Confessions of a Hop Head

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by rdilauro, Feb 12, 2013.

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  1. rdilauro

    rdilauro Crusader (753) Mar 8, 2010 Connecticut

    For about the past 3 months, my major focus has been on Stocks and High IBU beers. My first introduction to high IBU beers was with Hop Stoopid a couple of years ago. Since then, I like to focus in on beers with more than 90 IBU.

    Ithica Flower Power ??
    Ballast Point Sculpin 70
    DogFish Head 90Minute 90
    StoneRuintation 100+
    Sierra Nevada Hoptimum 100
    Laginutas Hop Stoopid 103
    SixPoint Resin 103
    DogFish Head 120Minute 120
    Green Flash Palate Wrecker 146

    These are MY beers. The ones I turn to when I want a serious IPA

    Now I have to step back and look at them all again. Honestly, the DogFish 120 is too much for me. Its over the top and I just cant get myself to appreciate it. I have had several of them, some which I aged in my cellar for 2 years, same results.

    Love Palate Wrecker, even with those amazing IBU's, it is very drinkable. I love the cooper redish pour that it has. I think the name came from that after you have one of those, your palate is wrecked to really try and appreciate another afterwards

    I find myself turning more and more to Resin. It is one of the easiest high IBU IPAs to drink. I could go even further and say that its almost chuggable.

    Hoptimum is one of the more interesting. With each sip, I feel I am getting more and more hops, different hops, but always enjoyable.

    All the others in my list above are in my cellar and fridge. But the one IPA I always want to have around is Ballast Point's Sculpin. Even though its not the highest IBU, it has the taste and feel of a higher IBU beer, but to me, its by the far the easiest and most enjoyable beer of the list above.

    My co-workers have gone through the same list above, and I think as a whole we have the same thoughts. But this helps us, so when customers come in looking for a high IBU beer, we can give them all the pro's/con's of all of them.

    I'd love to hear with others think about high hoppy IBU beers.
    BeerLover99 likes this.
  2. Thickfreakness

    Thickfreakness Initiate (0) Oct 2, 2010 New York

    Try Smuttynose Big A IPA. 120ibu and FANTASTIC!
    sjverla, jaIsPoAn, ESeab and 2 others like this.
  3. Sneers

    Sneers Initiate (0) Dec 27, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I wouldn't put too much stock into those numbers. The IBU level is a measure of bittering compounds in solution, but is less correlated to flavor than you might think.
  4. mhksuccess

    mhksuccess Zealot (579) Jul 7, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    figerou mountain Hurricane Deck is very nice 82 IBU
    but for the serious hop head i would say i really like
    Knee Deep Simtra 131 IBU and so balanced and smooth very drinkable not sure say on bottle triple ipa but may actually be an dipa but anyhow it is amazing great brew
  5. kevanb

    kevanb Poo-Bah (1,734) Apr 4, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    The amount of times you used the word 'Cellar' in a post about IPAs worries me.
  6. CellarGimp

    CellarGimp Disciple (335) Sep 14, 2011 Missouri

    Drink IPAs on the way home from the store or suffer the consequences of "Hop Dropping" aka "Shitty IPAs".
    franklinn likes this.
  7. mynie

    mynie Poo-Bah (3,516) Jun 22, 2004 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    While at work I take like 4-5 bathroom breaks an hour so I can snort ground citra pellets.
    jlordi12, landhoney and Shmuffalo like this.
  8. nategibbon

    nategibbon Initiate (117) Sep 6, 2008 Illinois

    Aside from DFH, Stone, and Sierra Nevada, I'm guessing the IBU's listed on those beers are just estimates by the brewers, which are almost always higher than reality.
  9. fredmugs

    fredmugs Poo-Bah (1,533) Aug 11, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Besides Knee Deep Simtra I also love Moylan's Hopsickle.
    Hopportunistic likes this.
  10. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Defender (637) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    To the OP: Try a blind test of the beers you have listed and see if you can determine which beers have the higher IBU. If you can't, just drink what you like instead of paying so much attention to IBUs.
    MADhombrewer likes this.
  11. jman005

