“Imagine that the German’s have come up with a high alpha fruity hop! “Could that be right?” we asked ourselves. We were in luck to get 100 kgs. The new wonder hop bears the name Mandarina, and it’s presently not commercially available. And how could we present this hop with all it’s glory? By brewing an IPA of course. Please welcome Mandarina IPA.”
The second we heard this IPA was featuring a new Bavarian hop variety we were sold. Then we were even more excited when we realised it’s in the same family as the Cascade hop! As the bottle states who would have thought that the Germans would produce fruity hops. Well, now they have. Served in an IPA glass the deep amber pour enjoys a lovely copper red hue. Atop sits a huge beige 2 finger head that retains brilliantly. Good lacing. Watch the pour too, as there’s some bottle conditioning. As the name of the hop suggests there are gorgeous wafts of citrus fruits such as mandarin, orange, grapefruit and tangerine. Quite a malty backbone here too, as we can pick up aromas of caramel, bread and subtle honey. Mouthfeel is mildly frothy with mild-medium carbonation. Medium-full body. Upfront pleasant flavours of orange and subtle honey seem slightly dulled down. An assertive bitterness (50 IBU) does hold up well from the fore flavour through the mid-palate and picks up light caramel notes and finishes crisp and zesty. Length is OK. 7.5% ABV is also evident but again slightly muted. We feel this beer had a lot more to give and we ended up noticing that it was bottled in November last year. Almost a year ago. That would explain the real potential but disappointing flavour profile and strength. A real shame, this would have been a cracker.