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Death By Hops | Olde Hickory Brewery

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181 Reviews
Death By HopsDeath By Hops

Brewed by:
Olde Hickory Brewery
North Carolina, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ROBORB on 09-22-2010

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Reviews: 181 | Ratings: 543
Photo of CuriousMonk
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to dgfair for sending me this nice bomber (best tasted by July 2011 date on label) which was poured into a pint glass. The beer pours with a hazy orange color and a 1-finger head which diminishes rather quickly. There is decent lacing throughout the session. The smell has a lot of citrus characters and is somewhat floral - juicy fruity. The taste was fantastic. It has a slight sweetness to it up front and then it gets somewhat bitter, but in a good way (in a HopSlam type of effect). Medium bodied and a decent level of carbonation going on. A very nice dry hopped DIPA overall! Quite sessionable, indeed.

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Photo of seedsofchaos
2.43/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Received this local as an extra from Onenote81. Freshness marker states to enjoy before July 2011. Drank on February 11th, 2011. Death by Hops is a rather assertive name. The blue sky and clouds on the bottle seem to suggest a heavenly death. I approach this death with high hopes.

A murky orange in appearance, this brew reminds me of one of my first homebrews. Under carbonated and not much lacing to speak of either. The aroma is a bit of a confused mess. Very vegetative, an overload of piney hops takes precedence in my nostrils. Pine echoes in the flavor with more vegetative qualities; as if I am drinking water with grass clipping, pine cones, pine needles and bark in it. Bitterness leans aggressively towards astringent. Lots of early addition hops, it would seem, were preferred by the brewer over dry-hopping (which IMHO is what this beer needed). Malts are overshadowed by this subpar hop bill. A little biscuit comes through but not enough to really grasp it.

This beer isn't terrible. It's really not. It seems like the brewery is probably very new and is still learning a lot about the brewing art. Death by Hops needs to take down its IBUs and focus on some dry-hopping with a variety that will help accentuate the taste of the beer: perhaps some Amarillos. Drinkability is low for a beer geek as the bitterness is not complimentary and well-roundedness is blown out of the water with pine. Drinkability is non-existent for a non beer geek as this brew will taste like utter ass to someone unfamiliar with hops.

Below average for the style but I drank my pint and a bud shared the rest. We both drank it all so I can't say this was a complete failure by Olde Hickory's part. If a rep of the brewer does happen to check this site, might I also suggest a writer for label descriptions. They're a bit... blah.

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Photo of nc41
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really a surprise to be honest, this is one very good IPA brewed right here in Nc, and the best one I've had from in state yet. Similar IMO to something like Smutty, more earthy abd resiny thn fruity. Really drinkable at 7% which kinda surprises me that they call it a DIPA, it doesn't drink like one in any way shape or form. Well worth a try and any IPA lover will love this one, there's nothing not to like. And it's NOT expensive. If you like IPA's like Smutty and Hop Devil this one kinda fits right in.

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Photo of koopa
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22oz bomber received in a trade with a buddy.

Appearance: Pours an attractive and fairly transparent dirty orange to copper with a 1 finger white crown that displays good retention and lace.

Smell: A nice bouquet of candied orange, grapefruit, and a dominant floral hop note. Some underlying onion and cut grass notes are present.

Taste: The same ingredients as the nose but more vibrant and enjoyable. Finishes with a nice lasting herbal hop bitterness. Flawed but enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: A touch thin but not off putting in any way.

Drinkability: Exceptional.

This brew has flaws but I still enjoyed it.

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Photo of ssuggs01
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite beers right now.. Cant get enough. On tap at Duckworth's served in a pilsner. THe appearence is top notch, hazy orange color with about a half inch of white foam. Can barely see my fingers through the glass. Smells of wonderful floral hop aromas. Some grapefruit or other hints of citrus. Taste is consistent with the smell and the slightly creamy and full mouthfeel leaves you wanting another sip. Hop taste doesnt linger in your mouth for long which I like because I can easily enjoy on of my favorite stouts afterwards if I please

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Photo of beerdown77
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a perfect example of a smaller brewery putting out a product that is fine if you are already a fan. It is probably fun to go to the brewery and have a fresh IPA from the tap room. However, I just can't say that this beer has the well-rounded qualities that are evident in beers from bigger operations. The appearance was not memorable and I thought that it was a little harsh and dirty in flavor. If you want hops, look no further. It's almost as if they garnish it with hops just before serving it. It took me a while to put this one down, but I would like to give Olde Hickory another shot. I love trying local stuff!

