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Review of 30 dry hops

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ianmatth

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I finally decided to rate all the hops I have experimented with for dry hopping as well as give a description of their flavor and aroma. I originally got the idea to compare dry hops from scottland who bought a 12 pack, popped the tops, added hops, and recapped. I tried that a couple of times, but the carbonation got in the way. There was also a lot of hop dust. What I ultimately ended up doing was to save the beer from my starters and add the hops for a secondary fermentation so to speak. Then I would strain out the hop dust and bottle them. I tried many dry hops head to head in my quest to find the best hops for my IPAs. For the most part I will rate hops on a scale from fruity to dank with the following terminology: fruit, citrus, pine, spice, dank. A lot of people try to describe hops with other fruits or food items, but those 5 terms sum up most of it. There are a few hops that do have a unique flavor, and I will mention that. The hops are listed in order of my favorite.


Centennial - Fruit, citrus, and a little pine with a clean great taste. Smell is similar, but I feel it tastes better than it smells.

Citra - Fruit and citrus, they don't call it Citra for nothing. It also has a very strong citrus aroma.

El Dorado - Very close to Citra with fruit, citrus, and a little pine. Doesn't have the smell of Citra though

Simcoe - Pine and citrus with a little fruit. Some people say this hop is dank, but I would say it is the epitome of pine. Has a pine marijuana smell.

Galaxy - Citrus and fruit. Great smell. Very close to Citra, but has a slight bit of sour that all Southern Hemisphere hops seem to have.

Falconers Flight - Citrus, fruit, and pine, with a little spice. This is a blend of different hops, and it certainly has Simcoe, CTZ and other NW hops in there.

CTZ - Pine, citrus, dank. This is a dank hop, but it has an incredible amount of pine and citrus taste. The smell is similar, but not as strong as Simcoe.

Stella - Pine, citrus, fruit, and a little spice with the slight sourness that I find in Southern Hemisphere hops.

Bravo - Light fruit, pine, a little spice, but very smooth and clean. Surprisingly good for a bittering hop. The light fruit taste is very similar to Amarillo, but IMO there is more going on with this hop.

Mosaic - Fruit and pine. Nice, but overrated, not that strong. This was bred from Simcoe. I would advise saving your money and mixing Simcoe with another hop because I don't think Mosaic has a particularly definitive taste to justify it's price.

Amarillo - Light Fruit. Good aroma. Taste does not match aroma. Another overrated hop IMO. While Amarillo is stronger than Cascade, every top beer that uses this seems to mix it with Simcoe (Vinny from RR says it isn't good by itself). I just think all these great beers started doing that and since Amarillo smells great and is expensive people think it must be worth the price, but it really isn't definitive by itself and I'm not sure I could identify it over Cascade in a mix.

Calypso - Light fruit and pine. Nice, but not that strong.

Green Bullet - Fruit and spice, a little sour.

Cascade - Light fruit and citrus. Nice smell. Not that strong compared to other hops that are commonly used in IPAs, but pretty decent for the price.

Zythos - Citrus, fruit, pine, spice, and dank. A blend of hops, strong smell, but I'm not a big fan of the spice which most likely is coming from Chinook.

Kohatu - Citrus and fruit, with a fair amount of that Southern Hemisphere sour taste.

Warrior - Dank, citrus. Not much smell, but a clean light taste. Warrior is known as a clean bittering hop, so it doesn't have a heavy taste as a dry hop. I'd personally just use less CTZ if I was going for this taste.

Nugget - Dank, spice, and fruit. Nice aroma for a bittering hop.

Galena - Light citrus, spice, not strong. This is also known as a clean bittering hop so it doesn't really provide much as a dry hop.

Nelson Sauvin - The BEST smelling hop. Stronger aroma than Citra. It has a very funky taste that is extremely definitive, some weird aspect of that sour Southern Hemisphere taste. It is probably the most unique and definitive hop I have used, but I don't like that funky taste. Stone Enjoy By apparently mixes this with Galaxy for a double dry hop. I can totally smell and taste the Nelson Sauvin as I rated Enjoy By a 5.0 for aroma and a 4.5 for taste.

Sorachi Ace - Citrus and spice. Not that strong and the spice is a little weird. A little bitter and grassy as well.

Kent Goldings - Light spice and pine, not very strong, English hops aren't really known for being great dry hops.

Magnum - Light spice and fruit. Not much taste. Another clean bittering hop, doesn't contribute anything particular as a dry hop.

