Port Brewing Hop-15 Ale Review


Hop-15 Ale is a big double IPA brewed by Port Brewing in the town of San Marcos, CA in the San Diego area. This 10% alcohol by volume beer is brewed using 15 different varieties of hops that are added every 15 minutes. It was originally brewer for the 15th Anniversary of Port Brewing but is now available year round.

Hop-15 Ale has received numerous awards. The brewer’s website lists them off as follows:

It has won two silver medals at the Great American Beer Festival. It also was named Alpha King in 2004 and received a first place award at the Bistro Double IPA beer festival in Hayward, CA. Hop 15 remains won of the stickiest most resinous beers we have ever tasted and for that, we are thankful it is on tap at our brewery each and every day.

Where I Found It. BevMo in La Quinta, CA.

Date Reviewed. June 10, 2009

Serving Type. 22 0z. bottle to a glass.

Hop 15 AleAppearance. Hop-15 has a hazy appearance with an orange, clover-honey color. The head is an off-white tan color and the head does not last very long. The head does, however, last as a very very thin layer of loose bubbles on the top of the beer.

Smell. The hop bouquet of this beer is leafy green hops with a touch of pine and a hint of citrus and maybe just a bit of pineapple. The hop bouquet is not quite as intense as other IPAs and Double IPAs that I have tried recently. The aroma has a subtle roasty malt sweetness.

Taste. Hop-15 Ale starts with a smooth hop bitterness that is followed up by a bite of bitterness on the finish. The hops flavor is primarily spicy with a touch of pine. The citrus does not come out in the taste but I taste a little pineapple with the sweetness from the malt. It has a nice roasty and malted barley sweetness that smooths out the bitter hops that are jam packed into this beer. Although there is a lot of alcohol in this beer, this beer is not harsh and lacks astringency.

Mouthfeel. This is a medium to full bodied beer with plenty of carbonation that you can feel. The mouthfeel is about right.

Drinkability. Although Hop-15 is not a session beer due to the 10% alcohol by volume, it is a big giant tasty beer. After trying trying this beer, anything other than an IPA might taste flavorless. It is surprisingly smooth for being loaded with hops, which is likely due to the sweetness of the malt.

Rating. My ratings below are on a five point scale with five being the best score.

  • Appearance (20%): 3.5
  • Smell (20%): 4.0
  • Taste (40%): 4.0
  • Mouthfeel (10%): 3.5
  • Drinkability (10%): 4.0
  • Overall: 3.85


  • Brewers info: Hop-15 Ale
  • Style: Double IPA
  • Brewery: Port Brewing
  • Alcohol by volume: 10.0%
  • Original Gravity: 1.086
  • Final Gravity: 1.014
  • Hops: 15 different varieties
  • Malt: Two Row and English Light Crystal
  • Beer Advocate rating: 4.23 (as of September 25, 2009)

Caption on the Bottle

porthop15-8533The following caption appears on the side of the bottle:

Out beer oozes all the hop goodness you would expect to find in a double IPA. In your nose, you will experience a citric hop quality which is balanced by a slight malt sweetness. The essence of a great double IPA is hops and as such the beer finishes with a pronounced spicy hop bite. Thankfully, for all of us hop-heads, we have decided to brew this beer more than once a year. Look for Hop 15 to make an appearance from time to time when space permits us to brew this one, one of our favorite ales.

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About David Jensen

David is a craft beer and photography enthusiast.
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