Hop Henge Experimental IPA - Deschutes Brewery

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Hop Henge Experimental IPAHop Henge Experimental IPA

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2,341 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,341
Reviews: 838
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 234
Gots: 253 | 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: 2,341 | Reviews: 838
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.

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

From the moment I opened this bottle I knew this was going to be good, the smell oh my god the smell, heavenly.

Taste was even better, like other reviews have said, a wonderful balance of malts, and lots of hops.

I am a UK native living in the USA. We English invent things but some other country always picks up the ball and runs with it, god bless Bend Oregan USA :)

Photo of Magpie14
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 22oz bomber
A: my pour was a bit to rigorous and gave way to a huge bubbly cream colored top. Head retention very admirable and lacing was filmy, dense, and intricately random in placement. Color was a lovely harvest of copper, orange, and reds and some bubbles festering around in the glass

S: various hops scents that all contain a some what earthy edge. Mostly citrus and floral grassy smells, very green and fresh smelling. Softer sweet notes mostly of caramel

T: so far so good, this beer has a very nice profile. Hops are the main focus and the malts do give reasonable support. Hops have a strong fresh presence and light oily finish. They consist of piney, floral, and tea leaf goodness. Subtle citrus hop characteristics exist as well, maybe a few halved oranges or grapefruits sprinkled with sugar. I also get a bite of timid pepper in the mix. Pale malts have a light foot hold and help entertain the sweeter side with caramel notes...not undermining the hops however

M: considering how things have been shaping up the body is right on par. On the tongue it is soft and presents a nice feel, light carbonation, and mild oily finish. Body is a good push over to mild

D: I can hit this sucker all night. Another great brew from Deschutes! Good things from this brewery and an all around solid drinker, a good hoppy showing

Photo of tmoneyba
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared with shigadeyo.

Pours a clear dark copper with a large frothy off-white head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Heavy complex hoppy citrus and alcohol aroma. Medium body with a slick texture. Heavy hoppy bittersweet flavor with a good bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

Very good brew to share with a freind.

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

This is basically a continuation of the yearly Hop Henge double IPA, but the formula (recipe) has been modifed a lot, and it's no longer called an IIPA, but an Experimental IPA. I've heard that this one is actually brewed with some lactobacillicus too...strange.

Pours a thick looking amber, crystal clear.

Aroma is hardcore hops and lots of them. Some sweet caramel in there, but it's basically a hop bomb. 95IBU and it's apparent.

Taste is heavy resin hop oil, massive sticky tooth-coating, cheek-numbing hops.

Sweetness there from the malt needed to bring up the abv, but it grasps on to hold the balance together. THis one is for the true hophead, anyone else will shudder in bitter bitter agony. Finish on this one is kind of smokey, which is interesting.

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

Pours hazy golden to brongze color with light tan head that retains relatively well.

Nose is grapefruity, perhaps some miscellaneous citrus.

Huge hops but also large malt component in the flavor profile. Less hoppy and candied with age (11 months on my bottles). It's coming around to an almost barleywine like character.

Rather easy drinking for a DIPA.

Photo of Dogbrick
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sample at Tenaya Creek in Las Vegas. The beer pours a clear orange-amber color with a wispy white head that diminishes quickly. Spotty lacing on the glass. Earthy malt, fruit and hops in the nose. Medium-bodied and moderately bitter with fresh fruity hops, malt and caramel flavors. The finish is hoppy with lingering citrus and earthy malt aftertaste. Above average overall.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Experimental for sure as the beer surely favors flavor of citrusy hops over bitterness with extreme reliance on late addition and dry-hopping of hops for extreme flavor and aroma.

The typical hazy golden-straw color held a froathy and long-lasting foamstand throughout the session with even and intricate patterns of lace. A very handsome beer!

Poured into a tulip, the beer releases an immense burst of orange, grapefruit, mangos, appricots, and spicy alcohol aromas. Both mouthwatering and appetizing out of the gate.

Flavors bring the same intense hop flavors that the nose promised with a definate emphasis on the all those citrusy notes. A follow of estery mangos, peaches, appriots, and almost pineapple all offer a continuation of the citrusy qualities that the hops deliver initially. The hop and yeast derived fruitiness are supported by a firm, sweet malt pillow that offers just enough extra confectioner's sweetness to keep the hops from complete domination. Slight peppery phenols compliment the sweetness and add intensity to the spicy alcohol to come.

