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Old 04-24-2012, 01:04 PM   #41
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I was lucky enough to have a sample with Chris of the Worry before it was bottled. Damn that is a tasty beer. Even flat right out of the barrel, it was an incredible tasting beer. I can't wait to get ahold of some of that when I'm up there soon.

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Old 04-24-2012, 02:35 PM   #42
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It sounds like he is still working on his process, and had some issues on his first few batches, not hitting his numbers, beers being too bitter, etc. I bet his beers will improve over time.

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Old 04-25-2012, 12:06 AM   #43
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Cousin started out with a pretty substantial charge of Summit late in the kettle and dry hopping. It was originally a mixture of Summit, Columbus and Apollo. The idea behind the beer was working with the kind of hops we could get at the time. We both enjoyed dank IPAs, so we thought we would go all out and make a super dank IPA, since making a citrusy IPA (my personal favorite kind, one of Columbus, Amarillo and Simcoe) was impossible since Amarillo and Simcoe were not available.

The summit and Apollo combined, though, gave off a very assertive onion garlic character, as Summit is apt to do. This got worse as the beer aged. So to counteract that, we eliminated all the Summit (except for the bittering charge, we have to use the hundreds of pounds of Summit we have somehow) and replaced it with Cascade. I am a big fan of contrasting hop flavors, and I thought a subtle citrus hop would work nicely with the mostly dank and slightly onion/garlic notes of Apollo and Columbus.

That was an improvement in my book, and we became pretty happy with what Cousin became at that point. But then we came upon some Simcoe, a very small amount, and have been adding a little bit to the dry hop only of the last few batches. Simcoe is one of the most dominating hops there is (rivaled only by Summit in my experience), and so even though it is a tiny percentage of the overall hop bill, it is a noticeable variation. I really enjoy where this beer is at now. The beer is still driven by the dankness of the Apollo, it still has a slight onion/garlic note (that does get a bit stronger as the beer ages), but it now is contrasted by some of the orange and just Simcoe-yness of Simcoe.

Some people loved the hell out of the early batches of Cousin, but I was never the biggest fan. It had a punch you in the face hoppiness that was nice, but the level of onion/garlic, especially over time, really didn't scream "AWESOME" to me. But now with the Simcoe compliment, it is starting to get around to that. It doesn't have quite the punch you in the face hop character that Summit (or a ton of Simcoe) can give you, but it has a nicely assertive hop character, a nicely assertive bitterness, and for my personal tastes, is a much tastier beer now than what it was earlier on.

Of course, double IPAs should be consumed as fresh as possible, and ours is no exception. We started bottle dating a few months ago, with the date of bottling right on the label (no cryptic messages, just a bottled date and now a batch code) to assist our customers in getting our beer fresh.

And I am actually having a glass of Worry right now, and it is tasting pretty darn nice, even warm (but actually carbonated, I am drinking a bottle conditioning test).

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Old 04-25-2012, 03:00 AM   #44
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Chris - Thanks for taking the time to provide some insight. I'm sure it's appreciated by all. I'm in CT and haven't had a chance to try the beers yet but am strongly considering paying to get some shipped as I've been a BN listener and fan of Jamil's since the beginning.

That said, I can appreciate the comparison that was made to GUBNA from Oskar Blues. I almost learned to like that beer but realized it's not something I'll go back to on a regular basis. The onion/garlic is just too much when it is the dominant (if not only) hop.

Do you guys have an idea of the ideal hop profile for the beer assuming no limitations on hop availability/cost? If so, and at this point in time, are you working more towards that? Or are you more focused on dialing in the beer given the constraints?

