Monday, November 28, 2011

American Pale Ale Tasting

Now that turkey day is behind us and I still have a few odd pints of beer left in my kegs, I thought I'd do the sensible thing and put them out of their misery. It is tough work, kicking kegs. Anyways, I brewed this batch in early October and its been sitting in the keg for exactly a month... well, it lasted that long. I didn't have any particular beer in mind when I brewed this one - all I wanted was a very hoppy pale ale that wasn't too bitter and had some malt character. Simcoe, amarillo, and citra hops were used in the boil and dryhop and the results were very much to my liking. Hoppy as hell and dangerously drinkable. It was hard keeping this beer around in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

Simarillo APA : American Pale Ale                         
Appearance - Pours a light amber, honey color with a nice two finger head that leaves sticky lacing. Clarity is normally good, though this pint is really cloudy as I just moved the keg out of the kegerator. 

Aroma - Smells like hops! Lots of spicy-pineapple, mango, and piney notes with some nice grapefruit character in there. The hop character is very clean, no grassy or vegetal aromas and none of the catty hop character people tend to get with simcoe. Behind the hop assault is some malt character in support.

Taste -  First sip is mostly hop flavor with loads of pine and citrus followed by a smooth bitterness and some light crystal flavor. The malt character is clean and almost balanced by the hops. If the bitterness and ABV was higher, I would definitely think this beer was an IPA. Beer finishes dry. Right at the end there is just the slightest bit of yeast character, though this could be due to kicking up the sediment in the keg. 

Mouthfeel - Carbonation is adequate and the beer has a pleasant smooth, full mouthfeel. I used some cara-pils in this beer and I'd like to think it had some discernible impact here. However, I think I would prefer the beer to be a tad less full bodied. 

Drinkability & Notes - Nothing to complain about really. This batch turned out very well and was a big hit with my family and friends... although there is always room for improvement. Next time I'll cut back on the Vienna malt to no more than 8% and drop the cara-pils for a less full mouthfeel to let the hops really shine. I am very happy with the hopping schedule and varieties used. Simcoe and citra are amazing together but I can see how citra can be a bit overpowering when used in large amounts. I just bought a pound of each, so I'll definitely be brewing with them in the future. Lastly, I wasn't very impressed (again) with WY1275 American Ale II, as it was a slow flocculator and took forever to get clear in the keg. I'll just stick with my usual Northwest Ale from now on as it clears well and is a bit cleaner when fermented cool. 

O.G: 1.057, F.G: 1.010, 6.1% ABV, 40 IBU, Wyeast 1272 American Ale II.


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