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Hophead Imperial IPA - Bend Brewing Company

Hophead Imperial IPAHophead Imperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

57 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 57
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.9%


Brewed by:
Bend Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: RedDiamond on 10-01-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 57 | Reviews: 30 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance - Hazy orange body. Nice white head. Wisps and a collar.

Smell - Grassy pine hops. Sweet malts. Kinda musty.

Taste - Pine and grapefruit up front. Sweet caramel and then it dries out. Bitterness kicks in. Builds into a piney hop bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - A touch heavy, but drinkable. Quite bitter.

Overall - Pretty good beer. Tasty but bitter.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2013 20:01:11 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of ahalloin
ahalloin

Virginia

4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber.

Pours a slightly opaque hazy dark yellow color with a hint of orange. Initial voluminous head of bright white recedes to nice ring over the liquid with plenty of lacing attached to the glass. 4

The is a combination of bitter citrus pith and piney undertones. Some floral bits and even a touch of tobacco or cannabis smoke. A slight sweetness rests underneath the hop aroma. The smell leaves a little to be desired in that it isn't real pungent like some IIPAs. 4

Resiny taste matches the smell with bitter citrus peel and pith from orange and grapefruit. I get a slight hint of the pucker factor one would get from fresh squeezed grapefruit juice with lots of pulp. Malt body is very simple and very subdued to let the hops shine. Finish is quite dry and bitter but balanced pretty well. 4.5

Good medium low carbonation really lets you enjoy the hop resins. 4

This is quite a good IIPA that I would buy regularly if I could, given I don't live in the distribution area. 4

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2012 00:34:45 | More by ahalloin
Photo of Brodybeer
Brodybeer


4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A golden yellow. Nice color
N sweet aromatic. Bread
T excellent. Tiny bit carmely banana bread upfront turning to hoppy. Good amount of hops but the beer allows the tongue time to basque in the flavors before they arrive. Man it's a good ride to the hop. When the hoppy flavor comes its there just long enough to enjoy the flavor then all come together as one in the end. Awesome. Edit. Pineapple! Got that from another review. Yes
M syrupy first then carbonated. Lingers slightly then leaves you wanting more
O man solid beer. I love the complexity. Had to mouth it quite a few times to figure out what was going on. Yet it's smooth at the same time. I love interesting. The bottle says leaves you wanting more. I agree

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2012 05:03:59 | More by Brodybeer
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a respectable head that leaves some lacing behind

Smell: Floral and sugary, with pithy and piney undertones

Taste: Definitely in the piney side, with a lot of pith as well; underneath, the sugary malts come on strong by mid-palate and into the finish, ringing pineapple flavors, as well

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and moderately carbonated; a bit sticky

Overall: A pretty darn good DIPA, though I would prefer a bit more attenuation or a bigger hop bill (may have been my fault for sitting on the bottle for a month and a half)

Thanks, chumba526, for the opportunity

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 00:11:01 | More by brentk56
Photo of loren01
loren01

Oregon

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice clear orange, not much head with no lacing down the glass
S: Big blast of citrus, slight pineapple and piney scents as well
T: Much the same as the smell, lots of citrus and pineapple
M: Medium bodied beer perfect amount of carbonation
O: This is one good double IPA!!!

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 06:26:53 | More by loren01
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle picked up in Bend, OR.

A - Pours a slightly cloudy, medium orange with a small cream-colored head that fades slowly, leaving lacing on the glass.

S - Citrusy, oranges mostly, sweet malts, slight pine.

T - Sweet malts hit me first, then some oranges and carmel flavors. Where did the hops go?

D - Lower carbonation, a bit chewy and thick for an Imperial IPA.

O - Sweeter, citrusy. OK.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 04:25:21 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of brew3crew
brew3crew

Ohio

4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First beer of San Diego beer week with Danwho!

A- golden orange with white head around the edges

S-nice sweet hop taste that invites me in for a drink

T- bitter hop resine that coats my mouth and slides down with a nice and smooth ffinish. Very nice

M-medium body and oh so smooth!

O-very nice beer and a good way to kick off the week!

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2011 23:08:36 | More by brew3crew
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear, golden bronze with a white head, thin ring of retention, some nice lace.

S: Big citrus & pine aroma, somewhat grassy and floral.

T: Quite hop-forward with a pleasant (not over-bearing) bitterness. Some alcohol warmth, but I wouldn't have guessed it was this strong. Pine, tangerine and nectarine... definitely some Amarillo here. Hints of underlying biscuit and toffee from the malt. Really great stuff.

M: Well attenuated, moderate body has a slight hop acidity with a crisp finish.

