Nineteen bottles of beer on the wall (or in Mikkeller‘s Single Hop series), and the Danish gypsy brewery begins the bunch with a bang. And rightfully so, because the Single Hop Simcoe IPA conspicuously displays that hop varieties play a rather significant role in the aroma and the taste of a beer.
This particular India Pale Ale pours a hazy, deep orange with a few yeast particulates floating throughout the liquid. A quarter of an inch, light brown head forms that has the texture of a thin cloud about to vanish with a prick of a needle. The aroma hits the nostrils with passionfruit—not grapefruit or citrus fruit. A sweet tropical flavor brings about memories of soft, sticky Starburst.
Known as “Cascade on steroids,” Simcoe® hops are the main attraction here, and pine is readily identifiable—more needle than cone. As the beer warms, a faint alcohol aroma emerges, which is surprising given the beer’s 6.8 percent ABV, and the woody pine becomes even more prevalent.
A slight citrus character—tangy orange—peaks through in the dry finish, but the pine never disappears.
The Simcoe® hop is polarizing. Like cilantro tasting soapy to the genetically predisposed, some think that Simcoe® smells like cat urine, or ammonia, and can’t move past it. If you are in the camp, however, that experiences an evergreen forest with a slight citrus tang when exposed to this hop, then this is the beer for which you’ve been looking.