Grand Union One Hop: Simcoe

Formerly brewed at Grand Union
Style: Bitter
Hayes, England
Serve in English pint


on tap


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RATINGS: 11   MEAN: 4.05/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.58/5   EST. CALORIES: 135   ABV: 4.5%
Cask: Special (One Hop series) - May & June 2007.
Each beer features a single variety of hop from around the world. Every beer in the series undergoes five separate additions of the particular hop into the brew kettle. Whole hops are then added to the hopback, in which the hot brew passes on its way to the fermenter. All the beers will have the same degree of hoppy bitterness, and drinkers are able to compare the aroma, flavour, and pleasing aftertaste of each of the varieties. Instead of using specialty malts that might mask the flavour of the hop, only Maris Otter pale malt is used. Maris Otter is the finest strain of malt available. With only pale malt used, there is little to come between the hop lover and the hop.

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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Alengrin (5168) - BELGIUM - AUG 25, 2014
One of those didactic ales for hopheads featuring one single hop variety each time (Mikkeller, Alvinne and others have done the same thing before or after this American-style English brewery). Pretty orange blond beer with loose, off-white head and soft pale maltiness, but of course its the hops that stars, spicy, citrussy and herbal, ensuring a long, very agreeable finish. Great brew - and obviously a stimulus to try and find all versions.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ktownphil (12) - ENGLAND - JAN 8, 2008
I have to say this is probably the best beer I have had. I tried it several times at the Oxford, Kentish Town, as well as at a private party. It has an aroma that hits you long before the glass reaches your lips. The main characteristic I can give it is grapefruit, although I have had other beers with presumably this hop which were too much like grapefruit juice, not what I want in a beer! Couldnt get enough of this and downed many pints!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
chriso (7533) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - NOV 3, 2007
Cask (gravity dispense), St Albans Beer Festival, September 2007. Supposed to be the One Hop beer for May/June 2007 but here it is in September, and Grand Union hasnt published the running order since August so I dont really know what is going on with the One Hop series. Anyway, this is a mid gold beer with a loose white head. Lashings of leafy, spicy Simcoe on the nose. Lots of grapefruit and resinous notes in the flavour, although perhaps marginally more laid back than the aroma, with just a hint of biscuity malt. The mouthfeel is crisp, sharp and refreshing. Showcases the Simcoe hop brilliantly in a UK context. Not sure why they repeated this one but Im sure glad they did.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
HogTownHarry (6611) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - SEP 18, 2007
Cask. At The Wenlock Arms, London. Oh, my - after a week and a half of pretty much nothing but bitters and ESBs, this was quite a welcome change; Golden Ale? Not by half - try IPA, mate! Poured clear gold with an average creamy/frothy lasting white head. What an aroma - lush, acidic, full-on Simcoe resin/lemon funky bitter hoppiness, just enough mild grainy malt to remind you theres more than hops to it. Taste - well, the malt was more pronounced, definitely fresh cereal grain, strong hops but more evenly balanced than in the aroma. The body seemed light but had that wonderful cask chewiness to it, solidly astringent and high in alpha acidity, with a very long, tenacious hoppy finish and aftertaste - simply terrific, IMHO.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
kwoeltje (2233) - Manchester, Missouri, USA - JUL 15, 2007
(cask - Coastguard, St. Margarets Bay) pale gold with dense white head, some lace. Citrus hops aroma. Great Simcoe hops flavor. An awesome cask ale.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Doppelganger (1388) - Dry County, Arkansas, USA - JUL 9, 2007
Gravity, Merton Beer Festival. Bright gold, lots of dense white foam. A stunning clean and bright hop expression; piney, catty, grapefruit hop goodness, reaching out of the glass to slap your face and assert respect. Catty carries over to the flavor, adding cinnamon and mineral. Mouth filling, nose tingling--a really serious hop punch-up at 4.5%! Just enough light toast to counterpoint the hop expression. I suppose its odd that the most genius expression of all-American Simcoes Ive had is an English beer, but maybe not. At any rate, this is it.

Im pining for more...

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
imANDer (26) - USA - JUL 9, 2007
Cask at Merton. In excellent nick, congrats to Fin. A stunning single hop beer. Perfect for a day outside listening to bands, eatting dodgy burgers. The flavours just went on and on.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Fin (10382) - Merton, Oxfordshire, England, Oxfordshire, ENGLAND - JUL 9, 2007
Cask at Merton Summer Beer Festival 06-07-07. What a stunner. For me when I had a sneaky taste of this well before we opened this beer and the Bowman Quiver were always likely to be fighting it out to be my favourite, but what a contrast. In the Red corner was the Grand Union Simcoe a beer that was looking for the big knockout it was an out and out impact beer that was exciting, vibrant and a big hitter. In the blue corner was the Bowman Quiver equally exciting but more prepared to go the distance and seeking to come out on top on points, on this occasion the Grand Union Simcoe come out on top but for all its attributes it was taken quite a long way by the Quiver. This beer poured golden with a superb clarity, the hoppy nose hit you straight away stunning aroma of grapefruit. The taste just zapped you wow what a zapper the citrus just smacked home, and it didnt stop there that grapefruit and bitterness just kept on lingering, christ you get your moneys worth with this little beauty you can still taste it for ages afterwards. It reminded me of the old Youve been tangoed advert, with this beer you really had been Simcoed, it seemed like someone had came up with a half of hollowed out grapefruit and then proceed to rub it all over ones face and stuff it in the mouth before legging it. I warned people to be wary of what they drank after this as you really needed something that would counteract that bitterness afterwards, when I initially tried this on Thursday I had a couple of more standard gentler bitters after which were totally ruined by this as the bitterness from the Simcoe was still evident in everything I drank, you needed a porter or the Smokestack Lightning after I felt. A truly great bitter, its just a shame that it will only be around for this month. This was joint Beer of the Festival along with Bridge of Allan Red Mist

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
imdownthepub (14335) - Banbury, Oxfordshire, ENGLAND - JUL 8, 2007
Cask conditioned at Merton Beer Festival 07. Amber with white head. For me, the beer of this Festival, beautiful hop aroma, I think the first time I have given a 10 for aroma. I wrote hops **** at the time and why change it, I like what this brewery does in presenting the different ingredients like this. Lemony, grapefruit, dusty and magnificent.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MesandSim (7117) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - JUN 17, 2007
A Mes rate: Cask at the Wenlock. Cracker. Obviously it is all about the hops. Frankly I like the sharpness of the Simcoe. So crisp it almost stings. Lovely dust old character to it. Obviously all the citrus fruits you can think of are there in abundance. Loads of character and gloriously drinkable.

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