Common Ales: Full Sail Amber

Nobody at Full Sail got back to me about their best selling ale so it was a dealer’s choice moment. While there may be better known styles, (read: IPAs all day every day) I am a little tired of those styles. Time to have an amber instead!

It’s a malty ale, nose with a bit of a note like a lager, in a way. Almost funky but not exactly, is the best I can do here. The beer itself has a solid malt flavor but it isn’t too thick by any means. So what we have is a drinkable beer that feels like something that I would have with pub grub. I mean this in the best way: it’s got an exceptionally clean finish that should be able to take on any kind of salty, spicy, greasy munchies of your favorite spot.

Which means that this should be easy to find at any pub and worth a pint to wash down your burger.

Ambers can beĀ  tricky to recommend, because they don’t have the same kind of flavor profile or visual familiarity as many other styles. Even so, I think this is a pretty good beer and a nice example of the style. It’s a good pairing for food and it’s a worthy beer that, again, I think should be a great ‘gateway’ ale.

The Second Mother of Satan

A friend was coming into town and told me well in advance of her arrival. Which means there’s a chance for someone I know who hasn’t yet had my beer to try it! But she doesn’t like IPAs at all.

So let’s make the Devil’s Mother again!

The nose is coco, like the powder, in a shift from the last batch. There is not a lot of sweetness present there. The beer itself is pleasantly sweet though and it finishes nicely, with an element of good chocolate ice cream in the mouthfeel. This beer doesn’t seem quite as hot as the last one. That’s definitely a positive.

While I liked this beer, my plan to get feedback didn’t go as well as I hoped. Ah well: more for me!

Brew date: 7.11.15

Steeping grains
1lb black patent
1 lb pale chocolate
3 lb 2 row
3 lb Irish pale

7 lb LME
1 lb milk sugar
1/8th tsp Calcium carbonate

Hops: 2 oz Savinjski Golding @60

Yeast: Wyeast 1084

OG: 1.094

FG: 1.025

Bottled 8.9

ABV 9.3

On The Rail: Hawthorne Hideaway

Hawthorne Hideaway on Halloween. It’s pretty sparse tonight, which as a writer I’m grateful for but as a patron I’m a little surprised to see.

Then again, it rained hard, for a long, long time today. Harder than I’ve seen in Portland in a year. Kids trick or treating carried umbrellas along with everything else, and every place I drove by seemed inhabited by more spirits than people.

The patrons here are split about evenly; half of them are into the basketball game, half of them are in costume and playing Cards Against Humanity. “My weird brother always messes things up,” I overhear them say. I start looking around for my sisters.

There’s really one more TV than there ought to be in here, a big one hanging from the wall in the entry space, but they’re trying to make up for that by displaying a lot of local art on the walls. A mixed bag I suppose but the mellow vibe has me favorably disposed.

I ordered an Epic hop lager and this beer is…not very good. Nose isn’t bad, with a grassy note but nothing too strong, however the finish really lingers in an unpleasant way. For a lager, even a hoppy lager, to have a vegetal finish is out of style and the bitterness doesn’t help. I regret my decision. Epic is usually a much better brewery than this so I’m wondering what happened.

Maybe I’ll go for a walk, later. The rain has both scoured the city clean and altered the landscape. The night is still warm though, and Halloween is always a good night for walking around in the evenings.