First there was Deschutes Hop Trip a few months ago, and now that is quickly followed up by their Hop Henge Experimental IPA; these guys know their way around a hop field. As good as Hop Trip was, this year’s new “Experimental” Hop Henge IPA is absolutely sublime. The press release boasts that this year’s version has “more extreme hop flavors than ever before”, and they aren’t joking. The brew pours a clear copper and floats a huge white head. The aroma is a heavy citrus hop profile that is out of this world, and the taste matches with a juicy hop flavor that makes me smile. The malt backing is considerable and almost has a bit too much fusel alcohol presence, but it really matches up very well. The bitterness is fairly strong, but not over the top. There is minimal sweetness, and no syrupy malt taste that you get in many high ABV IPAs.
I’ve had the Hop Henge in previous years, and I’ve enjoyed it. But, this year’s blew me away. I made sure to pour every last drop out of that bottle. Go get yourself some.
From their website:
First brewed in 2006, Deschutes Brewery’s Hop Henge Experimental IPA reappears this year with more extreme hop flavors than ever before. The new formulation is the epitome of the brewery’s experimental style and commitment to innovation, while gratifying their unquenchable thirst for beautifully balanced hoppy beers. The newest incarnation of Hop Henge uses several new hop processes and techniques to create a truly unique and unexpected beer.
Several pounds of Centennial & Cascade hops are in each barrel with a heavy dry-hop presence to top it off. A blend of crystal, pale and caraston malts creates an overall biscuity characteristic that is dense and muscular, building the alcohol base to support the monstrous hop profile.
When one of our brewers came up with the name Hop Henge, he also came up with the idea of actually recreating Stonehenge, only with hop bales. We were up for the challenge and even though the weather did not want to cooperate, we pulled it off and threw a party afterwards. Click here to view the photos.