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: 2,478
Photo of CapitalGains
3.54/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber poured into a Deschutes imperial pint glass. Poured and tasted 1/17/12 at my humble abode.

Starts off with a completely transparent, golden body with about an inch of white head that faded quickly. The appearance on this one looks fantastic especially when compared to some of the recent IPAs I've had from smaller, less refined breweries, which have been fairly cloudy.
Aroma is characterized primarily by citrus and sweet caramel notes. A lot less hop dominant aroma than is traditional with the west coast take on this style.
The initial taste comes through with a grapefruit-like floral presence and piney hop resin, which transitions into a sweeter and more crystal malt forward/biscuity, balanced finish. I definitely don't get an astringent or overly cloying hop presence, which is a plus for me.
Mouthfeel does seem a little thin with less head retention that I had hoped for. The alcohol is mostly suppressed with a slight hop bitterness on the tongue. Finish is pleasant; not too dry.
One of the more balanced, less hop bomb incarnations of a west coast double/imperial IPA. Previous versions seemed to have more a boozyness to them but I don't get that as much with the current year's batch. It's an affordable offering (usually $4.50-6 for a bomber) and one of Deschutes' better beers, in my opinion.

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Photo of Zorro
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Red colored beer with a tall tan colored head. Very dark for the beer style.

Strong hop aroma with a distinctive sour aroma of lemon. Strong citrus aromas Orange, lemon, grapefruit, pine seems to be missing. There is a woody and aspirin scent here, Amarillo hops? Aspirin and oranges aroma intensifies as it warms.

Starts out neural and woody with a strong bitter and ash aftertaste. Mellows out and gives a tea flavor fairly quickly. One flaw to this one, the taste just doesn't wow me, it is just a bit too tame.

Mouthfeel is OK.

By the time I got to the bottom of this glass I was frankly bored with it. Somewhere between nose and mouth this beer gets lost.

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Photo of willjschmidt
3.57/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the Toronado in a pint glass.

A: Pours a slightly brownish red, a very unusual color for the style.

S: Lots of hops in the nose, also quite a bit of sweetness.

T: Lots of candied oranges and sweet caramel malt. This beer is really sweet, probably the sweetest DIPA/IPA I've ever had. It's really not all the bitter.

M: Smooth, medium carbonation.

D: This beer is just way too freaking sweet. It overwhelms the palate and dominates the other flavors. Not my favorite DIPA by a long shot.

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Photo of Docer
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Wow, the malt liquor of IPA's!

Great sessional..


- Great amber/copper color... nice tiny-bubbled eggshell colored head... creamy like coolwhip.. great lacing all over the glass. It's like watching continents drift.

- For me I smell more caramel malts right up front (which is needed to get the sugars for strength). Sweet honey. The usual awesome floral hops from this brewer.

- The taste is much like the smell... malty. Smooth creamy caramel malt with a spicy hop/alc. burn. Taste more hop when belched.

- Leaves the mouth nice and parched as it should/would. Sweet aftertaste with a bitter hop bite long after the end.

- Rather easy to drink, mild carbonation.

A little more time eating the sugars, and sh!tt!n' out the burn.. this would be a barley wine. A tad sweet for my taste. Between this, and a ruination.. I'd go w/ the ruination. Imagine hop trip set out in the sun like a sun-tea... after a few kegs settled down to a jar... you've got this. It is great!

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Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Beet pours a warm orange color and very hazy. Great head that is strong and turns into lovely lacing.

Aroma is intense, packed with hops, so.much so it is hard to pick out any notes.

Bitter at the first sip and right to the end. Finish is bright and fruity with a bit of pine right at the end.

Medium body and sticky mouth feel.

Overall am ok IPA, it is too harsh in the finish to really be enjoyable for anyone but am extreme hop head. The hops in the beer are different than what I have had before which is nice.

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Photo of KFBR392
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A dark copper orange color. Consistent carbonation that came in waves after taking a drink. About three fourths of a finger of head on the pour. Average lacing.

Smell: A darker syrupy hop aroma. A lot of pine and resin. Nice additions of dark fruits. You get a pretty good amount of heat from the alcohol here.

Taste: My overall feeling of this brew is that it is pretty hot. At the front you get a mild alcohol sting which is one of the main factors throughout the brew. You get some nice hop character in the body. A nice malty sweetness tries to battle through at the end of the beer but a sticky dryness from the high abv burns through. There are a lot of pin accents in the front and body as well.

Mouthfeel: Again the spicy alcohol accents rule supreme. Dries out the palette in a hurry. I more pronounced hop body would be appreciated here.

