This year’s edition is 9% ABV (previous years were 8.75%) though you won’t know it from tasting it—Hop Henge is incredibly smooth, mellow, and drinkable with no hint of the strength lurking anywhere. You can see in my picture it pours a clear, bright amber-orange color with a generous two to three fingers of dense foam; I swear the foam took on an orange hue as well.
On the nose it really pops, bright and resiny and green, with a sweet malty base that’s more brown sugar than caramel/toffee. The hops aromas seem to ooze out of it, and this translates to the palate as well—there’s a solid and seamless infusion of powerful yet clean (almost creamy) hop bitterness overlaying a coppery biscuit malt presence. There’s a ton of hop flavor as well, not just bitterness (an area Deschutes has really been focusing on). The malt is sweet—thinking back on this now, it’s almost sweet enough (and certainly strong enough) to be considered a Barleywine.
It’s full enough in the body and mouthfeel to have an almost sticky presence, but Hop Henge finishes very clean with a nice hoppy aftertaste. Incredibly drinkable. If you see this on the shelf of your local bottleshop or store, snap it up, it’s well worth it.