Hop 15 | Port Brewing

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Hop 15Hop 15
1,888 Ratings
Hop 15Hop 15

Brewed by:
Port Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
First brewed in 2002 to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the Pizza Port in Solana Beach, Hop 15 was imagined and designed by Tomme Arthur and Jeff Bagby. It was to be a celebration of 15 years of "Good Beer Brings Good Cheer." So there are 15 different hop varieties that are added to the beer every 15 minutes.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,888 |  Reviews: 817
Reviews by Soonami:
Photo of Soonami
3.61/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Ionic Pint glass from a 22oz bomber

A- The color was the coppery, tawny color I expected, but there was almost no visible carbonation in the beer and certainly no head. This was not from a weak pour, but from a full pour into the center of both glasses. This was a very disappointing start. Moreover, even though the bottle was stored upright, a large amount of yeast was dislodged and floating in even the first glass making it very murky full of chunky yeast. I had to wait several minutes before the yeast settled near the bottom of the glass to take a sip. This is one of the poorest glasses of beer I have seen.

S- The smell was hoppy like wet pine needles, grass, and fresh orange peel. But without a head it was more difficult to really get a good nose of the bouquet

T- The hop flavor was well represented with a citrus-like bitterness and oily bite. The sweet malt followed to balance the wallop from the heavy hops

M- The beer was smooth and syrupy almost like a barleywine and not as crisp as a pale ale (Imperial India or otherwise) should be. The lack of carbonation definitely contributed to this

D- The beer tasted good, but definitely more like an American Barleywine than DIPA. As such, it was not as expected or advertised which drastically affected my experience.

I wonder if I got a poor sample, with very low carbonation and an infestation of yeast, because this beer was definitely what I thought I was getting from an American DIPA. However, the beer appeared to be in good condition and there was not a bottled date so far as I could tell so I can only assume that it was fresh. Because of this, I feel that this review is applicable of an experience that one could reasonably expect to have with this beer in seemingly good standing.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Tombomb
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this on draft at the Pizza Pub. Served in a heavy goblet 10 oz pour. Had a great citrus nose and light golden color. The taste was all citrus. More mandarin orange and apricot than grapefruit. Smooth finish with a lingering citrus sweetness. Very drinkable considering the high ABV. I wanted another one, but the wife gave me the "no go, your driving" look. Would definitely get it again.

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Photo of brotherloco
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Re-review. Bottled 3/6/13. Served in a tulip.

Much happier with this beer than my previous experience. Fresh hops make all the difference.

Tropical and citrus fruit in the aroma, along with some herbal notes. Sweet malt sits behind that.

Flavor is still a little sweet, but floral hop flavors dominate and add significant bitterness. Kind of a saline finish.

Great carbonation and a full mouthfeel.


Bomber. Bottled 6/24/10. Wish I had a fresher bottle of this, as I was a bit disappointed with it. Bottle had a lot of floaties in it.

A real sweet caramel malt bomb, which is not what I'm looking for in a DIPA. It's not a bad tasting beer, but it's not the flavor I'm expecting. Like I said, I need a fresher version of it to judge for sure.

Nose is buttery sweet caramel. Taste has a significant bitterness, but the sweetness is strong throughout, and sticks to the tongue. The alcohol emerges pretty quick too. DIPA's don't need to be 10%, I wish this one was less.

I suppose if this was an Imperial Red, it would make more sense, but the heat from the alcohol is still too strong to make it very drinkable.

I feel I'm way off from the average reviews here, so I hope to get a fresher version in the future to review, and I can update my notes.

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Photo of MusicaleMike
4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Served chilled in a teku glass.

Color of hazed, rusty sunshine, an orange amber color that glows. Topped by a massive off-white head that leaves chains of lacework behind as it recedes. Fairly decent head retention.

Hop 15 carries a remarkable aroma for a Double IPA, showing off bright notes of dank weed, lemon zest, orange juice, champagne, and vanilla. It is fresh smelling, exceedingly hoppy, and subtley sweet underneath it all.

Initial impression is BOOZY. Then you notice the creamy mouthfeel, and a flavor that is packed with hops. Sweet mid-palate flavor, with an herbal hop finish. It mixes citrus fruit, basil, and vanilla, and it strikes a balance despite its obvious strength and hop intensity. Very soft carbonation, robust and plentiful, but a very gentle texture. Smooth and full-bodied.
There is a light sweetness that pokes against the massive hop profile, actually finishing a touch sweet.

