Mikkeller – Simcoe Single Hop IPA: Is a single hopped IPA (hop head series) brewed in Belgium at a strength of 6.9% with 100 IBU’s. Now this beer I purchased out of curiosity and to help train my palate to recognize the distinctive hop flavours so this was the perfect beer to spend some time with and do a little research. The goal here was to write my notes and rating first, and then go back and do some Simcoe research and see if I can pick out anything I missed. I poured mine into my favourite IPA glass and prepared to train my palate.
Aroma and Appearance: It pours a slightly cloudy copper with a generous 2 fingers of foam and some very sporadic small bubbles. The aroma according to me was citrus tangerine, fresh pine and herbs (note Simcoe is listed as a dual purpose hop, used primarily for bittering and has an aroma of passion-fruit, apricot, intense pine and woodsy aroma (source). I did not detect any apricot but can see tangerine and passion-fruit being pretty similar so I gave myself a pass on that, the pine was easy and it smelt herbal to me as well which, perhaps some people describe as “woodsy”.
Flavour: white bread malt (aka muted) a touch of caramel sweetness with some citrus, floral and herb characteristics and a resinous pine bitter finish. I managed to pick up on most of the flavours so that’s a good sign.
Overall Impression: This beer is very light on the malt (I think that’s on purpose as it is supposed to showcase the hop) and overall wasn’t all that great for me as I need some malt to balance it out, however it fulfilled it’s intention.
Rating: I give it an average rating of 5/10 for a drinking craft beer, to unbalanced for me to rate higher against other beers, but I still suggest buying this if you want to learn more about to tasting beer. In fact, buy every single hop beer like this out there if you can find them as it’s the best way to learn them (or home brew them!).
Food Pairing: Don’t unless you want to experiment with hop pairing in which case try some apricots to complement or spicy mango.
Have you seen any single hop beers spotted in Vancouver? I’d like to get some more (I have the Mosaic Mikkeller Imperial IPA from Bottle Jockey), sadly my brew dog single hop 4 pack was horridly skunked so I’ll have to look for a fresher version of that one.