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Hop Henge Experimental IPA - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Hop Henge Experimental IPAHop Henge Experimental IPA

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2,182 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,182
Reviews: 811
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.93%
Wants: 225
Gots: 163 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SurlyDuff on 01-21-2009

This is their new version of Hop Henge Imperial IPA, the hops have been modified as of 1/2009.

Available: January to April
Alc. by Vol.: 8.5 - 9.0% range
IBUs: 95
View: Beers (117) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,182 | Reviews: 811 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Meandmymonkey
4.59/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #1 pours a nice amber/copper color with a thin head and minimal lacing. Smells super fruity with heavy citrus notes and an overall sweet finish. Has an initial sweet, syrupy taste that ends in a bitter, tongue snapping way. Very well balanced for the amount of hops that in this brew. While high in alcohol, definitely not overbearing while still maintaining a strong malty character. A memorable ale from an amazing brewery. Way excited to try batch #2 for any discrepancies/surprises.

Photo of hopdog
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Poured a medium and very slightly hazy amber color with a larger sized off white head. Some lacing was left on the glass as the head diminished. Aromas of fruitiness, citrus, floral, caramel, and pine. Tastes of pine, citrus, lighter fruitiness (vs. the aromas), floral, and caramel. The floralness came out more and more as I drank and enjoyed this one. I was pleasantly surprised by this one.

Photo of xhcadamx
4.72/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Dark copper with a off white head. Superb lacing. Very Sticky.

S - Hops, pineapple, citrus and a faint bit of pine

T - Very much like the nose, lots of pineapple, citrus, a tad of bitterness in between. Very hoppy sweet.

M - Deliciously syrupy

D - Very tasty and you can't taste the alcohol. Could be disastrous.

Photo of jdoncbus
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle stamped 021-09-0938-E; thanks to GilGarp for the trade.

Bomber poured into Du Monde tulip glass. Bronze in color with plenty of carbonation. Fluffy biege head that disapates slowly and leaves some thick rings around the glassware.

Pine and citrus smelling hops blast the nose accompanied with sweet dough and toasted grain. The alcohol makes an appearance towards the end with its bitter whiff.

A massive force of pine, grapefruit, bittersweet salad greens, plum, honey and brown sugar. An almost sweet sherry flavor mixes around in the west coast hop barage with a woody, grain backbone bringing it all together. The mouthfeel begins quite smooth and ends with a creamy dryness (if its even possible). Faint alcohol appears but hidden very well. I am loving the hop numbing accompanied with a sweet-malt after taste.

This is a fantastic beer and a must for all of those hopheads who cannot gain access to Deschutes. For Oregonians - appreciate, love, and cherish this beer; it's special.

Photo of swsampson
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm drinking it now and it's 8.75%...this review might be a little impaired. Never-the-less, this is a very good IPA...caramely and bitter -- best of both worlds. More bitter than caramel. Medium to dark in color. Nice sticky foam head. Somewhat like Deschutes Inversion IPA but with more caramel in my opinion. This comes only in 20oz bottles. No six packs. Good stuff.

Photo of mjl21
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle purchased from Ledger's and poured into a snifter. This is the new version of Hop Henge. Bottle is coded 021 09 0901 E. Comes in at 8.75% and 95 IBUs.

A-Looks like burnt caramel. Decent head after pour that stays for a while. Lots of lacing on the top part of the glass.

S-Not nearly as big as a lot of the DIPAs that I like. Grassy hops and alcohol come out first. As it warms, citrus starts to hit the nose.

T-Bitter melon followed by sweetness. Grassiness is in there and some noticeable alcohol.

M-Medium bodied. Definite bitterness due to 95 IBUs.

D-The booze is definitely in there and you know you are drinking something with a kick. I feel this does limit its drinkability.

I found this better than the previous version of Hop Henge. It is at a good price point ($4.99), but for my money I would probably go with something from a different West Coast brewer.

Photo of BrutalBeerFan
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first experience with Hop Henge was at the Deschutes Brewery pub in Bend a few years back. They were only offering small pours into tulip or wine glasses, cannot remember exactly. I recall it was the hightlight of the many fine ales I sampled. The Obsidian on nitro was also excellent. So when I found the EXP IPA at the store recently I had to give it another taste...

