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Hop Henge Experimental IPA | Deschutes Brewery

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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 841 | Ratings: 2,473
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.12/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My second beer in Mia's Lounge, Flagstaff and yet another hoppy US brew.

Deep amber body, a slight haze within, cream coloured head, thin from the start, a collar very quickly.

Citrus hop aroma, some malted biscuits hidden at the back, but mostly hops with added hops.

The hops impart a true bitterness that the malted biscuits (from the small) can't cope with and the beer just becomes 'yet another hoppy beer', one of too many I came across during my road trip to the US. The alcohol comes through towards the end of the taste, but otherwise it could have been almost any IPA based beer I came apon.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.21/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle purchased at Bob's Bar in Columbus, OH.

This was unknowingly purchased a month past its best by date (3/13/14) so take this review with a grain of salt, and know that this beer does not hold up well with time.

Pours a dark peach color, with a half inch head, and a little bit of lacing down the glass.

Smells include honey, bitter grapefruit, and alcohol.

The hop flavor has faded a lot here, replaced by the typical honey-ish sweetness. The diminished hop flavors have also allowed the alcohol burn to be more present. What hop character is left is of the bitter grapefuit variety. Possibly some pine in there.

Medium bodied, sweet and sticky mouthfeel, low carbonation.

Would like to try this again much fresher.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A classic west coast-style DIPA if there ever was one.

Nearly clear, light orange/golden colored body, fluffy white head. Good retention and sticky lacing. Big time hoppiness in the nose, with lots of citrus, grapefruit and pineapple, orange and lemon, caramel malty sweetness underneath. Flavor follows the aroma; with abundant citrusy hops dominating, but also a tasty and substantial (by west coast standards) malt backbone and some sweetness. Again, grapefruit, pineapple, and orange. Alcohol is fairly well masked.

Medium body with solid carbonation giving it some life while still retaining a bit of stickiness. Semi-dry finish. Overall a very well made DIPA but not exactly a standout in a very crowded field.

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Photo of John_M
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Horsebrass the other night.

The beer pours the expected orange peach color with exceptional head retention and good lacing. On the nose I get a good deal of hoppy citrus, coupled with some interesting cherry and apple. On the palate this beer is just stunning. It's incredibly well balanced and has a lightness on the palate that is just lovely. The beer has the expected orange citrus from the huge hop bill, but Deschutes somehow seems to have blended in just the right amount of malt to give the beer some really nice fruit flavors of cherry, orange, apple and melon. The beer is at most medium bodied and the abv. is so well disguised that it's dangerous. I could easily see myself knocking back several pints of this if I wasn't careful, which would be very unwise given the abv.

Have not had this beer in some time and have to wonder if Deschutes has tweaked the recipe. Granted I've only had it out of the bottle prior to this, but I do not recall this beer previously tasting this good. The current version is exceptional.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


On tap at the Portland pub in a snifter.

A: Deep blood rust with a frothy one finger white head, okay retention and lacing. Great color and perfect clarity.

S: Prominent grapefruit and pine notes with a decent sweet caramel and biscuit malt presence. I dare say this is well balanced in the nose. Smells very nice, the hops are bright and vibrant. Great.

T: The beer has big hop flavor without much bitterness, which is awesome. Alcohol is very well hidden. Malt is biscuit and sweet caramel, providing balance. Hops are grapefruit and orange flesh, and pine. Incredibly smooth, devoid of evident alcohol or astringency. Great. Finish is bitter and sweet, and citrus lingers.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation, smooth and sticky mouthfeel. Nice.

Overall: A great beer that drinks like a one in the 5% range.  A delicious hoppy beer and the best I've had on this short trip. This destroys Green Mammoth.

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Photo of Derek
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden bronze with a slightly off-white head, some retention, leaves a nice lace.

S: Mango, candied-pineapple, pine, spearmint, dried straw and toffee.

T: Piny resin, papaya, mango, herbal, hints of toffee & biscuit. Although the bitterness is assertive, it's not overly harsh... though it does really linger. Alcohol is obvious, though still balanced.

M: Moderate body has some hop acidity, with a crisp, drying finish.

O: Hell of a brew.

