Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Warning - Beer Content Alert

So I made this IPA with an unusual combo of Northern Brewer and Cascade hops. I also (inadvertently) made it really dark. It almost looks like an amber. Third strike - we couldn't control the temperature at all, so it ranged from 65-78 during the time that it was resting in the closet.

All this is to say that I wasn't terribly surprised when I tasted it after 24 days of being bottled, and found it, well, nasty. It whalloped with bitterness right off the bat, and then seemed completely empty in the mid-palate, floated through some weird sweetness that I believed to be off-flavors, and finally settled with a whimper of a tinny aftertaste.

I resisted the temptation to toss the whole batch right there, though. I was reminded that heavy alcohol brews need extra maturation time (this one's about 6.3%). So I waited another two weeks. And I tasted it again yesterday.

Wow, what a difference. I'm still not 100% sure about the sweetness that's in the middle, it seems a little odd to me. But the initial bitterness has mellowed, flavors have arrived to complement in the middle of the timeline, and the tinny-ness is gone. It feels like it has been ripened like a very rich fruit. And it's good. I can't believe it.

No comments: