|VMASH Session IPA with|
Sabro hops from
The third in the VMASH series.
Rotem and Dagan Bar-Ilan, the brewer-brothers from HaDubim Brewery, have been running a controlled experiment for a number of years. It isn't taking place in some shut-off laboratory, but right out in the craft beer marketplace.
Rotem and Dagan introduced what they called the VMASH series, standing for Vienna Malt And Single Hop. They brewed a basic Session IPA (4.2% alcohol by volume), using a single malt -- Vienna. That was the control. The only item that changed was the single hop.
This method gives center stage to the hop that is used, since any differences in the aromas and tastes of the beers has to be attributed to the different hops.
The first in the series was brewed with Mosaic hops, which I found gave strong citrus scents, with flavors more in the tropical fruit and floral categories. [Read what I wrote about that here.]
The second used Citra hops. I must admit I missed this one. It happens sometimes. However, other tasters reported powerful hop aromatics and flavors such as citrus fruits (grapefruit, orange and lime), tropical fruits and some spice and pine.
|Sabro hops: They may all look the same, |
but each hop variety has its own bittering,
aroma and/or flavor characteristics.
The latest in the series is VMASH with Sabro hops. Sabro is a pretty recent variety, born in New Mexico and grown in the U.S. It is an aromatic hop, known to impart fruity and citrus flavors, and aromas conjuring tangerine, coconut, tropical fruit and stone fruit.
I found the citrus aroma very strong, perhaps orangy, and some mint. The taste is also heavily weighted in favor of the hops: More citrus, with passion fruit and guava bringing in more fruitiness. There is also an herbal or spicy bite.
The body is medium, with a fizzy mouthfeel and a hint of astringency. The finish is fittingly dry and bitter.
For me, citrus-heavy IPAs are the most enjoyable, so this third VMASH was right up my alley. I hope HaDubim have not ended their controlled experiment, and we can expect Vienna malt IPAs with different hops in the future.