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Hop Henge Experimental IPA | Deschutes Brewery

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Hop Henge Experimental IPAHop Henge Experimental IPA
2,493 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 2,493 |  Reviews: 844
Photo of BigJTrucker
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased from Market of Choice, 29th & Willamette, Eugene, OR

Pours a beautiful deep gold color. Respectable head that settles into a sizeable amount of foam floating on top and clinging to the side of the glass. From the moment you begin pouring, the "ginormous" amount of hops used in this brew produces an aroma that hopheads live for. Tastes very grassy and hoppy. The hops overwhelms any malt that might be in the beer. It tastes absolutely wonderful. Very very smooth and very drinkable. The hop bitterness hits the entire mouth and slowly evaporates to the back of the throat. The 8% abv is hardly noticeable at all.... A very highly recommended oregon beer....

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber. This one pours a nice deep golden color with a small head that falls to a slight coat over top. This one is very clear with a few sparse bubbles working up. The aroma brings a dose of chunky caramel malt with an earthy hop under it. There is a mild citrusy sweetness and an apparent alcohol. The flavor is a little rough to me. It has a little solventy character from the combination of the alcohol and bitterness. The caramel comes through as a nice sweetness along with the citrusy hop. The bitterness clings on the finish. Mouthfeel is moderate to thick with a very fine carbonation. Overall this one is okay. The flavor isn't as melded as I would like but it drinks well.

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Photo of bjohnson
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to dubbercody for the chance to try this offering. I really appreciate it.

A: Pours an amber color with a one finger white head. Dissipates quite quickly leaving only a film on top.
S: Heavy citrus hop profile coats the nose like a wet blanket. Spicy floral hop profile also. Maltyness in the background.
T/M: Citrus hop profile thickly coated with a spicy characteristic slides across the palate. A floral Slight pine notes with a prickly characteristic to them follow. Malt profile is pretty hefty in the background. Malt and hop profiles dance back and forth without a hitch. Extra long bitterness in the finish. Thick mouthfeel becomes sticky in the finish. Dryness is there but isn't as pronounced as other hop bombs.
D: Pretty damn drinkable, although I thought the hop profile would have been a bit bigger. A very spicy hop profile to this made me think it was a barleywine at time. Definitely a nice one if you can find it.

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Photo of BRLockwood
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A well carbonated amber colored beer with little head. Looks clean and clear.

A malt smell behind the up front hop smell.

A well balanced Imperial IPA from Deschutes. Good bittering at the end. The alocohol appears to be well hidden, but I'm sure I will feel it at the end.

Good lacing on the glass. Mouthfeel is heavy and somewhat chewy.

The hops come along nicely on this one towards the end, as does the head on the second pour of the bomber.

A good release from Deschutes!

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Photo of ccrida
3/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

09 Update (scored changed for this review):

Bomber poured into a Meantime snifter, Hop Henge Experimental IPA is a dull bronze with a white head that leaves heavy lace. The bottle is from batch 1, at 80 IBUs. Batch 2 I guess is 87, and bitterness is not something I found this one to be lacking, so I'm glad I got the 'smaller' version!

Smell is strong and sweet, big citrus hops that I really love, some brown sugar.

Taste is not as sweet, there's a strong bite of fusel alcohol that cuts through the hops, with a bitter finish. I know they retooled the hops for this years version but it's still to bitter for my taste, I definitely prefer IPAs with more hop flavor then bitterness, which this one doesn't have. This beer is to hot and not my bag at all.

Mouthfeel is oily, medium bodied.

Drinkability is low, I heard good things about this year's version and thought it might be worthy a revisit, but I'm still not digging it.


Poured in an imperial pint glass, the Hop Henge is bronze colored with a thick tan head, which rescinded to a small, lingering top coat that left a pretty, sticky lace. The aroma is really nice and bright, lot of cascade and piney NW hops, a little brown sugar, but also really stong fusel alcohol. The taste is not nearly so pleasant. Initially there's a nice sweet, bready malt flavor, but it's quickly overrun by exxxtreme bittering hops and omnipresent fusels. Whoa, thats harsh, the aftertaste feels like I just took a shot of rubbing alcohol. And at only 8.1% ABV, pretty amerteurish...maybe their ferm. temps ran away from them or something, what ever it was, I'm far from impressed. The mouthfeel is really pretty nice, creamy and not to thick, with a light carbonation that is easily roused. The drinkablilty was very low for me because I just didn't like it at all. It was so bitter and boozy though that it managed to numb my senses, and by the second half of the bomber I was able to pick up some steam, though I was really just to get it over with.

