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Thanksgiving is family homebrew tasting fun day

November 25, 2010 By: mike Category: Homebrew

Rebel Brewer tasters

Four 5-ounce tasters from Rebel Brewer in Nashville.

It’s Thanksgiving, which means turkey, football and beer. And at my house today, the beer is homemade.

And we’re going to all be judges.

I’ve been waiting for this day to dip into my stash of FuzzyBrew homebrews, and I’ve brought a cooler full, as well as tasters for the four of us  — mom, dad, brother and myself.

I’m going to get some instant feedback about each beer, and I’ll give my thoughts, too. And then everyone will pick their favorite.

In the cooler is an Oatmeal Stout, a Nut Brown Ale, a clone of Magic Hat’s #9, and the Nookie IPA (It’s Nookie because Grant tweaked the recipe of his earlier IPA and added a healthy dose of Chinook hops.)

OK, here we go!

•••

Oatmeal Stout

Mom: “The smell is delish. (The taste) is kind of mild. It goes down, but there’s no coating on the tongue, no aftertaste.”

Dad: “Initially, I taste water, then a chocolate stout flavor, (but) it’s mild. It’s very drinkable. It’s good.”

Brother: “When you take a small sip, it’s super sweet. It’s pretty heavily carbonated. I sampled one last night in a smaller bottle and I felt like I got a lot more flavor to it.”

My take: “It’s definitely a mild-tasting stout. But the flavor has improved since I first tried one a week ago, and I think it will continue to improve with age.”

•••

Nut Brown Ale

Mom: “I like a robust taste, and this one doesn’t have it. I wouldn’t buy it. It’s drinkable, but this is like background music. It’s something that would be good with a meal, but it doesn’t stand on its own.”

Dad: “It’s very good. It has a very hoppy aftertaste. It’s like a Boscos beer.”

Brother: “It’s taking a little time to settle. It’s getting better the more I drink it. But I really think the big bottles are more greatly carbonated than the little bottles. It tastes like a Fat Tire.”

My take: “I’m a big fan of brown ales, but this is pretty mild. I’d like a little more malt flavor, and a little bit more sweetness.”

•••

Magic Hat #9 clone

Mom: “Again, this is not my type of beer, but it’s tasty after a good Vermont cheddar. I like it better than the majority of beers I taste at Boscos.”

Dad: “I taste apricot — a little ashy tasting and astringent. This is a summer beer.”

Brother: “It’s very apricot-y, much more apricot-y than the #9. And it doesn’t have the pale ale taste like the #9. It’s very drinkable. I don’t think it’s a #9 clone anymore. I think it’s become its own beer. There’s a slight metallic aftertaste. I definitely think think this is the best so far.”

My take: “A great fruit beer that doesn’t overpower you with fruit flavor. It’s a very strong effort on cloning the #9, but I think it’s more smooth and drinkable.”

•••

Nookie IPA

Mom: “This is my favorite of the four. It still has a fruity overtone. I just like a dark beer, a hearty Guiness-type beer.”

Dad: “Very, very hoppy. Grapefruit-y.”

Brother: “This is a good beer. It’s really bitter though. All in all, it’s really solid. This reminds me of Anchor. I don’t have a lot to say because it’s a really solid IPA.”

My take: “This is a variation on the Modus Hoperandi clone we brewed a while back. More Chinook hops, so it’s more bitter. It’s a complex beer, and I really, really like it.”

•••

So how would you rank the beers, from your favorite to your least favorite?

Mom: Nookie IPA, Magic Hat #9 clone, Nut Brown Ale, Oatmeal Stout

Dad: Nookie IPA, Nut Brown Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Magic Hat #9 clone

Brother: Nookie IPA, Magic Hat #9 clone, Nut Brown Ale, Oatmeal Stout

My take: Nookie IPA, Magic Hat #9 clone, Nut Brown Ale, Oatmeal Stout

•••

So there you have it. We tried some good beer today, but the Nookie IPA is the overwhelming favorite in my house.  We love the Nookie. We must brew more.

Happy Thanksgiving from those of us at FuzzyBrew!

FuzzyBrew Review: Dundee India Pale Ale

October 19, 2010 By: mike Category: FuzzyBrew Review

Dundee India Pale AleBrewery: Dundee Brewing Co.

Location: Rochester, N.Y.

Style: India Pale Ale

ABV: 6.3%

IBU: 60

Fuzzy Rating: 3 out of 5

On the label for its India Pale Ale, Dundee Brewing Co. prints this simple message: “Be bitter.”

They’re not kidding.

This IPA (delivered from NY to Memphis, via Chip and Roz) has a mild aroma of sweet malts and grass, but its taste is bitter, with a decent amount of astringency in the finish.

Dundee uses Columbus hops for bittering and Chinook and Willamette for taste and aroma, and the result is a beer that’s not particularly well balanced.

It’s certainly drinkable and undeniably crisp. And as you make your way through a pint, you may pick up on subtle characteristics of spice and citrus.

But my taste buds wanted more flavors from this beer. And it was, ultimately, too dry for my taste.