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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 wagenvolks
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a Lowenbrau mug. Thanks to jadamski1 for the trade! Been wanting to try this one for a while.

Pours a fiery, burnt-orange hue with a decent carbonation level. Sticky lacing left behind on the mug as the massive head of tightly-knit, light tan bubbles recedes to a foamy cap. Excellent aroma on this IIPA, with piny resin and citrus leading the hop charge. Fresh, west coast hops in this beer, probably dry-hopped at some point, and my nose is loving it. Firm backbone of caramel and biscuit malt adds a nice balance.

The taste is aggressively and un-remorsefully bitter, with sticky, resinous hops laying a hurt to nearly every part of the palate--front of the tongue, roof of the mouth, back of the throat. It's a literal hop explosion, but I could use a bit more balance from the malts and/or flavor complexity to the hoppiness, as the bitterness nearly wipes out the taste buds after half a glass. Still, it's one helluva ride! Body is big and chewy, with a moderate carbonation level that adds some pep to the long lingering of bitter hop resins. All in all, a solid IIPA from Deschutes, but I think I like their more restrained Inversion IPA better.

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Photo of bbothen
3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Delerium snifter. Listening to Mark Lanegan's Bubblegum on a cold and rainy day in Northern California.

Pours a deep rust/copper like color with a big and bubbly 2 finger deep off white colored head.

Big hioppy aroma of pine, grass, earth, tropical aromas of pineapple, lemon/lime zest, and some toastiness.

Massive bitterness, pine, spruce, tropical flavors, strong sweet maltiness evens things out. I found the bitterness to be somewhat harsh, and not as juicy as the nose suggested. Unique flavors.

Medium bodied, dry, moderate carbonation, lingering bitterness.

A 22oz bottle was a good serving size. The harshness was slightly off putting to me. Still a great hop bomb if you're looking for your hop fix. Which I usually am.

Nice value for the $4.99 I paid. Will have again.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the Davis Co-Op (the only one, oddly...perhaps it was just the last of their first round of shelving). Pours a rich red amber with a beautiful creamy head that laces like a thin white fleece and sticks all over the glass. Aroma is clean with lots of floral citrus hops...i get mostly grapefruit with some tangerine/peach in there too. Flavor is a right-on balance of malt body with tangerine and grapefruit and a strong, but not overwhelming, bitterness. Bitterness lingers in a satisfying manner. Creamy mouthfeel, medium to full bodied. Drinks very well, a nice, extremely well crafted treat.

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Photo of yeastsipper
3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a mahogany with a nice white head. Smell is very piney, with some really nice floral and some citrus (grapefruit). Some sweet malt. Taste is really intense. Really attacks the taste buds. Quite a lot of malt to balance out the hops and give the beer a bit more sweetness than ideal. The aftertaste if very bitter and fairly intense. The nearly 9 % abv is very evident. Definitely one to try. For me, the nose really stands out, but not necessarily the beer itself. Good, but not in the upper echelon of the style.

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Photo of bcm119
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this at the Bistro Double IPA Festival 2009, but it was too late in the session to fairly judge it. This review is from a bottle.

Great looking beer. Reddish amber with a chunky off white head. Complex aroma-- ripe citrus and herbal notes with some toasty malt in the background. Initially has a little bite of pungent, bitter hops. Recognizable Deschutes malt bill comes through mid-palate, with toasty/spicy flavors and vague hints of fruitiness, almost woody-- similar to the Inversion. Hops are bitter throughout, mostly a white grapefruit pith bitterness that lingers well beyond the clean, dry finish. Sort of an old school hoppiness: rough, bracingly bitter and completely lacking the trendy tropical fruit juiciness that is showing up in so many IPAs lately. Not a quaffer; this is a good one to sip and ponder, as it is tough to nail down and it improves as it warms. This is well done, complex, and hits the spot for a hearty double IPA.

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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 jkendrick
3.45/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark orange color with and ever-so-slight haziness. The just off-white head recedes quickly leaving nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Citrusy hops in the nose with a touch of bready and caramel malt

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with low carbonation. It is a little watery for my tastes.

Taste: Subdued at first taking a second for the hops to take hold. The hops are citrusy, a bit more orange than grapefruit. The malt is caramel mostly, but there is some bready malt as well. I certainly feel the alcohol as it goes down.

Overall impression: Not my favorite DIPA. A little thin and watery without a lot of the character I've come to expect from really good DIPAs. I probably held onto this one for too long.

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Photo of MisterClean
3.51/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Sac Brew

A - Poured copper, with a 2 finger white head. Doesn't dissipate, but leaves nice lacing.

S - Toffee, flowers and grass.

T - Toffee, flowers, grass, and alcohol.

M - Full bodied, well-balanced, lightly dry with moderate alcohol. The hops just don't stand out or have much flavor for a DIPA.

D - Not bad, but would like to see something with more oomph.

