Mikkeller: Single Hop 2013: Tettnanger (Denmark: IPA: 6.9% ABV)

Visual: Hazy ruddy red to gold. Caramel touched tight bubbled head that leaves suds.

Nose: Gingerbread. Caramel and banana. Ovaltine malt drink. Prickly character and resinous.

Body: Bitter. Touch of greenery. Malt drinks and banana. Gingerbread. Toffee malt.

Finish: Malt drinks. Hops. Liquorice. Milky coffee remains. Light greenery. Touch of dried apricot.

Conclusion: An interesting hop it seems, and not just in pronunciation. I’ve not run into the hop before, but it seems to either add to, or give room for the malt character. It seems very much to allow the ovaltine like main character to work as a base.

I had a few of the other single hops on tap to compare and to try and work out where the hop influence ends and the base malt begins and here is what I think is happening. The hops add good resinous character and a little greenery, but more than that they seem to sooth out the malt giving this sweet banana and toffee style. Very good style for relaxing beers and the mix of high resin and bitterness against smooth sweetness is quite fascinating and enjoyable.

As a beer by itself I would say that the ovaltine like elements are maybe a bit too heavy, and possibly a less heavy beer would allow the hop to better express itself, however backed by the toffee and banana it is still pleasant, and that touch of gingerbread spark at the back keeps it alive despite the slightly over heavy base.

The beer reminds me slightly of Oskar Blues/Sun King “The Deuce” with the mix of high malt and banana flavours, though I can’t see any evidence it uses this hop, it just reminds me of the beer. Anyway, a worthy beer to try, very different from the usual IPA expectations but still distinctly bitter.

I’m not sure I have managed to work out exactly the hops influence from this, but it has given me a good starting point. Not perfect but for the experience and a nice calm time drinking I did enjoy it and I can’t ask for more than that.

Background: Single hop beers! A great way for any beer fan to work out exactly what hop contributes what as so help work out what beers they will enjoy. As you can tell I am a fan. Never tried a Tettnanger single hop before, so thought it would be fun. I had tried this already earlier in the week while my sister and her husband was visiting. However it felt a bit rude to be tasting noting as we were catching up over craft beer (It is good having family with taste) so I returned later in the week to review. Ratebeer lists this as 6.8% abv, hmm, maybe the 2013 version has slightly different abv, I’m not sure.