in through the middle, but in the end succumbs to the brutal hop invasion. Finishes up nice and crip and bitter as hell, this beer makes sure you’ll remember it later. Excellent IPA, this one holds nothing back and makes you come back for more.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.7/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

More than a couple pints from a freshly tapped firkin at Eli Cannon's.
Hazed brass, topped with a creamy, full head. Head drops to a collar after a bit, leaving streaky layers of lace. Incredible hop aroma. Like sticking your head into a bin of fresh, whole leaf centennials. Just a hint of toasty malt sweetness. Juicy pink grapefruit and orange, with a lighter piney harshness. Full toasty malt flavor bouys the nearly unreasonable amount of hops. Floral, with a soft pear flavor. Pretty clean. Very citric finish, with bitterness like biting into a grapefruit peel. Piney bitterness is just barely within reason, snapping at the bit, reigned in by silky, toasty malt. The first couple sips had me a bit crosseyed. Mouthfeel is so soft, with just the right amount of casky carbonation, just a hint of a sparkle. The best part is that the bitterness is still punchy after 2-3 pints. Usually my palate adjusts about halfway through the first, and fails to feel hoppy anymore. Not the case with this one. I'm guessing at least 60-70 IBUs, at only 6.5%!
Great, great stuff. I can't believe something this good is brewed in my tiny state's capital. Thanks Paul Davis, this cask was a knockout. This one will give the hoppiest west coasters a run for their money. I must be a sucker for pain, because this one is armed and dangerous. Absolutely loved it. Not for the faint of heart.

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Photo of rabidawg
4.65/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Crystal-clear and gleaming like a shiny new penny. Ample off-white head that left nice sticky lacing down my glass. Well carbonated, but not fizzy.

Smell: Heavy on the evergreen, with a serious piney presence. Very fresh and slightly floral at times, with citrus notes throughout. The smell of sweet malt comes through as the beer comes toward room temperature, but this one's definitely all about the humulus lupus.

Taste: Slightly abrasive at first, with the hops bringing a full frontal assault. Almost off-balance when cold, but in a sublime, tooth-enamel-stripping sort of way. Seems to be relatively well attenuated, without much residual sweetness. As the beer warms, the malt finally comes through and provides a nice counterpoint to the tooth-coating hops. Slightly hot for a beer of this strength. Complex in a way that evokes a fleeting thought that this might be the bastard son of 90 Minute and Ruination, with the complexity of the 90 and the in-your-face character of the 'nation all rolled into one bomber. Great beer. It's these little victories that make living in Hartford worthwhile.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.65/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First is first, thanks to ppoitras for this beer. The beer pours a brilliant amber color with a 2 finger ivory head that seems to want to stick around very well. Very beautiful beer. The nose. Wow. There is a slight dirtying of the hop, but the bright citrusy hop still shines through right with a very sweet caramel malt. I like it. The flavor is full of nice hops. There is a nice spicey and citrusy hop upfront, falling to a big sweet caramel malt, finishing with a rather bitter residual hop on my tongue. I dig it. The feel is thick and full, with a nice tight carbonation. I can't stop drinking this beer. It is just fine. The residual bitter that sits on the tongue is not offensive at all, but very crisp and refreshing. The feel is great, the caramel malt is awesome. This is a fine, fine beer. I will find this one again. Damn. Good IPA.

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Photo of mschofield
4.63/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep copper-brown, topped with a two finger creamy puffy khaki head, leaves big thick puffy rings of lacing, it looks like the perfect pint, the picture should be next to beer in the dictionary.
Leafy, pine, pale malt, raw and green aroma.
Citrus, biscuit, leafy taste, raw and quite leafy, citrus pith, caramel.
Nice bitterness, almost a double IPA hop level laid over an IPA malt base.
Medium bodied, a nice drinker, all the flavor, body and enjoyment of a higher ABV beer. Leaves you with good hop burps.

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Photo of stirgy
4.6/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured beautifully. Deeply clear and deep in amber color that borderlines being almost burgundy. A sticky meringue-like sand colored head topped the beer off. The attractive aroma gives off subtly sweet fruits and a pleasant grassiness (like a fresh meadow, maybe...?)

