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Old 11-18-2007, 06:15 PM   #1
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Default Beerswap III: Chad's Beers

These will go out 11/19. There are two each of the American Amber and ginger Cream Ale and one of the all-grain American Amber.

Cap Scribble:
A = Apex Amber v1.0
C = Cornucopia Cream Ale
2 = Apex Amber v2.0

The ginger Cream Ale was bottled 11/9 so should be fully carbonated when you get it but still might be a little young. All three are bottle conditioned, so bottles A and C should be refrigerated at least over night to settle out after their arduous journey. Apex Amber v2.0 was just bottled 11/18 and will need at least three weeks at room temperature to reach proper carbonation. Please be patient. Based on the hydrometer samples the wait will be worth it. Thanks for playing guinea pig. I really appreciate it.

Chad

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Last edited by Chad; 11-18-2007 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:47 PM   #2
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Apex Amber

Aroma:
Malt right up front. I can smell the crystal clearly. The hops are there, but not distinct.

Appearance:
Deep amber, no clarity. Great head! 1 inch on poor, half inch for half the glass. No lace on the way down though... might just be my glass was dirty.

Flavor:
Round, not too thin, not too thick. I like it. Hops are present, they outshine the malt. They aren't big, or citrusy, but bitter and graceful. Very nice.

Proximity to Style:
I think it needs more hops, maybe more bitterness and I'd love some more aroma. I don't think it's quite up to par with most ambers in this manner.
The color is right on, but should probably have a bit more clarity. The caramel notes are very true to the style.

Overall Impression:
A good, satisfying beer. But I would like to see more complexity in the hops aroma and maybe a hint more in the bitterness. The flavor hops are shining though.

34/50
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Old 11-29-2007, 04:28 AM   #3
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Chad, your beers arrived today . I've been fighting a cold, so I'll probably be a couple days before tasting them.

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Old 11-29-2007, 01:36 PM   #4
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Thanks for the kinds words, Chris. I agree with you about the hopping. What's weird is that Palmer (whose recipe I borrowed) and Beersmith both put this at 46 IBU or an IBU:OG ratio of .935. I certainly doesn't drink that way, does it?

I just went and checked my hop stash. The Willamettes that I used for aroma hopping are listed as 5.5% in Beersmith, but mine are at 3.8%. I realize that AA doesn't equal aroma, but it could be that these Willamette hops just aren't as potent/pungent/aromatic as they needed to be for this beer. Now I'm trying to remember if I adjusted for that with Apex Amber v2.0. Should be interesting to compare the two.

Take care,
Chad

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Old 11-29-2007, 01:44 PM   #5
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Chad, I'm not gonna lie, I had a cold when I drank it. I took some medicine and made sure my nose had cleared up completely, but it still could've effected it. I'm gonna wait til I"m a bit healthier to drink v2.0

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Old 12-01-2007, 04:19 PM   #6
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Cornucopia Cream Ale

Appearance:
Yellow, good color. Very hazy though, can't see through the glass. Nice head after the pour, sticks around for a minute and then leaves a nice lace on the glass.

Aroma:
Very little aroma, I am picking up some spice and maybe a little from the hops.

Flavor:
Simple, dry. A hint of spice in there, a little hops flavor comes through. Very lite on the tongue. Easy to drink, smooth, well carbonated.

Overall Impression:
The appearance was lacking, but that's about it. I like that the spicy notes are very very subtle which helps keep this beer in the cream ale category. A good all around beer.

40/50
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Old 12-07-2007, 05:53 AM   #7
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Apex Amber

Pours a medium-dark amber color with a thick off-white head. Excellent lacing down my glass.

The nose is caramel malt. I don't get much hops.

Light caramel malt kicks the flavors off, but the flavoring hops are the star. I don't get much bitterness on the end.

Mouth feel is right on - not thin and slippery and perfect carbonation.

I guess if I were to suggest anything, it would be to add some more bitterness for a crisp finish. That said, the flavors were pleasant. It's quite a drinkable beer. I enjoyed it.

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Old 12-08-2007, 04:08 AM   #8
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Default Cornucopia Cream Ale

Aroma: More lemony than ginger, per se. Peppery spice also present. Mild hop bitterness blends into spice/citrus. (9/12)

Appearance: Noticeable CO2 discharge upon uncapping. Beer pours with white, 1-finger head. Tremendous CO2 nucleating from bottom of ordinary pint glass. I've really never seen anything like this. Perhaps my glass is just dirty! Hazy--faint orange to light copper in color. Head and lacing persistent throughout the consumption. (2/3)

Flavor: Earthy is the first thing that comes to mind...glad that you also mentioned it in the brew notes (which I didn't look at prior to sampling). Citrus not as present as the smell would indicate. Definitely grassy, but really not in a bad way. Tad on the dry side, with some mouth-puckering on the end palate. No hop bitterness detected, but subtle malts are a nice touch. Ginger faintly present in taste, but in no means dominant. (16/20)

Mouthfeel: Utterly delectable. Perfect for the style, I dare say. I am biased toward dry beers in aftertaste, and this reminds me of a belgian pale mouthfeel. Pleasing, and well rounded for my preferred tastes. (5/5)

Overall Impression: Other than the slight grassiness, this is a great beer. You are definitely on a great track! I would buy a sixer of this. (8/10)

40/50
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Old 01-04-2008, 03:01 AM   #9
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For those who tried the Apex Amber version 2.0, did you find it strangely bland and one dimensional? I know I did. I don't get it. It's the same recipe and hop schedule as 1.0, but in an all grain version. However I didn't find the same maltiness or hop backbone as I did in version 1.0. In this case the extract+steeped grain version of this beer has more depth.

Comments?

Chad

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Old 01-04-2008, 03:13 PM   #10
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I haven't yet because I planned to do this side by side with the 1.0.

Perhaps this will spur me to try it tonight! (as well as finish up all my other reviews!)

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