Created to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of Pizza Port location, this beer is the brain child of hop heads. It utilizes a medley of 15 different hops (varieties not given) that are then added in 15 minutes increments. If that does not excite the inner hop junkie inside of you than I don’t know what will. Port brews some of my favorite IPAs on the market. Wipeout, Mongo, High Tide, and their Anniversary beers are in my top 15 (see what I did there?) all time favorite. So Hop-15 has to overcome some serious preconceived notions.
The bottle I have has been nestled in my fridge for a little while so the sediment was nice and compacted on the bottom. The first pour was clear and looked very similar to maple syrup. A deep bronze hue produced a beige dense head that fought its way out of the 10% liquid.
The aroma is fruity and resinous. Big hints of pine, Lysol, lemon, spruce, peach, pineapple, apricot and herbs cascaded from the glass. It is a pungent and dank hop quality. I can only guess that some of the hops used might be Galena, Columbus, Simcoe, Centennial, Chinook, Nugget, or Warrior. These are all pretty pungent and earthy. For a double IPA there is a fare amount of malt backbone that comes out such as caramel and toffee. It smelled sticky and sweet at the same time.
port definitely brewed a hop bomb, but I was not completely won over. Yes, the hops were resinous and stuck to my palate at the finish and carried over into the aftertaste. Yes, the underlying bitterness was huge and pungent…there was no way around it. My problem lies in the malts. Too dark. Too much caramel. I understand you need to balance out the intense hopping, but this beer parts directions from its other fine crafted IPAs. I personally, feel that this beer would be that much more enjoyable if the malts used were lighter. The finish is where Hop-15 comes to its peak bitterness. Brace yourself as it is a full on assault bomb (as the label suggests). A good beer for sure, but not exactly what I was looking or hoping for. I’ll stick with Mongo and Firestone Walker’s Double Jack for my readily available California double IPAs.