Overall: I've been very impressed with Deschutes, but I do not think I would buy this brew again. The high abv had me curious and just dominated too much. But I will continue to advocate for Deschutes.

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Photo of Durge
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A clear copper color with a fair off-white head and very good lacing. The aroma offers mild citrus grass biscuit. Nice but slightly mysterious. The flavor says honey grass and a touch of pine peanut. Grass dominates with a scintillating carbonation in a medium bodied brew. There is a slight alcohol note with lemon biscuit. The feel is slightly viscous with very subtle carbonation. Fair drinkability. Not in my wheelhouse for an IPA but a decent version worth a try.

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Photo of iasanlee
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden orange with large off-white head and some good lacing. Hop aroma is lacking big time. What is there is citrus and pine. A bready/toasty character malt aroma. Flavor displays a bit more hop character than the nose, but still not outstanding. Orange and pine. Bitterness is through the roof. Almost harsh. Some caramel notes and sweet. Alcoholic/warming. Medium-full in body. Bitterness is a bit out of hand, and the hop aroma/flavor are holding this back from being a great IIPA.

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Photo of hoppytobehere
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber, best by 4/6/13.

A: Clear copper body. Decent retention along the edge of the glass.

S: Caramel malt with just a hint of citrus hops. Was expecting way more hops.

T: For a fresh bottle, the hop flavors are subdued. Very malty, with some hop bitterness toward the end. Not bad, but not quite what I want out of a big double IPA. Booze is well concealed.

M: Nice carbonation.

O: Where are the hops?

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a 22oz bomber of this from Olive Tree Market here in OB for $5.99 and poured it into an Old Speckled Hen pint glass.

A: Pours a crystal clear copper hue, effervescent, with a solid head that lingers leaving good lacing from start to finish.

S: Nutty and grassy, toasted grain and sweet malt with a bit of booze in there as well - very earthy.

T: Sweet and grainy - maybe even a bit too sweet. The hop seems to get lost in the mix and is overwhelmed by sweet malt.

M: Medium/full-bodied brew that is lightly carbonated, sticky and syrupy to the point of being just a bit too much for me - there's also no lingering bitterness from the hop which one would expect from the style (especially by West Coast standards of DIPA's.

D: I'm never one to walk away from a beer and I certainly didn't with this one, but really had to power through to finish it. I won't be drinkin this one again.

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Photo of mjl21
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle purchased from Ledger's and poured into a snifter. This is the new version of Hop Henge. Bottle is coded 021 09 0901 E. Comes in at 8.75% and 95 IBUs.

A-Looks like burnt caramel. Decent head after pour that stays for a while. Lots of lacing on the top part of the glass.

S-Not nearly as big as a lot of the DIPAs that I like. Grassy hops and alcohol come out first. As it warms, citrus starts to hit the nose.

T-Bitter melon followed by sweetness. Grassiness is in there and some noticeable alcohol.

M-Medium bodied. Definite bitterness due to 95 IBUs.

D-The booze is definitely in there and you know you are drinking something with a kick. I feel this does limit its drinkability.

I found this better than the previous version of Hop Henge. It is at a good price point ($4.99), but for my money I would probably go with something from a different West Coast brewer.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.59/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from 2013 split with a friend; poured into my FFF teku glass and quaffed today 6/2/2013.

Aroma: Toffee, honey, breadiness with a bit of dank earthiness and a good bit of citrus. Very hefty nose, typical aroma profile.

Colour: Clear, dark golden orange body with 2cm fluffy white head, gone in minutes. Becomes a thin film on top of the otherwise clean looking beer. A little bit of lacing but not a whole lot.

Flavour: Lots of honey and biscuits here; plus some toffee that makes this beer an overly malty one. There is a nice hop presence- some grapefruit, orange and a little farmhouse earthiness. It's tasty and definitely a more interesting flavour profile than most typical West Coast IPAs.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied brew with very good carbonation; finish is resinous and sticky yet dry. Aftertaste is sweet honey mixed with some orange peel. Does not drink particularly boozy at 10.9%

Overall: A nice different kind of DIPA from the west coast that isn't necessarily a single hop bomb without a malt backbone. It was certainly an interesting experience to try this one. Good beer, good company.