Surprisingly, not as full or as richly textured as many bigger IPA's, but certainly deserving of it's characterization. Alcohols provide thinning, warming, and spiciness without bringing attention to the heat or impact. Bitterness definately does more than just balance the malts, but give a refreshing lemon or grapefruit zest and acidic cleansing deep into the finish.

This is a well balanced and intensely hoppy beer that relies on it's flavorful balance of hops and malts instead of trying to wow you with IBU's, thickness, or alcohol content- simply well done in recipe formulation and brewing execution!

Photo of badbeer
3.26/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber colored with a white head that had decent retention. Some sulfur in the aroma and floral; hops were a bit catty. Watery, but sweet malt eventually comes in, as well as sap, lemon, and some grainy flavors. Medium body and medium carbonation. Fairly drinkable, though I don't think I'd order another.

Photo of magictrokini
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Massive IIPA. Pours orange-gold with a pillowy whyite head and thick lacing. Fresh, floral hops with a lot of mango and pineapple. Somewhat syrupy mouthfeel. Hop-bomb of pineapple, grapefruit, more mango, and resin. Definite biscuit back with more sugar flavor than caramel. Loved it.

Photo of Chelsea1905
3.76/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought at Jim's Home Brew, 22oz bomber.

Poured wonderful, a really nice bburnt orange, with a caramel head that seemed full at first, but after settling went a bit porous, but sticky!

Smells like burnt caramel up front, some spice, and then malty and very faint hops in the background.

Tasted confused at first, citrus, orange spicy and caramel hits at the top end of the tasting, then tthe caramel and malt follow up. A second or so after taking a mouthful, they all seem to settle and give you a nice warm malty finish. Not really what I was expecting from an Imperial IPA, but a nice beer nonetheless.

Mouthfeel was not as effervescent as I was expecting, but sticky, leaves a bit of a coating in the mouth, but not in a bad way.

Sticky, and alcoholic, so can drink the bomber easily.

Photo of MrBendo
3.76/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful pour; clear deep orange with a large creamy head. Aroma of wet pine needles, earth and orange laden spices. Big malt backbone that screams 'not another California IIPA'.

Fairly big body with a spicy end. I prefer my IPA's to be more in the California style, but this is a nice break that seems to fit into the (fall) season a bit more. Thanks, Toby.

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

On tap at the Horsebrass the other night.

The beer pours the expected orange peach color with exceptional head retention and good lacing. On the nose I get a good deal of hoppy citrus, coupled with some interesting cherry and apple. On the palate this beer is just stunning. It's incredibly well balanced and has a lightness on the palate that is just lovely. The beer has the expected orange citrus from the huge hop bill, but Deschutes somehow seems to have blended in just the right amount of malt to give the beer some really nice fruit flavors of cherry, orange, apple and melon. The beer is at most medium bodied and the abv. is so well disguised that it's dangerous. I could easily see myself knocking back several pints of this if I wasn't careful, which would be very unwise given the abv.

Have not had this beer in some time and have to wonder if Deschutes has tweaked the recipe. Granted I've only had it out of the bottle prior to this, but I do not recall this beer previously tasting this good. The current version is exceptional.

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.6/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I bought a bottle for ~$4.50 at Lee's in Vegas. This beer was clear and colored copper like a used penny. The smell is strong with loads of malt along with the hops, making this more of an American barleywine than a DIPA. Tastes a lot like Bigfoot, very very hoppy but thickly sweet with malts. It was OK but honestly I prefer DIPA's that have less of a malt presence than this.

Photo of riored4v
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 10/28/08

Poured into a pint glass. Off-white, 2 finger thick, rocky head. Clear copper in color. Good lacing.

Smell is slightly spicey, floral and citrusy. Nice sweetness as well.

Taste has a fair amount of spiceness from hops. Nice citrus presence as well. Good sweet malt backbone. Caramel. Slight resin taste and good bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is sticky. Medium in body and medium carbonation.

Drinkability is good although the stickiness makes it seem bigger than it is.

Overall its a good Imperial IPA. Not the best i've had but it is a nice change from the citrus dominated IPA's.

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

Review from Beeradvocate Magazine March 07.

Hop Henge IPA's big brother, "Imperial," has been released from its shackles. Centennial, Cascade and Northern Brewer hops are the catalysts for a bitter onslaught. A rating of 95 IBUs is the result of about three pounds of hops per barrel (31 gallons).

Chestnut in color with good clarity and small bubbles in advance. Full-looking head drops a sticking trim on the glass and has commendable retention. Deep herbal, spearmint, blond tobacco and citric-accented aroma from the hops. Creamy, semi-smooth mouthfeel with a dense medium body. Tangerine fruitiness moves on to a citric rind flavor, and the full-on hop bitterness sets in. The 8.1 percent ABV is a bit hidden but warms up the mouth after several sips. Bready, dry malt backbone holds strong even though a ceaseless bitterness barrels over it. Finishes with a dry, herbal character.

