Hop Henge Experimental IPA | Deschutes Brewery

841 Reviews
Hop Henge Experimental IPAHop Henge Experimental IPA

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This is their new version of Hop Henge Imperial IPA, the hops have been modified as of 1/2009.

Available: January to April
Alc. by Vol.: 8.5 - 9.0% range
IBUs: 95

Added by SurlyDuff on 01-21-2009

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Reviews: 841 | Ratings: 2,481
Photo of monkeylovebeer
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For my money, Bend, Oregon's Deschutes Brewery can do no wrong. Every time I weigh the pros and cons of pitching everything and moving north, being closer to the House that Cinder Cone built is always at the top of the plus column. I think that somehow those crafty Oregonians are aware of this and every year they drop this hop bomb to ensure that crazy ideas like that are pushed to the back of my mind by urgent messages from my tongue, screaming, "Damn, this is tasty! Have another one!" Somehow, nothing ever gets done.

Well, this year, we're foiled yet again. 2009's Hop Henge is labeled an "experimental" IPA which is a little disconcerting, but upon first pour, whatever they are doing up there (as long as no animals or aging hop heads were harmed) is aces with me.

Hop Henge pours with an incredibly tenacious head, like the meringue my great aunt Alice used to whip up for her lemon pies. The brew itself is a beautiful honey-colored nectar that throws off serious hop resin notes with a little grapefruit and cannabis thrown in for good measure.

Once this brew hits the tongue, it's all over but the spielin'. The pounds of Centennial and Cascade hops are perfectly balanced to make this one of the smoothest-drinking hop bombs I've yet tried. Now, where's my Oregon map?

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Photo of kraven
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From the moment I opened this bottle I knew this was going to be good, the smell oh my god the smell, heavenly.

Taste was even better, like other reviews have said, a wonderful balance of malts, and lots of hops.

I am a UK native living in the USA. We English invent things but some other country always picks up the ball and runs with it, god bless Bend Oregan USA :)

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Photo of BreworFerment
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Without a doubt my favorite IPA ever. The smell is piney without masking all of the malty goodness that signifies balance to me. There is some grapefruit citrus, florals, and the pour is just silky looking. I could smell this one all night but I'd rather drink it. SO well balanced. If you haven't tried this one go out and get a bottle. I did, and then I got 3 more.

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Photo of PDXHops
4.97/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Note: This is Batch 1.

Kicking off Superbowl Sunday in style w/this 22 ounce bottle, poured into a Duvel tulip.

Great dense, 2 finger head on top of an amber body. The head veeery slowly reduces but never disappears. Visibly active carbonation in the glass. Lacing is sticky and plentiful.

The usual DIPA suspects of piney and grapefruit smells (and in great abundance), but much more complex. A kind of smoky/cannibis element somewhere in there, along with plentiful sweet caramel and floral aromas. This stuff smells incredible- I'm not doing it justice. I was enjoying the smell so much I sniffed and swirled for a good 2 minutes.

Very complex in the mouth. Big citrusy (orange and tangerine, not just grapefruit) and, to a lesser degree, pine/cedar hop flavors smack you right off the bat, but there's a lot going on here. Some caramel and honey try to keep the bitterness somewhat in check, but are slapped aside with disdain. Some earthy flavors, and a tiny bit of that smoky element from the aroma seems to carry over into the mouth. Taste is awesome. Incredible hoppiness- resiny, sticky, gritty, oily, scratchy, hot damn. Again, I'm not doing this beer justice.

Medium body and carbonation. A bit of sweetness and a helluva lot of lingering bitterness in the finish. Leaves the throat practically burning and begging for another sip. Drinkability/enjoyability is dangerously high at this ABV.

Overall impression: Great stuff from Deschutes here. Incredible DIPA.

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Photo of MikeyMikee
4.95/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drank back in March served at Fridge Temp.

A- Golden Copper, "sunset-like". Off white, cream-like,fluffy head. Really great lacing and head retention.

S- TONS of sweet grapefruit with some floral and grassy hops as well. Citrus defintely takes the stage though. Theres also some pale and caramel nicely balanced into the mix.

T- Out of this world. Sweet grapfruit and bitter, bitter hops. Theres some sweet caramel malts perfectly balanced into the mix that take nothing away from the hop bitterness. There's a slight alcohol burn but this is a big beer and at 9% its expected.