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.77/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

"Death by Hops double IPA is the winner of Olde Hickory's first Pro-Am event. This beer was designed by Alex Buercholtz, award winning homebrewer and proprietor of Hops and Vines in Asheville, NC. Death by Hops is brewed with 2 row barley, hopped with 5 different West Coast hops, then twice dry hopped. The net result is an amazing aroma of ripe juicy fruit mixed in with a bouquet of spring flowers. Death by Hops makes an impact you wont forget!"

Best by date of July 2011. Purchased at Brewers Kettle in High Point, NC.

Pours rather clear. I was thinking this one may be hazy with all of the hops in this thing. I guess the filters work. Pours golden amber in color with a nice, one finger sized head. Slightly wispy but some lacing is present. I see very small carbonation bubbles rushing upward and collect on the surface.

Aroma is fantastically hoppy. Tons of citrus and grapefruit hops. A nice fruity aroma and a decent caramel malt profile as well. I am a bit biased because I like "out of balance" DIPAs so this one is right up my alley.

I love this flavor here! Puckeringly bitter immediately, followed by a citrus fruit and floral explosion. More bitterness penetrates the tongue in the middle and finally finishes off the palate in the end. There isnt a whole lot of caramel or much of a malt sweetness, but again, thats how I like it.

This one finishes really dry which just accentuates the hop bitterness and aspirin like dryness even more. Mouth puckering and god damn delicious!

To me, this one isnt far from a Hopslam or Pliny. Pliny is obviously world class, but I really loved this beer. I know there are some negative reviews, but if a beer is named "Insulin Substitute", expect it to be sweet: likewise, this one is named "Death by Hops", so much like Hopslam or Ruination, expect it to be hoppy!

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Photo of Jazzfan333
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow - this beer is sparking some extreme reviews and I guess that shouldn't be surprising since (as the name implies) this is somewhat of an extreme IPA.

Poured out of a 22 oz. bomber into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - light orange - typical for the style - small head with good lacing

S - Smells great like an uber-hopped IPA should - lots of citrus (grapefruit and orange) and a little pine; appropriate strength of aroma for a big IPA; I did not get any of the vegetal, onion, garlic, grass aromas (or taste) noted by some of the other reviews at all (that kind of smell in an IPA usually comes from Summit hops, like those used in Oskar Blues Gubna and Green Flash Imperial IPA, and to my knowledge DBH doesn't use Summit hops) ...

T - It starts with citrus sweetness at the front of the tongue and then the hop bitterness builds slowly with layer upon layer of glorious hop complexity. It finishes dry with a long, lingering, overpowering, palate destroying hop bitterness. I think the divergent opinions on this beer may be based in large part on the finish which is among the most bitter I've ever tasted on an IPA/DIPA. It is definitely a hop forward beer - not a lot of balance from the malts. For me the hop overload on this beer is outstanding, but I can see that for others (even those who are fans of big IPAs) it might be a bit much.

M - Fairly typical for the style (for an IPA, not a DIPA) - not a lot of carbonation, but adequate

D - At 7% ABV the reason this beer is classified as a Double IPA is solely because of it's extreme hop forward nature and the long bitter finish. While theoretically you could knock back several of these without feeling the alcohol, the palate punishing hop load means for most people (myself included) a single bomber will suffice.

This will definitely become a regular part of my IPA rotation now that is is available in bottles. I'm very glad to have such an outstanding IPA brewed and bottled locally.

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Photo of Chaney
2.11/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I picked this up at a fantastic beer store in Winston-Salem, NC during the Sexual Chocolate release weekend.

A: Very mildly cloudy orange, with hardly any head or carbonation to speak of... very curious. A very small amount of white foam attached itself to the glass.

S: Almost salty and onion-like, with a strong citrus undertone. Yep.... that combination is as odd and even gross as it sounds.

T: A HUGE amount of hop bitterness on the front end... almost sucking the saliva from my mouth dry. The trouble was, there was absolutely no fruit body to back that up. I liken this experience to biting into a chocolate bar, only to find out within seconds that it was unsweetened baker's chocolate.

M: Not much more pleasant in this area either. This brew was basically flat as a pancake, and gave me no hope that carbonation bubbles would rescue my taste buds from the hop assault. Painstakingly bitter!

D: Admittedly, I only have limited experience with this brewery and I picked up a few other nuggets by Olde Hickory while in NC. I've dug the stuff I had tried up to this point, but I would recommend for everyone to steer clear of this entry...

