Thursday, April 05, 2007

THE DEEP MYSTERIES OF HOP HENGE

I totally trust the guys on the Pacific Brew News podcast, I do, just that they spent a good chunk of their most recent show effusing con mucho gusto about the new Imperial IPA from DESCHUTES called HOP HENGE – all this with the California/Nevada rep for the brewery sitting right there with them. I got the sense from that show that this was a double IPA sent directly to earth from the godz, and responded accordingly, rushing out to buy a 22-oz. bomber (at $3.99, too – good value). Now I heart Deschutes, too, always have, but HOP HENGE is kind of a bust. My first few gulps were atrocious – full of alcohol and clumps of harsh, unidentifiable flavors – and I advise any potential drinkers of said beer to wait until it warms a bit, because it does indeed improve. The fruit comes out, the warm citrus glow appears, the hops start hopping like crazy, but unfortunately it’s still too much very obvious alcohol for my taste, with not enough carbonation to carry the hops to their intended pleasurable rendezvous with my stomach. It was just off, not quite the winner I was expecting. 5.5/10 – still drinkable, but I probably wouldn’t go for it again.

1 comment:

Rick said...

FYI - I don't disagree with anything you said here. I have had two night/day experiences with this beer - once I had it as the first beer of the night, could barely finish it, then I had it after a hefeweizen and thought it was spectacular. Go figure. We did have a lot of fun though, and you probably know that some things are better with a better environment. We try to be objective, but we also know sometimes that's just a tall order. Great write up here. If it was your first of the night, you may revisit after you've had a pale ale or something to awaken the senses.