There’s been quite a few beers bouncing around recently that have showcased trial hops from the NZ Hops Ltd’s Bract Brewing Project.  They’ve run the usual gamut of quality, but in terms of styles, it’s been India Pale Lagers like this one that I’ve found best demonstrate the exact characteristics of the hop on display and Hop Federation Deep Space with trial hop NZH-104 does it maybe best of all.

Bright citrus aromas up front, with white flesh nectarine, then softer tropical fruit and a curious herbaceous character that’s closer to eucalyptus than pine.  The palate is short, sharp and quite remarkably juicy, with a mild bitterness that allows the ripe fruit to linger.  

Whereas other releases have put NZ104 in the spotlight, this puts it under a microscope, and after my tasting I feel I’ve really refined my personal profile of the hop.  Fingers crossed for more IPL versions of 104’s sisters in the future.

hop federation deep space