Belgian brewer Duvel Moortgat has launched the latest in its Tripel Hop series, called Experimental Hop 291.
Tripel Hop was first brewed in 2008, with the addition of a third hop to Duvel's Saaz and Styrian Golding blend. It became an annual brew in 2012, and a Tripel Hop's now released every year with a different third hop added to the blend – previous ones have included Amarillo, Citra and Sorachi Ace.
This year's hop, which comes from the Yakima Valley in the USA, doesn't actually have a name yet as it's so new – so it goes by 'Experimental Hop 291'. And it gives the beer very floral aromas, with very punchy lavender and rose, plus some more pronounced orange notes than its Duvel counterpart. The palate's quite fresh and presents similar floral aromas, with more pepper and something steel-like, and a roundness in the mouth. Then the bitterness kicks in, although it's balanced by a nice acidity that leaves a citrusy, quite bitter and drying aftertaste. It's definitely one for food, no least because of the 9.5% abv – a little higher than the 8.5% original Duvel.
Later this year, Duvel Moortgat will also release a limited-edition six pack of all Tripel Hops released to date, encouraging customers to vote for their favourite which will become a permanent part of the range in 2017.
9.5% abv, £2.79/330ml RRP, Duvel Moortgat, 020 3740 8479