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Hop Head Double India Pale Ale - Tree Brewing

Not Rated.
Hop Head Double India Pale AleHop Head Double India Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

98 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 98
Hads: 152
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 11.34%
Wants: 6
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Tree Brewing visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Hornet2003 on 12-13-2008

At Tree Brewing Company, we take craft brewing seriously. So much in fact that we got a little carried away and brewed this occasional rarity, Hop Head Double IPA. Loaded with five different hop varieties, this bold IPA is not for the faint of heart.
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Reviews: 98 | Hads: 152
Photo of crusian
1.8/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Picked up at an LCBO in toronto... Best by 6-7-11.
Reviewing by style here...

pours a nice dark amber color with about a finger of head. not too much lacing.
Smell, is terrible. Seems like there were no aroma hops used here at all... smells extremely malty and nothing like I would expect from a IIPA. Caramel malts on the nose, some candi sugar... no hops.
taste, is a bit of the same, however, there are some hops there on the finish. not too much, pretty much as the nose tells me, this is very malty, with little hop presence. slight bitter finish, but seems to me that they upped the alcohol and because of that they are trying to call this an IIPA... only due to the alcohol content... I want at least an attempt at hops... perhaps this is a very old bottle, but the best before date is still 3 months away.
Sorry guys, this is a big failure in my opinion.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.4/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured a hazy burnt orange color with moderate cabonation leaving a small white cap, some lacing

S: Mainly grapefruit, a bit of pine and loads of bitterness coupled with a booze sting

T: A big grapefruit, bitterness upfront with some pine needles. It was abrasive. A muddy, sticky, heavy big body, moderate boozy concoction of bittering hops and from what I tasted a homebrew extract.

M: Big body, heavy, bitter, boozey and off balance

O: This beer needs to go back to the drawing board and shame on Alibi for charging $7.50 a pint. I did not finish this beer.

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Photo of TerryW
2.69/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I love a good hoppy beer and this brew has tons of hop presence, but it is hopelessly unbalanced. The malts are waaaay too pronounced and are far too sweet against the bitterness of the malts. There is a disconcerting clash happening with every swallow.

Great looking beer. Good sized head that settles to a heavy film that lasts throughout your drinking session and also gives up some good looking lace. Clear coppery orange in colour. Looks appetizing.

Noise is subdued, but remains distinctly hoppy. Lots of grapefruit citrus to taste, but then you're quickly overwhelmed by excessively sweet malts. Pleasant lingering bitterness to finish.

Lots of potential here, but as I said in opening, too unbalanced to properly enjoy. Worth a try, but not something I'd drink again and again.

BTW, offers up a pretty good kick at 8.3%. Pay attention.

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Photo of demcorhip
2.74/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Freshness dating please?

Not sure of the vintage of this bottle. Looked good. Smelled and tasted devoid of hop aroma and flavour. Quite nice malts, nice body, just missed out on the hops.

Will rereview if i have the chance to try this again. Until then i will just have to let this unflattering review stand.

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Photo of lumikuuro
2.91/5  rDev -25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

650ml bottle, 2010 release.

Appearance: Slightly hazy but almost opaque coppery amber. Biege frothy head receding to a good ring and thin film, with decent lacing.

Aroma: Lots of tart hop, more sweetness than you would expect.

Taste: Huge tart hop profile, which is both citrusy and peppery, but more predominantly the latter. Tasty malty backbone. Unusually for an IPA, there is also a creamy, sugary, vanilla sweetness. Long bitter hop finish but sweet at the same time. 8% abv is not particularly obvious. The problem here is that this balance of flavours just doesn't balance. The sweet vanilla belongs in a porter, not in a highly hopped beer.

Mouthfeel: Heavier side of medium bodied, smooth. Too creamy for the style because of the sweet aspect.

Drinkability: Certainly a good hop bomb; but the sweetness here will not be to everyone's taste. Tree Brewing's beers vary a lot, which might explain the surprise sweetness here. Maybe it was intentional: it does have vanilla flavour. But this beer just does not work.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.11/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to northyorksammy for this one! Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Dogfish Head oversized snifter.

Cloudy vermilion liquid glows a pumpkin or Portland orange when held to a strong light. A thick soapy off-white head recedes to a lasting multi-tiered slick.

Perfume-like hops with evergreen, mint, and overripe pear as well. Little to no citrus is suggested. Sugary, faintly malty base suggests honey and cotton candy.