Really, it is not difficult to see how this beer has won so many awards. It's definitely not "sessionable" but it is certainly delicious. It's a knock-you-out kind of DIPA, that possesses a well-crafted character. Paired with a carrot cake from Devon Seafood Grill. A magical pairing, even if it is stereotypical. The bitter hops play against the sweet cream cheese frosting so well, and the sweet malt connects with the subtle sweetness of carrots.

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Photo of oberon
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My last beer of my big CHRISTmas order this year I saved for a Michigan victory Tuesday night.Poured into an imperial pint glass a deep burnt orange with sticky one finger white crown.Huge fresh hops after opening the bottle,grapefruit and tropical fruit just jump in your face,crazy fresh just awesome.Not overly sweet on the palate like way to many of the style just powerful hops with mild alcohol and caramel sweetness underneath the hop onslaught.I loved this beer to me this is what a DIPA should,just great.

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Photo of Brolo75
4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type: 22 oz. bomber poured into a belgian style tulip glass

Appearance: Beautiful orange color with lots of tiny bubbles in the head, it's cloudy, looks great.

Smell: Big onion type aroma on the nose, not getting any of the malts, alcohol is present on the aroma's tail end.

Taste: Like the aroma, big onion bitterness up front, malts on the backend, really smooth, the alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming. This is how I like my IPAs and IIPAs, I like that onion type flavor, not grapefruit or piney, but a different bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Not a big mouthfeel, fairly light compared to other IIPAs that I have tried that have a syrupy mouthfeel, for IIPA, this is crisp, light on the mouthfeel. A little heat from the alcohol.

Overall: This is great, reminds of some of the Stone Enjoy By and Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA but with a little more heat on it. West coast style IIPA all the way. If you love Pliny, Enjoy By you have to try this, I am impressed too bad it's seasonal. It's also easy drinking doesn't make you feel bloated. For a 10% ABV beer this is really good, cheers!

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

Very excited to finally try a bottle of this. Managed to secure me one via mail and have been waiting forever to open..Finally cracked it tonight...

A - A vert deep amber, very hazy, almost opaque in color. A small off white head at first, maybe one inch. Faded quickly and only left behind a small thin layer on the top. No noticeable carbonation. Looked thick.

S - Very very deep citrus. Lots of grapefruit and pineapple. Very sweet and bitter, almost harsh, but in a good way.

T - WOW, holy hoppyness. This this was a lip curler. It really was quite strong. Lots of extremely bitter citrus hops. Almost like eating a fresh grapefruit it was soo strong. Alot of alcohol as well. Definatly a sipper. This thing can clear the sinuses for sure.

M - Very smooth despite of the harshness. Not alot of carbonation left it a tad bit syrupy. But for a strong IPA, its nice to have them kinda thick. Very very dry finish left you yearning for another sip.

D - A true sipper, there is just no way you can drink alot of this, unless you are looking for some issues. I did the bottle by myself and that was it for the night.

Overall this was an awesome and very strong double IPA. I really did enjoy this, and will seek it out again. Some good breweing going on out west, and this another fine example of that.

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Photo of wiegs4life
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

L : Dark copper with minimal lacing 4.25
S : I loved those strong citracy flavor that overpowers the other hops for an awesome aroma.
T : I was shocked when i saw it was 10% ABV. It is well balanced and very flavorful.
M : On the heavier side for DIPA. Still very smooth.
O : This makes my top 10 beer list of all time. I look forward to trying again sometime

I had at Isaac Newton's in Newtown, PA

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Photo of sommersb
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Tasted On: 04-28-2014
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Nonic pint
Purchased: Single from Let's Pour mailorder

Appearance shows a hazy, honey-colored beer with a big white head. The lacing and head retention are superb.

