I’ve been avoiding starting the new theme up. I know I shouldn’t, I know that it is time for me to stop wandering and just get cracking but…I can’t quite do it. I’m sure longtime readers have noticed that the Monday posts have been a little hither and yon. This is me refusing to make the time to really get going. I almost started this week, I did.
But, like a petulant child, I am refusing to come in for dinner and staying away for one more week. Who’s going to take me to task for this? Nobody, so I may as well indulge myself for a little longer. Thus, it’s off to the Horse Brass this week for one more round of ‘not exactly doing what I’m supposed to’.
Machine House’s Fustyweed Bitter, a cask conditioned ale from Seattle, is a beer I chose because I like the name “Fustyweed” and because I do not recall having anything from Machine House, which sounds more like a record label that sells industrial music than a brewery.
While I am not told the style, I am told it’s a cask conditioned ale, thus not carbonated and served closer to room temperature.
The nose has an interesting blend of caramel malt and an orange peel twist. The flavors play just such a tune, with the caramel in front, the orange peel on the finish. It’s a light beer and it tastes it: 3.6%. I can’t say it doesn’t meet it’s goal but at that percentage, my opinion is that the Fusty would be better served if it was carbonated to help give the feeling of lightness on the tongue, really enforcing the easy drinking beer that it is.
It would also help alleviate the bitter quality hiding in my cheeks, by my upper jaw. It’s not a terrible sensation but because the beer is so light, this quality is unreasonably emphasized. The warmth of the liquid might be helping a little, allowing me to pick up on what malt there is but my own prejudices say that this beer is a session ale that should be cold and crisp. That thin ribbon of almost-sweet flavor just isn’t quite enough backbone.
That said; this beer isn’t a flawed beer. For a moment, I can admire the skill that was required to get this beer to look as good as it does-and it’s remarkably clear-while providing at least two separate flavors that I can pick up both in the nose and on the tongue, and having almost no strong alcohol, malt, or hops flavors to cover up any wrongdoings.
I’m just not sure that cask conditioning serves this beer better than having it carbonated.