Friday, 16 January 2015

Garage Project: Hop Trial #2 (Single-Hopped Double IPA)

Bought from the Freo Doctor, Fremantle (Perth).

The premise behind Garage Project's Hop Trial series is simple: collaborate with New Zealand's foremost food and plant researcher; create a brand new hop variety (through unspecified methods), brew a beer showcasing it and have the public assess the end result.   En masse appraisal might see the hop become the next big thing in beer.  I would hazard a guess that this as yet unnamed hop variety will go a very long way indeed if the second incarnation in the series is anything to go by.

Being a single-hop IPA one simply cannot expect complexity but in saying that Hop Trial #2 is not altogether devoid of subtle nuances.  Aromas of cracked black pepper, pine and grapefruit juice hyperextend to the nose and in so doing tell of what is yet to follow.  The pepperiness of the aroma follows through onto the palate with the note taking on a broader dynamic.   Hop Trial #2 is supported by a bready backbone that balances while it contrasts.  Grapefruit and dried apricot notes poke their head through the mouse hole but retreat as they are overcome by the intensely dry spice and bitter finishing characters.

Hop Trial #2 is set to the backdrop of a beautiful and alluring ochre colour and a mouthfeel that is smooth with low to medium carbonation.

The overall impression that I have of this hop variety is that it is reminiscent of a New Zealand cousin: Kohatu, but with peppery nobs on.  I am also of the thinking it would do well in accentuating and lifting the flavours of more tropical fruit-forward hop varieties, such as Citra or Mosaic; thought it might be too dense to complement Centennial or other overly resinous hops.  Upon it being unleashed onto the beer drinking world, may I suggest that it be dubbed Kakara - the Maori word for spice.

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