Drunken Speculation

#60 HopDog BeerWorks Horns Up Rye IPA

This post is part of Crazy Cellar Clearout Week, where we review some of the beers in our cellar so we can start 2014 fresh. You can see all the beers we’ve reviewed in 2013 here.

HopDog Rya IPASo my love affair with HopDog beers continues but is hanging by a mere thread…

This was one of 16 beers in a HopDog CUBE, half of which it seems are flat. Luckily for me this “review beer” I’d saved wasn’t one of them. It’s a Rye IPA and the website has this to say about it:

An insane amount of US Citra hops give this IPA an aggressive aroma of citrus, grapefruit, resin, pine and mango. The aroma is mirrored in the flavour, with the malt playing the back seat driver, delivering you the hops. Long finish and big bitterness. Clean and hoppy.

Sure sounds like something right up my alley…

On the pour it’s got an incredibly frothy, foamy head. (I wish I’d taken a better pic). It’s also staying put and doesn’t look to be dissipating at all. Looking closely you can also see an infinite number of miniscule bubbles surfacing from all points of the glass. In short, it’s one good-looking beer.

The aroma is one which appeals to me greatly – intensely fruity and hoppy. But I’ll try and put my personal biases aside. It’s a predominantly tropical fruitiness: I’m thinking, pineapple, papaya but maybe some hints of citrus in there too.

To taste, there’s a subtle pop of sweetness on the front of the palate leading to a dry, pretty intense bitterness on the back – it’s 70 IBUs so there ya go. The sweetness is so brief it’s difficult to discern its origin though it gives the beer a surprisingly smooth mouthfeel until that dry, bitterness hits and then it’s big, fruity and a little bit grassy hops, hops, hops. Not quite palate-wrecker stuff but it’s up there.


  • Website
  • Genre: IPA
  • Regionality: Nowra, NSW
  • Strength: 5.8%
  • Rating: 2 / 3 taste + 2 / 2 ancillaries = 4 / 5
  • Plus: Perhaps the best-looking head of 2013
  • Minus: Aroma didn’t quite translate onto the palate as described.
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