Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Widmer Bros. Brewing Nelson Imperial IPA


 Today's selection showcases a very unique hop from New Zealand, the Nelson Sauvin. This hop's beauty comes from its ability to impart the flavors of a fine white wine without the traditional bitterness of a high end super hop. The Nelson Sauvin birth certificate reads as such, courtesy of  New Zealand Hops Limited.

New Zealand Nelson SauvinBreeding:

A triploid variety bred from New Zealand variety “Smoothcone” and a selected New Zealand male. Developed at New Zealand HortResearch and released in 2000.  The essential oil profile displays “fresh crushed gooseberries” a descriptor often used for the grape variety Sauvignon Blanc, giving  rise to this variety’s name.


Described during selection as “breathtaking”   Nelson Sauvin has the unique ability to impart a distinctive cool climate white wine “fruitiness”. The complexity of the oils profile has seen selectors stretched looking for descriptors to document this unique new world variety.

Brewer’s notes:

A hop that requires judicious application in the brew house, this truly unique dual-purpose variety can be used to produce big punchy Ales as well as subtle yet bitter Lagers. The fruitiness may be a little overpowering for the un-initiated, however those with a penchant for bold hop character will find several applications for this true brewer's hop.
“Quintessentially New Zealand”


Grower comments:

Maturity Mid to late season
Growth Habit
Late shooting, vigorous spring growth, clavate frame
Cone Structure
Compact cone, ovate shape
Disease Resistance
New Zealand is hop disease free
Storage Stability

With that out of the way let's get on to the tasting notes. Nelson Imperial IPA pours a rich golden orange color, with the usual off-white head. The beer's orange radiance transfers into the 2 to 3 finger light fluffy head which takes on a light orange hue. It's aroma is sweet and full of citrus. I did detect solid grapefruit notes but without the bitterness. As the head began to dissipate, warm musty aromatics emerged. Nelson's flavor is a blend of smooth malt and big hop punch. What I found most appealing was the non-lingering bitterness on my palate. There was a slight hint of spiciness, but again not lingering. Widmer Brother's offering is brewed with  2-Row Pale, Carapils, Caramel 10-L and Alchemy, Nelson Sauvin, Cascade, Willamette hops. At 8.6% A.B.V. and 70 I.B.U.'s "Commodore" Nelson is quite sessionable. But don't let that fool ya, it still carries the "Imperial" moniker. As you can tell I really liked this beer. It's available year round so ask for it by name, Widmer Brothers Nelson Imperial IPA. Cheers!

For more info visit: Nelson Imperial IPA

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