Saturday, March 14, 2015

Experimental J-Lime Hops - Tasting Notes

I'll lead off with the Experimental J-Lime batch. These were whole cone hops I got from Yakima Valley Hops, weighing in at 6.9% AA. The aroma coming off the raw hops was quite mild. I was struggling to pick up much beyond the typical grassy/herbal aroma typical of raw hops. I will say that this is pretty common in whole cone hops (at least for me), and that doesn't always translate to a mild hop once brewed. This also seemed like it came from the bottom of the bag (lots of loose bracts, not a lot of whole cones), so that may factor into my results as well.

The aroma of the beer didn't have a lot of hop punch. I picked up some citrus and berry notes, along with some stonefruit (which really reminded me more of a yeast ester than hop oil). I also noted faint vanilla and earth. I really had to fight to pick out a lot of these aromas and outside of the citrus and berry, I'm not 100% sold that these are coming from the hops rather than yeast or malt.

On the palate I got a mild, herbal hop note with a bit of tangy citrus. The finish has some lingering bitterness along with some earth/dirt/mushroom notes. Bittering seemed moderate and did linger faintly on the finish.

As I mentioned in my lead-in, I fermented this one in a HDPE water jug and I fear that may have stripped a lot of the hop character. My initial impressions really made me think of some UK hops like Fuggle and Challenger. If my flavor assessment is accurate, then this may be interesting in UK-style pale ales. I do have this hop earmarked for a rebrew some time.

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