From the Brewery:
“With five different varieties of superior hops, Hop Head Double IPA (8.0% ABV) packs in the hoppy bitterness like no other. Similar to its award-winning, best-selling little brother, Hop Head IPA, Hop Head Double IPA also boasts citrus aromas and sweet malt undertones with a slightly darker, copper colour. This strong hops taste pairs well with a flavourful meal or sweet dessert.”
My initial impressions:
Pours with a very dense off-white head. Deep copper/orange color. Decent initial hop aroma, very grassy and piney. Not picking up the citrus boasted of by the brewery. Slight alcoholic/phenolic tinge to the aroma. Very malty body, as evidenced by the deep copper color. Bathes the tongue in a resiny mouthfeel. Again, lots of grass and pine, very little citrus if any. The aftertaste is not what I would expect from a DIPA. Not a lot of lingering hop bitterness, more of a metallic, briney taste that lingers for quite some time.
Like many Canadian IPA’s and Double IPA’s, it has a much more English character than a true “West Coast” IPA. Slightly sweet and malt heavy, with a body that doesn’t allow the hops to truly shine.
After all of the hype, including a Canadian Beer Award, I’m left decidedly underwhelmed.
Compared to most Canadian IPA’s and Double IPA’s it’s a strong effort. When compared to benchmarks like Central City Red Racer IPA (and it’s DIPA brother) and Phillips Amnesiac, this DIPA pales in comparison.
On a 1-100 scale I would rate Tree Brewing HopHead Double IPA no more than 86-88.
Not to say this is a bad beer, it’s just not what I’m looking for in my DIPA. If you want a turbocharged English IPA, this is your beer. If you’re looking for a West Coast style “Hop Bomb”, there are other alternatives.
Andy The Beerman