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Photo of rsdaugherty
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz in a goblet
A - Clear amber & orange with a red hue, almost 2 finger head moderate dissipation
S - Freshly cut hay/grass, citrus, with floral overtones
T - Something about this is not letting me get away from the semi sweet cut hay/grass with citrus start to a bitter hop finish, I like but no love here
M - a big beer, smooth and creamy, in the middle zone on carbonation
D - a flavorful beer, 9% ABV is not readily apparent

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I bought a bottle for ~$4.50 at Lee's in Vegas. This beer was clear and colored copper like a used penny. The smell is strong with loads of malt along with the hops, making this more of an American barleywine than a DIPA. Tastes a lot like Bigfoot, very very hoppy but thickly sweet with malts. It was OK but honestly I prefer DIPA's that have less of a malt presence than this.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.61/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

Brilliant orangey gold with two fingers of tight laced head. Mod-heady carbonation. Clarity is good with a slight chill haze. A healthy layer of lacing coats the glass.

A lot of grapefruit, some papaya, light notes of toffee and caramel, pine and a hint of mint.

Upfront – Caramel, pine, lemon juice, papaya
Mid-palate – Grapefruit pith, drops of toffee
Finish – Grapefruit zest, resinous pine needles, lemon zest

Medium bodied, slick and sticky.

Moderately heavy bitterness reliant on notes of grapefruit and pine. The malt bill seems to be tilted towards toffee notes rather than caramel. Decent drinkability. Not necessarily my favorite flavors in a DIPA, but overall a solid brew.

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Photo of Dope
3.61/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle is dated 06/26/12. This was a gift so I can't complain too much but man, some stores really just don't care, do they?

A: Pours a cloudy golden-orange. Large fluffy tan head. Fades very slowly, leaving awesome lacework behind.

S: Caramel and raisins primarily. Not much in the way of hops. Maybe a hint of grapefruit?

T: Mild grapefruit and pine up front. Some grainy aspect in the middle along with some caramel. Finish has a quick flourish of raisin and then some pine and resin into the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, fairly smooth.

O: Well, tough to say as this is obviously an old bottle. Very little hoppiness and the rest is pretty generic. I will have to seek out a fresher bottle sometime, wish they distributed here. Having said that, I have previously "Had" this beer and I rated it a 3.5 (couple of years ago) so I'm guessing that it's nothing to write home about even when fresh.

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Photo of Trueant1
3.61/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep orange/red. Some floaties/carbonation. Nice thick head with great lacing.

Smells of sweet malts/hop balance. Bready. There is a mild off flavor I do not like.

Tastes of pineapple, apricots, typical pine bitterness of the style, and alcoholic.
A very sweet double IPA. With a good balance of
bittering. What is lacking is the sense of very fresh green hops along with a floral smell.

Good, but not great. Cool looking bottle and name.

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Photo of pwoods
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to inflatablechair for this trade.

22oz. brown bomber poured into a snifter. 086 08

A: Pours a ruby tinted orange that's deep enough to distort visibility. 1 1/2 fingers of dense, yet fluffy, off white head forms and holds nicely. Pretty decent lacing in the snifter.

S: Bottle says the ABV is 8.75%(apparently boosted from the original 8.1%). This is pretty high, but not extreme for a DIPA. However, the alcohol is very present in the nose. Almost Quad like alcohol, deep, rich, mingles throughout all the scents. Behind the alcohol lies a pleasant citrus hop resin and light pine. Malts are DIPA dense, bready, biscuity, chewy, and super sweet.

T/M: This is one odd brew. The alcohol is much less present in the mouth. I expected much more from the nose. Also, the taste is here and gone to a very dry and lingering bitter finish before you can blink. What I do get is good, not outrageous, but good. A nice assertive hop bitterness right up front with slightly muted citrus and peppery pine. The malts rush and in leave instantly; Super sweet, doughy, and turning the brew viscous.

D: Very odd but still tasty. The more controlled alcohol in the taste helps drinkability. I probably won't seek this out again but that's because it's terrible.. there are just so many equally good, and even more better DIPAs that are much easier to find. Thanks for the opportunity to try this brew, Sam.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into an Allagash cervoise glass. Best by 26 June 2012. 1214.

A: Creamy-thick head tops a very clear pale gold beer.

S: Light peachy hops. It doesn't smell very bitter. Full of soft fruit.

T: Full, hoppy, and full of Simcoe-ish garlic/onions. Sweet grapefruit, the afore-smelt peach, and white grape. The interplay between hops and fruit is the main feature (and only interesting part) of this beer. An herbal-bitter aftertaste. The beer improves as time passes.

M: Round, drinkable, sometimes-citrusy, and fairly unremarkable.

O: A good beer. I'd have another few (it's quite tasty) but I'm unsure what makes this beer 'experimental'. Moderately recommended.

ABV: 8.96%
IBU: 95

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Photo of JBogan
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark copper color with a thick tan head which sticks around a while and leaves good lacing. Nice looking brew.

