Tonight’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!