Hop Head Double India Pale Ale - Tree Brewing

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

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BA SCORE
87
very good

151 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 151
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 5
Gots: 7 | 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:
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.

(Beer added by: Hornet2003 on 12-13-2008)
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Ratings: 151 | Reviews: 98 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Duckmancgy
4.68/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am a big fan of Tree's Hop Head IPA, so when I found some bottles of the Double IPA i had to try it. Larger bottle, with a similar label. Clearly defines the product and the alcohol content. Also a bottle certificate is hung over the neck of the bottle. This certificate notes which bottle number is being consumed, nice touch.

First after opening and pouring into my favorite beer glass, I took a deep smell. Immediately you are hit with a wonderfully floury smell of the hops. Mellows a little over time as the beer breathes, but is still very obvious at the end. The first taste swirled around the tongue and you notice the slightly bitter notes of the hops. Those who are not a big fan of the "bitter beer face" may not like what hits the tongue at the start. As you swirl it around the tongue, the flavors change. The bitter notes change to a sweet malty-ness but not overpowering. As you swallow the taste ends with a slight crispness, with only the flavor of the hops continuing on for a while.

The colour is a wonderful golden amber, with a nice cream head. Bubbles are medium but do not overpower the texture of the beer in your mouth. Pairs well with spicy foods or barbecued meats. But to be perfectly honest, it is great all by itself. It has quickly become one of my favorites and the only negative is that it isn't a regular brew from the folks at Tree.

Photo of andrenaline
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tree produces a delicious IPA, and their DIPA is nothing short of exceptional!

A - Pours a nice creamy orange colour with a thin layer of head which slowly dissipated leaving a little bit of lacing. Extremely appealing presentation!

S - The hop scent is almost sweet on the nose with strong citrus undertones.

T - Wow, what flavour! Not overly bitter, which is what I was expecting based off the smell. The sweetness of the hops comes through leaving a lemon citrus after-taste. If someone asked I would've said 6%, but the 8% alcohol is nicely hidden. Not the hop bomb I would've expected, but it's very balanced and I much prefer the mildness compared to other DIPA's I've had (i.e. Lagunitas Hop Stoopid)

M - Very creamy on the palette, with a nice light finish.

D - Very drinkable, even with the high alcohol content. If it weren't for the price, I'd start my sessions every weekend with one of these!

Photo of Derek
4.58/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've enjoyed many bottles that were seriously drinkable, but they pale in comparison to having this fresh on draft!

A: Copper with an off-white head, good retention & lacing.

S: Grapefruit rind, tangerine, nectarine, pine, candied pineapple and hints of toffee.

T: Awesome, fresh, leafy hops. Grapefruit with plenty of rind, tangerine, nectarine and hints of pine; Some quality malt (biscuit & a touch of toffee). Solid bitterness, warming alcohol.

M: Well attenuated, moderate body is smooth, slight hop acidity, crisp finish.

D: Awesome.

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

Appearance - Cloudy amber/orange color with a white fluffy head that leaves lacing.

Smell - Hops (grapefruit, grassy) backed by a kind of sweet malty presence.

Taste - Hops, pine, grapefruit, tropical fruits once it warms up, a bit biscutsweet malty backbone. Long lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium/full body, little carbonation and smooth.

Photo of canucklehead
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Was super happy to find this in a Government store as I thought it was very hard to find. The beer pours fairly dark with medium head. The hop notes are more subdued than the regular IPA from Tree but it has considerable depth after it warms up. I really loved the thick mouthfeel that anchored the hops and the malt. This is a bigger beer than the IPA and the solid finish really works with the style. I found some American Strong ale style in the beer that showed up in the way the hops worked with the bigness of the beer. One of BC's best DIPAs

Photo of eat
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not too sure who supplied this one...beers were flying all over the place. Thanks to one of ritzkiss, viggo or bobsy for sharing.

Pours a dark honey colour. A thin covering of off-white head fades to a ring around the glass with bits of lacing.

Not much presence in the smell, surprisingly. What I can pick up is grapefruit, grass, caramel malt. Smells like what I remember Hop Head to be. I didn't think to check the date, maybe this bottle wasn't too fresh.

