Working from home is the best. Whatever stupid spur of the moment beer related idea I have, I do it. So when I saw my ever growing bag of partial ounces of hops in the freezer, I thought, "why not make some hopped gin, strain and compare different hops?"
1. UK Brambling Cross - less than 6 months old, still smell great, floral, spicy, pruney, cherry-ey, slight citrusy
2. Amarillo - more than a year old, amazingly still smell good. Loads of citrus, navel orange, and grapefruit. Significantly darker than the others. My guess, higher oil content making the liquid cloudy and not letting light reflect off the white container.
3. East Kent Goldings - probably two years old, pretty weak compared to others. Black tea, woody, floral, very slight orange peel aroma.
4. Hersbrucker - probably two years old, very light aroma, hay, weeds, green tea, stale. Crystal clear gin. Must not have very high oil content.
After adding the gin the brambling cross probably smells the best. The amarillo changed the most, the bright citrus turned into orange juice left out for a day. Smells just like a Gin n' Juice. Snoop dogs favorite. EKG and hersbrucker smell very similar.
Brambling Cross and Amarillo are great, but amarillo bitterness is a bit much. Its kind of crazy, I can put a drop on my tongue and feel it evaporate, but the taste and aroma linger for quite a while. Its pretty interesting. I should tell you, the Hersbrucker tastes pretty bad. It taste like wood and black tea mixed with grass. I think these are defenitely stale. They probably were when I bought them. That pilsener had some similar characteristics.
I think I'll spike some very bland lager (where the hell am I going to find this!) with just enough to see the effects of each. Next up, making hoppy martinis. I wonder if amarillo goes good with vermouth?