Latest beers from Evan!
Destroyer Of Worlds IIPA
Pour/Aesthetic: Opened with a nice pffft and poured with very little head that dissipated quickly. By appearance only, this beer appears to be undercarbonated as there are very few rising bubbles. While it is a bit darker than I would expect for an IIPA it's certainly within style guidelines.
Aroma: There is a mild citrus hop aroma in the nose, much less than what I was expecting after reading your description. I'm getting a slight hint of dark fruit and a bit or caramel as well, but both are only very minimally present. Strong alcohol notes are present as this beer warms.
Palate: The low carbonation level suits this beer very well. The next thing I noticed was the alcohol warmth. Bitterness and hop flavor are low to moderate in the form of spicy hop notes. There is some clean malty sweetness in the background that clings to the tongue resulting in a fairly heavy mouthfeel.
Proximity to Style: Unfortunately this beer isn't very close to the style guidelines for an IIPA apart from the alcohol content. There is only a mild hop presence in the nose, and there are only faint notes of both citrus and spicy hops in the palate. Bitterness is present, but not at the level that most IIPA's are.
Overall Impression: I haven't given a beer of yours a below average review until now. I saw your recipe for this one and I'm not sure why, but this does not drink like an IIPA to me at all (and I'm a big fan of IIPA's). That doesn't mean that it's a bad beer by an means, it's just not an IIPA IMO.
Pour/Aesthetic: Opened with a nice pffft and poured with very little head that dissipated quickly. It is brilliantly clear and a nice golden amber/pale copper color.
Aroma: Nice malty nice with a hint of noble hops - it reminds me a bit of an ESB, but with more balance. No diacetyl, no off aromas at all.
Palate: A bit undercarbonated, but I think that it suits the beer perfectly. Starts with a nice balance of malt and noble hops and goes down with a great malty finish. Medium mouthfeel.
Proximity to Style: I'm unsure as to which style this beer could fall under, but I'd almost liken it to mixe between a balanced ESB and an Altbier.
Overall Impression: I must say that I really enjoyed this beer. It really is quite incredible that what such a simple recipe can produce. I found myself checking your shipping insert sheet after each of the first few drinks to make sure that I was drinking the right beer, as it tastes like there's much more to this brew than just Munich and EKG.
Pour/Aesthetic: Opened with a nice pffft and poured with a two finger white, creamy head that stood for at least 30 seconds before it began to fall and remained until the beer was more than half gone with great lacing along the way. A brilliant golden color (I'd guess about 4 or 5 SRM) and incredibly clear. Carbonation appears to be appropriate for the style.
Aroma: Belgian spicy notes fill the nose, but no single scent stands out so I'm guessing this is the product of a Belgian yeast strain. There is also a hint of alcohol detectable, which is appropriate for the style. The nose of the beer has my palate prepared for something similar to Victory Golden Monkey.
Palate: This beer delivers on what's in the nose. The Belgian spice continues, but it a bit more subdued. There is a mild alcohol warmth in the finish that I actually expected to be a bit stronger based solely on the aroma. Very drinkable for the (likely) high alcohol content, this beer would likely benefit from a lower mashing temperature to contribute to a thicker mouthfeel.
Proximity to Style: It's a bit thin-bodied, but other than that it's very close to the commercial examples that I have had of the style.
Overall Impression: Once again I'm impressed. Ironically enough, I just came up with a Belgian Golden Strong Ale recipe for myself today. With any luck, it will end up as wonderful as this beer did.
I will post my reviews of Evan!'s beers here
I received 4 different beers from Evan! and I will go ahead and post my reviews in this thread.
DARK PARADISE SMOKED LAGER
This is my first ever attempt to do a formal beer critique, so you are going to have to cut me some slack on my limited ability to describe flavors and aromas.
I drank your beer at about 45 degrees, carbonation was moderate and seemed appropriate, where the beer had a thick dense head that was nice. Appearance was very dark but translucent, with a dark reddish color when I held it up to the light.
Aromas I found kind of tricky to nail down and verbalize but I want to call it sweet and slightly bready. In addition I kept wanting to throw the word mossy in there, but I don't know if there is an actual basis for me to use that word, or if I was just primed by looking at Moss Hollow Brewery on your packing sheet.
The flavor/palate, the very first thing that hit my tongue was the sweet maltiness, which was on the heavy side of things, and I found it quite pleasant. Then the taste shifted to the sides of my tongue and I got a little bit of a spicy kind of taste, which was followed by a relatively minor, but distinct hit of bitterness as I finished my swallow. The bitterness may have been more significant than I could pick up, but it was balanced towards maltiness in a way that made it overall a very tasty satisfying beer.
The body/mouthfeel was full but not thick, and I found it very appropriate and nice. After the swallow there was a nice, light, lingering spicy taste, so it obviously wasn't a crisp finish, but that wouldn't have been desired anyway.
The thing that I missed was the smoky taste. Now I will be quick to admit, that I have never had a smoked beer before, So I might not even have known a smoky taste if I had tasted it, but I didn't get anything that I would call or think of as smoky. My dad (who drinks Labatt Blue) tasted it and said it tasted like what molasses smells like. I'm not sure what molasses smells like, but from what fragments of sensory memory I have of molasses, I was inclined to agree that that was a component of the flavor.
Overall though I found it to be a very nice enjoyable beer, with no flaws that I could pick out, but due to the residual sweetness, it wouldn't probably be a beer I would drink more than one of in a night. Since I'm not sophisicated enough to use a BJCP style rating scale, so I will just say that this beer is to me a 4/5, with 5 being the highest, 1 being the lowest, and 3 being average.
