Total Score: 6.35/10
Hop Bomb, Hop Bomb!?! – wait to throw down the gauntlet Boatrocker. This better be a good fu[REDACTED]ing IPA. I mean it – you don’t name a beer “hop bomb” unless you have dumped into it a kaleidoscope of excellent hops (including my new favourite hop: Mosaic). With a name like “hop bomb” this brew is up against Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA – my third favourite beer of all time. I wish you luck Boatrocker, but I’m almost certain you won’t be up to the challenge.
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a nonic pint.
A: Sunburst orange body with yeast particles floating around and a chalky 3mm cream head on top. Not bad, could benefit from better head retention, and the bubbles are a bit big compared to other IPAs, hopefully it’s not gassy – I hate gassy beers. 7/10.
S: Earthy hop notes upfront, followed by the classic American IPA citric/pine characters. Quite earthy, I’ve noticed this a lot in Australian craft IPAs, and I give this new earthy trend a big thumbs up. For me what is lacking compared to the Deschutes brew are those massive tropical hop notes – this “hop bomb” certainly isn’t living up to its name thus far. 7/10.
T: Wow (the bad “wow” btw) the hops really lack in the flavour department, and there is an unexpected funky note to this brew. Dry hopped? Really? How many hop cones were used in the dry hopping Boatrocker? Five? The palate starts out promising with that earthy tone and a biscuity caramel malt base, but then it descends into a hop obscurity with a piney/citric hop slight bitter finish. West Coast IPA? Yes the hops are definitely have that classic West Coast allure, however this brew sadly needs many more, and a greater variety of; hops. 6/10.
M: Mid to light bodied with a nice tight packed carbonation. 7/10.
D: Biggest “meh” brew I’ve had in a while. There is little to distinguish this from any other West Coast styled Australian IPA, and much less hop flavour than you would expect given the name. I have a bottle of their Misfit to review but counting down to my 500th review it might have to sit in my fridge door till after I’ve reached that milestone. In any case if you want a good West Coast styled IPA you can’t beat… any actual West Coast IPAs – just buy American instead of Boatrocker’s Hop Bomb, you will be glad that you did. 6/10.
Food match: Beef steaks or general BBQ fare.