You have probably noticed that the items on today’s agenda all look similar. This was intentional. The idea is to keep you from jumping to conclusions based on colour, and instead focus on the nose and taste. We were instructed to look for esters (characteristic of ales), hops (indicates dry hopping), and alcohol (how strong the beer is) and then let that guide our selections. I love the idea in theory. Let’s see how we do in practice.
Number 1: (far left) The nose was fairly light with hints of brown sugar and dried fruit. The esters (brown sugar and dried fruit flavours) came through stronger on the taste with an initial sweetness that was replaced by a mild bitter aftertaste that grew stronger over time. This didn’t taste like a high alcohol beer, making it a great session beer.
Our guess: Mind Your Table Manners (Belgian Table Bier). And the answer is … Mind Your Table Manners. Excellent!
Number 2: The nose was very light, with just the tiniest hint of caramel. The taste was smooth with a slight sweetness and subtle esters. There was very little bitterness and a sweetness fades quickly leaving a pleasant, balanced aftertaste.
Number 3: Again, the nose was very light with hints of caramel, dried fruit, and hops. The taste was stronger with more hop bitterness and caramel, which faded to leave a mild bitter aftertaste.
Our guess: Rebel Rebel. By the time we got to marking, we knew this had to be wrong because the second beer was Rebel Rebel, but we had to stick with our official guess. The answer was … Keep Ya Head Up which is a dry-hopped amber ale. Of course, when I want back and looked at my notes, there it was … “hops on the nose” but I got sidetracked with the caramel and bitterness. Next time.
Number 4: (far right) Again, the nose was hard to place, but the taste was smooth, rich, and sweet. The mouthfeel was rich, coating your mouth with tasty goodness. The alcohol was pretty obvious and it balanced the sweetness – this is a perfect after dinner beer.
That’s it for now. See you Monday at 4:00.