Sweet Baby James Pale Ale
For appearance, there was again a good dense thick head, and the color was a deep bronze. Carbonation was again moderate, and I found it very appropriate.
Aroma was a very strong floral, slighly citrusy hop aroma, with maybe a little bit of the malt coming in at the edge of the aroma.
The flavor/palate began with a moderate maltiness on the front of my tongue that shifted into a nice, roughly equal proportionally to the maltiness, amount of bitterness on the back of the tongue. After the swallow, I was left with a grassy, citrusy hop aftertaste that stays around for a while, which is something I always enjoy in hoppy beers (when the aftertaste is the pleasant kind).
The mouthfeel/body was very smooth and appropriate, not thin by any means, but not too thick that it obscured the flavors of the beer. The hop flavor was very smooth, and I was pleased that it was not at all astringent, as I have experienced in my attempt at an IPA/APA.
The only thing I found slightly unpleasant about this beer, was that after a few minutes in the glass, and about halfway into the beer, the aroma seemed to change, and what it changed to was a bit strange and slightly unpleasant. I tried over and over again to put my finger on what this aroma was, but the only thing I was able to write down in my notes was the word fishy, but I don't know if that's very accurate to describe it. Maybe that's just a reflection of my flavor ignorance.
Other than that though, this was a very good beer that was very well balanced that I enjoyed thoroughly, and I will call this a 4/5.
Moss Hollow Smoked Porter
I drank this beer at around 50 degrees, and there was a quickly dissappating moderate sized tan head. Carbonation was low and very appropriate I thought. The appearance was opaque black, and it looked very thick.
The aroma portion of this beer included some of the same aromas as the Smoked lager, with the aromas that I wanted to call mossy, bready and earthy. I also am getting a little bit of the roastyness that I believe is to come, and maybe even a tiny bit of alcohol as well.
The flavor/palate started with a relatively low amount of sweetness at the front, which transfers into the roasty flavor that I was anticipating, as well as a low amount of bitterness. I think I finally understand the smoky flavor, because at the end of my swallow, I am getting a little of what I would call smokiness, and despite my fears that it might be overdone, the smokiness was not too strong or overpowering, but I found it just right, and it added another nice dimension to an already nice beer. I also found a nice molasses component mixed in the middle of the swallow that it took me a couple of sips to isolate. After the swallow I was also left with a pleasant lingering molasses taste.
The body/mouthfeel was somewhat heavy and thick, but not to the degree that the appearance would lead you to believe. I couldn't find a single thing that seemed wrong about this beer, very nice job.
Overall, I really enjoyed this beer, even though this isn't the style of beer I would normally gravitate towards but all the dimensions of flavor, really balanced well together, and made a great beer. I would love to have some more of this. I would call it a 5/5.
This was the last beer of yours that I tried. I am a big belgian beer fan and this was the one that I was anticipating the most, which is why I saved it for last. It spend a couple weeks chilling out in my fridge, and I pulled it out before I opened it, so I could enjoy it at about 50 degrees.
There was a good but moderate head that was very quick to disappate, and the appearance was very deep orange color that was rather translucent. The aroma was citrusy, orangey, with maybe a little vanilla aroma, with very little sweetness in the aroma, and a tiny bit of spiciness. After smelling this beer, I totally understood why you called my witbier attempt a tripel, because the aroma is very similar to my beer. Carbonation was moderately high, and appropriate.
The flavor/palate of this beer starts off by completely bypassing any sweetness tastes on my tongue, and it goes right in to an aggressive astringent bitterness that was really rather unpleasant. This bitterness/astringent taste really dominates the flavor, and I would compare it to the bitter white part on the back of an orange peel. I am thinking that this must be an alcoholic bitterness because after the swallow it leaves a warm alcoholic sensation in my throat. I know a tripel is a high alcohol brew, but just how much alcohol is in this. Maybe I'm ignorant about what tripels are supposed to taste like, since I've only had 1 or 2 in my life, but I think that this alcoholic taste should be completely hidden, and it just dominates the palate of this beer. I keep trying to taste around the alcoholic bitterness to get anything else, but I'm having a real hard time doing so. Beyond the alcohol, I do pick up on a slight spicy note near the end of the swallow, but really not much else in the way of flavors because it is just so overshaddowed by the bitterness.
The body/mouthfeel was thin and light, in the pleasant way, just the way I would want it to be. Overall I was quite dissappointed in this beer, as I was expecting it to be my favorite of the bunch. Perhaps the taste is attributable to shipping conditions, or the fact that it was in my fridge so long, I don't really know, but I would be really curious to know if you have gotten any of what I am experiencing in this beer in your own tastings. I will call this one a 2/5.
The funny thing is, I was listening to the Jamil Show one day whilst brewing, and I was drinking one of the Smoked Porters that I made with the peated malt...and here's JZ and Jon Plise talking about how awful peated malt is, and how it should only be used in scotch, and blah blah blah. I'm sitting here drinking one of the best beers I've made, as they're saying this, which has peated malt in it. So yeah, whateva.
But I digress. Anyway, the smoke in the Dark Paradise is there, but you really have to be looking for it because it blends in so well with the allspice. I dunno how I thought of that combo, but I am happy with the results. It's basically a bock (which is why you get that malt sweetness) with a few ounces of peated malt and some allspice. The name of the beer is misleading, though, and I should probably change it to just 'Dark Paradise Lager', but again, whateva.
thanks for the reviews! Much appreciated, and I'll get into your saison soon.
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