Beerswap III: Bearcat Brewmeister's Beers
Beer went out 11/17 by UPS.
RP = Robust Porter
APA = American Pale Ale
SA = Scotch Ale
The recipes are in the box, but take Bird's advice - see if you can make out the flavors and figure out the ingredients before looking at the recipe.
Quick preview - the APA is at the high end for SG and hopped on the border of an IPA. Also, like I mentioned in the PMs I sent, drink the Scotch Ale fairly close to room temp.
I hope you enjoy them.
aroma: highly malty,earthy smoky raisiney light caramel
appearance:very dark metallic clear brown bottle. no head at all very little lace
flavor:rich highly malty hints of roasted nut and caramel. smoky raisin aftertaste with no hops detectable
mouthfeel:low carbonation drops the mouthfeel down. still a semi thick beer but not what i expect for a wee-heavy
overall:nicely matches the style on all except the carb. nice job mark
Thanks for the comments. Funny thing on the carbonation - I used to carbonate it at the low end of the style, about 1.5 to 1.7 volumes, so I had the keg at 5 psi. It felt like the carbonation bite was fighting the maltiness so I dropped it down to just under 4 psi. I like the taste better personally at the lower carb level (more like a Scottish ale, just with more alcohol kick), but when I had entered this into a competition this summer, it had the higher carb level.
Could be the combo of the purposely lower carb level plus the use of the beer gun caused it to have almost no carbonation. Let me know if the other beers are undercarbed. They are dispensed at 9 and 11 psi so they should be fine. If not, then I know it is the beer gun.
Very small head, but beautiful, deep amber color. Almost unnoticable hiss as popping the top. This beer did chill over night and has a vary hazzzy clarity.
Hops, loads of them. I tried to guess what was in there before looking at the cheatsheet and I knew it was more than just cascade. It's wonderful. A very very very small touch of malt hidden behind the hops.
Delicious. It's a great mix. The malt flavor that hit's the tongue is a like a dish to serve this true salad of hops. This beer really coats the mouth. The hops are enough to keep me guessing all day if I didn't have the cheatsheet. I could drink this pint after pint.
Proximity to style
Besides missing the normal head of an APA it is right on.
Delicious. I love this beer. Only thing that would make it better is a nice big head, but I can enjoy it none-the-less. The huge hops complexity that obviously comes from the nice variety used, lends a special characteristic to this beer that can't be found by just using a large quanitity of hops, such as in an IPA. I really, really enjoyed and it makes me want to go throw a salad of hops into my next batch.
For those wondering this beer has a killer hop schedule that includes: warrior, simcoe, amarillo gold, summit and cascade
One of the three APAs foamed up real bad when filling, so it lost most of its carbonation. I had forgotten to turn down the pressure when using the beer gun (first time using it - bound to forget something). I serve this beer at 11 psi, so it normally has a huge head. We will see how the other APAs go and if they are carbed okay, then we know you got the foamed one. Glad you liked it otherwise. There have been hops in the keg now for over 4 months and I think they are beginning to get a bit astringent.
For the massive flavor and aroma, you can thank Jamil for the tip on using very little full boil hops and loading up late to get all of the IBUs.
Appearance Very dark brown to the point of almost being black. Some hints of red when the light hits the glass/beer boundary just right. It is pretty hard to tell the clarity in this beer due to the darkness although it seemed very clear. The head was a very nice tan with a fairly loose structure. Head dissipated in about 1 minute. There was a slight hiss when I popped the cap, but this bottle seems to be carbonated perfectly. There was some mild lacing throughout the glass that didn't persist very long.
Aroma First impression was of chocolate and slight toffee. Subtle hop aroma that goes away immediately. Might have been in the head space of the bottle because I couldn't get it back after the first few seconds. After that, it was chocolate all the way.
