Elkland Amber Ale Tasting Notes

Original Post: Elkland Amber Ale
Style: American (Adjunct) Amber Ale
Brew Date: November 11, 2014
Tasting Date: November 26, 2014
ABV: 4.8%
IBUs: 19
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Yes, the carbonation is right on track. This beer is still very young, and while it is meant to be drunk fresh, I was afraid it wouldn’t be fully carbonated. It was also bottled very quickly but it is quite clear, too.

The color is slightly lighter than I expected. It is amber, but not as deep as Elkland Amber Lager from last Summer. A solid copper with golden highlights and barely-off-white foam… it looks nice.

It also smells good. It is smells like sweet, creamy malt with just a faint hint of citrusy Cascade hops. The malt aroma is a bit bigger than I expected, actually. There is a lot of corn in this beer and withe color being a bit light, I wouldn’t expect such a full nose.

The first sip begins by backing up the aroma. It is sweet and malty up front, but dries out quick and is ushered out by a snappy hop bitterness. The extra hops, and possibly the move to all Cascade, is definitely noticeable and is very welcome. There still isn’t a ton of distinct hop character, but the bitterness definitely noticeable and it balances the Crystal Malt well.
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This is just what I like in an amber ale or lager. I’m also a fan of the hoppier interpretations like Tröegs’ Hopback Amber Ale, but most lean on the maltier side and many lean too much on Crystal Malt for my preferences. The corn really helps dry this beer out and keep the Crystal from running amok.

If I was to make a change to this and brew it again, and I’m sure I will, I may cut back on the corn a little bit. It definitely helps the beer, but with the added bitterness in this version of the recipe, I don’t think as much is needed. I did cut back slightly from Elkland Amber Lager, from 26% to 21% of the grist. Next time I’d maybe take it down to about 15%. Mainly, I’d just be curious to see what kind of difference the change would make.
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This is definitely a better beer than the lager I made before. My plan was to brew this in the Fall instead of the Summer and just do Elkland Golden Lager then, but I’m going to be seriously considering another batch of this for the warmer months. The amber color may look like a Fall beer, and this ale would be good all year around, but the crisp finish would be especially refreshing in Summer.

Look at that! My beer is empty. I look forward to comparing this to the Brett fermented version. And just drinking more of this version.

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