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Hop Henge Experimental IPA - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Hop Henge Experimental IPAHop Henge Experimental IPA

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2,268 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,268
Reviews: 825
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 238
Gots: 219 | 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
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,268 | Reviews: 825
Photo of Proteus93
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another bottle courtesy of Dustin (misterdmac) on his return from Colorado, and it's greatly appreciated.

A: Almost bronze with a reddish hue and a slightly blonde head. Like their more modest Inversion IPA, the head is wonderfully creamy and retains well, leaving plenty of lace as a souvenir.

S: Pleasant orange and grapefruit, with an added evergreen aroma. Some soft fruit esters... nice sweet touch.

T: I'm sucked into the flavour of this one. Sweet citrus with a nice dash of puckering of and some hints of tropical fruit. Fruity, and a soft biscuity malt round it all out. There's a little bit of a slightly syrupy sappy like flavour, though not maple.

M + D: The carbonation is rather prickly, but it doesn't have a big sparkling sensation or foaminess to really make it stab at the tongue. Rather, it's a tingle, and it suits the rich body well... it's nice and full, a little thick, even. Even with a little heft in the body, I find myself sipping away quite quickly... the flavour is divine and it is rightfully among the top DIPAs I have had the opportunity to taste. Excellent beer.

Photo of jdklks
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A deep, dark, transparent honey-amber body with a beautiful frothy tan-light-brown head. great looking beer.

S- smell is of citrus hops, apricot, peach, and other fruits. a slight malt and alcohol smell is apparent, but barely.

T- dry on the palate all the way through. hops everywhere. the fruit flavors are more subtle than would be expected from the smell. for all its hoppiness, the malt is much more prevalent than expected. a warming alcohol sensation on the way down.

M- not quite full-bodied, and lots of carbonation.

Photo of GarrisWH
3.72/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a somewhat dark, clear amber color with an off-white, frothy two-finger head that retains pretty well and leaves nice lacing on the glass.

S - Strong citrusy hop aromas with hints of mostly lemon and slight grapefruit. Also some floral hoppiness in there as well. Slight sugary malt aromas in the background, but very hop dominated on the nose.

T - Has a floral, bitter hop kick on first taste with a very sweet, bready malt backbone. The hoppiness is fairly complex with floral, citrus, and pine notes. The alcohol definitely comes through the flavor a bit in the aftertaste. Overall, a bit sweet for my taste and the alcohol content is not masked incredibly well. The hop profile is really nice though.

M - Medium bodied with a very resinous feel to it. Piney resin seems to coat the mouth completely.

D - Pretty drinkable overall, although i definitely wouldn't want more than one of these in a sitting. Not bad at all, just not mindblowing in any aspect besides the smell, which was quite nice.

Photo of berkey
4.16/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a hybrid tulip-pint glass. A somewhat vigorous pour creates a massive and incredibly persistent head. Once the head slowly starts to settle it leaves a trail of gloriously intricate lacing. Body is a fairly dark but very clean and clear amber. This is a great looking beer.

Aromas are an interesting tandem of floral and pungent hop bitterness. Although the aromas seem familiar I'm having a difficult time labeling some of the great bitter notes I'm picking up here. Quite complex actually.

More bitter hoppy goodness on the palate and I'm still marveling at the complexity. Some light citrus coming through along with some great pungent, skanky, smoky, and herbal flavors in the aftertaste. The big hop character is illustrated pretty well in the fact I'm more than half way through my review and and haven't yet mentioned the great balanced caramel maltiness that keeps this one from drifting too far off in one direction. Mouthfeel is full but clean and the moderate (for the style) ABV keeps this an easy drink. Found myself gulping it down even with the bitterness.

Overall a very interesting brew from Deschutes. While many DIPA's focus on florals, citrus, pine, or even booze, this one takes it in a slightly different direction and does it well. A welcome change of pace. If this were a year round offering it would almost certainly crack my top ten DIPA's and get a semi-regular rotation in my fridge. If you see this one, try it.

Photo of Zorro
3.55/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Red colored beer with a tall tan colored head. Very dark for the beer style.