D/O: I could session this and SERIOUSLY regret it. Personally, I'd cut back on the booze a bit, but to have a brew of this strength so balanced, flavourful and drinkable is an art.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2011 00:42:11 | More by Derek
Photo of daveytheformer
daveytheformer

Oregon

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice lightly hazy golden orange color with a bright white head that fades to some lacing and lots of spotting.

Leafy hops and pine dominate the aroma at first followed by strong grapefruit citrus smell. This might be one of the best smelling IIPA's I've encountered from Oregon if not ever.

A quick sharp citrus blast upon first sip backed up by a dry bitterness. A mild sweetness in the background balances all the flavors together perfectly. Crisp, a little dry, fruity and very drinkable for the ABV.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with mild carbonation.

Overall is an excellent beer. Solid and easily drinkable. Really stand up to some of the big popular IPA's out there. I went out and bought another bottle the next day after having this one.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2011 22:11:44 | More by daveytheformer
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bought at the brewpub last night, poured into a shaker pint, Hophead DIPA is a pale auburn gold with a white head that leaves decent lace.

Smell is tangerine hops, kind of over ripe vibe, maybe a bit of cat pee. I just had the Elk Lake and the smell and flavor are basically the same, but obviously cranked up here. It's robust, but has a similar smell of over ripe apricots or tangerines, right as they've started to turn. Maybe the mix of cat pee I get from centennials with the citrus variety hops, perhaps an English ale yeast ester as well. The ABV is clear here as well, no fusels, just sweet.

Taste is pretty hoppy, big orange creamsicle, accentuated by a clean, but obvious, sweet alcohol note, which is pleasantly spicy on the finish, with a little resiny pine hops on the lingering aftertaste. Betetr the the smell, the hops are still a little too orange tasting for me, but there's just enough pepper and pine to balance it out.

Mouthfeel is sticky with sugars and hop oils, medium bodied.

Drinkability is pretty good, a big ass DIPA, well balanced within the genre, typical PNW style, just not quite to my taste with the sweet, overripe fruits.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2010 01:40:41 | More by ccrida
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Re-review 1/16/2011

Pours a bright orange color with a nice white head that faded quickly, but leaves nice lacing on the glass.

Aromas are of citrus, hard candies, resin, and oranges.

Taste is very refined for a DIPA. Light caramel creamy malt sweetness and slightly bready. Finish has a really complex hoppiness, resiny, earthy, spicy, with slight apricot notes as well. This is flavorful, but not overwhelmingly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good, full, smooth, with good carbonation.

Drinkability is quite good. I am so glad I got revisit this one. I am fairly certain the last bottle had a bad cap because it was barely carbonated. But this good bottle really has let me properly taste this one, and it's excellent. Tasty but not overly strong, well balanced, and is a pleasure to drink. This is an under the radar top notch DIPA.

---

Original review. (I believe this was a bad bottle ) 3 / 4.5 / 4.5 / 2.5 / 3.5

Pours a bright and clear dark orange/gold color with no head.

Aromas are nice. There is something in here I can't quite pin down that I like... hard candies, citrus, resin, and almost like sugary oranges.

Taste is very similar to the nose. Thick, and with a general creaminess, some sugary sweetness in the background as well. Foreground is all about the hops, as is the finish. Resin, grapefruits, and a snappy crisp bitterness.

Mouthfeel is full, but there is an obvious lack of carbonation which is a bummer.

Drinkability is good. But man, this beer tastes like it could be great with better carbonation.

Wow, this bottle was all over the map. I think it might have had a bad cap or something, because it was kind of flat. Too bad, I'd love to try it again, it has serious potential to be quite good.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2010 17:05:26 | More by flexabull
Photo of johnmichaelsen
johnmichaelsen

Oregon

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Jeff (Jdense) for gifting me a bottle of one my favorite NW DIPA's during his visit to DC.

The beer pours a glowing, nearly opaque orange amber color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose this is all DIPA goodness, showcasing considerable pine and grapefruit rind, but with some noticeable cherry and lemon as well from the light sweet malt. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this well crafted, West Coast all the way DIPA. There is some noticeable sweet malt to balance out the avalanche of hoppy bitterness, but the finish is still long, dry and bitter. There's something of a tongue tingling, peppery flavor at the very end that I quite like. Mouthfeel is full and bitter, with some noticeable alcohol in the mid palate. However, the beer is not the least bit hot, heavy or tiring on the palate, though one can tell the abv. is up there. Still, I would have to rate drinkability as still pretty good, as the alcohol is integrated very well into the flavor profile with this one.

