Hop Head - The Porterhouse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hop HeadHop Head

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

73 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 73
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 0
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Porterhouse Brewing Company visit their website
Ireland

Style | ABV
American IPA |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: StJamesGate on 08-11-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 73 | Reviews: 19
Reviews by jspruit:
Photo of jspruit
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this on tap at Porterhouse Central after hearing about its release this season.

Pours a nice orange yellow color with a 3/4 finger fizzy white head that goes down pretty quick.

Smells great-hoppy with a bit of citrus/pine aroma but not overwhelming at all. Very inviting.

Tastes great as it smells-a great combination of fresh hops, light citrus grapefruit, and buttery biscuit. Very true to the APA style.

Not too bitter and the hops are very nice so it goes down smooth and relatively light for an APA with little carbonation.

This was a bit of a surprise hit for me and I'll definitely recommend it to those looking for a light hops hit in the land of the stouts. I'd like to try it in bottle too for comparison sakes but the on-tap format is pretty tough to turn down when you're actually in the bar!

More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle, with that same pull-tab cap. This one purports to be for refined Hop Heads. What if I'm more of an ill-mannered Hop Head? Anyways, if any brewer is within their rights to use the phrase 'beyond the pale' in their marketing, it's one from Dublin town.

This beer pours a mildly hazy medium golden amber hue, with two skinny fingers of puffy, bubbly, and fizzy beige head, which leaves some decently craggy layered lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of sweet caramel and bready toffee malt, softly astringent orange marmalade, some well-aged lemon rind, dilute pine resin, and earthy, leafy, and somewhat perfumed hops. The taste is more assertive tropical fruit salad and pine needle hops up front, followed dutifully by a crackery pale and caramel malt, semi-sweet bread pudding, and a further musty, leafy bitterness.

The carbonation is adequately peppy, and even a tad zingy at times, the body a mostly medium weight, and pretty smooth across the board, with an ethereal suggestion of creaminess. It finishes off-dry, the fruit and bitter essences of the hop fighting a certain yin/yang seizure, while the malt is still sure as shit who it is.

A tasty, fruit-forward IPA, with enough hop bitterness to keep it rubbing shoulders with the moderately aggressive ilk of its stateside colleagues. I do need to bring some of these (not necessarily the IPA) to a party, and play an abridged version of Buffalo - i.e. give hell to anyone who drinks this with their left hand.

Photo of AEK
3.69/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml brown bottle poured into a Hobgoblin pint pot.

A. A clear brown beer with a white bubbly head that quickly shrank to a very thin foam.

S. A lovely floral bouquet, quite fruity especially tangerines and oranges, other citrus fruits are floating about in the background.

T. Unfortunately, there is not much happening on the taste buds, some hop bitterness and a little bitter orange citrus taste.

M. Medium.

D. Fairly pleasant beer. A little too carbonated for my liking. Having now appreciated beers with more hops I hoped the name of this beer would reflect the amount of hops in it, sadly not so. Having said that, it is still a good beer if you like an ale with a certain amount of carbonation.

Photo of marshmarsh
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really nice dark amber color. Perfect balance of Hop Flavor without being too overbearing like some hoppy beers can be. Complex flavors include citrus and herbal. I chose between this and getting a second stout, and I'm happy with my choice. Has a nice linger. One of the better IPA's I've had.

Photo of JohnnyChicago
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the brewpub; served in a tulip pint.

A: Clear straw-coloured with a nice amount of creamy foam.

S: Smells like a no-coast IPA. Big citrus: grapefruit, passionfruit, orange. There's a tad of cane sugar sweetness there as well.

T: The flavours don't come through as well as the aroma. The lower ABV doesn't feel like enough the counter the hops and the balance goes a little off-kilter.

D: Easy drinking stuff. The mouthfeel is a bit thin, but I guess that's to be expected with this ABV. I like that I can get these big hop flavours without downing tons of alcohol.

Overall: The guys at Porterhouse know their way around an American IPA. This is more along the lines of a 'session IPA' by they nailed the aroma hops. Not among the best IPAs, but a good option if there's nothing else available.

Photo of Barnoloid
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For an APA style beer, this is a very muted and toned down pale. With the name ’Hop Head’ you might be expecting more of a citric/hop punch. Very easy drinking but more like a bitter than a true pale ale.

Photo of kojevergas
2.02/5  rDev -47%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

This is the second damn time I've tried to upload this review from in the Porterhouse. Forgive me if the details are sparse; I hate reviewing beers twice. Reviewed live from the cask.

A: Thin pathetic and horrible head. A standard cask fuck-up. Colour is a dark amber-gold.

Sm: Bittering and amber hops. A mild strength aroma.