The taste is soft with bitter malts along with a very nice touch of cordial fruits. Wonderfully soft and creamy taste. This is a very smooth IPA. Any harshness is just washed away. Mellow and well-blended bittersweet and lively malts. Throughout – A totally solid and very enjoyable beer, and one I would certainly seek out again!

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Photo of mnrider
4.59/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Brown Bottle. Nice lime green label.

A: Pours an amazing deep reddish orange with large fluffy off head. Great lacing.

S: What an awesome smell. Strong hops with buttery mint malts.

T/M: Medium bodied and smooth, hops are great. Malts are well balanced with a toasted chewy taste. Not too bitter either.

D: One of my new favorites. Forgot all about this brew. So good. I need to start getting this on the reg.


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Photo of Boto
4.54/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle: Thanks to Paul Davis for the bottle! This one pours a fairly clear copper color. There was a fairly large tan head, that died down to leave some nice lacing. Nice aroma of hops. Mainly citrus and some grassiness. The taste is wonderful. Strong hops, but not overpowering. It still packs quite a bite. The hops are well balanced in their flavor. A good malt body behind it. Like Victory’s IPA’s, an excellent East Coast answer to some of the overdone West Coast IPA’s!

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Photo of wyllder
4.53/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hop Meadow pours a deep, clear orange-amber with a large, puckered beige head that lingers. It leaves a lot of sticky lacing on the glass as you go.

The smell is IPA all the way, just brimming over with bitter citrus notes. Apricot and acidic apple notes assail the nose. Fairly one-dimensional on the nose, but not in a bad way.

Taste is great. The citrus, hoppy bitterness lingers across the entire palate. Compact and forceful on the front of the palate, smoothed out somewhat by malt on the midsip and gathers just a hint of sweetness from the malt by the aftertaste, this is one tasty hop bomb.

Mouthfeel is good, though it gets sticky and resinous enough so as to avoid being truly exceptional in my book.

Drinkability is excellent. No complaints here on the choice of 22oz bombers.

This one ranks right up there with the best of them, and has certainly stormed into my list of personal favorites.


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Photo of markman
4.53/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thomas Hooker Hop Meadow IPA:

Damn fine pour and I can smell the hops already…this is gonna be good. Darkest IPA I’ve ever seen…deep crystal clear copper sits under thick tight alabaster head that just won’t quit. O my brother droogies, first sip lets us know that this is all about hops…subtle grapefruit rind but not over-the-top like some. Malt palate attempts, with some success, to provide some balance but the piney hops forevermore engage in some ultra-violence with the tongue and let’s us know that “balance” ain’t with this is all about.
An in-your-face IPA that has pushed itself in with the big boys….and dangerously drinkable as a little oiliness slips in as it warms.


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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.53/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich, burnished, orangish copper with a slight reddish cast when backlit. Forget the dozens upon dozens of orange-amber IPAs out there, this one is a truly beautiful color. The head is impressive in all ways that matter: size, color and consistency. It's large, pastel orange and as stiffsticky as they come. Thick, chunky, random squiggles of lace overlook a rounded mesa of slowly falling, whipped creamy foam.

Pick your superlative: outstanding, incredible, hoptastic; all apply to the nose. I know that I'm sometimes too easy to please when it comes to hoppy IPAs, but this aroma falls just short of some of my very favorites. If I didn't know that Cascade and Chinook were in use (along with Zeus and Simcoe), I might have been able to figure it out. There's a big blast of grapefruit rind (Cascade) with a more earthy, spicy, yet still citrusy hoppiness (Chinook).

I love it! The malt structure is bigger than I generally like in my top-shelf IPAs, but it works well here. What all that malt provides is a background caramel candy flavor that never surrenders to the rather generous hop load. It also provides a sweetness that one doesn't usually taste (to this degree anyway) in such a mega-hoppy IPA.

Still though, hops are king and all parties know it. There's actually a fairly high percentage of Chinook if my taste buds are any judge. Each mouthful brings a huge smackdown of candied, caramel-coated, pine sap-dipped, white grapefruit zest chunks. Hop Meadow is as well-integrated as possible while attempting to juggle such huge flavors. [idea for a promotional poster: Uncle Sam pointing at the viewer with the words 'I Want You' crossed out and 'IBU' written underneath].

