Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Holiday Ale Homebrew
Hockessin, Delaware, USA
The gang at work contracted State Line Liquors to put together a basket of cheer for me when I was home with a nasty case of the Shingles. When they got back to the office my home brewing friend Dave put in a few of his homebrews. Since this one was a Holiday Ale I thought that I would add it to these series of Christmas Beer reviews. I do not know anything about the style so this will truly be a blind tasting and review.
The beer pours are dark brown almost completely opaque with just a hint of ruby hues showing at the bottom of the glass and a very plentiful tan head.
The nose is interesting with some dark malt aromas but predominantly spicy notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. The spice seems so strong it almost has a black pepper aroma to it.
The experience starts out with a touch of malt sweetness upfront on the tip of the tongue that is immediately followed by a masking effervescence as the ale washes over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back end is very easy drinking with an almost effortless swallow and continuing effervescence. This carbonation release continues during the swallow masking almost all flavors. In the finish is where real flavors are first realized. There is so much going on in the finish it almost needs a separate analysis. There are some nice malt flavors in the finish but they are overpowered by spice. The spicy notes of cinnamon and nutmeg are what carry out lingering into the final aftertaste.
The head on this beer has not quite. It has reduced to a nice protective layer over the top of the beer and it has added creaminess to the mouthfeel of this ale.
As the beer warms the malt flavors are starting to gain dominance over the spice. Or maybe I’m just getting use to the spice. At any rate is seems like I’m picking up an English malt aspect to this ale similar to an English Winter Warmer; actually pretty nice.
I have let this beer warm up to 69 degrees.
It is picking up a little unpleasant harshness at this temperature. These off flavors are not overpowering but distracting from the otherwise nice rich malt flavors.
All and all this was a nice experience. I’m going for a C+ to a B- on this interesting home brew.
Thanks Dave for this interesting beer. It will be interesting to compare notes on this blind review.
Dave’s Holiday Ale Homebrew is an interesting rich dark malt flavored ale with a heavily spiced finish. It may be a little to much spice for me but still and overall nice experience.