Strong hop aroma with a distinctive sour aroma of lemon. Strong citrus aromas Orange, lemon, grapefruit, pine seems to be missing. There is a woody and aspirin scent here, Amarillo hops? Aspirin and oranges aroma intensifies as it warms.

Starts out neural and woody with a strong bitter and ash aftertaste. Mellows out and gives a tea flavor fairly quickly. One flaw to this one, the taste just doesn't wow me, it is just a bit too tame.

Mouthfeel is OK.

By the time I got to the bottom of this glass I was frankly bored with it. Somewhere between nose and mouth this beer gets lost.

Photo of IBUnit63
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 3, 1731 2009 is the coding. Courtesy of great trade with ckeegan04. Bomber into Duvel tulip.

Excellent IPA character. Buttery eggshell head of a couple of fingers tops a beautiful caramel/butterscotch body with a hint of haze and a bigger hint of bourbon color. Ample carbonation. Pretty decent retention and lacing.

From the scent initially it's your classic grapefruit hop bomb, but the brisk carbonation and a strong hint of caramel keeps this in a very nice balance...with the malt moderated by a bit of light booziness and viscosity. Overall rather creamy at the outset...maltiness becomes much more prominent after only a hint of warmth...let's see how this all manifests itself on the ol' gullet...

The creamy caramel malt is definitely a big player, but the booze gets a lot drier...less viscosity. Hops mellow out a little bit and leave more rind than grapefruit pulp. Creaminess remains...a fair amount of carbonation keeps this a little drier than expected, which is solid. Finish leaves a decent hop pucker backed by some residual creamy butterscotch.

On the palate the carbonation helps to distribute the varied essence of this thing all over the place. The grapefruit rind of the hops puckers up pretty nicely, but on the back end there's a vanilla creaminess...actually again closer to butterscotch...but it's still light with a booziness that's closer to rum and vodka...(or maybe you have a little Captain in you?) than bourbon. Could use a little more Beautiful Chemistry. Still, in pockets it dries out more and shows more of the hop rind than the maltiness. There's definitely diversity in this applicant pool.

Drinks well enough...gets a little heavy after a while, but that's OK. After a while the rind and creamy malt give the palate a boozy little beatdown that leaves it staggering a bit, but it comes up from the standing 8-count and hangs in to finish the fight. This overall seems like a successful collaboration. There's balance in abundance; maybe not an incredible amount of synergy or new ideas but it works well enough. Is the whole greater than the sum of its parts? Who knows...but sometimes...who cares? It's good.

Photo of Squelch
4.54/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Brown crystal clear beer. Medium head. Nice retention.

Smell: Best part of this beer. Very floral earthy hop Aroma . Excellent beer.

Taste: Very nice IPA. Excellent malt and hop Flavor. balance is a bit off or I'd give it a 5. A bit too sweet for the hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Needs a bit more body. A bit light.

Drinkability: Nice IPA. Will drink again!

Photo of HoustonTX
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hop Henge IPA.

Great name by the way.

Pours out effortlessly with a nice copper body. Frothy large white head, with extensive amounts of lacing.

Smell is really, really, spot on. Great essence of almost otherworldly citrus, just phenomenally intoxicating to the nasals. Lovely tantalizing citrus blends of grapefruit, orange peel, and pineapple. Amongst some of the finest base of malts, in any IPA.
This ranks up there with the best of the best, and actually kind of reminds me of PTE. Very, very, well done.

Taste once again, is a true treat for the palate. Lots of zesty assertive citrus hop notes - including deep tantalizing grapefruit, lemony zest, and a combination of mango/papaya. Very tropical, very dank, very fresh. Excellent. A bit of spiciness as it transitions from hops to malts. With a nice sweeping balance of earthy carmalley malt. Really nice.

I love the blending of flavors, and the great balance here. This IPA exceeds expectations, and honestly - it reminds and resembles the upper echelon of IPA's. This is a damn fine brew, with really no faults. Amazing all around!

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Super fresh bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Hazed bright red amber body with thick, creamy, sticky, khaki head. Awesome retention and lacing. A steady column of carbonation rises from the center.

