“We were sent some experimental hops from the USA creatively titled HBC 692 and DJ took them and caressed them gently into a West Coast IPA. It’s clean, refreshing and has heaps of flavours but we don’t know what they are because we haven’t tried it yet. We’ve been told to expect grapefruit, stonefruit, pine, wood and resin.”
Appearance: Nice bold amber complexion with full transparency. It forms a sturdy two finger head which slowly retracts. Reasonable lace sticks as we imbibe.
Aroma: Really cool back story here…a new experimental hop from the USA is used and it’s so new that even the brew team aren’t even sure what characters it will impart! Ha. We dig it though, this is true craft brewing. We pick up super clean pine needle, candied citrus, guava, honeydew/melon, subtle mandarin peel, soft herbals and a kind of treated pine wood note.
Flavour: Follows the nose – ultra clean, piney, got a touch of those semi sweet green fruits; honeydew, guava etc. Nicely balanced by a tempered honey malt profile. A bit of edgy citrus bitterness through the mid leading to a nicely poised finish of pine, orange citrus and herbals.
Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean. Medium body with mild-moderate Co2. 7.8% ABV comes through intermittently.
Overall: The experimental hop is nicely suited to the style of beer. But as well as say Citra, Mosaic or Simcoe? Maybe not. The beer itself is good too but again probably doesn’t beat Back To Cali…that was next level.