Stoudt’s Brewing Company is one of my “local favorites.” I went to college about 20 minutes away from the brewery and worked 5 minutes from the brewery a few years ago. I dig the whole vibe to the place and they make some really wonderful beer. I have reviewed two (Fall and Winter) of their other seasonal beers in the past year or so and enjoyed both of them. I have seven of their beers still to review, but I figured their “springish” style seasonal is more timely. The reason I say “springish” is because the brewery calls it a seasonal beer, but doesn’t have an official release time for it.
Smooth Hoperator (great name) is a Doppelbock that features a smooth looking ram on the label. Ram are a traditional logo for any beer with the word “bock” in it. This beer rocks in at 7.2% ABV, so this isn’t a beer you can drink a ton of, although you might want to. This beer pours a nice amber to copper color and has a fluffy off-white head. The nose has super bright hops. There is some grapefruit mixed in there as well, but not much else.
The taste has a nice rich malty front-end. There are some caramel notes in there but other notes were hard to pick-up. Right after the malt comes some great, punchy hops. The grapefruit from the nose comes through, but so does an unmistakable freshness. These hops were very clean and dried out the malt nicely.
I don’t generally go bananas over beer, but I really dig this one. It really hits the spot and is very well balanced. The fresh taste made it all that much more enjoyable. Go get this while you can!