DON’T SAY THEY didn’t warn you. Between its oafish name and tagline of ‘102 I.B.U. 4 U’, it should be perfectly clear that Lagunitas is bringing the bitter with this double IPA. They can always be counted on for that, but merely packing a brew kettle with hops and watching the clock is the (relatively) easy part. Making it palatable is the challenge, and it’s here that Lagunitas prove their worth time and again.
Stoopid pours with a generously fluffy head, piquantly bitter and dusted with minerals. Color is a somewhat typical deep orange amber and clarity is exemplary. The aroma is hugely citric (grapefruit above all) from Simcoe and a couple C-cultivars in dry-hopping. On the palate its bitterness is more diffuse, derived from a broad swathe of high-alpha hop extracts, with that growing leafy tang in the back of the throat that sticks. Yet there’s also a depth and smoothing honey (and apricot?) sensation that strike back confidently with lightly toasted malts. A small wash of the alcohol in the finish serves effectively to buffer the punch of hops and tight effervescence that dissipates the aftertaste broadly across the palate.
The body is comprised almost entirely by Rahr pale malt and at around 3 Plato is deceptively light on its feet—at least until its 8% ABV comes into effect. Though hardly the strongest Double IPA on the market (nor even among Lagunitas’), Hop Stoopid does not attempt to disguise its boozy swing and by bottle’s end is a heavy hitter, albeit still an affable one. We won’t say it balanced—it’s called Hop Stoopid, after all—but its deftly deployed malts make it a more equable proposition than even the standard Lagunitas IPA, if not quite as excellent as Lucky 13. A job well done.
Served: 22 oz bottle