Saturday, May 9, 2009

Deschutes Hop Henge

Pungent fresh hops and apples leap up at me as I dip my nose into this one. A real dark orange bordering on amber for this "monument to hops" from Deschutes. Labled as "experimental," this IPA is a mouthful of hops through and through. It goes without saying that they used a lot of hops in this, I have to guess principally cascade due to the subtle apple flavors and very dark undertones. The drinking experience starts like drinking an electric hops lemonade (I realize that sounds bizarre, but try it, you'll understand): light, hoppy, bright. As it moves back on your tongue the richer, darker flavored hops rush up to the roof of your mouth and kick like a mule. If that wasn't enough, after the brew has descended into that dark land we call the liver, the bitterest hops of all creep back up and slide underneath your tongue with enough bite to actually make your face squinch up. A clever invention, but unless the druids knew no moderation, this creation seems to be built on hop intensity alone; I'm not sure if that's enough for this brew to stand the tests of time.

Hop Henge: ***1/2

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