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Photo of younger35
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank on-tap out of a snifter. Was very excited to try this beer.

Appearance- Perfect looking beer. A fantastic cream head that really looked good on the amber color of the beer. The lacing on this beer is incredible. Almost a perfect looking beer.

Smell- Nice floral tinge. Very subtle malt smell that easily is lost.

Taste- Nice blast of very citricy hops that is very well balanced by the malty caramel base. Tastes a lot like it smells. A very mild alcoholy finish that is a bit bitter on the back of the mouth. Overall very tasty.

Mouthfeel- Light carbonation and a "heavier" feel that I expected.

Drinkability- Pretty tasty overall and would definitely drink again. Went quite well with the cheese pizza I was enjoying. Worth a try!

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber. Poured about 16 ounces into a 20 ounce nonic. Big off-white foamy head that tightens into a solid one-finger lid and leaves lots of sticky lacing, all over a clear amber body, with very little apparent carbonation -- i.e., no bubble lines.

Smell is a load of floral hops over a mild biscuit malt base, with some cherry malt and pine hops in behind.

Taste is sweet-bitter chocolate-pine hops-floral hops, all smash-mouth upfront. This is a tongue-grabber. Intense. There's a surprising balance of malt with the near-obscene hop load: surprising because the malt wasn't there so much in the aroma. Indeed, there's an overt matl sweetness right up front, but it doesn't last long until the hop madness blasts it to smithereens.

Mouthfeel is malty-rich with an added note of almost oilyness from the hops.

I was expecting this to be nigh-impossible to drink the whole thing -- but no, I quickly quaffed the entire bottle, and it was nice the whole way through, indeed, better as it warmed a bit. Get some if you can.

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Photo of Tyrawlings
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Deep, dark amber hue. Pours an off white two fingered head that breaks down quickly into a small blanket of bubbles that cover the top of the beer.

S: Stong smell of wet hops. Citrus and pine hop heaven. Slight malt presence with a yeast or biscut smell. Earthy.

T: Juicy wet citric hops followed by a nice pine hop bite. Tastes of caramel malt with a slightly sweet kick. Finishes with a very tea like aftertaste. Moist earth in the nose.

M: Slick but clean. Medium carbination. Slight tingle on the tongue and in the nose.

D: Compared to most of the Imperial IPA offerings this beer is easy drinking. Lower ABV and refreshingly clean. Nothing over the top but a nice beer none the less.

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Photo of deathonthemounta
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

In a standard american pint glass

A -- Clearly filtered, Amber with a little more orange than red, and lighter in tone than an average NW Amber...or is it darker? This brew is hiding something. Nice 1 finger head poured out,

S -- Very fresh hops, floral citrus pleasing and poignant

T -- Fresh waves of hops swells and crashes on your tongue, a hop perfectionists balance of flavors abounds! citrus, floral, bitter: all swirl around, the mix of hops used gives a nice depth to the hop character, not that the one dimensional juggernaut of the cascade-only hop brew isn't a force to be reckoned with. A nice sweet malt character balances, initially an earthy leather/wood taste that eventually yields spicy raisin, slight lightly tangy apricot/green apple flavors with a deciededly dark fruit bent to them. It is so well balanced...a subtlety that is hard to decipher. Best to sit back and be dazzled by the special effects! I don't know if this 8.1% mom slapper can be aged, but if it can, i'll bet it will really come forward. The alcohol sort of ravages you during the experience, slightly reminding me of underage barleywine.

I'm just going go out on a limb here and say a very STRAWBERRY (without the usual cloying sweetness that produce foists upon you) flavor is what is perceived at the highest level of abstraction; as it warms. Keep up with me now...

