I saw this kit on the Yakima Valley Hops site and thought it would be good to buy since These Brew Dudes post a bunch of reviews of hops. It seemed like an interesting tool to connect aromas with descriptors that we try to use when evaluating SMaSH beers. I bought this kit and we decided to evaluate it for our own purposes and give you an idea what this kit could provide to you if you were thinking about getting it.
The 12 Hop Aroma Standards
The kit itself is a cardboard box with 12 vials in it. Each vial has been labeled with a different aroma. Inside each vial is a cotton swab that has a been treated with aroma compounds that match the name on the label.
Here’s the name of each aroma standard and what we thought of each.
- Floral – an overall flower scent, I picked out a rose-like aroma
- Citrus – it smelled like an orange
- Sweet Fruit – this one was like a stick of Juicy Fruit gum
- Green Fruit – ah, a green Jolly Rancher candy
- Berry & Currant – this one had a strong note of raspberry
- Cream Caramel – vanilla & cream – reminded me of Oreo cookie filling
- Wood Aromatic – the shavings of a No. 2 pencil
- Menthol – very much like Spearmint
- Herbal – Dried oregano and parsley
- Spicy – Strong green pepper notes
- Green Grassy – It smelled like a fresh cut lawn
- Vegetal – The strong aromas of a garlic bulb
The kit is a fun reference set. For us, it could be a helpful tool for our video making. We think some of the standards are hard to whittle down to one aroma. Citrus, to us, can be different citrus fruit like Lemon or Grapefruit and can be different parts of the fruit like the pulp or the rind.
There were some aromas that we thought were missing. Some of the new hops have a “dank” aroma to them. I am not sure it was covered by this kit.
If you’re looking to understand hop aromas and want to invest the money into something that will allow you to explore the subject by yourself (helpful in these pandemic times), then this hop aromas standards kit may be for you.