Hop 15 | Port Brewing

806 Reviews
Hop 15Hop 15

Brewed by:
Port Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Double / 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.

Added by comat0se on 02-09-2003

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Reviews: 806 | Ratings: 1,855
Photo of dirk27502
1.51/5  rDev -63.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I got a flat batch of this beer. And the fact that you can find so many similar stories on this site -- dating back at least three years -- demonstrates that they really have a quality control issue over at Port. My beer was so flat that it wouldn't make even one bubble while at full tilt heading straight into my kitchen sink on its way to the sewer, where it belongs.

I had given one bottle to a friend and he described it best when he said, "this tastes like really hoppy syrup!" It's really too bad, because I think Port probably has a good recipe, they just can't seem to get it together. Save yourself some money and don't buy this unless you're absolutely sure you are getting a good bottle.

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Photo of threeviews
1.77/5  rDev -57.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle (bottled on date: 3/26/12) into a 15.5oz Spiegelau 15.5oz balloon glass

A- Almost no exhaust when uncapping...pours a classic Imperial IPA dark orange with almost not head. Even at 10% ABV, I would have expected a better initial pour.

S- Not much aroma...a bit of sweet & bitter citrus and floral notes but not resonant in any particular category.

T- Sweet malt up front followed with a wallop of piney and citrus hop bitterness. Surprisingly, bitterness does not linger long and the palate is left unharmed.

M- Flat and bland...nothing worthy of mention.

O- Although Mongo was a huge success (with me), Hop-15 has been wholly disappointing...so much so that I would say this was a bit of a chore to consume. I hope (for my sake) that the Anniversary Ale (that is on deck in my fridge) will be a much better experience...but this one was a dud...perhaps it is better on tap at the brewpub.

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Photo of LilMatrix
1.8/5  rDev -56.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Oily and viscous pour that looks flat and dead. Hardly any carbonation or head.

S - Malty, slight hops, slight citrus... Should there be a stronger hop aroma?

T - Sweet, caramel upfront without much of a hop profile. Was expecting way more hops from a beer that has 'Hop' in its' name. Thought that this beer would eventually round out... but it doesn't. It's just real sweet and boozy without any hop.

M - Flat, slimy, thick, and oily. Yucko.

D - Maybe this was an off bottle? This was a very bad boozy DIPA. Flat, boozy, really sweet, no strong hop profile. I imagine this is what sweetened deer pee would taste like... First disappointing beer from Port Brewing.

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Photo of xpoweruser
1.87/5  rDev -55.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Appearance: Hazy orange color with sediment. Aggressive pour gave the beer almost no head.

Aroma: Light citrusy hops with some caramel malt notes.

Taste: Strong alcohol kick in the flavor which is not covered up very well. Weak citrusy hops, dryness, with a caramel and bready malt flavor. Very straight forward, not very complex.

Mouthfeel: Flat, very low carbonation. A bit syrupy with a medium body.

Drinkability: The biggest flaw with this beer is the lack of carbonation. Very bland Imperial IPA that just doesn't have the character it needs. An insult to what a quality imperial IPA should be, very disappointing brew.

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Photo of GoApps
1.9/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Not good stuff. Too raw, too sharp on the alcohol. Neigh undrinkable.. and I love hops.

Pour was fine. Looked a ruddy bronze in color. Smell was interesting, but fine. Strong and hoppy. Not great but not bad. Piney and somewhat tropical

Taste was just so, so off. It was just harsh. Little hop FLAVOR, only bitterness and alcohol. It was like the terrible DIPA Flying Dog does.

I couldn't finish the bomber

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Photo of beertunes
2.05/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into 12oz glass. Poured a cloudy/hazy dull amber color. Minimal head of loose, coarse bubbles that dissipated instantly leaving zero lacing, highly unusual for a supposed hop-bomb. Strong, but dull, hop aroma. Slightly floral hop flavor, but no other outstanding features from hops. No malt foundation shows through. If there were any backbone the body would rate higher. This rates low on drinkability because it's a boring beer. Beer is the wrong descriptor, it should be called hop water. Not only is this a below average ImpIPA, it's a dull, uninteresting beer in general. Try it once, but there are many examples of this style that reach much greater heights that deserve your time and energy before this.

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Photo of gockets
2.15/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Another failure-to-carbonate from Port/The Flat Abbey. Such a shame. I usually love this beer, but this was just another uncarbonated disappointment from this brewery. I did my best to enjoy it anyway, but between the utter lack of carbonation, and the mouthfeel of the huge chunks of yeast and protein, I couldn't even make it through half a pint. At least it smelled nice going down the drain.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.21/5  rDev -47%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On tap at the Toronado. Thanks for the beer, Chris.