Sandalwood, olive oil, evergreen, and spices on the palate. Moderate bitterness gives way to a strange maltiness and incoherent hop profile (though I'd guess there are Chinook among other C-hops in here). Hints of oak or cedar in the finish, along with a bit of soap. Some hints of aspirin.

Creamy, medium-bodied, well carbonated, vaguely astringent. ABV well hidden.

Not a bad beer, but a rather poor showing of the style.

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Photo of paxkey
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

650 ml bottle different than one pictured. logo has no hop graphics but a plain green background.

pours hazy orange with no head on aggressive pour.

hops smell nice but not very powerfull. some pine notes mostly citrus aromas grapefruit and some malty sweetness underlying. complex nose but not a huge presence.

bitterness bitterness and more bitterness. not a whole lot else. a bit chalky on the finish. medium dry finish. bitterness lingers with grapefruit taste prominent.

sipping some more gives some sweet malt tastes on the very opening but this is pretty much a one note beer with its thorough bitterness.

i do appreciate the low carbonation and the successful masking of alcohol. these factors do increase the drinkability quite a bit. but flavorwise its a one note beer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, ruby-hued body with a thin, bubbly, white head.

Smell: A predominately hop-scented mix of citrusy grapefruit, pine lumber, and spruce tips with a mild pale malt character tucked away in the background.

Taste: Standard pale malts with a touch of grain and a faint caramel sweetness starts things off. Then it's hoppy flavors of pine, spruce, and grapefruit pith with a bold bitterness that becomes a bit caustic and particularly harsh and astringent on the back end. Finishes dry with a long, foreseeable bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's okay; it could be better. I'm all down for a sassy hop profile, but caustic astringency is nothing short of displeasing.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one at the LCBO.

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium looking, fluffy, off-white head with very good retention. Cloudy burnt orange with no real carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a full wisp and sticks to the sides of the glass. A splotchy wisp remains and leaves some decent lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Pale malts, caramel, honeydew melon, toffee and some floral hops. Bold enough, but much the same as it's little brother.

TASTE: Pale malts, caramel and toffee, with a bitter-sweet and slightly boozy finish. Medium but lingering finish of bitter, floral hops, toffee sweetness and some spicy alcohol. Tastes much like their regular IPA with some more booze.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamier and smoother going down, finishing slightly sticky. A touch of booze lingers on the palate. Bigger with more residual sweetness, making it solid for the style.

OVERALL: This is just a bigger version of the regular IPA, which I guess really isn't a surprise. Flavors are much the same with more alcohol presence. Here is an example where bigger doesn't always mean better, as the extra booze presence doesn't make it any more interesting or enjoyable. Still a good beer, though not all that special.

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Photo of BrewSomerville
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aroma: Pine needles, grass, spicy hops, orange peels, tangerine and grapefruit are there but they are being pushed into the background by the other aromas.

Looks: Good sized, cream coloured head. Average head retention, leaving a small amount of lace behind. The Beer is a red-ish amber in colour with a slight haze.

Taste: Pine up front with spicy hop flavours to match. Not as much fruit made it into the flavour as it did in the aroma. Good amount of bitterness kept in check by the sweetness from the malt.

Mouthfeel: On the heavier side of medium bodied, could have been bigger for a Double IPA. Average carbonation level. The residual sugars from the malt left my lips a little sticky.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.46/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Dark orange with some amber throughout and one finger of foamy off-white head that quickly disappeared.

S - Sweet caramel malts are the predominant flavour in the nose with some faint bitterness from the hops evident in the background. A weak nose for a DIPA.

T/D - Malt-forward. Sweet caramel and toffee are the dominant flavours. A sharp bitterness is predominant as well (more so than the nose indicated). Some very subdued earthy flavours come through from the hops, but for the most part then provide only bitterness. The bitterness lingers considerably in the finish.

M - A nice medium body with light to moderate carbonation a some noticeable hop oils.

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Photo of bearhugger
3.46/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Nice amber, orange colour with nice thick white head

S-sweet, yeasty smell with some hints of pine (my sense of smell is not very good so most beers tend to smell like the same yeast to me)

T-Not as bitter as I would expect from a double, but very pleasant use of hops nonetheless. I get hints of orange citrus, pine and a very slight flowery flavour.