A- A clear copper color, pours with a nice butter cram head. Some retention and fair lacing.

S- Gorgeous floral hop aroma, stand out citrus.

T- Bitterness throughout, pleasant strong and lingering on the palate.

M- Moderate to heavy bodied for an IPA. Lite carbonation. Alcohol is not overt, balanced.

D- Very pleasant, a lovely all around beer.

Photo of freeeekyyy
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- Dark amber. Pours a very large head which dissipates quickly, but leaves very nice lacing.

S- Alcohol and hops. Not much else to say.

T- Lightly roasted malt. Big round C-Note hop flavor. Very tasty.

M- Smooth, thick and chewy mouthfeel. Absolutely wonderful.

D- Drinkability would be great if it weren't for the high alcohol. As it is, one is enough.

All in all, a great beer. If Deschutes is available in your state, get the Hop Henge. I think it might even be better than the Abyss.

Photo of rye726
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice IPA from Deschutes. Well balanced with a tasty hop structure. Pours a medium brown with a tan head. The nose has a flowery bouquet of hops over sweet malts. Taste is on the English IPA side as it strays from the huge hop hit. Medium body well carbonated.

Photo of Spikester
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear amber with a one finger off white head. Fair amount of lacings. Aroma is floral, piney hops. Taste is piney grapefruit orange bitter hops with a firm malt component. Mouthfeel is good with perfect carbonation. Some alcohol is evident and also the effect of same. Drinkability is good if you don't mind the 8.75%abv.

Photo of midaszero
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear amber with one finger of and light tan head and leaves some good lacing

S - Nice and hoppy with some good floral notes

T - Good mix of malts and hops not overly bitter but does have a burn to it which for the ABV isn't unreasonable but makes it a tad harder to drink

M - Medium body with medium carbonation

D - Mostly enjoyable and mostly easy to drink

Photo of illidurit
3.94/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

09 version. Poured into a pint glass. Translucent amber color with a big creamy light-tan head. Tons of sticky lacing and great retention.

Aromas of underripe grapefruit, pine, maybe a tinge of lime. Not all that robust.

Flavor is hugely piney with some herbal notes and an undercurrent of unsweet citrus. Malt profile is very subdued, with maybe a little caramel malt sweetness but not much. Bitterness is between medium and high, and there's some slightly metallic astringency. Definitely a hophead's IPA. Could use more bitterness and maybe a bit more complexity. Mouthfeel is dry with nice carbonation and medium body. Pretty good.

Photo of Willamette
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

EDIT: 2009 Experimental version - Batch#1
This is different, or I have slipped deeper into my appreciation for Imperial IPAs. I tried the 2009 version on tap at the KLCC brewfest ( http://brewpublic.com/beer-reviews/klcc-brew-fest-puts-fun-in-fundraiser/ ) and was surprised at how much stronger the aroma was over the other beers (read: ALL other beers) I tried that night. It was getting late but I knew I liked it more than my 2007 review suggests. I had to try it again for 2009 so I picked up a couple of 22oz this time.

The aroma proved to be as outrageous as I thought the night of the Brewfest. The bitterness is still big but is more in balance with everything else. Actually, the whole beer seems to be more balanced than my last review....or is it me? Though it is more balanced, I'm inclined to call it an "extreme" IPA. Few, if any, other beers in this price/ABV range seem to be as bold as this. I've edited the numbers to reflect my recent opinion.

I'm thankful to BA for giving me the resources to determine that this is a different beer than the one I initially tried in 2007. I'm glad I didn't wait for someone else to buy it for me.

ORIGINAL REVIEW: 2-1-07, A=4, S=3.5, T=2, M=3.5, D=2.5 == C
22oz bottle with a great looking label appropriate for todays headlines. The beer itself looks quite appealing. It has a very slightly hazy, amber color with a well dispersed and slow rising bubble field. The head is average, generally dense, one finger thick which quickly dissipates into an edgeheavy film. This film easily regenerates after each sip.
The smell is pleasant but mild for an Am. Double / Imperial IPA. Fruity - sweet. Northwestern. (I haven't quite deciphered the specific scents:))
The taste was disappointing. The aroma shows initially then it jumps abruptly into strong bitterness. Perhaps it is my immature palate or maybe just the moment, but I was not impressed.
I was a bit distracted by the taste but the mouthfeel is pretty good. Maybe a little too much sparkle in the beginning but it has a mild, lingering slickness which doesn't leave the mouth too dry.
What can I say?....I'm not really hoppy with it. Someone will have to buy the next one for me or maybe I'll drink it again if I find it on tap.

