Mallinsons Columbus 3.9%
Columbus hops are a variety of US bittering hops which came out around the early 1990s. They are also known by the trade name Tomahawk and are part of the hop group called the ‘Three Cs’ – Cascade, Centennial, Columbus. The hops have a moderate to high total oil content and are known for their earthy, spicy, pungent, herbal and fairly citrus aroma. They can impart a resin quality to a beer.
I’m not overly keen on ‘pungent, herbal’ hop aromas and flavours, which the awful BrewDog Dana certainly had in abundance, so I wasn’t sure how this beer would turn out. In the glass it poured with a big frothy white head, with a clear light blonde colour and some lacing – a standard golden ale appearance.
The aroma was not as herbal and spicy as expected from reading about the hop – there was citrus zest, some lemony hops, a touch of soft sweet spicy hops, with a background of light fruity sweet pale malts to allow the hops to shine through.
The taste was impressive for the 3.9% abv and the Columbus hop came across as quite complex – there was some bitter citrus zest, lemon as expected from the aroma but some floral notes were coming through now, some soft bit aromatic floral woody notes on top of the light sweet pale malt base, which was ideal for this beer. It was quite hoppy for the abv and had a really decent flavour.
The beer was softly carbonated with a light oily texture which gave it a good mouthfeel. Bitter citrus zesty hops were complemented by the pale light sweet malt. The finish was fairly bitter with some dryness, with some spicy herbal notes coming through with a touch of grass and peppery light wood.
I expected it, as a golden ale at 3.9%, to be fairly pedestrian, but it was a very well made beer which highlighted the best flavours and aromas of the Columbus hop. I’ve had some good beers from Mallinsons and this one is certainly worth getting if you see it about.