T: Bad. Out of balance and poorly built; the beer consists of bad amber hops and stale bittering hops. This is terrible from the cask. It was much better off the tap. I challenge any CAMRA member to try the cask version and the draught version side by side. Pretty simple all around.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and classically cask-flat. Doesn't complement the flavour at all. A victim of a bad casking decision.

Dr: Average ABV, terrible drinkability, and an extortionist price by Dublin standards make this one to avoid. Go across the street to the Czech inn and pay 2/3 the price for a much better beer.

Photo of SouthBayBeerSnob
4/5  rDev +5%

Very flavorful- nice taste and mouthfeel --very hoppy but smooth--a true Am Style IPA. Highly recommend the Porterhouse Brewing Company.

Photo of richmof
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this one last weekend on a tasting back in my home town (moved to the Porterhouse after a spell in the Bull and Castle). It was the best of the lot I tried...and then some. It was only available in bottle when I was there but they do it on draft as well depending on the season.

Deeper orangey amber colour; limited head; limited lacing.

Hops and earthy herbs on the nose but not too pungent. It does what it says on the tin and the hops do their work throughout. There is nice citrusey undertone throughout with grapefruit the lasting impression. A nice juicy dry IPA.

I would be happy enough to be served this beer anywhere in the world but it is particularly nice to be able to find a brew like this in Ireland, where good beers are in short supply.

Photo of StJamesGate
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rusty amber with creamy white head that fades to a rim of crust and leaves trails. Nose is some toasted granola but mostly oily orange rind - fresh.
Some baguette crust and burnt caramel quickly overwhelmed by pine resin, citrus peel and wood oil.
Dark toast and tree bark finish and incredibly astrigent powdery linger. Creamy, round, crisp, medium-light.

This has an expiry date of 23.09.13, which I reckon makes it less than a month old - about as fresh as you'll find. And man, does it make a difference. This is as aggressive as anything you'll find stateside, not even pretending to be in balance. That sticky, sappiness is Nugget, I think (reminds me of Nugget Nectar) and it's too heavy, outweighing the citrus from Cascade and Centennial. This plus a slightly ashy finish (why black malt in an IPA?) keeps this from a higher taste score (not problem on tap and definitely not on cask). But to find this kind of hop bomb at this strength is a minor miracle, so I'll take it.

The hoppiest thing in Ireland.

Note: Labelled as 5%.

cask
(4.3; 4.00 4.50 4.00 4.50 4.50)
01/08/2011
On cask at PH Central, Temple Bar, Dublin.
Dark amber with a film of white that holds and rings. Musty, skunky, hop sack nose - pure fresh hop nectar.
Toasted sunflower seed nuttiness with serious resiny, gooey cannabis hops. Candy corn comeback and bread crust and bitter root linger.
Sticky, round, medium and clingy.
Pilgrim, Nugget, Centennial and Cascade, says the poster.
Like chewing hops flowers. The cask does wonders for this. Serious dose for the hop head.

on-tap
(3.7; 4.00 4.00 3.50 3.50 4.00)
11/08/2009
On tap at the Porterhouse on Parliament Street.
Pours bright copper with tight off white head that holds. Nose is sour leaf with some chocolate and earthiness. Candy malts with some hop spice, like kola nut. No real bitterness. Fizzy, light feel. Lemon zest comes out strongly in nose and taste as it warms.
Surely a different recipe from last summer, which was a resiny American IPA. This drinks like an English bitter, at least to start, then the Cascade kicks in and it reverts to more it's stated style. A bit neurotic, but still a good drinker.
Note - a 2nd tasting at a different location was closer to what it should be: sour orange nose; toasted malt notes; woody Nugget hops; a peppermint herbal burn at the end; sticky and tight.

Photo of nelsonboot
2.84/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle and tap

The bottle was better than tap which had lost all aroma.
Overpowering alcohol taste (and its by no means a strong ale). Lacks all maltiness and no nice dry finish. Ok on the citrus but that alcohol bite really kills it.

Maybe 2010 was a bad year.

And expensive. 5euro, same as they're charging for Sierra Nevada's Torpedo which is the best IPA available in Ireland.

Photo of Madigan
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark red colour - a refreshing change from the standard orange of so many hoppy ales. The taste is virtually all hop but they use four different kinds (from Britain and the States) so it has a layered subtlety that's lacking in other hop-heavy beers I've tasted. It's also extremely drinkable with a mild abv and a very satisfying mouthfeel and aftertaste. I actually think the bottled-version has more bite than the draught, which is no mean achievement. My only gripe is that the intensely hoppy taste gets a bit cloying after about three bottles - and the bottle size, at just 330ml, is too small. Apart from that this is a very welcome new addition to the small but growing number of quality Irish craft beers available in bottles. Nice one the Porterhouse!