Photo of Wetpaperbag
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice hazy amber color with the typical head of a DIPA. Frothy and thick, yet creamy with great lacing.

S- Sweet grapefruity goodness. Thats pretty much it, liquid hop goodness in the form of great smells.

T- Lots of hops, and well there should be. Good sweet malts, yet the star is the hops. Very ka-pow and intense, yet it tends to settle down a bit. Starts off sweet then finishes bitter. Like you eating just the fruit part of the grapefruit, then after all the fruit is gone you eat the pith and get a bitter taste on your tongue.

M- Feels good on the mouth, but this is sort of having its way with my tongue.

D- Easy to drink, the hop bite isn't too over powering.

Photo of HalfFull
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Pours a slightly hazy orange golden in color with a half inch of off white head. Doesn't offer much retention but shows a fair amount of lacing.

Good dose of citrus and piney hops on the nose with light malty undertones. Not too much variety but nice. A good swirl really wakes things up mid pint. Notable alcohol only after some warming.

Hops up front on the tongue, followed by a moderate maltiness. Notes of citrus on the nose and tongue lessen through the beer, becoming more pine and earthy. Lighter in malt body than I expected given the ABV, not overly sweet or cloying by any means. ABV is cloaked well nonetheless. Does deliver a bitter and chalky close as a result of the relative dryness that lingers on the throat after the swallow. Feel is good as the finish is more to my liking than a sweet viscous close for a DIPA. Bitterness does limit the drinkability a bit however. Drinks lighter than its weight, that's for sure.

Photo of Docer
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Wow, the malt liquor of IPA's!

Great sessional..


- Great amber/copper color... nice tiny-bubbled eggshell colored head... creamy like coolwhip.. great lacing all over the glass. It's like watching continents drift.

- For me I smell more caramel malts right up front (which is needed to get the sugars for strength). Sweet honey. The usual awesome floral hops from this brewer.

- The taste is much like the smell... malty. Smooth creamy caramel malt with a spicy hop/alc. burn. Taste more hop when belched.

- Leaves the mouth nice and parched as it should/would. Sweet aftertaste with a bitter hop bite long after the end.

- Rather easy to drink, mild carbonation.

A little more time eating the sugars, and sh!tt!n' out the burn.. this would be a barley wine. A tad sweet for my taste. Between this, and a ruination.. I'd go w/ the ruination. Imagine hop trip set out in the sun like a sun-tea... after a few kegs settled down to a jar... you've got this. It is great!

Photo of dfitch81
4.67/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Supposedly the hops in this year's Hop Henge have been "tweaked." Somehow I never tried this beer before, so I can't provide any comparison between this version and that which went before.

I can, however, say that this is one kick ass hop-bomb of an Imperial IPA. Hop Henge v2.0 pours a rich clear amber with a pleasing puffy head; thick, sticky lacing marks my progress as the precious hoppy elixir disappears from my glass. Quite a looker. Put your nose anywhere near this stuff and you will know immediately that there are some muthaf***in' HOPS in this beer and that they are charge here. Seriously - the hop aroma that rises off this stuff is as strong as the actual hop taste in some IPAs

So how does it taste? Well, it is every bit as hoppy as the smell not-so-subtly suggested it would be. The hops impress mightily: so grapefruity and piney and GOOD. But once you're done savoring the intensity and fullness of the hops, you'll notice that the malt hasn't been neglected. Hop Henge packs in its hops without teetering out of balance - one of this brew's most outstanding characteristics. Mouthfeel is a bit on the thick side compared to many beers of this style, but in the end that actually works really well for this beer.

The only real problem I can find with this beer is that at 8.75% ABV I can't drink as much of it as I want to. Bottom line: if you see this, buy it and enjoy one of the best of the best.

