They say…

Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
"A joy to read" - Roger Protz
"Very authoritative" - Tim Webb.
"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor


Bend Hop-Head Imperial India Pale Ale

, Beer sellers: The

ABV: 9%
Origin: , Oregon, USA

Bend Hop-Head Imperial India Pale Ale

My trip to one of the US’s top craft beer cities, Portland, Oregon, in Autumn 2011 could easily have accounted for half my Top Tastings of the year, but to spread things out a bit I’ve limited myself to a few outstanding and representative beers. This is one of them, an amazing West Coast hop bomb that also manages to be seriously complex. It originates from a brewpub overlooking the Mirror Pond which, with the surrounding Drake Park, provides the scenic focus of the town of Bend, on the Deschutes river. Deschutes is also the name of one of the US’s most successful and impressive craft breweries, a near neighbour, but the beers produced by Tonya Cornett and Ian Larkin at the much smaller Bend Brewing hold their own in terms of quality.

Hop-Head is brewed as an autumn seasonal, and I tasted it on draught at one of Portland’s leading specialist , Belmont Station, which doubles as a beer shop. The beer is a clear golden colour with a persistent white head and an aroma packed with resins and esters – pear, apple and pine. The rich palate burrs with hops, revealing layers of coconut, citrus, apricot tart, toast, pot herbs and even a bit of meatiness and smoke, with a slight alcoholic burn and an almost meringue-like sweet and pasty note. That apricot fruit persists in a finish which soon develops a massive peppery, chewy, pulpy and resinous hop attack, but the delightfully complex fruit steers you through it. One of the examples of the style that I’ve enjoyed the most.

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