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Bob Townsend’s Beer Pick

Terrapin Hopsecutioner India Pale Ale
Terrapin Beer Company, Athens, GA
$8.99/ six-pack at metro beverage stores; also on draft at select beer bars

Profile: Terrapin’s newest year-round offering, Hopescutioner India Pale Ale, is a bit of surprise in a couple of ways. First, given the Athens’ brewery’s success with hopped-up seasonal beers, such as Big Hoppy Monster, it’s odd that the company hasn’t made an IPA part of its full-time portfolio before now. Second, despite its rather gruesome name, Hopescutioner isn’t overly aggressive. In fact, it’s very well balanced, with a rich, caramel malt flavor. A combo of Warrior, Chinook, Centennial, Simcoe and Amarillo hops, plus dry-hopped Cascade, impart pleasant citrus and pine aromas and flavors without harsh bitterness. At 7.2% alcohol by volume, the most dangerous thing about Hopsecutioner may be how easy it is to drink.

Pair with: Like most IPAs, Hopsecutioner makes a good match for all sorts of hot and spicy foods or sharp cheese. But Terrapin recommends pairing it with roasted leg of lamb stuffed with rosemary and thyme or cheddar beer soup topped with smoky bacon.

Bob Townsend is editor of Southern Brew News.

Hopsecutioner

10 comments Add your comment

Chris

December 16th, 2009
8:01 am

Bob, glad to hear the blog is live. This beer looks interesting. Looking forward to giving it a try.

DenKon

December 16th, 2009
8:19 am

I bought a six pack of Hopsecutioner last week. I am a hopshead, the more hops the better. I expected the beer with a name like “Hopsecutioner” to smack you on the side of the head with hops, but was surprised by the restraint. I agree with your review that is is very balanced. I do like the pine aroma, it goes well with my Christmas tree. Overall, I plan to buy more of this beer.

btownsend

December 16th, 2009
8:29 am

DenKon and Chris: Thanks for being among the first to post comments here. I was pretty surprised that Hopsecutioner wasn’t more hopped up. But this is the first batch. I wonder if that will change as Spike tweaks the recipe. That is, after all, the fun thing about small craft breweries like Terrapin.

Les

December 16th, 2009
9:00 am

I agree with your review, I love Hopsecutioner, but I hope that Spike doesn’t change it a bit. I think (hope and pray) that well balanced beer is starting to make a come-back. I’ve had enough of l beers like Magic Hat’s Roxy Rolles that to me taste like they steeped a massive amount of hops in distilled water. I’m glad to find that Terrapin, Moylans and few others are rediscovering malt and balance.

Brad @ Tower

December 16th, 2009
9:17 am

I first tried this beer on cask and was very impressed with the amount of flavor on both ends, hops and malt. I don’t always like IPAs on cask. The bottled version is also good but not quiet as full flavored. however, I definitely agree that this beer is ridiculously easy to drink since the hops are kept in check and it does not have an over-bearing heaviness.

Steve

December 16th, 2009
9:33 am

I believe the beer has been tweaked a little on batch #2, but not much. I’m sure Spike, the meticulous balancer of beer that he is, will continue in that trend. I would expect a little more bittering hop and a little more dry hopping for aroma. Thanks Bob!

Tony Kiss

December 16th, 2009
9:39 am

Yo Bob, love this blog. I’m doing a brew of the week thing here too along with my weekly column. Get your hands on a bottle of Highland Brewing’s new Auld Asheville Vintage Ale, coming out today, I believe. Look forward to reading more of your picks.

Molly

December 16th, 2009
10:38 am

Your food pairings are making me hungry! And I totally agree with your review of Hopsecutioner, the alcohol content is almost dangerous, especially in a pint glass! Congrats on the blog! I look forward to reading it every week!
Cheers!

Crawford

December 16th, 2009
1:46 pm

Off with my head! I’m looking forward to drinking a few of these.

FairwayOaks

December 17th, 2009
9:48 am

Haven’t had it in bottle, but did enjoy a nice draft that found myself almost gulping. Was looking for this vertical from these guys for awhile.

Les: Moylans=Balanced? Have you had Hopsickle? Talk about burn your tastebuds.