What is the hoppiest beer around?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Smythe, Aug 30, 2015.

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  1. Pro_Magnon

    Pro_Magnon Savant (1,013) Mar 25, 2014 Texas

    Green Flash Palate Wrecker is the hoppiest I've had (149 IBU's)
  2. Hendry

    Hendry Pooh-Bah (1,575) Mar 8, 2013 Vermont

    Heady Topper is a hop bomb of the first order
  3. IPAandGreenChile

    IPAandGreenChile Initiate (0) Jun 25, 2014 Colorado

    Aren't IBUs just an arbitrary number?
    Or is their science behind it?
  4. 1000lbgrizzly

    1000lbgrizzly Maven (1,485) Jul 16, 2013 Illinois

    A tale of two IPAs:

    Great Divide's Titan IPA. Definitely the boldest, most abrasive 'hop' flavor I've had in memory. I saw that this was (only) 65 IBU, but in terms of flavor it was straightforward and kinda hard to finish. I rated it rather lowly (3.68), not because it wasn't balanced, or my favorite style, but because it put the worst foot forward for hops: being mono-dimensional.

    Ballast Point's Sculpin, on the other hand, is probably my favorite IPA. Tons of variety of hop flavors, mostly a smorgasbord of fruit, which I prefer, but also some pine. There was some balancing malt, but still a very hop-based beer. Similar IBU's to Titan (70), yet it was both more noticeable and at the same time welcome. I consider this to be hops at their finest: complex, refreshing, bracingly bitter, yet a treat to enjoy.

    These two fit the bill of the hoppiest beers I've had, but they are vastly different. They both gets hops into your system, but by different methods: the first bludgeons you over the head with them and then shoves them down your throat, the other beguiles and entices you into drinking, and enjoying, them yourself.
  5. 1000lbgrizzly

    1000lbgrizzly Maven (1,485) Jul 16, 2013 Illinois

    Not at all arbitrary. A spectrophotometer is used and alpha acid solvent (the amount of bitterness-producing compounds from the hops) is calculated. Although I believe 100 is the limit as far as practical measurements go.

    What is arbitrary is how well perceived this bitterness is. If there are no other strong flavors (like most unbalanced, usually American, IPA's) it will be very apparent. On the other hand, beers with other strong flavors can blanket the bitterness and make it nearly imperceptible. A lot of stouts have high IBUs but that takes a back seat to the robust malts and whatever else the brewer may have chosen to add.

    For further info, this is a good thread to check out: http://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/the-lupulin-shift.328686/
    IPAandGreenChile likes this.
  6. plutoniumpete

    plutoniumpete Initiate (0) Oct 21, 2008 New Jersey

    needs to be fresh though (obviously). bought two from the same store, one was 2 weeks old, one was pushing a year. Very disappointed when I drank that second one and wondered WTF and then checked the date.
  7. Homers_Beer_Odyssey

    Homers_Beer_Odyssey Initiate (0) Jun 17, 2014 New York

    I bought a 4-pack of Mikkeller's 1,000 IBU. It's very hoppy, but I think the bitterness derives mostly from a reduction in malts. It lacks the sweetness often present in DIPAs.
  8. Ranbot

    Ranbot Pooh-Bah (2,327) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    As many people have said above IBUs do not correlate directly to perceived bitterness.

    I put it to you guys that fresh Victory Prima Pils at 45 IBUs tastes more bitter than many DIPAs and barleywines pushing 100 IBUs. Pilsners have very mild malts and it doesn't take much hops/IBUs to create a very bitter beer. Whereas, in DIPAs and Barleywines the additional malt needed to ferment up higher ABVs leave a lot of residual sugars that balance out the bitterness, and tastes can't really perceive bitterness above ~100 IBU anyway. IBUs can be a useful gauge to compare beers of the same style, but are mostly irrelevant when comparing different beer styles.
  9. thorkelson

    thorkelson Initiate (0) Oct 10, 2014 Minnesota

    Palate Wrecker?
  10. BMBCLT

    BMBCLT Grand Pooh-Bah (3,353) May 9, 2014 South Carolina

    Can't stand APA/IPA/DIPAs, but I love Founders Imperial Stout and it's 90 IBUs.
  11. gmoneyproductions

    gmoneyproductions Initiate (0) Aug 12, 2015 Colorado

    hoppiest beer i have had
    stone ruinten, hop stoopid, or ruination also avery maharaja
    love the hops but dislike the hop stoopid fwiw
    ruinten ruination and maharaja are all amongst my alltime favorites
    StoneBrewing likes this.
  12. Yargamo

    Yargamo Initiate (0) Jun 9, 2015 New York

    to me its the resinous sticky pine east coast traditional IPAs that strike with "hoppiness". Its not what I look for, but for me heavy pine = too much hoppiness
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