We got our hands on some hops from our friends at Yakima Valley Hops with the name of McKenzie hops. This variety is one that caught our eye mainly because we had never heard of them before. Maybe you are in the same boat as us. If that’s the case, learn along with us as we taste a SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) beer and talk about the aromas and flavors this hop brings to the beer.
Details of This Hop Variety
McKenzie hops are a new variety of hops bred by the West Coast Hop Breeding Company in Oregon. It’s formally known by its not ready for prime time name C-148 and it is the first experimental variety this breeding company has brought to market.
The hops have an alpha acid range of 9-11% although my pouch listed the AA as 11.7%. I’m special.
From the YVH site, this hop was first made available in 2021. Looking at the product page, you can also purchase products from the 2022 harvest. I bought a 2 ounce pouch and use half of it to brew this beer.
I produce my SMaSH beers following a 1 gallon batch format. The ingredients include 2 pounds of 2-row malt, 2 gallons of water, and 1 ounce of hops. Finally, the yeast is always SafAle US-05.
McKenzie Hops SMaSH Beer Tasting Notes
From the nose, there is a sense of something different. With each whiff, the picture becomes clearer. There is a hint of vanilla in the aroma. Along with the vanilla, there is a strong melon aroma.
In the taste, the Yakima Valley site nails the description for me – bright and fruity. Mike interprets the bright part as lime or lime-like. I taste more lemon in this hop.
We both really like this one and we hope you try it out. If you are feeling adventurous, you could brew a batch with this hop and Sabro!
Can’t wait to see the other varieties that the WCHB produces.