Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bitter Brown Ale - Review

Appearance: A beautiful amber brown with some burnt orange highlights when held up to to the light, a very dense tan head that lingers till half the glass is gone leaving sticky lacing up and down the glass

Aroma: Subdued aroma at this point, when it was younger an earthy hoppiness was a bit more pronounced, as it stands now a strong caramel aroma is rounded out by a sweet yet subtle breadiness

Taste: When the beer first hits your tongue it is very malt forward, there are layers or caramel, bread, toffee, and an amazing tanginess hits your just before the bitter finish; for how malt oriented it seems initially it is soundly bitter in the finish, and the bitterness lingers on the tongue until the next sip; I'm a bit surprised how much I enjoy the tangy sourdough like character this beer has, definitely from the special roast; chocolatey flavors are subdued but add an interesting layer to the beer overall

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium high body from using Marris Otter and special roast, a lower amount of carbonation definitely suits this beer best (over carbed a bit to start with), the lower carbonation gives the beer a nice chewy yet not over the top mouthfeel, something like if you blended a pale ale with an oatmeal stout

Drinkability: A pretty good beer, its a pretty easy drinker although I think it would be a bit more suited towards the cooler months of the year and not August! In the future Ill have this one ready for Thanksgiving time....

Notes/Thoughts: I definitely like the tangy sourdough character of the beer, it adds a very unique and flavorful dimension and it offsets some of the sweetness of the Marris otter; the pale chocolate malt lent a very soft chocolate/roast character that tied all the other elements together, I definitely think that malt has a place in softer less roasty beers and lends a much smoother character than regular chocolate malt; Again the Mt Rainier was a bit disappointing in the aroma department, yet it lends a very smooth bitterness to the beer, in the future I think Ill limit its role to bittering

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