Hatred for the Sabro Hop

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by bret27, Jul 30, 2020.

  1. bret27

    bret27 Savant (990) Mar 10, 2009 California
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    I’ve been trying a lot of ipa’s lately, both west coast and New England. I’ve noticed whenever the sabro hop is involved I get tartar, wood, and peanut sauce. Mainly tartar sauce.
    Per the internet: http://www.washingtonbeerblog.com/introducing-sabro-a-new-highly-anticipated-hop-variety/
    “Reportedly, Sabro exhibits an intoxicating and complex blend of fruity and citrus flavors. It is described as an intensely unique hop, notable for its complexity of fruity and citrus flavors, including distinct tangerine, coconut, tropical fruit, and stone fruit flavors, with hints of cedar, mint, and cream.”
    Does anyone find this hop pleasant to drink? Or am I an outlier here and everyone else is experiencing some tropical fruit/coconut extravaganza?
     
  2. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan Initiate (160) Mar 15, 2014 California
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    I've never had an issue with Sabro but there may be a lot of factors that might mess up your hoppy experience, like what strains of yeast were used, when it was added to the boil, or was the beer dry hopped with it, etc. However it may simply be that you just don't mess with Sabro.
     
  3. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,609) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    I recently homebrewed an IPA where I solely used Sabro hops for flavor and aroma (including dry hopping) additions. I thought that beer was very good and my wife must have absolutely loved it because that batch was gone before I knew it. For my palate I mostly picked up a combination of coconut & tropical fruit/citrus flavors. For people who like to drink Pina Coladas this would be a perfect IPA for them.

    As regards "tartar, wood, and peanut sauce" I perceived zero of those flavors. Maybe a case of hop batch variation? Or perhaps more likely a case of differing palates?

    @bret27, have you tried a beer that featured Strata hops yet? If so, whatcha think?

    Cheers!
     
  4. bret27

    bret27 Savant (990) Mar 10, 2009 California
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    Definitely. I don’t deny it may just be a personal preference.
     
  5. bret27

    bret27 Savant (990) Mar 10, 2009 California
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    I had an all strata from cellarmaker. I got mostly grapefruit, a little tropical and dank. I’m happy your home brew turned out good.
    (I’m fully aware I might just be an anomaly here).
     
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  6. bret27

    bret27 Savant (990) Mar 10, 2009 California
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    I could even be confused, considering the descriptions of beer don’t always list the specific hops and/or yeasts involved.
     
  7. southdenverhoo

    southdenverhoo Devotee (410) Aug 13, 2004 Colorado

    curiously I happened to just look up the hop bill on the beer I'm drinking as I type, an Odell Mountain Standard IPA, and Odell lists them as Cashmere, Sabro, Strata, (in that order, which I presume matches the quantity in descending order of each) and references a "triple dry hop." I got nothing remotely like tartar, wood or peanut sauce, but I did get a couple things @JackHorzempa mentioned, specifically coconut and a sort of pina colada thing (ie coconut plus pineapple).
     
  8. IronLover

    IronLover Poo-Bah (1,971) Apr 17, 2009 Pennsylvania
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    Conshohocken Brewery has a Sabro IPA that has definitive coconut characters and I can see where you might say there are woody, fibrous characters as well. Tartar and peanut sauce? I don't get that, but everyone perceives things differently. The Sabro IPA was interesting, but fatigued my palate a bit which hurt the drinkability for me. Sly Fox Brewing recently brewed Zero Fox Given using Mosaic, El Dorado, Sabro, and Bru-1 hops that imo, were a better showcase of the coconut and woody characters of the Sabro hop. It is definitely a unique hop and not I'm surprised there are those that don't care for it.
     
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  9. tasterschoice62

    tasterschoice62 Poo-Bah (1,807) May 14, 2014 Rhode Island
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    I get no tartar, wood or peanut sauce...
    At all. But what I do get is lots and lots of coconut. And I just dont care for coconut in my IPAs. Ive tried a few and now I completely avoid it. Now I would be willing to give it a shot in a porter or stout or darker brews but anything else not my thing.
     
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  10. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi Poo-Bah (3,166) Dec 11, 2006 California
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    Sabro is the Justin Bieber of hops.
     
  11. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (2,155) Sep 15, 2014 New York
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    I love Sabro hops. The coconut note is huge; they're like the Pina Colada of hops. I get coconut and some pineapple.
     
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  12. eppCOS

    eppCOS Meyvn (1,436) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado
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    Sabro is OK for blending but if it's the first hop listed I usually pass. I can see it being used in a Stout however.
     
  13. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Meyvn (1,091) Apr 21, 2014 Canada
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    This thread brings a smile to my face. I’m glad I’m not the only one really dislikes Sabro. I don’t get the same flavours that you mention @bret27 , but I get a very strong artificial coconut flavour. The aroma is all cheap sunscreen. Combine the two and I’m in IPA hell. Very unpleasant.
     
