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-   -   Beerswap III: Wop31's Beer's (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f38/beerswap-iii-wop31s-beers-45445/)

WOP31 11-20-2007 01:52 AM

Beerswap III: Wop31's Beer's
I thought that I would be cool and rename my other beer review thread, and use it for the beerswap beers too, but alas, I am not that cool.

So post your reviews, good, bad, or indifferent, in this thread, Thanks!


Chad 11-23-2007 01:12 AM

Robust Porter
Wop31's Robust Porter:

Light hiss on opening. Thin foamy head that recedes to patchy bubbles and light ring around the edge of the glass very quickly. Opaque chocolate brown with hints of coppery red at the top and bottom when held up to the light. No hop aroma or esters.

Medium full mouthfeel. Light roasty and caramel flavors that fade to a nice background bitterness. This is a well balanced beer with a finish that is slightly drier than expected given the full mouthfeel. Malty flavors come through when the beer is aerated or chewed in the mouth. Carbonation is moderate. There is a lingering bitterness at the back edges of the tongue after swallowing.

As the beer warms slightly there are malty notes deep in the glass if you stick your nose down in there. There are some high, almost tart, caramel and cherry flavors that fill out the upper midrange. This beer could use just a little more roasted coffee or chocolate notes to anchor the bottom end. On the plus side, there are no harsh, bitter or burnt flavors. I followed Wop31's Robust Porter with a Carolina Brewing Company Winter Porter, which tasted acrid and bitter by comparison.

This beer is more English than American. Very restrained hops, balanced toward maltiness and with some English-style yeast character rather than the brutally clean American yeasts. This is milder and more pleasant to drink than other robust porters I've sampled. The Carolina Winter Porter -- which I've been enjoying very much up until now -- was very American by comparison. Lots of hop flavor and an almost vegetal hop aroma, much greater bitterness and roasted (and slightly burnt) flavors that would be more at home in a stout.

If you'd put this beer down in front of me without a label I would have guessed Brown Porter rather than Robust. That's not a criticism. I'm enjoying this beer very much, and given a choice between it and many other porters I'd grab this one in a heartbeat. If you decide to enter it into competitions, however, have a couple of experienced beer judges give it a try to see which category it fits best.


edit: solecism

paulthenurse 11-27-2007 04:54 AM

Beers arrived today. Looking forward to trying them. I'll let them settle for a few days and try them Thurs or Fri.


Evan! 11-27-2007 02:52 PM

Robust Porter

Uncapping / Pouring / Aesthetics: Less than what I'd expect as far as pressure at uncapping, suggesting undercarbonation. The pour confirms this. Very little head, but what head there is is slightly off-white. The color of the beer is a nice dark brown to black in the center, with auburn edges.

Aroma: Surprisingly sparse. After letting it warm up a bit, I start to get plum and toffee notes, with some subtle roasted coffee aromas sneaking through. But it's that dark dried fruit thing that keeps coming back. Even after letting it get up to room temp, it seems to be lacking roasted aromas. But, take this as you will, but I didn't have the legend handy when I drank the first one, and I knew it was a porter. A brown porter more than a robust, though. No spice or hop aromas.

Palate: Again, pretty sparse save for the plum/date flavors, and that roasted character is still too far in the background for a porter. I do enjoy the dark fruit flavors, and it seems almost candyish. There's a slight hop flavor, but it had to warm all the way up to really be perceived. There is a cleanliness and streamlined character that is very pleasing, making this nice and refreshing for a porter.

Proximity to the Style: Everything is close, for a brown porter. Not a robust by any means. What it's lacking are the roasty characteristics. I expect more of that in a porter, be it brown or robust or baltic.

Overall Impression: This is a well-made beer that has no real flaws, per se, but lacks flair, excitement, complexity and roastiness. This could easily be remedied by tossing some more chocolate and dark crystal malts into the recipe. Overall, I like it as a refreshing session porter, but I expect more from what you've deemed "robust".

SCORE: 30/50

Evan! 11-27-2007 03:03 PM

Honey Oat Red Ale

Uncapping / Pouring / Aesthetics: Again, as with the porter, the hiss is very slight, suggesting undercarbonation. This is again confirmed with the pour. Virtually no head whatsoever. The color of the beer is a nice brownish-red, with a relatively good amount of clarity.

Aroma: Caramel. That's what is all over this brew. Caramel! I get slight notes of an oak aging, but I don't think it is oak aged. Maybe its a bit of oxidation, but not in a bad way...more in a way of aged barleywine. This might be from the oats, or even the honey. The hop aroma is prevalent, and enjoyable. Slightly citrusy, but more spicy than anything else.

Palate: The same caramel notes mix with oak and figs and hops to give you a very complex and enjoyable palate. The mouthfeel is moderately full, with is interesting considering that there is supposedly honey in this brew (unless it was honey malt and not actual honey). The creamy mouthfeel works well with the caramel and fig flavors, and there's a touch of alcohol warmth towards the end.

