Friday night, out with friends. As our local was infested with hipsters - those mustachioed, smurf-hat wearing cretins who stick around the bar only to sip two dollar pints of Uncle Charlie and drop quarters in the jukebox - we decided it would be less stressful if we went somewhere else. A quiet place, where you can actually hear yourself talk and enjoy a few pints without feeling the urge to bludgeon the hipster sitting next to you. We decided on a new Tapas bar down the road. One of those places that caters to the older, more matuuure crowd of late thirty-somethings with prices to match your age and an equally overpriced wine-list. Besides from the haughty atmosphere, they had a decent tap and bottle selection. I settled down with a pint of Ommegang's Hennepin and everyone else ordered less flavorful wheat beers. After paying for the first round, I noticed that my pint alone had cost me 10 bucks. Ten dollars for a shoddy pour of decent, but ordinary beer. Was I suddenly back in NYC... I have five beers on tap at all times and many more beers in bottles. Why am I dropping money each week on commercial beer that I could care less about drinking and costs me nearly as much as a batch of flavorful homebrew?! Such is the dilemma. Dark mild, of course, is the answer.
Ploughman Mild : Dark Mild
Appearance - Pours an inky black color with ruby highlights and a thin, tan colored head with little retention.
Aroma - Toffee, licorice, dark roasted coffee, and some light fruity esters. Nothing extraordinary, but still quite nice.
Taste - Lots of coffee, licorice, cocoa, and chocolate flavor with a slightly sweet, dark caramel/toffee character. Esters are lightly fruity and there is no real hop character. Bitterness is well balanced with the malt. Beer finishes slightly dry with a mellow roast flavor and that typical '1318' candy sweetness right at the end. Easy drinking.
Mouthfeel - Carbonation is very low and the beer has a medium-light mounthfeel. The beer finishes a tad drier than I would normally like for the style, but not unpleasantly so.
Drinkability & Notes - Just an easy drinking, flavorful pint. Not the most complex tasting mild I have ever made, but surely among the top for clean flavors and the 'makes you want to have another' quality. This beer had more caramel character when it was younger, but about a month into the keg, it's mostly just coffee/chocolate. People have been hitting this keg very hard, a definite re-brew.
O.G: 1.040, F.G: 1.012, 3.6% ABV, 18 IBU, Wyeast 1318 London Ale III