Dogfish Head doesn’t specify which hop oils were add to the box of their latest variety pack but each one has a hop cone to smell. I think it would be even cooler to have people guess the hop as well to see who has the hop expertise.
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.