To my mind, Hop Henge is one of the best Imperial (or Double, or maybe to best use Deschutes’ own term, Experimental) IPAs out there: it’s intensely hoppy but not at the expense of the rest of the beer, and it’s not in-your-face with it’s alcohol content, either (8.75% worth). Each year they play around with the formulation a bit—as I understand it, it has as much to do with their processing of the hops (which is indeed “experimental” in nature) as it is with tweaking the recipe.
Appearance: Shiny-penny copper with a beige froth of head. Very nice lacing as the drinking progresses.
Smell: Signature Deschutes hopping (of late); green and resiny and a touch of citrus and a touch catty. Brightly and deeply hoppy with a hint of caramel.
Taste: Big and hoppy, full of juicy, fruity bitterness that’s lip-smacking and sticky. Caramel sweetness that reminds me of brown sugar but also the flossy-sugar note of alcohol, a touch cloying. Hop juice. Very tasty and mouth-watering.
Mouthfeel: Full and sticky with a coating, bitter aftertaste.
Overall: Very yummy and deliciously hoppy and really appetizing; perhaps more balanced than what I remember from last year.
(Though interestingly, I still have some Batch #1 bottles from last year that I should open for a mini-vertical, and test whether that’s true.)