Grapefruit, citrus, caramel malt. Malty for a double IPA in somewhat typical Canadian style. Bitter, dry finish.

Creamy, medium body with a light carbonation. Nice feel.

This is a bit too bitter to want to drink much of but tasty nonetheless. I'd happily drink this again.

Photo of Dawkfan
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a hazy copperish orange. Smallish off white head, nice lace.

S- Tropical fruits jump out at me first. Pine and grapefruit aromas lingering in the background. A great malt backbone is evident here.

T- Really malty and sweet with a good amount of citrus/tropical fruits. This turns bitter towards the end and in the aftertaste, but not as much as I like in my DIPA's.

M- A good mouthfeel. Medium body, low carbonation. Not as oily or sticky as most DIPA's.

D- Not many DIPA's being made by Canadian brewers and I've been waiting to try this for some time now and although I was expecting a little more in the taste, this certainly didn't disappoint. This was a nicely balanced DIPA that you could drink all night long.

Photo of lumikuuro
2.88/5  rDev -25.8%
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.

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

a - copper, hints of orange, thick just off white head. great lacing.
S - wild grass moistened with morning dew, Jagermeister-like herbal notes, hints of citrus with a creamsicleness to it. hints of phenolic as it warms up.
t - sweet maltiness. It has the typical resiny hopness to it with pine being the dominate hop flavour, some herbalness coming through. slight alcoholic finish - increases as the beer warms up.
m - moderately bitter. dry finish. decent carbonation.
d - wouldn't buy a case again, but I'd buy a few next year. Went fairly well with the butter chicken I had for dinner.

Photo of chickenm
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a light tan head with decent retention. Leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Citrusy aroma with little bit of caramel malt. Taste is dominated by the hops with citrus and pine flavors. Long bitter aftertaste. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. This is a pretty good DIPA, I'll be buying more while this is still available.

Photo of wordemupg
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into Unibroue chalice jan22 2010

A hazy glowing amber with a thick thumbs width of off white head that stays put for some time leaving plenty of lace as the foam slowly falls

S a fair bit of biscuit and caramel with some tangerine, grapefruit and a little pine

T toffee and a little bread mixing well with mild hops, some citrus, a little earthy malt, and very well concealed booze

M coats the mouth just a bit, I knew I drank a beer well after my glass was empty. not to heavy but thick enough to please with a light syrup texture

D I was tricked by this beer when I read the alc%, much higher then one would assume. I waited for this gem for the better part of a year and was not disappointed when it finally touched my lips again.

a great seasonal beer from the west, so get it while you can when you can. I don't have anything bad to say about this one other then the stupid price and the two week window it's available

Photo of papat444
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle no. 1387.

Big thanks to Derek for helping me knock off a brew from B.C.

Poured from a bomber and shared with my wife while waiting for the pizza guy (where is he?) and finally enjoyed with our Como pizza.

Appearance: Pours a red amber body with a 3 finger, slightly tan head and trailing it is a nice cascade of bubbles.

Smell: A bit muted but malt at the fore with a discreet bitterness and some fruit.

Taste: Mellow hops, sweet and a little spice to it. Hops bite at the tail end but not as strong as i would have liked. That being said, it's very tasty and big on the malt. Some tropical fruit hidden in there, melon or mango maybe? As it warms, it has a sugar cane finish to it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with a surprisingly low carbonation. Very well balanced beer and comfortable on the palate.

Drinkability: Very drinkable but with an ABV that creeps up on you. A pleasure to drink.

Overall: I'm a bit torn as this is a well balanced and very tasty DIPA but it's not nearly the hop bomb i thought it should have been. Lacks the intensity i was hoping but still a good selection. I would love to try this fresh from the source.

Photo of grub
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

22oz bottle. sampled april 23/09.

pours deep copper red with a small dense off-white head. the head drops very slowly and leaves plenty of lace.

aroma is good. big blast of citrus and pine. grapefruit, orange, tangerine. white bread. cracker. bit of biscuit. light alcohol.

taste is good. medium-high bitterness level. cracker and biscuit. white bread. light alcohol. bracing pine and grapefruit. light orange and tangerine. bit of caramel. floral. touch of earthy character too.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low very fine carbonation. just under medium carbonation.

drinkability is good. nicely balanced. good hop character. a tasty dipa.

