Perfect hiss, nothing out of the ordinary. Visual:
Above-average bubble tightness and head retention. Purdy cool! A nice dark amber color, and relatively clear. Aroma:
Whah? Apples? At first, I thought my mind was playin' tricks on me, but when I offered some to my wife, the first thing that came out of her mouth was "mmm, apples!". And I'm not talking cidery here, I'm talking, autumn-fresh, crispy, crunchy, picked from the tree ten minutes ago, apple
. How cool is that!? I didn't read the recipe completely before tasting this, so luckily I wasn't "on the lookout" for the sage and coriander. That having been said, as the beer warmed up, the apple character was joined by some herbal notes---that make sense now that I know the recipe. The hop aroma is subtle and clean, but right on the nose for an English Pale. This aroma is simply intoxicating...clean, crisp, crunchy, yummy. Palate:
The palate was faithful to the promises of the aroma. Not much else to say with regard to taste, because it all follows the above aroma description. Clean, crisp...apples and herbs and subtle hops. Could have used a bit more body and maltiness, but as Sean can attest to, I'm a malt fiend and I like full-bodied pale ales, so this is just a personal taste issue, as it was with Sean's. I think the honey, which ferments out cleanly, is partially responsible for this lack of malt character. Proximity to Traditional Styles:
If it hadn't been for the apples and herbs, this thing would have hit the English Pale spot-on. As it is, though, it's not really too close to the style, but in my humble opinion, I'm glad it's not. Overall:
Like nothing I've had before. This does apple better than the Floris or the Ephemere, and without any apple even added! This is pro brew, and I have no complaints (neither did my wife, who was surprised when I told her it was homebrew). If I had any suggestions, I'd say give it some biscuit malt or vienna or even munich next time, and maybe some carapils for body. But again, that's just me. There's definitely something to be said for a brew this light-bodied, but still this complex. I'm a fan!
Thanks for sharing, Tuck. Great Brew!