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  14. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,424) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    Whoa, I like your thinking. I had a stout last year that had crazy coconut flavor with no coconuts involved, just action from the wood (it was aged with amburana chips and in an oak barrel). It was crazy to hear that there was zero coconut added. I'd imagine that the use of sabro could enhance this effect or perhaps avoid the need for the exotic wood in the first place
     
  15. MightyTrustKrusher

    MightyTrustKrusher Initiate (76) Nov 5, 2014 New Jersey

    I get pure coconut from it. I dig it, but I don't see it being the type of crowd pleaser that something like Citra is.
     
  16. CB_Michigan

    CB_Michigan Initiate (174) Sep 4, 2014 Illinois

    When it's done well, I totally get the Pina Colada notes. It's definitely coconut-forward, but I've also perceived some lime and guava. So smooth and easy to drink. Unfortunately, those beers have been few and far between. More often, it winds up being totally unbalanced and overpowering, taking on a cheap suntan lotion quality. I've reached a point where I will pass on any beer with Sabro except for the few I've had good experiences with. It's too much of a crapshoot on whether I'll enjoy it.
     
  17. mactrail

    mactrail Poo-Bah (9,924) Mar 24, 2009 Washington
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    I just had a new single-hop Sabro last night and really like the admittedly offbeat flavors. It's from a brewpub in southern Calif called GameCraft. Distinctly coconut, yes, but also peppery along with the fruit salad.
     
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  18. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Meyvn (1,384) Jul 2, 2014 New Jersey

    All Hops Matter.


    That’s not a stab at anything. It’s odd humor.

    anyways. There’s a time and place for anything and regardless of hop variety I’m grateful I get to drink beer at all.
     
  19. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (4,334) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota
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    Love this hop...as others say pina colada...coconut..one of my favorite newish hops
     
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  20. hbbeeremptor

    hbbeeremptor Aspirant (212) Aug 12, 2018 California
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    The mint really comes through for me; if I smell it in an IPA, kind of cues me into it having Sabro involved.

    Pretty much this. Seems to be similar to the issues people have with certain hop varieties, like Mosaic and Idaho 7. Some hops don't seem to agree with certain people, kinda like how certain strains of cannabis don't work the same way on every person. Guess it makes sense since those plants are related.
     
  21. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,424) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Like all of these boutique aroma hops sooooooo.much will come down to the cultural practices. I work with an annual relative of hops.that is also noted for its aromatic compounds and I can tell you that the practices.of the farmers are primary to the qualities of the harvested product. The particular variety clearly lends a strong hand to the final product but there is always going to be at least C+ on up to A+ grade product of any given strain.

    With perennials there is the added long term influence of geography/geology so the differences farm to farm are going to be even more pronounced

    Add to that that hops are not a consumer product but simply an ingredient in a consumer product and you're going to have a variety of results from the same crop based on the Brewer's talent working with the hop.

    I haven't had a memorable experience with sabro hops one way or the other but I always think of the arc of galaxy when these notions come up. A couple years ago, when galaxy was new, every beer I tried was a straight banger. Balanced tropical fruits and bitter rinds, really blew open the door of broader fruit hop flavors for me. Then, the acreage expanded, more growers, more brewers, and now its just another hop. Still some.shine, more often its pretty mundane, sometimes it tastes like rotting melon.
     
  22. Genuine

    Genuine Devotee (451) May 7, 2009 Connecticut

    I just brewed a SMaSH beer with CT's Thrall Family Pale malt and only Sabro hops and I'm excited to keg it this weekend. I don't know if I've had a beer with Sabro before however it seems like it'll be a great addition to my NEIPA's for sure.
     
  23. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,609) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Please report back on what you think of your beer.

    Cheers!
     
  24. JHDStein

    JHDStein Initiate (74) Aug 16, 2013 Germany

    I tasted a SMASH Imperial IPA last year with Marris Otter and Sabro hops, and it was interesting. I got a bit of coconut from it, but mainly it tasted like sticky cotton candy. The beer was fairly good in the beginning, but it was not a flavor that grew on me with time.
     
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  25. Bhubbard34

    Bhubbard34 Initiate (142) Mar 4, 2016 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    Recently had a dry hopped saison from tired hands that used Sabro and Mouteka. I was not a fan at all
     
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  26. Bruno74200

    Bruno74200 Poo-Bah (2,959) Aug 23, 2015 France
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    I love Sabro hop for its complexity. I often get more coconut, fruity notes and cedar character than creamy note.
    Also I love its story as its one of the few American hops which are really American and don't derive from an European variety.
    For more information on that matter :
    http://www.washingtonbeerblog.com/introducing-sabro-a-new-highly-anticipated-hop-variety/

     
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  27. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,609) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    I Motueka typically a hop that you like/prefer?

    Cheers!
     
