Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tasting the Autumnal Ale

I brew ales, not lagers, so when fall comes rolling around I brew an autumnal or harvest ale. This year's batch was a bit of a disastar (see my earlier post) but it seems to be turning out okay. I tried a bottle tonight and here my Beersmith notes:

9/4/12 - Pours a light amber and quite clear. Light spice and malt on the nose mixed with phenols. Fruity, moderately phenolic flavor. Phenolic and rather papery in the finish, no doubt due to some oxidation at bottling or perhaps some hot side aeration.
9/20/12 - OK. Last day of summer coming up. Let's see how this autumnal ale si doing. It pours with plenty of carbonation which forms a dense head which slowly falls to a quarter-inch layer of foam with just a little bit of lace. Phenolic and spicy with some caramel notes. A bit too plastic phenolic and too bitter. A bit tart in the finish as it warms up. Not so bad I guess considering it fermented too warm and that bottling was a diasaster.
9/30/2012 - Ten days later this pours with nice a little thick head with plenty of lace into an Orval chalice. Creamy mouthfeel. There's a touch of sweetness and phenolics, with the phenolics getting brighter in the finish. Seems to be improving, although there is still a faint "cardboard" character there, no doubt from the disastrous bottling session and beer getting splashed around. It's not entirely bad beer, but certainly not one of my best efforts.

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