The latest limited edition of Belgian beer Duvel Tripel Hop has been released, with Equinox hops as the special ingredient in this year’s vintage.
At 9.5% ABV, the beer is a sibling of leading brand Duvel, which is live, unpasteurised and re-fermented in its 33cl bottle.
Duvel Tripel Hop was first launched in 2007 as a limited edition, intended as a one-off, and sold out within three days, so new releases have been developed to meet customer demand.
As with previous releases, the 2015 vintage is based on hop grist of Saaz, which brings dry and spicy notes, and Styrian Goldings, which brings a waxy lime character. This year, it uses Equinox from the USA, which is an aromatic hop with high oil content.
Equinox brings intense flavours of citrus and tropical fruit balanced by milder floral, herbal notes. The hop’s developers give descriptors of lemon, lime, papaya, apple, and green pepper.
Duvel Moortgat’s general manager for the UK, Matt Willson, said: “There are so many exciting hops now in the market, and from so many countries as well. America has such a fascinating range of choice, and previous years have seen really spectacular Tripels with the likes of the US Citra and Amarillo hops, and I am certain that their compatriot, Equinox, is sure to fly.
“Duvel is such an elegant and restrained beer, but by upping the alcohol in the Tripels to 9.5% and by adding large quantities of vibrant hops, it transforms the limited editions into something more like a zesty, rasping Sauvignon Blanc.”
Duvel Moortgat’s head brewer, Hedwig Neven, added: “Thanks to Equinox, our 2015 limited edition bursts with aromas of grapefruit, lemon and a hint of green pepper.
“The Equinox hops are added both during the brew and again during the ‘dry-hopping’. This adds extra hop aromas into the beer and a rich range of impressions on the palate – a particularly Belgian ‘ménage à hops’.
“The higher aromatic intensity rounds off the beer nicely, belying the final alcohol content of 9.5% ABV.”