We’re a big fan of hops that have been branded with exciting names. This brew was made with Calypso hops so we imagined we’d be getting flavors and aromas straight from the Caribbean in this particular beer. Find out if that was the case by watching our Calypso hops SMasH beer tasting video.
The alpha acid percentage was labeled as 13.7% on the package so I took a hop schedule approach of adding the majority of my hops late in the boil. I did add a smidge at the beginning of the boil, which is was just a pinch of pellets between my two fingers out of the pouch. The rest was added at flame and I left .25 ounces of hops to be used for dry hopping.
I took a NEIPA style approach to dry hopping where I added the hop on day three of active fermentation. As Mike noted, it left the beer a little more hazy than other SMaSHs I have brewed. It also seemed to be less fragrant than other beers where I dry hopped later in the fermentation process, typically after a week of fermentation, but I don’t think I would use this beer as a data point for a dry hop experiment. There are too many factors at play here.
For the aroma, Mike got an under-ripe melon note like honeydew. I got pear instead. As for the flavor, there was more melon notes, with a white fleshy peach taste, followed by grassy, resiny bitterness.
We thought if you used this hop for bittering, you’d probably get lots of dank notes in your beer. Mike followed up that the beer had a raw hop pellet thing going on. I found that it had a pine sap like finish.
The package proclaimed the hops had smooth bittering, with notes of soft florals, lemon zest, dried apple, and pear. We disagreed with the lemon zest part. It was more resiny than pithy to us.
We think that Calypso hops are blendable – better to use with other varieties than to have them shine alone in your beer. The light fruit flavors will mesh well with other stronger citrus-focused hops.
I guess the big takeaway is that these hops are not tropical. Certainly other hops from NZ and AU fit that bill better, so maybe these hops can been rebranded…maybe.