Thursday, January 16, 2014

Belma Hops - Tasting Notes

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.

On 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.

I 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.

On 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.

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