If you are a fellow hop appreciator, then you may be interested in these. A reader of this blog contacted me with some questions a little while back, and also offered some of his unique products to me to try: hop candies. These are Jolly Rancher-like candies made from the aromatic oils of a single hop variety, and they are very interesting.
Despite tasting like you’re chewing on a fresh hop cone, these candies are not really bitter at all (there may be a hint of bitterness if you stretch your imagination), but the aroma is very authentic. Lots of myrcene and caryophyllene, the types of flavors that you’d pick up from a dry-hopped beer (and that are lost when you hop in the kettle). He sent me a sampling of 3 varieties (Cascade, Fuggle, and East Kent Goldings) and while they are all similar they do have their distinctions. For one, the Fuggle seems slightly more bitter than the Cascades, but it is a minor difference. The bitterness comes across more like a slight tickle from time to time, so it’s not that disagreeable if you aren’t normally a fan of bitterness.
The main concern that I had, and was shared by the various panelists who tried them, is that they are a little too big. These candies are about the size of the small Tootsie Rolls but slightly longer, and I think they could be about 1/2 – 2/3 of that size, as they seem to drag on a little too long. Some of my panelists thought that the aftertaste that lingered for quite some time was unpleasant in the way it stuck around, but personally that was my favorite part. With the candy in your mouth you had the continuous resinous raw/fresh hop flavor explosions, but after it was gone it became more subtle, with floral and citrus notes. A unique take on breath fresheners…
They are available from a number of online sources, listed below. Check them out! They’re probably unlike any other candy you may have had.
2 more articles on deck, maybe today, maybe some other day soon!