The head-lace combination is even more impressive on subsequent pours. Spackle-like sheets cover all available surfaces and the cap is rejuvenated to three fingers with each addition to the glass. The body is medium-full thanks to all the malt, and the mouthfeel is pleasantly slick and as smooth as heavy silk.

Hop Meadow is a great IPA. About halfway through the bomber, I found myself with two wishes. One, that Troutbrook would distribute to this state. Two, that this nectar would be available in one liter swingtops like the premier Troutbrook beers. On second thought, screw that, put it in jeroboams guys. A big thank you to far333 for providing and to the BA who pointed me in his direction.

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Photo of far333
4.52/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep burnt orange color, with a frothy and thick apricot-colored head. The head fluffs up high like thick meringue that would support the empty bottle. Aroma is pungent and resinous, like a sniff of a bag full of oily hop cones. Hop aroma is sweet and well-balanced between citrus and pine. Flavor is rich and huge upront, assaulting the tip of the tongue with tingly tangy pine needles that transform into pale chewy malts and pulpy orange juice as it rolls across the tongue. Turns next to bitter orange peel at the finish, with a lingering bitter that sends piney notes up the back of the throat to tickle the nose (I actually sneezed). All the while the mouthfeel is smooth and full and creamy, with perfect carbonation. Oily legs of lace run down the glass from top to bottom. Another beauty from this talented brewer.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.52/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - reddish amber. Not much head, rather wispy, but lays a nice network of lace on the glass.

Aroma - caramel, biscuity grain and sweet citrus.

Taste - lots of biscuity, ESB character. Toasty malts, evenly giving way to the hops on the swallow. Pleasantly bitter, grapefruit mostly, with the palate drying out considerably on the finish. Last impressions are warmth in the throat and tasty bitter grapefruit rind.

Mouthfeel - good smoothness and body, the creaminess is a good complement to the flavor.

Drinkability - a tasty IPA with superb malt/hop presence and balance. Great session IPA.

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

Sampled on tap @ the Bloomfield brewery.

Poures a clear deep amber color with thick head.

You can detect the grapefruity and piney scents from a mile away. Definetely a hopheads beer, the flavor is dominated by citrusy, piney and resony American style hops, but also has a strong malt backbone, where the sweet caramel malt is also detectable in the flavor. Finishes with a high degree of hop bitterness, definetly not for the faint of heart. Mouthfeel is full, whith a moderate level of carbonation.

In short, an excellent IPA's and my favorite regular Hooker offering.

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Photo of Soozy
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - It's a light amber color. Poured a nice, thick tan head. As I drink it, there are the clear 'head lines' on the glass

S - Some heavy grape tones, some malt

T - Heavenly. Personally, this is my perfect IPA. As you sip it, you get a breath of the hops, but it has a malty, caramel taste. A clean, bittering fruity finish. Not overpowering bitter hop presence at all, but you still know it's there.

M - Clean, smooth for an IPA.

D - High. A great beer, would love to have this one on tap. Definitely recommend, even if you don't like IPAs.

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Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives with a hazy amber colored liquid topped by a foamy white head; nice persistece and lacing

Smell: Balanced, with plenty of piney hops and rich caramel

Taste: Caramel up fromnt, big time, with a growing grainy/piney hop bitterness building through mid-palate; after the swallow, the bitter flavor adds some peachy fruit and lingers along with the caramel

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Bitter enough to please the hophead but nicely balanced for those who like a big malt bill

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Photo of hopsaplenty
4.48/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz brown bottle, no date information

Hazed rich honeyed amber topped with a head that slowly builds. Fluffy head with small and medium sized sand colored bubbles with pock marks that settles to a skim coat and leaves sheets of thick lacing. It retains a pillowy appearance as it settles. There are ample carbonation streams shooting to the surface. There is a distinct spicy pine and citrus rind aroma along with a rich full caramel-tinged malt note. This is all about the hops, fresh whole cone pine and spiky citrus rind dominate. The malt appears in the middle providing needed heft and keeps this from being one dimensional. Finishes with a grabby pine resin that sticks to the tongue and lingers long after. Medium body, soft and cushiony mouthfeel with some mild carbonation. A hop lovers delight that goes beyond simply being a hop monster. Enjoyable.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Troutbrook delivers a solid, sturdy, well-made IPA in their Thomas hooker Hop Meadow IPA.