Millenium - Light spice and fruit. Not much taste. Very similar to Magnum, but possibly lighter.

Williamette - Light spice and a little fruit, not strong, more spice than Kent Goldings, not worthwhile for an IPA but could contribute something interesting in a different style of beer.

Polaris - Dank, spice, citrus, fruit. This is a strong taste but the dank and spice overpower and don't mix well with the citrus and fruit. A bit sour as well.

HBC 342 - Fruit, citrus, and spice. A very weird spice taste similar to Sorachi Ace. A little sour as well, although it really isn't that strong as a dry hop.

Apollo - DANK. This hop is as dank as it gets and has a sour taste by itself. When I tried mixing it with other dry hopped beers at the time, it overpowered them. My friend and I did not like this at all, it was so bad we had to dump it, but it might have been good if mixed at 10% as the Heady Topper clone uses ~10% Apollo in their dry hop mix and the taste is not so definitive there. If I hadn't used it successfully in my Heady Topper clone, I would probably rate it worse than Chinook.

Chinook - Spice. This is a definitive spice taste that can mix well with other hops, but by itself it's just a bitter spice taste. Probably the least liked of the C hops, and the most likely hop to give the dreaded cat piss taste.

EDIT: All these reviews are based on dry hopping a beer that had no hops in the boil. While many hops have a similar taste in the boil, even for bittering, some hops that are great as dry hops aren't so great for bittering and vice versa. For instance I can totally taste CTZ if used as a bittering hop, even behind a bunch of strong late addition and dry hops, as in head to head batches other bittering hops gave a much different flavor even though I used the same late addition and dry hop schedule. On the other hand Apollo is a great bittering hop and doesn't give a sour taste at all as a bittering hop, while Polaris does. I also did a SMASH that was FWH with Citra once, and while it wasn't bad, I imagine I would have liked it better if I used CTZ or Apollo for a bittering hop and kept the same Citra late additions.
 

MikeInMKE

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Cool write-up! Sticky-worthy, I'd say.
Agreed.

Also, has anyone else noticed that while there is a forum dedicated to yeast, there is no forum dedicated to hops (other than growing them)?
 
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ianmatth

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All these reviews are based on dry hopping a beer that had no hops in the boil. If you brewed a single-hop beer with Chinook, it's possible the pine was from the boil, however from my experience many hops have a similar taste in the boil, even bittering hops. I've done experiments with bittering hops and I can totally taste the CTZ pine, even behind a bunch of strong late addition and dry hops, as other bittering hops gave a much different flavor even though I used the same late addition and dry hop schedule - including Simcoe. On the other hand Apollo is a great bittering hop and doesn't give a sour taste at all as a bittering hop. I also did a SMASH that was FWH with Citra once, and while it wasn't bad, I imagine I would have liked it better if I used CTZ or Apollo for a bittering hop and kept the same Citra late additions. I've heard cat pee from Simcoe almost as much as I've heard it from Chinook, but maybe it is from using it as a bittering hop. I've never used Simcoe as a bittering hop, but it is easily my favorite non-fruity hop for dry hopping. And these days it's probably more popular in IPAs than any of the C hops. Double Simcoe from Weyerbacher is a great beer for those who want to try a Simcoe only beer.
 

kanzimonson

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Just trying to be constructive here, but this needs more detailed descriptions to be sticky-worthy. As a general descriptor, we all know what someone means when they say "this is a citrusy IPA," but if we're really trying to define the essence of these hops then you need to clarify if you're talking about tangerines, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, etc. They're all citrus but quite distinct. Same goes for "fruity" and "tropical."

I realize that a lot of these flavors blend together and it's hard to describe which is dominant, if any, but then in that case the more you can say the better. For example, Amarillo to me has big sweet tangerine leaning towards light orange pith, and a little pink grapefruit spice. It also has some stone fruit in the background like a subtle but very ripe peach. Blah blah etc.

Great start though - I'd love to do an experiment like this at some point but I know I'll never take the time.
 
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ianmatth

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Agreed.

