Hop Head Double India Pale Ale | Tree Brewing

Hop Head Double India Pale AleHop Head Double India Pale Ale
152 Ratings
Hop Head Double India Pale AleHop Head Double India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Tree Brewing
British Columbia, Canada

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
At Tree Brewing Company, we take craft brewing seriously. So much in fact that we got a little carried away and brewed this occasional rarity, Hop Head Double IPA. Loaded with five different hop varieties, this bold IPA is not for the faint of heart.

Added by Hornet2003 on 12-13-2008

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 152 |  Reviews: 98
Photo of Sammy
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Voonder for this tasty bomber. A great hop aroma, with resins and hop oil galore. A feast for the nose, and the taste lived up to it. Understated carbonation, which worked tremendously to drinkability. The contents were shaken up and more than a bit spilled in very cold handling, but this robust trooper was most satisfying. One of the best of the style and not a taste bud killer.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle. Tree's Hophead IPA was the beer that kicked off my love affair with IPAs and all things hoppy. Now that they've made the natural forward step of producing a DIPA, I'll try to not let my bias be too obvious...

This beer pours a hazy dark bronzed amber hue, with a healthy amount of thick puffy, rocky off-white head, which slowly fades away, leaving some thoroughly dense and attractive honeycomb lacing around the glass.

It smells quite strongly of citrus - grapefruit and orange - a little forest pine, and a less intense sweet caramel essence. The taste is tangy citrus hops at the front, which blend into a more pine-like flavour as it moves across the palate, all deftly supported by a decent caramel/toffee malt backbone. A wee bit of warming alcohol simmers innocuously beneath.

The carbonation is barely noticeable, yet a tad frothy at the same time, the body a sturdy medium weight, and as smooth as these pesky hops will allow. It finishes with a nicely bitter floral hoppiness lingering well into the aftermath. The rather elevated alcohol is well-hidden through the balance of strong, but not overbearing hops, and the silky malt. Flavour-wise, I could drink this all night - booze and retail cost considerations being a whole other matter.

As this looks like, smells like, and tastes like a veritable DIPA, it stands to reason that it is indeed the Real McCoy. It appears that Tree has outdone themselves, making the appropriate amount of enhancements to their base trendsetting IPA, to produce a true West Coast DIPA, one for which they should be proud. I can only currently truly compare it to examples I've encountered south of the border, but given this, and Alley Kat/Sherbrooke's Bad Hare Day, Western Canadian brewers are on the absolute right track, at least in my titular-inspired book.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured an hazy orangey color ale with a large foamy head with great retention and some very good lacing. Aroma of pine and citrus notes is quiet intense. Taste is dominated by citrus notes with loads of pines and a slightly sweet malt backbone. Body is quite full with great carbonation. Very well brewed though maybe a bit too astringent for my taste.

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Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, ruby-hued body with a thin, bubbly, white head.

Smell: A predominately hop-scented mix of citrusy grapefruit, pine lumber, and spruce tips with a mild pale malt character tucked away in the background.

Taste: Standard pale malts with a touch of grain and a faint caramel sweetness starts things off. Then it's hoppy flavors of pine, spruce, and grapefruit pith with a bold bitterness that becomes a bit caustic and particularly harsh and astringent on the back end. Finishes dry with a long, foreseeable bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's okay; it could be better. I'm all down for a sassy hop profile, but caustic astringency is nothing short of displeasing.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber in color, a bit on the dark side for how I prefer my IPAs (or double IPAs). The aroma opens with nice pine hop notes and a mild citrus character. The sweet malt comes through quite a bit. Maybe a touch of herbal hops on the back end. The flavor is just okay. Moderate sweetness with some pine and citrus peel notes providing the bulk of the hop flavor.

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Photo of liamt07
3.66/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the LCBO Spring Release, 650ml into a tulip. No bottling/best before date visible.

