With so many different hops available these days, it's impossible for each homebrewer to brew all of them single-handedly. Jim's Beer Kit is a great place to read what worked for other homebrewers, but it's especially handy when commercial brewers do this "dirty-work" for us. I taste every single-hop beer I can find, and post ratings to Ratebeer, which serves as a handy online resource whenever I need to remember my impressions of a certain hop. It occured to me these thoughts might benefit other nerdy homebrewers on this forum too.
Disclaimer: these are my own subjective opinionated conclusions, based on just one sample, at one specific moment in time. I am frequently surprised by how much another brewer's results differ, even using the same single hop variety. Your mileage may vary, and I certainly don't think my taste buds are superior to anyone else's.
From my Ratebeer rating of Schlafly Hop Trial: Rakau
Aroma: 8 out of 10, Appearance: 4 out of 5, Taste: 8 out of 10 , Palate: 4 out of 5, Overall: 18 out of 20
Total Score: 4.2 out of 5
Tasted on tap at Bottleworks into a nonic half-pint. It poured a nice amber colour with everlasting white head, spritzy little bubbles and lots of Belgian lace. Aromas of berry fruit, strawberry shortcake, smokey, resiny, woodsy, mellow but outrageously flavorful. Flavour was nutty, biscuity, light grainy sweetness with faint apricot, perfectly ripened plums, golden raisins, gingerbread crackers--and I swear--peppermint and bubblegum. Medium body and carbonation, very well-rounded bready mouthfeel and lingering caramelly bittersweet aftertaste (odd since it contains no caramelized malts.) I’ve had all the Schlafly hop trials so far. Rakau is by far the most surprising so far, and my favorite. I went back for a growler fill, and hope to get more before it’s gone. I didn’t expect to rate a single hop trial so highly.