Brewing and reviewing since 2012.
Brew: Smooth Hoperator
Their Take: This medium bodied, copper colored strong lager is in a class all by itself. First released in celebration of our 20th Anniversary, Ed Stoudt calls this beer an “American-style Doppelbock.” He believes it to be the first high gravity lager brewed with German Malts and American Hops. This brew has a delicate malty palate up front, which is abruptly overshadowed by the dominating hop presence that can be attributed to the 1.5 lbs./bbl of hops that were added to this brew for aroma and flavor. A hop lover’s beer indeed.
The intent of drinking this beer was to do a review, but anything I could write wouldn’t really do it justice. It was, however, a very interesting drink for me, and a lesson learned, so I figured I’d share my thoughts as a heads up, without doing a full on review.
With a name like Smooth Hoperator, I picked this beer up expecting a really hoppy IPA. Turns out, I need to learn to read. I poured this one into a glass, and it poured a reddish amber color with a tan head, which I found interesting for an IPA. There was very little aroma too it, another mark against it as an IPA. The taste was very malty up front, which was delicious, and finished off with a much hoppier finish than the aroma would indicate, coming through with pine at the forefront. It still wasn’t quite up to IPA standards, so I decided to look into what others thought of this beer.
Turns out, Smooth Hoperator isn’t an IPA at all, which explains why it doesn’t taste like one. It’s a doppelbock, one that Stoudts decided to add a whole lot of hops to. I spoke with a Stoudts reo at a local tasting recently, and he acknowledged the disconnect between the name and the style, but, hey, it’s a cool name and it works for them.
Going into it expecting an IPA I was pretty harsh on my review notes, so it wouldn’t be fair to put it out there. The beer ended up being good once I figured out what they were shooting for and could change my mindset, so don’t be afraid to grab a six of this. Just don’t expect an IPA when you drink it.