Tuesday, February 28, 2006

How to identify and deal with off flavors in homebrew

I've listened to the good guys at Basic Brewing Radio do a podcast (roughly two hours in length) on the subject of identifying, fixing, and preventing off flavors in homebrew. It was extremely fascinating and the guys that joined together to do the sampling seemed to oddly enjoy the session. The kit that they used was from FlavorActiv, which can be purchased through the Brewer's Association Beertown.org website. A bit expensive at $150. But, the number of samples suggests that it could possibly be split between several people. From the sound of the podcast, this is an extremely worthwhile investment of time and money for anyone serious about making the very best possible homebrew, while reducing the chance for error. p.s. For anyone new to the world of podcasting, remember this one key piece of advice: You Don't Need An iPod!! There are two kinds of podcasts: video and audio. All audio podcasts are is (typically) mp3 files. So, just go to their website and play the mp3 file through your media player of choice.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Beer Tasting: Black Sheep Ale

Black Sheep Brewery - Black Sheep English Pale Ale This 16.9 fluid ounce bottle was graciously donated by co-worker Brodie, who hails from the UK. If I recall correctly, it was purchased in the Reading, Pennsylvania area. He has been anxious to hear our thoughts on the beer and we are happy to report, as you will soon hear, that we were impressed with this flavorful, drinkable English-style ale. Have you tasted this beer? Let us know what you think. As a suggestion, try to keep the review as brief as possible for each of the following: appearance; smell; taste; mouthfeel; and drinkability. Appearance Bryan: Medium-amber color, orange tinge; pours with soft foamy head, slow to disappear Mark: Orange/Tan in color; 1/4" inch nice creamy head Smell Bryan: Rich, slightly sweet malt very obvious; almost like walking into a brewery during mashing Mark: ? Taste Bryan: Full and solid malt flavors quickly replaced by mildly bitter hops; nice bit of lasting flavor Mark: Light, Smooth yet has body Mouthfeel Bryan: Just a bit creamy; but, otherwise, not heavy Mark: Slightly hoppy but not overpowering - to be expected of an decent ale Drinkability Bryan: Very enjoyable and easy-drinking at 4.5% ABV; better than an average English ale Mark: Yes - went well with sharp vermont cheese & wheat crackers Seconds? Bryan: At least! Send more please Mark: Yes - please

Friday, February 24, 2006

Beer Word: Reinheitsgebot

I love saying the word Reinheitsgebot (pronounced "Rhine Heights Ga-Boat"). It's a beautiful German word that conveys all that you need to know about how beer was to be originally brewed (and still, to a certain degree) in Germany and how it is differentiated from the macro muck of the largest U.S. brewers. (Credit to the Craft Beer Radio guys for 'macro muck'....another entry in beer terminology :) As with many things in life, there's a fair amount of controversy around this concept of Reinheitsgebot. So, take it for what you will. It exists and here's some material to give you background on the subject if you'd like. Following is text lifted from the BeerChurch website that gives you an idea of what Germans were thinking about 500+ years ago when it came to making beer. If anything, it helps to appreciate the German beer making history and culture, which cannot be denied. We hereby proclaim and decree, by Authority of our Province, that henceforth in the Duchy of Bavaria, in the country as well as in the cities and marketplaces, the following rules apply to the sale of beer: From Michaelmas to Georgi, the price for one Mass [Bavarian Liter 1,069] or one Kopf [bowl-shaped container for fluids, not quite one Mass], is not to exceed one Pfennig Munich value, and From Georgi to Michaelmas, the Mass shall not be sold for more than two Pfennig of the same value, the Kopf not more than three Heller [Heller usually one-half Pfennig]. If this not be adhered to, the punishment stated below shall be administered. Should any person brew, or otherwise have, other beer than March beer, it is not to be sold any higher than one Pfennig per Mass. Furthermore, we wish to emphasize that in future in all cities, markets and in the country, the only ingredients used for the brewing of beer must be Barley, Hops and Water. Whosoever knowingly disregards or transgresses upon this ordinance, shall be punished by the Court authorities' confiscating such barrels of beer, without fail. Should, however, an innkeeper in the country, city or markets buy two or three pails of beer (containing 60 Mass) and sell it again to the common peasantry, he alone shall be permitted to charge one Heller more for the Mass of the Kopf, than mentioned above. Furthermore, should there arise a scarcity and subsequent price increase of the barley (also considering that the times of harvest differ, due to location), WE, the Bavarian Duchy, shall have the right to order curtailments for the good of all concerned. Here's a few selected sources of others' opinions on the subject of Reinheitsgebot:
  • Over at RateBeer, 'bollocks' is how one writer refers to the subject in this long, but well-articulated, argument
  • A content-heavy review, as you might expect, at Wikipedia
  • Curious material at German-Way.com, but you can't argue with "...Beer is such a vital part of the culture that the right to drink beer is even written into some labor contracts, and a beer with lunch in the factory cafeteria is taken for granted...."
  • A brewery in the Rocky Mountains in the State of Montana claiming to comply with the Purity Law
  • And, finally, a BBC news item describing the loosening of the law???
  • Of course, search through Beer Advocate postings and you'll find plenty of commentary on this subject

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Beer Calendar: What to do in February-March 2006

Here's a handful of interesting looking events occurring in the Philadelphia region over the next several weeks. Hope to run into you at a couple of them?

Sat. 2/25 - Vintage Barleywine Night - General Lafayette Brewery & Inn, Lafayette Hill PA (12pm-4pm; pay as you go)
Sun. 2/26 - Annual Belgian Dinner - Ortino's Northside, Zieglersville PA (6:30pm; $55)
Fri. 3/3 - It's A Dogfish World After All - Grey Lodge, Philadelphia PA (6pm-10pm; pay as you go)
Sat. 3/4 - Main Line Brew Fest - Desmond Hotel, Malvern PA ($35)
Fri. 3/17 - St. Patrick's Day - Sly Fox, Phoenixville & Royersford PA (12pm-12am; 9pm drawing for trip to Ireland; pay as you go)
Sat. 3/18-Sun. 3/19 - Celebration of the Suds - Atlantic City Convention Center NJ (12pm-9pm; 12pm-7pm; $20-$25)
Sun. 3/19 - Michael Jackson Flemish Sour Dinner - Monk's Cafe, Philadelphia PA (6pm; $125)
Fri, 3/24 - Ale Street News Ultimate Belgian Tasting - Chelsea Art Museum, New York NY (6:30pm-10:30pm; $87)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Beer Tasting: Russian River Pliny the Elder

Russian River - Pliny the Elder Double/Imperial IPA

Have you tasted this beer? Let us know what you think. As a suggestion, try to keep the review as brief as possible for each of the following: appearance; smell; taste; mouthfeel; and drinkability.

Appearance Adam: golden apricot Bryan: nice gold color with a nice hop-supported head
Smell Adam: smash hops in your hands, hop heaven Bryan: Holy Hops! In your face and loving it
Taste Adam: wow...the taste lives up to the nose Bryan: clean flavors of hops, hops, and eh hops...yeah!
Mouthfeel Adam: not bad for the bottom of the growler Bryan: smooth, bold, and full of texture
Drinkability Adam: all night baby ;-) Bryan: did we just find another 8% "session beer"?! oh yeah
Seconds? Adam: do you have a keg I can take home? Bryan: yes, please, bring more to the East Coast!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Beer Tasting: Victory Ten Years Alt

Have you tasted this beer? Let us know what you think. As a suggestion, try to keep the review as brief as possible for each of the following: appearance; smell; taste; mouthfeel; and drinkability.

Appearance Adam: dark...like an alt should be, like a light cherry wood Bryan: medium-dark, copper color; tinge of redness Jeremy: Dark Reddish/Brown
Smell: Adam: sweet hoppy Bryan: mild, hop aroma; not itimidating; slightly sweet, but not too malty Jeremy: Sweet smelling
Taste Adam: less hoppy than hop devil, sour, lingering bitterness :-) Bryan: clean, malt flavor plus mild bitter hop flavor; nicely balanced Jeremy: Smooth and crisp with a bit of hoppiness
Mouthfeel Adam: substantial Bryan: solid; lingers just long enough Jeremy: It went into my mouth, then into my tummy, and felt good in both places... ie I have no idea how to describe mouthfeel ;-)
Drinkability Adam: oh yeah Bryan: could become a favorite "session beer"! (ha, even at 8.5%?!) Jeremy: Very drinkable despite the decievingly high ABV
Seconds? Adam: yes please Bryan: Wunderbar....buy a full case and enjoy now! Jeremy: I would have ordered another, but I had to drive

