Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Smyrna Brown Water (Home Brew)

Smyrna Brown Water
(Home Brew)
Brewed Below the Ditch

Brewed by:
Fay Brewery
Smyrna, Delaware, USA

American Brown

6.6% ABV


Update:
I’m sick to find that I must have deleted the pictures for this post. I’ll keep looking but I think they are gone. Sorry Seth

Look what I got. Seth just sent me a pic for the review.



Style Description:
Spawned from the English Brown Ale, the American version can simply use American ingredients. Many other versions may have additions of coffee or nuts. This style also encompasses "Dark Ales". The bitterness and hop flavor has a wide range and the alcohol is not limited to the average either.

Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-8.0%
(BeerAdvocate.com)


Background:
We are continuing Homebrew Week. Actually I got a little distracted with my first home brew so I’m a little behind. This is another all grain brew from my friend Seth. His Pale Ale was great; I can’t wait to see what he did for an American Brown.

Review:
The beer pours a dark chestnut brown with just a hint or orange hues peeking through the bottom of the glass and a very rich off white to tan head.

The nose is nice with rich caramel malt aromas with notes of dark fruit and oak. There is a subtle earthiness to this nose. Then with a gentle swirl of the glass the most pleasent rich hop aromas are released. This is almost intimidating; can’t wait to see how these aromas play out in taste.

Nice, very nice; what a great and complex first sip. The nose had hints of robustness and throughout sip I was trying to anticipate what was coming. What a nice complex profile.

The experience starts out with a touch of caramel malt sweetness up front on the tip of the tongue. That is immediately followed by a tingling and building malt and hop robustness as the ale rolls over the tongue in the middle of the sip. By the time you get to the top of the swallow you expect the robustness of a big beer but in turn you are pleasantly surprised with a fairly easy drinking back-end. The perceived robustness seems to be washed away with a carbonation release during the swallow that masks some flavors and adds a refreshing aspect to the experience. The finish is where this beer pulls it all together with rich caramel almost toasted malt flavors that leads into a nicely balanced but rich hop experience. The hops are earthy and not overpowering or bitter. They blend perfectly with the richer malts to leave and enjoyably balanced finish. The final aftertaste is a touch of both caramel malt and those great earthy hop flavors; just as balanced as the finish.

Wow, what a great tasting American Brown. This is rich but with an overall complexity that is both hardy and refreshing. Nice!

That rich head has not quit. It has reduced to a nice protective layer over the top of the ale and it is leaving some impressive lacing.

This is getting more impressive with each sip.

This almost reminds me of the Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale but this one is actually easier drinking and more enjoyable.

As the beer warms it’s getting richer but also smoother. The hop profile also seems to be changing with slightly less bite and more floral and earthy when it was when colder. And that head it still hanging in there.

I’m trying to nurse these last few sips for all it’s worth.

There is such a nice rich malt coating throughout the mouth; almost like that classic stout coating but with a toasted caramel malt flavor. Plus there is still that touch of lingering hops also.

What a great beer. I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying this experience.

Well, all good things must come to and end and so to with this beer. The only thing left in the glass is a little bit of that head that would not quit.

A+ | Seth’s Smyrna Brown Water is a fantastic American Brown Ale with a rich complexity that is both hardy and refreshing with dark caramel malts, toasted oak and dark fruit notes leading into the most pleasant mouthfeel complemented by the creaminess of a rich head that builds to an overall experience that is both rich and satisfying.

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