Hop Trip is a fresh hopped pale ale from Deschutes Brewing Company. Available October-December, this American Pale Ale has 38 IBUs and a 5.5% ABV.
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.
Hop Trip pours a light amber with a huge bubbly cream head. Tons of tiny bubbles line the side of the glass, disappearing with the fading head. Lacing is medium (what you expect from the style).
Surprisingly, the main smell of this beer is the malts (my guess would be Munich and chocolate malts). However, I did detect pine hops and red wine scents. When the beer was poured the flavors blend into a sweet perfume-like smell. As it warms a warmed butter biscuit note comes through fairly noticeably.
Wow, this is definitely sweeter than I expected! The taste is caramel, molasses and cola with a faint hop presence right at the end. It’s similar to a diet soda. I also detected a strawberry like sweetness hiding amongst the sweet malt flavors (I might be crazy here). Malt to hop ratio starts out about 80-20, but then fades to 60-40 as the beer warms.
Mouthfeel is light with a slight stickiness that leaves a little residue behind. When all is said and done there is noticeable drying.
Hop Trip 2010 is not at all what I expected. Considering the name I was prepared for a more pronounced hop presence, but it was the malts that took first chair in this orchestra. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed this beer, but I wish there hops made a bigger impact.
Overall: 7.5 out of 10
As an AMERICAN PALE ALE: 8 out of 10
FOR FANS OF: Three Floyds ALPHA KING PALE ALE, Oskar Blue’s DALE’S PALE ALE, Great Divide FRESH HOP PALE ALE,