A: Received in a pint glass (!). The amber body is tapped with a finger of dense, creamy white foam that retains well and even leaves a few spots of lace down the sides. Been a while since I had a carbonated Hop 15.

S: Very... malty. Caramel forward, with citrus backing it up. Somewhat on the solventy side when it warms.

T: Again, malty. I pick up mostly caramel, with some bread. They do little to balance out the citrus (grapefruit, some orange pith) hops; it's kind of a one-dimensional barleywine, if I had to be frightfully honest. When it warmed the alcohol came out and made me less inclined to finish it, though I did.

M: Chewy, malty, well carbed, and somewhat solventy.

D: I really didn't like this. I seem to remember it being a lot better out of the bottle when it was carbonated properly. Either I was wrong or my tastes have changed, but these days I prefer something a little drier. Among CA DIPAs this is just a no-go. I'd much rather have Pliny the Elder, Green Flash Imperial IPA, or even Double Jack than this malt monster.

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Photo of PDXHops
2.41/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bomber poured into a Duvel tulip. Hazy orange with a hint of caramel. Big fluffy and creamy head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Big fruity nose, sweeter stuff like mango, papaya and pineapple. Plenty of sweet malt and kinda boozy, too. Fruit flavors are oddly subdued, and it's a pine presence that dominates up front. The fruit returns to bring some juiciness to the finish. Very boozy and laden with caramel (like a big east coast DIPA, actually). I remain convinced that in general, an ABV over 8.5% or so is a bad idea. A frustrating beer, at times promising, at times plodding.

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Photo of jmarsh123
2.44/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours gold/orange with a massive white chunky head. Super carbonated as even a gentle pour resulted in 2/3 glass of foam. Solid lacing down the glass.

Lots of citrus on the nose. Almost candy like with a good dose of malt as well.

Lots of good citrus hoppiness up front. Malts come out in a big way eventually overpowering the hops. Sticky and resiny. Finishes very piney and malty with extreme booziness.

Thick creamy mouthfeel. Booze is way too prevelent and detracts from the flavor profile.

Was not a fan of this one at all. Always wary of higher ABV pales and this one was too extreme. Astrigent solvent like finish sapped anything good that came from the initial citrus burst. Will gladly seek out Mongo or Wipeout over this any day.

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Photo of chrisms86
2.48/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured straight into the glass producing no head, but a bit of froth around the edges. Smells of apricots. Mouthfeel is thin, watery, and flat. Tastes sweet and the apricots come back again, not too boozy and an aromatic hop on top. Not spicy at all for a double IPA.

Logging in, I was really surprised to see the positive reviews here. I wonder if my bottle wasn't bottled properly.

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Photo of PEBKAC
2.51/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Bottle from Julio's in April, no BBD.

Carolus goblet, right after drinking a half growler of Avery collabo.

Nearing an inch of sediment on the bottom. I didn't trip on any furniture on my way to my desk.

Inch of cream-colored, milky head over a weighed down murky orange/amber body. Layered lace as it falls.

Smell is full of buttery toffee, intense nuttiness & grass clippings. Barleywine tenancies creep in as I feel the alcohol macerating my nostrils.

Taste is of burnt toast & sugar, leaves, & irritating grapefruit rind. Maybe a twinge of orange to go with the dusty finish. Oxidation-like newspaper note in there too. Alcohol is every bit the 10%. Balance is just something I'd prefer, but since there's no real complexity here, it doesn't offer up much besides acidic bitterness & the comforting notion that you can endure it(which sadly seems commonplace now).

Carbonation is strong & beaded though, helping you endure. Still quite syrupy. The alcohol doesn't make any friends.

A tired beer. I drink it as a penance.

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Photo of waltonc
2.63/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottle from City Beer Store. Hazy orange color, head subsides to pretty much nothing in a short matter of time. Smells really good - fragrant hops and citrus zing. The mouthfeel is a bit syrupy for my taste, a problem I also had with Port 2nd Anniversary. Taste - enormous hops, of course, with major pine. A little cloying and abrasive on the tongue. For an IPA, not bad, but this will be the only bottle of Hop 15 I'm likely ever to drink.

