Total Score: 5.65/10
From cherries to hops, Belgium to America I go traipsing the beer fantastic to my next review Left Coast Hop Juice. I haven’t tried any Left Coast beers yet, so as is my time honoured tradition with American brewers I go straight for their hoppiest brew, the beer-world version of the jugular vein, and when you name your beer “Hop Juice” you had better bring the hops Left Coast. That said I am confident that a west coast brewer wouldn’t dilly-dally in naming their beer after the delightful flower that is the hop. I’m hoping my tastebuds are up to the challenge [note to self: they are*].
Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Duvel Tulip.
A: Presents a cloudy orange with a thin white lace instead of a head. Looks like a glass of OJ, and we all know that IPAs that look like OJ are the hoppiest brews around, this is promising. 8/10.
S: A tad boring here with a big biscuit malt base that dominates far too much for a beer that should be hoptacular. There are hints of grapefruit/piney hop notes in the background but they really should be trashing my nose with hop goodness right now. 6/10.
T: Big malty taste which soon leads to the hops that one would expect. The hops have an odd herbal/vegetal character to them… not sure what they used here. Finish is a medium bitterness, and distracted by a huge buttery Diacetyl character which would rule this beer out of any competition. Aftertaste is dirty and cloying sweet with a toasty note. 5/10.
M: Medium bodied with a light carbonation, and it cloys like a MOFO. 6/10.
D: Verdict: Hop Juice really needs more hops in it, and a larger variety of hops for it to come close to challenging the established champions: Deschutes, Founders and Sierra Nevada. To boot the overall flavours are distracting and for the first time ever I had to use the tongue scraper on the back of my toothbrush to de-cloy my tongue. I am really not a fan of this beer at all, and also – false advertising Left Coast, you bastards! [that was my Kyle Broflovski impression BTW]. 6/10.
Food match: Some sharp cheeses might help de-cloy your tongue, but you’ll also likely end up with acid reflux… decisions, decisions.
*2nd note to self: don’t forget to pick up milk, bread, mustard and pickles – remember that pie you were going to bake? Good.