Friday, January 15, 2010

Chatoe Rogue First Growth Wet Hop Ale


I flagged an NYT article about the rise of fresh/wet hop beers back in the Fall, but never saw one until this week, where Anna's eagle-eyes picked it out at Whole Foods. In January, we're well past the ideal drinking time of a fresh hop beer that was bottled in September, but I thought it was worth a shot since we won't be seeing these again until next year. I found it very drinkable and malty... with the expected lack of dried hop bitterness... and some floral notes in the finish that were new to me. Was that the fresh hops? Obviously I don't know, since I've never had a wet hopped beer, but I suspect so. It's fairly subtle and understated (at least 4 months after bottling), and reminded me somewhat of a wheat based beer, thanks to the freshness of the floral notes.

Probably not a beer that hopheads are going to enjoy... especially if they think "fresh hops" are just dried hops but "more awesome". I'd like to try it a little closer to the harvest to see what I think when it's truly fresh, but I thought the beer was pretty interesting in its character.