All posts by grotusque

My name is Dan and I like a lot of things, but this blog will be about the beer I drink and occasionally make. Well. Mostly.

Portland 2018 pt 3

And a final dash of beers I got to wrap up this series, at least for now. I had fun going into what I could find in Portland, so this won’t be the last time.

Gilgamesh Hildalgo wild aleGilgamesh– Hidalgo American wild ale: it’s got a hit of tartness in the nose, like someone broke a sweet tart in front of me.

That’s a fairly good description for the where the flavors begin, but then there’s a sweetness to take the edge off. The end gets queerly bitter, as if it was hopped for such bitterness. That bitterness lingers a long time, too, and it isn’t pleasant. This contrast is so odd that I’m wondering if this is a result of my general disinclination towards sour ales, or if there’s something actually screwed up going on. But the finish on this gets vegetal and dirty and I really can’t get behind it.

Pints– Brett IPA: The nose on this is strange- fruit candy like; fake orange, almost. The flavors though take a hard left away from this, giving me a grainy flavor that rapidly goes into watermelon, then starts to come back towards a grainy quality again. I’m not sure what the heck this beer is and I’m not sure it knows what it wants to be, either.

Santiam-1859 Maibock lager: There isn’t much nose here but what I get is a bit of malt, likely two row. This maibock is a little sweet but not too much, and finishes pretty clean. It’s a pleasantly drinkable beer which I suppose is the point for a lager. Good stuff.

Public Coast-American Brown: the chocolate malts are strong in the nose, and is a strong ribbon through the entire beer. The feel of it is soft though; more like something I would expect out of an english style ale, due to their water. It’s easy to drink and has a slightly dry finish, which I find interesting. As the ale warms up, more roasted flavors coming through which I appreciate. This helps give the beer more depth than it would have otherwise. I like this beer and I’d like another.

Vanguard pale aleVanguard– pale: Nice nose; resiny and puts me in mind of more forest oriented smells. The strength of that nose makes me think it might be dry hopped. The midrange of the beer is sweeter, and there’s enough viscosity on my tongue to get the malt weight but it doesn’t last long and slides right into the bitterness. Which is a little strong for me, given that it’s a pale. The head on the beer doesn’t last very long, either, and this means that the scents dissipate and I’m only about one-third down in my glass. If it had said IPA I’d be more forgiving. Now, I don’t want to suggest that this is a bad beer: I think it’s pretty solid! With the nose diminishing, a little more sweetness seems to come out in the malt. It’s growing on me, and rather quickly. Nice.

Deluxe-Wild Beaver amber lager: no nose to speak of for me. The flavors though are mild and the caramel malt is allowed to shine, the finish is pretty crisp. It hits a pleasant sweet spot between the lightness of your average lager and the more robust qualities that might come with an amber. I’d have some more of this.

Kaiser Brewing Co-Dirty Blonde Saison: I get some belgian sweetness in the nose and…yeah, that’s what the flavor is too. I expect my saisons to be a little bit more on the spicy side, so this feels off. It’s almost pushing that cloying belgian sweetness. But it also has a dry finish, which feels a bit strange, too. Curiouser; as it warms up, a sour element starts to thread itself into the finish. I don’t know what is happening. I’m not going to tell you that this is a bad beer but I am not encouraged to drink another one.

Shades of Summer

Chamomile AleI finally got to my annual chamomile wheat ale, although late in the year, and have been delightfully pleased by the results.

The chamomile is in the nose and it’s not shy at all. It arrives with a pleasantly dense head on the beer that lasts a bit longer than I would’ve suspected. This helps keep the scents coming, which is great.

The flavor is where it’s at, though. The tea is once again pretty prominent, but the belgian yeast note gives it a strong spicy flavor on the finish, so there isn’t just an herbal dose of flavor, but some pleasant complexities.

Buffering that finish is a sweetness: the wheat malt provides both the haze and enough density that this beer doesn’t fall too lightly on the tongue nor get one dimensional with it’s herbal qualities. I definitely have to give this a go again-but in the summertime. It’s going to be about perfect for that.

Once again, I forgot to write down my finishing gravity. Ugh. I need to install some kind of reminder mechanism so I’m less likely to do that. Still, here’s what I did recall:

Brew date: 11/5/17

Steeping grains
5 lb Wickiup wheat
2 lb Shaniko winter wheat
1 lb carapils

Fermentables: 4 lb ExLME

1.5 oz N Brewer @ 60
.5 oz N Brewer @5
1.80 oz chamomile tea @flameout

Yeast: Imperial Monastic, third use.

Bottled: 12/3/17


Whatever You Say 11\Second Pint United for Puerto Rico

Pilot's Pale aleA Pilot’s Pale at the Rogue Eastside. I still want to call this place the Green Dragon, which was a better name for every reason I can think of but…the future is upon us and I should accept it. Plus, they still have lotsa beer, including this aforementioned Pilot’s Pale.

The nose is really nice, with a hit of grapefruit to it. The midrange is a bit odd, though; the mouthfeel teetering on thin, held back with just a little malt biscuit quality to it. It’s the finish, though, that really surprises me: It’s not very bitter but it is VERY effervescent. The combination gives this beer a peppery quality that I’m not expecting in the least. I’m not entirely sure it’s for me.

However, the fellow next to me totally digs it. He’d recommended it with some enthusiasm and we talk a bit about it afterward.

“I’m just going more for the pales these days,” he says, “unless you have a really good NE, hazy IPA.”

“I’m just dodging grapefruit flavors. Every IPA I’ve had over the past two years seems to want to add grapefruit notes,” I reply.

He chuckles, “I’m going for PBR again.”

His friend mockingly chides, “Better not say that in here,” and we all laugh.

“Actually,” I say, “If it’s hot out…”

The friend fills in, “Beer for every time, right? I’ll have a Rainier if it’s hot-and it’s so good.”

“Oh, have you had the Rainier/Rubens collaboration? It’s really good,” I say.

They haven’t, so I tell them to keep an eye out for it.

Today’s second pint goes United for Puerto Rico.

The Slow Pour

This story on the art of the slow pour pilsner (and it’s less than subtle critique of Americans who just want to open a bottle and drink-heaven forbid!) has me wondering a couple things:

First, would a slow pour be of benefit to other styles? IPAs transmit a lot of information via scent, maybe I should try it?

Second, how much of the improved taste is true and how much of it is just mental bullshit convincing yourself it’s true because you had the resolve to wait? Because snobbery is a thing.