Also, has anyone else noticed that while there is a forum dedicated to yeast, there is no forum dedicated to hops (other than growing them)?
I tried: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f22/hbt-really-needs-hops-section-home-brewing-beer-area-forum-428064/

...if we're really trying to define the essence of these hops then you need to clarify if you're talking about tangerines, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, etc...stone fruit...Blah blah etc.
I may have butchered your quote a little, but now it expresses why I didn't get into these type of break-downs. I can barely tell the difference between oranges and tangerines as it is, much less tell the difference in a hop. And while a lot of hops claim to taste like a grapefruit, I've never tasted grapefruit in a hop, I think it's just a way to say the hop is fruit, citrus, and a little sour, and I would say your listing of fruits breaks down to a fruit to citrus to sour scale. I also have no idea what a stone fruit even is. I've heard hops compared to lychee, Jolly Ranchers, white wine, and all kinds of other things, but I honestly think it is just a marketing ploy by the hop breeders, distributors, re-sellers, and all the people like us who get excited about a new hop that claims to be Citra or Simcoe on steroids, until we realize it isn't even as good as Citra or Simcoe...HBC 342 anyone. My friend makes fun of me because I can tell what hops many commercials IPAs use. He says I just need to start eating hops. Home brewers and IPA loving hop heads are the only people who get into these differentiations. Most people who drink my IPAs say they have an orange taste whether I use Centennial, Citra, CTZ, Simcoe, Amarillo, or some combination.
 
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I may have butchered your quote a little, but now it expresses why I didn't get into these type of break-downs. I can barely tell the difference between oranges and tangerines as it is, much less tell the difference in a hop. And while a lot of hops claim to taste like a grapefruit, I've never tasted grapefruit in a hop, I think it's just a way to say the hop is fruit, citrus, and a little sour, and I would say your listing of fruits breaks down to a fruit to citrus to sour scale. I also have no idea what a stone fruit even is. I've heard hops compared to lychee, Jolly Ranchers, white wine, and all kinds of other things, but I honestly think it is just a marketing ploy by the hop breeders, distributors, re-sellers, and all the people like us who get excited about a new hop that claims to be Citra or Simcoe on steroids, until we realize it isn't even as good as Citra or Simcoe...HBC 342 anyone. My friend makes fun of me because I can tell what hops many commercials IPAs use. He says I just need to start eating hops. Home brewers and IPA loving hop heads are the only people who get into these differentiations. Most people who drink my IPAs say they have an orange taste whether I use Centennial, Citra, CTZ, Simcoe, Amarillo, or some combination.
Yea, hops are a little odd. I've made an all-amarillo IPA and it was SOLID grapefruit. I could hardly drink it for that reason. I am not talking about a subtle citrus note... I am talking about full-blown grapefruit juice. It did change over some time.

I was told El Dorado was Jolly Ranchers. Not when I used them. But the guy I got the hops from made an IPA with them and sure enough it was very fruity.

So, I think the flavor from the hops has a lot to do with the process (where in the boil) and the other ingredients the hops are paired wth. This is a very inexact science.
 

GibbyGibson

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Thank you so much for the input. I'm not even finished with my first batch and I'm very interested in modifying the hop character. Very helpful to see the breakdown.
 
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ianmatth

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FYI, stone fruit refers to any of the various fruits with stones, or pits in the middle, i.e., peaches, plums, cherries, etc.
Thanks, but I will still have no idea what anyone is talking about if they compare a hop to stone fruit because peaches, plums, and cherries taste vastly different. I'd actually say a peach tastes much closer to an apricot than a plum or a cherry.
 

lasultana

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Great Thread. Did anybody by chance do something similar recently?
 
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ianmatth

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UPDATE

Since I can't edit my original post I am updating the entire list and adding some new entries. This update is based on using the hop as a single dry hop with Conan yeast.

Belma - Fruit and citrus, and I hate to say it because I said I wouldn't compare hops to specific fruits, but passion fruit and mango come to mind.

El Dorado - Fruit, citrus, and a little pine. Similar to Citra, but doesn't have as strong of a smell, and has no sour flavors in Conan yeast.

Centennial - Fruit, citrus, and a little pine with a clean great taste. Smell is similar, but I feel it tastes better than it smells.

Citra - Fruit and citrus, they don't call it Citra for nothing. It also has a very strong citrus aroma. Would be higher, but has a slight sour taste when used with Conan yeast.

Simcoe - Pine and citrus with a little fruit. Some people say this hop is dank, but I would say it is the epitome of pine. Has a pine marijuana smell.

Galaxy - Citrus and fruit. Great smell. Very close to Citra, but has a slight bit of sour that all Southern Hemisphere hops seem to have.

Falconers Flight - Citrus, fruit, and pine, with a little spice. This is a blend of different hops, and it certainly has Simcoe, CTZ and other NW hops in there.