The aroma is the familiar grapefruity citrus and pine.

Taste is also the standard hoppy citrus with a bit of malt to temper the bitterness somewhat, although it still had a finish on the bitter end of the scale. Nothing new here, but decent for this type beer.

Mouthfeel seemed on the thicker side at first, yet after it was in the mouth for a moment and then going down the throat, almost felt as if it was on the thin side. A strange sensation. Also, it was a very sticky beer. My lips felt almost glued together.

IPA fans will probably enjoy this one, although there are better brews of that style around.

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Photo of bennett_loves_good_beer
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark, golden orange with a huge white head that leaves tons of lacing on the glass.

Smell: tropical fruits and some sweet malt. Not a strong aroma but smells great.

Taste: Citrusy, grapefruit rind, minty finish. Becomes more fruity and it warms. Strong malt presence balances it out.

Mouthfeel: juicy, touch of alcohol.

Overall, this beer improves significantly as it warms. A great IPA. Seems quite a bit different than last years to me. Wonder if they used different experimental hops in this years batch? The minty flavors must be coming from some new variety of hops. This one is unique because of this. Think I preferred last years batch but maybe it is just different because my palate has shifted in the past year.

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Photo of BB1313
3.64/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Best by 3/14/14. 22oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a deep hazy golden with a huge fluffy eggshell white head. Beautiful head that leaves awesome lacing and retention. Great looking beer. The aromas have alot of soap and pine. There's some subtle tropical notes. Some citrus as well. Sweet caramel malts are there as well. The flavors start off pretty bitter. Lots of pine needles and pine resin. Some orange zest. Sweet caramel comes through. Solid malt backbone. There's a bit of heat and warmth to this one, but it's definitely not boozy. Mouthfeel is wonderful. It's full-bodied with light active carbonation. Creamy and fluffy. Very smooth and easy to drink. I mentioned about the subtle warmth, but the alcohol basically goes unnoticed.

This is a solid DIPA. It's not something that knocked my socks off, but it's well crafted and fun to drink.

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Photo of gordavidson
3.64/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- A slightly hazy orange liquid that has a bit of a luminescent quality to it. The off white head is bubbly and has some decent retention.

S- Sweaty gym sock, fruit, cut grass, and a touch of pine. A bit of the lighter side, but not bad.

T- Caramel, fruit, and grass. Fairly malty for the style. Bitter(ish) and sweet.

M- Sticky smooth and sweet. A nice amount of carbonation with a slightly bitter finish.

D- I can't find anything wrong with this, but I am not in love. A little on the rich side for the alcohol content and style. Good beer, cool label.

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Photo of dmfrench
3.64/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acidic, resinous, lemon citrus and spice DIPA - re-review fresh

A:Typical medium pumpkin body, topped with a lacing, somewhat persistent one finger off white head.

S: Certainly I"'m getting this bottle a bit past its prime... date says best by a little over a month from now. Aroma is reduced to mostly bready caramel malt and a bit of hop spice, but off the pour I noticed citrus notes as well. Will need to re-review a fresh bottle

T: As usual for a stale hoppy beer, hops show better on the palate, and what I'm getting are the ruins of what I'm sure was a thriving civilization of acidic lemony citrus and resinous pine. Malt profile is similar to the nose, with a bit more spiciness, almost like rye. Creamy caramel abounds.

M: Nice and weighty, creamy and sweet, but carbonation keeps it from getting to heavy or cloying.

O: Must re-review a fresher sample to know for sure.

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Photo of akorsak
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 22 oz bomber from a trade with msubulldog25.

A: The ale pours with a vigorous carbonation, yielding off-white billows that fill the glass and lace throughout. Color-wise, the ale is a lighter amber color with some definite orange highlights.

S: The nose is chock full of hoppy goodness, showing off a vibrant, piquant citrus hop body. The citrus is nicely paired with some thick resiny pine hops.

T: The flavor is surprisingly well balanced; there is a strong hop bite without too much alcohol or unevenness. The hops register immediately, showing off a pronounced citrus sweetness that transitions into strong bitterness in the finish. The malt body matches nicely, adding a grainy element that balances out the early hop body (until the bitterness kicks in).

M: The mouthfeel never quite figures itself out, starting out well-balanced and quickly turning bitter. I'd vote for the well-balanced start over the finish, if my vote carried any weight.

D: The abv is not conducive to pounding, but I think that some age on this beer would serve well, mellowing out the hops a bit for added balance.

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Hop Henge Experimental IPA from Deschutes Brewery
4.1 out of 5 based on 2,478 ratings.
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