Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Wine?! Sure, why not?

This is usually a place for me to discuss my homebrew batches, maybe review a particularly special beer, but I felt like writing up a post about a wine I had back in October. This was an icewine I picked up back in 2005 when I went up to Canada for my birthday. It was a particularly nice wine so it gets a spot in the blog.

D'Angelo Vineyards 2004 Vidal Icewine

Appearance: Deep reddish-golden color thinning to pale gold on the edges

Aroma: Sherry nose with a slight syrupy/honey sweetness and notes of cherries. A slight cooked cabbage aroma suggests a slight fault, perhaps too long on the lees? It's not strong enough to be off putting.

Taste: Quite sweet and syrupy as would be expected in an icewine but with a nice balance. A little grapey and a bit of alcohol heat.

Overall: A rather enjoyable wine. The mercaptan is definitely a flaw but a very minor one and I really had to strain to detect much. The oxidation was quite pronounced but the sherry quality it gave this wine was pleasant so it's hard to count that as a flaw. I wish I had another bottle I could have opened a few years about and a third to open in a couple more to see how this wine matured. I suspect I may have waited past it's peak but overall it was quite a lovely desert.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Back in Berliner

I saved a few bottles of the Berlinergyle from a while back and cracked one today just for the heck of it. Overall, it's aged well and continued to develop over time. It certainly has not faded.

Appearance: Very light straw and a little cloudy with a thick head that fades quickly.

Aroma: Strong lactic sourness and slightly sweet. Cooked stone fruit and floral notes. It's sharp but not unpleasant.

Flavor: Not as strong as the aroma leads me to believe but still noticeable lemonade sourness. No detectable hops and almost no maltiness but there's a little graininess in the tail. Citrus fruit dominates with an occasional chemical note in the tail but I can't quite place it, maybe a little rubber so probably a few off phenols in there still.

Mouthfeel: Quite light but it does stick a little to the tongue. Lively carbonation dances on the tongue.

Finish: Medium finish which is intensely lemony especially on the lips and tongue.

Overall: Glad this has lasted. I might bring a bottle to a small homebrew contest next week. Probably won't appeal to most but I quite like it.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Bob's Best Bitter

Well, it's been quite a busy year, and that means not a lot of brewing. A contest at work spurred me into making a quick bitter. I'm rather happy with it too.

I cracked the first bottle after a week conditioning, here's the result.

Appearance: Light golden to amber. Quite clear despite a little yeast kicked up during the pour. Thin head falling quickly but I expect a little more with the roasted barley.

Aroma: Not much here but it's still a little under carbonated. Spicy hop aroma from the fuggles. A little breadiness and some caramel or vanilla warm sweetness. The phenols are probably from a high fermentation temperature but they are slight and add a nice subdued sweetness to the nose without overwhelming.

Flavor: Definitely some spicy and slightly resinous hop in the tail but the initial impression is caramel. I'm getting a little bit of a resin/chemical flavor that could be from the smoked malt although I suspect the caramel is the predominant contribution from that ingredient. Balance tips to the bitter side of the scale.

Mouthfeel: More full bodied than you'd expect from the low alcohol which is what I was going for with the grain bill. I nice creamy smoothness that reminds you a little of a dry Irish stout but it's more of a memory than a real impression. Carbonation is low, but again, it's only been conditioning for a week. I don't expect high carbonation but I suspect there will be a bit more in the coming weeks.

Finish: Fairly long linger on the hop which makes this a good beer to drink slowly. Coupled with the low alcohol, I expect I could finish 5 or 6 in a long session without any sign of a hangover the next

General Impression: I'm rather happy with this one. I'm a little rusty these days and I've been doing crazy beers to it's nice to have a easy to brew, east to drink beer for a change.