Happy New Year and Happy 2010! My intuition is that this will be a great year, indeed! To start this year, indeed, this decade off right, I thought it good to start with the Hop-Head Imperial IPA from Bend Brewing Company. My beer goals this year are to keep the blog updated more frequently and to brew more! This started last weekend, when my friend Dustin and I brewed up a batch of "Santa's Dilemma Ale" a winter ale with ginger, honey, cinnamon and orange peel. It was my first time brewing a concentrate on the stove top indoors - I'm used to freezing outside while brewing. A few weeks and we'll know how it went.
The Hop-Head won a Bronze medal at the 2008 Great American Beer Festival. It's available in the 22oz bottles and on tap in the late fall at the brewpub.
It pours a golden honey with a decent sized head.
The aroma holds big flowery hops with citrus and earthy tones.
Flower notes give way to an earthy smooth body. Honey smoothness on the tongue also holds citrus tones. Earthy bitterness and alcohol tones arrive late on the back of the tongue.
The aftertaste bounces bitterness around the mouth, but it is cut short by a velvety body - smoothing out with a slight vanilla at the very end.
A great way to kick the year off!
Happy drinking -