Have you been wondering why the 2015 seasonal version of Southern Tier Brewing Company’s popular 2xOne tastes different than the 2014 version? The 2015 single varietal series is made the pairing of a different type of hop and malt. You might very well miss this distinction as the lettering on the label is fairly small and off to the top right of the front label.
2014 2xOne: Mosaic hops and special pale malt
2015 2xOne: Equinox hops and superior pale malt
Equinox hops are a very trending hops these days, and more breweries and starting to use this hops in their creations. So what’s the difference between Mosaic and Equinox hops? Here’s a quick comparison:
Alpha acids: 11.5-13.5%
Beta acids: 3.2-3.9%
Total oil: 1.0-1.5 mL / 100g
Alpha acids: 14.4-15.6%
Beta acids: 4.6-5.1%
Total oil: 2.5 – 4.5 mL / 100g
Interestingly, Mosaic, Equinox, and the very popular Citra hops all originate from Hop Breeding Company and Select Botanticals Group, with farms found within the Yakima Valley in Washington state. Both Mosaic and Equinox hops are fairly alpha acid forward, but the big difference with Equinox hops is the total oil content. This high total oil content will lead to a variety of complex flavors. And notice the tight cone structure of Equinox hops (“Do you even know how to cone, bro?”). Both Mosaic and Equinox hops can produce a very bitter IPA due to the high alpha acid content. However, differences in the total oils flavors is what distinguished these two hops.
According to the Hop Breeding Company website:
Mosaic hops impart a complex array of tropical fruit, citrus, berry, herbal, earthy and pine characteristics.
Equinox hops impart a pronounced aroma profile with citrus, tropical fruit, floral and herbal characteristics. Specific descriptors include lemon, lime, papaya, apple, and green pepper.
Here is a picture of my Southern Tier 2xOne (2015):
Southern Tier Brewing Company: 2xOne
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Rating: 88/100 with 20 ratings on Beeradvocate.com
2xOne poured a light gold with a spirited one-finger white head. The aroma includes honey, pine, bubblegum, and bread. The taste of 2xOne is floral, lemon, grapefruit, and green pepper. The flavors do give way to a slight alcohol feel at higher temperatures, but at lower temperatures the alcohol is masked extremely well. The mouthfeel of 2xOne is average and the carbonation is fine.
Overall, 2xOne is not as traditionally hoppy as one would expect. By that I mean that there is no overwhelming bitterness. Instead, 2xOne is flavorful in different ways. I’ve never used “green pepper” as a descriptor on a beer before, but there is definitely a fresh and crop-like spice to 2xOne. I’ve noticed a similar flavor with Mosaic but Equinox is definitely more “resiny”. At 8.1% you may only need 2 x 1 = 2 of these beers before you realize just how intoxicating yet smooth 2xOne really is. Therefore, 2xOne gets high marks for drinkability. But by no means is this single varietal lacking in flavors.
I’m hoping that this seasonal series by Southern Tier Brewing Company continues the trend of pairing a unique malt and hop in 2016. 2xOne is a very good beer produced with a popular trending hop.