1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Hop Head Black India Pale Ale - Tree Brewing

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

67 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 67
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 1
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Tree Brewing visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  8.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
Hop Head Black IPA is dark brown / black in colour, delivering an aroma of roasted malt tones. With five different varieties of superior hops and six malts, Hop Head Black IPA brings out a malt forward taste with a lingering hop bitterness.

(Beer added by: Derek on 02-14-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 67 | Reviews: 33 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +2.1%

Fresh bottle at the LCBO, brewed for the Ontario market. Pours black with a generous lasting head. Big roast aroma. above average mouthfeel, with a bold roasty flavour and also a citrus grapefuit hoppyness Big abv to match. Good drinkability. Decent for the style.

06-07-2012 00:54:51 | More by Sammy
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.18/5  rDev -16.8%

Bottle: Poured a black color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of roasted malt with light dry bitter notes. Taste is also dominated by dry roasted alt with some hoppy bitter and dry notes. Body is a bit light for style with good carbonation. I thought this was too bitter and almost astringent with the body too thin for the style.

10-03-2013 20:21:25 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev +0.8%

330ml single bottle, 8.0% ABV, part of Tree's Hop Pack.

This beer pours a very dark reddish brown hue, with two pudgy fingers of densely puffy, silky, and foamy beige head, which leaves a thoroughly consistent pock-marked cement wall of lace around the glass as it evenly seeps away.

It smells of dry bready malt, a bit of burnt toast, some caramel and vanilla cream sweetness, a twinge of bittersweet chocolate, and a pithy wet ashy character. The taste is roasted caramel malt, some tart citrus fruitiness, a bit of astringent pine, a dry oily nuttiness, and some faint grainy woodiness.

The carbonation is average, and well supportive, the body a decent medium weight, and more or less smooth, the ash and hop notes adding a certain mild edginess. It finishes off-dry, the beleaguered sweetness of the malt (roasting, drying, hopping) still gamely holding on, in the conspicuous absence of a single modicum of alcohol warming.

An enjoyable enough ABA (no lawyers, here, mmmk?), the roasted and bitter hoppy sides of the equation fairly well balanced, and the booze well integrated. I would gladly have another of these.

12-28-2012 04:55:25 | More by biboergosum
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev -1%

The brewery calls this beer Hop Head Black but could just as correctly gone with Hop Head Brown. It's actually both depending on how it hits the light. Either way, it is drastically darker than even the Double Hop Head, which is far from bright itself. A lot of head generated off the pour but turns out to last only short-term.

The hops are there, no doubt, but they've got a lot less energy than you'd expect from a West Coast beer. The beer smells more like the inside of a coffee shop than it does a tropical forest, but I suppose that's partly to be expected with the style. Roasted, chocolatey malts spring out the glass whereas the pine needle scent crawls. Both are present, just in considerably uneven proportions.

Waveringly 'leafy', the hops feel light and barely crisp. The hop presence is more a molehill than a mountain, which is not inherently good nor bad, although does leave a little to be desired for the 'hop heads' out there. It feels more like brushing the inside of your mouth with freshly-ground espresso beans; there's a lot of strong coffee flavour.

Most people are generally put off by dark malts and/or an abundance of hops, but this is a beer that's easily enjoyed. I had to do a double-take at the 8.8% on the label; hard to believe. The combination of oily and roast qualities makes for an immensely full mouthfeel (and quite the lingering aftertaste). It has the delicate balance of a tight-rope walker.

There's nothing sacred about definitions, and the 'Cascadian Dark Ale' or 'India Black Ale' or whatever it's called certainly has many interpretations (as the multiple names to refer it by suggest). This example is a little tame, and leans much more to the malt, but it's by no means a bad offering. Nor is it a common beer, so if you see it, give it a shot!

07-27-2012 21:42:33 | More by biegaman
Photo of liamt07
liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -3.1%

Bottle from the LCBO, 650ml into a tulip.