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Event: Fourth Annual Victory Chili Challenge

The Fourth Annual Victory Chili Challenge is being held today at Victory Brewing and guess what! Our very own Bryan will be there with his chili. I've tasted it before and it is definately up to the challenge :-) I think he has some Storm King Stout in there and some venison as well, but, I don't want to give too much away. I'll be showing my support by attending later today. Good luck Bryan! BTW there is another reason for me to go today. Victory tapped their Ten Years Alt recently and I'm very interested in tasting it. If you're there, look for us and say hi. UPDATE! :-( Bryan didn't win. I'm definately disappointed. I honestly thought he would. Ah well...we had a great time. Thanks Bryan. I'll leave any further comment to you. On another note....the Alt was really good. Maybe we'll get together tonight and taste some from the growler I brought home. We'll post about it later if we do :-)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Beer Site: Beer Maps

I'm sure that most of our readers have already bookmarked the Beermapping website. But, for those of you not yet familiar with it, do yourself a favor and check it out. On these Google-based maps, you can choose between regional and city beer maps. The maps include: breweries; brewpubs; beer bars; and beer stores. Also, behind each of the pushpins on these locations you'll find address, phone number, and website information. All this on top of the easiest to use maps today on the Web. As far as content goes, I really haven't found anything (i.e. significant) that has been omitted or overlooked. In case you want to know how it all works, I could take a crack at it for you, or just point you to this link. Hope that you're enjoying the beer trekking with a quality brew!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Beer Tasting: Wexford Irish Cream Ale

Wexford - Irish Cream Ale I could not stand looking at it any longer. I was forced to finally make some room in the refrigerator by drinking a Wexford Irish Cream Ale. As some of you know, this is one of my least favorite styles. But, for the sake of open-mindedness and giving it one more try, I provide here for you my (slightly) unbiased review ;-) Have you tasted this beer? Let us know what you think. As a suggestion, try to keep the review as brief as possible for each of the following: appearance; smell; taste; mouthfeel; and drinkability. Appearance Bryan: thick, white, creamy, persisting head; light amber color beer Smell Bryan: faint aroma of a bland beer (I realize that's no where on any tasting sheets!) Taste Bryan: very faint taste of something sweet, like honey; just a quick, slight bitterness to finish Mouthfeel Bryan: smooth and creamy, almost like shaving cream Drinkability Bryan: yes, but barely Seconds? Bryan: No (there's one more; who wants the last one?!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Beer Site: Beerinator

I'm sure that most of our readers have already bookmarked the Beerinator website. But, for those of you not yet familiar with it, do yourself a favor and check it out. I don't know about you, but with the proliferation of beer writing on the Web, I find it hard to keep up sometimes. Sure, I could setup an aggregator to pull together all this material. But why would I do that? Especially when the good folks at Beerinator have already done that for us?! (Plus, in a bit of shameless self-promotion, I can tell you that a feed from our site is there too) In case you want to know how it all works, I could take a crack at it for you, or just point you to this link. Enjoy the fine reading with a quality brew!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Beer Tasting: Stegmaier Porter

Stegmaier (by Lion Brewing Co.) - Porter After the Anniversary IPA, we thought we would try one more from Stegmaier/Lion Brewing. Have you tasted this beer? Let us know what you think. As a suggestion, try to keep it to as few as words as possible for each of the following: appearance; smell; taste; mouthfeel; and drinkability. Appearance Adam: head and ring dissapated quickly Bryan: Dark typcial porter color, pours with thin head Smell Adam: chocolate, black patent malt, very inviting Bryan: very, very interesting toffee/caramel/chocolate nose; almost imperial stout-like Taste Adam: uh...where'd the beer go? thin, not negative, just doesn't live up to the nose Bryan: less sweet than expected; roasty dryness with moderate bitter notes Mouthfeel Adam: thin Bryan: not memorable and finishes with a slight dirty (?) feel Drinkability Adam: yes it is Bryan: intrigued by the nose, let down a bit by the taste/body, very short finish Seconds? Adam: I'm holding a grudge ;-) no Bryan: maybe one more

