With only a couple weeks left in the summer beer season this beer just snuck in as it was ready to drink by mid-August. Since it’s a little cooler in the late summer a bigger summer ale feels appropriate. It’s summery enough for a 70 degree late-summer day, but hearty enough for a cool night next to the fire.
The beer pours a cloudy straw color. The soft white head fades quickly. Not including any cara malt like carapils or carafoam was a rookie mistake.
The citrus is prominent in the aroma, but the herbal and spicy noble hop aroma from the Crystal is also present. The body is medium light thanks to the size of the malt bill, otherwise it would have been light. You can tell its meatier than most summer beers, but isn’t harsh like my original recipe, or overly filling.
Just like the aroma, the lemon is prominent in the flavor. There is plenty of hop flavor as well. The Cluster and Crystal hop flavor is there. The beer perhaps could have used a dry hop addition or a spice addition like Grains of Paradise to cut through the citrus a bit more. The finish is dry and crisp.
Overall I am pleased with how this came out. This is a beer that sneaks up on the drinker. At 6.6% alcohol by volume, this is very drinkable. Next year I will be sure to use some carapils to help the head. I have all winter to contemplate what I want to do with the hops. I think I’ll have to solicit opinions and decide. It’s great how it is, the question is do I want to change it?
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