Hophead Imperial IPA
Bend Brewing Company

Hophead Imperial IPAHophead Imperial IPA
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Style:
IPA - Imperial
Ranked #1,059
ABV:
9.2%
Score:
91
Ranked #5,131
Avg:
4.14 | pDev: 10.14%
Reviews:
34
Ratings:
83
From:
Bend Brewing Company
 
Oregon, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  27
Gots
  8
SCORE
91
Outstanding
Hophead Imperial IPAHophead Imperial IPA
Notes:
Reviews: 34 | Ratings: 83 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by caskstrength:
Photo of caskstrength
caskstrength from Minnesota

4.85/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Bend Brewing.

Pours a typical yellow/orange, carbonation as expected with a 1/2 inch head in a shaker pint glass.

Smells are salty resinous pine, some citrus, but pine is dominant. No alcohol, no buttery or floral notes. Getting excited.

Pine and resin jump out and throw a party. Wow, let me introduce myself, I am a West Coast IPA. Some floral complements to the pine, some citrus complements too. Pithy rinds weave into the pine, a symphony ensues. Barely enough malt to balance, fine by me.

Resinous and salty. I love when hops work magic like this.

This is up there with the greats. Got a growler to go, and 2 bombers as well (Should have bought more). Highly recommended.

Aug 31, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of Kurmaraja
Kurmaraja from California

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Feb 03, 2014
Photo of PortlandSunDevil
PortlandSunDevil from Oregon

3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Jun 17, 2013
Photo of BendBrent
BendBrent from Oregon

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Jun 22, 2013
Photo of PA-Michigander
PA-Michigander from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Jun 26, 2014
Photo of NW_IPAHEAD
NW_IPAHEAD from Oregon

4/5  rDev -3.4%

Jun 15, 2014
Photo of NWHopinator
NWHopinator from Oregon

4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Mar 12, 2016
Photo of Hops_n_Footy
Hops_n_Footy from Oregon

4.16/5  rDev +0.5%

Nov 24, 2014
Photo of Goatdavemac
Goatdavemac from North Carolina

4.16/5  rDev +0.5%

Oct 10, 2014
Photo of chIPA312
chIPA312

4.6/5  rDev +11.1%

Dec 13, 2014
Photo of BadAxeBeer
BadAxeBeer from Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Very light for an imperial. Hops come in later in the aftertaste. 89/100

Oct 03, 2015
Photo of Skrumpy
Skrumpy from Oregon

3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Golden amber in color. Mostly clear with a bubbly white head. Minimal lacing. Aroma is stone fruit, pine, grapefruit and caramel malt. The flavor is hop forward. Citrus and pine. Very resinous. Heavy hops bitterness in the finish. A little hint of alcohol vapor present as well. A decent beer overall.

Feb 23, 2017
Photo of BenDorigan
BenDorigan from Oregon

5/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my favorite beer in the world right now, and has been for some time. It is an ideal imperial IPA. It is consummate. It is beyond delicious and satisfying. It is magical. 2 will definitely make you think it's magical, just don't try to drive a car. (It's not that magical.) I have given no other beer all 5s. Whether you get it in a pint can or are lucky enough to get it on tap at the brewery, try this brew if you are a fan of the imperial IPA.

Jul 19, 2019
Photo of ElGordo
ElGordo from Oregon

4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to my co-worker Angelo for bringing a bottle back from his trip to Bend. Pours a bright orange-golden color with a small amount of turbidity, topped by a thin ring of bright white head. Aroma of fresh, zesty floral hops, light sweet malt, and notes of grapefruit and cannabis. Palate is quite tasty - tangy hops dominate up front, mellowed slightly by the mid-palate emergence of some sweet caramel malt. Notes of tart grapefruit and pine are evident, especially before the swallow. Finish is a lingering hoppy bitterness that is quite satisfying.
Body is fairly light for an imperial IPA, lacking the typical syrupy feel. I'm pretty OK with that. On the whole, this is an easy-drinking ale, especially given the amount of alcohol and aggressive hops. Wish I had more than one bottle. Guess I have to go to Bend soon to stock up.

Jan 02, 2007
Photo of Shaw
Shaw from Florida

3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the brewery in Bend:

This looks like a wheat beer: It's cloudy with a white head.

It has a big hoppy aroma, much bigger than their IPA, which should not be a surprise.

It's very bitter and has the piney quality that lots of Chinook hops import. The taste makes me think this was dry-hopped with lots of Chinook. I don't think that extra malt was used because it doesn't taste that heavy.

This is not the best Double IPA I have ever had, but it is still pretty good. The brewery's info said it has more than double the hops of their regular Elk Rock IPA, and I can believe it. But the brewer should have bumped up the malt some more, too.

Sep 30, 2006
Photo of Beaver13
Beaver13 from Colorado

2.36/5  rDev -43%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

16 oz can. Pours hazy golden yellow with a big frothy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet fruity caramel malts with some green floral hops.

The flavor is sweet caramel apples with a big harsh floral hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, kind of flawed.