Summit - Fruit and dank. This hop is mainly a cross between CTZ and Nugget, but as a dry hop it is better than either. A great balance between fruit and dank. It is also close to 18% AA so I imagine it works well for bittering.

CTZ - Pine, citrus, dank. This is a dank hop, but it has an incredible amount of pine and citrus taste. The smell is similar, but not as strong as Simcoe.

Lemon Drop - Fruit, citrus, pine, and sour. Similar to Citra and Galaxy but with less fruit and more sour.

Huell Melon - Fruit, and while I hate to compare hops to specific fruits I do have to say this has a melon taste, maybe cantaloupe or even watermelon.

Stella - Pine, citrus, fruit, and a little spice with the slight sourness that I find in Southern Hemisphere hops.

Bravo - Light fruit, pine, a little spice, but very smooth and clean. Surprisingly good for a bittering hop. The light fruit taste is very similar to Amarillo, but IMO there is more going on with this hop.

Mosaic - Fruit and pine. Nice, but overrated, not that strong. This was bred from Simcoe. I would advise saving your money and mixing Simcoe with another hop because I don't think Mosaic has a particularly definitive taste to justify it's price.

Amarillo - Light Fruit. Good aroma. Taste does not match aroma. Another overrated hop IMO. While Amarillo is stronger than Cascade, every top beer that uses this seems to mix it with Simcoe (Vinny from RR says it isn't good by itself). I just think all these great beers started doing that and since Amarillo smells great and is expensive people think it must be worth the price, but it really isn't definitive by itself and I'm not sure I could identify it over Cascade in a mix.

Calypso - Light fruit and pine. Nice, but not that strong.

Green Bullet - Fruit and spice, a little sour.

Cascade - Light fruit and citrus. Nice smell. Not that strong compared to other hops that are commonly used in IPAs, but pretty decent for the price.

Zythos - Citrus, fruit, pine, spice, and dank. A blend of hops, strong smell, but I'm not a big fan of the spice which most likely is coming from Chinook.

Kohatu - Citrus and fruit, with a fair amount of that Southern Hemisphere sour taste.

Warrior - Dank, citrus. Not much smell, but a clean light taste. Warrior is known as a clean bittering hop, so it doesn't have a heavy taste as a dry hop. I'd personally just use less CTZ if I was going for this taste.

Triskel - Fruit, citrus, and sour. Not that strong, but a definitive odd taste.

Nugget - Dank, spice, and fruit. Nice aroma for a bittering hop.

Jarrylo - Light fruit and spice. Clean taste, but nothing special.

Galena - Light citrus, spice, not strong. This is also known as a clean bittering hop so it doesn't really provide much as a dry hop.

Nelson Sauvin - The BEST smelling hop. Stronger aroma than Citra. It has a very funky taste that is extremely definitive, some weird aspect of that sour Southern Hemisphere taste. It is probably the most unique and definitive hop I have used, but I don't like that funky taste. Stone Enjoy By apparently mixes this with Galaxy for a double dry hop. I can totally smell and taste the Nelson Sauvin as I rated Enjoy By a 5.0 for aroma and a 4.5 for taste.

Fuggles - Light spice and citrus. Wouldn't use for IPAs, but great for Stouts.

Sorachi Ace - Citrus and spice. Not that strong and the spice is a little weird. A little bitter and grassy as well.

Kent Goldings - Light spice and pine, not very strong, English hops aren't really known for being great dry hops.

Magnum - Light spice and fruit. Not much taste. Another clean bittering hop, doesn't contribute anything particular as a dry hop.

ADHA 484 - Light fruit and spice. Not much taste. Not Simcoe like. Don't waste your time.

Millenium - Light spice and fruit. Not much taste. Very similar to Magnum, but possibly lighter.

Williamette - Light spice and a little fruit, not strong, more spice than Kent Goldings, not worthwhile for an IPA but could contribute something interesting in a different style of beer.

Polaris - Dank, spice, citrus, fruit. This is a strong taste but the dank and spice overpower and don't mix well with the citrus and fruit. A bit sour as well.

HBC 342 - Fruit, citrus, and spice. A very weird spice taste similar to Sorachi Ace. A little sour as well, although it really isn't that strong as a dry hop.