Photo of Viggo
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber, big thanks to Derek for lugging this back from the homeland!

Pours a lightly hazed dark orange, slightly red, off white head forms, slowly drops to a thick ring and layer, tons of lace, nice sheets stick to the glass, looks great. Smell is nice, classic DIPA, lots of grapefruit and pine, big and malty base, caramel, biscuit, raw sugar, orange and lemon citrus, light floral, very nice hoppiness, good balance, fresh it must have been insane. Taste is nice as well, very malty, lots of caramel and biscuit, brown sugar, but finishes with a lot of fruit and floral hops, grapefruit acidity, lemons and blood orange, real nice hoppiness, good malt, maybe could use a bit more bitterness, but real nice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, alcohol is superbly hidden. Can only imagine how good this was fresh, even now its a great balanced DIPA. Thanks Derek!

Photo of bobsy
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Amber pour with a sticky off-white head that exhibits decent retention. Wonderfully enticing aroma of tangerine, pine and caramel, smells exceedingly fresh. Excellent flavour, bursting with all kings of citrus - grapefruit, tangerine, orange and more. Strong pine notes also tickle the taste buds. Thankfully this is not a one-dimensional hop assault, as the sweet caramel malts provide excellent balance and drinkability. Medium body and carbonation are fitting. Ridiculously easy to drink and its hard to make it last... I wish I had more bottles of this!

I thought it was absolutely phenomenal!

Thanks to Derek for this bottle.

Edit: Subsequent bottlings seem more run-of-the-mill. N ot sure what's going on with this one.

Photo of BrewSomerville
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Photo of markaberrant
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle. Tree's Hophead IPA was the beer that kicked off my love affair with IPAs and all things hoppy. Now that they've made the natural forward step of producing a DIPA, I'll try to not let my bias be too obvious...

This beer pours a hazy dark bronzed amber hue, with a healthy amount of thick puffy, rocky off-white head, which slowly fades away, leaving some thoroughly dense and attractive honeycomb lacing around the glass.

It smells quite strongly of citrus - grapefruit and orange - a little forest pine, and a less intense sweet caramel essence. The taste is tangy citrus hops at the front, which blend into a more pine-like flavour as it moves across the palate, all deftly supported by a decent caramel/toffee malt backbone. A wee bit of warming alcohol simmers innocuously beneath.

The carbonation is barely noticeable, yet a tad frothy at the same time, the body a sturdy medium weight, and as smooth as these pesky hops will allow. It finishes with a nicely bitter floral hoppiness lingering well into the aftermath. The rather elevated alcohol is well-hidden through the balance of strong, but not overbearing hops, and the silky malt. Flavour-wise, I could drink this all night - booze and retail cost considerations being a whole other matter.

As this looks like, smells like, and tastes like a veritable DIPA, it stands to reason that it is indeed the Real McCoy. It appears that Tree has outdone themselves, making the appropriate amount of enhancements to their base trendsetting IPA, to produce a true West Coast DIPA, one for which they should be proud. I can only currently truly compare it to examples I've encountered south of the border, but given this, and Alley Kat/Sherbrooke's Bad Hare Day, Western Canadian brewers are on the absolute right track, at least in my titular-inspired book.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
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.

Photo of IronDjinn
4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have been dropping down serious cash and gobbling this stuff up since it's come out. I suppose it's time to lay down a review before it's all gone...

Pours out a rich, deep transluscent nutty amber, tall spongy off-white head mottled with large bubbles, great retention. Thick chunky rings of lacing.

The nose is a glorious blend of rich sweet bready and caramel malts, along with a well contained bouquet of citrus, tangerine, pine, peach and zesty white grapefruit rind.

The flavour is also a nice little trip to paradise. Similar to their regular Hophead, but turned up to 11! Nicely balanced and contained for a double IPA, while still delivering the goods in an amplified manner. One of the most approachable and drinkable IPA's out there regardless.