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Photo of jsdunlop
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a chalice, nice size frothy white head forms up and quickly recedes to a minimal layering, nice lacing present and throughout. Golden-orange in color with some ruby hues, a bit cloudy. Aroma consists of sweet citrus notes, pine needles, fresh baked sourdough bread and a touch of floral hoppiness. Taste is milder than what I was expecting, or compared to what the label implied...however, this is a good beer. Huge pineapple fruity and malty sweetness empowers the tastebuds at first, then the hops attack, with strong flavored piney notes while resiny hop oils leave a slick feeling on the hard palate. Very slight alcohol presence presents in the aftertaste, while a citrusy, yet very floral boutique makes its way out as well. Slight bitterness in the aftertaste, but not overpowering, rather inviting. There is so much hop flavor going on, I feel like I can chew this beer, it's layered in flavor. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth with moderate carbonation, slick and oily on the palate, nice medium-heavy body. A very balanced and layered beer, extremely drinkable and enjoyable. Wow, highly recommended.

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Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden/amber color with several fingers of head; spotty clumps of foam hang around, as well

Smell: Bready malt and grapefruit pith

Taste: Opens with a bit of bready malt, but the hops jump right in, delivering grapefruit pith in spades; by mid-palate, there is a bitter aspirin element that continues, after the swallow, though it is mitigated by the minty citrus sweetness in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Interesting that the ratings of this beer have been fairly uniform except for three reviewers who shared a bottle - very strange; anyhow, I think this is among the best IPAs to come out of NC; not sure it is a DIPA, but if that is what the brewer wants to call it, I will go with that

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Photo of SteveGNC
3.47/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not sure why this is classified as a double or imperial IPA. I think this is simply an American IPA at7% abv. - very average. Not bad but not great either. Pours a cloudy copper orange some head and pretty good lacing. Fruity hoppy aroma. the taste is good, but the finish is more bitter than I like. Not one I would buy again, but certainly would not turn down if offered at a party.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up at City Beverage this past weekend. Best by date of July 2011. Served in a tulip.

Pour brings a copper-colored beer with a short white head with a bit of foam on top. Quickly fades without leaving much lacing. The nose is quite hoppy with some strong floral and citrus components. Not over the top, but a nice presence. The taste is scaled back a bit with some backing caramel malt. Mild hop flavor, but nothing near what I would expect. The "death" finally comes in the back-end, as the finish is quite bitter. Drinkability is pretty good, but I could have used a lot more hops in the flavor and/or a resinous feel on my palate rather than just a pretty heavy level of bitterness in the finish.

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Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow there has been a little backlash against this beer,the name of the beer is Death By Hops!Its gonna be intense,actually its not that intense,for what this beer is supposed to be its pretty damn good.Poured into an imperial nonic a hazed burnt orange with a thinner but lacey white head atop.Aromas of overripe tangerine and orange oil,a bit of pine resin and a caramel sweetness also emerges.Flavors start out with a burst of citrus fruit,again that tangerine flavor stands out,the sugary sweetness begins to come into play than a bitter grapefruit rind note hits hard in the finish.Again this is a DIPA that is not for the pedestrian non hop loving beer folk,its for the in your face hophead and it works great for me.

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Photo of Lunch
1.39/5  rDev -64.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Received a couple bottles in some in-person trades at Sexual Chocolate 2011, thanks!

Really looking forward to this beer as I know it's been freshly bottled.

Beer looks fine, but there is little head. A light orange/straw color with little lacing. This is by far the best aspect of the beer and that is not saying much.

Oh dear...this smells interesting. Goddamn, this smells like boiled vegetables with some spice and perhaps a hint of hops. Very disapointing.

The aroma translates miserably into the flavor. There is something seriously wrong here. This reminds me of a bad can of Gubna.

Mouthfeel is fine, but it's hard to judge as the taste and aroma are so off.

Not drinkable at all, drainpour.

Very disappointing.

Update: I decided to crack my other bottle last night for the sake of comparison. This bottle was just a vile as the first. I did pick up some more chalk, but the vegetable flavor and aroma continue to dominate this self-proclaimed hopbomb. I'm a huge fan of hops. I like IPA/DIPAs that are bitter, sweet and everything and anything in between, but they must be well crafted. This beer is just a complete mess and it misses the mark substantially in virtually every aspect. I hate to shit on other's work, but this beer is just dreadful.

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Photo of drabmuh
1.44/5  rDev -63%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Aptly named...this beer was a disaster. A complete mess. Shared by Lunch, thanks Paul.

Beer is yellow and orange with a thin white head, moderate carbonation, a little lacing. Looks ok.

Aroma is the first sign of trouble. It is a little hoppy, sulfury, onions, vegetal, spice, clipped glass....leaves....I am not looking forward to this beer anymore.

I was excited to try this beer...seriously. I wanted this beer. It failed on EVERY LEVEL. Beer is medium to thin in body. The boiled vegetables comes up quick leaving you with a harsh bitterness. The aftertaste is the last insult. I poured it out. Never again!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
2.08/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Bottle shared by Lunch. Thanks Paul.