Photo of Jason
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

So they tweaked the hops on this years version, I am glad they were able to brew it again. Pours a dark orange amber color with a healthy crowning of off white lace. Smells of blood oranges, hemp seeds, papaya and faint evergreen which comes mostly from the hops. Clean bite in the breath of bitter hops and slightly, but very clean, solvent alcohol. Smooth with a deep creamy malt body. Hop bitterness pops but leave a few spots for the malt to come through. Slight caramel and toasted biscuit maltiness pairs well with the fruity esters. Clean warming alcohol throughout. Finishes hoppy and quite bitter but nothing that destroys the taste buds.

Spot on for the style, what ever they tweaked it still stands comparable to the previous version. Love the beer ... make it year round please.

Photo of scottoale
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. brown bomber with a bottling code: 021 09 0841 E. It pours an orange coppery color with good clarity and visually mild carbonation. A nearly two-finger off-white, beige sticky head sits on top and clings to the glass as you drink.

Sweet citrusy nose with some caramel, grapefruit and pine leading the way. Not as hoppy in the nose as I was expecting, but plenty hoppy just the same.

Nice floral fruitiness to start, like honey and orange blossom, then comes the hoppiness of grapefruit and refreshing pine, followed by a bitter hop finish. Very nice hop riddled flavor. It's got some big body thats produces some more sticky head with a few swirls and brings more floral notes to the nose. Good full mouthfeel with the alcohol hiding deep within, along with the subtle (not too subtle) carbonation, giving this brew fine drinkability qualities.

Very nice job on the hops in this one, a pleasure to drink and then some.

Photo of monkeylovebeer
5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For my money, Bend, Oregon's Deschutes Brewery can do no wrong. Every time I weigh the pros and cons of pitching everything and moving north, being closer to the House that Cinder Cone built is always at the top of the plus column. I think that somehow those crafty Oregonians are aware of this and every year they drop this hop bomb to ensure that crazy ideas like that are pushed to the back of my mind by urgent messages from my tongue, screaming, "Damn, this is tasty! Have another one!" Somehow, nothing ever gets done.

Well, this year, we're foiled yet again. 2009's Hop Henge is labeled an "experimental" IPA which is a little disconcerting, but upon first pour, whatever they are doing up there (as long as no animals or aging hop heads were harmed) is aces with me.

Hop Henge pours with an incredibly tenacious head, like the meringue my great aunt Alice used to whip up for her lemon pies. The brew itself is a beautiful honey-colored nectar that throws off serious hop resin notes with a little grapefruit and cannabis thrown in for good measure.

Once this brew hits the tongue, it's all over but the spielin'. The pounds of Centennial and Cascade hops are perfectly balanced to make this one of the smoothest-drinking hop bombs I've yet tried. Now, where's my Oregon map?

Photo of PDXHops
4.97/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Note: This is Batch 1.

Kicking off Superbowl Sunday in style w/this 22 ounce bottle, poured into a Duvel tulip.

Great dense, 2 finger head on top of an amber body. The head veeery slowly reduces but never disappears. Visibly active carbonation in the glass. Lacing is sticky and plentiful.

The usual DIPA suspects of piney and grapefruit smells (and in great abundance), but much more complex. A kind of smoky/cannibis element somewhere in there, along with plentiful sweet caramel and floral aromas. This stuff smells incredible- I'm not doing it justice. I was enjoying the smell so much I sniffed and swirled for a good 2 minutes.

Very complex in the mouth. Big citrusy (orange and tangerine, not just grapefruit) and, to a lesser degree, pine/cedar hop flavors smack you right off the bat, but there's a lot going on here. Some caramel and honey try to keep the bitterness somewhat in check, but are slapped aside with disdain. Some earthy flavors, and a tiny bit of that smoky element from the aroma seems to carry over into the mouth. Taste is awesome. Incredible hoppiness- resiny, sticky, gritty, oily, scratchy, hot damn. Again, I'm not doing this beer justice.

Medium body and carbonation. A bit of sweetness and a helluva lot of lingering bitterness in the finish. Leaves the throat practically burning and begging for another sip. Drinkability/enjoyability is dangerously high at this ABV.

Overall impression: Great stuff from Deschutes here. Incredible DIPA.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 picked up at the Coop yesterday... don't remember the price, but I'm sure it was in the $6 range.. poured into my shaped SA glass.

