Thursday, February 14, 2013

Blazing World #3 - Tasting

Blazing World #3, India Amber Ale with Nelson Sauvin, Palisade, and Simcoe.
The recipe for Blazing World, Modern Times’ amber IPA, has stood out as a unique challenge. All three of the batches have been pretty good, but none has yet achieved that magical combination of dank hop aromatics that we set out to create. Every batch has lead with Nelson Sauvin, and included some Simcoe backing, but varied the hop in the middle. We started with citrusy Ahtanum, moved to surprisingly fruity Columbus, and now to Palisades for this third batch. For the Love of Hops suggests Palisades as a good compliment to “special” hop varieties, like Simcoe and Nelson, but we selected this lesser-hyped American variety for its unique floral-dank aromatics.

Blazing World #3

Appearance – Very clear amber-orange. It might be slightly paler that the second iteration (resulting from the switch from a Vienna to a pale/Munich base, and dropping the C120). Slight haze, but pretty clear for a dry hopped beer. It has beautiful head retention and lacing, a sticky white head.

Smell – This version really pushes that signature Nelson Sauvin melon-dank aroma. Abounds with similarities to what Alpine achieves with Nelson Sauvin and Southern Cross in their Nelson (one of the beers that inspired us originally). Maybe because the pellets did much better loose than the whole Simcoe and Palisade compared to previous batches when all of the hops were bagged and weighted. Not much else other than hop coming through, clean fermentation for all I can tell.

Taste – The flavor is more balanced than the nose. Still a prominent hop character (mango, pine, and that classic Nelson stank) but also mild toasted bread crust. After the resiny-bitter finish there is just a hint of coffee from the pale chocolate malt. Drier than previous batches, but that really brings it inline with the West Coast IPA balance.

Mouthfeel – Moderate body, heftier than many IPAs, but certainly not thick. Carbonation is slightly prickly, which is about right for this one.

Drinkability & Notes – The bitterness is close to spot-on for my tastes, but I could see dialing it back slightly to make it more drinkable. I’m pretty happy with this batch, it is the closest to our original goal of a dank amber IPA, but it isn’t quite there. I’d like to see it leap out of the glass a bit more, which is hopefully where Mosaic we plan to use in the next batch will come in handy.

7 comments:

Orion Homebrewing said...

Is Modern Times planning to distribute in cans, if so is that the actual logo for this amber? I like the semi-oldfashioned feel of it, even though some newer hop varieties are used for the batch. I am wishing right now that I lived closer to the brewhouse as this sounds delicious!

Kyle said...

Did you notice any significant differences with the San Diego water profile?

Why the whole hops? Is this simply what Modern Times has contracts for?

Andrew said...

I'm curious--what do you think Palisade added to this. I'm familiar with Nelson, but not Palisade.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

No major differences that I could point to the water on, although I’m still under where I need to be for carbonate. I was working off of an old DC report that showed higher amounts of carbonate than are in it currently. I’ll be reducing my dilutions further for subsequent batches. I think water profile is a lot less important than many people give it credit for, as long as you are getting where you should be for pH. I’m excited to play with just the water/pH when we get the rest of the recipe details dialed in.

Yep, the beers will be distributed in cans very similar to the one pictured there (as well as on draft). We’ll probably bottle sours though, at least until I can convince Jacob to can a Berliner weisse or a variation of the session-saison with Brett!

A couple years ago I described my Palisade pale ale like this "The aroma is nicely hoppy with some herbal notes back up by a bit of spice. The character certainly leans European, but there is a hint of that dank Columbus flavor that reminds you that it is grown in the Pacific Northwest."

David Sherfey said...

Dank to me = funk and resin. I would go with Columbus for the funk, and for the resin, Chinook...possibly a bit of Centennial, and maybe a just touch of Simcoe. Nelson has a thing, a really cool thing, but it also has a fruity presence that for me gets in the way of dank.

Craig Wolf said...

I was able to get a can of each of your first 4 offerings here in MI. While I have only tried the Blazing World it was great! I also have to say the packaging is amazing.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Great to hear! I'm looking forward to trying the official can run!

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