It pours a slightly hazy, deep-copper color, and that's reflected in the rich caramel maltiness that follows in the flavor. The head is a creamy off-white dollop of froth that sticks around seemingly forever, and coats the inner sides of the glass with beautiful "Brussels" lace as it goes.

The nose is bright and enticing with a citrusy and piney hop character that carries right over into the flavor. (There's definitely some Cascade in there.... and I'm guessing Chinook or Centennial).

The flavor is well-balanced with the caramelish malt holding it's own against the bold hops - so many times the malt simply acts as a springboard for the hops to do their own thing, but the flavors work in unison here and the experience is all the better for it! It's solidly bitter beneath, but you don't really get that until you're a few sips into it as there's already so much going on. It's rock-solid and anchoring, drying each finish, and leaving you ready for another sip; leaving behind only a delicate sticky residue of caramelish malt and piney hop resin.

Nicely done! Full, flavorful, satiating.... ... all without dulling your palate or filling you up. Great with a big juicy cheeseburger and fries!!! Well worth trying!

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Photo of jal30
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm a bit befuddled by the lack of hype surrounding this beer. Thanks to the fact that I've heard very little about it, I had almost no expectations when I picked up a sixer of this one. Boy was I blown away!

Very dark appearance as far as IPAs go and not much head at all. Tame nose that consists of subdued piney hop aroma with even more suppressed caramel. All signs were paving the way for another mediocre and boring IPA. Until I had my first sip! Really only Smuttynose Finest Kind compares to this one as far as east coast IPAs I've tried go. Delicious hop character with just enough maltiness but not too much at all. Remarkably smooth for an IPA--I could easily drink this all night and enjoy each one as much as the last. So smooth and yet with such strong taste! Very floral. A phenomenal brew here from this under-appreciated brewing company!

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Photo of MoreThanWine
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was pleasantly surprised by this discovery. The watermelon green striped label looked like this was going to be a pretty cheap beer all around. Don't judge a book, er beer, by it's cover.

This IPA pours a clear medium brown sugar color with a 1/2 inch head which lasts. The flavor is really a very nice bold crisp hop taste which is refreshing and has it's own special secondary bitterness left in the mouth which I can't quite place. For hop IPA fans I'd call this an affordable staple worth repeating again and again. Quite a respectable IPA.

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Photo of mostpoetsdo
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice mahogany, deep reddish color. Delicious looking head (that stays practically forever) and lacing.

S: Sweet, malty caramel. A little hoppy.

T: Sweet, very sweet. A bit of a bite at the end. Great hop and malt aftertaste.

M: Great. Creamy and pretty full.

D: Can't get enough of it. Can down these easily, but savor them.

*I would like to note, every time I bought these, there was an "explosion" of head. I would start pouring and the glass would blow up with a humongous foamy head. Perhaps it was the way it was stored? I bought it warm. Wondering if anyone else had the same results.

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Photo of Jason
4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

A- Deep reddish amber glows in the light with great clarity, nice frothy off-white head leaves behind a very sticky lace.

S- Suggestions of chocolate mint, grapefruit, blond tobacco and a steely caramel.

T&M- So damn smooth in a medium body. Nice wallop of hops that throws a ton of flavor as well as a long sharp bitterness. Rounded malt sweetness hold the ale together, hints of toasted biscuit and caramel ... more toasted though. Long lingering hop character of pungent grapefruit with a mild warming fruit ester in the back.

D- Hands down one of the best IPAs in the world, balanced in a way but the hoppiness is controlled chaos and I love it.

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Photo of johnniemarg
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a rich copper color with a 1-finger tan head. Medium visible carbonation.

Smell is very malty and sweet. There is a sweet peachy smell in there and burnt caramel. Hops come through grassy and floral.

Taste is also very matly for an IPA. Sweet all the way through with the hops only coming out in the finish. Bright and fruity up front, sweet and malty through the middle and a nice piny hop finish. A nicely balanced IPA, but certainly has more of a malt character than most IPAs.

Body is quite full for an IPA. Oily on the palate.

All in all, a great IPA. MY only criticism is that it's a bit thick for an IPA.

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Thomas Hooker Hop Meadow IPA from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
3.95 out of 5 based on 517 ratings.
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