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Old 04-25-2012, 04:58 AM   #45
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Chris, thanks for the explanation! I was fortunate enough to talk with Jamil about this early on. I was a fan of the very earliest batches of Cousin... When super fresh and on tap. The bottled version just didn't hit me with the same hop aroma. In fact, it was mostly subdued. I think the recipe had changed by then and it just wasn't coming across as well as the stuff I was getting at Handles in Pleasanton. That stuff smelled like it had hops floating on top of the beer, haha! All the more recent stuff has been getting better but the dry hops don't seem to be as forward as originally. The taste is great and somewhat lighter lately. It seems like an entirely different beer actually. Most IPAs do change for the worse with time... If you, like me, find the aroma as important as the taste in IPAs. Having said that, is there a happy medium that will get Cousin back to a point where is tastes completely original and awesome while not taking on too much of the garlicky flavor/aroma with time? I think the earliest versions were completely unique. The most recent are a little more similar to the top West Coast style IPAs and don't really assert themselves as nearly as unique. Do not take that wrong... I've always been a huge fan. Still am I still try and find the freshest ones I can [at Perry's in Livermore usually] weekly.

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Old 04-26-2012, 01:05 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisKennedy
Cousin started out with a pretty substantial charge of Summit late in the kettle and dry hopping. It was originally a mixture of Summit, Columbus and Apollo. The idea behind the beer was working with the kind of hops we could get at the time. We both enjoyed dank IPAs, so we thought we would go all out and make a super dank IPA, since making a citrusy IPA (my personal favorite kind, one of Columbus, Amarillo and Simcoe) was impossible since Amarillo and Simcoe were not available.

The summit and Apollo combined, though, gave off a very assertive onion garlic character, as Summit is apt to do. This got worse as the beer aged. So to counteract that, we eliminated all the Summit (except for the bittering charge, we have to use the hundreds of pounds of Summit we have somehow) and replaced it with Cascade. I am a big fan of contrasting hop flavors, and I thought a subtle citrus hop would work nicely with the mostly dank and slightly onion/garlic notes of Apollo and Columbus.

That was an improvement in my book, and we became pretty happy with what Cousin became at that point. But then we came upon some Simcoe, a very small amount, and have been adding a little bit to the dry hop only of the last few batches. Simcoe is one of the most dominating hops there is (rivaled only by Summit in my experience), and so even though it is a tiny percentage of the overall hop bill, it is a noticeable variation. I really enjoy where this beer is at now. The beer is still driven by the dankness of the Apollo, it still has a slight onion/garlic note (that does get a bit stronger as the beer ages), but it now is contrasted by some of the orange and just Simcoe-yness of Simcoe.

Some people loved the hell out of the early batches of Cousin, but I was never the biggest fan. It had a punch you in the face hoppiness that was nice, but the level of onion/garlic, especially over time, really didn't scream "AWESOME" to me. But now with the Simcoe compliment, it is starting to get around to that. It doesn't have quite the punch you in the face hop character that Summit (or a ton of Simcoe) can give you, but it has a nicely assertive hop character, a nicely assertive bitterness, and for my personal tastes, is a much tastier beer now than what it was earlier on.

Of course, double IPAs should be consumed as fresh as possible, and ours is no exception. We started bottle dating a few months ago, with the date of bottling right on the label (no cryptic messages, just a bottled date and now a batch code) to assist our customers in getting our beer fresh.

And I am actually having a glass of Worry right now, and it is tasting pretty darn nice, even warm (but actually carbonated, I am drinking a bottle conditioning test).
I must have had a very old bottle I had it last week and it had no date anywhere on it.
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:25 AM   #47
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Chris, if I'm drinking a new batch of Cousin at Handles right now. You have it. It's fantastic. Perfect medium.

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Old 05-02-2012, 04:25 AM   #48
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Handles was featuring the Cousin and the Twin along with their Hopshack Brown as part of their beer sampler the other day...good stuff!

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Old 05-02-2012, 05:41 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mxpx5678 View Post
I must have had a very old bottle I had it last week and it had no date anywhere on it.
Same here. I got a bottle of Twin and a Bottle of Cousin for a friend's birthday. No bottle dates on either. I'd say that I liked them, but for something I bought as a gift I was distracted by the flavors of old-hop-cheese that were present. I think it was a combination of age and storage before it got to me, but I could tell that I'd be a big fan of the beers if I got them fresh. Once finances allow, I'm definitely going to track some more down, maybe through a more direct source this time (west coast family, heh).

Luckily I also gave my buddy a Velvet Merlin and split a Kern River Just Oustanding IPA (lived up to its name like woah).
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