Hype vs Taste Best IPA

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Rupert50, Feb 7, 2013.


Best IPA

  1. Pliny

  2. Heady Topper

  3. Head Hunter

  4. FFF dreadnaught

  5. FFF zombie dust

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  1. Chris77McGrath

    Chris77McGrath Initiate (0) Feb 8, 2013 Ohio

    No love for Steelhead Double IPA? Mad River Brewing.
  2. jammalamma

    jammalamma Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2009 New Hampshire

    Hill Farmstead Abner takes the cake for me, beating Topper by having a little more fruity citrus.. similar beers tho, both world-class!
  3. alysmith4

    alysmith4 Initiate (0) Feb 11, 2005 District of Columbia

    I DID finally get to try a Sucks tonight, and I think I see what all the fuss is about! To me, it's the same hop-profile as a Lil' Sumpin Sumpin (which I continually rave about) with just a different grain-bill (malt instead of wheat).
  4. ClemsonCharles

    ClemsonCharles Initiate (0) Jul 2, 2009 Virginia

    I couldn't agree with you more. Enjoy by 2.15 was amazing, but the first time I had Heady really blew me away. It also turned me onto the idea of drinking IPA's out of a can which actually enhanced my enjoyment of the locally available DC Brau Corruption IPA.
  5. deuce9259

    deuce9259 Initiate (0) Dec 28, 2011 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I guess I'm responsible for some of that haha. Even though I'll take some heat for it, Hopslam is my personal favorite. I think all of the others are excellent, but I think arguing for some of these others is really splitting hairs (even though the styles aren't the same). IMO Hopslam is just more unique...but I tend to drift towards IPA's with a bigger malt profile.
  6. nrs207

    nrs207 Defender (687) Sep 8, 2011 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I had that once and really liked it too. I wish all my favorite beers weren't the polar opposite of regularly available to me. Oh well, rare treats are nice too.
  7. shuntstout

    shuntstout Initiate (191) Apr 2, 2010 New Mexico
    Beer Trader

    Im sure someone has said it but shouldn't Elevated IPA from La Cumbre be on the list instead of ZD?
  8. ShogoKawada

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

    you forgot Alpine.
  9. Wolfhead

    Wolfhead Initiate (165) Sep 1, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Never had Pliney, Heady Topper or Head Hunter but have sampled many Dreadnaught's and my first Zombie Dust just last night. Dreadnaught is an excellent beer but I prefer "Enjoy by" on tap to all. Now after one Zombie Dust I have never experienced that much flavor in one bottle. The aroma, off the charts. The taste is excellent but I have a bit of a problem with the after taste, can't put my finger or tongue on it but it just doesn't finish they way I had hoped.
    But again there is so much going on in one bottle, very big beer.
  10. jasoncheb

    jasoncheb Initiate (177) Nov 23, 2012 Virginia

    "Enjoy By" was excellent. I would also put Abner in front of any of the other beers on the list. However, if one of the beers listed had to be chosen, Heady would take it.
  11. WickedSluggy

    WickedSluggy Devotee (400) Nov 21, 2008 Texas
    Beer Trader

    You are implying that everyone simply follows the heard. While there is definately some of the heard mentality out there, it obviously (and I'm sure you probably agree) isn't the sole explaination for the ratings of these beers. Once the less widely available beers find their way to the top, there is probably plenty of "gravity" felt by some week-minded new reviewers to also review them high. But hype alone can't explain what sent them to the top in the first place.

    That said, I disagree with status of some of the top ranked beers. I don't mind having a dissenting opinion on ratings - but only when it is an honest dissent and not backlash against the prevailing hype. For instance, it is easy for me to look at the hype around Bell's Hopslam and shake my head. I know that this beer just isn't quite up to par with the very best IIPAs that I have had. The first time I had Hopslam (fresh), I also had Dreadnaught for the first time in the same sitting. At that time, a few years ago, I had heard very little about Dreadnaught, but I found it to be superior to Hopslam. I'm not bashing Hopslam. I think it is a very good beer - just not as good as the hype and rating would have us believe. On the other hand, Pliny the Elder indeed blows me away every time I get a fresh bottle. I don't care about the hype or the ratings. I don't need a blind test. It's just that good to me.

