Westbrook Brewing Co.
Mt. Pleasant, SC
Single Hop: Nelson Sauvin Rye Pale Ale
Westbrook‘s Single Hop series – wherein they use a rye pale ale base to showcase a different hop – continues to roll on. So far, Pacific Jade and Amarillo have done their job in showcasing what their respective hops do to a beer’s flavor.
The third entry in the series is Nelson Sauvin, one of the newer and highly touted hops from New Zealand. Named as a not to the Sauvignon Blanc grape, the hop imparts a juicy fruit flavor and aroma.
As with the others in the series, the pour is a golden hazy orange. There’s a bit of a brownish orange toward the center. A finger of head tops it off, but it dissipates surprisingly quickly. There’s some pretty weak lacing but some nice alcohol legs.
There’s a massive sweet grape on the nose as well as a slight orange, pineapple, star fruit and passionfruit. There’s a kind of muscadine thing going on, too. There’s just a very mild hoppiness and very slight rye note underneath it all, but the juicy fruit flavors are dominant.
On the front of the tongue is a mild bitterness and there’s good carbonation across the palate. The bit from the rye is very strong in the middle of the mouth. But on the back, the fruit flavors really shine. That sour grape pops up again and fades into this nice lingering rye flavor. Mixed in are those juicy passionfruit flavors. The rye is a good way to counteract the sweetness.
I continue to be impressed with this series, and while Nelson Sauvin was probably my least favorite of the series, that’s by no means a way of saying it’s bad. It does what it’s supposed to: Showcases the finer qualities of what the specific hop has to offer.
What I’m really excited about is the fourth entry in the series. Here’s a (not so subtle) hint: