In one of the comments left on our YouTube channel, a viewer asked us to brew a SMaSH beer with Denali hops. I had seen this hop available online so I bought a one ounce packet to try it out.
We have been brewing these one gallon batches for years now, attempting to get to the essence of certain hop varieties. Watch this video as we taste and analyze the flavor and aroma properties of this formerly experimental American hop:
Denali Hops Origin
So, from the Hopsteiner site, this variety is formerly known as Hopsteiner 06277. As I mention in the video, its earlier moniker rolls right off the tongue.
Denali hops were bred from the established varieties of Nugget, Zeus and the unbranded hop – USDA 19058 male.
It is interesting that they note Zeus specifically as this variety has been intertwined with Columbus and Tomahawk, but looking into it – it appears that it is genetically different from those other two, but very similar in aroma and flavor.
Our Tasting Notes
With this SMaSH beer (the malt being American 2-row), I only bittered with a pinch from the Denali hop packet and dry hopped with a quarter of an ounce. The rest of the pellets were added right around flame-out.
With the majority of the hops being added at the end the boil, I was trying to get as much of the less bitter flavors to come through in the finished beer.
Mike picked up a candied pineapple aroma, some apricot and/or under-ripe peach. Those aromas carried through into the flavor. He described candied pineapple again, with some juicy tangerine, and it finished with some grapefruit pith.
I didn’t get as much of the pineapple, candied or otherwise. I found the flavor to be more citrsy with some tropical notes, probably more towards the mango side of things.
When To Use Denail Hops
Of course, you should add this variety to your list of IPA brewing choices. If you can grab a bunch of packets and throw them in at the end of your boil, you’re going to be pleased with the results.