Sunday, October 20, 2013

#24 Belgian Single Tasting

A- deep orange to amber hue with a one inch white head of tiny bubbles
S- spice up front, big clove and a little cardamom, some fruity banana and coconut
T- similar to the nose, cloves and allspice with overripe fruit
M- thin and highly carbonated. A touch too highly carbonated.
O- not terrible considering this was an unplanned second rubbings beer. That said the yeast was clearly stressed and gave very less than ideal flavors. Drinkable but not super appealing. Looks pretty at least.

Friday, October 11, 2013

#23 - Belgian Quad Tasting

Appearance- deep orange to rose in color with a large fluffy white head that fades to a half inch leaving splotchy lacing.

Smell- huge nose of cherries, clove, cardamom, cinnamon, tobacco, figs, vanilla and a bit of bourbon barrel booziness. It reminds me a bit of the smell of La Trappe's Quad but with bigger, spicier aromas.

Taste- the spice dominates the mouth with some sweetness and the booze quickly following. Warm clove and all spice flavors quickly subside to a lingering warmth and a slightly tingling balance of spice, bitterness and carbonation.

Mouthfeel- feels a bit syrupy and thick which fills the mouth with lots of carbonation.

Overall- this one still comes off pretty hot and boozy and could probably use another year or three to fully develop. While the nose is there and the overall drink isn't bad the depth of flavor is not up to par for a Trappist quad.  A nice try but I will probably not use homemade candi syrup next time and spend a little more effort on the yeast starter size. To reduce the hotness and finishing gravity.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

#27 - Scottish Export tasting

I don't go back often enough and write down my beer results, especially with flawed batches, so I thought I would make sure to record this one.  I brewed my 27th beer, a Scottish 80 shilling over 4 months ago and have been slowly trying them out.  I often experiment in beers, trying new techniques or ingredients and rarely going "to style".  In some of those cases it doesn't turn out well, whether this is due to the new technique/ingredient or not paying close enough attention to the basics.  While it can sometimes be hard to determine the exact cause of off flavors, in this case it seems to be a combination of the malt (specifically the kiln-coffee and maybe the pale chocolate) and the yeast (likely too high a fermentation temperature for the Scottish yeast).

A- A fairly clear medium brown with a small head that never fades.
S- Aromas of chocolate, biscuit, coffee and over ripe cherries.  While not bad the fruit is a little stronger than I would have liked and seems to clash with the light roast and coffee.
T- Like the nose the fruitiness seems to stand out with a sweet biscuity coffee character also showing up.  Finishes long and slightly puckering with a lingering sweet and stale effect.
M- Medium-low in body with moderate carbonation.  This aspect is at least right on target.
O/D- While this beer is clearly flawed it really is hard to pinpoint the cause.  Maybe the coffee malt just doesn't belong, maybe fermented at a lower temperature the fruitiness wouldn't muddle the mix, maybe the pale chocolate malt was a little too old and stale, in any case this is my second time having poor results with Wyeast's Scottish Ale yeast and will likely keep me from using it again for quite some time.