Poured an orange-red, unfiltered with a finger or so of fairly dense white head. Mild lacing and retention, with a nice creamy head which reappears with a quick swirl. Nose of mostly citrus with some tropical notes, pineapple, mango and some breadiness. Hop forward, but not dominated by the hops. Taste has some moderate citrus notes again initially, more orange, pineapple and hints of mango. Sweet and bready malt base finds a balance with the hops here, and leaves a bitter finish which lingers for a little while. Didn't care for the aftertaste too much. Moderate mouthfeel, and fairly full. Good drinkability and more on the English side of things. ABV was well hidden.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.46/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Dark orange with some amber throughout and one finger of foamy off-white head that quickly disappeared.

S - Sweet caramel malts are the predominant flavour in the nose with some faint bitterness from the hops evident in the background. A weak nose for a DIPA.

T/D - Malt-forward. Sweet caramel and toffee are the dominant flavours. A sharp bitterness is predominant as well (more so than the nose indicated). Some very subdued earthy flavours come through from the hops, but for the most part then provide only bitterness. The bitterness lingers considerably in the finish.

M - A nice medium body with light to moderate carbonation a some noticeable hop oils.

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Photo of Derek
4.58/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've enjoyed many bottles that were seriously drinkable, but they pale in comparison to having this fresh on draft!

A: Copper with an off-white head, good retention & lacing.

S: Grapefruit rind, tangerine, nectarine, pine, candied pineapple and hints of toffee.

T: Awesome, fresh, leafy hops. Grapefruit with plenty of rind, tangerine, nectarine and hints of pine; Some quality malt (biscuit & a touch of toffee). Solid bitterness, warming alcohol.

M: Well attenuated, moderate body is smooth, slight hop acidity, crisp finish.

D: Awesome.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a hazy orange colour with an above average size frothy beige coloured head. I can't really tell how much carbonation there is due to the haziness and there is some really fantastic lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - malts, caramel, pineapple, oranges, hops

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and the beer feels slightly creamy on the tongue. Most of the taste is made up of caramel mixed with hops and malts. There is also some pineapple taste and some herbal notes. The alcohol is well hidden and it finished with a malty/hoppy aftertaste and then some lingering pine flavour.

Overall - A decent and drinkable DIPA but it lacks the punch that a west coast DIPA would have. It's more malty and sweet and I prefer my IPA's/DIPA's to have more apricot and citrus flavours. Glad to have tried, but I wouldn't buy this again.

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Photo of biegaman
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't think anyone is going to challenge Tree on the unfiltered, unpasteurized claim: this beer looks a groggy and muddled character. Its complexion has no highlighting nor a shred of transparency. The shrouds of lacing and bubbles stretch over the surface of this brownish-orange muck; funny that a beer from British Columbia be so overcast.

This aroma is brought to you by the letter H, for hops. Five different varieties in fact. And each one of them has a body-odor problem. This bouquet stinks of citrus-macerated onions, citrus-basted toast, caramel infused with candied citrus, and last week's breakfast platter of citrus, now rank. There's also a contingency of pine needles not to be forgotten.

I'll be more elaborate with the taste: lemon tarts topped with candied grapefruit, fig compote spiced with mint, custard made with brown sugar and a big splash of vanilla, pine bark dipped into gooey serum and some kind of psychedelic oranges wrapped in an herbal, bitter grass. In other words: it tastes exactly as a DIPA should taste.

The "double IPA" style can be obnoxious to begin with. This offering is even less likely to appeal to mainstream palates because of its underlying citric, bitter acidity that is sharp as a shark's tooth and bites down and holds onto the palate like a bulldog. It's pathetic seeing the malts try to help. You need the jaws of life to pry this bitterness off the tongue!