Sep 05, 2020
Photo of John_M
John_M from Oregon

4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Jeff (Jdense) for gifting me a bottle of one my favorite NW DIPA's during his visit to DC.

The beer pours a glowing, nearly opaque orange amber color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose this is all DIPA goodness, showcasing considerable pine and grapefruit rind, but with some noticeable cherry and lemon as well from the light sweet malt. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this well crafted, West Coast all the way DIPA. There is some noticeable sweet malt to balance out the avalanche of hoppy bitterness, but the finish is still long, dry and bitter. There's something of a tongue tingling, peppery flavor at the very end that I quite like. Mouthfeel is full and bitter, with some noticeable alcohol in the mid palate. However, the beer is not the least bit hot, heavy or tiring on the palate, though one can tell the abv. is up there. Still, I would have to rate drinkability as still pretty good, as the alcohol is integrated very well into the flavor profile with this one.

For me, this beer epitomizes the NW style of DIPA, as it showcases considerable hoppy bitterness, but somehow maintains a sense of proportion and balance. An altogether excellent beer... I've been a fan since the first time I tasted this beer on tap many moons ago at Concordia Alehouse during my former PDX life. Just an altogether excellent beer... whether on tap (preferred) or out of the bottle.

Dec 02, 2010
Photo of RedDiamond
RedDiamond from Oregon

3.52/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The bartender at the BBC can’t pour this beer fast enough. It reminds me of those scenes from the 1930’s when there were runs on the banks. Hophead has a big juicy aroma and haunted lace and tastes surprisingly mild and light bodied. It is bright orange-gold, clouded, and has a slightly chalky mouthfeel. Strong in demeanor, yet casual in appeal, it serves the style well enough but is not a big scary hop monster by any means.

Oct 01, 2005
Photo of SurlyDuff
SurlyDuff from Oregon

4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very good IIPA. Nice orange hue, a bit cloudy.

Aroma is juicy citrus, spicy. Pine, juniper and other fruits in the background.

Pure IIPA goodness. Nice bite too it, a bit of resin feeling, but not to sharp.

Really like the finish on this one. It lingers and coats the mouth, and the only thing it seems would compliment it...is another sip!

This ones over 8%, deceptivly enough...so watch yourself!

Feb 12, 2008
Photo of loren01
loren01 from Washington

4.49/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice clear orange, not much head with no lacing down the glass
S: Big blast of citrus, slight pineapple and piney scents as well
T: Much the same as the smell, lots of citrus and pineapple
M: Medium bodied beer perfect amount of carbonation
O: This is one good double IPA!!!

Nov 21, 2011
Photo of DaPeculierDane
DaPeculierDane from Wisconsin

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Conflicted to see this listed on BA as a IIPA…it was sold to me as a regular IPA and as a regular IPA I found it utterly perfect. I am reviewing this as an IPA. As a IIPA, my review would be slightly lower because of a lack of malt balance, body, and strength.
Served in a 4 oz glass (with a half pint follow up) at Concordia Ale House during some sort of IPA Festival. This was my second favorite of the day.
Uber clean, crisp, and frankly spot on in terms of a CA or American IPA. They simply do not come more perfectly than this. Pine and juniper rule. Bitterness is moderate ad well done. Body is light. Color is a wonderful yellow-orange bronze…warm and welcoming. Malt flavor is mild and caramel focused. Some artichoke grassy flavor is found along with French celery. Good Lace.

Jul 25, 2007
Photo of Gagnonsux
Gagnonsux from Texas

4.26/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Oct 27, 2016
Photo of brentk56
brentk56 from North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a respectable head that leaves some lacing behind

Smell: Floral and sugary, with pithy and piney undertones

Taste: Definitely in the piney side, with a lot of pith as well; underneath, the sugary malts come on strong by mid-palate and into the finish, ringing pineapple flavors, as well

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and moderately carbonated; a bit sticky

Overall: A pretty darn good DIPA, though I would prefer a bit more attenuation or a bigger hop bill (may have been my fault for sitting on the bottle for a month and a half)

Thanks, chumba526, for the opportunity

Feb 15, 2012
Photo of bobbrew
bobbrew from Washington

4.77/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Something magical about this beer when I first tasted it in 2005 at the Sasquatch Beer Festival in Eugene, Oregon. Hughly hoppy with a feminine finesse. No rough edges here - just as it should be as it's brewed by the loveliest lady brewer in America. (I'm a huge fan of this style as I used to travel to Sierra Nevada in Chico so I could be the first non - SN employee to taste Celebration every year). Hophead made me forget about Celebration except for the uncontrollable subconcious lip smacking they both induce. This beer is very limited as it's brewed by a small lady in an equally small brewery. If you land a taste, pint or pitcher consider yourself one of the luckiest beer consumers in America.

Oct 01, 2006
Photo of hopdog
hopdog from Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this one on tap. I see from the picture this one is bottled, so I'll have to try that one too!

Poured a medium amber color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of citrus, pine, melons, and some malts. Tastes of citrus, melons, caramel, and pines.

Dec 09, 2008
Hophead Imperial IPA from Bend Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 83 ratings