Hophead Imperial IPA - Bend Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hophead Imperial IPAHophead Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

70 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 70
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.16%
Wants: 25
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: RedDiamond on 10-01-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 70 | Reviews: 31
Photo of ElGordo
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
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!

Photo of loren01
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
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!!!

Photo of daveytheformer
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of Derek
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of MtOrion
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It was a true Imperial IPA. Well Balanced, full flavor. The Bitter did not over throw as many do, the malt sat side by side. Balance balance balance.

Photo of flexabull
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Photo of FightingEntropy
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

Photo of bobbrew
4.77/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

Photo of Neilbeermaster
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

Photo of caskstrength
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

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Hophead Imperial IPA from Bend Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.