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<strong>The Disgruntled Chemist</strong>

6/11/2008

Beer Blogging - Deschutes Hop Henge Imperial IPA

Let's do another one! Next out of the beer fridge is Hop Henge Imperial IPA from Deschutes Brewery up in Oregon. Deschutes is a great brewery and I've never had a bad beer from them, so I've got high hopes for this one:



The pour: a very nice golden color and a large, white head.

The aroma: it smells a lot like floral hops. There's maybe a little bit of sweet malt and citrus as well.

The taste: very good. I wasn't familiar with the term "Imperial IPA", so I looked it up. Turns out it basically means the same thing as "Double IPA", meaning that it's in the same class as, for example, Stone's Ruination IPA. Brewers who set out to make a double IPA often succumb to the temptation to make what is basically hop soda, lacking any refinement or subtlety. Deschutes hasn't done that, in my opinion. Of course, the first flavor that you encounter when you sip this beer is the floral hops, but there's more to it than that. After the floral hops fade, there's a very sweet malty taste (the combination with the floral hops makes it taste almost like honeysuckle), followed by a bitter citrus rind flavor that sneaks underneath the malt, making for an interesting, enjoyable aftertaste.

The rating: 8/10 for a very good beer. This is a well-crafted double IPA that doesn't succumb to the stereotype of the west coast American craft brewer, pushing hops into his brew kettle with a bulldozer while adding malt with a teaspoon. If you think IPAs have too bitter of an aftertaste, give this one a try (if you can find it) - the sweetness in the aftertaste is really the best characteristic of this beer.

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