Apollo - DANK. This hop is as dank as it gets and has a sour taste by itself. When I tried mixing it with other dry hopped beers at the time, it overpowered them. My friend and I did not like this at all, it was so bad we had to dump it, but it might have been good if mixed at 10% as the Heady Topper clone uses ~10% Apollo in their dry hop mix and the taste is not so definitive there. If I hadn't used it successfully in my Heady Topper clone, I would probably rate it worse than Chinook.

Chinook - Spice. This is a definitive spice taste that can mix well with other hops, but by itself it's just a bitter spice taste. Probably the least liked of the C hops, and the most likely hop to give the dreaded cat piss taste.
 

stickyfinger

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I like what you tried to start here. I also find that many sites have listings about hops that read like a wine menu (bloated, over-done, stretching beyond what was probably taste, IMO.) I like the simpler approach with some unique identifiers that sort of set the hop apart if that is the case. Thanks! I'll make a few comments on what I think I've discovered about some of these hops, as I've been experimenting with a lot of hops over the last 6 mos or so.

UPDATE


Centennial - Fruit, citrus, and a little pine with a clean great taste. Smell is similar, but I feel it tastes better than it smells.
This is a good description. I also always think of a kind of candy character of some sort, but that is probably totally biased based upon the fact that whenever I see Centennial, I think of 2-Hearted Ale from Bells. It's pure Centennial, as we all know, and to me the beer has a candy-like taste. Hard to tell how much of that is from the malt vs. hops. Centennial is definitely fruity though, but not a really intense fruit character, more floralish with fruit I think (and maybe candy-like?)

UPDATE
Citra - Fruit and citrus, they don't call it Citra for nothing. It also has a very strong citrus aroma. Would be higher, but has a slight sour taste when used with Conan yeast.
Definitely reminds me of all manner of citrus fruits with maybe some kind of sweetheart candy reminiscent character as well. In addition, it is a super intense hop. I think it is one of the most intense hops I've used per ounce.

UPDATE
Simcoe - Pine and citrus with a little fruit. Some people say this hop is dank, but I would say it is the epitome of pine. Has a pine marijuana smell.
When you smell a bag of Simcoe, it is the epitome of dank aroma. It smells soooo good to me. The flavor can be dank, but it also pretty heavy on what i would call tangerine character. it's not orange or lemon, etc. It is a tangerine I think. I think the crop variability and how it pairs with malt may influence the tangerine/dank ratio? I don't find that it is as dank as the aroma would dictate though, but I've never made a pure Simcoe hop bomb IPA.


UPDATE
Summit - Fruit and dank. This hop is mainly a cross between CTZ and Nugget, but as a dry hop it is better than either. A great balance between fruit and dank. It is also close to 18% AA so I imagine it works well for bittering.
Summit smells pretty darn dank, like Simcoe, but it is even danker, and I always get a fair amount of onion/garlic in the aroma. It pairs beautifully with most other hops I think to give a background of dank character. I really love it in moderate amounts. too much, and I bet it would be too oniony-dank.

UPDATE
CTZ - Pine, citrus, dank. This is a dank hop, but it has an incredible amount of pine and citrus taste. The smell is similar, but not as strong as Simcoe.
CTZ is one of my favorite dry hops. It smells amazing, like Summit and Simcoe, but it has more of a citrusy character, but not well-defined I think. It's not orange, but more of a blended citrus that is hard to differentiate, maybe grapefruit zest sort of. It adds an amazing dankness to IPA without being over-powering in that area. It has no onion/garlic in the nose or flavor in the batches of it i've used. I think it could be a base dry hop that could be paired with any other hops to give a great flavor. it's so cheap too. i don't know why when it is so awesome.


UPDATE
Mosaic - Fruit and pine. Nice, but overrated, not that strong. This was bred from Simcoe. I would advise saving your money and mixing Simcoe with another hop because I don't think Mosaic has a particularly definitive taste to justify it's price.
The first time I tried Mosaic, compared an all-Mosaic with an all-Citra IPA, and I much much preferred the Citra version. The Mosaic version had too much of what I would call a perfume or floral character, like fresh buds on flowers or trees. I don't dig that character in abundance.

I kind of wrote it off, but then I just used it again in an IPA again. I did a hop stand with 25% Simcoe, 25% Willamette and 50% Challenger. I then added 0.75-1 oz/gallon of Mosaic as a dry hop. I just racked it today, and it has a very intense orange character, like a freshly zested orange. I couldn't believe it. It was very nice, completely different from the floral-perfume bomb I had with it alone. I think i'd like to try the citra-mosaic combo. that is supposedly used in Fresh Squeezed by Deschutes.