Black body with a light brown head. Good retention and nice lacing. Nose has some lightly burnt bready malts, char, dark fruits, molasses and sweet malty notes. Not a lot in terms of hopping I thought. Taste is roasty, milk chocolate, charred notes, dark fruits and caramel. Bitter hopping is really evident. Mouthfeel is full, bitter and really roasty long into the finish. Not the Black IPA I had expected, almost idenifies with some hoppier imperial stouts. Bottle was too much for me to finish alone.

07-29-2012 18:42:33 | More by liamt07
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +9.4%

Black with ruby hues, beige head, good retention and great lace.

Aromas of grapefruit rind, tangerine, nectarine and pine, with some underlying biscuit, roasted nut, tropical fruit and Swedish berries. Plenty of depth here.

Resiny hops are upfront in the flavour, with plenty of pine, grapefruit rind, tangerine, mango and papaya. Dark caramel and roasted nuts with a bit of biscuity malt come through mid palette, with a hint of black licorice in the finish. Solid bitterness; alcohol is really well-hidden, more-so than their (weaker) Double IPA.

Well-attenuated, moderate body has a hint of hop acidity with a crisp finish.

This is a nice CASCADIAN DARK ALE!

02-14-2012 01:39:47 | More by Derek
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +2.1%

330ml bottle poured into pint glass 29/10/12

A dark cola with a two finger mocha head that falls to a thick film after a few sips and the film sticks around, two partial rings of lace followed by random patches

S more dark malts then hops on the nose, coco powder, charred wood with faint smoke and some coffee, faint floral and citric hops but you need to search a little for it

T a little piney resin and citrus peel but I can't distinguish, more hops then the nose and a little more booze too, faint earthy woody notes and the flavors stronger compared to the nose

M medium-full body with creamy carbonation, a little heat and a citric, char, booze finish, strong aftertaste hangs around for a while

O pretty good beer but I though I'd be blown away considering how much I like the DIPA and Spy Porter from these guys, I was expecting more of a hop bomb but I suppose balance can work too

I was a little surprised to see that this one's 8%, the booze is noticed but well concealed it would seem. I'd drink another and I'm going to because I still have three left in my most awesome mixed IPA pack from the lovely people at Tree

10-30-2012 05:28:58 | More by wordemupg
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -6.3%

Bottle dated 12/09/12. Poured in to Bruery tulip.

A - Poured dark brown and settled black. Half a finger of bubbly light brown head formed and receded to a thin layer.

S - Huge roasted malt aroma up front with a touch of coffee. Some lighter hop aromas are present as well but they take a back seat to the roast. Some very light pine and floral aromas come though.

T - Big roasted malt profile up front with a prominent hop bitterness. The malts really overpower the hops and make it difficult to pick out any of the hop flavours but some light citrus and pine flavors are present. Finish is dry and bitter.

M - Medium body, somewhat creamy. Light carbonation.

06-27-2012 01:41:50 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

650ml Bottle from the LCBO Ottawa for 6.50$

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size frothy/fizzy beige coloured head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for 3-4 minutes.

Smell - Malts, chocolate/coffee, smoke

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts mixed with coffee/chocolate and hops. There is also a bit of a smokiness and a dark fruit sweetness. It ends with a malty chocolate aftertaste with a medium amount of hop bitterness.

Overall - I expected more from this one. It basically tastes like a hoppy imperial porter/stout. Perhaps a storm king by victory. Not really an american black ale in my books. It doesn't have any of the west coast lip fruity smacking qualities found in a Stone Sublimely Self Righteous. (one of my favourite ABA's)

06-29-2012 23:51:49 | More by spinrsx
Photo of tbeckett
tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.91/5  rDev +2.4%

From notes.

A - Crimson red pour. Nearly black. Two finger creamy light brown head. Good lace rings and a finger of retention.

S - Biscuity, citrus, chocolate, dark fruit. Well balanced.

T - Earth, citrus, roasty as hell, dark fruit, more citrus in finish.

M - Good carbonation, medium to full body, roasty finish with noticeable hop bite.

