Hop Henge

Deschutes Brewery's Hop Henge IPATonight’s beer was Deschutes Brewery‘s newest limited edition, Hop Henge. It’s a powerfully hopped India pale ale—and I do mean powerfully hopped—that weighs in at 7.5% alcohol by volume. It’s quite a good beer, but you have to be a bit of a hophead to truly enjoy it.

No joke. The website describes the beer as "boasting 3.5 pounds of Centennial, Cascade and Northern Brewer hops per barrel with a heavy dry-hop presence to top it off." I would have guess Chinook hops were in there too, but my hops-tasting ability isn’t that refined. Anyway, prepare to be bowled over; this is one of the hoppiest beers I can remember having.

Appearance: Mostly clear orange amber, the color of honey now that I think about it. Generous, rich head, off-white and creamy.

Smell: Hops. They dominate the nose. Slightly spicy, resiny, that distinct floral hop character.

Taste: Huge clean crisp hop bitterness overlaying and nicely complementing a rich malt character. The hops here aren’t the grassy freshness of their Hop Trip, but a strong, mature, slightly spicy and crisp (yes, I said "crisp" already), and right up front. And they stay with you. The malt, when you notice it, is on the sweeter side, and biscuity. A nice complement.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and rich. Nice for an IPA, thick without being chewy.

The reviewers on BeerAdvocate agree, ranking it 88 with all 16 (so far) approving. It’s a very good beer—just make sure you like hops!

7 Responses to Hop Henge

  1. Dane says:

    Oh. My. God.

    I’m tempted to move back to Central Oregon RIGHT FREAKIN’ NOW if it means I can get my grubby hands on this beer. Seriously, a brew dedicated soley to hops? I could be in heaven right now.

  2. Bad Ben says:

    Yum. It sounds like it’s well-balanced, too.

  3. Jon says:

    Thanks for the links! I had a bunch of those in Bloglines already, but I subscribed to the rest.

  4. Dane says:

    Oh geez, that’s a lot of beer blogs!

    Now I can’t even get up in the morning without feeling tipsy.

  5. Chris says:

    It is for things such as this that make me look forward to the day that I live in Bend. Hopefully some will still be around when I arrive. If you are a hop head, try to get your hands on Smuttynose IPA. This is the hoppiest beer I have had so far.

  6. Mike says:

    Had this on tap the other day. My new favorite from Deschutes. Much, much, much hoppier and tastier than Quail Springs. I hope they start mass producing this guy, because I will be buying every bottle I see.