By request, we brewed this SMaSH beer to learn more about Rakau hops. Somebody somewhere asked for us to brew with this hop, so we did.

This variety is from New Zealand and it has a lot to provide to the palette. Check out our review of this Rakau hops SMaSH beer with these tasting notes.

I am sure I am mispronouncing the hop name in the video because that’s what I do. I wish I didn’t.

If you know how to pronounce the name of the hop, please add it in the comment below and enlighten everyone who reads this post.

Brewing Notes

With the flavorful hops, I tend to add the majority of my pellets at the end of the boil. If you add them at the beginning, different flavor notes come through. You get a better sense of the bittering properties of the hop but these new varieties, in my opinion, aren’t to be used early in the boil.

With the Rakau hops, they are listed as dual purpose, which means they could be used for bittering or for flavor, but my brewing method was to provide as much flavor in the final beer as possible.

Tasting Notes

I put Mike to the test and I thought he nailed it. He presented these notes for the hop flavor:

  • Raspberry flavor without the acid bite
  • Muted sweet cherry note
  • Blackberry
  • Soft, mixed berry thing – Red wine grape like character

The commercial descriptors were in line with what he said. I quoted something I read:
“Once described as the whole orchard”

It certainly reminded Mike of the mixed berry salad that his wife made last night.

The other items were stone fruit and a fig character.

Mike theorized that maybe the seedy berry taste he was getting could be in line with an earthy figgy flavor.

I though the beer has a strong strawberry note.

Final Thoughts

I think this hop could shine on its own in a hop forward beer. My thoughts were a pairing with Melba hops in an IPA.

My other thought was that this hop would work in a sour beer like a Berliner Weiss or a kettle soured beer.

Mike thought it would worked in a fruited wheat beer (50% wheat malt in the grain bill, America ale strain, some berry added during fermentation) because it would marry well with this hop’s flavor profile.

Thanks for reading – hope you give this hop a try.