M- Medium to high carbonation with a light mouthfeel. Very crisp and drinkable. Alochol burns a bit.

O- Really great beer, very drinkable and really great hop bill chosen for this beer. Right now it is the best DIPA I've had to date. Gonna have to trade for a lot more next year.

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Photo of TomBrewnansky
4.92/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow. This beer was on tap at Sea Salt Eatery and it went along fantastic with my calamari tacos and tilapia tacos. The pour is almost a copper color and the hops aromas hit hard. I couldn't stop smelling this beer, let alone drinking it. The aroma is strong and citrusy and very hoppy. The taste is a bit fruity, very hoppy, and surprisingly does not kill your taste buds. I really, really loved this beer. The ABV creeps on this one. I was well aware of the 8.75% in this one, but it still crept up on me. Deschutes really did well on this one. One of the best IPA's I have tried and possibly the best double I've had. Great beer.

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Photo of ShaneHarris
4.87/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: 10.5oz snifter, on the border between citrusy yellow and malty brown
S: a lot of citrus and hops
T: perfect balance of fruity, citrusy, malty, bitter
F: just smooth, and full-bodied, this one you'll enjoy swishing around in your mouth trying to get all the flavor out
O: This IPA is better than Heady Topper.

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Photo of SDHoffers
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was so excited when I put this on tap. I was able to score a pint near my sister's house in bend during my last visit and fell in love with this brew. Nice dark rich look with heavier fruit notes than a normal dipa. All the guys at the bar love this beer but the 8.75% sneaks up on you if you're not careful. Overall, I would keep this on tap year round if I could.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.82/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Creamy and bountiful of head, and sunny rust-orange in color. Only a very slight haze, and not a ton of lace stick on the glass.

Tremendous nose on this, having a healthy dose of pine and grapefruit, with generous caramel/toffee maltiness that indicates some depth.

Quintessential double IPA flavor. At least, the way I like it best: big hops exhibiting both citric and resin characteristics, with a lot of malt apparently chucked into the mix, as there's a candy-like but not-too-sweet caramel maltiness lending a hand and providing balance. A caress of citrus rind in the finish, but even that is balanced with some gooey maltiness. Alcohol is hardly even detected, I don't get a hot or headache-y vibe with this double IPA. Everything here is in totally perfect and equal measure. I would score it even higher if I could.

Mouth is creamy and soft, with small bubbles...very much like a bottle-conditioned ale, although I can't say if this is bottle-conditioned or not. All I know is I totally love its velvety smooth texture.

Deschutes has been one of my favorite breweries ever since my lips first touched their beer, and I was anxious/curious to try a double IPA by them. This one met my expectations, and maybe even surpassed them. Not a tongue ripper, but a beer that exalts hops in a most reverential way. Fu*k off, Amstel Light...THIS is "one dam(n) good beer."

So close to perfect it's stupid.

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Photo of rampole
4.82/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was in Portland for work and stopped by Deschutes for a round. I had this beer originally on tap poured into a snifter and had to have more so I bought three of their growlers that night and had them filled. One with hop henge one with inversion and one with black butte. I kept them in my fridge at the hotel and sent them back next day air the next morning. When I got home the next day they were waiting on me on my back porch so I called a few friends over for a tasting.

A Beautiful deep rich copper color with a nice full 1 finger head. nice lacing.
S Sweet citrus with nice pine accents
T Malty up front followed by well balanced hoppiness. Very floral (which my wife loved)with pineapple and grapefruit.
M Smooth dry and not very bitter for a double IPA. Nice carbonation but not overcarbonated very good balance
D Probably one of the most drinkable 2xIPAs I've had. four of us finished a growler before we went to dinner and would have probably had another with dinner if I had sent more back. Although I liked the other two Deschutes offerings that I shipped back I wish i would have sent more of this home.

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Photo of IdahoPA
4.81/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I'm a bit prejudice over this IPA not only because I'm a sucker for Imperials, but because this particular IPA has and incredible not too sweet floral hop flavor that finishes a bit bitter not like some IPA's giving you reason to have more and more.