Beer Tasting: Stegmaier Anniversary IPA

Stegmaier (by Lion Brewing Co.) - Anniversary IPA There's been a lot of buzz around this beer, so we just had to try it. ("Joe Six Pack" of the Philadelphia Daily News listed it as one of his top 5 beers of 2005.) We tried to put aside any prejudices and were moderately pleased with it. Have you tasted this beer? Let us know what you think. As a suggestion, try to keep it to as few as words as possible for each of the following: appearance; smell; taste; mouthfeel; and drinkability. Appearance Adam: Apricot, thin ring head Bryan: Pours with minimal head and a pale caramel color Smell Adam: Malty, hoppy, very present, apple Bryan: Very pleasant and aromatic hop nose. Taste Adam: Not bitter, malt and hops balanced; slight tangy finish that lingers a bit Bryan: Not quite full-bodied flavor, the taste falls apart quickly. Mouthfeel Adam: Slightly carbonated, smooth Bryan: Best when served cold; just a bit syrupy Drinkability Adam: Definitely able to drink a couple Bryan: Not an IPA powerhouse, but definitely easy-to-please for an IPA amateur. Seconds? Adam: Yes if Hop Devil wasn't on tap Bryan: One was enough.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

McKenzie Brew House in Frazer, PA - Construction Update 2/11/06

According to the bartender at the Glen Mills location, the new estimated date of completion: Mid-March; According to Matt at Beer Yard, early April (sheesh, Iron Hill in Phoenixville may even open before McKenzie!). Parking lot is paved with curbs, finished doors, windows, and siding are slowly being installed. zzzzzzz.......hope the Vuuve is on tap when they finally open!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Brewing: Barleywine

It was time to open another bottle of that barleywine I made a while back. Remember the one I forgot to put the priming sugar in? You might be happy to hear that after a few months of sitting in my cellar it is carbonated! Whoohoo! It isn't frothing all over the place, but, there's just enough to liven up the mouthfeel. There must have been enough residual sugars left at the time of bottling. I'll have to remember that for the next time ;-) How does it taste? Hoppy, buttery, somewhat dry, with some hints of fruit...I'm going to enjoy this one as it ages :-)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Brewing: Stoutenporter ruminations...

After brewing the Stoutenporter I was a little hesitant. Sometimes I’m preoccupied with the process and not objective enough to determine what it really tastes like. I didn't like it when it was warm out of the fermenter. I decided to reserve judgment until it was cooler and carbonated in the keg. In the back of my mind I was a little concerned that I wasted all that malt.

I'm sure many of you have experienced these feelings before. I usually feel that way when I cook something new for my family. I usually say stuff like, “Too much garlic?” or “Was it cooked too long.” Sometimes they say, “This isn't too bad." or "It’s not my thing." When I brew beer I’m patiently waiting for that honest opinion. That little shred of proof that it doesn’t suck. When you make a high gravity beer like the Stoutenporter you might not find too many people willing to drink it. So how do you get that if you can't share it? Picture a tar black beverage that you could float a quarter on.

Yesterday, after work I pulled some from the keg into a wine glass, sat down at the kitchen table and had another taste. I thought, "It is better now that it is chilled." Then I saw the piece de resistance, left over cake from the superbowl party. That's right a yellow cake with the Steeler logo on it :-) Eureka, it might just work! I had a bite of cake and a sip of the beer. And to borrow a phrase from a familiar beer commercial, "Brilliant!" It was the second best beer and food pairing I've ever enjoyed. The first was desert at Monks a few weeks ago. WOW! Who knew I was going to make a dessert beer?

Tune in tomorrow when I talk more about my new beer and cake diet ;-)

Monday, February 06, 2006

Best implied commercial during the Super Bowl

Watch the commercial, then finish the commercial with ".....that there's rice in the beer!" Somehow, it just fits, doesn't it?! For all of the commercials, check out http://www.ifilm.com/superbowl YEAH STEELERS!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Brewery History: Pittsburgh Brewing

Check out the Pittsburgh Brewing entry in wikipedia. I couldn't pass up mentioning the brewer of one of the most popular beers in Pittsburgh...Western PA for that matter.