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Photo of weeare138
2.95/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Tomdecapolis for sharing this...
Appears a hazed light gold with a small, creamy cap that fades into a mild film with a small collar of fluff. Streaky remnants and spots are left around the glass.
Smell is decent enough...containing notes of citrus, herbs, light pine, caramel, and candy.
Taste is overly bitter and mouth puckering with absolutely zero balance going on here with the absence of a malt backbone. Lots of yeast and hops highlight with citrus and herbs standing out.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, yeasty, gritty, lip smacking of bitterness.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in the US from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA. Brought it back to Australia and cracked open with @laituegonflable.

Pours a pleasant coppery gold colour, with a fine, but slightly filmy head of off-white. Lacing is speckled, but decent enough. Body is nicely thick and it leaves some pleasant static carbonation. Looks pretty good all up.

Nose is crisp and slightly metallic, it gives me the impression that it's a little bit old, with the grain notes coming through more prominently than you'd expect in an IPA. Still, there's plenty of greenery, some tight citric bite and a fresh, peppery lift that only hops could explain.

Taste is pleasant, but a little weird. Certainly, on the surface, it seems to tick all the boxes stylistically. Big hop bitterness: check. Malty sweetness: check. Big full body: check. But there are odd characters to it as well. A sherbetty character, a sweet lemonade note, even a hint of gatorade powder. It's an odd mix. Even the sweetness has an oddly confectionery tone to it: like a barley sugar lolly. It's good, don't get me wrong, but it has some oddness.

A decent brew, but with some odd twists. I'll put it down to the "Experimental" in the name, and be content with that.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a golden, orangish body with rather large amount of head and lace. Aroma is textbook citric hops with touches of spice and caramel/sweet malt. Smooth, a rather flavorful hoppy beer as the hops are not one note. I get not only a strong citric vibe but also some tropical and grapefruit which, along with touches of caramel, give off a little sweetness. Beer is well balanced and also has a bread/cracker like edge just to make sure it isn't too hoppy and aids a rather dry finish.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-Spiegelau ipa glass. Best by 04.06.16. consumed 07.15.16. oh well.

A: Dark orange honey coloring with a big haze and big amounts of carbonation bubbles feverishly stirring within. One and one half inch solid oatmeal colored head is towering and sturdy, firm in hold but low in lace coverage.

S: Fresh oranges, sweet honey suckle, light toast with a light to moderate awareness factor. Short duration maybe age a factor?

T: Mandarin oranges are bright and spicy with a honey glazed malting and spicy pine factor. Good twang of citrus hops chime in with toasted grains, flowery hops of moderate strong ibus full of both flavor and bittering appeal. Sweet tropical hops meets grassy pine west coast influence with some alcohol spicing of all spice. The finish finds a respectable grapefruit-lemony citrus twang at knockout.

M: Medium full body, syrupy, sticky and warming alcohol spiciness glows on the tongue and inner cheeks. Carbonation feels much calmer then visual appeal.

O: An alcohol fueled hoppy ipa with a big, sticky and syrupy malt backbone. The alcohol plays it a bit strong on the finish. Very good try. Age seemed to play little factor in my enjoyment, you might find this even more so fresh.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a clear orange color with good carbonation and a nice white head

S: Plenty of grapefruit, fresh hops and booze smell

T: Chewy, plenty of citrus hops upfront, fresh and tasty. Some booze and maybe a light caramel

M: Sordove slick, good carbonation, nice hop bite on the end

D: Would drink again for sure

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)
Best by 4/5/13
A- This beer pours a clear orange body with a thick creamy light beige head that last a good bit and a slow carbonation popping to the surface.

S- The juicy green herbal hops has a green citrus pith finish.

T- The pungent herbal hops is supported by a sweetness of malt that comes through as the beer opens up. There is a slightly juicy woody pine hop flavor that grows in the finish. The pungent pith with some bitterness lingers in the aftertaste.

M- the medium-full mouthfeel has an alcohol heat that is gentle but cuts the bitterness nicely. There is a creamy mouthfeel as long as the head last.

O- This big, hardy double IPA has nice a full hop bill and a nice alcohol heat that cuts some of the bitterness in the aftertaste. There is a nice sweetness for support aswell. This beer is a bit of a punch in the tongue, but that is a good thing. Just not a session beer.

