For autumn 2019, Hargreaves Hill have created a couple of short run beers bearing relationships to others in their lineup, one a wet hop version of their double IPA, the other giving the gin barrel treatment that's worked so well with their gose to a tripel.
The former is a one-off version of Kenneth Son of Zenith brewed with "a mountain" of Chinook and Centennial hops from Yellingbo in the Yarra Valley, topped up with additions of Azacca and Simcoe. The fresh hop version features a stripped back malt bill too, the intention being to let their hoppy haul have more room in which to shake its tail feather. The changes lead to a rather different beast from the original Kenneth, with melon, stone fruit and pineapple the dominant hop characters, the last of these aided by the sweetness that comes with the 8.5 percent ABV. The booze ensures it's relatively full-bodied and gently warming too, while the bitterness is relatively low for such a big beer.
Also in big beer territory is the Gin Barrel Tripel, which saw a Belgian style strong ale take up residency in the Four Pillars barrels used for the aforementioned gose for six months. You might expect the botanical elements to struggle to make themselves heard in a bigger, richer base beer but it's quite the opposite. Maybe they're super-charged by the higher alcohol content or enhanced by the spicy nature of the Belgian yeast; whatever the cause, you're met by a bold, layered, perfume like bouquet, with the botanicals joined by peach-nectarine flavours, some candy sweetness and a white pepper tickle on the palate. It's sticky and full-bodied yet with a tripel's drying underbelly to offer balance and offers plenty for the adventurous to discover.
- Fresh Hop IIPA & Barrel-Aged Tripel
- 8.5% & 8.6%