Smells feature citrus from the hops, with grapefruit aromas dominating, along with some fruit sweetness such as with mangos and pineapple. A delight to the nose

Wow on the taste!, with a great initial favor burst of fruity hop character, followed by citrusy bitterness and then a blendng of malty caramel sweetness

Thick in body, the finish is very favorful with hoppy bitterness married with fruits and malt sweetness. Overall aftertastes are definitely hop-forward, however

Overall impression is of an epic DIPA; one of the best I've tasted

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Photo of PacNWDad
4/5  rDev -4.5%

On tap at Chuck's 85th St. Not much head on the pour, and what there is subsides quickly. Honey colored in the glass. Very clear, with no apparent yeast. Light comes through it easily. Leaves a bit of lace on the sides of the glass with each sip, but not too much. The aroma is of pineapple and other tropical fruits, including dried mango and passion fruit. Strong, bitter hops profile, but not unpleasant at all. Lots of sweet fruits, especially pineapple, very rich and buttery, some biscuit flavor. Starts with the hops, carries through with fruit and finishes with the bread-like character. It has a rather light carbonation, but still carries a full feel to the palate. A long finish.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.64/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Rustic orange with a burnished bronze glow. An attractive crown of pale tangerine colored foam snuggles into the nonic bulge on the bottom end and threatens to overflow the glass on the top end. I thought that all those hops resins would result in a ridiculous amount of crusty lace, but no more than an average amount forms in the end. No matter, this is still a very good looking beer.

Hop 15 is called Hop 15 because 15 different hops were added every 15 minutes. That may be so, but the nose is dominated by those starting with the letter 'C'. Each eager sniff brings an explosion of sunspot bright citrus peel, including pink grapefruit, orange and lemon. Fantastic! Stunning! Out of this world!

The color led me to think that caramel malt would a big part of the flavor profile. The nose led me to think otherwise. The flavor takes me back to my original impression. This is clearly a 'big IPA' type of DIPA rather than a 'barleywine' type of DIPA, but I can't help think this would be even more delicious beer if nothing darker than pale malt was used.

While we're on the topic of minor negatives, there's a wee bit too much unmasked alcohol. That's understandable when double digit ABVs are involved, but if you want your DIPA to be world-class.... Okay, now on to the many positives. The first and most important is that Hop 15, as the name suggests, is tremendously well-hopped beer.

Adding 15 different hops is an interesting idea. Thankfully, the brewers concentrated on the C-hops (I'm guessing) to keep the flavor profile from being overly muddled. Each upending of the glass delivers brown sugar-crusted, pine sap-soaked grapefruit and bitter orange peel in liquid form. The flavor may not be as explosive as the nose, but it sure does fill the mouth and coat the tongue with hop resins galore.

I'm glad to see that Hop 15 isn't too sweet and sticky. Whatever malt sugars survived intact are easily countered (more like pummeled) by alpha acids and alcohol. My tongue will survive the assault, but will need at least 12 hours rest before it can function properly again. Is this what's know as self abuse?

My first thought was that the mouthfeel is a fraction too light. With time and warming, though, its heavily silky smoothness has been revealed. Any more full and I'd probably be complaining about too much stickiness and a hindrance to drinkability. Bottom line: be ready to have your mouth pampered.

My hope was that Hop 15 would join AleSmith YuleSmith, Alpine Pure Hoppiness and Stone Ruination as the brightest stars in the Southern California DIPA firmament. It doesn't, but it's still incredible beer that every hophead owes it to himself or herself to acquire.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This is a beautiful, glowing orange in color with a smallish head.

Smell - The aroma is an explosion of various hops. It is very stiff, full of pine resin but balanced enough not to be a one smell wonder. There's a really nice orange character to the smell, and the fruits are bitter but pronounce. If you enjoy the smell of hops and just can't get enough, this is as good as it gets.

Taste - The hops rule the roost here as well. There's a nice tangerine flavor that continually battles the monster pine. It is just enough not to leave you with that singular hop flavor. You know the one, when you really like the taste but it seems too one-dimensional to be considered brilliant.

There's a massive malt character to this beer, but the hops are so big you can barely taste it. This is definitely West Coast and not for the faint of heart.

Mouthfeel - This is a big medium-bodied with plenty of hop bitterness to keep the drinker sipping. I can't find any evidence of the 10+ ABV. This beer is a bit too lightly carbonated, it's only real fault.

Drinkability - This is a slow-drinking hop-bomb that is sure to satisfy even the hardest of the hard core hop-heads. I thoroughly enjoyed this magnificent effort by Port Brewing and look forward to watching my wife drink the rest of the bottles.