I remember thinking Kelowna was a pretty boring place to visit... that's when I was nine years old. If I went back today I'm sure I'd have NO problem enjoying myself given all the quality beers this brewery pumps out. Hop Head Double IPA is just one of the many great beers this brewery has on offer and it's evidence of a diversified, capable brewer.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into Unibroue chalice jan22 2010

A hazy glowing amber with a thick thumbs width of off white head that stays put for some time leaving plenty of lace as the foam slowly falls

S a fair bit of biscuit and caramel with some tangerine, grapefruit and a little pine

T toffee and a little bread mixing well with mild hops, some citrus, a little earthy malt, and very well concealed booze

M coats the mouth just a bit, I knew I drank a beer well after my glass was empty. not to heavy but thick enough to please with a light syrup texture

D I was tricked by this beer when I read the alc%, much higher then one would assume. I waited for this gem for the better part of a year and was not disappointed when it finally touched my lips again.

a great seasonal beer from the west, so get it while you can when you can. I don't have anything bad to say about this one other then the stupid price and the two week window it's available

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.4/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured a hazy burnt orange color with moderate cabonation leaving a small white cap, some lacing

S: Mainly grapefruit, a bit of pine and loads of bitterness coupled with a booze sting

T: A big grapefruit, bitterness upfront with some pine needles. It was abrasive. A muddy, sticky, heavy big body, moderate boozy concoction of bittering hops and from what I tasted a homebrew extract.

M: Big body, heavy, bitter, boozey and off balance

O: This beer needs to go back to the drawing board and shame on Alibi for charging $7.50 a pint. I did not finish this beer.

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Photo of bylerteck
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The sort of thing I like to see coming into the LCBO. Not a bad price either. Bomber into a tulip before poker.

A - Thick, frothy, head coming in at beige and two fingers in height and remaining with two chunks on the sides and a thin film. Average lacing. Strong carbonation with small bubbles coming up the sides and middle of the glass. Between medium and dark copper...probably hitting the 78% mark on the copper scale I just invented. Bright.

S - Big aroma on this as soon as the bottle was opened. Nice juicy hops. Mango, grapefuirt, pineapple sorta business. Spritsy sort of feel to them. Bready character is present too. Sort of a dark rye bread element creating balance, but don't get me wrong, the aroma is tipped towards the hop end.

T - Sticky, juicy, oily hops really shine here. The more oily/resinous hop character comes through as opposed to the fruity element, yet it's still quite good. Malt is there in a backup role for sure but provides decent balance to keep this from getting out of control. Bitterness lingers for a few seconds but isn't wild. Very faint alcohol lets you know what you're in for.

I can understand the English IPA comparisons some other reviewers have thrown out there due to the sharp end of the bitterness and the seemingly low hopping for the style, but it still qualifies quite nice as it's so crisp and refreshing while being resinous and oily.

M - Really fills the mouth and the small bubbles move it along well. Definately full bodied. The carbonation is quite a nice compliment. Not chewy at all, moving in the mouth, nice.

D - Highly drinkable. Great hop punch with adequate balance providing body and a complimentary flavour. Only the slightest hint of alcohol is there. Quality IIPA, now let's have more stuff from B.C.!

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Photo of DrJay
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of northyorksammy. Thanks!
A bit hazy, medium amber/orange in colour with a dense cap of beige foam. Good head retention, some clumpy lacing. Smells good, plenty of grapefruit and tangerine along with caramel maltiness. A bit spicy and a hint of pine appeared as it warmed. Good flavour too. Bitterness was nicely balanced by bready and caramel malts up front, but lingered in the finish once the sweetness faded. Pine and grapefruit, spicy with some alcohol presence towards the end. Medium plus body with lowish, creamy carbonation, some dryness, mild warmth. Overall, a solid and well balanced DIPA.

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Photo of Viggo
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber, big thanks to Derek for lugging this back from the homeland!

Pours a lightly hazed dark orange, slightly red, off white head forms, slowly drops to a thick ring and layer, tons of lace, nice sheets stick to the glass, looks great. Smell is nice, classic DIPA, lots of grapefruit and pine, big and malty base, caramel, biscuit, raw sugar, orange and lemon citrus, light floral, very nice hoppiness, good balance, fresh it must have been insane. Taste is nice as well, very malty, lots of caramel and biscuit, brown sugar, but finishes with a lot of fruit and floral hops, grapefruit acidity, lemons and blood orange, real nice hoppiness, good malt, maybe could use a bit more bitterness, but real nice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, alcohol is superbly hidden. Can only imagine how good this was fresh, even now its a great balanced DIPA. Thanks Derek!