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Photo of beertunes
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into bubble pint glass. Poured a bright, clear orangeish-amber color with a thick light tan head. A slightly more than moderate amount of lacing, but not as much as expected from a big hop-bomb. A big, bold hop nose with the floral components upfront. The flavor was not as floral as the aroma, with bittering hops dominating. Solid, multi-dimesional body that leaves a lot hop stickyness on the tongue. Very drinkable for a hop-bomb, but your palate will get tired after a few, as with most hop-bombs. Overall a very good beer that I look forward to every year. Worth some effort to seek out.

I am editing my review to include some on-tap Hop Henge I recently had. The draft version semed to be more copper-colored my review indicates. The floral hop notes were more up-front in both the aroma and flavor. I found the draft to very smooth and drinkable for an ImpIPA. An excellent beer.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from 22oz bottle(room temp) a clear amber gold with a large head of foam that shrinks to a fine layer with plenty of lacing.

The smell is very hoppy. I note a lot of grapefruit and, oh, there's some sweet malt hitting my nose as well.

The taste on first sip is hugely hoppy. I get the grapefruit I mentioned in the smell but I'm also getting some caramel sweetness from the malt and what's this that's hitting my palate...it tastes of cherry and..cinnamon? There's also an earthy/bready note in there. Very unusual and interesting tasting DIPA but, the flavours I mentioned along with the noticeable alcohol aren't making for a nice balance and so is limiting the drinkability factor for me.

Bottom line: I'm glad I got to try this but I wouldn't go out of my way to drink it again.

Edit: I just picked up a couple of bottles locally(US$4.50 apiece) and thought I'd update my review.

I'm now liking the flavours I'm getting with this brew. Big hoppy grapefruit along with some nice caramel malt and some fruitiness that are all tasting just fine...good balance too. Maybe my other sample wasn't up to snuff or my tastebuds that day were "damaged" or what ever. This is a good, solid Impy IPA.

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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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Photo of cjgator3
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle. Pours an orangish amber with a nice white head that leaves a good amount of lacing. The aroma is sweet malt with a touch of caramel, citrusy hops and some alcohol is present in the nose as well. The taste is malt and a good dose of citrusy hops. A lot of grapefruit in the nose and taste. Overall, Hop henge Imperial IPA is a pretty good DIPA and another solid brew from Deschutes, I don't think they can make a bad beer. Hell, I don't think they can make an average beer if they wanted, outstanding brewery.

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Photo of spinrsx
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bottle from City Beer San Francisco for 5.99. Thanks to j for this one.

Appearance - Clear copper colour with an average size frothy off-white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, grapefruit, pineapple, apricots

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste hops, malts, and caramel. There is also pine/resin mixed with various fruits like grapefruit, strawberries, apricots, and pineapple. I can pick up on the booze as well. It ends with a hoppy and fruity aftertaste.

Overall - It definitely got better as it warmed in my glass. Probably the best beer I've had from Deschutes and a lot more west coast in style than their IPA/APA. I'd drink it again for sure, but I'd drink a Sculpin/Pliny/Idiot instead if I could.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Clear copper/amber color; almost orange. Poured a 2 finger off-white head with good retention. Even lacing around the class. Lightly decanted continuously.

S: Big piney hops and grainy malts. Overall, a very sweet nose. Alcohol in the background.

T: Big pine and citrus hops; much more so than the smell. Big malts dominate the middle. Finish is bitter and sweet.

M: Heavy side of medium body. Ample carbonation. Warming alcohol betrays the ABV.

D: Good taste, remarkable balance. Uni-bomber at best (one and done...at least for tonight)

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Photo of wordemupg
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650ml bomber poured into tulip 17/2/13, gotta love a long time want just showing up one the shelf where you live

A clear golden copper with some tiny suspended particles being moved around by just a handful of slow tiny bubbles, for so few visible bubbles there's a well sustained two finger foam that leaves a few rings of lace

S melon and orange creamsicle followed by some floral pine, pineapple and orange rind, its not a complete hop runaway with a little caramel malt in the background

T some dry cereal and a little booze and tangerine I didn't smell with slightly more pine and caramel, I can taste booze but I just noticed the 10.6% listed on the label and I'd never had guessed it was that high. it may sound strange but I get a little yellow Pez candy

M thick and creamy, bitter almost enamel stripping, a little heat and slightly sticky on the lips but a little slick on the gums

O solid DIPA for sure, industry standard perhaps, I've had better but I wouldn't get board of this one for a while

I could drink another but for nearly 12$ for 650ml it's not cheap, I suppose I just should be happy that I have another great DIPA I can add to my rotation

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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 VelvetExtract
3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a glowing orange color. Big, fluffy, white head sits and stays like a good dog. Good lacing. Slight haze.

