The Hopsky is an experimental spirit made by the Regensburger Whisky and Weinclub. It’s a mix of several great IPA and Pale Ale beers, slowly distilled to preserve maximum fruitiness. The spirit was then matured in five different types of casks: bourbon, sherry, beer and Islay whisky with a Grand Arôme rum finish. All refill casks by the way.
Before you’re off to start a similar project, keep in mind that you need 20 litres of craft beer to make 1 litre of spirit. That’s easily € 120 per litre without casks or anything.
I must add that this came to me in a small parcel of blind samples. That’s a good thing, I guess, because the recipe sounds a bit wacko.
The Hopsky – Post-factual IPA spirit
(47,4%, Regensburg Whisky- & Weinclub 2017, Private bottling #10)
Nose: elderflower, interesting. I don’t think I’ve picked it up before in whisky. Hints of Earl Grey tea. Then it becomes rather beer-like, with aromatic hops. After the beer, it moves into wine territory, with big notes of natural wines, including something know as ‘mouse’. What the…? A few more common notes, like apricot jam and honey. Hints of pepper and vanilla. Big mint and eucalyptus. Strange list, you say, but it kinda works.
Mouth: sweet apples and herbs at first. Same hoppy character. Then some sour oranges and bitter chocolate. Apricots again. Lychee. Popcorn. Constantly shifting between bitterness, sourness and sweetness. Again these hints of aromatic teas. Quite floral – also reminds me of Roomer (a Belgian elderflower aperitif).
Finish: medium long, on citrus, liquorice and warm oak.
It sounded crazy but it is actually quite successful. Aromatic, with echoes of beer (of course) as well as whisky and wines. Well done! It was a small-scale private project, bottles were only available to club members. Thank you, Torsten.