    jman005 Aspirant (256) Jan 21, 2013 Kentucky

    Definitely agree with your point of view on these beers. I'm also a hop enthusiast. Another that I think could be added also from Green Flash is West Coast IPA (95 IBU). It has simcoe, columbus, cascade, and centinnial hops for a wide range of hop flavor and aromas. One of my personal favorites. Another branch of IPAs I have become really interested in are those that use belgian yeast (Belgian IPA). Green Flash has a really good one called Le Freak (101 IBU). The belgian yeast gives it a kind of zesty taste that really complements high IBU brews. I would recommend to people that don't even necessarilly love high IBUs.
    creal92 and Neorebel like this.
  12. rdilauro

    rdilauro Crusader (753) Mar 8, 2010 Connecticut

    Ok, cellaring(aging)... Mostly the DogFish Head 120. If a beer has over 12% ABV, I think it could benefit from cellaring (aging)
    I think to be more accurate, I should say Storing. Just that I am storing my beers in the same area that I am both storing and cellaring some of my better wines
  13. rdilauro

    rdilauro Crusader (753) Mar 8, 2010 Connecticut

    There are either from the beer's home page and what is printed on the bottle/can. Best that I can go with for now.
  14. Kadonny

    Kadonny Meyvn (1,241) Sep 5, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    This. IBU's does not equal perceived bitterness or perceived hoppiness.
  15. MADhombrewer

    MADhombrewer Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2008 Oregon

    I like high hop aroma and high bitterness D/IPAs regardless of the IBU number. Most of the high alcohol (>8.5%) DIPAs are to sweet for me. The malts usually hide the hop flavors too much to notice them. I would much rather have a Lagunitas New Dogtown Pale than a SA Hoptimum any day of the week.
  16. tectactoe

    tectactoe Initiate (0) Mar 20, 2012 Michigan

    Exactly. A 90 IBU imperial stout is going to seem much less bitter and "hoppy" than a 60 IBU pale ale or IPA. Perceived bitterness is a function of many more things than just IBU (which is already a sketchy measurement to begin with).
  17. rdilauro

    rdilauro Crusader (753) Mar 8, 2010 Connecticut

    I've heard some rumblings about re-vamping the measurement of bitterness. I do understand what each of you are saying regarding IBU's ne Bitterness. But, for now, its a least a measurement that the general public could use. I get hundreds of customers each week looking for new and exciting beers. They did their Busch/Bud thing, then many Sam Adams and want to venture further. Some basic questions we always ask. Do you like Lagers, Pilsners, IPAs, Stouts, etc From there we can narrow down each category. So many people want to know about IBU. Since it is the only official rating on cans/sites today, we give them a comparison such as the 30/36 pack Bud/Busch/etc come in around 10IBUs, Sam Adams Lager around 35IBU and then we can take them over to the 90+ IBUs. So, at least for now, its a measuring tool that we can use. Does it equate to taste and how someone is going to like it? Of course not
  18. rdilauro

    rdilauro Crusader (753) Mar 8, 2010 Connecticut

    Exactly. SixPoint 3Beans at 80IBU appears less bitter and smoother than lets say DFH 60Minute or Stone's IPA
  19. PatriotsRule

    PatriotsRule Aspirant (257) Sep 25, 2012 Massachusetts

    When you get an opportunity, make sure to jump at it to try Kiwi Rising from Jack's Abby at 105 IBU
  20. mark14580

    mark14580 Initiate (0) Jan 15, 2011 New York

    "I like to focus on beers with more than 90 IBUs, but Sculpin is my favorite because it's the easiest to drink"

    Maybe you don't like "Serious" IPA's as much as you think.
    Shmuffalo likes this.
  21. ThickNStout

    ThickNStout Poo-Bah (2,121) Mar 8, 2011 Georgia
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I agree completely with the statement that IBUs can be misleading. Particularly with malty DIPAs.

    That said, you may also want to check out Founders Devil Dancer (102, I think) and Hoppin Frog Hop Dam (over 100).