Smell: Estery alcohol causes nostrils to flare at first whiff. Loads of sugary malts with red currant accents. Hops are pungent, resinous, and citric. Spicy to boot. Smells B I G.

Taste: Hops, hops, and more hops! Super bitter, especially in the back. Good deal of alcoholic dryness and warmth in the back as well, which melds together quite well with the strong bitterness. In the front and middle, you'll find caramel and doughy malts. Grapefruit can be tasted throughout, though at a much fainter level than the other flavors.

Mouthfeel: Resinous, spicy, warm, and dry. Quite chewy and a leaning toward the syrupy side. Medium to full in body. Mouth-numbing is pretty high. In one word: intense.

Drinkability: This is one powerful I2PA. A hop-head's dream. As for me, I dig it, but it's not nearly as complex as I'd like it to be. A couple months of aging might do this one some good. EDIT: It does smooth out toward the end of the sesh. +0.5

Photo of Cresant
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this 22 oz. into a Samuel Adams glass. Batch 2, 0809 2009 E. The body was a hazy deep amber color. The irregular, off-white head left moderate lacing.

Smell was malty in the beginning. Faintly of hard candy. There was a light organic stink. Disappointingly minimal aroma.

Taste was bready underneath a blossoming hops flavor. Alcohol was evident. There was a bright green bitterness that left a long linger.

Mouthfeel was smooth and rounded. Medium in body.

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

This is the new "Experimental IPA".

Pours a bright gold / orange color, slight haze, and a nice big off white head.

Aromas are of citrus, oranges, some pine, and hard candies.

Taste is bitter, with a mineral and aspirin like bite. Bright citrus hops flavors, mostly grapefruit. Some light malt flavors, a little creamy malts, and a bit of sugary sweetness. Finish is dry, with more fresh bitter hop flavors.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, a little light and thin, but not bad.

Drinkability is good. This is a pretty bitter IPA, but very fresh, with nice hop flavors. I really enjoy Deschutes offerings, but I have always thought that their IPAs weren't quite as good as the rest of their beers. But this one is a keeper. I wouldn't mind seeing this as a year round and in six packs.

Photo of alcstradamus
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A--Pours a rich copper/orange color with a huge 4 finger head using a somewhat hard pour into a pint glass. The head camps out for quite a while, and leaves thick lacing on the way down

S--Big hop nose...lemon, floral, orange, pine. Typical west coast IPA smell....meaning, excellent

T--The hops are confronted on the tongue by a huge malt backbone that does its best to balance this beer out but it doesn't quite succeed. That's OK, who wants balance in their DIPA's? Not me. Pine resin, orange peel, caramel, grass. Very solid.

M--Medium-to-full bodied and very sticky

D--Very good DIPA that I would buy again if I had better access to it. Drinks very easy without much bitterness, but doesn't have that WOW factor to make it stand out among the absolute best of the best

Photo of Reagan1984
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cream/foamy off white head with nice retention. Deep yet bright amber color.... Orange highlights. Perfect clarity, no visible carbonation. Lots of sticky lacing.

Aroma very fruity, some pineapple.. light toasted malts.

Flavor is nice. Resin like with lots of pine. Behind the assertive hop notes is a nice layer of caramel and malt. Not some of the fresh hop notes that I would expect, yet still nicely balanced. Hops really grab you in the back of the throat. Nice.

Mouth feel is oily and thick. Hops make this a big presence in your mouth.

Nicely drinkable, and an interesting DPA. Not really a classic though.

tastes slightly dated.... but most reviews are recent. I don't get it. No date on label.
*see code of 021 09 now that I look. If that's Jan '09.... then perhaps this faded a bit.

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

Bomber, recent arrival to Texas, reports 8.75% abv and 95 IBUs, which is impressive as 100 IBUs is the supposed taste threshold of normal humans.

A) Big pour into a big glass produced a two finger sea foam that slowly drops to a thick cap and leaves it's own tidemarks. Body is ruby red with sparkling clarity.

S) Oh momma, deep hop flowers, citric and west coast, grapefruit, orange, tangerine all with a musky honey sweet alcoholic base that encourages the first sip.

