Columbus is such a high-alpha variety that I find I can only use very little of it for bittering. I have a pound of these things and I would eventually like to get through them. Has anyone used Columbus as a flavor or aroma hop? What can I expect?
Columbus works well as a flavor/aroma hop. I used to do a single hop Columbus DIPA a few times a year, but I did it so many times that I began to grow tired of the flavor and had to stop using Columbus altogether. It has a nice piney aroma and flavor. More pine than anything, but it's a little has a little bit of citrus character too.
The only drawback, in my opinion, is that if you overdo it you can end up with grassy or metallic flavors. I did a huge barleywine (OG 1.110) last September and I used a ton of Columbus throughout the boil, at 10 minutes, at flameout, and then dry hopped in both primary and secondary. The grassy flavors really detracted from the flavor for about 6 months, when the off-flavor finally started to fade. Now, almost 11 months later, the beer is starting to taste great, very similar to Sierra Nevada Bigfoot.
To sum up, I think Columbus is a great flavor and aroma hop, but should be used in limited quantities.