Beer Profile: Hop Project

Profiled by Millie and Ken Carman

Yazoo Hop Project
Yazoo Hop Project

This is actually a review of several Hop Projects. If you haven’t had the pleasure, or are about to sample your first bottled example of Hop Project, then you may not know the bottled version is Hop Project 13. Yes, there have been 14 versions of this fine brew. We’re sure that right now 15 is probably sitting in a fermentation tank as Ken types this. We bought the bottled 13 a couple days ago and stopped by the micro itself yesterday to get a growler of the most recent Hop Project: 14.

We know Linus very well and have enjoyed his beer long before he went pro. Ken has had in the past a slight problem for a while with what he thought might be a yeast problem there: not enough to make it undrinkable by any means, just enough to bother those who don’t like a slight metallic/canned taste in their beer. As of late he has noticed that taste seems to be gone. One of the brewers told him they did correct a yeast problem a while back.

Not an unheard of situation in Brew World by any means. And certainly not enough to prevent repeat visits.

Millie, on the other hand, said she wasn’t quite sure if she could taste it or not back then… probably being her usual kind self trying not to insult her husband’s questionable, extreme beer blasted, taste buds.

But the various versions of Hop Project have had none of this, and back when Ken and Millie tasted Hop Project8 Ken told Linus he couldn’t find that off taste anywhere. Of course, being a fresh hopped; highly hopped, IPA… that was understandable.

Please note that being a bottled version may mean that the 13 might have characteristics one would find when it’s not straight out of the tap like the 14 was into our growler. Probably softens the hop punch a tad, one would think. We also wondered what processes might have been different getting it into the bottle that might have altered the product. And also note that Ken mentioned at the tasting room that the Hop Project series seems like it might be the same base with different hops applied; and the server said that’s pretty much what it was.

To the tastings…

Despite that comment, Ken found that the 14 seemed more caramelized than the 13, and that should be a difference in the wert. The hops in the 13 seemed more floral and citrusy. The 14 seemed a bit more spicy and a tad astringent: but only as one would expect when high alpha acid hops are used. The 13 seemed a bit less of an Imperial IPA than the 14 in quantity of hops, boil times and overall hopping methods applied. The 14 clung to the roof and the sides of the mouth a bit more.

The actual pale base seems rather unremarkable, which is what one would need to do this excellent live study of how high hopping effects beer. The 13 had more of a straw color, the 14 a darker reddish/copper color. If this is nothing more than a difference in hops then one assumes the hops might have added something, though more likely it would be bottling and slight variations each time they make the base. This might also go to the caramelized tasted previously mentioned.

Ken said, “I wish I could line them all up and assess them along with the actual hop information. What an education in hops it would be.”

Here is what their web site said about the 13…

As with the first twelve Hop Projects, we used a different blend of hops for this one. For all you hop enthusiasts out there, the hops we used were: Galena and First Gold for first wort bittering; Cascade, Apollo, and First Gold at thirty minutes for flavor; Simcoe and Amarillo at five minutes left for aroma; and finally, we dry hopped the beer at day four of fermentation with Galena and Cascade.
To check out some reviews of other Hop Projects, visit http://www.beeradvocate.com/ or http://www.ratebeer.com/, and type in “Yazoo” in the search engine.
Cheers,
the Yazoo crew
Neil, Quinn, Ken, Ivan, Colin, Chris, Linus, Brian, Brandi, Beth, Dave, and Kelly