Monday, March 16, 2015

Wai-iti Hops - Tasting Notes

Next up is Wai-iti. This NZ hop has been on my wishlist for a while, and I was finally able to find some through Farmhouse Brewing Supply. The hops I used were pellets from the 2014 crop, and were listed at only 4.1% AA. The pellets had a potent, oily aroma that seemed to be typical NZ-style tropical fruit.

The aroma of the beer had a massive blackcurrant note, paired up with passionfruit in a supporting role.

The flavor was very blackcurrant-forward as well. I did get some lime/lemongrass and passion fruit. There was also a bit of a resinous quality, but it made me think of concentrated currant/ribes more than the typical dank/pine resin character you find in hops like Columbus or Simcoe. As the currant fades out there are floral notes, passion fruit and some fleeting sweet cinnamon notes as well.

Bittering was mild-to-moderate and fairly clean.

I have a feeling that Wai-iti is going to be quite a polarizing hop. To me, I perceive "catty" as blackcurrant, and it is a flavor and aroma that I enjoy. To those who perceive "catty" as tomcat spray, I'd be willing to bet that this hop will not go over well. I see this being a hop that is best in a blend. While it does have some fruit undertones, the currant note is the predominant character by far. I think it would be nice in an IPA to balance some fruitier hops. It might also be nice as a dry hop in a sour, and maybe as a flavor addition in a beer that has some dark fruit character.

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