Pittsburgh: A Super Bowl Homage to its Beer & Steelers

I live in the Philadelphia area, so what am I doing posting this "homage" about the beer scene and the Super Bowl Steelers of Pittsburgh (approx. 300 miles or 180 kilometers from home)? Well, there are two motivating factors. The first is the extremely lackluster writing that I read recently from a San Diego beer writer and the second is that the Steelers are the favorite football team of at least a few of my friends (and a couple of family members as well). Additionally, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers really do not share all that much of a rivalry, largely because of the separate conferences to which they belong. Interestingly enough, for one year during the second World War, the teams combined to form the Steagles. Enough background information, onto the beer scene of Pittsburgh. Unlike the article which I referenced earlier, I will write nothing of Rolling Rock (kind of close to Pittsburgh) or Stoudt's (very far from Pittsburgh, actually a little more than 50 miles from Philadelphia). I'm surprised he didn't write about Yuengling from Pottsville, PA. Here's my guess: he walked into the local beverage store in San Diego and bought the only two beers made in Pennsylvania that he could find. Instead of writing about the very interesting beer scene of Pittsburgh, he wrote about average Rolling Rock and a very good, but irrelevant from Pittsburgh's perspective, Stoudt's. It's like writing about the San Diego beer scene and mentioning Anchor and Russian River, but not Stone or Pizza Port. In this day and age of information (i.e. the Internet), I'm surprised at this subpar writing. Ok, didn't I say I was moving on to the Pittsburgh beer scene? Ha, enough complaining. So, if you're coming into the city from the Pennsylvania Turnpike, you'll want to stop at D's Sixpax and Dogz at Regent Square in Swissvale. This is just outside the city limit on the other side of the Squirrel Hill tunnel. Nothing fancy here but a variety of hot dogs and hundreds of bottled beer selections. A good stop for a stash of beer for your hotel room or as a gift for your house host. Now that you're in the city, here are some good options for finding great beer. I've decided to only speak of what I know from first-hand experience. It would be disingenuous of me trying to represent something that I can not speak of personally. Let me start by saying that no matter where you go for beer in the city that you should find a good brew by Penn Brewing and East End Brewing. These are the two most representative local brews of Pittburgh currently on the scene. Penn Brewing has a much more rich and award-winning tradition than does East End, which is only a couple of years old. According to its website, East End's brewing equipment is from the Foundry Ale Works (Strip District), which sadly is no more. While you will not be able to visit East End Brewing as a brewpub (but you can go and fill a growler), Penn's location in the city's North Side district is nicely built out with plenty of room for dining and drinking, including a ratskeller room. Their beers, most especially the Pilsner, are very finely crafted brews and have garnered their fair share of awards. They certainly strive hard to be an authentic German brewery in every sense of it. Also important on the local brewing scene is the Church Brew Works brewpub not far from the city's Strip District. They've won a few awards in the past and their presence continues to grow in the Pittsburgh area. I've had great experiences in the past with both the dark lager and the maibock from CBW. And, the scene here is worth checking out. This brewpub really is in a converted former church. Pews have been rearranged, the alter has been....um, altered...into brewing operations, and the structure as a whole as been mostly left in tact otherwise. This is both a decent dining place as well as beer drinking place, if not a bit sacrilegious depending upon the strictness of your religious beliefs :) Also, when in Pittsburgh, you might find be able to find Erie Brewing products on tap. Their Railbender Ale, especially, is worth checking out. I only mention it because, in Pittsburgh, these beers are easier to find then in the Philadelphia area. From the perspective of good beer bars in Pittsburgh, I'd say that you can start and stop at Fathead's (South Side District). It's on most beer lover's lists of stops to make on a beer pilgrimage through the Midwest which begins in Pittsburgh. They have approximately 40 draft lines and hundreds of bottles from which to select. It's a classic beer bar/pub that has recently expanded and carries a better-than-average food menu replete with typical burgers, sandwiches, buffalo wings, salads, and ribs. This is an absolute must stop in Pittsburgh for a rollicking atmosphere, friendly staff, and some of the best beers you'll find on draft. Mad Mex adjacent to the University of Pittsburgh campus in the Oakland section also boasts a quite respectable lineup of beers along with some very decent margaritas. It also has a fun, trendy, and young college scene, especially on the weekend nights. The places that I have not been to, but have a good reputation and are on my list for the next trip, include: Gooski's; Market Street Ale House; Point Brugge Cafe; Sharp Edge Beer Emporium; and Smokin' Joes. So, there you have it. Our first, I believe, tribute posting. Somewhat of a tourist's guide, perhaps. In any case, I said that this was an homage to both the beer and Steelers of Pittsburgh. Since this is a site primarily about beer, I'll end this posting with three simple words: LET'S GO STEELERS!!!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Monk's Beer Dinner 1/24/06 : Pizza Port & Russian River deux :-)

