Thursday, October 18, 2012

Napa Smith Hopageddon - Gus #5

Today's brew is one of my favorite "new beers" to Mississippi.  I first had it at the Top of the Hops beer festival here.  It was just after our beer laws changed to allow high gravity beers to be sold in Mississippi.  As soon as I tried it, it became one of my favorites.  So I rushed home and pulled it up online to see it was only served on draught.  I was so bummed.  Then on a trip to my local brew store, I noticed it sitting in there in a 22oz bomber!  I was pumped.  I scooped up three bottles and rushed home.  I had to try it again.  I have recently learned that this has become a year round brew and now comes in 4-pack 12oz bottles.  This excited me even more.  I can now get one of my favorite brews anytime I want and not have to get it in a bomber.  I like bombers but sometimes you just want one glass if you don't have anyone to share it with.

How it rates with others:

ratebeer review:

Information from Napa Smith's website:
About the Beer:
Imperial Oak-Aged IPA
An obscenely dry-hopped ale
Now Available Year Round:  Available in 4-Packs of 12oz bottles, 22oz bottles, 5.2 gal. draught cylinders and 15.5 gal. draught kegs
Alcohol by Volume:  9.2%
Color:  Fiery Orange
Bitterness:  144 IBUs
CO2:  2.6 Vol.
Original Gravity:  19.6 Balling
Hops:  Chinook, Cascade, Warrior, Columbus, Mt. Hood and Centennial

"You can pray to the Hop Gods all you want... You'll never find another IPA like this one."

“Hopageddon is an end-of-the-world imperial IPA that defies expectations and induces an intense hop-stupor that will leave you wondering what just happened.  At 144 IBUs, Hopageddon glows with a gorgeous fiery orange color and showcases a distinct, full white head.  The added character is given by the Chardonnay and Cabernet barrels accentuates explosive papaya and lychee flavors along with herbaceous aromas.  Chewy, grassy, wet-hop flavors, hints of dried appricot, and impressions of barrel tannins are evident in multiple latyers.  The distinct barrel-hopped flavors and shockwave of bitterness lingers on teh palate and leaves hopheads with a post-ahopalyptic yearning for more.”

"Can you survive the Hopageddon?"

I poured this brew into a 12oz tulip glass.

Appearance:  Dark orange almost red in color (fiery orange as the brewery says.)  Pretty much glowing in the glass.  On the border of hazy.  But that could be from chill haze.  This thing is barrel hopped so it could be from that.  It's got a solid finger and a half of tight white bubble head.  Decent head retention but at just over 9% ABV it did finally give way to a ring with an island of bubbles floating in the glass.  Good amount a head lacing and definitely traces of alcohol legs on the glass.

Aroma:  Huge hop aroma from this brew.  When I popped the cap it instantly hit my nose on this one.  Big citrus notes.  Grapefruit, mango, a little orange like an orange juice smell in there.  Maybe a little orange zest.  Definitely sweet aromas as well.  Resiny, floral and fruit notes too.  This thing is very, very complex and big.  Little hints of sweet malts in there.  A wine type astringent smell coming from being aged in the wine bottles I'm assuming.  Very nice smelling brew.

Taste:  First thing that hits my mouth is that bitter, sour candy flavor.  Almost makes your mouth pucker up.  It's powerful but enjoyable at the same time.  The first sip was very surprising.  Then you start to get citrus notes.  Grapefruit is the big player in this one.  Then some mango and orange flavors.  It really has a medium mouthfeel.  Back of the tongue the sour hints come in nice.  It has a very pleasant aftertaste.  Everything kind of blends and mellows out back there.

As it warmed up a bit the sweet flavors really started to shine.  I really enjoyed that with the mixture of all the hops that were in this brew.  It can be compared to drinking white grapefruit juice then switching to ruby red.

Verdict:  .I really, really like this brew.  It's becoming one of my favorites.  And now that it is available year round I can see myself having it in the fridge often.  I may try to cellar a bottle since it is a barrel-aged beer.  It will be interesting to see what comes out after some of the hops die out.  This one really does everything I want a big IPA to do.  The wine barrel characteristics give it that added boost.  I'm going to give this one an A.  Such a good beer.

Grab a bottle and try it out.  Let me know what you think of it.  Napa Smith is pretty wide spread.  And now that it has moved form a draught only and limited release to a year round I expect this one to start popping up more places.