Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Tasting Notes: 1909 Lees Bitter

I've been waiting to post tasting notes for this beer because it was a bit rough around the edges for the first month or two.  I suppose that's unsurprising given the amount of hops used in it (70 calculated IBUs), especially since I also missed my O.G. by almost 10 points!  For the first month or so, it tasted like a poorly fermented kolsch: lots of honey and light fruitiness.  The bitterness wasn't too rough, but the whole thing didn't really come together.  Its started to come into its own in the last few weeks, and may well continue improving.

Appearance: Golden colour. Has a chill-haze if poured straight from the fridge, but crystal clear if you let it warm up a bit.  Head retention is terrible.

Smell: It had a strong honeyish aroma when it was young, but this has faded quite a bit.  Very slight fruitiness, but hard to tell if its the sugars, the yeast, or even residual aroma from the hops.

Taste: Honeyed malts, light fruitiness (apples, pears, maybe apricot), tea-like tannins in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation.  Not too thin.  Bitterness is not at all rough, but builds gradually as you drink a pint to become almost numbing.  I like it, others might not.

Drinkability & Notes: It all comes together quite nicely at this point, drinking smoothly where before all the edges stuck out.  I'm surprised that the bitterness isn't harsher.  It definitely builds up as you drink, but I don't find it at all unpleasant.  Probably won't make this again, if only because of the quantity of hops involved, but J and I have both been drinking it fairly regularly.

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