T) Bam! Oily bitter waves rich with hop juice. As Ralph would say "Tastes like burning", but in the best possible way. As you start to numb out from the alpha acid bath, a caramel malt base starts to come out with some English Old Ale leather and tobacco. It's a flavor onslaught, almost silly in intensity.

M) Low carbonation, oily as a McDonald's fryer, medium heavy body gives a little smack and chew.

D) Yum. Hard core beer, you've got to love the hops to break into this. I can predict some hop withdrawal symptoms in my future, better stock up on some more.

Photo of bradybeer
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

WOW-what a hop bomb. Pours a dark copper red with a rocky off white head. Pine resin hit me as I went in for my first sip. Initial malt sweetness, but then finishes with a silky smooth piney, hop bitterness, that lingers long after the beer is swallowed. The hops dominate this beer, which is fine by me-and I also appreciate that this beer is also a malt bomb. Drinkability is very good in part because the mouthfeel is slick from the hop oils which fill the mouth with lusciousness.

Photo of nathanm
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap as a sampler at Stone Brewery in San Diego.

I sampled two other IPAs along side it (stone and russian river), they were not "imperial", mind you, but pretty close. Deschutes was for me the best.

Mouthfeel was perfect and flavor was great for the style. Not too bitter - had the traditional Deschutes flavor which comes accross as a smooth ever-so-slight sweetness (fruitiness). I happen to enjoy that over and against a big bitterness.

I felt it was quite balanced all around and easily drinkable. I'd return for another without hesitation

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark orange color with a large frothy beige head that expands tremendously like one of those foam animal capsules when put in a cup of water. Awesome retention and equally impressive lacing.

Mouth watering bright citric and tropical hop aroma is terrific. Biscuity caramel malts are detectable in the background, but the hops easily dominate. Deschutes has a knack for blending beautiful hop profiles, a la Mirror Pond, and this is no exception.

Taste is loaded with hop flavor and bitterness. Resinous tropical flavors assault the palate and finish off dry and bitter with a mild alcohol bite that feels nowhere near the 8.75%. Full body nears the point of syrupy, and there is a decent dose of balancing malt that adds a touch of honey-like sweetness in mid-palate. This brew is pretty drinkable and does not seem as bitter as the 95 IBUs the label claims. Im not the biggest IIPA fan around, but this beer is one of the tastier versions I have had. Very smooth and has a flow to it rarely found in hop bombs, it does not have the rough edges found in many versions of the style. Another winner from Deschutes!

Photo of route66pubs
3.11/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #3, 2009

Pours an amber color with a thick white head. Head retains very well along the side of the glass. Somewhat surprised by the color ... perhaps not as hoppy as expected?

Aroma seems quite lacking. This is definitely no hop bomb. Slight citrus-y scent there, but nothing noticeable. (Am I stuffed up and don't know it?)

Crispiness with a good deal of oatmeal (?) like front leads to a bitter, indefinable crispness at the back. Slight orange taste at the very back of the mouth.

Perfect IPA mouthfeel. This one has the crispness and bite, especially at the back of the mouth, that you would expect from a rich IPA such as this.

It's seeming lack of hops and bitterness, combined with its perfect dryness, leave me wanting more ... much more ... of this beer. Is there such a thing as an 8.75%ABV IPA session beer? I don't think so, but if there was, this would be it.

Hop Henge is not the standard West Coast, overly-hopped, in-your-face IPA I'm used to drinking. But it is quite an extensive, easy-to-enjoy brew. Its aromas and flavors are not going to get in the way of simply enjoying this brew on a hot summer's day (or a relatively cool, almost-summer's-day such as today). Definitely something I'd look for again!

Photo of itcomesnpints
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden translucence. Fat head. Shitload of lace. She's a beaut.

Nose is dripping with hop oils. Smells illegal.

95 IBUs? Where are they? Lacks bitterness and is a bit too sweet. Hop Henge is definitely tasty, just not bold enough to make headlines.

Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little sharp. Alcohol is well hidden.

A worthy double IPA from Deschutes.

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch #3 2009

A- Big, soapy head with an orange tint. The body is a filtered, yet slightly hazy, light copper color with fiery orange on the edges. Slow moving bubbles in a viscous solution.

