Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Batch 11 = Good

I'm not a big fan of tooting one's horn, but MB did a fantastic job on the Batch 11 Dark IPA, so TOOT! TOOT!

Pours black with red hues throughout with a lingering beige head. Nose is sugary, resiny citrus and pine hops. Nice hop character, bitter with floral and citrus, notes of roast and caramel, some dark fruit, oh, and more bitter. End is bitter and dry, lingering into the after. I'm a fan.

On the homebrew tip, we're finally getting back into it on Super Bowl Sunday. Two batches; Rising Sun Ginger-Sesame Red Ale and XLTPA. Both partial mashes. I'm pumped for Sunday. For the game, not so much.



Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Double Simcoe Hop Nectar Slam Nugget . . . .

Holy crap I love this time of year. How is it that three, count'em three, hoptastic offerings hit the shelves all at the same time?? Double Simcoe by Weyerbacher, Bell's Hopslam, and Nugget Nectar by Troegs are all currently in your corner store just waiting to be imbibed.

I was most impressed with the Hopslam. Here's what I had to say about it:

12 oz. bottle. Pours copper orange with a thick and creamy white head. Good lacing. Nose is huge on fruit. Peach, apricot, pine and grass, citrus notes of orange and grapefruit. Taste is interesting. Not over the top "slammy" in the hop bitterness. There is a good dose of bitterness, though, balanced well with a malt backbone that adds a subtle sweetness of light toffee and honey. There’s a huge hop flavor, fruity notes of raisin and citrus, then some grass and pine. This is an absolutely, ridiculously, delicious beer. One of my new favorites.

The Nectar hit the spot, too, being an amped up version of one of my "go to" beers, Troegs Hopback.

Now I'm not writing off the Double Simcoe. It wouldn't be mentioned here if I were. Check out my rating:

12 oz. bottle. Pours amber red with beige head, foamy and about a half an inch thick. Big hoppy nose, piney and floral stickiness with a crystal sugar sweetness. Touch of caramel malt backbone with lots of hoppy character, grass and pine, some floral and citrus notes. Nice dose of bitterness towards the end that lingers into the after with a hint of sugary sweetness. The mouthfeel is a touch watery. Great lacing.

Having tried all three of these beers in the last couple of weeks, plus some other IPAs and Double/Imperial IPAs, I've started to question my rating habits/theory when it comes to "hop heavy" offerings. High hopped/over-hopped beers make me smile. Therefore, I rate them highly. Are my ratings telling of what my favorite "hoppy beers" are? I don't know. First, I only rate beers once. I should probably re-rate beers every so ofter, but with offerings such as Three Floyds Dreadnaught IIPA, I may only get one bottle once a year due to its limited distribution, if at all. That makes it hard to re-rate, and also adds the "rarity" dimension to my rate.

Second, The hoppy beer in front of me is my favorite, EVER, at that moment. Its only later when I start to think back and compare. But by then I've already rated the beer, and don't feel "right" going back and adjusting my rating after the fact. The first impression is the right impression, correct?

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has contemplated this. I'm considering putting together a blind tasting of as many IPAs and IIPAs as I can find. This way, its completely arbitrary, with no pre-conceived prejudices (either positive or negative) clouding my judgment. I'm sure it will be cloudy enough by the sixth pint. Who's in?



Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dark and Mysterious it is. . . . .

Justin and I bottled the Dark and Mysterious Cinnamon Porter last evening amid tastings of Ommegang and Rogue's Morimoto Soba Ale (both delicious, by the way). The CP has really come of age, with the extra days in secondary really helping it to mellow, in both hoppiness and cinnamon flavor. We'll see what happens when its carbed up.

It is unfortunate to say that this is the last brew that we have in the pipeline right now. Only air occupies our vessels. This should soon change. We have the next brew date scheduled for Super Bowl Sunday, with partial mash batches of XLTPA and Rising Sun Red Ale on the ticket.

Keep checking back.



Thursday, January 10, 2008

Old Ho' and the like

I love beer. More so, I love big beers, and beers don't get much bigger than barley wines. And Victory Brewing does one helluva job with their Old Horizontal. Old Ho', as it is affectionately known, is a winter seasonal, meant to warm the soul. Weighing in at 10.5% ABV, it does just that, and with a drinkability that can put you just as the name says, horizontal. Here's what I had to say about it.

12 oz bottle. Pours clear amber with red hues. foamy, two finger beige head that lingers with great lacing. Nose is bready and caramel malt with some raisin and a touch of alcohol. Huge malt flavor with some fruity notes, plum and raisin. A bitter finish with a good amount of alcohol warmth that lingers into the fruity, bitter after. Very good barley wine. Drinkable, almost too much for something 10.5 ABV.

Great beer from a PA brewery.

On the homebrew tip, we cracked one of the Batch XI Dark IPAs on Tuesday. Wow. After 10 days in the bottle its already great. An interestingly hoppy nose, and a rather complex mix of malt and hops with some fruity esters from the yeast. I'm pumped to see what happens in the next week or so.

Stick around, fools!


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

We Meet Tonight

The first official meeting of 2008 for the Indiana Homebrew Club is tonight at The Coney at 8 PM. Come join us for a presentation on all-grain brewing, followed by a tasting and then general BSery.

See you there.



Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Year Cheer

Happy New Year to all. Hope that everyone made it though the holiday season intact and not too worse for wear. The last day of 2007 was a work day for Muckney Brewing, as Justin and I bottled the Batch XI Dark IPA and transferred the Dark and Mysterious Cinnamon Porter to secondary. Of course we had many a tasting while doing so, tasting some delicious winter ales from Jolly Pumpkin and Sly Fox.

We then celebrated the end of '07 by popping the first Show your Hoppeeness IIPA. I must say that we did a pretty damn good job. Bitter with tons of hop flavor and aroma, with a surprisingly full body and just a hint of resiny sweetness. We may actually be learning after all.

As of now, air unfortunately resides in the fermenting buckets of MB, but that will hopefully change soon.

Stay tuned, and happy '08.