S-An interesting nose. Perfumey and floral. Loads of botanicals and pine. Also there is a basket of grapefruit. Really stresses the rind of the citrus fruits. A 'gamey' hop aroma. A bit dank. Hops come off in an oddly sweet way. Very hard for me to describe. Boozy, bready, caramel-drizzly malt. Perplexing.

T-The flavor is memorable and different. I really tried my best to like it but it was a bit off to me. The hops are sweet and earthy then sweet again. It has an odd zest and spice to it. One sip would convince me that I really like it; all that citrus and fruit came out. Then the next sip got my taste buds all confused again. I bet if I had a flight of this or even a sip I would have loved it. A whole bomber was a bit too mind-bending.

M-Big and chewy. Bitter and resinous. Took a while to drink this one. The booze was evident but I would have guessed this to be clocking in at 9-9.5% as opposed to nearly 11%.

O/D-Really would like to go back to this one again some day. Definitely an 'experimental' IPA. I loved it then hated it then loved it again…then was confused and decided that I sorta liked it in the end. This one threw me for a loop.

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Photo of barczar
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a fairly clear golden orange with a modest cream head that dissipates quickly to a tiny ring of foam.

Floral hops, mango, tangerine, grapefruit, and orange pith form the aroma. A hint of caramel malt is subtle.

Resin and floral hops underlie the flavor profile, which finishes bitter and earthy. High notes of muted grapefruit and orange pith add complexity. Malt is an afterthought. Very floral and perfumey. Becomes soapy in the aftertaste.

Body and carbonation are moderate, with a slightly astringent finish lingering, and moderate alcohol warmth.

Very floral and perfumey, hop dominant, with nice accents of citrus. Refreshing change of pace from the usual west coast varieties. The bitterness is a little much for my palate.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very nice and clear, vibrant amber color with a thick, dense, white, creamy colored head and sparing carbonation of very tiny, tight bubbles.

S - Pungent grapefruit citrus and oily pine dominate the nose with just a slight bit of acidic sharpness.

T - Taste is different than the nose with soft grapefruit citris and pine a slight mint presence. The hop bitterness is sweet and the finish surprisingly does not linger on the palette. There's some other nuances going on that are hard to really nail down but makes it distinct and unique in flavor. The other very noticeable feature of this beer is its booziness.

M - The body is on the thin side of medium. For a D-IPA, I would prefer more body, it's thinner than what I prefer for the style.

D - Drinkability is very good but it would be nice to experience less alcohol presence and more body. Overall, I really am enjoying this beer from Deschutes.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Glad to see reviews say this is still drinking amazing. Snagged a bomber for $7.99 at the RT 8 Giant Eagle.

A - Digging that unfiltered hazy amber no t so much with the clumps of yeast but I will live. Color is a deep amber brown with sadly just a 1/4 inch of head but damn good looking lacing.
S - Mango, papaya, herbal hop pine tree goodness. Kind of faded but it's to be expected this bomber is 5 months old! No noticeable ABV twang in the smell.
T - Hops are still very pungent and fruity yet no so much that you get that ethanol taste. Wish I knew how to describe it further but all I can say is fruity hop, then bitter edge, and sweet finish. No noticeable ABV.
M - Slightly syrup like but to me it drinks amazing. Like sculpin on steroids.

Overall worth the money and a damn tasty it's the best beer I ever had from them and I had about 5. May pick up another if it's still around.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.81/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Another one of those appearances falling in between a copper-amber-orange color range. Nice solid 1/2" white head. Hops and booze in the nose.

Taste allows the alcohol to hide a little, all that crystal malt and citrus hops keep it in the background. Very bitter. Not bad price for a bomber, better as a 12oz bottle. Sticky malt and hops on this one. Not dry, caramel like resin stickiness.

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Hop Henge Experimental IPA from Deschutes Brewery
4.1 out of 5 based on 2,473 ratings.
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