It's a must to pour between a half and a one inch head to give you that creamy aroma as well as the taste in you mouth on that first mouthful. Don't be bashful when pouring into a tulip or snifter glass to get that head built up.

The appearance is golden and and as you drink their is a layer of foam and bubbles left around your glass if clean.

There is only one other Imperial that I can personally compare to this beer and that would be the Firestone Walker Double Jack and it actually finishes in your mouth giving you that feeling of wanting more right away. So why wait.

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Photo of Frosthazard
4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a bottle, into a large mug in the central texas woods.

A - deep amber, darker than some IPA's. decent off-white head that dissipated relatively quickly.

S - MMMmmm

T - delicious, very hoppy, not to bitter, excellent hop aftertaste.

M - nice carbonation and retention, a little tingly but overall smooth, very well balanced.

D - Our thoughts: Somewhere a beer deity thought up the perfect IPA, and it was Hop Henge, the people saw it was good and there was much rejoicing.

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Photo of jpmclaug
4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into my always faithful Duvel tulip. I had a few pints of this in Vegas at the Freakin Frog and remember it being delicious.

A - A brown center with a orange-red glow on the sides with a nice sized just off white head

S - Orange citrusy hop flavors are the first thing I notice with hints of some more piney hops in the background. A nice backbone of malt is in there somewhere that provides a caramel-like sweet smell.

T - This is delicious. Citrus hops dominate this similar to the nose but the malts provide plenty of support to keep it from nuking my palate with hops. A bit of bitterness lies in their but not a ruinous amount. While I love bitter beer it is really nice to get a full hop flavored beer that isn't super bitter.

M - Medium to heavy body with a slightly syrupy quality. Plenty of carbonation present without going overboard.

D - This is an exceptional DIPA. The balance makes this one easy to drink. Before I realized it half my glass was gone! I will jump on any chance to have this again in the future. This is definitely near the top if not at the top of my favorite DIPA's. The things I would do to be able to get Deschutes in SC!

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Photo of gkatsoris
4.77/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Golden, and very honey in color. Cream colored, thick, foamy head. Murkyish.

S: Hops and honey. Pine and citrusy hops. Vanilla and caramel. Grass.

T: Pine and citrus hops. Vanilla and honey. Delicious!!! Caramel.

M: Thick, creamy and smooth. Fantastic!!!

O: Wow this is a great IIPA. Another A+ by Deschutes.

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Photo of drpimento
4.76/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Quintessential Double IPA. Appearance is a decent size, slow to settle, thick, off-white head, lace, and a clear honey amber color. Aroma is hops, caramel malt, spice, grain. Flavor's like aroma, has a slight sweetness, good tartness, and the proper bitterness for this kind of beer. Has a nice mouth filling feeling yet with just the right buzz from good carbonation for excellent body. Also delivers some alcohol warmth. A hop monster for sure, but a good monster.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I am drinking this from a 22 oz. bottle in a craft beer glass 6 weeks before its best by date.
A: Pours brilliant copper tinted amber under a very dense, finely bubbled 1” off white foam collar that hugs the side of the glass leaving thick ledges of lace marking each sip.
S: Citrus, pine, floral, herbal, light malt and light fruit somewhere between melon and tropical.
T: Has a juicy attack with the hoppy citrus flavors riding in on the foam over a light malt graham cracker body. As the foam and body meld together mid-palate the grapefruit and grapefruit rind bitterness come forward and carry the beer to the finish.
M: Creamy, juicy rich medium full body with a very soft, smooth carbonation.
O: A DIPA featuring a balance between hop citrus, fruit and floral flavors and yeast driven fruit flavors.

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Photo of sam_bliss
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My 22-ounce bottle says 10.4% ABV. As this is called an experimental IPA, surely Deschutes varies the recipe frequently.

The liquid contents of the bomber stream down the sides and into the bottom of a stemless, bulbous, snifter-shaped glass. Finally, the bottle is inverted and as many of the 22 ounces as can fit are piled into the frothing reservoir of copper-colored ale. The color and initial scent, both covered by a billowing bubble-bath head, suggest massive fruit flavors underlie the retentive foam cap protecting this beer's volatility, hidden treasure, and silent-killer alcohol content.

