Our first experience of the El Dorado hop was on a tour of Hunter S Thompson's mate's US brewery Flying Dog. It was the latest beer in their single hop series, a series that, being Flying Dog, looked to showcase hops in the format of a 10 per cent Imperial IPA. A bit like Mosaic, it's one of the new breed of US hops that seems to overwhelm brewers who come into contact with it with an uncontrollable urge to create beers that showcase its lively citrus characteristics.
That's the case with Hargreaves Hill, although being a much more refined bunch than Flying Dog they're doing it with a eminently more sensible 6 per cent IPA. They've got credit in the bank here, with past IPAs including the impressive Topaz / Amarillo, C4 and Admiral. For this one, the brewers have used a "simple but pronounced malt character" of Golden Promise with a touch of Chocolate and Crystal malts for colour and flavour. Residual sweetness keeps the bitterness (55 IBUs for those taking notes at the back) obtained from various kettle additions of Warrior and El Dorado in check. "Generous dry-hopping" has added to what we're told is a "fresh, zesty and citrusy hop character and aroma, with well integrated candied orange character." Draught only