Time for some tasting notes on Belma. The pellets I used are from Hops Direct - from the 2012 harvest and clocking in at 11.3% AA. Smelling the pellets, I just pick up some herbal/grassy hop aromas along with some onion/garlic. Thankfully, none of the onion carried through to the finished beer.
The nose of the beer is pretty mild. I pick up some sweet fruity notes in the melon/tropical/peach family, but not much else.
the palate I get more of that melon/tropical fruitiness, along with
some herbal notes. I didn't pick up any of the strawberry that a lot of
other brewers have noted - if it's there it's not something really
forward and distinct. Bittering seems right in the middle-of-the-road.
know Belma has been getting some mixed reviews, and I can see why. It
definitely doesn't seem like a hop-bomb hop. It seems rather mild.
the flip side, Belma has a pretty clean sweet-fruit character. It's not
quite as tropical as a lot of the NZ varieties, and it doesn't have
that earthiness that I get from Calypso. It may not fit in an IPA, but
it certainly has a place in something like an American Wheat that can
use a restrained fruity hop note.