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Photo of unclederby
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #2. Poured with vigor into a tulip glass. Hop Henge is orange/amber in color and pours out with a two-finger head which readily dissipates, leaving behind just a wisp of foam and spotty, sticky lacing. Smell is of candied citrus hops: the caramel malt backbone adds the sweetness to the tangerine-like, slightly piney hop profile. One whiff reminds me of juicy fruit gum. This a seriously hoppy brew, as the taste betrays. There is a significant malty backbone, however Hop Henge is all about citrusy, spicy hops with a dash of pine. It's damn tasty, and the tangy finish lingers for quite some time. Mouthfeel is near perfect IMO, medium thick with an oily, resiny texture wrapped around lively carbonation. At this point - not quite halfway through the bomber - i'm also finding highly drinkable and hard to put down.

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Photo of gford217
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a dark, clear amber with a small creamy beige head that clings to the sides as it recedes to a collar leaving good lacing.

The aroma is outstanding with tons of sweet citrus fruit hoppiness - grapefruit, mangos and especially pineapples. There are some floral hops mixed in with enough malts to balance it out in the nose. A fantastic aroma overall.

The taste doesn't quite live up to the aroma for me, a much more bitter representation of the smell. The hops are dominated more by the floral than the citrus and have a fairly abrasive feel to them, especially building up in the finish. There is only a slight malt presence in the background, mostly bready.

The mouthfeel is sticky with the hop juice with good carbonation and, as earlier stated, a slight abrasiveness throughout.

The nose is great on this one and the rest of it is very good. Another very good IPA from the west coast.

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Photo of Meandmymonkey
4.59/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #1 pours a nice amber/copper color with a thin head and minimal lacing. Smells super fruity with heavy citrus notes and an overall sweet finish. Has an initial sweet, syrupy taste that ends in a bitter, tongue snapping way. Very well balanced for the amount of hops that in this brew. While high in alcohol, definitely not overbearing while still maintaining a strong malty character. A memorable ale from an amazing brewery. Way excited to try batch #2 for any discrepancies/surprises.

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Photo of hopdog
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Poured a medium and very slightly hazy amber color with a larger sized off white head. Some lacing was left on the glass as the head diminished. Aromas of fruitiness, citrus, floral, caramel, and pine. Tastes of pine, citrus, lighter fruitiness (vs. the aromas), floral, and caramel. The floralness came out more and more as I drank and enjoyed this one. I was pleasantly surprised by this one.

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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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Photo of jdoncbus
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle stamped 021-09-0938-E; thanks to GilGarp for the trade.

Bomber poured into Du Monde tulip glass. Bronze in color with plenty of carbonation. Fluffy biege head that disapates slowly and leaves some thick rings around the glassware.

Pine and citrus smelling hops blast the nose accompanied with sweet dough and toasted grain. The alcohol makes an appearance towards the end with its bitter whiff.

A massive force of pine, grapefruit, bittersweet salad greens, plum, honey and brown sugar. An almost sweet sherry flavor mixes around in the west coast hop barage with a woody, grain backbone bringing it all together. The mouthfeel begins quite smooth and ends with a creamy dryness (if its even possible). Faint alcohol appears but hidden very well. I am loving the hop numbing accompanied with a sweet-malt after taste.

This is a fantastic beer and a must for all of those hopheads who cannot gain access to Deschutes. For Oregonians - appreciate, love, and cherish this beer; it's special.

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Photo of swsampson
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm drinking it now and it's 8.75%...this review might be a little impaired. Never-the-less, this is a very good IPA...caramely and bitter -- best of both worlds. More bitter than caramel. Medium to dark in color. Nice sticky foam head. Somewhat like Deschutes Inversion IPA but with more caramel in my opinion. This comes only in 20oz bottles. No six packs. Good stuff.

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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 BrutalBeerFan
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first experience with Hop Henge was at the Deschutes Brewery pub in Bend a few years back. They were only offering small pours into tulip or wine glasses, cannot remember exactly. I recall it was the hightlight of the many fine ales I sampled. The Obsidian on nitro was also excellent. So when I found the EXP IPA at the store recently I had to give it another taste...

A- A clear copper color, pours with a nice butter cram head. Some retention and fair lacing.

S- Gorgeous floral hop aroma, stand out citrus.

T- Bitterness throughout, pleasant strong and lingering on the palate.

M- Moderate to heavy bodied for an IPA. Lite carbonation. Alcohol is not overt, balanced.

D- Very pleasant, a lovely all around beer.

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Photo of freeeekyyy
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- Dark amber. Pours a very large head which dissipates quickly, but leaves very nice lacing.

S- Alcohol and hops. Not much else to say.

T- Lightly roasted malt. Big round C-Note hop flavor. Very tasty.

M- Smooth, thick and chewy mouthfeel. Absolutely wonderful.

D- Drinkability would be great if it weren't for the high alcohol. As it is, one is enough.

All in all, a great beer. If Deschutes is available in your state, get the Hop Henge. I think it might even be better than the Abyss.

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Photo of rye726
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice IPA from Deschutes. Well balanced with a tasty hop structure. Pours a medium brown with a tan head. The nose has a flowery bouquet of hops over sweet malts. Taste is on the English IPA side as it strays from the huge hop hit. Medium body well carbonated.

