I think it’s fair to consider Stonehenge iconic imagery.
Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s as a fan of the heavy metal music scene, it was almost impossible not see Stonehenge featured in the music videos from some of the great British metal acts of our lifetime. Of course the context of the landmark is somewhat blurred for the purposes of those songs but let’s be honest for a second, it was pretty cool to picture Druids out amongst those rocks making a sacrifice to same ancient Cthulhu-like deity. Although, to be honest my favorite image of Stonehenge comes for the classic film “Spinal Tap”. If you don’t know what I’m talking about do yourself a big favor and watch it.
What does all this have to do with beer? Probably not much other than the picture on the label.
The brilliant beer artisans at Deschutes, of Oregon, have whipped out a batch of what they have termed as an ‘experimental IPA” and they named it “Hop Henge IPA” a double IPA that stakes it’s claim to being one of the best double’s on the market.
In the form of a 22oz bottlend poured into a pint glass, it’s hard to not notice the great hoppy smell right from the top of the bottle. It’s a bright hoppy scent with strong notes of citrus, all that serves well when it comes to getting your mouth watering in anticipation for that first sip. Pouring a bright copper color with minimal head, it’s very inviting.
So how does that first sip taste? It’s so good, delicious, amazing and I’ll go so far as to say it has a really nice vibrant flavor. The grapefruit flavors also come through but in a more subtle way than other DIPA’s. It’s not boozy at all, the is very drinkable and will put you down early if you let it sneek up on you. The different blends of hops (I could taste the Cascade, Centennial and Citra, but their website says it actually contains Millennium, Delta, Mosaic, and experimental hops as well) along with the malts are in a extremely refined balance. Some double IPA’s can get a little tipped when it comes to the hoppyness or maltiness of the beer. Deschutes excels at making this balance seem simple.
I can’t recommend this beer enough. While San Diego is and always will be the capital of craft beer in my humble opinion, Deshutes makes a strong case for the super strong craft beer scene in the Portland, Oregon area. Fingers crossed a trip up north is in my future so I can explore that crazy place a little more.