This is a followup to Bryan's first post on the Monk's beer dinner. I was so anxious to visit Monk's Cafe considering I had never been there. So Bryan and I were off from work early and hopping the Amtrak to Philly with time to visit Ludwig's before dinner. Another first for me :-) Mmmmm...saurkraut! And now.....Monk's Cafe.....drumroll please. I don't think I have ever been in a darker restaurant or pub. It reminded me of a monestary I once visited....seriously. Maybe we should call this the "Monk's Vibe"...heheh. Our bartender was very cordial. She served us our beer with a smile. We soaked in the surroundings and looked around for people we knew. Ahhh....Monks. Then it was time to be seated. Yeah, we were at a small table at the end of the bar. From there we were able to see the wine glasses being filled for each course. Yes, all of the beer was served in wine glasses. We looked over the menu and I was a little confused. Two beers for each course and some dishes I never heard of. Now Bryan seemed a little more at ease with the the Foie Gras Tourchon, but, I guess I can say I was about to expand my horizons ;-) In fact that would prove to be the theme of the evening. Now when the first beer was servered I was thinking, "This is different." Not in a bad way though. Then the first course came Foie Gras Tourchon. As I tasted it I thought, "THIS is different." It took me a while to get comfortable with the beer and the first course. I still can't say I wholely enjoyed the Foie Gras Tourchon, but, it certainly was an experience. Still riding on the wave of excitement that started over two months ago I wasn't really phased. I've had belgian sours before. Not many times, but, enough to not be shocked by their taste. I just wasn't prepared for the roller coaster of brettanomyces (new term for me BTW). I would agree with Bryan about differentiating between the beer. I had to ask him more than once which was which. Of course that had nothing to do with the fact that I already had a few by then ;-) Le Woody was super sour, Mother Pucker was the beer equivalent of eating a sour tart candy. The Cuvee de Tomme paired with the Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding was the most incredible beer and dessert pairing I have ever had. If I could get that combination for dessert once a week I would be in big trouble. Wow, I can still taste it a week later...mmmmm. I enjoyed all of the others too, but, I just can't remember them as well as the extreme bret beers. I do plan to go to another beer dinner at Monk's Cafe to experience something a bit less sour. One could almost say these didn't taste like beer. So, was it all I expected? Yes! Would I go again? Yes! Would I drink Russian River and Pizza Port again. You bet! This experience took me to a place that I won't get to visit very often. Bretland the home of brettanomyces. Quick Note: I've noticed a few places on the web stating that Guinness Stout is made with brettanomyces. Hmmmm...interesting.

Groundhog Day 2006 update - grab an Imperial Stout

Newsflash: Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning of Groundhog Day (Feb 2nd). Translation: 6 more weeks of winter For those of you not of the U.S.A., don't worry we don't "get it" either. But, it's tradition almost 120 years old and an excuse for a big, early morning party in the middle of the state of Pennsylvania......and apparently also across the country! Oh well, bundle up for another 6 weeks of winter and grab an imperial stout (or frankenporter stout :) more news from Google...... http://news.google.com/news?q=punxsutawney+phil&hl=en&lr=&sa=N&tab=nn&oi=newsr

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Beer Tasting: Weyerbacher Brewing Co. - Old Heathen Imperial Stout

Weyerbacher Brewing Co. - Old Heathen Imperial Stout Have you tasted this beer? Let us know what you think. As a suggestion, try to keep it to as few as words as possible for each of the following: appearance; smell; taste; mouthfeel; and drinkability. Appearance Bryan: thick, dark liquid with a burnt copper head...slow to dissipate Smell Bryan: not a huge nose; faint roasted aromas Taste Bryan: moderate tastes of chocolate, molasses, and coffee; but far from overpowering Mouthfeel Bryan: typical thicker-than-average body for a stout, but not heavy or cloying Drinkability Bryan: easy drinking; not heavy; improves with temperatures Seconds? Bryan: yes