Adding a Flash of Flavor
There are specific techniques for adding hop flavor. One recently rediscovered method is called “first-wort hopping.” This involves adding a charge of hops to the kettle as the first sweet wort is run in from the mash tun. This technique definitely produces a marked increase in what is perceived as hop flavor. It appears that exposure to air and certain temperatures oxidize hop aroma compounds in pleasant ways, changes that also make the hop oils more soluble in wort, and less likely to waft away during the boil process.
Adding hops to the mash produces similar effects, and was once used in beers such as Berliner weiss, where the hops also improved filtering action in this wheat-centric style. I have known brewers who add hops to the mash liquor to further amplify the hops experience, and this is also something you run across in the old brewing books, especially those dealing with German and French brewing. It’s unclear how effective this method is, but usually those old European masters knew what they were doing.