Monday, January 14, 2013

Tasting the Abbey Ale (formerly Belgian Dark)

Decided to try a couple of beers I've had stashed for the last several weeks and months. First up is what I intended to be a Strong Belgian Dark, but it's more amber than brown. It pours with a nice rocky head thanks to some wheat malt and plenty of carbonation, but smells relatively clean for a Belgian-style ale. There's some trademark raisin-like character from the Special-B malt that I used, but the mouthfeel isn't right. There's just not enough body and there's too much bitterness. It's actually quite dry, but I should expect that from Wyeast 3522. This beer is almost saison-like at least in terms of body. I measured the original gravity at 1.089 and it finished at 1.016. It's an odd creature. There really aren't off flavors except for the unexpected harsh bitterness in the finish. I guess you'd call it an amber abbey ale. I think I'll call this beer "Saison in my Abbey." Still not sure what happened here.

The next beer is the Autumnal Saison. I meant for it to be a saison with Munich malts; sort of a Belgian festbier sort of thing, but it's ended up more like a tasty, dry Belgian Pale Ale. I say this because I had a Belgian try it and he liked it quite a bit. It's not at all bitter; it's estery and dry with caramel malt flavor. I have few bottles left that might all go to him...cheers to you Fabien Van der Stappen!

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