I've been avoiding commenting on this recipe to date because I really wanted to make sure it came out well.
The basis for this recipe was from Jamil's Dirty Water Brown, in his book Brewing Classic Styles. I was trying to stick with his, and the style's, guidelines, yet I wanted malty without using Crystal.
I was also a little premature to post this recipe in the database, as it was unbrewed/tested at the time. I can honestly say I feel it belongs here now.
A good friend of mine, who's also a AG homebrewer veteran of many years, was given a few of these. He has been given a few of my beers since my first brew, and he's pulled no punches when assessing my brews. He knows that honesty when tasting is one of the biggest aids in helping a brewer perfect his craft. My Scotch Ale extract kit that was well received by everyone, he didn't care for it, and pointed out the faults that I still taste to this day. My Cali Common he nailed for the extract twang, but still gave me high marks for what I agreed to be my best kit beer, and he did enjoy it.
I got my friend's feedback on this one secondhand. In what has got to be the biggest compliment I've ever gotten on my beer, he told a coworker, "No one who's been brewing for less than 6 months should be able to make beer that good." His wife said it was as good as his.
Cons on the first batch: That much whole leaf hallertauer was a waste. It not only soaked up far too much wort, I really should have used a less expensive higher AA hop for bittering. My next batch of this will get different hops for bittering, but I like German aroma hops in this, and I'll be researching a little more for just the right combo there.
I also bought a 50# bag of 2row, so that's going to be the base of the next batch. I hope I don't lose anything in that switch.