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Old 08-25-2007, 08:09 PM   #11
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Pac-Gem ESB:

Uncapping/Pouring/Aesthetics: Solid pffft! Pouring, All Head! Initial pour was to vigourous, next glass poured at a slant but still moslty head. Help up to the light it appears medium copper/amber. Clarity not great.

Aroma: Light malty aroma with nice subdued hop aroma. Hop aroma is spicy floral, unique hop aroma to me. I have not used this hop b/f.

Palate: malty, slightly fruity estery, good hop flavor at the end with a good balance of bitterness, fairly sweet at the finish. Definitely some caramely flavor as it warms up a bit.

Proximity to Style: Seems good to me, I am not a big bitter drinker, but looking at the style guidelines it seems everything is in line. The high carbonation is not right, but I know this was not intentional.

Overall: The great thing about this beer to me is that the bittering hops are emphasized well, more than the flavor/aroma. BJCP for ESB":...emphasis is still on the bittering hop addition as opposed to the aggressive middle and late hopping seen in American ales" You did a great job in this respect. Mouthfeel seemed nice and medium-light, but definitely not too light. Again, this is not my favorite style and I have never brewed one, but I think it was very good. The hop flavor and aroma were present, but not over emphasized. Solid pint of bitter to me! Good job.

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Old 08-31-2007, 12:14 AM   #12
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Van/Bourbon Winter Ale:

Uncapping/Pouring Aesthetics: Low pfft, poured with nice 1/2" head. Nice deep amber/brown color. Clarity is good when held up to the light. Head faded after a few, but lacing remained throughout.

Aroma: Hello Bourbon! Nice background aroma of oak, very nice. I really love oak. There's a little sweet maltiness there too. No hop aroma.

Taste: Again, big bourbon taste. I agree it could use a little more mouthfeel and maltiness. I know the bourbon has thinned this beer out a bit. That to say, it does make it easy drinking. I taste a little vanilla hint, could be from the oak and bourbon though. Good sweetness, no hop flavor. Bitterness from the alcohol balances well.

Proximity to Style:??????

Overall: I agree with your(Evan) and Bike-n-Brew's assesments, I would like the bourbon toned down or the base beer upped a bit. It is a good example of a bourbon fortified beer though, and I always like to see oak in a beer when its appropriate and works(as with this one). I think next time you could really dial this beer in and make a really outstanding beer. I really enjoyed this one though.
My SWMBO says she likes the higher level of bourbon, and wouldn't change it.

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Old 09-09-2007, 08:06 PM   #13
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Sommerbock

Uncapping/Pouring: Big, three finger head light tan in color. Deep/Dark amber color. Good clarity when held up to the light.

Aroma: Nice clean, sweet, malty aroma. No hop aroma.

Taste: Very nice clean flavor. Medium bodied, lighter than I was expecting based on the color. Very sweet finish, interesting because the sweetness is there w/o a ton of maltiness. No hop flavor discernable. A little toasted flavor in the mix with the malt and sweetness.

Proximity to Style: I'm not terribly experienced with this style. Seems like it could be a little bigger(abv and maltiness) to be a solid bock. I think you adressed this in an earlier review. Carbonation is a good medium level.

Overall: Very well made beer. I find the sweetness very intersting, definitely adds interest and complexity. Lagers can be difficult to get right, you've done a good job with this one. I enjoyed it.

BTW, I waited for the beer I'm most excited about for last. The Old Slug. I can't believe no one else requested this unusual beer, too different for me not to. Hopefully their loss will be my gain.

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Old 09-11-2007, 10:19 PM   #14
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Last Sunday I finally got around to having the Pale Ale that you said needed some time to mature.

Brown Ring Of Fire Pale Ale

Appearance: Nice pffft sound when uncapped. Pours a nice one-finger white head that soon fades to a persistent ¼” head. Nearly crystal clear, light amber color. Nice!


Aroma: Bready malt aroma predominates with a toasty note in the background. No hop aroma noticeable. True to style if this is an English PA.

Flavor: Moderately high fruity esters and very low hop flavor. Low maltiness, no bitterness. Finishes slightly dry, but with a fruity twang in the finish. English PAs are supposed to have some fruitiness, but this reminds me of some extract beers I’ve had where you get ‘extract twang’ from either stale LME and/or DME, too high a fermentation temperature or late extract additions.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light mouthfeel, true to style.

Overall Impression: Not bad, but the ‘twang’ distracted me. It threw off the balance. IMHO, if you can correct that, this would be a solid English PA or bitter!

Rating: 21

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Old 10-26-2007, 09:25 PM   #15
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Hop Beatdown Double IPA II
------------------------------

Uncapping / Pouring / Aesthetics: The fill on the bottles seemed a bit high to me before opening, only being about 1/2" from the top of the bottle. Nice pffft upon opening. It poured very nicely, but only retained about 1/8" head for about 20 secconds or so. It's very dark for an IIPA. I'd estimate the SRM at around 25 or so, and it's a bit cloudy.

Aroma: Citrusy hops are present in the nose, but there is not as much hops aroma as I would expect for an IIPA. There is also a slight malt undertone in the nose, giving me the expectation of a well balanced beer.

