Duvel series for #BeerSaturday, part 4: Duvel Triple Hop Cashmere
Duvel Triple Hop Cashmere
I didn’t foresee this, but I could make a fourth part in the Duvel-series for #BeerSaturday. During my short trip to Belgium my father told me about this relatively new variety in the Duvel range: Duvel Triple Hop Cashmere
Like the name already suggests the beer has a pronounced hop taste. This seems to be because to the Saaz-Saaz and Styrian Golding hop varieties, Duvel brewers have been adding a third variety, Citra. I researched and the choice for Citra was not just a guess. It has been the result of a vote by 5000 fans choosing between the 6 Triple Hops the Brand has launched during a testing process with third hop varieties which took 9 years (2007-2016).
On their website I’ve read the follwoing about the production process and adding of the hop cones:
Besides adding the usual hops during the cooking process, extra hop cones are added in the lagering stage of the brewery process ("dry hopping"). This intensifies and refines the hop aromas in the finished beer. The aromatic Citra hop is grown in the Yakima Valley in Washington and enriches the flavor palate with fresh hints of grapefruit and tropical fruit.
This is quite an interesting method, similar to what we see in certain wines, where oak is added during the maturation process to give the wine a more pronounced “barrel”-taste:
Even though the Duvel Triple Hop Citra is permanently available since 2017, the brewers didn’t sit still and developped another Triple Hop Duvel, which was meant to be a very limited edition in 2019 because the limited availability of the Cashmere hop variety. Putting “Limited Edition” is of course already a guarantee to succes and I missed this one obviously. Duvel decided to repeat the success story in 2020 and not being in Belgium during the Corona period I’ve missed it for a second time. Now Duvel decided to keep it (when available) in the Duvel range together with Triple Hop Citra. I doubt that this would be a good move marketing and sales wise, but we’ll see it in the next years. Knowing this, in one of my next travels to Belgium I might try to find de Citra variety and compare both beers. So be prepared, it’s posible that another "Devilish" episode is coming up.
Now back to the Duvel Triple Hop Cashmere… The name is not only a marketing name, like I thought, just to make people guess and make their own connotations with the tissue, but ‘Cashmere’ is the product of crossing a female ‘Cascade’ hop plant with a male ‘Northern Brewer’ hop plant.
Enough theory, let’s go tasting! The main goal of adding a third hop variety is getting the beer more bitterness. I’m more than satisfied with the bitterness of the classic Duvel so I was worried that this beer would be too bitter for me. It looks like the Duvel brewers have another kind of bitterness in mind than I do, because I didn’t find any more bitterness in Duvel Triple Hop Cashmere. Further on the brewers write that “the typical Duvel flavour palette is enhanced with notes of citrus, peach, melon and coconut”. I’ll have to taste again to find the Coconut taste, but indeed, the peach and melon notes are giving this beer an extra touch. DO NOT expect some kind of cider, when the citrus smell is blowing off your smell organs! The fruit notes in the taste are very soft and sofisticated.
The colour is pale gold like the original Duvel, but a little bit cloudy, which makes it easy to recognize next to a classic one. Do you like the special limited edition glass I've found on my father's shelf?
Together with the perfect carbonisation and the long lasting foam which is typical for any kind of Duvel, this beer is a beer which I’ll gladly drink again, and if I find the other Triple Hops I’ll make sure to make a comparing review!
Here are some links in case you would have missed the 3 other posts in my Duvel Series: