Saturday, March 1, 2014

White Dragons Tasting

Here Be Dragons! Was just the 7th batch of beer I brewed. A mix of a Winter Warmer/ Strong Ale and Scotch Ale the beer was split several ways at bottling. Today I found one of these, thought to be fully depleted brews, an decided to give it a try. Remembering it as having noticeable off flavors and being over carbonated even by my early, extract brewing standards, I didn't expect much.

A - as expected this one shot out of the bottle with some force giving a hazy chestnut brown beer with a yeasty, tan head.

S- this actually smells like a Scotch ale should: toffee, wood, lots of sweet bready malt and an ester/phenol profile I only detect in beers made with Scottish style yeast.

T- I don't pick up anything definitively orange or coriander (the spices added to the WD version). Taste is similar to nose, sweet, bready, estery. Finishes in an unpleasant jumble of phenols, dryness and sweet esters.  Likely fermented much too warm for this yeast. Starting to show some signs of age and oxidation but not overly so.

M- way over carbonated which seems to lead to the dryness in the finish despite relatively high body.

O- this beer is probably at least as good today as it was 2 years ago when first tasted. It's not a great beer by any means but my original tasting seemed to nail the defects and understand the parts which did work. I've not had luck with the Scottish ale blend but am wondering whether I just don't like the style, fermented too high or a combination of the two. I would like to try brewing a similar malty Strong Ale with a more neutral yeast as the malt body is very pleasant.