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Photo of Spikester
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear amber with a one finger off white head. Fair amount of lacings. Aroma is floral, piney hops. Taste is piney grapefruit orange bitter hops with a firm malt component. Mouthfeel is good with perfect carbonation. Some alcohol is evident and also the effect of same. Drinkability is good if you don't mind the 8.75%abv.

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Photo of midaszero
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear amber with one finger of and light tan head and leaves some good lacing

S - Nice and hoppy with some good floral notes

T - Good mix of malts and hops not overly bitter but does have a burn to it which for the ABV isn't unreasonable but makes it a tad harder to drink

M - Medium body with medium carbonation

D - Mostly enjoyable and mostly easy to drink

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Photo of illidurit
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

09 version. Poured into a pint glass. Translucent amber color with a big creamy light-tan head. Tons of sticky lacing and great retention.

Aromas of underripe grapefruit, pine, maybe a tinge of lime. Not all that robust.

Flavor is hugely piney with some herbal notes and an undercurrent of unsweet citrus. Malt profile is very subdued, with maybe a little caramel malt sweetness but not much. Bitterness is between medium and high, and there's some slightly metallic astringency. Definitely a hophead's IPA. Could use more bitterness and maybe a bit more complexity. Mouthfeel is dry with nice carbonation and medium body. Pretty good.

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Photo of Willamette
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

EDIT: 2009 Experimental version - Batch#1
This is different, or I have slipped deeper into my appreciation for Imperial IPAs. I tried the 2009 version on tap at the KLCC brewfest ( http://brewpublic.com/beer-reviews/klcc-brew-fest-puts-fun-in-fundraiser/ ) and was surprised at how much stronger the aroma was over the other beers (read: ALL other beers) I tried that night. It was getting late but I knew I liked it more than my 2007 review suggests. I had to try it again for 2009 so I picked up a couple of 22oz this time.

The aroma proved to be as outrageous as I thought the night of the Brewfest. The bitterness is still big but is more in balance with everything else. Actually, the whole beer seems to be more balanced than my last review....or is it me? Though it is more balanced, I'm inclined to call it an "extreme" IPA. Few, if any, other beers in this price/ABV range seem to be as bold as this. I've edited the numbers to reflect my recent opinion.

I'm thankful to BA for giving me the resources to determine that this is a different beer than the one I initially tried in 2007. I'm glad I didn't wait for someone else to buy it for me.

ORIGINAL REVIEW: 2-1-07, A=4, S=3.5, T=2, M=3.5, D=2.5 == C
22oz bottle with a great looking label appropriate for todays headlines. The beer itself looks quite appealing. It has a very slightly hazy, amber color with a well dispersed and slow rising bubble field. The head is average, generally dense, one finger thick which quickly dissipates into an edgeheavy film. This film easily regenerates after each sip.
The smell is pleasant but mild for an Am. Double / Imperial IPA. Fruity - sweet. Northwestern. (I haven't quite deciphered the specific scents:))
The taste was disappointing. The aroma shows initially then it jumps abruptly into strong bitterness. Perhaps it is my immature palate or maybe just the moment, but I was not impressed.
I was a bit distracted by the taste but the mouthfeel is pretty good. Maybe a little too much sparkle in the beginning but it has a mild, lingering slickness which doesn't leave the mouth too dry.
What can I say?....I'm not really hoppy with it. Someone will have to buy the next one for me or maybe I'll drink it again if I find it on tap.

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

A- Nice hazy amber color with the typical head of a DIPA. Frothy and thick, yet creamy with great lacing.

S- Sweet grapefruity goodness. Thats pretty much it, liquid hop goodness in the form of great smells.

T- Lots of hops, and well there should be. Good sweet malts, yet the star is the hops. Very ka-pow and intense, yet it tends to settle down a bit. Starts off sweet then finishes bitter. Like you eating just the fruit part of the grapefruit, then after all the fruit is gone you eat the pith and get a bitter taste on your tongue.

M- Feels good on the mouth, but this is sort of having its way with my tongue.

D- Easy to drink, the hop bite isn't too over powering.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Pours a slightly hazy orange golden in color with a half inch of off white head. Doesn't offer much retention but shows a fair amount of lacing.

Good dose of citrus and piney hops on the nose with light malty undertones. Not too much variety but nice. A good swirl really wakes things up mid pint. Notable alcohol only after some warming.

Hops up front on the tongue, followed by a moderate maltiness. Notes of citrus on the nose and tongue lessen through the beer, becoming more pine and earthy. Lighter in malt body than I expected given the ABV, not overly sweet or cloying by any means. ABV is cloaked well nonetheless. Does deliver a bitter and chalky close as a result of the relative dryness that lingers on the throat after the swallow. Feel is good as the finish is more to my liking than a sweet viscous close for a DIPA. Bitterness does limit the drinkability a bit however. Drinks lighter than its weight, that's for sure.

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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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