UPDATE
Amarillo - Light Fruit. Good aroma. Taste does not match aroma. Another overrated hop IMO. While Amarillo is stronger than Cascade, every top beer that uses this seems to mix it with Simcoe (Vinny from RR says it isn't good by itself). I just think all these great beers started doing that and since Amarillo smells great and is expensive people think it must be worth the price, but it really isn't definitive by itself and I'm not sure I could identify it over Cascade in a mix.
seemed underwhelming to me when i used it also. it seems like a sharper version of cascades, as some people seem to indicate in write-ups.

UPDATE
Calypso - Light fruit and pine. Nice, but not that strong.
i did an all-Calypso IPA, and it was very underwhelming. it was light fruit as you say, maybe some floral characteristics. it worked well when I dry hopped it with other hops though, including nelson, el dorado, and huel mellon

UPDATE
Cascade - Light fruit and citrus. Nice smell. Not that strong compared to other hops that are commonly used in IPAs, but pretty decent for the price.
i used this in Tasty's Janet's Brown and thought it was pretty flat. I also tried it in a Mirror Pond Clone, and it just didn't have much impact on the beer. It had the citrus characteristic, most say grapefruity, but it seemed like a weak hop. I wonder if it was the batch I had or that I have been comparing it with all of the newer, more intense hops i've used lately.

UPDATE
Nugget - Dank, spice, and fruit. Nice aroma for a bittering hop.
I have never used it for flavor, but i smelled some recently fresh in the bag, and they have a very nice sort of dank character. it reminds me of CTZ some in the aroma in the bag. I think I'll try it with CTZ and maybe Simcoe. I've heard Nugget Nectar uses it (duh) and that is supposed to be a dank, delicious beer.

UPDATE
Nelson Sauvin - The BEST smelling hop. Stronger aroma than Citra. It has a very funky taste that is extremely definitive, some weird aspect of that sour Southern Hemisphere taste. It is probably the most unique and definitive hop I have used, but I don't like that funky taste. Stone Enjoy By apparently mixes this with Galaxy for a double dry hop. I can totally smell and taste the Nelson Sauvin as I rated Enjoy By a 5.0 for aroma and a 4.5 for taste.
I agree with you on the aroma. It is a killer aroma. It has some kind of a very unique berry aroma and is very potent. It reminds me of some kind of Chardonnay aromas or something. I really like the aroma. The flavor can be good or clashing. I did a Citra-Nelson IPA, and I thought the Nelson made it taste a little weird. It tasted better over time as the hops faded a little actually, which is weird! A friend made a very low gravity, dry, thin beer that was all-Nelson, and I liked it in that. Maybe it is best as a single hop or with special pairings like the example you gave?

UPDATE
Williamette - Light spice and a little fruit, not strong, more spice than Kent Goldings, not worthwhile for an IPA but could contribute something interesting in a different style of beer.
If you've had Lagunitas IPA, that is supposedly 100% willamette I think. it makes for a unique ipa. i think the lagunitas house flavor with the willamette is pretty good, but it does seem like more of an Englishy hop. It has more floral characteristics I'd say.

UPDATE
Apollo - DANK. This hop is as dank as it gets and has a sour taste by itself. When I tried mixing it with other dry hopped beers at the time, it overpowered them. My friend and I did not like this at all, it was so bad we had to dump it, but it might have been good if mixed at 10% as the Heady Topper clone uses ~10% Apollo in their dry hop mix and the taste is not so definitive there. If I hadn't used it successfully in my Heady Topper clone, I would probably rate it worse than Chinook.
I COMPLETELY agree with you on the dankness of Apollo. Apollo has a strong onion-garlic dankness to it. I used 4 oz of Apollo dry hop for 2 gallons of beer in a wet hop IPA I made. The wet hop part seemed kind of bland to me, so I decided to try out the Apollo and make sure I could taste it. Boy, could I taste it!! The beer took on a flavor reminiscent of a parmesan baked potato to my taste. That is still what I think of if I have too much dank character in an IPA. It is a similar character to Summit for sure, but even more intense. CTZ also has some of that, but it is much more controllable and delicious. Comet also has a lot of that dank onion-garlic character to it that can get out of control if used in large amounts. Since that experiment I've realized that super dank hops like summit, comet and apollo must be used as an accent hop to other hops. In that role, they can fill out an IPA with a character that I really love. It makes them taste dank in a good way, not over the top.


