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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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
Photo of FightingEntropy
FightingEntropy

Minnesota

4.72/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is possibly the best DIPA I've every had.

Off white cream head, burnt orange color which is a bit lighter at the bottom. full lace all the way down the side. Sharp, spicy aromda, not citrusy, but fruity, grapefruit and apricot, and same fruit in the beer as well to balance the hops. New direction for the beer, at least that I've drank. Instead of monster malt, Belgian like yeast fruitiness to offset the bitter. Super smooth hop bite, like a great hot salsa that hot but not stupid hot and full of flavor--the hop is strong but drinking the bite is so balanced and smooth that it's effortless. Might be wheat tang in there as well. Would love to see this recipe.

Love this beer. Website has it releasing on Nov 21, but it says "another" so must release in multiple batches. Can see why it's Gold Medal, and the website is advertising it's release so it must be a local favorite. I'd get in line.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2006 17:19:40 | More by FightingEntropy
Photo of bobbrew
bobbrew

Washington

4.8/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Something magical about this beer when I first tasted it in 2005 at the Sasquatch Beer Festival in Eugene, Oregon. Hughly hoppy with a feminine finesse. No rough edges here - just as it should be as it's brewed by the loveliest lady brewer in America. (I'm a huge fan of this style as I used to travel to Sierra Nevada in Chico so I could be the first non - SN employee to taste Celebration every year). Hophead made me forget about Celebration except for the uncontrollable subconcious lip smacking they both induce. This beer is very limited as it's brewed by a small lady in an equally small brewery. If you land a taste, pint or pitcher consider yourself one of the luckiest beer consumers in America.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2006 02:00:11 | More by bobbrew
Photo of Shaw
Shaw

Florida

3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the brewery in Bend:

This looks like a wheat beer: It's cloudy with a white head.

It has a big hoppy aroma, much bigger than their IPA, which should not be a surprise.

It's very bitter and has the piney quality that lots of Chinook hops import. The taste makes me think this was dry-hopped with lots of Chinook. I don't think that extra malt was used because it doesn't taste that heavy.

This is not the best Double IPA I have ever had, but it is still pretty good. The brewery's info said it has more than double the hops of their regular Elk Rock IPA, and I can believe it. But the brewer should have bumped up the malt some more, too.

Serving type: on-tap

09-30-2006 22:54:07 | More by Shaw
Photo of charlatan
charlatan

United Kingdom (Scotland)

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This cost me a whopping $5 for a pint at my local, but it may have been worth it.

It was cloudy and fairly light coloured (can't be rpecise givien the lighting in the bar) with a little residue in the bottom of the glass. There is very little head - just a rim around the glass which leaves some minimal lacing.

It has a dirty (in the way cider tastes and smells like dirty apple juice) autumnal citrus smell. It has a very sweet grapefruit and white sugar flavour with just a hint of brown sugar and some herbal hop flavour. This is a delight for those who are keen on citrus IPA's, but its name is rather misleading. It certainly doesn't have enough hop bitterness to make you wince. This brew does boast enough alcohol for one pint to have a significant effect, yet is drinkable enough that one will leave you wanting more.

Serving type: on-tap

10-14-2005 09:53:04 | More by charlatan
Photo of RedDiamond
RedDiamond

Oregon

3.45/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The bartender at the BBC can’t pour this beer fast enough. It reminds me of those scenes from the 1930’s when there were runs on the banks. Hophead has a big juicy aroma and haunted lace and tastes surprisingly mild and light bodied. It is bright orange-gold, clouded, and has a slightly chalky mouthfeel. Strong in demeanor, yet casual in appeal, it serves the style well enough but is not a big scary hop monster by any means.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2005 04:21:24 | More by RedDiamond
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Hophead Imperial IPA from Bend Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.