I sampled an old homebrew while bottling tonight. The beer I sampled was what I called simply Autumnal Ale. My idea with this beer was to brew an Octoberfest in a Belgian style, adding candy syrup and Belgian yeast. The yeast I used was Wyeast #3724, so I'm really surprised at how sweet this beer turned out to be. I was really going for a saison crossed with Octoberfest sort of thing. I figure the dark candy syrup I used in this beer contributed far more sweetness than I expected, but then I only used about half a pound, so then I started thinking that the beer was just under attenuated. So how does it really taste? Here are my notes:
First of all the aroma is moderately phenolic. The flavors are a little out of balance for a festbier with a big time caramel flavor with an added hard candy sweetness. A lot of residual sugar here which is interesting since I didn't add any caramel malt. Some toasted marshmallow sweetness. Hops are pretty much nowhere to found in terms of bitterness, flavor or aroma. The mouthfeel is smooth and the body is about right, just a touch too sweet. lmost Fat Tire-like in terms of the caramel flavor which has me wondering if New Belgium adds any candy syrup or sugar. This is probably sweeter though.I've attempted a beer like this at least once before and I'm not sure I'll try it again, or if I do, I might add some spices to add a little more complexity. Maybe just a touch of some star anise and black pepper. I might also omit the candi syrup, or use clear candi and Munich malt as a base. Or I could see making a beer with a touch of smoked malt could also be interesting, not unlike Sierra Nevada's Tumbler which is no longer brewed anymore.