Brew Review: Simcoe Single IPA

12 Nov

Brew: Simcoe Single Hop IPA

Brewed by:Mikkeller (DeProef Brouwerji, Belgium)

Style American Style IPA (6.9% ABV)


This is one installment in Mikkellers series of single-hop IPA’s. Basically he is using one hop variety and using only that variety to make an IPA. This whole series was brewed with the same yeast, malts, grains everything except the type of hop. It was basically a way to see each individual hop as its own being and to see what it could offer in terms of aroma, bitterness and flavors. The Simcoe hop is the focus in this brew, I was very excited to try it, first off that it was a Belgian based brewery attempting and American style IPA and second just because of the idea behind the series of single hop beers. The $7 price tag for the 12 oz bottle was a little much but in the end I think it was worth it.

On to the beer, it poured out a murky orangish brown color. There was some yellow that mixed in there as well, sort of a fall day all rolled into one. There was also some yeast sediment that as present but not a ton which was nice. The greatest part about how this beer looked was that it had a tremendously thick and rich looking head. It was a solid ½ inch tall but very thick with small tightly packed bubbles.

The smell was very unique, from most American IPA’s you get the hops right up front right away. This brew you could tell had a Belgian influence as there was sweet Belgian smells in there that reminded me of Duvel or some other Belgian staple. There were light fruits like apples and pears that permeated the scent followed by some light hops. The hops were very floral fresh and fruity smelling. There was also a noticeable Belgian yeast aroma that was present as well.

The taste of the brew was also unique, like the aroma. There was bitterness up front, the Simcoe shining through, but those apples and pears also started to show up again as well. This beer was trying to be a big hoppy American IPA but it just never really got there. I think the Belgian craftsmanship was able to balance out the hops that were loaded into the beer and use their exceptional malt practices and yeast strains to blend this beer into a well balanced not overly powerful affair.

I think it was a very fun and quesiton raising beer to drink. It was fun to see a style that was to a point started here in America, the hopped up pale ale, done by another style of brewer. It was also very thought-provoking to experience a beer that was not born on the other side of the pond but brought there from over here. Basically backwards from almost every other beer style out there. It usually goes the other way with American’s copying the Europeans but this time it was the other way around and it really was a fun thing to think about as I drifted through this beer.


Final Grade: A-


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