  28. MrOH

    MrOH Meyvn (1,195) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    Maybe it's the new Sorachi Ace, in that it for many folks it only works in certain circumstances when used with a deft hand, and in others, not so much. I really like Brooklyn Brewery's Sorachi Ace saison, but most other beers I've had using it have had a dill and lemon Pledge flavor I couldn't get past.

    Not every hop needs to be a showcase hop. Some hops are best used in the background of otherwise malty or yeast-driven beers to add a distinctive note.
     
  29. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,609) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Yup, how a hop is used as part of the overall hopping schedule and the grain bill of the beer will have notable impacts.

    And yes there is variability of the hop crop itself (crop year, where specifically the hops were grown, when they were harvested, etc.).

    With so many variables as regards hop crop and brewing details it is not always appropriate to make 'blanket statements' concerning a specific hop variety. For example generally speaking I am not a fan of Nelson Sauvin hops since it typically has a weird flavor (gooseberry flavor?) for my palate. Having stated that I once had a beer from Anchor Brewing that featured Nelson Sauvin (Hummingbird Ale) and I enjoyed drinking that beer. I suspect they judiciously use the Nelson Sauvin hops in this beer plus it is complementary to the selected grain bill.

    Cheers!

    P.S. I have never purchased Nelson Sauvin hops for my homebrewing and I likely never will.
     
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  30. eppCOS

    eppCOS Meyvn (1,436) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado
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    Alright, maybe that's cool enough for me to enjoy it. I love New Mexico. So I guess I'll accept Sabro as my 2nd or 3rd hop in a blend. Neat back story - didn't realize "Sabro" was the Anglicized, watered down version of neomexicanus (should be called that!). Awesome!
     
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  31. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,916) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
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    I realize I am just piling on here, but I actually seek beers out with this hop in them. All that I have had up to now have been coconut/pineapple forward, intensity depending on what they were blended with. I would assume that you probably have issues with this hop like others do with hops that they perceive as cat piss, onion, garlic and dill that others don't get these descriptors from. So the nice thing is now most brewers are upfront about the hops used in their beers so you can simply avoid this one.
     
  32. UrbanBeerNerd

    UrbanBeerNerd Aspirant (217) Feb 13, 2015 Massachusetts
    Trader

    I'm definitely not a fan of Sabro, which tastes a lot like coconut to me. I also don't like coconut. I've actually started to avoid beers with Sabro in it. It's probably the only hop that I actively avoid. There are definitely other hops that I don't love, including El Dorado, but I don't avoid them like I do Sabro.
     
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  33. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,818) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan
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    Right know I've got a Sabro IPA on. I get coconut, cream, a little fruit. It was only dry hopped for 3 days, on the cool side. The dry hops that came out of the hop bags smelled dank.

    I brewed a similar beer way back when this was HBC438/Ron Mexico. That beer was hoppy and dank. It used more dry hops, longer contact time , and was dry hopped at room temp.

    Not the first time that amounts and technique impacted the outcome.

    Oh, for the record, I hate Nelson.
     
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  34. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,609) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Jeff, did you pick up any coconut in that homebrewed beer?

    I know that I got a bottle of Ron Mexico at an NHC (2015 I think) but I have zero recollection of picking up coconut in that beer. Did you?

    Cheers!
     
  35. MrOH

    MrOH Meyvn (1,195) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    A couple of years ago I had a conversation with a fellow chef (who was of SE Asian ancestry and does Burmese food) about why I didn't dig his stuff, even though I respected what he did. It boiled down to how I don't like coconut in savory applications, and he told me that he couldn't stand sweet things with coconut. Both of us admitted to the fact that it was because of what we were raised with. Cultural bias may be playing a bigger role here than we think.
     
  36. MrOH

    MrOH Meyvn (1,195) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    Nelson is ok when you use it lightly or in a blend. I once made a Koelsch with it using small amounts at 10 and FO and it turned out well, though decidedly not traditional.

    I agree though, too much is too much. There is a brewery nearby that mostly makes NEIPAs and one of the owners is a Kiwi, so everything has Citra, Mosaic, and/or Nelson in it. Don't purchase from them so much.
    What do you not like about El Dorado?
     
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  37. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,818) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan
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    The one I homebrewed was using Vinnie's homebrew recipe. No coconut, hoppy and dank. That had 2 dry hop additions and a week contact time.

    Different amounts and process, different beers.

    I don't know if the hop has drifted. Remember I mentioned the hop bags for the recent brew smelled dank when I emptied them longer would have gotten more of that I think.
     
  38. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,609) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    I have only homebrewed with Sabro once (a few months ago - April) but my 'working theory' is that this variety has drifted - much more coconut flavor now.

    Cheers!
     
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  39. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,818) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan
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    I would have to renew the Vinnie recipe to say yes or no.

    There is a new-ish hop that is Sabro's sister that is know for a woody character. One of the descriptions for Sabro includes cedar as a secondary flavor/aroma.
     
  40. UrbanBeerNerd

    UrbanBeerNerd Aspirant (217) Feb 13, 2015 Massachusetts
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    The taste.
     
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