Palate: Perhaps I read your notes incorrectly and opened this one a bit too soon (Please let me know if this is the case), but this does not taste like a 100+ IBU beer to me at all - maybe it needed more time, but normally bitterness mellows with time, not strengthens. There is only a bit of hop presence noticable in the finish. This beer has a nice, full-bodied mouthfeel and may be a bit low on carbonation, but drinks very smoothly and is very tasty.

Proximity to the Style: When I think of IIPA/DIPA's I think of beers that are 7%+ abv and have a very noticable bitterness. If this is a 7%+ then the full body of this beer hides the alcohol content very well. This beer falls a bit short of my expectations for bitterness.

Even without your notes it is easily detectable that this beer was dry-hopped due to the hop presence in the nose, but lack of bitterness in the palate.

Overall Impression: This is a very quaffable, full-bodied beer that I'd easily be able to throw back 3 or 4 of - but I'm guessing that the abv might make that a bit difficult. Overall this is a very good beer, Evan. It's just not a beer that I would call an IIPA. Maybe it's because I'm a hop-head, but I'd like to smell and taste a LOT more hops in an IIPA than what's in this beer.

36/50

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Old 10-26-2007, 09:41 PM   #16
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Thanks for the review, Brewtus.

A couple things:

Maybe the oak and the high FG are confusing the tongue on this one when it comes to the bitterness and alcohol. The IBU's are above 110. The alcohol is around 9% (would have been more if it weren't for that wacked out high FG). So, yeah, it does hide it very well.

To be quite honest with you, I don't know what else I could have done to make this beer hoppier, dude. Maybe continuous additions throughout the boil?

In addition to the bittering hops, I added cascade at 30, 20 and then Summit at 15, 10, 5 and flameout. I then dryhopped not once, but twice, each for two weeks+...first with a bunch of summit, then cascade and EKG. This MF'er should be a hop bomb by my calcs...but I do agree with your assessment somewhat. It could be hoppier. It just blows my mind that after hopping the hell out of it, it's not more intense.

Next time, I'll try continuous hopping through the boil.

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.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:27 AM   #17
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What did you use as your bittering hop?

I don't know that you need to continuously hop this brew, maybe just either hop in larger quantities or use higher aa varieties at 60 and 30?

A buddy of mine did an Extract IIPA that was very similar. It was 25 SRM-ish in color, came in at over 10% and had a very high FG. He says that it was over 100 IBU's but I could never taste anything more than subtle bitterness.

I'd guess that the lack of bitterness is more a function of everything else that's going on in this beer than it is your hopping schedule during the boil.

I plan on doing another IIPA when I can brew again. If it turns out well I'll put you on the list to receive a couple.

EDIT: Maybe someone more experienced than me could chime in here, but I just had a thought. Would a high OG (1.100 or higher) change the way that alpha acids are isomerized during the boil?

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Old 10-27-2007, 08:08 PM   #18
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I used magnum for bittering.

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MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers


.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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Old 10-29-2007, 07:39 PM   #19
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Rochefort 10 Clone
------------------------------

Uncapping / Pouring / Aesthetics: The fill on the bottles seemed a bit high to me before opening, only being about 1/2" from the top of the bottle. Nice pffft upon opening. It poured very nicely, but only retained and very thin layer of head for a few seconds. I've never had the original, but it's about the color I expected for a Belgian Quadrupel. It pours a rich, beautiful murky dark brown.

Aroma: The nose presents a stong fig/raisin note with malty undertones and a slight spiciness. No discernable hop aroma is present. There is a noticable alcohol aroma, but it remains well hidden under the dark fruit. There is a slight hint of coffee or chocolate as this beer warms... I can't quite put my finger on it, but it's somewhere in between.

Palate: This is a very complex beer. The alcohol content wants to come through and overwhelm the palate in the finish, but it's balanced very well by what tastes like slight tones of caramel and chocolate in the front and a strong but sweetly mild date/fig/raisin tase in the finish. This would probably benefit from a bit more carbonation, but as I said previously, this is a very complex and interesting beer that has a wonderfully thick and full-bodied mouthfeel. As this beer warms, the alcohol content finally succceeds in overpowering the dark fruit flavors and provides a nice alcohol warmth.

Proximity to the Style: I've never had a Rochefort 10, but I am familiar the BJCP style guidelines and have had similar beers, and I must say that outside of the carbonation being very low for the style, every other aspect of this beer is very accurate to the style guidelines for BJCP style 18E.

Overall Impression: Like any beer with this many complex flavors/aromas and such a high alcohol content, this beer is meant to be savored and enjoyed slowly. I opened this almost 30 minutes ago now and it's only half gone. I don't want it to end - it's that good.

43/50

If it had been carbonated to style I would have given it a 44.

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Old 10-29-2007, 07:54 PM   #20
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Thanks again for the thorough review, brewtus.

Still not sure about the carbo...but I took the rest of the bottles, lightly shook/swirled them, and put them in my warm room. I had one on Saturday and it seems more carbonated than the previous one.

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MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers


.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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