And the third hop in this year’s Duvel Tripel Hop is … [roll of drums] … Equinox.
Don’t be surprised if the name means nothing to you. Equinox has only been around under that name since last year, when it was predicted to be the Next Big Thing. It’s a new aroma hop produced by the Hop Breeding Company, and boy is it big in flavour.
Duvel-Moortgat have been releasing a new Tripel Hop, high alcohol version of their flagship beer for several years: a first attempt using Amarillo in 2007 sold out so fast there were more people disappointed than delighted. The idea came back in 2012, when Citra joined the regular hops Saaz and Styrian Golding; that was followed in 2013 by the Japanese Sorachi Ace, and in 2014 by Mosaic. Alcohol level in all cases is bumped up to 9.5% ABV in place of the usual Duvel 8.5%.
The third hop is added late in the boil, and again at dry-hopping. According to brewmaster Hedwig Neven, it brings a flavour of green pepper along with grapefruit and lemon. We found it combined fruity and herbal notes, both lime-zest and cut grass, tropical fruit and something green and herbaceous like fresh thyme. It’s astringent, but also full of flavour. It’s available in the shops now.