Hop Head Double IPA from the Tree Brewing Company in Kelowna, British Columbia pours a hazy, rusty amber colour with a small, but frothy white head that leaves some thick lacing and settles as a long-lasting collar. This strong ale smells unsurprisingly of a variety of hops. It has a rich, buttery caramel tone, a defined spiciness to the aroma and develops a citrus backing as it warms.
The taste of Hop Head Double IPA is like honey-dipped orange peel with a peppery bite. A grapefruit note comes through in the finish. The beer is creamy on the tongue and the aftertaste is dry and tart, but also has a slightly malty sweetness that helps to keep from puckering. Sometimes the grapefruit and honey flavours produce a pineapple taste, depending on the pour and temperature.
The packaging of Hop Head Double IPA uses a simple printed green label with white and read lettering. It proudly declares that it’s brewed without additives or preservatives, provides a description of the beer on the back and asks “Can You Handle the Hops?”
Hop Head Double IPA is full of flavour and does a remarkably fiendish job of masking its ABV percentage. I would drink this beer year-round if it were available here in Ontario, but it only seems to come into LCBO stores in small shipments once a year in Spring, truly living up to its Limited Edition label.
This beer pairs well with sunny weekend afternoons, snack foods, raw veggies, lunch meats and good company. It can be tough to find Hop Head Double IPA outside of British Columbia, so stock up if you get the chance, but drink it as fresh as possible to maximize the hop flavours.
Type: Imperial India Pale Ale (IPA)
Region: British Columbia, Kelowna
Brewery: Tree Brewing Company Ltd.
Format Purchased: 650 mL
Alcohol Content: 8.3%