When I first saw this, I thought the label said Hoptometrist, and I honestly couldn’t think of a worse pairing (unless said Hoptometrist could cure hop-induced astigmatism). But alas… It was a hoptical illusion (also the name of an IPA). Hoptimist IPA by White Street Brewing has all the things I look for when selecting an IPA: hop puns in the name, high ABV, pairs well with pizza, etc. It obviously passed the screening process, but does it pass the sipping process?
Hoptimist pours a solid amber, which is exactly what you want from a no-frills IPA. The head is a string of paper-thin suds that hardly lines the entire surface. However, this may be a result of my notoriously horrible pouring technique. The aroma is predominantly citrus with some hints of apricot and mango. There’s also a light undertone of sweetness that comes through from the malt.
The flavor profile is also exactly what you would expect from a beer named Hoptimist. Grapefruit emerges early as the flagship characteristic. This citrus burst is followed by notes of resinous pine and light, malty sweetness. This IPA has a surprisingly light body and crisp finish for the horsepower it’s packing, which is a definite plus in my book.
Hoptimist IPA is an excellent selection for hop purists. It lacks the host of competing background flavors, which I think is a good thing, that has become common for beers that tick past the 6.5 ABV mark. Strong, unadulterated hop flavor combined with a crisp finish results in an excellent summertime sipper. This is about as robust an IPA you’ll find without crossing over into double or imperial territory, so schedule your next eye exam and kick back with this delicious vision killer.
- Appearance: Amber
- Aroma: Citrus, apricot, mango, sweet malt
- Flavor: Grapefruit, pine, light sweetness
- Mouthfeel: Light plus
- ABV: 7.5%
- Size/Price: 6pk 12 oz. / $9-$10
- Score: 85