The hop infused gin experiment is moving forward and I’ve found that there is a substantial difference among different hops. The earthy, floral hops add a much subtler flavor and are, at times, overpowered by the botanicals in the gin. Even with a less juniper-heavy gin such as Bluecoat, I’m still finding that the hop aroma is muted.
I’ve also found that the high alpha hops are adding substantially more bitterness than I had anticipated. I had assumed that without boiling the hops, I wouldn’t get a lot of bitterness. But as it turns out, the infusion is adding a lingering bitterness to the finish of the gin. Even after the hop leaf is strained, the remaining small particles continue to add some bitterness, so I think that a cheesecloth strain is necessary.
This new experiment should prove interesting. I have a wide range of hops with different levels of alpha acids and different flavor characteristics that I will be able to taste side by side. I anticipate Cascade to be the best fit, but who knows. The best hop up to this point has been Chinook.