Monday, January 16, 2012

To Infinity and Beyond with Hop Henge

8.5% ABV
95 IBUs

Deschutes has brought their second round of releases to our area giving us THE ABYSS!!!!, Hop Henge, and the Stoic.  My Abyss has been stowed away for a special occasion, I passed on the $13.00 bottle of Stoic, and I picked up the amazingly priced Hop Henge IPA.  I’ve been happy with the complexity of the Deschutes brews I’ve tried so far.  Will Hop Henge be out of this world or will it be just another in a long line of mediocre IPAs?  Put on your space suits boys and girls we might be the first beer geeks in space!

To start with, this would be classified as an Imperial IPA based on the 8.5% ABV.  Hop Henge starts off with a somewhat small one finger head.  The nose exhibits some very familiar sour grapefruit aroma with some grainy sweetness in the background.  I remember thinking, “Well this smell is similar to tons of other IPAs, how different could it be?”  My cynicism subsided and I was ready to dive into the brew.  Holy Crap, huge flavor pops you in the mouth.  There is a medium mouthfeel with a good crisp quality aiding in the drinkability factor.  An excellent malt backbone greets you early in the palate with a balanced sweetness and subtle caramel notes.  Following the malt is an orgy of citrus hop character headlined by a light grapefruit character.  The bitterness comes in about mid-palate and coats your entire mouth without any astringency.  The bitterness last into the finish and lingers on after you swallow.  The lingering bitterness is usually when the harsher hop characters become apparent, but Hop Henge’s lingering bitterness is a welcome attribute.  I would even go as far as to say the bitterness has an addictive quality.  WOW this one is awesome!

Now there could be several reasons I’m in love with this brew: 1. It really is freakin’ awesome; 2. My palate is in need of a break from giant imperial stouts; 3. The only IPAs I’ve had in the past 3 months have been astringent fresh hop ales, so the bitterness in this beer seems way more balanced.  Right now I’ll rate this brew with 4 drunken gnomes until I can compare it to some other Imperial IPAs to confirm its greatness.  However I think this has the potential to be an Epic brew after further testing.

Some of you may be questioning my use of UFOs and outer space references in this post.  Deschutes names this IPA after Stonehenge and dawns a likeness of it on the label.  I remember watching a documentary about the involvement of aliens in the construction of man kinds early construction wonders (Stonehenge, The Pyramids, etc.).  It was on Discovery Channel or National Geographic so it must be true right?  Doing a quick search I think you can actually watch the documentary on YouTube to prove FatCat isn’t off his rocker.  It really is mind boggling how ancient people mined and moved 25 ton stones that are harder than granite.  No I’m not a diehard alien existence believer but the possibility that aliens helped ancient humans build stuff is entertaining. According to Joe Rogan another theory is there used to be a race of super smart humans that built these monuments.  However the dumb people outbred the smart people to the point smart people became extinct.  Some days it appears Joe Rogan may be correct.


No comments:

Post a Comment