Gets big points in the mouthfeel for not being sticky or oily, just a little bit of oily-ness on the finish, but for the most part coats the palate with a magic carpet of goodness. Very smooth, while remaining full-bodied (or at least the high end of the medium-bodied scale....).

Ummm, my combined Xmas wish and New Year's resolution is that Tree put this double Hop Head IPA into regular production, or at least produces more on a regular seasonal basis. Best thing to come out of Tree, and they should be proud. Best double IPA I've sampled out of Western Canada as well. If nothing else they should make this their regular Hop Head.

Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Voonder for this tasty bomber. A great hop aroma, with resins and hop oil galore. A feast for the nose, and the taste lived up to it. Understated carbonation, which worked tremendously to drinkability. The contents were shaken up and more than a bit spilled in very cold handling, but this robust trooper was most satisfying. One of the best of the style and not a taste bud killer.

Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Photo of elricorico
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A coppery amber colour to the body. Quite clear. Two fingers of foamy beige head. Lacing as it recedes. Retention is fairly good.

Full on citrus aroma, grapefruit for sure, but a sweeter hint of orange in there.

A fair bit of malt right off the bat shows that there is some balance to this hop lover's brew, the tongue first gets a bready sweetness. Hops take over with a citrus blend. Orange and grapefruit again, with some lemon/lime as well. Certainly hoppy, but not as bitter as one would think.

Slick, full body with a medium carbonation level, the mouthfeel is what you want for the style.

I must say I expected more. I've been sucking down malty brews through the holiday and was looking forward to something that would bring home some bitterness. The hops are bang on in the aroma category, but they just don't seem to live up to it in the taste. Certainly a good beer, but fell short to my expectations. I'd have the regular Hop Head before this one.

Photo of prosper
4.55/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Says it's 'unfiltered' on the bottle, but it pours a crystal clear bronze colour. There's a small but sticky light tan head that disipates quickly.

Smells pretty good, lots of caramel maltiness, and distinctive floral hops with plenty of citrus and pine, and perhaps a blast of lemon there, too. There is an odd chemical type smell there too, sort of an odd sour note. Perhaps it's just a consequense of all those hops and the high ABV, but it reminds me vaguely of cleaning fluid; pine-sol, maybe. Still, it's not enough to put me off.

Taste is big, bold, assertive hops. It's hard to say which is bigger - the tart blast of bitterness, or the overpowering herbal pine and citrus flavours. And there's no one hop flavour that dominates, there are a lot of different characters in balance. There are floral notes, some herbal earthiness, grapefruit, lemon, pine and fresh grassiness. All pleasant. As it finishes, the hop medley fades to leave a clean lingering bitterness, and the smooth moderately dry maltiness becomes apparent, as well as familiar fruity ale esters. I'd hazard a guess that the yeast used is an english strain, as opposed to one of the the ultra crisp American strains. Or, maybe it's just the high gravity here, but I'm not detecting quite as sharp an 'edge' as many american style IPA's. As it's warming up, I'm detecting more and more munich-style maltiness (bread crust/biscuit/hay), which I've always really enjoyed. This is a perfect 5 in taste.

Body is moderately full but not thick and syrupy. Moderately low carbonation, and a full finish that would probably be downright cloying if it weren't for all those IBU's. So, I'd have to describe it as 'dry,' but not in the same crisp-dry sense as a lager, for example.

It hides its 8% ABV well, and I'd say that this is actually moderately drinkeable. I could see drinking this stuff all night, though the ABV would cause me to refrain from doing so. Still, I *could,* so I say this is damn drinkeable.

Photo of Voonder
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Found it at Kensington Wine Market for 8-50 per 650ml bottle.

Pours copper colour with thin beige head which dissapeared quickly leaving lots of lacing. Smell - great! Lots of hops plus grapefruiit, pine and some spices. Fantastic!
Taste - starts off with hoppy bitterness, then sour citrus kicks in ans nice bitter finish. Very well balanced, alcohol is well hidden. Pretty drinkable for ABV. I would definately have this again, this is probably the best beer by Tree Brewing I ever had. Solid brew.

Hop Head Double India Pale Ale from Tree Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 151 ratings.