S- Potent hops. Fresh hops. Juicy hops. Delightful aromas of candied oranges and grapefruits, peppery herbal seasoning, and finally a dollop of sweet potatoes from the mix of malts.

T- The hops don't attack your taste-buds with this beer. They dig in and make buds with your tongue. Gently bitter for an Imperial IPA at 95IBU. Flavors alike the aroma, but the malts make more of an appearance and guide the hops along. I could go for a bit more complexity, but this beer is no slack.

M- Nice and thick. Good and bubbly. Slick and smooth.

D- Almost went too quick for me to review it. Even my dad who thought 120 Minute IPA(Not a standard IPA by any standards, I realize) was disgusting found this delightful.

I have found my DIPA... for now... in a 22oz seasonal available January through April... Well, maybe I'll enjoy the other Bond Series IPAs

Photo of Beernoisseur
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is another spectacular beer among many from Deschutes. Keep 'em coming gentlemen.

A - Deep, Rich orangy red amber with a huge, pillowy ivory head. Spotty lacing that probably would have been more pronounced in a pint glass (I'm drinking it from a snifter).

S - Complex for an IPA. Citrus that has elements of grapefruit rind and orange, with a slice of tropical fruit (mango?) thrown in. Crushed spruce needles, and a touch of brown sugary sweetness.

T - Similar to the nose, The flavor is very nice and deep. Moderate fruit esters up front, but the hoppy bite and astringency balances nicely. Very well developed flavor. Hops are dominant, but they don't rule with an iron fist. They are diplomatic hops who prefer compromise to all out violence and tyranny, and are quite often seen in photos shaking hands with the leaders of less powerful malt nations. Clean hoppy bitterness on the finish. Very very good.

M - Slight prickliness on the initial pull, then creamy and soft mouthfeel.

D - The drinkability is incredible, but you have to be careful with these. They are awfully strong.

Photo of DrMalt
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A) Poured a dark amber red with a firm thick almost white head.

S) Excellent aroma but not extraordinary. Some floral & pine

T) Excellent taste with loads of grapefruit & bitternes. Definistely a hop explosion.

M) Alcohol warming but not overpowering

D) A superb DIPA but as with many...one is often enough.

Serving type: bottle

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

Sampled on-tap at the Burger Bar in Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas.

A - Deep amber tones with thick white head. Retention is decent and there is considerable lacing.

S - Just what I was hoping for, pine, citrus, and some sour grapefruit notes.

T - Slight kick of malt upfront and then it is all hops. Extremely piney and citrusy. However, it was not overly bitter.

M - High carbonation and the hops are almost sticky.

D - Highly drinkable. The first one went down quickly and could have easily had another.

Photo of Oahu
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deschutes Brewers probably spend their nights frustratedly trying to figure out how to make bad beer, and go to sleep unsatisfied, because they don't have an effin' clue.

A) Glorious Phoenix-Flare Amber Red. Not pale, but beautiful. Gobs and Gobs of firm beer foam. Mmmm.

S) Smells like the hops in this beer are about to ride your tastebuds hard and put them up wet. Extremely Accurate Forshadowing.

T) Like getting kicked in the mouth with glorious American Hoppiness. Bitter. Tangy. Mildly Sour. Zesty. Hints of Lemon.

M) Overwhelming. In a good way.

D) This is the palate equivalent of a Metallica Concert. Don't be expecting to taste anything else afterwards. It's a great beer, but I'm not gonna drink six of em.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this courtesy of Rus - thanks!

Pours a hazy copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head sticks around for a bit before receding into a patchy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of mild grapefruit and pine hop aromas with a good amount of sweet malts that are somewhere in between caramel and pale.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Solid amounts of malt - both caramel and pale - up front followed shortly by grapefruit hops. The ending is bitter but also manages to be more on the sweet side than I was expecting.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got good thickness and solid carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and I could have another.

Overall this is a good DIPA, but it seems to have too much going on to be very good. Still, it's worth a shot to decide for yourself.

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Hop Henge Experimental IPA from Deschutes Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 2,268 ratings.