This week another new hop has come to my attention, this time not from any of the traditional hop growing regions but from France, or to be more precise, from Alsace. Well, if the French can grow grapes, why not hops? It is called Aramis, and as yet I have only knowingly come across one beer with it in, and I believe that it was combined with others hops too, so it is difficult to give my own tasting notes. But a bit of research has provided other people's views.
Mallinsons have managed to get the first batch I have heard of in the UK and have used it to hop their recent beer 'Lance'. This must be something of a coup for the brewery because the first reference I have come across is it being used by Stone brewery of the USA, and that was from June last year when they believed they were the first Americans to take delivery. Apparently it is a variety bred from Strisselspalt and WGV, and is a medium alpha acid hop, with some fruity, herbal and grassy flavours coming through. It seems as though its use will be in lighter or blonde beers, may be towards the lager styles, rather than more aggressive hoppy beers. Mallinsons tasting notes suggest their beer has citrus and floral notes, and a bitter finish.
Not only have they used it in 'Lance', which is an excellent beer, but also in the upcoming 'Aramis Cascade' which is a dual hop beer where it has been used in conjunction with Cascade (obviously), but I have yet to come across this yet. No doubt, other brewers will be aware, or may have used the hop, so it should be interesting to see how it fares, and may be it will spark a glut of hops from France. Time will tell!