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New American hop graces Duvel Tripel

Added: Saturday, March 21st 2015

Duvel Tripel Hop

Duvel Tripel Hop, the 9.5% limited edition annual vintage of the famous Belgian golden ale Duvel, this year features a new American hop, Equinox. It’s grown in the Pacific North-west by the hop farmers who developed Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe varieties. Equinox has been used to great effect by renowned American brewmaster Garrett Oliver with his Brooklyn Brewery IPA called Scorcher.

Duvel Tripel Hop 2015, in common with regular Duvel, is live, unpasteurised and re-fermented in the bottle. It’s available in 33cl bottles in Booths supermarkets in North-west England and also in pubs, restaurants and bars.

Duvel Triple Hop was launched in 2007 as a limited edition, one-off beer. But the vintage sold out in just three days, by which time it was selling for $75 on Ebay. Beer lovers challenged the Duvel-Mortgaat brewery to bring the beer back if they could gain 10,000 signatures on a petition, which they did with ease. As a result, Duvel Tripel Hop is now an annual vintage.

This year’s edition is based on a hop grist of Saaz and Styrian Goldings with the addition of Equinox, which is also used for “dry hopping” or late addition before the beer is bottled. Equinox has a high alpha acid content, with 14.4-15.6% alpha acid, 4.6-5.1% beta acid, and 31.7-38% co-humulone. Total acids are 2.9ml/100g. This high oil content gives intense flavours of citrus and tropical fruit, balanced by floral, herbal and hay-like notes. The developers give descriptors of lemon, lime, papaya, apple and green pepper. The finished beer has 38 units of bitterness.

Duvel-Mortgat’s general manager UK, Matt Wilson, says: “There are so many exciting hops now and from so many countries as well. American has such a fascinating range of choice and previous years have seen really spectacular Tripels with the likes of US Citra and Amarillo hops, and I am certain that their compatriot Equinox is sure to fly. Duvel is such an elegant and restrained beer but by upping the alcohol in the Tripels to 9.5% and by adding large quantities of vibrant hops it transforms the limited editions into something like a zest, rasping Sauvignon Blanc.

“Thanks to Equinox, our 2015 limited edition bursts with aromas of grapefruit, lemon and a hint of green pepper. The Equinox hops are added both during the brew and again during dry hopping. This adds extra hop aroma to the beer and a rich range of impressions on the palate.”