Rakau hops are versatile and can be used in a variety of beer styles, but they are particularly popular in New Zealand and American-style IPAs, Pale Ales, and hop-forward beers where their fruity characteristics can really shine. The intensity of these flavors can vary based on how the hops are used in the brewing process (e.g., boiling, dry hopping, etc.).
New Zealand Rakau hops are known for their unique and distinct flavor profile, which is often described as:
- Stone Fruit Dominance: Rakau hops are renowned for their strong stone fruit characteristics, especially apricot. They can also exhibit notes of other fruits like peaches and plums.
- Tropical Fruit Notes: Alongside the stone fruit, there’s often a tropical fruit dimension, with hints of mango and passionfruit being commonly reported.
- Subtle Citrus and Pine: Some subtle undertones of citrus (think more along the lines of orange or grapefruit) and pine can also be present, adding complexity to the hop profile.
- Resinous Quality: Rakau can have a slightly resinous, oily quality that contributes to a fuller mouthfeel in the beers it’s used in.
- Sweetness: These hops can impart a perceived sweetness to the beer, enhancing its malt character.