I'd like to discuss the characteristics of hops in more detail if people are interested. It is a new area of pursuit for me. I've been doing a lot of hop stands and heavy dry hopping over the past several months, and it has shot my interest in IPA through the roof. I'm just now really learning more about what specific hops taste like.

By the way, one of my favorite combinations is Simcoe, CTZ, Summit, Comet. Seems like CTZ and Simcoe pair well with anything.
 

stickyfinger

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Yeast can also affect the way hops perform.
Definitely an interesting topic. I've heard both the yeast flavors blending with the hops and the yeast modifying the hops both may have an impact on the final flavor. I've tried S-04 vs US-05 and LAIII vs US-05. I'm now doing US-05 vs. Conan. I've enjoyed the US-05 more every time. I keep thinking the yeast character usually tends to detract from a hop bomb IPA. However, the LAIII version grew on me over time. It had a strong kind of peachy, fruity yeast character that may have been better if not quite so strong or with different hops, etc. I find that US-05 is just hard to beat with the really crisp flavor. I also prefer US-05 in Robust Porter. But, again, the S-04 porter I did in comparison grew on me some. US-05 just comes across as so clean and crisp. I love it in most IPAs and dark beers.
 

masonsjax

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I had an all Apollo IPA one time at the Old Hickory Taproom in Hickory NC. It could have been confused with a full pint of cat urine. I hated it.

I get a lot of metallic bite from Amarillo when used on its own or in heavy flavor additions. Waaaay overpriced.

Yup, Summit is all garlic IMO. No thanks.

Centennial has got to be my all around favorite. Super Cascade. Classic flavor and aroma, just more of it. The best grapefruit flavor without other competing flavors to get in the way. Exactly what I look for in an IPA hop. Amazing paired with a little Citra.

I've used CTZ too much. It's great, but it's distinctively dank, pine, citrus, and a little harsh in such a way that I can always pick it out in any beer. I haven't used it in a while so I should revisit it.

Cascade is classic. SNPA all the way. Not as strong on aroma as some of the other C hops, but the price is good and I love it.
 

stickyfinger

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Just did a 100% Eureka! IPA. It is described a pine-fruit. When I took a whiff after a few days of dry hopping, I noticed that it had a very potent pine-like aroma with some fruit for sure. I took a drink and felt that the hop can be described very well by "mango" or very ripe mango. Mango fruit has that mango flavor and a very pine-like quality as well. I think it is like drinking mango juice personally, with some quirky detail flavors that are harder to discriminate. It is quite nice. I think it is pretty intense hop flavor-wise and would pair very nicely with other tropical hops. I think a Citra, Eureka! IPA would be very nice.
 

brewski09

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Anyone use Delta before? I've come into a good quantity that I'm going to try out, just curious if anyone has experience before I blow up a single hop with it.
 

Yesfan

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........Cascade is classic. SNPA all the way. Not as strong on aroma as some of the other C hops, but the price is good and I love it.


SNPA?



I have to agree with the description on Magnum. One of the local brewpubs has an all Magnum IPA. A friend of mine at work loves that beer. It's good, but not the best IPA I've ever tasted. Mine hardly had any aroma to it at all.


I think my favorites are Centennial, Simcoe, Cascade, and Citra. There's others I'm going to try in some smash beers I plan to brew, but those four have seemed to make an impression to me.


Off topic: On a side note, if you told me five years ago "this beer has all centennial hops in it" while hitting the local pub, I wouldn't know what the hell you were talking about. Now if a beer lists Centennial, or another hop I'm familiar with, as the main hop I know more than likely I'll like it before even I drink it.

Love that.
 

Yesfan

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I made the NB Chinook Ale kit and it was very tasty and refreshing, citrus/pine... I liked it so much I ordered the all grain version of it.

That was my cousin's second brew, and I didn't like it that much. I have some Chinook on hand, may have to give it another go as he and I both have learned so much since then.
 
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ianmatth

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Haven't tried any new hops in quite a while as I have a couple of pounds of hops that didn't make the cut and I will probably never use. At this point I've come down to about 9 hops that I like to use in my IPAs although Eureka sounds interesting.
 

stickyfinger

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Forgot about this thread. I can add Denali to the list. Denali in my usage of it has resulted in a very potent pineapple flavor. The beer will taste like pineapple juice if you dry hop with a lot of it.
 

brokebucket

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Never saw this thread until now. I am surprised that people arent shouting from the rooftops in defense of Chinook! Love this hop, I added 2 oz of Chinook to an all cascade during the boil pale ale, and it has a perfect balance of pine to it....not overpowering in any way....definitely no cat piss. Maybe it comes across more rough if used heavily, but in normal quantities, I think it is a great way to add some pine flavor/aroma to a beer.
 

