Friday, November 19, 2010

Hefeweizen - the results

I finally have my two hefes on tap.
New " Hefeweizen Street " Drink / Drunk / Drunkard Street Sign Drinks
A quick recap: One was brewed purely with pale ale and wheat malts, with an ounce of Perle, aiming for a more refreshing summer wheat beer.

The other beer was brewed with less hops (half an ounce), but 500g of the grain (barley & wheat) were home-roasted.

How do they stack up ? I won't review them formally as that would be a little self-indulgent. However, it's fair to say that the aims have been attained (this is in spite of my earlier post where I was a bit discouraged.... always give the beer time in keg/bottle to settle and smooth out).

Hefe 1 (summer style - on the right): light and crisp. Touch tangy, with a nice bitterness at the back. More an American Wheat style than a hefe, but the clove is evident.

Hefe 2 (traditional hefe style - on the left): more rounded body, nice bread & biscuit nose and taste. More prominent clove character. (Note I reused the yeast from Hefe 1 for Hefe 2). Notice the darker colour.... and that was only a tenth of the grain, 60 minutes in the oven at 175C.

I think I'm hooked on home-roasting. It wasn't perfect by any means; I'd like to get more caramel than I did, but it was my first go and it will only improve.

Strong Beer Tasting

Nope, not a results post. In fact a request for suggestions. I have the following beers:

Malt Shovel Ten20 Commemorative Ale
Unibrou Trois Pistoles
Carlton Crown Ambassador 2010
Bridge Road B2 Bomber
Guinness Foreign Extra Stout (not pictured)

I've had the Ten20 for a while. My loyal reader(s) would recognise the Trois Pistoles and B2 Bomber from my last trip to Platinum Cellars. As for the Ambassador ? Well, let's just say we have a cozy relationship with our builder, who always seems grateful for incremental business (haven't seen the latest invoice, but if he's giving away $90 beers, I'm afraid to).

The Stout comes from my special Diageo contact. Not happy just to provide me with a single seven year-old stout (previous post, he's also managed to score the best part of a full case of the stuff, albeit a more recent vintage. Of course, I actually don't have my hands on any, but I'm assuming Darren is willing to contribute one or two to this tasting. I'd better invite him.....

Now, the challenge to my reader(s). What else in the "strong beer" category should be considered ? Other than ABV, there's little else in common across these beers. Mostly ales, one lager. Some Aussie, some from O/S. Belgian, Irish, Barley Wine styles. Maybe a strong wheat (aka Aventinus) ? A strong IPA (aka Icon) ?

Whadya reckon ?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

Guinness: Celebrating 250 Remarkable YearsIt's good to have connections. My mate Darren has Diageo as a client, so tends to come up with the occasional item of interest.  In this case, as a result of a site move, a lot of curios and loose items seemed destined for the mini-skip.

As an incredibly noble gesture, Darren managed to save certain of these items from becoming landfill, including a few Guinness-branded objects.

Of greatest interest was a single bottle of Guinness Foreign Extra Stout (7.5%). Now, I have managed to find this elusive beast only once before, at a single place in Sydney (Northmead Cellars). But this particular rescue-ee must have spent some time on a Diageo executive's cabinet, as its brewed date was 15/08/2003.  Yep folks, a seven year old stout.

And what did we think ?

The Search for God and Guinness: A Biography of the Beer that Changed the WorldSimply outstanding. On the nose it had picked up a touch of a sour note and a slight barnyard funkiness. Maybe some blue cheese and leather there too. Taste was amazing: no ashen astringency, but a slight pastrami or balsamic note. Chocolate cake.  Some late pecan pie or date pudding.

My previous Beeradvocate tasting notes included: black olive, balsamic, chocolate millkshake, blackened beef.  That was for a relatively young (<1 year) old example. So quite similar in profile, but with better integration, smoothness, and a touch of age.

An excellent beer to find, and an excellent beer to cellar.

Aussie Beer Blog

Aussie Beer Blog