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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tree Brewing Co. Hophead Double IPA Review


This is the second brew of the recent LCBO releases that I am trying. As I have already mentioned, most of them are hop heavy and this one is no different. In fact, this brew has 5 hop varieties making it one of the hoppier brews you can get from the LCBO. This 650 mL bottle costs $5.35, which is fairly affordable considering the 8.3% alcohol content.

The beer is hazy, which shouldn't come as a surprise since it is unpasteurized and has a nice brown/amber color with some red hues. The pour results in a very short, off-white head, which quickly recedes to a ring. Unlike yesterday's Belgian take on hoppy beers, the hops here are very heavy and pronounced. I was able to get a whiff of the sweet/piny hoppy scent as I was pouring the beer. Up close the hop aroma is even stronger, but you can sense some dried fruits and caramel. The taste is very strong and great! The hoppy bitterness hits you the moment the liquid touches your tongue and so does a bit of dryness which lasts till the finish. After the initial bitter hit, some sweeter notes emerge from the fruits and caramel. The finish is also fantastic. It is bittersweet, though mostly bitter, and heavy on the hops with a surprising pineapple twist. After a few sips the higher alcohol content gives you an enjoyable warm feeling. Speaking of high alcohol content, the 8.3% do not overpower the flavour and do not give the beer a strong alcohol taste.

My one and only complaint comes from what I loved so much in the beginning and hated towards the end - the bitterness. It builds up and starts to give the finish a very bitter note which does ruin the overall experience a bit towards the end of the bottle.

Scores:
Cost - $5.35 for a 650 mL bottle
Taste - 8.5/10
ABV - 8.3%

Overall - 8.5/10...I decided to take 0.1 off for the bitterness build up, but then decided to give it an extra 0.1 for the price/alcohol content/taste combination...it all worked out

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