Meantime Coffee Porter

Meantime Brewing – London, England

Coffee Porter – 6% ABV  – 11.2 oz.

What a cool bottle.  It’s black with a teardrop shape.  the label is silver on black.  Meantime’s marketing department did a nice job.  Classy.

The beer itself poured dark with lots of red highlights when held up to a light.  A 1/2 inch head faded to a thin coating.

The aroma is all coffee and it smells like they use amazing coffee.  Fresh bean aromas, too.  I’m trying to smell anything but coffee, it seems like they don’t call it a coffee porter for nothing…

The flavor is nice, but not knocking my socks off.  It smelled better than it tastes.  Though, as it heats up, it takes on more English-style beer flavors and subtleties.  A nice smoothness does get my attention, along with a hoppy finish with European hops.  They aren’t like bitter American hops.  More floral and fragrant.  Warmer temperatures really help this porter.

The mouthfeel is another ding against it.  It’s much thinner than I would normally prefer a porter; very light bodied.  The carbonation is fine.

Drinkability is decent, and I could enjoy this for an evening, but I won’t be making it my go-to coffee porter anytime soon.

Overall – B-

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Published in: on February 20, 2011 at 7:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

IPA Bottling Today

Tonight, we bottled our IPA!  It tasted great and we’re really looking forward to the finished product.  Two more weeks to go!

Everything went smoothly and we even remembered the priming sugar which is used to carbonate the bottles!  (there were some issues with the Imperial Stout)

Speaking of the stout, we cracked one of the bottles to taste.  There is a tiny bit of carbonation, but it’s barely there.  It’s still not in presentation condition.  I think it’s time to either re-bottle or add a bit of yeast to the existing bottles.  I’ll do some calculations as to the best scenario.  Luckily, it tastes great!  Can’t wait to experience the finished product with the 1941 Old Grand-Dad Bourbon.

Published in: on February 18, 2011 at 9:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Spontaneous IPA night…

So, the Russian Imperial Stout is having trouble.  It’s probably salvagable, but it’s not carbonating in the bottles… what a pain in the ass!  Apparently, we could have added some extra yeast when we bottled to ensure good carbonation, but we didn’t know.  We’ll may have to re-bottle in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, I decided to do a quick IPA using the home-grown hops from the summer.  I put together a kit from Keystone Homebrew on 309, and adapted it to the ingredients I had on hand.  We’re using 1 ounce of nugget hops, 4 ounces of cascade hops, and I purchased an extra ounce of citra hops for a bit of balance and fruit flavors.  I will be pretty hoppy, but that’s what an IPA is supposed to be.

We started at 8pm, brewed some beer, drank some beer and watched some Tosh.0.  We finally pitched the yeast (tossed it into the beer) at 11pm.  Three hours wasn’t too bad with the amount of distractions we had tonight.  Not too bad for an impromptu brewing night.

The IPA will probably be done way before the Russian Imperial Stout.  It’s a quick stop-gap while we wait for the stout.

We’ll see how it goes!  Stay tuned!

Published in: on February 4, 2011 at 11:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Troegs Nugget Nectar

Troegs Brewing Co. – Harrisburg, PA

Nugget Nectar Imperial Amber – 7.5% ABV – 12 oz.

Bottled January 5, 2011

 “Hopheads’ Nirvana.  Experience a heady trifecta of Nugget, Warrior and Tomahawk hops.  93-ish IBUs”

 It’s been almost a year since I last had a bottle of this.  The first time I tasted it, back in January 2010, I wasn’t actively discussing beer online.  This is my first opportunity to really enjoy it and think about it at the same time.  Also, over the past 12 months, I would like to hope I’ve developed a better palate for flavors.

 The color is deep amber and you can see right through the glass.  There is nothing floating that would reduce the clarity of this glass.  A tiny head formed on the pour and faded to a thin film on top.  There is some nice carbonation rising within the glass.  It makes for a nice presentation in a pilsner glass.

 The aroma is pure hops and malt.  Nugget Nectar doesn’t apologize for what it’s trying to be, an Imperial.  Big.  There are some citrus and pine notes present, as well.  Surely, a product of the freshness, being bottled on January 5.  How nice is it to have a bottling day on the package?!  (That’s an article for another day)  As is often the case, the aroma is deceptive, but intriguing with the citrus aromas at the forefront and the pine notes in the back.  Some brown sugar lingers in the aroma through the malt.

The flavor… Ah, the flavor… Well, there’s hops, more hops and after the first two servings of hops, there’s a hoppy finish.  Now, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but just a tiny bit.  This beer is hoppy.  And it’s a bitter hoppyness being 93 IBUs.  Let’s say 1 IBU has no bitterness, and 100 IBUs are crazy-bitter.  Well, this is 93.  Very bitter.  But awesome!  Anyway, the flavor is predominantly hoppy.  I would describe it as a mix of pine-like flavors with a good amount of citrus flavors.  Freshness is key.  There are malty notes in the middle which help temper the bitterness with their sweetness.  The finish has a nice alcoholic bite.  There’s also a bit of a peppery spiciness somewhere in there.  Tasty.

 The mouth feel is more substantial and medium-bodied.  Drinkability is high despite the 7.5% alcohol.  Each sip tastes refreshing and bitter at the same time.

 The only negative I can find is a slight metallic aftertaste in the finish that fades as the temperature increases a bit.

Like potato chips, you can’t have just one Nugget Nectar.  This is a great annual brew.  It’s too bad we only get it once a year.  At least it’s something to look forward to as an After-Christmas gift.  I’ll have this beer in my refrigerator for a month or two while it’s fresh.  Get some while it’s available;  It only hangs around for a little while.  A great “go-to” craft beer.  Awesome job Troegs!

 Overall: A

Published in: on February 1, 2011 at 9:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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