For the sixth year Duvel Moortgat have released a special limited edition version of their world famous Duvel beer. For each new edition the usual Duvel recipe is tweaked and is brewed with an additional third hop, alongside their usual Saaz and Styrian Golding hop combo. For 2016 the hop is used in the brewing process and in the dry hopping process. This year the hop picked to brew with is so new that it doesn’t even have a name yet and at the moment is going by the name “Experimental Hop 291”.
The beer pours a clear pale golden colour and has a really lively head which takes a while to disappear. On the nose you get that slightly acidic Belgian yeast smell and pepper. Like normal bottles of Duvel the carbonation is quite high and stays till the end. The beer has some really interesting flavours, the Belgian yeast is really present, more so than usual, there are hints of rose water and honeydew melon. There is a real spiciness and a long lovely lingering bitterness, I really like it but I feel it might not be as balanced as some previous years Tripel Hop beers. The alcohol is more noticeable then some of the previous Triple Hop beers also, which they had really hid well in the last couple of years, thus making the ABV feel more like a normal bottle of Duvel. The use of the Experimental Hop 291 was a brave move and has resulted in a really interesting beer, and it will be intriguing to see how the hop is used in other beers.
I am a big fan of the Tripel Hop series, its a tasty exploration into different hops and the effects they have on a beer we all know and love so well. Some of the previous years have been exceptional. For those who haven’t tried the releases from 2010-2016 then there will be a limited amount of special six packs to buy featuring all six of the different Triple Hop beers, then Duvel Moortgat will be putting it to the public vote for their favourite and the winner will become a permanent range. I think this is a great idea, especially as I missed out on 2013 and 2010 (although I 100% made up for that with drinking a tonne of 2014 and 2015!). I do hope they continue to brew a different one each year after they vote for the favourite, as it is a beer I always look forward to. You can find bottles of 2016 Tripel Hop in Selfridges at £2.79 a bottle.
I was sent this bottle of Duvel Tripel Hop for free but I don’t think this changed my opinion of the beer