Jan 26, 2014

Tasting notes: Buck Mulligan Golden Ale

Brewed 22/11/13, bottled 07/12/13, tasting 07/01/14. No photo for this one because my brain doesn't always work and I forgot.

OG: 1.046
FG: 1.013
IBU: 25
EBC: 5.3
ABV: 4.4%

Aroma: ginger, kiwi, melon, pepper. Could be a nice aroma but it's a bit too aggressive. A victim of my rush of blood to the dry hops.
Appearance: cloudy and yellow. Pours with a sticky, dense head that lingers and laces down the glass.
Flavour: more of the ginger initially. Pleasant malt and some wheat. Light fruitiness in the finish. Overwhelmed by the hops.
Mouthfeel: probably the best part of the beer. Nice and creamy quality that I assume comes from the wheat. Carbonation just a little below average.

What I wanted with this beer was something very much in the character of Buck Mulligan, boisterous, clever and down to party. But instead I ended up with a blunt instrument of a beer. Way over-hopped and anything but clever. I guess this is what happens when you dry hop at stupid levels with a hop you haven't used before. It's not awful, just quite disappointing compared to what I had imagined.

I tasted the beer after primary fermentation was finished and there was little to no hop presence beyond a mild bitterness. I suspect the yeast stripped most of it out but it's also possible that uncarbonated, the aromas just weren't carrying. Without thinking too much about it I just chucked in a heap of hops in the hope that it would give a big, fruity aroma. What I got instead was a whole lot of spice, ginger and pepper. It settled down a bit over the month in the bottle before the wedding but it never fully recovered from my recklessness.

The malt was just right, the pilsner and wheat malts did exactly what they needed to. The creamy mouthfeel and the flavour was delicious. I think this beer could be a good version of the style with a better choice/application of hops. 

Next time: there's no need for dry hopping, just use a yeast that won't strip out the hop flavour/aroma. It could work very nicely as a vehicle for different single hops. 

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