Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Tasting Notes: Summer Ale

What do I like to drink when it feels like -19°F out?  Summer ale!  Well, not really, but its what's in the fridge and I haven't written tasting notes for it yet...

Appearance: Golden and almost clear, with a very slight haze.  Thin lingering head.

Smell: Wheat and spicy hops, with a light fruitiness beneath it that is probably a combination of the Challenger hops and the yeast.

Taste:  Crackery malt, almost bread-like but not in the rich way I associate with Maris Otter.  Like a crusty baguette.  Transitions nicely into spicy hops and then a fairly firm bitterness.  J says it tastes 'English' in a good way (i.e. it tastes like the pale cask beers she enjoys most when we visit my family).

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, about the best I can get from bottle-conditioned English beers.  Medium body, slight astringency.

Drinkability & Notes: I really like the combination of malt in this one, but I'd like the hops to be a little brighter.  I think next time I'll add something like Styrian Goldings or maybe even Bramling X to give some citrusy notes along with the spice.  I thought the flavours were a bit muddled in the first few weeks after bottling, but its conditioned well and is tasting pretty good right now, especially if I remember to give it a while to warm up before opening it.

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