O/D - A well balanced and strong Black IPA. Could be fresher I think, but all in all it was a good example of the style. Easy drinking and subtle when needed and aggressive in the departments required. Good.

06-19-2013 17:29:32 | More by tbeckett
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

In 12oz bottles this is part of the great new Hop mix pack which also contains regular Hop head and Double Hop Head. This is a fantastic take on the Cascadian style as it really backs up the hops with lots of dark malt and blends it together into a very smooth drinking beer. Add to the fact it is in the DIPA zone with the ABV you have a beer that demands to be sipped. Possibly the best beer Tree makes.

11-04-2012 04:34:00 | More by canucklehead
Photo of andrenaline
andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +2.1%

Props to peensteen for the hook up on this gem.

A - Pours a dark mahogany colour with a ruby red hue, two fingers of mocha head with solid retention and some sporadic lacing.

S - Rather mild on the nose, but nice cocoa notes, hints of coffee and espresso, and an earthy cedar hop note.

T - Not your typical black ale, this one is dominated by the cocoa and roasted coffee malts, the hops are definitely more earthy than citrusy. The alcohol comes through with a touch of heat and bite. The chocolate notes linger on the palette reminiscent of an imperial stout.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and wet.

O - A tasty ale, though my preference for the style lies more on the citrus hop side. This one was definitely heavier on the malt side. Nonetheless, a tasty brew and worth picking up.

06-17-2012 20:31:05 | More by andrenaline
Photo of oldp0rt
oldp0rt

Quebec (Canada)

4/5  rDev +4.7%

03-29-2012 22:54:58 | More by oldp0rt
Photo of Molson2000
Molson2000

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +2.1%

Slight chocolate malt aroma. Nice full body with hints of chocolate and coffee. Hops come out a little bit in the finish but in all do remain rather subdued. Alcohol seems well hidden flavor wise but I do seem to feel in the head as I drink, even after two tastes.

09-21-2012 23:08:02 | More by Molson2000
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo

Netherlands

3.95/5  rDev +3.4%

Got this at the LCBO in the Loo.

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: A clear brown pour yields a one finger, medium looking, fluffy, light tan head with very good retention. Bistre brown body, clear, with no carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a full wisp and sticks to the sides of the glass nicely. Splotchy wisp remains leaving touches of lacing down the glass. Good looking.

SMELL: Some roasted aromas, cocoa powder, sweet cream, vanilla notes and floral hops on the nose. Nice, bold and plenty enticing.

TASTE: Lightly roasted with caramel sweetness up front, moving into a bitter-sweet finish with roasted notes, bitter floral hops, some caramel sweetness and light cocoa powder. Coffee bitterness as well. Like a very hoppy stout, and very enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly dry. BItterness lingers.

OVERALL: This is pretty solid for sure. This was a better black IPA than the others I sampled were examples of their respective styles. Looks like a porter ans tastes like a really hoppy, bitter stout. Enjoyable and worth drinking again. Recommended.

10-11-2013 19:38:35 | More by Jeffo
Photo of schopenhauerale
schopenhauerale

British Columbia (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

06-27-2013 05:28:08 | More by schopenhauerale
Photo of jrenihan
jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +4.2%

Beer is black with some brownish/reddish hints. A smallish tan head. Head fades quickly.

Big roasted malt smell, hints of cocoa. Behind this are some hops scents- some pine and citrus. Malt is dominant, for sure. I like it but it is more "black" than "IPA".

Taste is like the nose. Focused on roasted malt, hints of chocolate, but with a bit of a hoppy backbone, some citrus and pine. Relatively bitter. Almost like a light-bodied, hoppy stout. Works for me! I think it is quite tasty.

Medium bodied, a bit heavy for an IPA but thin for a stout. High carbonation- a bit much.

Overall, really quite good. Could probably be criticized for losing a lot of the IPA characteristics of a Black IPA, but I think it is a nice beer.