M -- Wow, absolutely perfectly matches the style and character of this brew. What a sleeper!

D -- Pretty good as far as huge Imperial IPA's go, WTF do you want? Damn the torpedoes, session any brew you want! *whimper*, but I'm a pansy so i can't session this brew *whine*

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4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this beautiful beer into a pint glass and ended up four fingers deep in wonderful pale hazed foam. It was thick and full, billowing up but not over. Head took 4 to 5 minutes to dissipate. In the glass it had a nice amber color when help to the light and when not it was brown with light amber edges.

The smell hit me before I could bend over to get close. Hops, Hops, Hops, mmm mmm mmm. A little citrus acidity and slight floral hints pop in and out. A whiff full of hunger.

Mouthfeel was ok. A little light and thick at the same time, if you catch my drift. Zing of carbonation and a bitter pucker at the end of the tongue and throat.

From the look and smell I knew this was a hop forwards beer. What else would you expect from an Imperial IPA? Mouth twitching excitement as soon as it hit. Hops and bitterness all the way through with citrus tinges and a few hints of honeysuckle and sunflower. It takes some time to enjoy and hides its 8.1% no where. The bottle rings this in with 95IBU's and you know it has it. It is a bundle of hops slammed into a bottle. Love it. One Night Stand of Long Term Relationship.

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Photo of klewis
2.87/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Crosling for this one.

A: Pours a reddish copper with a small bubbly head that quickly disappears. A few specks of lacing.

S: Vegetal with lots of pine and a bit of solvent from the alcohol.

T: A big but brief hop flavor is quickly overtaken by an overwhelming bitterness. Very strongly unbalanced.

M: Thick and heavy with an intense dryness. Fairly light carbonation.

D: After a few sips, my palate is already tired from this one. This one is drinkable, but it needs some work, or at least a long period in the cellar.

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Photo of mtnjosh
3.77/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

As a beer snob, I've never been fond of Deschutes (maybe the low abv's, maybe just what they've been pumping out....don't know) but damnit if they haven't come through with the Bond Street series! Abyss? Oh yeah! Hop Trip? Uh huh. Now I'm sitting with a bomber of Hop Henge. This is only the second one I've had, but it is out of the case I bought after having the first! This would be a great introductory dbl ipa for someone getting into the style. Unlike my favorites, it doesn't taste like someone hid their sack of herb in my glass due to hop selection (ie, no cascade). Never the less, the hop explosion is enough to wash out any after taste remaining from any previous beers (Doggie Claws in this case).
The appearance is dark golden to rich amber with a fantastic head consisting of mostly larger bubbles, but mini-me's are present as well. ( I am drinking out of a fatty tulip)
Very sweet pine smell from the pour on....subtle vanilla, even a tinge of citrus burried in the depths.
Monster hops on the palate. Not for those who don't like ipa's "because they're too bitter." But there is a finishing sweetness trying to battle through. Perhaps the citrus esters. It leaves the mouth so happy! I'm off to yodle now! Cheers!

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Photo of Dubbercody
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Hop Henge- Decided to try a 'new' beer tonight. Picked up a bomber at the local beer store. Firstly I have to say great Hop Henge artwork on the label. The Bond Street Series gets props for that.

Pours a medium-light copper color with a fluffy pillowy head that sticks around and leaves a thick lace on the glass. Smells like, well, lots and lots of hops. Really easy to drink for a big beer, I have to say this weird battle between sweetness and hop domination is raging on my taste buds. Mostly hop and then a little sweet tingle pops out to show it's presence. For a non-hop head this was an interesting journey into the land of hop domination, and damn it was a really good beer.

Experimental Version 1- 22oz bomber. Clear amber color with a white head that leaves trails of lace. Nice scents kick out with pine, citrus hop goodness mixed with the malty sweetness. Taste brings a bit of sweetness with a following kick of hops to smooth out the malt but never takes it to the over the top hop bombing.
Nice beer, I want to try Version 2.