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Photo of aszatk01
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of t2grogan
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another bottle supplied by zoso1967... thanks, man. Imbibed with BuckyFresh on 10-16-10.

A: The color is a cloudy, murky golden orange. A yellowish-white half finger head recedes to a bubbly film that retains well. I can't see the carbonation bubbles through the cloudiness of the beer. The lacing is fine and sticky.

S: A variety of hop aromas waft out of the glass. There are your tropical fruit hop smells, strong grassy hop notes, subdued citrus scents, and bitter earthy notes. A caramel malt presence is also available to my nose as a balance to the hops.

T: Wow, I was not expecting quite that blast of hops on my palate. I mean, the smell was hoppy, but that is an all-out hop assault on my mouth. At first sip, heavy caramel malts blend with a very grassy hoppiness that results in a tropical fruit flavor. My tongue senses a good alcoholic heat, followed by a lingering hop bitterness, which captures the essence of eating a hop, but without the palate destroying properties.

M: For how big the flavor is, the MF is a bit thin and unsubstantial. I like the puckering hop bitterness, though.

D: For an Imperial IPA with so many hoppies, this is nicely drinkable. I would seek this out again and the next time I try it I would want it to be extremely fresh. I'm pretty sure this bottle is a little old (at least 4+ months) and the hops still blew my face off.

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Photo of Schlais
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of SanFranJake
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.64/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber. Love the label with the planes dropping hops as bombs! Pours into my glass a deep red orange color that's on the darker side with a nice half inch of creamy eggshell head on top that fades rather quickly. Aromas of deep sweet caramel candy malt run underneath a wall of bountiful hops. Mega grapefruit citrus aromas, like you just picked one off the tree and cut it open! Pine scents are in full force too. Can grapefruits grown on pine trees?? The dense aroma has some herbal spiciness to it as well...simply lovely. The aroma I dream about when I think of a great DIPA. This is up there with the best of the best.

First sip brings an instant smack of hops. A great amalgamation of grapefruit, citrus, tropical and piney flavors rush across the palate and bring a smile to my face. Lots of complex hop oils. It seriously takes like a fresh green hop cone. Yum! Flows down with some herbal spiciness alongside a nice caramel malt that has some candy, sugary aspects to it as well. There's just enough malt backbone here. One of the best double IPA's out there without a doubt.

Mouthfeel is dense with a nice chewiness to it as well. Just enough carbonation makes this brew almost too easy to consume. Damn good stuff. I could see myself drinking too much of this and getting in trouble real easily! I wish they would give up the secret as to what 15 hops are used in here...but ultimately they all work together to create a wonderful beer. Glad to see this bottled again, now I must get more. Thanks to KingG for the trade.

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Photo of bulldogg915
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of danthehopslamman
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of NWer
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have yet to be disappointed by a Port Brewing Company beer.
With all the emoting about hop forward beers on BA I am increasingly amazed that Port doesn't receive its share of praise.
Its well presented citrus taste is very pleasing to the palate. It satisfies the need for a good hop forward beer without overpowering the senses.
Very drinkable. Gone before I realized I finished the whole bottle.

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Photo of freshflesh
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Lazaro
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Beaver13
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pours a hazy golden orange with a small white head that quickly diminishes. A very vigorous pour produced a medium creamy white head that retained for a while.

The aroma is sweet melon and caramel with piney peppery grapefruit hops.

The flavor is sweet caramel malts and some melons quickly followed by a big bitter finish with resiney peppery fruity and kind of salty/tarry hops that linger in the aftertaste. The alcohol is well hidden other than the warming. The mouthfeel is medium to full with low carbonation.

Overall, a very solid DIPA. The flavor, especially the salty/tarry notes, kept it from being a top tier.

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Photo of babyhobbes
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Delicious! Thanks IntriqKen. Beer Powerball is the greatest and without it I would not be trying this beer.

Looks, smells and tastes wonderful. There is a clear grapefruit hoppness that is not matched with an equally bitter flavor as one might expect. This is delicious. I could easily drink a couple and not realize it.

I wish this was available around here.

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Hop 15 from Port Brewing
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 1,888 ratings