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Photo of drabmuh
2.68/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

No date on bottle but I'll assume its fresh. Served cold in a tulip glass. Beer is brownish and hazy. Forms a weak head of largish bubbles that breaks. Head leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is a bit odd to me....not sure what to make of it. Its piny and fruity, is it true there are 15 hops in here? Kind of weak. I would have made it in my face hoppy. Pretty malty in the aroma as well. I thought you Californians knew how to make a big IPA right...

Medium to full body, not much carbonation in the mouth, its not that bitter to start. Its nice up front with a forward flavor of malt and then it kind of falls flat and finishes a little dry. I'll try again, definitely dry at the finish, I guess the bitterness is growing, just not my favorite DIPA by a long shot.

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Photo of BZero007
2.8/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle form Julio's Liquor in MA on the way home form a road trip. Poured in to Dog Fish Head Snifter and absolutely no head.. I poured at a angle til about 15% noticing no head formation at all so I decided to pour straight in..still no head, so then I started pretty much splashing the beer into the glass and no head. The lack of head gave way to a seriously minimal aroma coming from the beer, and was very hard to pick out smells. The color of the beer was dead on amber hue and looked tasty except the lack of bubbles or any excitement in the glass. Taste was of a normal DIPA, Citrusy Hops came threw on the tongue with a strong copper tasting malt background. I feel the lack of any carbonation really kept the flavors from being fully tasted and enjoyed. Will drink again and re review when I come across another bottle.

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Photo of klewis
2.9/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to weeare138 for this bottle.

A: Pours a dark amber with a big foamy head. Quite a lot of suspended sediment. Good head sustain with rings of thick lacing.

S: A nice hop smell with aromas of pine needles and citrus.

T: A harsh and astringent hop taste bombards the palate. Some nice but brief lemon and citrus flavors are overwhelmed by an intense raw vegetal taste. Horribly unbalanced, even for a DIPA.

M: Full-bodied with light carbonation. Strong lingering bitterness with a bit of heat.

D: Very undrinkable due to the extreme bitterness. Nearly a drain pour.

[ serving type: bottle ]

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Photo of jtierney89
3/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

15 hop varieties? No carbonation (from what I hear) Lets see how it goes.

Super hazy orange color. The nose is massive on this thing, smelling it from afar. Wow, super resinous hop aroma, pine and grapefruit bomb! Other tropical fruits linger below this such as mango and pineapple.

Nearly flat, syrup like body, huge amount of bitterness. Well concentrated flavors, same that are on the nose. Bitterness is extreme which is nice. Alcohol is pretty well hidden despite the lack of carbonation.

The flavors are really good and the bitterness would attract any hop head but the dead flat body is definitely hurting the beer a bit. Alcohol is well hidden but makes a comeback as a lingering flavor after the swallow. Pretty good especially for 10% abv but could definitely be better.

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Photo of raiser
3/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber poured into pint.

A: orange with white head low retention

S: Grapefruit, and typical hoppiness.

T: lots of grapefruit.

M: Bitter, like grapefruit

D: Wife loved it, I did not. But she likes Grapefruit, and I do not. If grapefruit's your thing, go for it!

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.04/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a hazy copper color with a very thin white head that subsided very fast.
The aroma is grapefruit and pine but there is some oxidation as well.
Nice and bitter up front the malt sweetness comes through in the middle blending with more tasty hop bitter notes. Nice and grapefruity yet the sweetness detracts from the balance. The finish is a hoppy-sweet lingering flavor that makes it a little undrinkable. There is a boozy almost hot finish and a low carbonation which would be nice on draft but a touch more would make the bottle a bit more lively and possibly sharpen the hops a bit too. Not a bad beer and definetly worth a try but I have had better examples of DIPA before.

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Photo of Philousa
3.07/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Looks like a pale. Very clear with less head than expected. What foam there is clings to the glass tight. Clarity is gone at the end due to the trub of hops (read: chewy). Huge cascade hop aroma dominates the nose. Citrus, grapefruit, dank hops. Some alcohol bite is in there too. Malt is so far behind the hops, I can't even detect it. Citrus, grapefruit, some pale malt start out the taste. Much more pungent than expected. Then comes the bitterness. Woah. Great hop taste - some grassy flavors mainly with a little wood. Super bitter, long lasting. This is a thick beer, I can tell, but the ABV cuts it enough to make it palatable. Feels thick in the mouth but not in the stomach, if that makes sense. Very dry.

While this is an interesting beer, and it has a lot going on especially for an IPA, overall I just didn't like this one. The mouthfeel really got to me and I felt that there just wasn't enough going on in the malt. Either that or it didn't mix well with the hops. I'd have it again on tap just to try it without the hop floaties, but I wouldn't buy a bottle voluntarily.

