This bottle of Deschutes Hop Henge Experimental IPA is the last of the "must drink soon" brews I got from my buddy Jeff in Seattle. I've been looking forward to cracking this open since the day it arrived. From what I understand this is the second version of the Hop Henge IPA. The original bottling was simply called Hop Henge Imperial IPA, but the hop additions were tweaked as of January 2009. The bottle states that this measures 9% alcohol by volume and 95 IBUs. This very well could be a boozy bitter bomb. This is a 22 ounce bottle stamped "BEST BY 06/16/11 1126 M". I'm assuming that this was bottled in March. Ok, so not at all past it's prime and well within it's freshness period.
It pours out dark amber, copper and slightly hazy. There is a big fluffy two finger head on a moderately aggressive pour. The head thins out to the edges and sticks around to the end and has a sticky lacing all the way down the glass. Lively carbonation streams stick around for a while.
Fairly prominent sweet malt, toasted bread and earthy round hop aromas. Strong earthy dark hops in the front. The middle tastes like slightly sour orange but not quite bitter grapefruit. It finishes is oddly caramel sweet. Hop Henge feels medium in body and slick. It feels chewy at times and makes my mouth water.
This is a very good double IPA. Like all IPAs I'd imagine that this would be incredible when it's super fresh. It's a little aggressive on the hop side of the flavor profile. The alcohol is pretty well hidden, though you really expect it to be a bomb with such a strong hop and malt presence. I enjoyed this beer a lot.
|Under the cap, "Bravely Done"|