Tasting: Solera Project Huell Melon & Amarillo Dry Hop (2015)

Solera Project: Huell Melon & Amarillo Dry Hop (2015)

Solera Project: Huell Melon & Amarillo Dry Hop (2015)

In my last post I talked about dry hopping sour and wild beer.  The inspiration for that post came from creating the beer I’m tasting today.  This beer was aged in a 65 gallon Chardonnay barrel for 2 years.  We pulled off 5 gallons into a carboy filled with 3 ounces of Huell Melon pellet hops and 1 ounce of Amarillo pellet hops.  The beer was dry hopped for 10 days before being bottled.

Appearance – Pours a clear golden straw color with a fizzy white head that dissipates pretty quickly.  Carbonation bubbles are visible.

Aroma – The aroma is notably different than the base beer.  There is still a strong Chardonnay presence, but the vanilla is much more muted.  In it’s place are citrus and peach aromatics.

Mouthfeel – The carbonation is spot on with this batch.  It’s about medium – high in carbonation.  The bubbles seem to accentuate the perceived sourness.  It’s light in body but still has a softness that the carbonation can’t scrub away.  In terms of mouthfeel and carbonation, this is exactly where I wanted it.

Taste – This version of the beer is actually more drinkable than the base beer with the help of the hops.  Despite it having more perceived sourness the hops flavors seem to tame the sourness in the finish making it even more drinkable.  There are several waves of hops.  It begins with some citrus that bleeds into the Chardonnay and oak character from the barrel.  There is sourness throughout but it’s blow is softened by some peachiness (presumably from the Amarillo hops) in the finish.

This was my first time experimenting with using dry hops in a sour beer and I think it turned out extremely well.  I would definitely be interested in trying out some other hop varieties in the future with this base beer.

You can read what others have thought of this beer on Untappd.