Photo of spdyfire83
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

201st Review
Served in a pint glass
On-tap at Porterhouse Central

A: Dull, hazy tan/yellow. Single (frothy white) fingernail head.

S: Lots of citrus fruit - grapefruit, lemon, and orange - followed by hops and touch of caramel. Smells quite inviting.

T: Unbalanced hop and malt character here. Might have something to do with the fact that this beer is only 4.5%, but the hop notes are nice nonetheless. Citrus, caramel, and smooth bitterness are decent.

M: Medium body with appropriate carbonation. Not too thick, but just right.

O: This beer smells quite good, but the taste doesn't follow. Quite a bummer as I was excited to try this. Not bad, but there are definitely better American IPAs out there.

Photo of JayJohnston
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Excellent IPA for Ireland.

Photo of flyingpig
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint at Porterhouse Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland (€5.30):
Amber to copper, 1cm tall & bubbly white to light beige head. with at touch of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Lots of bitter hops & strong citrus notes, a combination of fruits in the background & floral note with some pine. Relatively fresh with the odd bit of malt & some bitterness right at the end but it was definitely the hops that dominated.

Bitter with lots of strong hops & pine coming through initially, some citrus & tropical fruits with touches of floral. Quite a bitter aftertaste to this one that was in direct opposition to some of the caramel malts that appeared around the middle & balanced things out some.

Well carbonated, almost fizzy & fairly smooth with a medium body & huge amounts of bitterness throughout. The beer was quite easy to drink with a lingering bitter & dry finish to it.

A nice change for me with regards to Porterhouse beers, the first non-stout I've tried from them & it was a good one that I'd probably rate as my favourite of the three beers I've tried from the brewery.

Photo of CwrwAmByth
3.34/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Fullers snifter glass. BBD Sept '13 - so 7 months since bottling, way past freshness.

Pours a copper colour with a small white head.

Smells sweet and fruity.

Tastes predominantly malty - sweet and caramel-like. Remnants of hops are present by they are mostly faded - pineapple, mango and grapefruit.

Overall a good attempt, great for an Irish beer. Would love to try this fresh and give it a higher score!

Photo of Eramen
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

O - Dark caramel bodied beer with reddish tints. A striking off-white creamy head, just over two fingers. Air pockets seem to creep into the head as its drunk, nice effect.

S - Immediate hop aromas, apricot, melon and pear. This description does not do it much justice, smell is potent and satisfying.

T - Very much like the smell, add raisins, burnt toast, dark toffee with a hoppy, bitter finish that is near-perfection.

M - A very bitter (quad hopped after all) very low carbonated, American IPA, it has a characteristic dry MF which is only good in my books.

O - This is a complex, surprisingly hoppy and deeply satisfying beer which is the reason I pick a few bottles up regularly - along with its reasonable pricing - one of my most drunk drinks!

I also find that the bottled version is usually better than tap for some reason.

Photo of dcmchew
3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Amber, one finger fluffy head, nice retention.
Hops (bringing peach, oranges and pine resin) are felt in the smell, but equally balanced with caramel malts.
Caramel fails to overpower the hops in the taste tho. Low biscuity malts, followed by a "hop parade": orchard fruit (peach, pear), grapefruit, going to green grassy notes, pine, then dry leafy really bitter finish. Aftertaste is really hoppy.
Medium body and carbonation, gets drier in the finish from sip to sip.
A very hop-oriented beer, tasty, but doesn't surpass other in its category. Easy to gobble up a few of these.

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.69/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pull tab bottle poured into an English pub glass. A dark reddish amber color, a little murky, with a quick-breaking but initially large creamy beige head comprised of rather small bubbles, this brew features the somewhat rare hop Pilgrim and the more familiar Cascade and Centennial, so I am expecting ample fruit and perhaps some green spicy flavor notes. This was the case by and large, although there is a rich and assertive malt backbone that the hops fail to completely overtake. Aroma is subdued but slowly reveals itself if one is patient, orange marmalade and lemon rind along with some classic English malt dry biscuit, maybe a hint of iron. Palate largely follows suit. The hops are reasonably assertive, dilute pine resin, grapefruit and lemon citrus, maybe a little orange as well, green peppercorn and savory ... I am noticing less of the Centennial "orange cotton candy" flavor than expected but I am not complaining, as this is doing alright for itself. Fresh brown sugar and dry biscuit emerge in the background. Black malts are usually used (in tiny amounts) for color in this style but I swear there is a near-roasted malt flavor in this. Moderately carbonated, maybe just grading into fizzy territory, with a slightly prickly, tangy mouthfeel. Finishes dry and a little toasty, with some lingering malt flavors along with citrus rind and green peppery spice. Pleasing enough brew if not superlative in any one area. I like the malts and the citrus hop presence builds a little over the course of 330 ml.

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Hop Head from The Porterhouse Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.