Thank you Deschutes...once again damn that's a tasty beer.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought this to a BA gathering in a 22oz bomber. I hoped it would lilve up to the other beers there.
Pours a 'glowing' light orange, amber color. Really reflects the light. Foamed up very nicely with a mix of bubble sizes. Swirl the glass and it foams right up again.
Smells of pine and orange peel right off the bat. I can tell this is gonna be an IPA for sure.
Floral and citrus dominate the intake. The pine comes through next and stays throughout. Seems to be a bit of wheat or other grains mixed in.
Feel is nice, yet it isn't as crisp as it could be. I could probably finish the bomber, but the lack of a clean finish hinders this.

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Photo of TheBungyo
4.48/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I don't know what's going on with Deschutes.

Whatever it is, I like it, and hope it continues. Don't get me wrong, they've made some great beers in the past ... Black Butte, Obsidian Stout, Cinder Cone Red to name a few. But sweet lord the beers they're brewing now are some of the best out there. I need only say the words The Abyss and BA's all across the world will agee with me. I wouldn't go so far as to say that Hop Henge is to Imperial IPA's the same way that The Abyss is to bourbon aged imperial stouts. But it IS a fantastic imperial IPA, and easily one of the better ones to come out of our wonderful region of the Northwest.

Pour is a solid beam of sunset sunshine, mingled with deep crimson. A dense head tops the surface with a creamy cap. The slightest tilt causes the head to coat the sides of my pint glass like thick paint.

Wow the nose toys with balance. Plenty of pine cones to go around and also caramel. The average person wouldn't salivate at that combo but us beer freaks know better. Wow the more I try the more I'm treated to even more notes ... oranges, barest traces of vanilla, tangerines ... if you don't live in the Northwest, try this and you'll see instantly what our IPA's are all about.

Taste starts with caramel sweetness and quickly succumbs to pine that elbows it's way forward. I'm almost reminded of a creamsicle because of vanilla and orange notes.

Mouth is very nice. I rated the drinkability a 5 because this is a world class double IPA that brewers like Great Divide, Avery, Three Floyds or Oskar Blues would charge us at least $8 dollars for. If Deschutes keeps this up they'll be right there with Stone, producing the best beers possible for an insanely low price. Word up Deschutes.

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Photo of Reidrover
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber. Clear amber beer, wth a great looking creamy/frothy light tan head, nice carbonation strings visible. Wow very hoppy aroma, more on the pine side of things, but certainlly spicy and fresh Nice bitterness, it is also semi-sweet malty undernesth. Loads of hops, and a touch of alcohol, though its pleasing rather than distracting.Long bitter after taste. Sweet and semi-dry finish, good on the palate. I liked this one, not quite as good as last years IPA version, but I did enjoy it. It wasnt too sweet which spoils an IIPA for me.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orange-amber color topped by a half-inch of creamy off-white head that diminishes to near nothing pretty quickly. Nice aroma of sweet, fruity hops and a touch of grapefruit mixed in with a decent amount of sweet caramel malt. The hops really come through on the palate - right up front, huge, citrusy, assertively bitter hops that yield just a bit to some moderately sweet malt by mid-palate. Towards the swallow the hops take over again, with a bracing bitterness that yields a pleasant finish. Body is substantial enough to hold the flavor well, without being too sticky. A very drinkable IPA, especially for one in the 8+% ABV range.

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Photo of brewerman
4.63/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle direct from the brewery.

Appearance: A beautiful deep, clear orange. Nice head that slowly collapses leaving lacing on the glass.

Smell: Excellent citrus and spice hop aroma hits first, followed by a whiff of caramelized malt.

Taste: As the Stonehenge replica made of hop bales on the label would suggest, hops, both bitter and flavor, are the showcase here. Citrus and spice sitting on top of a very supportive malt backbone. The sweetness you'd expect from a high-alcohol beer is there, but is supportive ... not overpowering. Could be just a touch more balanced?

Mouthfeel: Good full-bodied beer with decent carbonation. Could have used just a small bit more carbonation (not a major problem ... still plenty of carbonation to be had)

Drinkability: This beer is so easy to spend time with. I'm glad that I have more in the cellar to see how it changes over time. Highly recommended.

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Hop Henge Experimental IPA from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 2,493 ratings
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