One of my favorite beers out there is Southern Tier Gemini, which is a blend of Hoppe Imperial Extra Pale Ale and Unearthly India Pale Ale. The blend is a special limited release, so I’m unsure if I’ll be able to find it again, but I certainly hope I do.
Because I loved Gemini so very much, I thought it fitting to taste and review Hoppe, slated by Southern Tier as "an ale of simple composition." Right on the bottle, I learned that they "craft this much like a sculptor who uses only a hammer and chisel to shape stone into a masterpiece. Hoppe is spawned of these few essentials: barley, wheat, hops, yeast and water. This limited palette is an exercise in minimalism, with refined elements that are deliberately selected."
Beautifully simple in its ingredients, Hoppe is incredibly complex, testing " the skill and ability of the brewer to create something truly majestic." A must-try, if I do say so myself (and I do).
This 8% ABV Imperial Extra Pale Ale pours a beautiful golden, sunlit amber that’s slightly cloudy. To be honest, I really couldn’t see through it at all. The head is a finger high with medium retention; that which rims the surface sticks around for quite some time.
Hoppe’s aroma is slightly floral and sweet with fruit – I detected pear and green grapes here, with a hint of peach. Its body is medium but the carbonation cuts through, which keeps it more drinkable than some other Imperials I’ve tasted before. Very smooth through the finish.
The flavor of this ale is sweet, like the aroma, but with a nice, lightly hoppy kick on the sides of my tongue. Notes most easily detected were those I found in the nose; green grapes, flowers and a touch of peach. The floral hops are balanced well by the malt in the finish. Quite complex, especially for such a simple composition.
I will certainly pick this brew up again.
[techtags:SOUTHERN TIER BREWING CO, HOPPE, EXTRA PALE ALE, IMPERIAL PALE ALE, BEER REVIEWS]