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Never saw this thread until now. I am surprised that people arent shouting from the rooftops in defense of Chinook! Love this hop, I added 2 oz of Chinook to an all cascade during the boil pale ale, and it has a perfect balance of pine to it....not overpowering in any way....definitely no cat piss. Maybe it comes across more rough if used heavily, but in normal quantities, I think it is a great way to add some pine flavor/aroma to a beer.
Chinook is my go-to bittering hop in American ales. I love that hop, especially first-wort-hopped.
 

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I think this is an interesting thread, but limited and not sticky worthy. It purports to talk about hop flavor, but only from dry hopping? This makes little sense to me and I'm not even convinced that what is being perceived as flavor isn't really aroma. If you want to talk about hop flavor, you really need to add them to the boil. Even if you can perceive flavor from dry hopping, it may be different from the boiled flavor, perhaps.

For the most part I will rate hops on a scale from fruity to dank with the following terminology: fruit, citrus, pine, spice, dank.
Also, I think this isn't nuanced enough. For example, some hops give herbaceous flavors or floral aromas. Another example - both Mosaic and Sorachi Ace would be 'citrus' if limited to these decriptors, but very different hops. Sorachi Ace is all lemony and Mosaic is big time orange, grapefruit and mango.
 
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Pappers_

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Forgot about this thread. I can add Denali to the list. Denali in my usage of it has resulted in a very potent pineapple flavor. The beer will taste like pineapple juice if you dry hop with a lot of it.
I made an IPA featuring good ol' experimental hop 6277 which eventually was renamed Denali and really really liked it! I wrote up a blog article for it, which I've copied below:

Experimental Hop #6277 IPA
by Jim Vondracek on 06/13/16
A few months ago, while shopping for hops, I came across #6277 (so designated because it’s experimental, not been determined to be commercially viable yet nor named) and bought a package of it. John at Farmhouse Brewing Supply seems to often have small amounts of these experimental hops available - one of the reasons I buy hops from him.

This spring, Hugh and I brewed an American-style IPA featuring good ‘ol #6277 and recently tapped our keg of it. We’re really enjoying this beer and the hops are particularly interesting. Unlike many of the popular American hops, #6277 does not give a big hit of citrus or have a juicy quality to it. Rather, I perceive it as having a predominantly minty, pine, and wood quality, with an undercurrent of mild lemon.

A high alpha acid hop, at 13.9%, we started throwing the hops in at 20 minutes until the end of the boil and it seems to give a clean and not harsh bittering.

In our beer, the hop flavor is more in-your-face than its aroma, but that could also be because of our relatively modest dry-hopping, where we used one ounce. I find that this beer is less one-dimensional in its hop character than many single-hop beers, although to be clear this isn’t technically a single-hop beer - we used a small amount of Pacific Jade to add clean and soft bittering at the beginning of the boil. In any case, #6277 seems to give a more complex hop flavor profile than many American hops.

I think this would be an interesting hop to add to the hop schedule in a big, dank American Double IPA - one of those big beers that reminds you of walking through a dark, wet forest.

Here’s the recipe for the beer we made:

Grain Bill
Pale Malt 81.5%
Victory Malt 7.4%
Wheat Malt 7.4%
Caramel 60L 3.7%

Hop Schedule
0.5 oz Pacific Jade, 12% AA, @ 60 minutes
0.5 oz #6277, 13% AA, @ 20 minutes
0.5 oz #6277, @ 15 minutes
1.0 oz #6277, @ 10 minutes
1.0 oz #6277, @ 5 minutes
1.0 oz #6277 dry hopping

Other
Safale US-05 Yeast
Irish Moss

The Numbers
Original Gravity: 1.058
Final Gravity: 1.010
ABV: 6.3%
Estimated IBUs: 76.4
Estimated Color: 8.3 SRM

Process
Single Infusion Mash, Batch Sparge, 150F
Brewed at the CHAOS Brewhouse
Primary Fermentation for one month @ 65F
Dry hopped for seven days
Transferred and cold crashed @ 40F for three weeks
Kegged with priming sugar and allowed to naturally carb in the keg for three weeks.
 

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