    But heck, if IBUs is what is important to you, I strongly recommend Avery Mephistopheles at ~110 IBUs!
  22. jman005

    jman005 Aspirant (256) Jan 21, 2013 Kentucky

    It isn't a sketchy measurement.
    It just measures the actual bitterness contributed by alpha-acids in the hops. The relative bitterness changes depending on how much sweet malt and other ingredients are in that particular beer.
    creal92 likes this.
  23. tectactoe

    tectactoe Initiate (0) Mar 20, 2012 Michigan

    Maybe I worded that poorly. Sketchy in terms of the fact that each person will perceive the bitterness differently, even at the same IBU. It's not like length, where a mile is a mile no matter who you are. I could think 80 IBU is super-bitter, other people's palates may barely be phased by it.
  24. TheBeerAlmanac

    TheBeerAlmanac Savant (967) Mar 3, 2011 Kentucky
    Beer Trader

    Then you'd love 1000 IBU from Mikkeller. It's the hoppiest sounding beer out there!
  25. coreyfmcdonald

    coreyfmcdonald Savant (953) Nov 13, 2008 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    Exactly; perceived bitterness ≠ IBU and perceived hoppiness definitely ≠ IBU.
  26. fox227

    fox227 Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2010 California

    If you're near San Diego, seek out Societe's IPAs. I've had the Pupil quite a few times on draft at different dedicated beer bars, and it's my favorite West Coast IPA, although I don't remember the Alpine IPAs I've had well enough to compare.
  27. jman005

    jman005 Aspirant (256) Jan 21, 2013 Kentucky

    Oh okay, yeah I totally see what your saying. It will definitly vary from person to person based on their flavor profile.
    creal92 likes this.
  28. jman005

    jman005 Aspirant (256) Jan 21, 2013 Kentucky

    I've tried that and it is a perfect example of how you can't always rely on the IBU scale. It wasn't nearly as bitter as I expected it to be.
    creal92 likes this.
  29. TheBeerAlmanac

    TheBeerAlmanac Savant (967) Mar 3, 2011 Kentucky
    Beer Trader

    I didn't much care for it myself. It's about as novel as any limited release from BrewDog.
    jman005 likes this.
  30. ShogoKawada

    ShogoKawada Meyvn (1,247) May 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Drink more Finestkind.
    fmccormi likes this.
  31. Hopportunistic

    Hopportunistic Aspirant (263) Jan 24, 2013 North Carolina

    I second the Hopsickle, that brew is delicious. I also highly recommend Green Flash's West Coast IPA and Palate Wrecker. In fact, does anyone know of a DIPA that has higher IBUs than Palate Wrecker ? I'd love to try some. I tried the Palate Wrecker for the first time a few weeks ago, and immediately after taking the first sip, I saw stars, hypnotic music started echoing in my mind, and I think I may have fallen in love. Or it could've just been the hops.
    dianimal likes this.
  32. BeerLover99

    BeerLover99 Poo-Bah (1,607) Dec 13, 2008 Illinois

    I love your list; Resin is quite nice and very good "everyday" Double IPA.
  33. fmccormi

    fmccormi Meyvn (1,309) Oct 24, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I was going to say just that. Finestkind is excellent, a ridiculously good value, and a great example of a beer that is more bitter / has more hop flavor than what you might expect for having "only" 75 IBUs.

    That, and whatever you do, don't waste your money on Mikkeller UltraMate 1000. Pretty gross.
  34. slangtruth

    slangtruth Initiate (95) Jan 8, 2012 Massachusetts

    This seems like an odd statement. I'll buy that beer often changes after sitting around for a while, regardless of ABV. I don't think such changes are always positive. But you seem to be saying that these changes will always be beneficial, or put it another way that it's impossible for a brewer to release a 12%+ ABV beer that tastes exactly as he intended it to when fresh.
  35. rdilauro

    rdilauro Crusader (753) Mar 8, 2010 Connecticut

    To be truthful, I havent been able to age my beers like I have my wines. So, I am speaking more from theory than actual practice. The only beer I have really set down to age was DogFish Head WorldWide Stout. At 17%, it tastes more like a Port than a beer. I purchase a 1/2 case 2 years ago. Set down 6 bottles to age, 6 bottles to drink. I started tasting the aged ones after 6 months, 1 year, 18 months, etc. I did NOT see any noticeable differences. Maybe thats one that needs more time
  36. HipsterBrewfus

    HipsterBrewfus Initiate (0) Jun 3, 2012 Maryland

    I like to dissolve my hops, and then mainline it into my carotid artery
    dianimal likes this.
  37. SenorHops

    SenorHops Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2010 Rhode Island

    I like to cook my hops in a spoon and then take the liquid and drop a few drops into each eyeball. I prefer high alpha hops when doing this.
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