07-20-2012 01:21:23 | More by jrenihan
Photo of DaPan
DaPan

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

02-14-2013 13:45:31 | More by DaPan
Photo of bumchilly25
bumchilly25

British Columbia (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

05-13-2012 18:40:06 | More by bumchilly25
Photo of cfalovo97
cfalovo97

Ontario (Canada)

3/5  rDev -21.5%

11-06-2012 20:38:55 | More by cfalovo97
Photo of peensteen
peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +7.3%

Deep brown with ruby highlights, 1.5 fingers of tan head, some lacing near the top of the glass. Smell is roasted with a noticeable pine presence, fairly hoppy, some fruits in there as well, orange, chocolate and coffee scents as well. Taste is nice, tons of roasted malt with chocolate and coffee flavours, big bitterness, pine and grapefruit flavours in the aftertaste, some anise/black liquorice comes through mid palate, mildly astringent hop flavours, fruity aftertaste. Lightly carbonated, medium-full body, oily and quite dry. A fine beer here, tons of roasted flavours and chocolate that would have struck me as more of a hoppy porter than a black IPA if I didn't know any better but this is damm tasty and possibly my favourite beer from Tree to date.

06-06-2012 20:08:38 | More by peensteen
Photo of trxxpaxxs
trxxpaxxs

New York

4.1/5  rDev +7.3%

Big thanks to northyorksammy for hooking me up with this bottle...

A: Pours a really nice deep brown, pretty much black, with one and a half fingers of khaki colored head. The foam settles fairly quickly, and there is a good amount of lacing left on the glass as it drinks.

S: Mmm. Nice roasted malt, tons of chocolate, light caramel, light licorice, and mild citrus. The nose is mainly stout-like, with just a touch of hops. I'm into it.

T: The taste pretty much follows the nose. It's bitter roast, chocolate and caramel to start. The hops come in toward the back end, and they come on strong. They hit hard with a good amount of pine, but some sweetness lingers. The hops linger for a bit, but fade nicely into the background as the palate clears.

M: Full bodied beer. It's roasty and creamy to start, gets bitter as the hops shine through, and finishes sweet. Nothing stick around for an excessive amount of time.

O: This is a pretty darn good beer. Black IPAs aren't my favorite style, but the huge roast helps it out in my opinion. It's way more coffee and chocolate forward than other beers of the style. I'd drink it again if presented with the opportunity.

06-20-2012 21:23:19 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of joemcgrath27
joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +2.1%

big up to andrenaline for including this in a recent trade, surprised this never appeared in Calgary stores as far as I know
A - fully black and impenetrable, solid tan head retained at half a finger and left ample lacing
S - chocolatey, nutty, light roasty, and a touch of grass in the background
T - cold coffee and pine hops out of the gate, nutty malt and a touch of perfume hops towards the end with a subtle boozy bite
M - somewhat heavy body, bitterness cuts through it, finishes full
O - a black DIPA is an interesting challenge, and they've done a great job making it a big beer with balance, its not a mind blower but a solid offering that i would buy regularly as a seasonal

10-06-2012 00:56:21 | More by joemcgrath27
Photo of Kmat10
Kmat10

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev +4.7%

06-04-2013 23:13:01 | More by Kmat10
Photo of allergictomacros
allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -6.3%

A - Easy on the pour there.... huge billowy head. Quickly patches up and drops to a reasonable level. Clear, ruby red liquid underneath.

S - Lots of roast with hints of char and pineapple. Dark sugars.

T - Big alcohol punch seems too strong for a dark ale like this. There's hops here, but they take a back seat to the booze and sweet malt. Dark, roasted grain and hoppy bitterness compete on the back end. Hints of apple and mild fruit as well.

M - Medium-light in mouthfeel. Low carbonation despite the big foam.

D - Pretty drinkable given the bigness of this brew. There's a lot going on here. Seems to lean a bit too much on the sweet side for me.

07-02-2013 00:26:29 | More by allergictomacros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Hop Head Black India Pale Ale from Tree Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.