This brew appears hazy and orange with a thin white head. The aroma is hop forward and initially smells enticing. However, lurking behind the hop scents is an odd, vegetal smell. The flavor is just wrong and harsh. Weird, off-putting, sulfur and earth flavors overrun any potential pleasant tastes I was hoping to find. Not a good beer.

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Photo of beerenjoyer1
4.57/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was given a bottle by a high school buddy in Charlotte, NC. This is a really great beer. The appearance is a classic IPA, amber with some carbonation, and a medium foam that dissapates after tasting. The smell subtle at first but comes through with full IPA aroma. The taste is full flavor from first sip to the final taste. There are hints of fruits(grapefruit, orange, and slight hint if bulb florals. The feel and drinkability are superb with IPA aftertaste which reflects the excellent flavor of this brew. It would be nice to have this beer in the Chicago area beer stores.

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Photo of MayLattimore
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright straw color with a little bit of cloudiness. About a quarter inch of head that fell quick. Real nice aroma. Sweet and hoppy. Real good earthy and citrusy notes. This beer has a great scent, smells so fresh. Like most IPAs, the main focus is the hops. However, only good IPAs are bold but balanced, this hits that perfectly. Enough malty sweetness at first then a great hop combination. Great mouthfeel. IPAs are one of my favorite beers so I could drink plenty of these, it is a sessionable beer for me.

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

Appearance- Golden, nice head, decent lacing
Aroma - sweet and hoppy
taste - fruit and citrus
hops up front, minimal malt backbone to provide balance and a finish that is oily and piney. As you can tell by my description this beer is much more complex than it smells or tastes upfront.
Mouthfeel - If there is a weakness to this brew - it is the mouthfeel. The mouthfell is a bit thin but to be fair I like the stereotypical chewy mouthfeel of a most DIPAs that have higher abv's.
Drinkability is very, very good.
Very Good NC product!
Had on tap at Duckworths on 7/14/11 and it was the best, freshest Death By Hops I have ever had.

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Photo of craytonic
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Duckworth's in Charlotte, NC

Appearance: Great looking hazy cloudy orange-yellow pour, good head and lacing

Aroma: Very bitter, tons of pine, citrus, orange pith and grapefruit hops with a strong malt backbone

Taste: Agressive bitter hops (but not hurtfully slow) with a good caramel malt backbone. I get pineapple, papaya, tangerine, orange, etc. Very Tropical. Also more bitter than many IPAs.

Mouthfeel: Feels a bit more than 7%, alcohol is well hidden and a good, creamy full mouthfeel.

Drinkability: This isn't boy king, but it is a good beer to have on tap.

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Photo of atsprings
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber into a DFH Signature glass pours a slightly hazy orange with a thin off white head that diminishes to a ring and leaves slight lacing on the glass. Aroma is a nice amount of pine and citrus hops with just a bit of caramel malts. The taste is a very nice balance of crisp fresh citrus and pine hops in front of a nice solid caramel malt backbone. The beer is quite light bodied with it's 7%abv very well hidden. This is a very enjoyable, super hoppy IPA, I'm sure it benefits from being bottled 4 days ago! I must say, without doubt, that Olde Hickory is my new favorite NC brewery, and this beer is one of the reasons why!

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Photo of dgfair
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into Corsendonk tulip.

Beer pours a beautiful clear golden color with a brilliant white head that leaves delicate lacing all over the interior of the glass.

The smell is sweet, sweet citrus. I get tons of grapefruit and orange. I also pick up pineapple and guava with a little bit of passion fruit. Very tropical and very sweet in the nose. I pick up a slight touch of rotten fruit at the end that is less than pleasurable.

The taste is extremely bitter. Very piney and grapefruity, and not much else at first taste. Once my palate starts to recover from the assault, there is a decent little malt backbone with some nice biscuit flavors and a little bit of yeasty dough. Definitely for the uber hopheads who want a tongue lashing (pun intended). Too bitter for me.

Mouth is fairly slick and oily and the drinkability is pretty low due ton the complete overpowering bitterness. I could see some hopheads really locoing this one. I like it for what it is, but it is slightly too hoppy for me.

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish orange color with a thick yellowish white head and a fair amount of lacing. Smells of piney hops and a little hint of citrus. Tastes of pine, hops, and some citrus, but mostly well rounded hop flavor such as the name would suggest. Mouthfeel is medium and it has a good carbonation. Drinkability is high.

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Photo of BeerBeatnik
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On my quest to try more local crafts, I tried this at Duckworths. Great IPA. The bartender told me it was created by a homebrewer. So I don't know whether to give the credit to the homebrewer or the brewery. So I'll give credit to the brewery for finding a great homebrewer to make a great hoppy beer.

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Death By Hops from Olde Hickory Brewery
3.89 out of 5 based on 543 ratings.
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