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Photo of Rutager
3.54/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance. Pours a muddy amber with a finger of sticky yellow head.

Smell. Pineapple, apricot, some caramel, a little alcohol.

Taste. Thick roasted caramel malt, apricots, orange peel, pine sap. Lingering herby, sappy bitterness.

Mouthfeel. Full bodied with alcohol not very well hidden.

Overall. Not a bad DIPA. Seems like a big alcohol presence for the abv.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.48/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tree produces a delicious IPA, and their DIPA is nothing short of exceptional!

A - Pours a nice creamy orange colour with a thin layer of head which slowly dissipated leaving a little bit of lacing. Extremely appealing presentation!

S - The hop scent is almost sweet on the nose with strong citrus undertones.

T - Wow, what flavour! Not overly bitter, which is what I was expecting based off the smell. The sweetness of the hops comes through leaving a lemon citrus after-taste. If someone asked I would've said 6%, but the 8% alcohol is nicely hidden. Not the hop bomb I would've expected, but it's very balanced and I much prefer the mildness compared to other DIPA's I've had (i.e. Lagunitas Hop Stoopid)

M - Very creamy on the palette, with a nice light finish.

D - Very drinkable, even with the high alcohol content. If it weren't for the price, I'd start my sessions every weekend with one of these!

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Photo of jrenihan
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber colour with a full white, bubbly head.

The hops come through clearly in the nose. Very citrusy, with grapefruit coming through in particular.

The grapefruit and citrus is present in the taste as well, but is accompanied by a bit of caramel. It is more balanced than the name may suggest. Certainly fairly bitter, but not incredibly so. The alcohol is incredibly well hidden. Overall, quite a nice beer, but not remarkable.

Mouthfeel is good, quite full bodied, and nicely carbonated.

Drinkability is high. It does not drink like an 8.3% beer. I could drink a lot of this in a sitting, that is for sure.

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Photo of bumchilly25
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of papat444
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle no. 1387.

Big thanks to Derek for helping me knock off a brew from B.C.

Poured from a bomber and shared with my wife while waiting for the pizza guy (where is he?) and finally enjoyed with our Como pizza.

Appearance: Pours a red amber body with a 3 finger, slightly tan head and trailing it is a nice cascade of bubbles.

Smell: A bit muted but malt at the fore with a discreet bitterness and some fruit.

Taste: Mellow hops, sweet and a little spice to it. Hops bite at the tail end but not as strong as i would have liked. That being said, it's very tasty and big on the malt. Some tropical fruit hidden in there, melon or mango maybe? As it warms, it has a sugar cane finish to it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with a surprisingly low carbonation. Very well balanced beer and comfortable on the palate.

Drinkability: Very drinkable but with an ABV that creeps up on you. A pleasure to drink.

Overall: I'm a bit torn as this is a well balanced and very tasty DIPA but it's not nearly the hop bomb i thought it should have been. Lacks the intensity i was hoping but still a good selection. I would love to try this fresh from the source.

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Photo of schopenhauerale
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Jeffo
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one at the LCBO.

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium looking, fluffy, off-white head with very good retention. Cloudy burnt orange with no real carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a full wisp and sticks to the sides of the glass. A splotchy wisp remains and leaves some decent lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Pale malts, caramel, honeydew melon, toffee and some floral hops. Bold enough, but much the same as it's little brother.

TASTE: Pale malts, caramel and toffee, with a bitter-sweet and slightly boozy finish. Medium but lingering finish of bitter, floral hops, toffee sweetness and some spicy alcohol. Tastes much like their regular IPA with some more booze.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamier and smoother going down, finishing slightly sticky. A touch of booze lingers on the palate. Bigger with more residual sweetness, making it solid for the style.

OVERALL: This is just a bigger version of the regular IPA, which I guess really isn't a surprise. Flavors are much the same with more alcohol presence. Here is an example where bigger doesn't always mean better, as the extra booze presence doesn't make it any more interesting or enjoyable. Still a good beer, though not all that special.

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Photo of Molson2000
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

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Hop Head Double India Pale Ale from Tree Brewing
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 152 ratings
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