A viewer from the UK suggested we use First Gold hops in our next SMaSH beer. So, we did. We had never brewed with these hops before in our single malt and single hops format before. Here’s our experience with this variety.
First Gold Details
I wrote a First Gold hops profile over 10 years ago. They are a dwarf English hop variety that we understood to have spicy notes of cinnamon and orange peel. We were told that we should try them for the fruit flavors. So, I brewed a one gallon batch using 1 ounce of hops with American pale malt and Safale US-05. After the fermentation was done, the beer was carbed for our tasting.
What Was Our Take?
Well, the promise of fruit was not fulfilled. We experienced more earthy aromas and flavors. I detected a strawberry note but not orange. I was hoping for some zest-like expressions in this beer but there was none to be had. Now, that’s not to say this was a bad hop. We may have had an old pouch and it may not have been as potent as when it was fresh.
I think this hop would be good in traditional English ales if you are looking to shake it up a bit. There were a lot of Kent-like earthiness to it that will work well in ales.