Next up in my single hop pale ale series is HBC 462. Got a hold of a few more experimental varieties and I’m trying to work my way through them. This batch was brewed in conjunction with Brooklyn Homebrew’s Hop Education Class which I recently taught. The class had to be rescheduled for a later date so the bright dry hop aromatics were a little lost after a few weeks in the keg, but I still got to taste is fresh and took some notes along the way. Recipe was once again Russian River’s Hop 2 It pale ale.
Appearance. Standard pale ale color, copper orange with a brilliant clarity. Very good head retention.
Aroma. Aroma never really jumped out of the glass like the previous iterations, but definitely unique. Smells sweet, some blueberry and grape, then herbal notes, green tea, and grass. Reminds me of noble hops a little.
Taste and Mouthfeel. The grassy notes greet you upon the initial sip and I get a bit of noble hops. Harsh, astringent bitterness which means I would relegate this hop to later kettle additions, rather than using it for bittering.
Overall Impressions. A very interesting hop, but doesn’t work well on it’s own, particularly in a pale ale. I could see this being a wonderful hop paired with a citrus powerhouse like centennial, cascade, or even Amarillo. This may even work well with another experimental variety, EXP 6300 in Belgian style ales. The harsh bitterness doesn’t dissuade me from making this my go to tap whenever I’m ready for a beer.