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Photo of lechroy
3.08/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 22 in Blythe, CA. Beer I tasted may not have been the most fresh.

A - pours a nice rich orange at first, but soon pours fill with floaties. Not what I expected for this style.

S - love the firey, citrusey hop aroma. sharp and clean fragrance.

T - oak overtones are notable and heavy. This beer feels like a meal. The alcohol haunts the taste a bit. Full malt flavor.

M - floaties aren't a favorite for the palette.

O - an okay DIPA which is heavy, as promised and a real sock in the teeth at 10% ABV. Not one I'd reach for again, but I should stay open to a fresher bottle.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.11/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Poor Phil's a bit of a beer geek gem out in Forest Park.

A - Orange colored beer that is a little bit cloudy. White head that left thick sheets on the side.

S - Lots of hops, grapefruit, pine, grass, floral. It smells a bit too sweet though, like the fruit in it is made up of a lot of sugar. It's not bad, but not great.

T - Not a huge fan, it's a bit hot, and the hop bomb that is this beer is too unfocused and sweet. Too much going on, and the sugar and heat make me not overly care for this.

M - Slightly syrupy, good carbonation, medium bodied.

D - This is not super drinkable given the high ABV, and the burn that comes from the alcohol and sugar. Not a huge fan.

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Photo of MMAJYK
3.12/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A. Bright brunt orange with a touch of copper. No head or lacing; it poured very 'still'.

S. Very citrusy in the nose with super sweet caramel malts and a touch of leather. The alcohol is well hidden. Hops add a touch of perfume to the mix.

T. Malty and not too bitter until the lingering aftertaste. Very flat tasting and not what I had imagined.

M. Quite watery in the mouth with no carbonation.

D. Not very drinkable. I think this bottle was sold to me as an old bottle. Not what I had expected. I have one more - will try again in a day or two.

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Photo of biker30x
3.16/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

After seeing this suggested here at BA and at my local beer store as a Hopslam substitute, I had to try it. Haven't had this years Bell's, but this ain't it. Too bad this is my first BA review. 22oz bomber that uncapped without a sound. Poured into a pint. Poured a thick cloudy golden orange/amber. I noticed it wasn't forming a head and modified my pour to induce one without success. No foam to speak of and no lacing throughout. Smell was crisp and fresh, almost like premium bottled water. I noticed none of the resin or citrus scents that say "hops" nor any of the brown sugar smells that say "malt". It was thick on the tounge with a spicy bite standing in for carbonation. Again, "crisp" was a better description than "hoppy". Hunting for the piney resin or the grapefruit citrus revealed little. Gradually the hops did reveal themselves in a sharp burn in my mouth and throat. Not really bad, just lacking in what I want in a DIPA. I wondered if it might be a flat bottle, but my wife & fellow hophead tried it and took the rest off my hands saying "it's good".

March 3, '09 update. Tried a second bottle from a different store to give this a second chance. The results are strongly mixed. This bottle is also flat, though less than the first. There is no head or lacing whatsoever. There is, however some residual carbonation in the mouthfeel that came closer to supporting the flavors present. This bottle offered up a strong nose of pine hops and burnt caramel malts and the taste was of strong hop spice over a blast of citrus and caramel sweetness. While the first bottle was a drain-pour for me, this one was drinkable. The flavor profile makes up for the flatness, but I expect more in a premium craft brew. On the other hand, my wife liked this one even more than the first.

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Photo of kiya
3.21/5  rDev -23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I'm loving the bright label artwork on the bottle, not sure if they're all like this from this legendary brewery, but i like it...
The beer pours a nice golden orange color with the head disappearing quickly leaving a very small puddle of bubbles in the middle of the glass, no lacing at all.

The nose is strong with green apple scents and the first sip delivers a shock to the system as the high alcohol content is very apparent right off the bat. I'm tasting strong hops but the alcohol flavor is so strong i feel like it's masking the sweeter side of this brew. I let the beer come up to room temp a bit and i'm having a hard time tasting past the astringent alcohol characteristics of the beer.

I want to love this beer, i really do. The reason being I love the brewery's yearly barley wine, and i one day hope to visit their pizza restaurant and brewery only because they're a leading voice for small west coast breweries.
I love high ABV beers, but this is too much, there's not enough going on besides the initial flavors and feelings to really warrant going back for more after the first glass.

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Hop 15 from Port Brewing
4.17 out of 5 based on 1,855 ratings.
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