Easy 2 finger meringue like head is taking forever to die back... the brew is a perfectly clear honey amber.. tons of lace.. really just an amazing amount of lace and the head is a foamy beast that just refuses to actually settle down.

Nose is everything expected in a DIPA.. citrus.. pine.. and a nice smack of floral hops.. caramel maltiness is present but is waay in the background.

Flavor is not as bitter as I remember.. but is very heavily balanced toward the hop flavor side.. grassy and citric with again more floral overones.. much more than the aroma. oily. grapefruit oily... lemony.. again some caramel but not even close to being a player, it's much more of a hop delivery device.. finish is sorta dry with a lip smacking oily tongue coating hoppiness.. body is perfect and so is the carbonation..

Pretty much reminds me of last years. but with a bunch more grapefruit zest and a pleasant albeit unexpected yet appreciated floral note..

Very very good.. I would love to find out the story on the changes.

Photo of GreenCard
3.82/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pale orange-brown, slight haze, huge pillow of tight-beaded foam, great head retention, lacey

Aroma: Braeburn apples, caramel, manuka honey, alcohol; dense pine, citrus, herbal hoppiness like sticking your head into a hop sack

Flavor: thick malt smack heavily laced with resinous, piney hop flavor; background of plain bar soap, yeast nutrients, paper, and buttermilk; finishes dryish with a raspy grapefruit rind bitterness

Mouthfeel: full body, gentle carbonation, astringent, alcohol warmth

Other comments: Interesting. This is definitely a "monument to hops" in so much as it's loaded down with them. There's also a strange background flavor that I cannot describe, but it's not necessarily a good flavor. I wonder how this beer would do with 6-12 months on it.

Photo of djeucalyptus
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a beautiful crystal clear golden amber with an incredible cream colored head that grew to two-plus-fingers and lingered for a good while before falling to a thin cap that stuck with the brew, leaving stunning and varied lacing to the bottom. a steady stream of bubbles keeps the cap in place.

aroma is incredibly complex hops. sweet caramel malt with grapefruit, pine, and even a bit of floral and earthy hops. Smells delicious. Green, fresh, earthy hops with a bit of caramel malt and honey to smooth it all out.

Taste follows aroma with a earthy, fresh, citrusy hop kick. Bitter, but more like citrus pith than pine. Delicious! A touch of pepper and a touch of unidentifiable funk make their way in to the mix. The malt backbone remains strong despite the hops assault, grounding everything with a caramel malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel is richly creamy. There's a definite numbing oily bitterness, but ample fine carbonation helps rinse it away leaving a smooth richness of hop flavor on the tongue. Slightly numbing, slightly sweet, slightly slick, and incredibly drinkable. A touch on the thin side given the abv/ibu, but not necessarily a bad thing.

Drinkability is incredibly high for the style. I could easily have a few of these. I'm not feeling overwhelmed with hops, despite the 95 IBUs. Deliciously incredible. A truly beautiful orchestration of hops. I feel an addiction coming on.

Photo of GilGarp
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was very excited to find this one today. I didn't know it was coming out so early and last years version was one of the best IIPAs I've had.

Pours a beautiful copper red color with a slight haze to it. The head is thick, sticky, and lingers for a good long time. Lacing is all over the glass.

Aroma is huge hoppy goodness with all the great west coast hop characteristics. Lots of pine and grapefruit with a nice sweet citrus smell as well.

Flavor is super hoppy and very bitter. 95 IBUs is nothing to sneeze at. Sweet at first but turning quickly bitter towards the end, this one is intense. The bitterness has a woodsy earthy character that is really unusual. Overall the beer leans almost towards a barleywine in the sweet fruity character but the hops are so big it could only be an imperial IPA.

Mouthfeel is good for the style but the bitterness and alcohol are starting to take a toll on the back of my throat. It's burning to a degree.

Drinkability is suffering but not because it isn't a quality beer. The aroma and taste are great but it starts to wear after a while.

I'm torn with this beer. I want to like it fresh because the aroma is great and the hops are huge but it almost seems to need a few weeks to mellow out.

Hop Henge Experimental IPA from Deschutes Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 2,182 ratings.