Wednesday, December 2, 2009

155. Deschutes Hop Trip

“Hazy shade of eh....”

This marks our third beer from Deschutes, the last two being Inversion and Red Chair IPA. Hop Trip is part of Deschutes’ Bond Street Series, one of a “handful of our hop-forward beers...inspired by the original Deschutes Brewery & Public House on Bond Street in downtown Bend.” Hop Henge is one of the others—what a delightful name.

Hop Trip opens with a bready and malty nose with no discernable hop aroma; it pours a hazy burnished copper with orange highlights and a light ivory head that leaves behind small amounts of lacing. The front has a dry flat bready malt that moves into some bitterness and either some grassy hops flavors or some light DMS/creamed corn flavors. Hop Trip ends with dry with more bitterness and a bit of spiciness. The body is medium, with some creaminess accompanied by a bit of corn flavor—the flavor exacerbates the mouthfeel, and there is not much carbonation or bite. Something of a lackluster beer; the best part is the nose, and it is mostly malty with no hop aroma. The body and mouthfeel are rather pedestrian and middle of the road—nothing to really distinguish the beer. All of the descriptive comments about hops on the bottle seemed to have not made it into the bottle. Rather disappointing overall, especially coming from Deschutes, which we expect to consistently shine—if we had a Top 10 Most Disappointing, Hop Trip would be a shoo-in. As well, this was not the best way to end our mini-run of fresh hop beers.

From the bottle: “Obsessive longing and flawless execution converge. We wait restlessly all year for the hop harvest celebration. Our one chance to capture the bright citrus and pine essence of fresh hops. Hop driver and brewer synchronize their time pieces. Vine to kettle in less than four hours. Enjoy.” I’m still waiting for the “obsessive longing and flawless execution” parts to converge here...

From the Deschutes website: “This Fresh Hop Pale Ale is all about celebrating the hop harvest in the fall. Fresh picked hops have to be added to the brew immediately and in abundance. Roughly 680 pounds of Crystal hops from Doug Weathers’ farm outside Salem, Oregon will be added to each 120 barrel batch in addition to some dry kilned whole flower hops. That adds up to approximately 5.7 pounds of hops per barrel brewed. Another deliciously interesting beer in our Bond Street Series. ”

ABV: 5.5%
IBU: 38


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