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RATINGS: 318   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.63   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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Anniversaries are meant to be celebrated, and as we looked back on 11 years of “balance in beer,” we decided to take a walk on the wild side with this year’s Anniversary Ale. Our brewers were finally turned loose to craft a beer that’s focused on the hops, and the result is Hop Rocket… Arcadia’s 11th Anniversary Ale.

Hop Rocket is a veritable constellation of hops… including some varieties that we haven’t used in other beers, and it’s delivered by the same booster of worldclass malt that our loyal fans have come to know and love with all Arcadia Ales. We appreciate the opportunity to share with you this “launch” of our 12th years, and we hope you’ll enjoy the ride with Arcadia Hop Rocket!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
bdigital (658) - Ft Wayne, Indiana, USA - FEB 10, 2008
UPDATED: FEB 11, 2008 Draft: Poured a clear orange/copper color with a sizeable white head. Strong, hoppy-ass aroma that pretty much drowned out anything else. Some slight citrus notes were present but they were bullied out by this hop-bomb. Flavor follows to a "T" and ultimately this could be one of the most intense IIPA’s that I’ve had. Great stuff.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
joe1510 (501) - Illinois, USA - FEB 10, 2008
12oz Bottle 9% 111 IBU Got this as an extra in a recent trade with Hoppymeal, thanks a bunch Derek! Hop Rocket enters my pint glass a burnished copper and appears slightly hazy from the bottle conditioning. A clean white two finger creamy head grew on the pour and eventually fell to a solid crown leaving lines of lacing on it’s way down. I was teetering between a 4-4.5 on the smell but after repeated inhalings I have to go with the higher rating. There’s a strong caramel maltiness that makes up a respectable canvas for the showcase that is hoppiness. The hops bring an enjoyable candy like apricot sweetness that meets up with a big resinous quality. I really dig IIPAs that have this kind of hop combo. The flavor follows suit. Big hoppiness throughout but enough caramel maltiness to keep things from running wild. Surprisingly there’s not a lot of bitterness like I was expecting from the aroma. Like I said earlier this is the hop combo I really appreciate in IPAs or IIPAs. Arcadia did a great job with the mouthfeel of this beer. Medium bodied and incredibly silky. There isn’t a hint of stickyness like I find in so many other examples. This is a dangerous drinker to be sure. Weighing in at 9% and without a trace of alcohol you could get in trouble with this beer. It drinks more like an IPA than a IIPA. This is my favorite from Arcadia so far. A surprisingly drinkable IIPA with a a great hop presence. I noticed this is their 11th anniversary brewing, I hope it’s made into a year round offering because I know I’d pick it up. Thanks Derek! 2/8/08

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
csbosox (1223) - Prairie Village, Kansas, USA - FEB 9, 2008
12oz bottle. Aroma is floral, piney, grapefruit, wildflower honey, and perfume like. Orange/copper colored with a smallish head. Good clarity. No noticeable bottle conditioning. Taste, at first, is candi sugar, citrus, grapefruit, hints of tropical fruit, and some light pine followed by a moderately strong, but clean, bitterness that is offset by a subtle honey-like malt backing. Not too bad, but certainly not something I will miss when the anniversary is over. Not the ideal beer to drink at 10:30AM.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Hoptagon (239) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - FEB 8, 2008
12 oz. bottle. Pours a rusty orange with a thin white head. Aroma has noticeable citrus with grapefruit dominating. Hop flavor is amazing, can detect some Summit hops if my taste buds aren’t deceiving me. Crystal malt is perfectly balanced with the hop character of the beer. Body holds up nicely and showcases the hops well. Finish is sticky with lots of pine. Impressive.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
iowaherkeye (2691) - Ocean Beach, San Diego, California, USA - FEB 8, 2008
12oz, no date--just a lot number I couldn’t care less about. Clear darkish orange with a small light beige head that quickly fades to a ring. Aroma of sweaty, citrusy Cascades up front. There is also some pine, orange, and sweet cotton candy and caramel malt notes. Flavor has the hops getting a little bit grassier with some orange candy and berry characteristics. Sweeter than I’d have wanted with not enough hop bitterness until the tail end of the finish. Somehow this dried out with bitterness around a 4 (out of 10). Full body with low carbonation. Not bad, by any means, but not my favoritest by a longshot.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Gregis (1281) - Shawnee, Kansas, USA - FEB 7, 2008
Pours a hazy, bright orange with a lot of super-fine sediment and a creamy, off-white head that laces nicely. Appropriately named the nose is all about the hops: bright citrus and light evergreen (pine sap) dominate the aroma, with lesser notes of bubblegum and alcohol, in the background. The malt is sitting out this round and is barely detectable behind the hops. Medium-bodied and lightly grainy it concludes with a dry, bitter finish. Like a big-bodied hop tea, the flavor follows the nose (minus the bubblegum note). The pale malt backing, of this brew, lags far behind the resinous hops in the flavor profile. This is the epitome of a "hop bomb" (or rocket); lovers of malty, balanced IIPAs need not apply. (I have 3 more bottles to decide if this assessment is unfair. If so, I’ll re-rate and adjust my score, but after sampling Hopslam, Ruination and GI IIPA, all in the past few days, this one certainly seems to lag quite a ways behind.)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
thegreenrooster (3241) - St.louis, Missouri, USA - FEB 7, 2008
Pour is a bright oragne with a small white head. Aroma is very hoppy,citrus and a bit fruity. Flavor is a typical hop bomb with a creamy fruityness. Some pine is left on the tounge after the swallow. Definate focus is on the hops like it says as the malts are there but are kind of diminished. Still, this is a very tasty beer for hop heads and easy to drink.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
SubstanceT (1092) - Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - FEB 7, 2008
Rating 1087, bottle purchased from Randall’s in St Louis, MO. Off bronze in color with a medium sized off white head. Nose is thick with pine and salt. Taste is crisp with sap, pine and some citrus. Agressive but not in the alcohol area. Present but not overwhelming. Very enjoyable. Good beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
xmarcnolanx (929) - Kirkwood, Missouri, USA - FEB 6, 2008
I get some summit out of this, just maybe. I aroma is citrus, nice slight maltiness, and some dumb, dull onion. Taste is hugely onion, oranges, more onion, some touches of sweet malt. I do not taste 9 percent. Palate disappears very quickly. Lingers in a bittersweet fashion and is quite nice. Overall, very good. I get a lot of bubble gum out of this too. A lot.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
hopdog (9018) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 6, 2008
12oz bottle acquired in trade with hoppymeal (thanks!). Poured a medium orangish color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of citrus, pine, some floral hops, and earthy. Tastes of oranges, grapefruits, and caramel. Nicely balanced. Light to medium alcohol in the finish.

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