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Old 07-18-2013, 02:18 PM   #1
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Default I can't stand Nitrogen

I have had Old Speckled Hen from the bottle a few times.

I was in an Ale House and ordered a glass.

It was carbed with nitro. I have since learned that this is sometimes done, but at the time I was very disappointed.

Is it just me or does the nitro constant foam mask the flavor?

I thought that I hated Guinness, but now I am thinking that maybe it is just the nitro that I hate.

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Old 07-18-2013, 02:31 PM   #2
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I think certain beers it can mask the flavor, as in Oskar Blues' Dale's Pale Ale. I've had it on tap both regular and on nitro. The nitro was definitely more subdued, but I was very intrigued, and really enjoyed it. In the case of Left Hand's Milk Stout, I definitely prefer the nitro. It's more smooth, creamy, and is almost like chocolate milk. I think the roast and bitterness gets subdued, but the sweetness and chocolate really shine through on nitro. Try a few different beers if you can find them on nitro. It's great when you can find the same beer not on nitro to compare it to.

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Old 07-18-2013, 02:39 PM   #3
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I've had a lot of different beers on nitro and I have a stout faucet at home. In my experience, that serving method really rounds off any "sharp edges" of a beer. So, if you take something without a lot of flavor and put it through a stout faucet, it's flavor seems even lighter.

Try an IPA through a stout faucet. You'll see exactly what I mean. The sharp bitterness goes away and you're left with smooth hop flavor. At least my taste buds see it that way.

This is why I only put pretty aggressive stuff on my own stout faucet.

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Old 07-18-2013, 03:57 PM   #4
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Sounds like I am right. OSH is not an "aggressive" beer in my opinion, and so was disapointing on nitro.

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Old 07-18-2013, 04:20 PM   #5
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Personally, I've never liked it with hoppy beers, but love it on certain styles. I really like Belhaven Scottish Ale in the nitro can. I just put in a nitro setup, but haven't pushed anything with it yet other than mead, through a wine faucet.

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Old 07-18-2013, 06:01 PM   #6
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OSH is supposed to be a cask real ale, and should be served with out much head at around 55F. It shouldn't have anything other than a thin scum of very loose foam on top. Nitro will produce too much head and kill all the hop flavours and prevent the desirable very slightly oxidised character of a cask real ale. Of course, getting it served this way in the US is pretty unlikely as shipping cask beers across the Atlantic is non-trivial, and there's probably not a huge market for not quite cold, somewhat flat beer...

I think the bottle conditioned version tastes somewhat different to the cask version - it's a little more carbonated, and tends to have more hop aroma as the head is bit bigger, but less hop flavour. Obviously it doesn't have the slight oxidation either. (based on bottles and draught pints bought in Oxford, after Greene King moved the Morland beers from Oxford to Bury St. Edmund).

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Old 07-18-2013, 06:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dyqik View Post
OSH is supposed to be a cask real ale, and should be served with out much head at around 55F. It shouldn't have anything other than a thin scum of very loose foam on top. Nitro will produce too much head and kill all the hop flavours and prevent the desirable very slightly oxidised character of a cask real ale.

I think the bottle conditioned version tastes somewhat different to the cask version - it's a little more carbonated, and tends to have more hop aroma as the head is bit bigger, but less hop flavour. Obviously it doesn't have the slight oxidation either. (based on bottles and draught pints bought in Oxford, after Greene King moved the Morland beers from Oxford to Bury St. Edmund).
I wonder who decided it should be nitro? I am sure that some bar owners have nitro for guinness and are trigger happy to try new brews on it.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:07 PM   #8
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I had a pale ale in Maine that was on tap in both gases. I found the nitro one to be a totally muted, uninteresting version of the CO2 one. I think it works for a beer with some malt and specialty grain character, but I found that it killed the hop.

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Old 07-18-2013, 07:21 PM   #9
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I hate nitro served beers as well. Stouts, ipas, whatever... If you want to ruin it put it on nitro.

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Old 07-18-2013, 07:31 PM   #10
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I've enjoyed a few nitro beers. Mainly only stouts, though.

The IPAs, etc. I've had on nitro were nowhere near as good as the regular versions IMO. It's not a selling point for me.

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