For me, this beer epitomizes the NW style of DIPA, as it showcases considerable hoppy bitterness, but somehow maintains a sense of proportion and balance. An altogether excellent beer... I've been a fan since the first time I tasted this beer on tap many moons ago at Concordia Alehouse during my former PDX life. Just an altogether excellent beer... whether on tap (preferred) or out of the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2010 18:53:45 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of jdense
jdense

Oregon

4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared a bomber hand carried from BBC on recent visit, all the way back home to The Big, shared with homeboy during recent Eastern Oregon craft brew tasting 9.8.10, poured into Chimay chalices.

One finger creamy white head, medium-fast dissipation with above average lacing. Clear gold body, multiple trails of carbonation. Nose is tropical fruit, some breadiness, not overly sweet, a bit try on back end. Taste mirrors the tropical fruit aspect of nose, once again not overly sweet, nice balance. Mouthfeel is medium, decent effervescence. Not sure of the bottling date, seemed to have lost a bit of the hop aggresiveness from the last time I had it on tap. One of the PNW's best IIPAs, and certainly one of the hardest (other than Barley Brown's) to obtain. It it wasn't so frickin' hard to get, I'd go pour the other bottle right now. Along with Outback X, a true expression of Tanya Cornett's brewing art. Check it out.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2010 03:01:11 | More by jdense
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a relatively light golden yellow with about a half-inch of white head that had moderate retention and lacing.

The aroma was strongly pine hops with some citrus in the background. There wasn't any noticeable malt in the nose. On the tongue, there there was pine and citrus hops. The malt was barely noticeable.

The body was far thinner than I like for the style. Drinkability was very good, far above average for the style. Overall, a very nice example of the style, worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2010 22:14:22 | More by beertunes
Photo of Neilbeermaster
Neilbeermaster

Oregon

4.83/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from the brewpub in Bend, Oregon in November 2008.

This beer has been aging in my 'cellar' for five months.

Pours a dark gold blond, a little cloudy, but still very transparent. Head is a tiny, 1mm ring around the outside, and a patchy, very thin cover throughout the top.

Nose is fragrant, very fragrant of floral hops, and very kind, calming hops with a bit of malty sweetness.

Front is crisp, very sharp, and tingles a little bit after I swallow. Finish is assertive, but not attacking; very straightforward.

Bittering hops are strong, a little bit citric, and a tiny bit piney, but never unpleasant. Sweetness exists on the finish, but overall, the beer finishes like a very pleasant, quaffable 5% pale, but still lingers like an IPA.

It is unfathomable that this beer is 8.7% alcohol. It feels so pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2008 05:27:08 | More by Neilbeermaster
Photo of ElGordo
ElGordo

Oregon

4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to my co-worker Angelo for bringing a bottle back from his trip to Bend. Pours a bright orange-golden color with a small amount of turbidity, topped by a thin ring of bright white head. Aroma of fresh, zesty floral hops, light sweet malt, and notes of grapefruit and cannabis. Palate is quite tasty - tangy hops dominate up front, mellowed slightly by the mid-palate emergence of some sweet caramel malt. Notes of tart grapefruit and pine are evident, especially before the swallow. Finish is a lingering hoppy bitterness that is quite satisfying.
Body is fairly light for an imperial IPA, lacking the typical syrupy feel. I'm pretty OK with that. On the whole, this is an easy-drinking ale, especially given the amount of alcohol and aggressive hops. Wish I had more than one bottle. Guess I have to go to Bend soon to stock up.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2007 06:36:13 | More by ElGordo
Photo of caskstrength
caskstrength

Minnesota

4.88/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Bend Brewing.

Pours a typical yellow/orange, carbonation as expected with a 1/2 inch head in a shaker pint glass.

Smells are salty resinous pine, some citrus, but pine is dominant. No alcohol, no buttery or floral notes. Getting excited.

Pine and resin jump out and throw a party. Wow, let me introduce myself, I am a West Coast IPA. Some floral complements to the pine, some citrus complements too. Pithy rinds weave into the pine, a symphony ensues. Barely enough malt to balance, fine by me.

Resinous and salty. I love when hops work magic like this.

This is up there with the greats. Got a growler to go, and 2 bombers as well (Should have bought more). Highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

08-31-2011 22:51:30 | More by caskstrength
Photo of dgilks
dgilks

Australia

3.4/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear orange colour with a small, off-white head. Fair head retention.

Light piney character with a touch of citrus. Lacking.

Big bitterness with a crisp, resinous hop character. Mild malt with a hint of syrupy sugar. Decent.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Fair.

An okay IIPA. It's a little thick and syrupy but still good.