The smell is of floral and citric hops, just as the label's description promoted. Some caramel sweetness in the malt offering enhances the taste of the esters and hops, wonderfully offsetting the massive bitterness of the beverage. No soapiness is detectable, only a slight spicy and oily supplement to the flavors of tangerine and springtime bloom. The mouthfeel is substantial but not super heavy; the level of carbonation is refreshing but not distracting.

This rendition of Hop Henge is reminiscent of a supper-hopped version of a Belgian Pale Ale, perhaps owing to the character of the yeast, though this one is not bottle-conditioned. Tart, chewy yellow and orange fruits play with your taste buds as bitter evergreen American hop cones ruin them almost unnoticeably. For an American lover of Belgian beer and hops, this is heaven. This review is from memory and I've certainly neglected some flavor components, but sell you soul for a bottle of this experimental IPA batch if need be; it's worth it to experience for yourself.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hopgenge best by date of 6/26/2012, purchased and drank early April, 2012.


An experimental IPA from the good people at Deschutes. After tasting, er, testing a few of the experimental hop series from Bell’s it was nice to see other brewers doing the same. Or maybe they’ve been doing it all along… Imagine the possibilities!
This poured a resplendent golden tan color with a generous topping of foam that died down into a tightly compact layer of cottony fluff and released all sorts of hoppy aromas.

I really enjoy the aroma on this. I get citrus, then I get pine and resin, then I get grapefruit essence and then I get some light medicinal notes rounding it out. And then it starts all over again.

This has a fantastic flavor to it, with those complex, nuanced hops making their presence known. There’s a lot of piney resin and grapefruit citrus with a sticky, chewy, dankness that’s balanced by an effervescent lightness.

I haven’t had a lot of their beers while in Texas only because they were regular go-tos during the better part of a decade that I spent in California. Deschutes, I missed ya. This brew reminded me what I’ve been missing. Fantastic.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch #3 2009

A- Big, soapy head with an orange tint. The body is a filtered, yet slightly hazy, light copper color with fiery orange on the edges. Slow moving bubbles in a viscous solution.

S- Potent hops. Fresh hops. Juicy hops. Delightful aromas of candied oranges and grapefruits, peppery herbal seasoning, and finally a dollop of sweet potatoes from the mix of malts.

T- The hops don't attack your taste-buds with this beer. They dig in and make buds with your tongue. Gently bitter for an Imperial IPA at 95IBU. Flavors alike the aroma, but the malts make more of an appearance and guide the hops along. I could go for a bit more complexity, but this beer is no slack.

M- Nice and thick. Good and bubbly. Slick and smooth.

D- Almost went too quick for me to review it. Even my dad who thought 120 Minute IPA(Not a standard IPA by any standards, I realize) was disgusting found this delightful.

I have found my DIPA... for now... in a 22oz seasonal available January through April... Well, maybe I'll enjoy the other Bond Series IPAs

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Photo of phatbc
4.74/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amazing Double IPA. As a huge fan of the most floral hoppiness one can put into a beer, I was very satisfied although it is not as hoppy as they come.

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Deep golden appearance with light head that lingered perfectly. Aroma was sweet, floral, with subtle citrus backgrounds. Taste was perfectly balanced between bitter hops and sweetness. A hop-forward beer, but smooth and refreshing in finish. Body was medium, carbonation was prominent and fresh. A refreshing IIPA that leaves that perfect light bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of AleEnthusiastSorensen
4.73/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a light amber/orange colour with a 1-1.5 finger head that vanished quickly and left little to no tracing. Has a slightly fruity smell with traces of pine resin and caramel. The body is on the medium side, not too heavy but not too light. Taste is heavy on the hops with a medium to heavy bitterness on the aftertaste. A great beer for those hop heads like myself. Goes well with roasted garlic hummus. Recommend any ale enthusiasts try at least once.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.73/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - excellent reddish golden caramel. Two fingers of sticky manila foam that is vey slow to yield.

Aroma - caramel malt, piney with a hoppy pungency, but also juicy orange and mango.

Taste - good malt presence, caramel and grain working out. The hops are big yet not aggressive, my favorite hop profile. A ton of citrus character, grapefruit and pine. The swallow goes dry and I half expect a resiny, medicinal punch, but it never comes. Cool. Some would view this as a flaw and dock the beer for not being a tongue scraper. I appreciate the intense flavor without the harshness. The finish is bitter and quite tasty.

