Tasting the Halloween Brews (No Comments)

I tried all four of the Halloween batches tonight. I’m happy to say that 3 of the 4 are fully carbonated, and the 4th is close. So here are my initial notes:

1) The Beerios is excellent as always. This batch seems slightly hoppier and a little more bitter than the previous batch, but I’ll know for sure when I finally taste them side by side. The hops I used this time were a sligtly higher Alpha Acid than last time, and even though I adjusted my additions, that may have affected the results.

2) The IPA has a very floral aroma and a wonderfully citrus hoppy flavor with sweet malty undertones. By itself, I don’t notice any differences form the previous batch, but I suspect the hop flavors are stronger as a result of a longer dry hopping period and substituting Cascade Hope for Northern Brewer Hops used in the previous batch.

3) The Chocolate Stout is a dark and roasty brew with a sweet chocolate finish. The bittersweet chocolate taste has mellowed considerable since bottling day, but the batch seems just a little too roasty. We may want to reduce the Black Patent or Roasted Barley the next time around.

4) Finally, the Scotch Ale seems a little under carbonated, but that may just be an effect of how thick the beer is. This beer coats the tongue, which is good, but unfortunately it has an unpleasantly smokey flavor. This is our first time using peat smoked malt and we may have been a little heavy handed. Cindy was less put off buy the smoke, so it may have also been my perception because I sampled this beer immediately after drinking the Chocolate Stout. Anyhow, we will probably halve the peat smoked malt if we try this recipe again.

Finally, for my two readers, I would like to remind you that the Halloween party is this Saturday. Oh, and I’ll be diggin into the archive and bringing out the ‘Special Reserve’ batches for tasting and drinking up. As a warning, some of it is quite old, so I cannot guarantee that all of those bottles will taste good. I will be sampling several of the previous batches to compare with more recent batches. Hopefully others will be willing to compare batches and comment on the differences.

– Chris

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