Hops are so cool right now guys. We've just seen Voyager U.S. show us how good, fresh U.S. hops can roll, and here, hot on those beautiful heels, comes Sierra Nevada, also on a voyage of lupuline discovery, continuing their reckless, desperate pursuit of hoppiness with Hop Hunter.
In truth, I had this a few weeks before the Voyager, but the magic of blogovision means the illusion of continuity is mine to break.
To make Hop Hunter, the Chico bandits have used steam-distilled hop oil from their own damn farm. But what does steam-distilled hop oil give to a beer?
Shitloads, if the nose is anything to go by. Lemon and lime and grapefruit, all repeated, all day long, all sharp and stingy and bracing. Perhaps seeing the word 'oil' on the label has thrown me, but it certainly feels slick and unctuous on the palate, with loads of that citrus bitterness expressed just as well here as anywhere else. It's drier and lighter than the Torpedo, making it a sort of Torpedo for the daytime.
Either way, it's delicious and pretty fresh, and it has me convinced that distilling hop oil is a good way to go about getting wet hop characteristics into your beer all year round.