M-Very smooth and creamy

D-Easy and smooth no harsh alcohol flavours, making this beer able to sneak up to you very easily at 8.3%

In conclusion I gave this a lower rating because it tastes more like an IPA instead of a double. But a very pleasant experience on the tongue.

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Photo of kjyost
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

660 mL bottle acquired & consumed on the second day that the MLCC had the on shelves, I should hope that this is fresh, although a cursory search of the inter webs shows this was finished in late January! Poured ~5C into a large bowl shaped glass.

A: Orange brown and incredibly hazy. Even with a hard pour this beer only gives a 1/2 cm of head (1/4" Yanks!) and it drops quickly leaving little lacing.
S: Fairly strong piney hops, this bodes well... Definitely smell some booziness and the sweetness of malt.
T: A very malty DIPA. This is sadly not to my liking... I want a tongue scraper dripping with hops, and this is not this beer. It would be best considered a "balanced" DIPA, a little more than an American Barleywine, but not much more. Bitterness is lacking, and builds only lightly over time. Sweet caramel and booze. Some fruitiness and pine needles, just not enough of it and certainly not enough of the fruity hops I love ...
M: A little thicker than I would like, with a fish that has a sweetness that initially hides the light bitterness. I had to drink the second half of the bottle before I realized that the IBUs were building up on my tongue.
O: At this point, I think I need to get some Furious and see how it tastes... I am beginning to think that my tastebuds are shot and I have hit the dreaded Lupulin threshold. I was massively looking forward to this beer, and instead I am non-plussed by it. I really wanted to love but was disappointed from my first sip on.

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Photo of Rutager
3.54/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance. Pours a muddy amber with a finger of sticky yellow head.

Smell. Pineapple, apricot, some caramel, a little alcohol.

Taste. Thick roasted caramel malt, apricots, orange peel, pine sap. Lingering herby, sappy bitterness.

Mouthfeel. Full bodied with alcohol not very well hidden.

Overall. Not a bad DIPA. Seems like a big alcohol presence for the abv.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber in color, a bit on the dark side for how I prefer my IPAs (or double IPAs). The aroma opens with nice pine hop notes and a mild citrus character. The sweet malt comes through quite a bit. Maybe a touch of herbal hops on the back end. The flavor is just okay. Moderate sweetness with some pine and citrus peel notes providing the bulk of the hop flavor.

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Photo of Groulxsome
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A hazy orange copper. A moderate amount of head.

Smell: It's really complex, I get a little of the citrus as a zesty note, but overall it's earthy and somewhat muddy.

Taste: More of the same. It's got a little sour citrus bite at the beginning, but then it gets into these really earthy bittering hops and a pretty robust bitter. Not a whole lot of malt either, aside from some sweetness. I'm not getting a great deal of aroma hops from this one, but maybe it's older than it ought to be. Shipping to Ontario cannot be a quick process.

Mouthfeel: It's pretty much on the money here. It's slightly creamy and medium-bodied. It's got a pretty overwhelming alcohol finish which almost overrides the bitterness of the hops. The hops also leave a really piny/resin coating, which can be good but is a little off here.

Overall: It's not as hoppy as I might hope from a DIPA. I expect in shipping to Ontario it's lost some of the aroma hops which might make it have the rating it has, but it just tastes and smells kinda messy to me.

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Photo of pugdogbeer
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice dark DIPA with a small head but good lacing all the way down the glass.

Tree Brewing Double IPA is a very bitter IPA with a more balanced taste. Hops, hops and more hops with a big strong alcohol backing along the alcohol taste is very much in the background.

A mouthful of it taste more piney and sticky than citrus like Californian DIPAs .

Definitely a great beer from Kelowna in BC but I much prefer their regular Hop Head single IPA.

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Photo of spree92
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

8.3% DIPA taste more like a regular IPA. Has all the characteristics and scent of a typical IPA. I am rating this to its category and that is why so low. Hazy golden amber with a inch thick head. Fresh citrus,pine and floral hops are nice but not very strong. Again, taste is fine, but for a double, not what I was expecting. Overall, a good beer but not up to the standard of waht DIPA should be.

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Photo of korguy123
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No bottle date, bomber into snifter.

A- Slightly hazy burnt orange pour with a three finger soapy eggshell head. Lacing is sticky and chunky.

S- Sweet malts with pine and citrus hops. Strawberries and grapefruit.

T- Roasted malts, grapefruit and orange peel. Slightly muddled.

M- Medium bodied, light carbonation, slightly chewey.