Deschutes really knows how to throw down. They may as well stop playing around and make this a year-round brew. Let's go the meat-and-potatoes route for this one; a pot of Hell's Fire Stew is fitting.

Check out http://beeradvocate.com/cookbook/recipe/8

Photo of erikm25
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark tangerine and burnt scarlet orange color. The head is fluffy and off white with minimal dusky banana tinting. Lacing is sticky and lathered across the glass.

S: Great citrus and freshly squeezed grapefruit aromas. Floral with subtle pine sap hops and a sweetened malt backdrop. Slight hint of alcohol coupled with peppering spices. Became more flowery in aroma as it warmed to room temperature.

T: Tangy citrus and fresh pine. Solid and heavy malt spine. The malts seems to be a little more on the pale side and play a strong role. While hops is still at the forefront of the taste it is not as huge as I expected. Even with the 8% plus ABV the alcohol is well hidden behind sweet malts. Like the nose, a little ginger and relished kick.

M: Medium bodied with relatively low carbonation.

D: Extremely easy drinking DIPA. I would recommend this for someone who is not a huge fan of the style or new to it. I love trying this style of beer and all the unique approaches. This is one that I will continue to pick up in the future and it couples nicely with Sleep's sixty plus minute magnum opus.

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

Acquired via trade from vasdef42, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is a good mix of grassy hops, fruity citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts with a strong bite of floral hops bitterness, which is quickly followed by a hearty malt characters and sweet flavors of caramel & citrus. The beer achieves a better balance as it warms a bit. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, there are better 2IPA's out there but this is still a good hop bomb to drink for a long time.

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

Apparently Deschutes has recreated a monument in the likeness of Stonehenge on the lawn outside their brewery using wrapped bales of whole flower hops. This beer takes its name from that. Now it's no mystery.

Copper kettle with an orange laminate that makes the complexion glossy but also rather filmy. Steady streams of bubbles race to the surface. Off-white fuzz has grown on top and appears to climb up the glass as the level of beer continues to drop. It sparkles like freshly fallen snow.

The smell is lightly soapy with a kind of hoppy mustiness to it. You certainly can smell that a good dose of pungent green little pellets were used, but it isn't accompanied by much of any citric zest or tangy spice. Seems to me it's an equally ample level of malt congesting them.

My hunch would prove correct. Although each sip would contain a healthy dose of resiny citrus it was quickly stonewalled against a backdrop of cookie-biscuit and gooey toffee. It's kind of like a slice of lemon meringue pie coated in rich creme caramel. Ya, its definitely tasty.

The alcohol isn't entirely absolved by the aforementioned pairing, some makes its way through the cracks. Not enough to complain about however. The bitterness seems completely paved over; acidic hop resins are buffed right out by the sweet caramel-laced malts.

Deschutes is a really great brewery and anything I've ever had from their 'Bond Street Series' has been especially good. 650ml is a nice sized portion for a beer like this. The Hop Henge DIPA isn't anything that'll throw your head back, but it certainly will satisfy your taste buds.

Photo of arizcards
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber at AJ's in early July 2008 for $4.99. Reviewed 4.08 on 10-4-08.

Beer poured a copper color with a strong 2 finger head that is clinging as i sample-4.5

Nose is a hint of floral hops and malts that are to come - 3.5.

Taste is actually pretty well balanced considering this is a 95 ibu brew. Heavy malts seque nicely into a citrus hop finish - 4.0.

Mouthfeel is very nice, quite full bodied and smooth - 4.5. Overall drinkability is very good. At 8.1 abv, the alcohol is not noticeable or overwhelming. Would recommend to hop heads to try - 4.5.

Re-review 2/5/12. Best by 4-25-12.

Beer poured golden-orange with an ok head that is leaving lacing behind - 3.5.

Nose is wonderful, fresh citrus and mango are in abundance - 4.0.

Taste is very well balanced, malt backbone is strong allowing it to hold up to the 95 ibus. Hops win in the end as the citrus and mango leave a lasting sharpness behind- 4.5.

Mouthfeel is full and very smooth for the style making every sip a pleasure - 4.5.

Overall this is a solid beer, very representative of the style. One of the better ones from this solid brewery! 4.5.

Hop Henge Experimental IPA from Deschutes Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 2,341 ratings.