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Duvel Tripel Hop launched by Duvel Moortgat

Duvel Tripel Hop, the limited edition 9.5%abv sibling of Duvel, the Belgian beer, will be brewed with Equinox hops as its special ingredient for this year’s vintage.

Duvel Tripel Hop 2015, like Duvel itself, is live, unpasteurised and re-fermented in the bottle. It will be available in 33cl bottles in the on- and off-trade.

Duvel Tripel Hop was launched in 2007 as a limited edition beer. It was intended as a one-off; but the vintage sold out in just 3 days, by which time it was selling at US$75 on Ebay. Beer lovers challenged the brewery to re-brew Tripel Hop if they could amass 10,000 signatures, a figure they easily surpassed. So Duvel Tripel hop is here once more.

This year’s limited edition – like all the others – is based on a hop grist of Saaz (dry, spicy) and Styrian Goldings (waxy lime); but this year the third hop selected to ‘dry-hop’ the grist is Equinox from the US. Equinox is a high alpha acid aromatic hop with 14.4 - 15.6% alpha, 4.6 - 5.1% Beta Acids, and 31.7 - 38% Co-Humulone, with Total Oils of 2.9 mL / 100g. This high oil content and tight cone structure give 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 UK, Matt Willson, comments: “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, adds: “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.”

23 March 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor