Reviewed by Chip Chabot
First off, my beer creds. I have very little experience or expertise when it comes to rating and reviewing beers – I usually consume them and ask, “What’s next?” The very act of slowing down to appreciate and describe the experience is new to me – I either enjoy it, or I don’t. This has served me well in the past, and I expect it will serve me well for years to come. That being said, as I learn to brew beer, and brew *better* beer, I appreciate the work and skill it takes to make good beer. So, with that in mind, and always willing to contribute to the group in what little way I can, I tried Lagunita’s Hop Stoopid Imperial IPA with the end goal of being to write a review for the group.
Confession – I am not a huge fan of big, hoppy beers. I know some folks consider hops to be the spice of life –they wallow in it, they would gargle with it, they would marry it if hop cones could cook. I am more of a session beer kind of guy. I enjoy Lagunitas’ offerings usually as a one off – try this, then move on to others. Don’t get me wrong – they make great beer, lots of flavor, palette, nose, mouth feel, etc. – great beer. Just not exactly subtle, at least not the ones I have tried.
The label includes the caption “102 IBU 4 U” – so I expected another big-hop beer, and there were lots of hops to it. That being said, it was not over-the-top bitter or curl-your-nose-hairs strong. Well balanced taste, a good nose to it, nice head that left foam rings on the glass, good aftertaste. I forgot I was supposed to be critiquing it and started to pound it. I remembered in time to make sure I got a picture of the bottle with beer still actually in the glass. Then I finished it quickly.
In short – I would buy a case of it and think long and hard about sharing. I would also consider brewing a clone.
PS – my apologies for not using terms like ‘flowery’, ‘grassy’, ‘exuberant’ or ‘effervescence’. That is apparently what is need to rate a beer highly. My bad.
PPS – I realize most of you fine brewers have probably already consumed Hop Stoopid and formed your own opinion of it. Hopefully this review is better than, say, a review of Blue Moon. Because I know we all like crafty beer!