Hop 15
Port Brewing

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American Imperial IPA
Ranked #244
Ranked #1,525
4.21 | pDev: 9.98%
Port Brewing
California, United States
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 824 | Ratings: 1,903 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by mostfadedone:
Photo of mostfadedone
5/5  rDev +18.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Tombomb
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
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 -2.9%
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 +5.5%
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 Brolo75
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
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 BuckeyeNation
4.64/5  rDev +10.2%
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 mikesgroove
4/5  rDev -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 PacNWDad
4/5  rDev -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 sommersb
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
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 wiegs4life
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
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 oberon
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
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 feloniousmonk
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hazed, bright ruby/orange appearancve, tight layer of whitish foam.

Bingitty, bangitty, boom, boom! Aroma goes poppitty, pop in the nose, huge citrus and pine, and orange squuezed directly into the nosed, then the nostrils are plugged with hop cones...but it's all well tempered, even-played and refined.

Buzz and hum on the palate at first turns into a blast and a rip. Sizzles on the tongue, perforates the senses with immense hoppy flavor. Surprising smooth, brilliantly balanced, spicy...I'm loving this...and now the 10% starts to shine, and blaze.
Texture is forever, and mouthfeel is unremitting. Hangs in there and digs in, spreading bitter, fruity hop jazz all over the place.
Dig it.

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Photo of Pencible
4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 8/17/2010

A: This poured a hazy gold with no head and some chunky sediment (only a slight hiss from the bottle when I popped the top).
S: It smelled like huge amounts of orange and grapefruit, with honey and pine and pineapple.
T: It tasted like bitter grapefruit and sweet orange and pineapple, with honey malt and some floral and pine hops. It had a clean and lasting very bitter aftertaste, with noticeable alcohol.
M: It was fairly thick with almost no carbonation. Heavy and viscous.
D: This was a great double IPA with excellent hop character and nice malt balance. I was worried at first that it would be oxidized, but despite no head or carbonation, it was still a delicious beer. The alcohol was obvious, which combined with the extreme bitterness made this definitely better to sip. Not quite a top beer of the style, but still highly enjoyable.

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Photo of ryrust5301
4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Poured this into an oversized wine glass and man was it a sight to behold. The color is a beautiful orange gold. It looks very crisp and biting just by appearance. Head was a very creamy looking white color. A glowing white halo crowned the top with a misty sheet of tiny bubbles floating around the surface. Healthy amount of patchy lacing only added to this picturesque beer.

Smell - Got exactly the piny smell I was looking for, but was also impressed that it wasn't too one sided. A deep bready caramel malt also plays a big role, as well as some citrus notes (Grapefruit).

Taste & Mouthfeel - What impressed me the most about this beer was the subtleness of the way everything blended together. I was expecting a syrupy and oily type of beer, almost like drinking hop oil. This is an absolutely delicious double IPA. Massively biting and bitter at first, almost destroying your taste buds. This beer manages a graceful turn into the sweet caramel malt finish which turns bready in the aftertaste.

Drinkability - Way better than I expected, and I had high hopes for this one. Thank goodness I can order this one from South Bay and have it shipped to Louisiana on a regular basis. A true west coast double IPA, and a measuring stick for all others of its kind.

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Photo of gafferjohn
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of CelticAleMan
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of aquazr1
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of Winston3737
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of far333
4.37/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly murky, some suspended particulate matter. Orangey copper colored with a low beige frothy head that settles out quickly.

Inviting aroma of tagnerine and orange rind, some grapefruit and pine notes.

Tremendous flavor of citrus hops right upfront, oranges and tangerines, tending toward sweet on the front of the tongue, moving quickly to pithy grapefruit, with grainy brown sugar notes and honied malt jumping in as well. Morphs to piney bitter, but still has some chewy malt along for the ride. Finishes warm, just a hint of the ABV strength lying beneath.

Mouthfeel is moderate, just bit low on the carbonation, a little slick and silky.

Very tasty and very drinkable. Thanks to Sparky27 for passing this one my way.

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Photo of jnn4v
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What can I say? This is overall a good DIPA. Not particularly outstanding in any regard, but not bad in any aspect either.

A: Golden tan color. More than average head for a DIPA. Nicely carbonated. Almost white / cream color head. Slightly hazy overall, but no sediment.

S: Ripe white grapefruit is the dominant scent for sure. Other elements include sappy evergreen, and maybe even some musty / pungent hop scents.

T: Sweet and fully of resinous hoppy flavors up and some bitterness all hit you up front. This is followed by a stronger bitterness, then a malty sweet aftertaste, then a very strong bitter hop aftertaste, all within the first 5-10 seconds of a sip. The more distant the aftertaste, the more citrus begins to sneak out from under the bitterness.

M: Very good texture. I thought at first it was just average, but I'm beginning to appreciate the fact that it is more carbonated than an average DIPA, but still has the same density.

D: Very drinkable if you're in the mood for its flavor and strength (10% ABV). However, I was definitely done after finishing a full bomber.

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Photo of IgotsHops
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So this kicked my butt both times I had it. I am a hop head and it still was a nice bitter/floral surprise. Good golden color with a nice tight foamed head. Extremely strong citrus and floral smells and tastes from the supposed 15 varieties of hops used in this thing. I barely know of 15 varieties.
Very bitter, but smooth in the mouth. A sipper for sure, but actually pretty refreshing. This would be amazing on a summer's evening.

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Photo of PartyBear
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Warm copper colour, with a fluffy cream head, and a small amount of carbonation.

Aroma: A potent fresh hoppy aroma, lots of floral pine, sharp lemon, with a noticeably biscuity base.

Taste: Bitter thick resinous hops kick in from the start, with a massive floral twist, and lots a citrus. This is all balanced out by a smooth malty base, with shortbread, sweet oats, and toffee. The aftertaste is a clingy bitterness that give the impression of dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Nicely smooth, with a bit of oiliness, and a mild level of carbonation.

Drinkability: Considering the high ABV, this is very drinkable, which is nothing less than what I have come to expect from Pizza Port beers. Good DIPA, find it, and drink it.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is bit a cloudy, but bright with a golden orange hue.

Smells like hops, citrus, and hops.

Taste is a full on hop bomb with back notes of tropical fruit.

Mouthfeel is like chewing on hops.

Overall this is a decent IPA and perfect for any hopheads out there looking for a fix.

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Hop 15 from Port Brewing
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 1903 ratings