For Christmas I bought two of the four single hops oils from Bert’s Beer Basters. Here is test # 2 with 805 from Firestone Walker (plus a blend of the two)
I thought that 805 with a low 4.7% and because it is a blonde ale would allow for more hops to shine through and, indeed, when I dropped the Chinook hop oil into the foam, it sizzled. But with both hops, I got the same candy aroma and taste. I keep coming back to the phrase faux hoppy.
I tried a blended version of the two hops and that came closer to getting out of the “uncanny valley” but nothing beats adding the hops at the right time.
I feel like the oil needs to soak (may be the next test), maybe if the oil penetrated maybe more distinct notes would pop.
Part of my Christmas gift was a gift card and a gift carding, I went and found two of the four single hops oils from Bert’s Beer Basters.
For the first test, I used MacLeod Ale Brewing Van Ice light Lager. No dry hopped Lager, no industrial corn pop beer.
Here are my notes:
Unspiked notes – crisp, pear notes, grain, wheat taste dominant, carbonated, light
Chinook – weird hard candy smell, a bit more bitter with three drops. Not very three dimensional.
Azacca – little over three drops. Still candy aroma but closer to real to me. Hits the back of the palate. Not as bitter as Chinook.
As I was doing my “science”, my wife chuckled at me trying yet another drop based beer addition. My explanation that this was a higher end, non party product did not halt the head shaking. It does reaffirm my thought that hops are shifty and their flavors can be difficult to pin down into an essential oil.
Next up, another beer and a test of blending the two.
I am so glad that King Harbor is bottling. And also glad the bottle design is cool, compared to Beach City and Bell’s which are also in fiber beer shoppes.
Enough art talk though. What about the IPA?
It pours a dark yellow and the aroma toggles between pineapple, grape and cat pee in equal measure. The taste is solid to above average. I am a big fan of their Swirly beer, so I think they target my darker malt palate but I do enjoy this IPA. It has a nice mixture of flavors without being beat upon the head with hops. I much prefer this method so den though the finish is a little alcohol burn heavy for me, I still like this offering. And I hope for more bottles in the future.