Thursday, November 21, 2013

Simcoe & Sons Pale Ale Tasting

After posting earlier this week about the IPA I have fermenting with Conan, it seemed like a good time to knockout the tasting notes for the American pale ale I fermented with the pitch initially. This is a beer in the “new” American mold of Hill Farmstead Edward, Half Acre Daisy Cutter, and Tired Hands HopHands. As my friend Nathan refers to them, aromatic pale ales. That is to say: hopped for gigantic aroma, without excessive bitterness. He’ll have his own version on tap at Right Proper when they finally open their doors in a few weeks.

Simcoe & Sons Pale Ale

Appearance – Hazy. Conan is not a flocculant yeast strain apparently. Blonde body supports a small, tight, snowy head with fine retention.

Smell – Ripe summertime peaches. Wow! One of the most unique aromas I’ve had in a clean/hoppy beer. This is the sort of nose I strive for. While I enjoy the “nose in the hop bag” effect that some hoppy beers exhibit, I’d rather get the volatile aromatics without all the vegetable matter.

Taste – Similar to the aroma, saturated with juicy peaches and apricots. To the point that I could probably pass it off as a fruited pale ale. The hops become more resiny through the sip, lingering as a firm bitterness. The malt stays out of the way for the most part, adding an ever so faint toastiness. Very bright, crisp, and balanced.

Mouthfeel – Medium body, doesn’t taste the 1.015 FG I measured it at. Carbonation is about where I like it, medium-ish.

Drinkability & Notes – Like a good Belgian beer the yeast combines, not with spices in this case, but with the hops to create a profile that is difficult to attribute to one or the other. I’m officially a Conan believer (although I want to try the other isolates out there). Interested to see if the IPA fermented with the yeast harvested from this batch exhibits a similar aroma, or if different hops radically change the perception.

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