Sunday, March 22, 2009

Deschutes Hop Henge Experimental IPA

This is a double IPA that focuses more on a strong malt presence and "C" bitterness and flavor. Kind of like Sierra Nevada beers. Sierra Nevada hops their hoppy beers almost exclusively with the "C's"... Centennial, Cascade, Chinook... and this Hop Henge has Centennial and Cascade in it. The combination they get of a strong maltiness and the "C" hop flavors reminds me a lot of Marin White Knuckle IPA, but Hop Henge is a little bit tastier. It's definitely a lot different than the bright hoppy flavored DIPAs like Pliny the Elder, Pure Hoppiness, Ruination, etc. This is more of an earthy and sweet flavor. It's not a bad beer, but I prefer those brighter tasting hops. I'll probably keep buying a bottle every year to see how it develops from year to year, since it is considered "experimental."

9 comments:

J.Rhode said...

You have batch one or two? The bottle I had was not good, way too sweet. Supposed to be some variation in IBU levels between the two batches. Love the label, best part of the beer.

Steve said...

when you say batch 1 and 2, are you talking just from this current release? I had a bottle of it back in September or so (old label, reviewed it) and this was my 2nd go at it (with the new label). Are those the two batches you're talking about or were there 2 more current batches?

J.Rhode said...

http://www.deschutesbrewery.com/blog/2009/02/13/lies-damn-lies-and-statistics/

J.Rhode said...

That was the worst comment ever. As I can't post the whole url, read the Feb. 13th entry on the blog here:

http://www.deschutesbrewery.com/blog

Steve said...

wow, I had not heard of any of this at all. Thanks for that link... great read. I'm looking at my bottle right now (which I save for homebrewing purposes) and it says Batch #2. I didn't get a huge pucker factor or anything from it like they said.. it's possible that this bottle has aged somewhat... I dunno.. I can't seem to find a good site that explains Julian dates, so I don't know what my 0834 2009 means on the bottle.

Steve said...

But still, overall I just don't think I loved the combination of hops they use in this with Centennial and Cascade. Kinda the reason I can't drink a ton of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or their Harvest beer.

J.Rhode said...

Not a fan either, bottle I had (batch one) almost reminded me of a barley wine with the sweetness factor. Recently struggled through a sixer of Torpedo, which I won't be purchasing again despite the $7.99 price.

As an aside, have you had any of the Mikeller single hop IPAs? Would be a great taste experiment if you could line them up side by side to evaluate the different hop profiles. Might be tricky sourcing fresh bottles of the different types though.

Steve said...

The Batch 2 definitely wasn't barleywine sweet, but it wasn't the same as our dry, very light malty and brightly hopped IPA's here in the SD area (and to an extent NorCal). But it was also better than something more sweet and too balanced like a DFH90.

I've only had Mikeller's Stateside IPA, and I don't think that's a single hop variety, so no I haven't.

I wish more breweries did the single hop IPA or pale ale thing. I know Sly Fox has this single hop IPA project where they continue to release beers with only one hop, and I thought I found someone here in So Cal that is doing it as well (maybe Karl Strauss????)... I forget

Hangar 24's IPA uses only Columbus hops but I don't think they make any other single hop IPA's.

I remember having a single hopped Simcoe experimental IPA up at Bear Republic last summer (was awesome). Yeah, more places need to do that.

BJR said...

Russian River does a single hop pale ale: Hop 2 It. I had it when we were up there in February, but wasn't real impressed. I think they used Sterling hops in that batch, but my memory could be letting me down.

I shared the bottle of Hop Henge with JRhode and wasn't real impressed either. Definitely got the barley wine thing too, something I don't want in an IPA. Although I can say that it seemed to be a huge improvement over last years release, which was almost a drain pour for me. I used my second bottle in a marinade for portobellos.