This brew from Lincoln-based Knee Deep Brewing won the Double IPA Festival during San Francisco Beer Week. Hoptologist pours golden amber with an ivory head, and offers a tropical and fruity nose similar to strawberry syrup, along with a surprising maple glaze scent. It has a very unique taste for an Imperial IPA, with very little of the expected pine, citrus, or floral flavors upon first swallow. Instead, Hoptologist is honeyed and woody, with almost a graham cracker character to the mouth-coating finish. Only after those original and intriguing flavors fade does the palate-crushing bitterness come in and take over the tongue.