Monday, June 29, 2009


(photo courtesy of AllBeer)

MIKKELLER, the upstart “roving brewer” Danes who ply their wares pretty much anywhere they’re allowed, have got this single-hop IPA series going right now, designed to showcase what an individual hop varietal can do to flavor a beer. I tried the SIMCOE SINGLE HOP IPA last month and scored it a pretty strong 8 out of 10. This is a pretty approachable way to get one’s head around hops in general, and what a highly-regarded brewer can do with them once they set their minds to dissecting them to extract as much bitter flavor as possible.

So what of the NELSON SAUVIN hop? You heard of it? Me neither. I understand it’s from New Zealand, and it rarely if ever turns up in our beers over here in ‘Merica. It imparts a very dry, very bitter quality, not exactly a winning rush out of the gates if you know what I mean. Beer itself is thin, but pours with a massive, fluffed-out head of foam. So at least it’s fresh, right? There’s a lot of spicy tang in this one, and it’s got elements of lemon and grapefruit as well. Something about that dry body really keeps this from being a knockout for me, but NELSON SAUVIN SINGLE HOP is certainly a good beer. Some folks who know a thing or two about beer say MIKKELLER’s got a Warrior Hop IPA that’s out of this world. That one’s next on the beergenda. 6/10.


Rational Realist said...

San Diego County-based Alpine Brewing makes an IPA with the Sauvin hop called Nelson. It's outstanding, and a much lighter looking beer than the Mikkeller. I have not tried the Mikkeller. Unfortunately, Alpine has limited distribution and does not bottle its Nelson. When Alpine has its Nelson available for growler fills it sells out in a matter of days. The better San Diego beer bars have Nelson on varying availability.

Jay said...

Oh, of course. I've read about Alpine Nelson in mulitple places. I really want to try it - sounds like a whopper.

BJR said...

Nelson from Alpine is one of my favorite IPAs, which made me jump all over the Mikkeller single hop version when I saw it at Bottle Barn.

Maybe my expectations were too high from my experience with Alpine, but I wasn't impressed with the Mikkeller single hop at all. At $3.99 for 12 oz., I was happy I only brought home one bottle.