Mikkeller Simcoe Single Hop IPA
Today I have a beer that I am delighted to try for many reasons. First off it will be the first brew from Mikkeller Brewing who hail from KÃ¸benhaven, Denmark that I will have the opportunity to sample. If that weren’t tempting enough I have heard many good things about the majority of their ales but a bit further reading tells me even more. They were founded in 2006 by two friends and since 2007 has been run solely by Mikkel Borg BjergsÃ¸ and in 2008 they were named the second best brewery in Denmark loosing out to 1st place by less than 0.2% as well as sixth best brewery in the world. Mikkel refers to himself as a gypsy brewer because he rents brewery space from others in Denmark and around the world butÂ that has not hindered his spirit nor discouraged his international fame (Edit: this beer was brewed at De Proef Brouwerij of Lochristi-hijfte, Belgium). One of the biggest things that has stopped me from trying their beers in the past is the price tag that tends to be associated with them, this 11.2oz bottle was close to $10. However I am always for trying innovative beers and single hop beers always tempt me, so when I saw this bottle on the shelves of The Four Firkins I couldn’t help but pick it up. Though I know it is in many beers I enjoy Simcoe isn’t necessarily a hop that IÂ am easily able to pick out of a beer, but after this experience hopefully I will. It is a very new strain of hops that was created by Yakima Chief Ranches and first released in 2000. It was designed to pack more of a punch than the current hops on the market and it appears they succeeded. Though not quite comparable it is said to be similar to the Cascade hop we all know so well but primarily used for bittering though it also produces some citrus flavors and further tends to exibit some pine characteristics. As this hop was designed for brewing big IPAs I am sure it will be enjoyable. When pouring this beer down the center of my glass it rather quickly erupted into a mass of carbonation producing over four fingers of overflowing white head that lasted for many minutes and left some solid lacing around the glass and a little lump of head still remains in the center of the glass over 10 minutes later. Color is an attractive obviously unfiltered (after drinking most of the beer there is a good amount of sediment at the bottom of the glass, some is dark and some is more of an off white color which is a bit interesting) dark hazy apricot that brightens in light but is not translucent at all. Aroma is delicious, a similar grapefruit citrus to Cascade hops but with a more full meaty body to the fruit. I get a few hints that remind me of tropical fruits like starfruit or passion fruit but they are interestingly subtle. As well there is a nice bitter base to the aroma of the hops and I get a tiny bit of the pine but not very much. In addition to the hops there is a nice sweet malt base to this beer that distracts a bit from the obvious bitterness likely produced by the cara-crystal malts. This is a pretty darn tasty beer. Initially you can notice the caramely malt base of this beer but it fades quickly due to the hop profile. First I get sweater somewhat floral citrus flavorsÂ similar to those described in the aroma largely passion fruit and a bit of apricot but as soon as this beer sits in my mouth for a moment and I start to swallow the bitterness is massively intensified. The bitterness is wonderfully hoppy and robust and as I drink a bit more some of the citrus flavors put up a solid fight against the bitterness and manage to sneak back in once you get used to how strong of a bittering hop Simcoe really is. All of the bitterness and citrus combined start to make some almost tart flavors but considering what it is this ale is quite well balanced, for a hop head. The body of this beer is relatively light and the mouthfeel is quite smooth. With all of the bitterness present in this beer its 6.9%ABV isn’t noticeable at all. Certainly not the beer for those who do not enjoy bitterness, but a great choice for those who do. In my opinion this is the perfect session beer for a lover of strong hoppy beers if only it were more available in my area and much less expensive I would drink it constantly. If you don’t mind spending a bit of dough I would recommend trying it out, I know I can’t wait to try his other single hop brews or any of his beer for that matter. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
July 15th, 2009 at 5:27 pm
[…] tones as well as some herbal notes, reminds me a lot of the aroma of the Simcoe Single Hop IPA [review] brewed earlier. Flavor however is quite different. A fruit note similar to the aroma is present […]