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Hop Crisis

Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
34 / 40
7 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

When they decided to start packaging beer, 21st Amendment Brewery founders Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan opted for cans over bottles. If ever there was a beer to make believers out of those who turn up noses at canned beer, Hop Crisis is it. The aroma of this imperial IPA, is dominated by alcohol and overripe tropical fruits. But hints of vanilla and oak chips push their way through. Rick felt the “slightly hot alcohol” was balanced by “a plethora of fruits like cherry, pineapple, and cantaloupe – kind of like an alcohol fueled maraschino cherry.” The alcohol didn’t jump out at Lee, and he focused more on the intense fruity aromas, picking out “papaya, pineapple guava, and a trace of hibiscus syrup.” While he enjoyed the aroma, Lee thought it lacked some citrusy, piney notes. Highly carbonated and pouring a lustrous gold, Hop Crisis sports a massive, billowing white head. An initial blast of ripe, sweet fruit flavors gives way to notes of pecan, caramel, vanilla, and of course, alcohol, as the beer warms up. The overall impact struck Tim as a “big fruit punch of guava nectar and mango,” balanced by an underlying bitterness, underpinned by “an abundance of alcohol.” Tom was assailed by walls of ripe fruit, likening it to “an avalanche of pineapples and mangos,” yet he picked out some slightly sour grapefruit toward the end.