Flavor Holy Godiva is this brew chocolaty. This beer starts off with a roasty/chocolaty flavor and finishes cleaner than any porter I have ever had. No hop flavor that I could detect, but I think hop flavor would detract from the cleanness. I couldn't detect any out of place esthers or off flavors. There was a slightly alcoholic flavor that showed up as the beer warmed up, but it only warmed up because I forced myself to put it down and let it. I just don't think that would be a problem under normal circumstances.
Mouthfeel Moderate to moderate-full body. Carbonation is right where I would want it. I don't think I could guess at the CO2 volumes, but where it is makes this beer very drinkable.
Adherence to Style It seems to me that this style is wide open. Hoppyness/carbonation/color/body all seem to have very loose definitions. I would guess that this is more along the lines of an English Robust Porter than an American, but I mostly say that because of the tendency for American porters (in my experience) to overdo the hops and overcarb. The body of this beer pushes the porter/stout boundary, but I would still characterize it as a porter due to the clean finish.
Overall Impression This beer has renewed my faith in porters. I used to go to a pub in college that served an excellent porter and I considered myself a big fan. After moving away, I have tried dozens of commercial porters and I always come away disappointed. Looking at the recipe (I waited until just now so I wouldn't bias the results) I am surprised at the relatively low percentage of chocolate malt. I would have guessed more. If I _had_ to change something in the recipe, I would add a little more percentage of the crystal malt to give just a hint more of the toffee flavor. But please don't change the recipe. The golding hops seem pretty good for this recipe and the english ale yeast gives a nice, clean fermentation. I'm glad you sent two of these bad boys. I'll be enjoying the 2nd next weekend during the football game.
aroma: wow very citrusy grapefruit comes thru no malts
appearence: slight haze might be due to cold temp on pour quickly cleared up. nice clear copper color. slight head going to lace quite quickly
flavor: more grapfruit nose but nicely balanced on bitterness. still feel like theres a citrus in there
mouthfeel:light nice feel 10 or so methinks. slightly effervessent
overall: the citrus is high but the balance is beautiful! could use some more carbonation though. i do like this, now to find what i did w the recipe!
If you can't find the recipe, it is just a scaled down version of the IPA I have posted in the recipe database.
Thanks for the comments - very helpful. Low carbonation seems to be a theme throughout, so it looks like I need more practice with the beer gun. They are nicely carbonated on tap right now in my basement, but that didn't seem to make it into the bottle.
Excellent clarity for such a dark beer. Dark red/brown in color, but I can see solid outlines of my fingers behind it in the light.
Almost non-existent. Probably from undercarbonation (no bubbles to release the aroma).
Full on nutty/sweet flavor. No hops, slight bitterness. Interesting combo, to say the least. Coats the mouth. Very full. strong caramel. A very sweet beer.
Good, I enjoyed it. No alcohol taste. I don't think I'd drink a lot of these in a row. I would like more carbonation and a little more balance, the malts are overtaking this beer. No yeast flavor/aroma, no hops flavor/aroma. EDIT: Gonna up this one to 38/50 instead of 33/50, I realllllly really like that nuttiness that's coming through, it wasn't strong at first, but now it's real strong and I'm loving it. I've always wanted a nuttiness in my brews but don't know how to acheive it.
Spot on color: dark brown, approaching black. Creamy light brown head. But, the head was small, not much to speak off.
Medium aroma at first, that fades. It was pleasant though, nutty, toasty. No chocolate or coffee really, but nutty... maybe even approaching a hint of toffee.
Caramel coated, toasted almonds. yea, imagine that. Seriously, it's a good taste, real good. But just toasted, not roasted, not blackened. Very tasty though, nice sweet follow through.
Awesome beer. I really really like it. Not too strong in any form. I would like a bigger aroma from the dark malts, I'm not sure how that would be achieved without adding more flavor though. I think more flavor would be good, but this one has a nice flavor already. Ok, now I"m talkinging in circles.
BJCP Score would be lower, because I don't think it's robust: 30/50
My Score without sticking to a style: 42/50
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