    I haven't been to the New England since 2010. At that time I had not heard of Heady Topper. If I had, I would have sought it out. Next time I'm in that area, I will probably would approach it with high expectations, because unless some group has been manipulating the reviews and ratings, it must be a pretty good beer to get to the very top. But I trust myself not to be swayed by the prevailing opinions. More likely I would be just a bit more skeptical because of the hype. In general, unfortunately, now that it is at the top, I do tend to agree with you - the sheep are out there ranting and reviewing.
    RobertColianni likes this.
  12. ChanChan

    ChanChan Devotee (469) Dec 12, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

  13. ChanChan

    ChanChan Devotee (469) Dec 12, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Oh yeah, I remember your rant on how Pliny was a mediocre IPA, what a joke!!
  14. mborden

    mborden Initiate (172) Jan 28, 2009 New York

    I came here expecting a scatterplot of "Hype vs. Taste". Where iz mai infographicz?
    Rupert50 likes this.
  15. Matty_Monster

    Matty_Monster Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2013 California

    Citra lives up to tha hype..
  16. RobertColianni

    RobertColianni Defender (624) Nov 4, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Should've had that shit fresh, last year. Think of the sound of dynamite exploding on a Discovery Channel show...then think of your brain/mind.
    alysmith4 likes this.
  17. caponeduke

    caponeduke Aspirant (239) Jul 28, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    No Alpines/Kern ...... WHat are we Savages? Nelson and JO need to be on this list as they are regularlly brewed.
  18. caponeduke

    caponeduke Aspirant (239) Jul 28, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Fucking A
  19. RobertColianni

    RobertColianni Defender (624) Nov 4, 2008 Pennsylvania

    I agree wholeheartedly with you, but there are literally tens of better IPA's out there that decimate any of the contending list, but are not sought after because the new wave of "beer advocates" are so new to the scene that they missed out on any possible experience of these competitors. I say it all the time; Moylan's Hopsickle is the best PA/IPA/DIPA/IIPA out there. The majority of our group, here, is too young (to the beer scene) to know this. The ratings are there, too. They just are too busy listening to the words of others, in my understanding, to seek out examples. The unfortunate thing is that with all of the hype surrounding BA Stout's/Barleywine's these days, I don't even think IPA's are part of the influential styles for advocates that really got drinkers into the scene. I recall when I started drinking around 17 (whatever), I was easily swayed by IS's/RIS's, too. Every one I tried seemed to be one up on the previous. It's so, because there is alot to mask behind such a rich beer. You could put anchovies into a batch and hardly anyone would notice. I see that as a direct cop out, and although I do love IS's/RIS's, I just don't view them as clean or direct enough to the truth behind the recipe to be viewed as such an influential style. Mistakes typically go unnoticed.
  20. WickedSluggy

    WickedSluggy Devotee (400) Nov 21, 2008 Texas
    Beer Trader

    We are really getting to individual opinions here. The chances are low that one persons opinion is going to be the same as the general consensus because we have our own preferences. Personally I like Hopsickle, but have to admit I don't buy it because I never know when it's going to be fresh. It's not dated, and I want fresh IPA/IIPAs. I find Hopsickle it to be a member of the same breed as Maharaja, which used to be my favorite IIPA. Unfortunately, Avery released a series of sub-par batches between 2009 and 2013 (The most recent release, batch 17, is excellent agian.) Some other members of this "breed" would be SN Hoptimum, Harpoon Leviathan IIPA, Stone Ruination 10th Anniversary and Stone Enjoy By - the big high-gravity 100 IBU (calculated) IIPAs with relatively high alcohol and final gravity/residual sugar. I went through a phase where these were my favorite beers. I still love them, but I don't think there are as good as Pliny The Elder. Pliny is not as big of beer as these mentioned beers, but has as big a hop profile, and personally, I think Pliny's slightly drier flavor and juicy hop profile is a better masterpiece of execution. Again, that's an individual opinion. Like you, I am fond of my own opinion. I actually think my opinions border on undisputable fact.
  21. alysmith4

    alysmith4 Initiate (0) Feb 11, 2005 District of Columbia


  22. Focusf111

    Focusf111 Initiate (0) Jun 21, 2012 Vermont

    I have to say, Pliny was an outstanding memory for me. It really was better than I could have imagined. I've had more than my fair share of great IPAs. I live in vt and I buy a lot of stone. Haha.
    SnowFlowMfg likes this.
  23. SnowFlowMfg

    SnowFlowMfg Initiate (0) Dec 13, 2011 California

    Oh great, another "which tastes better" "is this hyped" thread.

    Step 1: buy all of the mentioned beers
    Step 2: drink
    Step 3: decide which is tasty and which is hype

    It's all personal opinion

    Bonus step: send me all the above mentioned beers and i'll decide for you :slight_smile:
    Rupert50 likes this.
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