Beer of the Weekend #574: Hop Henge Experimental IPA

BotW has been on hiatus the last two weekends because I’ve been camping. With such nice weather, it has been hard to resist the call of the outdoors. Needless to say, the clear night sky and a campfire have provided a much needed and appreciated break from my laptop screen.

A couple weeks ago I reviewed Hop Henge Experimental IPA, brewed by the Deschutes Brewery of Bend, Oregon, for the LV website.

It was published last week so I can now post the review on The Quiet Man.

Serving type: 22-ounce bottle. The “BEST BY” date printed on the label is “06/03/14.”

Appearance: Poured into a tulip. The color is medium amber with a light haze. Three fingers of dense, eggshell-colored foam dissipate slowly and unevenly, leaving trails of lacing along the glass.

Smell: After pouring, I could smell the citrus from an arm’s length away from the glass. Up close, scents of grapefruit and tangerine are prominent. Mango, pineapple, and orange are noticeable as well, though they are not as strong. There is also a solid base of caramel and lightly toasted malts. Pine resin and a little cattiness emerge as the beer warms, as does an astringent whiff of alcohol that is reminiscent of rubbing alcohol. As the glass empties, the flavors commingle to create a blend of sweet caramel and sticky citrus.

Taste: It is surprisingly dull at first. The 99 IBUs carry the flavor with a lasting bitterness that lingers on the tonsils long after each sip. It is not an abrasive, hop bomb by any means, though. Flavors of tangerine, mango, pineapple, orange, lemon zest, and caramel emerge slowly. The hops gradually fade, allowing the beer to sweeten. Just as they did in the aroma, pine resin, cattiness, and alcohol are noticeable late.

Drinkability: Hop Henge is a solid double IPA. I am not a big fan of über bitter hop bombs, and this was thankfully not one of them. The citrus flavors I love, though, took a backseat, as they usually do with this style. Overall, it is a very good beer for the price ($5.99/bottle at the New Pioneer Food Co-op in Iowa City).

Fun facts about Hop Henge:

-Style. Double IPA.

-Price: $5.99/bottle at the New Pioneer Food Co-op in Iowa City.

-Alcohol content: 8.8 percent ABV.

-IBU: 99.

-Calories: 504. That blew me away. I almost did not want to drink it when I saw that.

The Quiet Man’s grade: B+.

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