The recent brew day with its test-drive of Polaris – and subsequent comments from several of you citizens – got me thinking about hop varieties that don’t have a gray area between love and hate.
I can easily believe that Polaris, with its alpha acids north of 20% and oil content pushing 4% and its very specific flavor profile, could fall into this category, and some of the experiences related seem to bear that out.
I’m trying to keep an open mind. Right now the krausen has fallen back but it’s still waiting on the dry hop addition. At knockout, the wort exhibited the expected minty component, but also a highly particular aroma of Indian spice – asafetida or fenugreek.
It was similar to but not exactly like the quality Summit, another super-high alpha cultivar, can have. While that onion-and-garlic character is a big turnoff for some, I have come to embrace it.
In my own highly rigorous and scientific surveys, Sorachi Ace is another polarizer – there’s no middle ground on lemon Pledge and dill, I guess. I know folks who disavow Amarillo and others from what they call the cat-piss family. I have a friend who can’t abide any of the Southern Hemisphere hops.
How about you?