Serving type: on-tap

08-27-2011 06:15:16 | More by dgilks
Photo of Elimination
Elimination

Oregon

3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a decent clear copper, white head chilling on top.

Aroma of slight citrus pine and a decent amount of lemon. Sharper bitterness than sweet smells

Taste is bitterness up front falling to a very well rounded cOmbo of northwest hops has quite a bit of natural lemon sticky pine and some orange

Great mouthfeel very clean nutral yeast, smooth and quite easy drinking

Overall a great dipa but needs a bit of drying out to make it better

Serving type: on-tap

08-14-2011 18:38:34 | More by Elimination
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.18/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A pint at the brewpub on the Deschutes river in Bend.

This beer pours a clear medium golden hue, with one finger of thin creamy white head, which leaves a wall of broken painted lace around the glass as it sinks away. It smells of caramel cream, and a bit of grapefruit and orange hops. The taste is sweet caramel malt, equally sweet alcohol, and orange liqueur. The carbonation is fairly light, the body a solid medium weight, and smooth. It finishes with a thinning booziness uber alles.

A bit strange, even given the style, to see an alcohol-dominated IIPA - the hops and malt just seem stamped down. Not particularly drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

07-14-2011 06:35:16 | More by biboergosum
Photo of hopdog
hopdog

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this one on tap. I see from the picture this one is bottled, so I'll have to try that one too!

Poured a medium amber color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of citrus, pine, melons, and some malts. Tastes of citrus, melons, caramel, and pines.

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2008 04:59:28 | More by hopdog
Photo of SurlyDuff
SurlyDuff

Oregon

4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very good IIPA. Nice orange hue, a bit cloudy.

Aroma is juicy citrus, spicy. Pine, juniper and other fruits in the background.

Pure IIPA goodness. Nice bite too it, a bit of resin feeling, but not to sharp.

Really like the finish on this one. It lingers and coats the mouth, and the only thing it seems would compliment it...is another sip!

This ones over 8%, deceptivly enough...so watch yourself!

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2008 19:26:16 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of unklesyd
unklesyd

Oregon

4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought from the brewery the day after Thanksgiving: my only purchase of the day.

Was a little nervous after opening to hear only a little "phhft" from the growler. Poured it at a good pace to get a finger's head. Very nice color; pale as IPA/IIPAs would go, but to my liking. Not too much caramel color, very nice.

Smell was all hop, obviously, but a very interesting mix. Citrus bite up front with the carbonation, giving way to some real nice floral notes, and as it rests a little bit herbal. This is actually a really nice hop-head nose.

Very well balanced. Flavor is all about the sweet sticky hop, but never abrasive. Somewhat resinous, and not coating the tongue, it does weigh it down a bit. I think this is a good thing for a beer of its size. When it is a little cooler, you can taste a little of the alcohol. It doesn't detract per se, but gives an extra diminsion, though it does impede the "easy drinker" perception.

I'd had this at a fest before and wasn't terribly impressed, but on its own, this is a nice brew that opens up the more you let it. Well done to Bend's "other" brewery.

Serving type: growler

11-25-2007 05:59:42 | More by unklesyd
Photo of DaPeculierDane
DaPeculierDane

Wisconsin

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Conflicted to see this listed on BA as a IIPA…it was sold to me as a regular IPA and as a regular IPA I found it utterly perfect. I am reviewing this as an IPA. As a IIPA, my review would be slightly lower because of a lack of malt balance, body, and strength.
Served in a 4 oz glass (with a half pint follow up) at Concordia Ale House during some sort of IPA Festival. This was my second favorite of the day.
Uber clean, crisp, and frankly spot on in terms of a CA or American IPA. They simply do not come more perfectly than this. Pine and juniper rule. Bitterness is moderate ad well done. Body is light. Color is a wonderful yellow-orange bronze…warm and welcoming. Malt flavor is mild and caramel focused. Some artichoke grassy flavor is found along with French celery. Good Lace.

Serving type: on-tap

07-25-2007 06:04:36 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of Matthew
Matthew

Connecticut

3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden color, almost amber, small bubbly head, but with good lacing.
Nice big whiffs of floral hops, some hints of citrus, mostly orange.
Nice hop bite up front, mostly earthy and floral but has some light more hidden fruity characteristics. Nice, very well balanced sweet malty backbone. This beer has a good drinkability, the fact that this is a very well balanced DIPA helps this beer to find its way in your glass more than once in a night. A pretty straight forward DIPA that is very tasty.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2006 05:12:47 | More by Matthew
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Hophead Imperial IPA from Bend Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.