O- Decent, not overly bitter. Seems to be a bit more malt forward than I like.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hop Head taken up a notch. Dark, orange amber with a thick, off-white head. Sweet, almost syrupy background with a very pwoerful hop overlay. Definitely reminsicent of Hop Head, but a bit heavy on the malt. It creeps up on me.

Good carbonation, slight fizz but not overwhelming. Overall, a nice beer, but the flavour in this batch needs a bit better balancing.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a twenty-two ounce bottle - Pours a mostly clear amber with a small thin white head. Smells mostly of strong c-hops with some spice notes and caramelized malts coming through the nose. First sip is sweet then quickly bitter thanks to the massive hops. The mouthfeel is good just slightly under carbonated. A very bitter finish really smacks the lips. Could use a tab more hops as the malt back is somewhat weak.

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Photo of markaberrant
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - red, slight haze, creamy light tan head, leaves a thin sheet of lace behind

S - clean pine, grapefruit pith, just a hint of malt sweetness

T - hops hit you first, clean pine again, then some sweet, but well attenuated malt, finish is not huge, but there is a lingering bitterness, and lip smacking residual hoppiness. Very clean and crisp.

M - med light body and carbonation, there is a good bit of sulfate crispness that gives the hops that classic NW-style bite, astringency from the hops, dry and puckering finish, hop resin seems to stick to your teeth, gums and inside of mouth, I had to go back and update this review because the alcohol is completely hidden, though you start to feel it halfway through the bomber

D - quite a blast of hops, which is nice, but the pine character is a little too agressive, which holds this beer back

This is an excellent Canadian double IPA, and I am very happy to see brewers here attempting styles with big flavour. It is VERY hoppy. However, it just doesn't quite measure up to the best of the US IPAs (even if it is hoppier than some). I love piney hops, but there is too much of it in the flavour, with nothing to counter balance. I have no idea what hops they used (the bottle says 5 different varieties), but I would want to re-tool the mix to get more of the sweet citrus/tropical notes to balance this baby out. The finish is very dry, again I like this direction, but it is a bit too extreme and lacks refinement. For as dark as it is, there isn't a whole lot of malt character, but it's likely being obliterated by the hops flavour.

I hope like hell they continue to brew this, they are on the right track and it can only get better. I like that it is unfiltered too, wish they'd do the same with the regular Hop Head.

UPDATE: I had so much trouble drinking this, I made myself up a plate of 5 stinky cheeses. About the only one that came close to standing up to this beer was the Stilton.

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Photo of peensteen
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange, slight white head, sticky and slight lace appear. Smells of malt, slight grapefruit, hops and faint alcohol. The taste is malty, good bitterness, some hop oil, faint citrus though it is not as clean as I had anticipated it would be. Good mouthfeel, some oily slickness, good weight, decent carbonation. Drinks really well, ABV is not as noticeable as the nose would suggest. More of an English style IPA than American in my opinion. Solid effort.

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Photo of liamt07
3.66/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the LCBO Spring Release, 650ml into a tulip. No bottling/best before date visible.

Poured an orange-red, unfiltered with a finger or so of fairly dense white head. Mild lacing and retention, with a nice creamy head which reappears with a quick swirl. Nose of mostly citrus with some tropical notes, pineapple, mango and some breadiness. Hop forward, but not dominated by the hops. Taste has some moderate citrus notes again initially, more orange, pineapple and hints of mango. Sweet and bready malt base finds a balance with the hops here, and leaves a bitter finish which lingers for a little while. Didn't care for the aftertaste too much. Moderate mouthfeel, and fairly full. Good drinkability and more on the English side of things. ABV was well hidden.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a hazy orange colour with an above average size frothy beige coloured head. I can't really tell how much carbonation there is due to the haziness and there is some really fantastic lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - malts, caramel, pineapple, oranges, hops

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and the beer feels slightly creamy on the tongue. Most of the taste is made up of caramel mixed with hops and malts. There is also some pineapple taste and some herbal notes. The alcohol is well hidden and it finished with a malty/hoppy aftertaste and then some lingering pine flavour.

Overall - A decent and drinkable DIPA but it lacks the punch that a west coast DIPA would have. It's more malty and sweet and I prefer my IPA's/DIPA's to have more apricot and citrus flavours. Glad to have tried, but I wouldn't buy this again.

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Hop Head Double India Pale Ale from Tree Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.