Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Hop Whore

Tyranena Brewing Company
Lake Mills, WI

Style: Imperial/Double IPA

Nigel’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (World class.)

Pair With:
My name is Nigel, and I’m a hopaholic. I’ve been a hopaholic for a few years now. I can’t remember when it started exactly. Was it my first New Glarus IPA? Goose Island? Bell’s Two Hearted? Perhaps it was the first time I sipped a Miller Lite and said “whoa … this is some really awful shit!” My hopaholism has caused pain among some of those who are closest to me. Just this past week, Nigel wanted to buy his Danish Princess some flowers, but instead showed up at her doorstep with a six-pack of Alpha King. I didn’t even notice until she burst into tears and kicked me squarely in the nuts. Then there was yesterday. A seemingly normal weekday took a tragic turn when Nigel made a detour on his usual morning route to the coffee shop and ended up sampling a new IPA at a local pub at eight in the morning. When I finally regained consciousness at noon today I was lying naked in an alley, surrounded by empty bottles of Imperial IPAs, with a half-naked, ragged looking hop vine lying next to me. I’m off to the doctor today to get tested and make sure I didn’t contract a fungus or parasites from this horrible ordeal. Please, help me.

You know what—on second thought, the hell with it. I’m proud to be a hopaholic, a.k.a., Sir Nigel, King of the Hopheads. And, like it or not, I’m gonna keep waking up in a daze next to hop whores, which, ironically, is the name of the latest Tyranena Brewers Gone Wild selection that I’m reviewing. I love heavily hopped brews, and if that bothers you, you’re on the wrong damn website, brother (I’d suggest, Sally).

I’ve stated in previous Tyranena reviews that this Lake Mills-based brewery could easily be considered “King of Hops” in the state of Wisconsin. Although other Badger State breweries have some nice selections of hopped-up brews, none have as many that reach the quality of Tyranena’s wide selection, which include a few in the Brewers Gone Wild series (Hop Whore and Stickin’ It to the Man), as well as the year-round releases Bitter Woman IPA and Stone Teepee Pale Ale, and the limited release Bitter Woman From Hell. The Brewers Gone Wild series seems to have been a huge success for Tyranena, drawing national attention to this small-town brewer. I personally look forward to new selections as I’ve sampled all that have been released to date, and they’re all fabulous in their own way.

Right off the bat, I honestly can’t compare Tyranena’s Hop Whore to the hoppy skank I woke up next to today in the alley. Tyranena’s Hop Whore is far too classy for that, and I’d be doing the brew masters who concocted this fine beverage a huge disservice. While I do love the name, this brew is far too good to be given such a derogatory title. I’d suggest “Hoppy Girl Who Has Lots Of Sex With Random Guys,” “Femininely Superior Hopped Up Beer-type Beverage,” “Hoppy Cool Chick,” or perhaps “Hop Dyke” for all the women’s libbers out there (dyke is a positive term, as we’d all drown in a flood if they didn’t exist—please don’t send Nigel hate mail). Hop Whore is a prime example of a double IPA, and I’m officially crowning this the king of the Brewers Gone Wild series.

Hop Whore pours nicely: light head on the pour slowly dissipates, leaving a creamy trace at the top and sides throughout most of the drink. A clear, deep golden brown hue, this is on the darker end of the kaleidoscope when it comes to imperial IPAs. The first whiff leaves no doubt as to what you’re about to experience: hops, baby. Hops. If you’re a Hophead, this is an aroma that will surely make you salivate uncontrollably … kinda like fat people outside a bakery. Don’t drink this too late at night, as it will likely arouse anybody within about two square miles of you. The bitter hop aroma is equal parts piney, fruity, and floral, and if you stop for a second and focus, you can … barely … detect a tad bit of caramel maltiness (I expected more of that given the darker color). This is definitely one of those beers that will singe the nostrils.

The taste is fantastic. Hops dominate, but not to the overwhelming extent that they do in the aroma. The overall floral, piney bitterness of the hops is tempered a bit by a nice, grapefruit-led citrus zest, as well as a sweet maltiness that balances perfectly. The bitterness seems to grow a bit with each drink, but never reaches a ridiculous level that would render this fine brew intolerable. While Hop Whore does bite your tongue (which is nice and kinky), it’s surprisingly easy to drink, though that may be due to my extremely high hop tolerance. Still relatively full bodied and a definite sipping drink (I couldn’t find an official ABV, but I’d guess it’s in that 8.5-to-10 percent range typical of a craft imperial IPA), this Hop Whore will knock you on your ass if you’re not careful. The aftertaste is surprisingly mild considering the overall sharp flavor of this brew, so drink up and enjoy. Just be careful … God only knows what these Hop Whores are carrying.


Reviewed by Nigel Tanner on October 3, 2007.
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