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Review by Dr. Rockzo on 01/05/10  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
90 3 10 18 5 9 0
I can't thank Randy enough for hooking up this growler for me. Just filled 6 days ago on the 1st (aaalll the way to the tip top of the neck - nice!), poured into my trusty S.N. HopTulip glass.

A: Pours a bright and glowingly golden/medium-orange color with such a great shiny hue to it when held to a light. There's almost gradations of orange to it from top to bottom. A soft and frothy/soapy lightly dusty white head builds with some force to 3 fingers height before slowly receding into a thing cap of foam, leaving some pretty decent thick streaks of lacing surrounded by smaller patterns of speckles around them. Lazy streams of bubbles work their way slowly through the viscous orange liquid. It doesn't leave the lace like the two Pliny's (and Vortex 1) do but the color and head volume/retention is really nice.

S: Expo has sooo much going on in the aroma, it's simply stunning. Butt loads of citric hops with a very tropical slant (peaches, light mango, pineapple) mix with fresh pine needles and dank "herbs" and other floral smells before the oak chips shine through with melon, very light vanilla, and some subtle toasted oakyness. Sweet pale and lightly toffee tinted maltiness helps to balance things out, but the hops seem to possess much of their own sweetness. Expo's depth and balanced yet pungently intense aroma is to die for and only a half step behind Younger to me.

T: The taste is right in step with the smell which is great to experience, as so many IIPAs don't translate so perfectly from aroma to taste. Lots of tropical and citrus fruits are prominent upfront (ruby red grapefruit, peaches, pineapple, some mango), followed by more fresh pine sap/needles and some dank florals/herbals. The lightly buttery oakiness with melon and very subtle vanilla shows up in the middle along with some nice pale and toffee malt sweetness for some semblance of balance. The finish is firmly bitter and dry with more assertice hop flavor, but is not nearly as bitter as many other west coast IIPAs of this magnitude.

M: The mouthfeel is firmly on the full side of medium bodied with a very appropriate level of moderate carbonation. The consistency is incredibly viscous yet very creamy and soft (from the oaking?), and a wonderfully sticky and dry, bitter coating is left stuck to the entirety of the inside of my mouth after each sip. Somehow this coating manages to fade wonderfully and is not nearly as intense as Younger in the dry/bitter department. Expo is nearly 11%, really?! The alcohol is hidden perfectly behind the creamy, oily, and generally wonderful consistency. My only knock is that, for a die-hard hophead like me, I could actually go for a touch more bitterness and dryness. That's my one and only knock, otherwise insanely perfect in all other ways...the creamy softness is quite unique for the style.

D: Well, this is the one area where Expo has Younger beat out...the super insanely creamy/soft consistency along with a level of bitterness that is very strong but doesn't kill taste-buds makes it a near-chugger. I can't put down the pint - the aroma, flavor, and super pleasing mouthfeel keeps me coming back for sip after sip, even forcing me to pause the typing of this review for sips. I can only dream of being able to have this beer on a regular basis, but if I could it would be right next to Younger and Vortex 1 at my Triple IPA home bar.

I don't know what else there is to say at this point...this fresh batch of Exponential Hoppiness gives Younger a run for its money for being my favorite beer, although it never quite takes the lead. The guys at Alpine have seriously, majorly impressed me with this offering. I can't recall a "triple IPA" I've ever had that possessed such creamy softness to the flavor and feel. It's absolutely quite unique and most definitely one of the best IIPAs I've ever had...maybe one of the best beers period.


Originally Reviewed on: 04-07-2009 // Score updated on 1/5/10 to account for the difference from bottle to growler form (and for the stupid-as-fuck BA rating scale I originally used to rate the growler). It was still amazing as fuck though! =D

Served In: Pint Glass