Proximity to the Style: ??

Overall Impression: I'm very impressed. This is what I consider to be a "dark-hearted" beer. Not literally dark, but the flavors suggest a darkness. The whole thing is murky and focuses on figs and caramel. While not a session beer and not the most refreshing offering, it is certainly full of complexity and character, and is ultimately enjoyable. The only critique I can really offer is to emphasize the honey a bit more, just to lighten it up, and maybe a few more late hop additions.

SCORE: 38/50

WOP31 11-27-2007 04:00 PM

Thank you Evan!, Sorry about the under carbonation, I think i may need to work on my bottling off of the keg technique. I am finding that the porter IS more of a brown and should have been labled as such. The Honey in the Honey Oat Red Ale is from honey malt and not real honey.

Thanks for the feed back, i was considering brewing the HORA again soon, and i will take your notes into account.


Ó Flannagáin 11-27-2007 06:30 PM


Originally Posted by WOP31
Thank you Evan!, Sorry about the under carbonation, I think i may need to work on my bottling off of the keg technique. I am finding that the porter IS more of a brown and should have been labled as such. The Honey in the Honey Oat Red Ale is from honey malt and not real honey.

Thanks for the feed back, i was considering brewing the HORA again soon, and i will take your notes into account.


I was thinking about brewing it again soon as well. I really enjoyed that keg.

Chad 11-29-2007 01:20 PM

Honey Oat Red Ale

Good fill level. Good pour with a thick creamy head. The head settles down to a very light cap in about a minute. Very malty-caramel sweet aroma. Color is dark amber to brown with a slight cloudiness. No hop aromas present.

The beer is full and slightly thick in the mouth, presumably from the oats. Low carbonation level. Strong honey-flower flavor, similar to Fuller's London Pride but much more present. In the first sample I didn't detect much bitterness but the second seems a little better balanced between the very strong malt component and backbone bitterness. It could be that the second sample was stored colder than the first.

I could see this as a light dessert beer. It reminds me a little of a Madeira with the caramel, slight oxidation flavors and residual sweetness. I enjoyed this beer very much and can imagine pairing it with an apple caramel tart or other dessert. Served warmer it was a little cloying and heavy but at 40° - 45° it was nicely balanced and eminently drinkable.


paulthenurse 12-04-2007 04:27 PM

Honey Oat Red

Light pop on opening. A full pour yielded a 1/4 inch head that stayed for a short while then settled down to a light ring around the mug. Initially a light lace throughout but that disappeared by the first sip. Nice maltty nose with a hint of the honey underneath. Minimal hop nose, it's there but it is restrained. I think I would like a bit more hop aroma but that is just a personal style preference, I think it would act as a nice foil for the sweetness.9/12

Nice copper red color, deep and rich. Slightly hazy for the style, not totally clean/clear. Good looking beer. Small points off for the light head/haze. 2/3

Flavor is rich and malty. The honey is a definite background pressence. I'm getting the oats as a sensation of fullness in the mouth, I'm not tasting the oats at all. Slightly astringent on the finish. Perhaps a bit more bitterness/aroma would round it out. I'd like to see this with a bit more hop component overall to balance it out. 15/20

A nice, full bodied of beer. Would benifit from a touch more carbonation to expand the volume. 4/5

A nice, drinkable beer. I would like to see a bit more hop presence to balance out the sweetness of the honey and the malt, but that is a personal thing (I'm not crazy about Octoberfests for that same reason. This beer strongly reminded me of an Octoberfest.) I can see drinking many of these under a tent on a crisp fall day. 7.5/10

37 1/2 out of 50
Well done.


paulthenurse 12-05-2007 03:08 PM

Robust Porter

Ok, I'll cop to blowing the first taste. I popped the top and gulped it down with nary a thought that I should pay more attention to what was in my glass. So I am operating on an only half as much information as I should.

That said, I will try to make up the difference. Lets start off with this...


Nicely done. The first bottle didn't have this head, but that was my fault, I had it too cold. The head did settle down after a few minutes to a light lacing on the top but it did pour out nicely. Very light, background hop nose, and a strong malt backbone. There is a light coffee nose and I'm getting a bit of dried prunes. 7.5/12

Nice cap of foam that went away quickly. Dull brown color with a faint ruby shading. 1.5/3

Restrained bitterness, dried fruits, minimal coffee or chocolate notes. Solid malt profile. I agree with Evan that it is much closer to a straight up Brown Porter than a Robust Porter. That said, it is a very nice representation of a brown porter. Not what it's advertised as, but it is a nice drinkable porter. 14/20

Seems fuller in the mouth than I expected, more carbonation on the pallete. 4/5

A nice drinkable beer. I would drink this again and I would buy this in a bar. I think it is mislabeled as a RP but it is very nice inspite of that. 7/10

34/50 You can send more any time you want.


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