02 December 2012

Straight to Ale - Monkeynaut

Brewery: Straight to Ale
Beer: Monkeynaut
Style: American IPA
BJCP Style: 14A

Aroma: A very up front pine and citrus up aroma. Smells like a bag of fresh hops. Some pine hop aroma, but the citrus hop aroma is more prominent. Slight hint of tropical fruits. Little to no malt aroma. Clean fermentation aroma. No diacetyl.

Score: 12/12

Appearance: Deep orange in color. Thick head with a mix of tiny and large bubbles. Slight haze. Some lacing on the glass.

Score: 3/3

Flavor: Sweet malt profile. Hints of citrus and pine like hop flavor. Some earthiness comes through in the finish. Moderate bitterness. The sweetness comes through up front. The bitterness comes through midway through the taste and finish. Malt profile has hints of carmel. Balance leans a little towards the sweet. Some astringency in the finish. Clean fermentation profile. The finish is a little sweet. However, the sweetness hangs around after the finish, but so does a good bit of the bitterness. The sweetness is a little cloying. No diacetyl.

Score: 13/20

Mouthfeel: Medium-Medium/Heavy body. Medium carbonation. Some astringency is felt on the back of the tongue and lingers for some time.

Score: 3/5

Overall Impression: This is a pretty tasty brew. However, I find that the malt profile to be a little too sweet for style. The sweetness is the first taste component that I noticed. The hopes come after the malt carmel/sweetness. Hop bitterness and flavors are appropriate for and are exceptional. I would consider trying the following on future batches: reducing the amount of carmel malts, reducing mash temperature, or choosing a better attenuating yeast. The finish is supposed to be medium-dry to dry, which I do not get out of this beer. The beer is also slightly astringent. Try using a smoother hop or using first wort hopping. Overall, a very tasty brew!

Score: 7/10

Total Score: 38/50

Additional Notes:

Erdinger- Hefe-Weizen

Brewery: Erdinger
Beer: Hefe-Weizen
Style: Weizen/Weissbier
BJCP Style: 15A

Aroma: A light wheat like character. No hops. Moderate amount of clove aroma. Slight hint of pears. No diacetyl.

Score: 11/12

Appearance: Deep yellow in color (deeper and darker than say an american lager). White head with large white bubbles. Some haze. Head quickly falls. No lacing.

Score: 1/3

Flavor: Malt sweetness. Pilsner like malt profile. A little bready. Low spicy and earthy hop flavor. Low bitterness. Balance leans towards the malt. Bitterness is more apparent in the finish. Semi-dry to dry finish. Clove like yeast character is dominant, but does not over power the malts. No diacetyl.

Score: 17/20

Mouthfeel: High carbonation. Medium body. Carbonation makes the beer feel very prickly on the tongue. No astigiency.

Score: 4/5

Overall Impression: A very well balanced beer. The pilsner/wheat malt character plays well with the clove like yeast character. Banana flavored esters are very low and almost missing. Very good representation of style. Increase fermentation temperatures ever so slightly to induce more esters (like one ore two degrees F). Head also quickly falls. Try adjusting wheat percentages for the higher protein.

Score: 8/10

Total Score: 41/50

Additional Notes:

Sierra Nevada - Pale Ale

Brewery: Sierra Nevada
Beer: Pale Ale
Style: American Pale Ale
BJCP Style: 10A

Aroma: Resin and pine like hop aroma is dominant. Moderate amount of carmel sweetness. No esters. No diacetyl.

Score: 12/12

Appearance: Gold in color. Off white head. Medium and large bubbles. Slightly-Moderate hazy. Head lingers. Some lacing.

Score: 2/3

Flavor: Resone, pine, citrus, like hope flavor is dominant. Some earthy hop flavors come through in the finish. Moderate bitterness, but is well balanced with the malts. Malt flavor is relatively clean with only a hint of carmel malts. Very clean fermentation character. No diacetyl.
Semi-dry finish. The flavor of the malt and hops stays long after the finish.

Score: 20/20

Mouthfeel: High carbonation. Beer is very effervescent and sharp on the tongue. Medium body. No astringency. No diacetyl.

Score: 4/5

Overall Impression: A very well balanced pale ale. The hop flavor and aroma leans more towards the piney/resinous hop character than the citrus character. However, there is still a good bit of citrus character. The carbonation also seems a little high. Carbonation is so high there is a sharp sting on the pallet. I would personally tone back on the pressure 10-20%. Some haze is appropriate for APAs, but there was too much haze. Leave in primary longer, use fining agents, or filtration to reduce haze.

Score: 8/10

Total Score: 46/50

Additional Notes: Classic commercial example of american pale ale.

Bell's - Oarsman Ale

Brewery: Bell's
Beer: Oarsman Ale
Style: Berliner Weisse
BJCP Style: 17A

Aroma: Slight pilsner like aroma: Slightly sweet malt aroma. No hop aroma. Slight fruit yeast aroma initially that quickly fades away; leaving the malt aroma behind. No sour character.

Score: 8/12

Appearance: Pale yellow in color. Slight hazy. A white heat with large white bubbles that quickly dies.

Score: 3/3

Flavor: Slight grainy/pislner like flavor up front. Malt sweetness is pretty dominant. There is enough bitterness for me to recognize, but not enough for me to say it is out of style. No hop flavor. The sourness is low to mild and becomes very apparent in the finish. Clean fermentation profile. Balance leans far to the sweet side of things. A very slight funky yeast character.

Score: 10/20

Mouthfeel: High carbonation. No warmth. No astringency. The beer clings to the toung and every surface in the mouth. The finish is cloyingly sweet.

Score: 3/5

Overall Impression: This is a good beer, but not necessarily to style. The beer lacks the wild character I would expect from a Berliner Weisse. The sourness does not come through in the aroma, but the overall aroma is appropriate. Berliner Weisses are supposed to finish very dry. This beer finishes very sweet to the point it is cloying. The sweetness lingers on the pallet long after swallowed. I would check the grain bill to ensure there are no crystal or specialty malts in the grist. The grist should primarily be wheat and pilsner. I'd also check mashing temperatures. A lower mash temp would dry the beer out a little further.

The sourness is also slightly lacking for style. The sourness is only prevalent in the finish. If using lactobacillus or brett, a lack of oxygen can reduce sourness, but too much can make the beer taste more vinegar like. Try aerating the beer slightly longer us using an oxygen stone. Aging the beer longer on the primary yeast cake can also increase the aroma and sourness of the beer. Pitching bugs before the yeast can also improve the sour character. If using a sourmash: try letting the mash sit longer at a temperature of around 100F or use a larger portion of the mash for the sour portion of the mash.

Score: 5/10

Total Score: 29/50

Additional Notes: I really do enjoy this beer. It just comes off being a little too sweet. Would be a great beer with BBQ.