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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
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Ratings: 67 | Reviews: 33 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IdeaSpeeder
4.74/5  rDev +24.1%

Serving Type - 650ml bottle, partially poured into a snifter

Appearance - Pours a very, very dark brown. It's almost opaque. The little light that gets through shows the beer to be a brownish-red colour. On top of this sits at least 2 fingers of thick brown head. It seems to last forever, but when it does give way it leave behind a spectacle of lacing.

Smell - Roasted malts. Chocolate. Maybe even some light coffee. Between the appearance and the smell, this brew is feeling more like a stout. Some fruits are coming through as well, perhaps plum?

Taste - Some light smokey notes and some chocolate up front. Some fruity notes come in towards the middle, with a decent bitter kick towards the end, along with a lingering booze-y taste. There may be some light spices in there somewhere.

Mouthfeel - Given the taste, smell and appearance, the mouthfeel is shockingly light. It's about average for an IPA, but this isn't exactly a standard IPA. Combined with the light carbonation, I'm finding this dangerously drinkable.

Overall - 4.5/5

IdeaSpeeder, May 21, 2013
Photo of timiskin
4/5  rDev +4.7%

timiskin, Apr 23, 2013
Photo of KeKeKumba
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

KeKeKumba, Apr 04, 2013
Photo of DaPan
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

DaPan, Feb 14, 2013
Photo of KalanM
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

KalanM, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of biboergosum
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.

biboergosum, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of artemh
4/5  rDev +4.7%

artemh, Dec 23, 2012
Photo of
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

You rated this beer. Add a review.

, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -21.5%

cfalovo97, Nov 06, 2012
Photo of canucklehead
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.

canucklehead, Nov 04, 2012
Photo of wordemupg
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

wordemupg, Oct 30, 2012
Photo of bigox420
3/5  rDev -21.5%

bigox420, Oct 06, 2012
Photo of joemcgrath27
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

joemcgrath27, Oct 06, 2012
Photo of BGDrock
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%

Appearance: pitch black with chocolate head that's thick and sticky

Aroma: some bitterness from the roast; burnt; I found it light, but my girlfriend smelled it across the room so must have had some strength, guess my nose was off

Taste & Mouthfeel: battle of bitters - from both roast malt and hops - is a great back and forth; malt starts things off, trades places with grassy, spicy hops, and lingers in the mouth with intense espresso notes; thick and silky mouthfeel; some raisin flavour

Overall: great mouthfeel and flavour, almost a meal in itself

BGDrock, Sep 25, 2012
Photo of Molson2000
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.

Molson2000, Sep 21, 2012
Photo of WeedKing4
4.05/5  rDev +6%

Pours a jet black with good carbonation. Tastes roasty up front, with a slight hop bitterness in the finish. Could use a bit more hops in this, then it would be awesome. Still pretty good overall though, and it drinks down very smooth. No hint of the high alcohol at all in this one. Wish these black ipas were easier to get.

WeedKing4, Aug 11, 2012
Photo of CanuckRover
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%

Near enough black as matters I suppose. Thin mocha head, not great retention. Not much in the way of lacings, but it may have been sitting around a bit too long.

Dark fruit on the nose with boozy chocolate.

The hop flavour is crowded up front. Slight pinyness gives way to roasted malt flavours. Transitions to very dark chocolate in the finish with a bit of heat. Restrained resinous bitterness in the finish. Nice chocolate flavours stick around for awhile.

Great mouthfeel, just the perfect body for a roasty beer like this.

I'm not a hophead, but tried to judge this according to style. No doubt the hops are less in your face than the style might dictate. That said, they're certainly evident and the stout aspects of this one are just great. Would certainly drink again. At 8.8% this is dangerous.

CanuckRover, Aug 11, 2012
Photo of beerhunter13
2.5/5  rDev -34.6%

beerhunter13, Aug 11, 2012
Photo of sliverX
4/5  rDev +4.7%

sliverX, Aug 10, 2012
Photo of liamt07
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.

liamt07, Jul 29, 2012
Photo of biegaman
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!

biegaman, Jul 27, 2012
Photo of RedAleMan
4/5  rDev +4.7%

RedAleMan, Jul 20, 2012
Photo of thehyperduck
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%

Bomber picked up at the LCBO; best before Sept 23 2012.

Pours an opaque black colour, with tinges of crimson visible under the light. Topped with about one finger of dense, creamy beige-coloured head that soon wilts away, leaving behind a filmy cap and a few smudges of lacing. The aroma is a pleasant blend of malt and hop notes - caramel, molasses and chocolate sweetness along with some subdued piney citrus. Gives off a nice roasted vibe.

The hop flavours aren't exactly mild, but they are still forced to take a backseat to the more prominent malts. They give off impressions of toasted bread, molasses, dark chocolate and coffee; an enjoyable combination that plays nicely with the earthy, slightly piney hop flavours which come forward toward the finish. Dry, earthy aftertaste with a bit of heat from the ethanol. On the heavier side of medium-bodied, with mild carbonation - a bit flat for my liking, but not really a huge cause for concern. Not something I'd want to drink quickly or in large quantities - this bomber is plenty for a night.

Most of the Cascadian dark ales I've tried in the past have clearly focused on the hop bill - and as a big IPA fan, that has always worked out well for me - but this one switches it up a bit with a powerful malt profile and just enough hoppy bitterness to justify its categorization. Let's get one thing straight though - even if it's not a stereotypical black ale, it's a thoroughly enjoyable brew.

Final Grade: 3.93, a B+. This is the third (and last) of the Tree bombers I picked up at the LCBO last month. I was not a big fan of the doppelbock or hefeweizen, but this one is right up my alley. True hopheads expecting a wallop of West Coast hoppiness might be a bit disappointed with Tree's Hop Head Black IPA, but I happen to appreciate this one's unique, more balanced profile. A fabulous sipper for the relentlessly hot weather we've been forced to tolerate this year. Pick up a bottle before they're all gone!

thehyperduck, Jul 20, 2012
Photo of jrenihan
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.

jrenihan, Jul 20, 2012
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%

Pours black with plenty of ruby glints and rays. The tan foamy head on top quickly dissipates but musters up plenty of lace patches on the glass. Coffee and dark chocolate notes fill the nose. Some burnt molasses mixes with citric PacNWt hops. The taste is more malt driven, in fact it reminds me of a strong Porter with a compliment of American hops. Roastyness and milk chocolate mix with caramel soaked bread on the malt side. a piney, earthy hoppiness provides a solid hop background. The mouthfeel is full bodied and more affected by the sweetness of the malt than the bitterness of the hops. Alcohol is well hidden throughout. The finish is moderately bitter and chocolatey.

This is a decent American Black Ale, could be a lot less restrained with the hops though, they tend to be one dimensional here. Still, a delicious beer worth a try.

CAMRAhardliner, Jul 17, 2012
Hop Head Black India Pale Ale from Tree Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.