Mouthfeel - medium body, plenty crisp, was expecting a little more oomph here.

Drinkability - outstanding stuff. A great sipper to have on hand while I sit through some online training. Thanks to BGThang for the awesome hookup!!

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Photo of APetitfils
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: A nice clear amber complexion with slight tints of orange and red. Off-white or ivory head that retains very well.

S: More going on here than I initially thought. Fruity aromas range from apricot, orange/tangerine, lemon, and even a slight hint of grapefruit when you give it a real wiff. There is also a nicely balance touch of hops that resonates through the fruity aromas and makes you clearly aware that your drinking a hoppy beer, but more of a friendly reminder than a slap to the smeller. Also the alcohol plays well in the overall aroma (another pleasant reminder of the fun to come).

T: A very well balanced mix of husky hops, fruity sweetness, solid malt, alcohol and even a slight slight bit of smokiness towards the end. The hops blend so well with the fruit signatures (the same of which are present in the smell) that you instantly forget your putting back 95 IBU's, but as you go through the several stages of flavors you end up right back with a refreshing hoppy taste. So don't worry about taking your eye off the ball. The alcohol also accompanies the hops very well.

M: To be honest it really surprises me how this beer is able to hold such a medium bodied feel when looking at it on paper. The carbonation that remains very well intact keeps the beer balanced through and through, even when it opens up. This pleasant mid-body allows one to really enjoy the great balance of the hoppy bitterness, fruit and malt taste.

D: The first time I had this beer was off tap and man oh man did I love it. But now that I have sat down at home and had it out of the bottle at my own leisure I have to say it surpassed what I remembered from before. This is a great great example of what Deschutes has to offer. But more than that this beer can break down a lot of doors for tentative drinkers who have misconceptions of what higher IBU beers can be about. Its balance will find a wide variety of fans in my opinion, and if you can snag one definitely try it!

Sorry this is long, but I really liked this one...

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4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a bomber to a pint glass. (Ahhh so the 'Experimental IPA' is a DIPA! oops.) I picked this up in a bottle shop in Las Vegas on a forever-long quest to find some decent brew. Brought it home to enjoy. (We don't get Deschutes in PA.) Batch #1108 K with best before date of 4/16/10. OK, let's get this review populating...

A: With a semi-aggressive pour, the bubbles swarm like some angry bees to the top creating, somewhat surprisingly, only a one and a half finger high head. The head was white as linen, frothy and longgg lasting. Excellent patchy lacing sticks to the side of the glass and after time it begins to sag slightly. The end result looks like a well-composed sponge painting. The body is a medium dark coppery orange and just a touch less than perfectly clear.

S: Let the experiment be over! This beer might have the absolute perfect balance of malts and hops. Malts of caramel and grain, heavy hops of citrus. The pine, grapefruit, orange and lemon are strong but, as the beer warms, they meld into a wonderfully floral hop aroma. Seriously, the nose on this sucker could not be improved!

T: Unlike many other heavily hopped brews, this one finds a way to introduce some flavors that didn't make it through as aromas on the nose: Raisin, McIntosh apple, pepper, other spices and brown sugar. Truly an impeccable blend of sugar and spice. The flavor duration is long and it is heavily bitter.

M: Full body mouthfeel with a thick texture. Finishes bitter. The lively/prickly carbonation settles down transforming the Hophenge Experiment into a wonderfully creamy brew as it comes close to room temperature.

D: This is one of the more fulfilling, more satisfying DIPA's I've had in a while and I've been drinking some of the best of the season. I hope they continue to brew this one and hope even more that Deschutes distribution is expanded to PA. Incredible brew already, no need to twerk the recipe.

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Photo of xhcadamx
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Dark copper with a off white head. Superb lacing. Very Sticky.

S - Hops, pineapple, citrus and a faint bit of pine

T - Very much like the nose, lots of pineapple, citrus, a tad of bitterness in between. Very hoppy sweet.

M - Deliciously syrupy

D - Very tasty and you can't taste the alcohol. Could be disastrous.

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Hop Henge Experimental IPA from Deschutes Brewery
4.1 out of 5 based on 2,481 ratings.
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