First of all, I hope this is actually Remnants. This batch was an afterthought and never got the attention it deserved, leaving many of its bottles unlabeled. I don’t have many unlabeled bottles, but the first one I tried was definitely not Remnants (still not sure what I drank that night), this one looks right.
It is deep red, verging on brownish orange out of the light, but never too dark. There was a big pillowy white head when I poured the beer into my Duvel glass. Most of it collapsed pretty quick, but the laser etched glass is keeping a nice stream of bubbles coming to the surface and giving the beer a lively look.
It smells deeply malty with hints of alcohol. I remember this being much hoppier, but that was a long time ago. I think this is the real deal. Let’s see.
Yes. This is it. The elusive Remnants Ale. The malt character of this beer is strange. It is interesting but muddled. Something I’m glad to try but would probably get grating over time. The beer was made from second runnings of an English Bitter with DME added, including a ton of Wheat DME. The wheat and the British malts don’t exactly mesh. It is interesting to mash them together, but you learn pretty quickly why it isn’t the norm.
I don’t remember the full grain bill of 7 O’Clock bitter, but I get Crystal Malt notes, definite Maris Otter character and then the grainy wheat. Despite not showing much alcohol, this tastes like a big beer. Barley wine would be my first guess about the style. I remember that I finished the beer with Champagne yeast and the final gravity was very low, but I wouldn’t guess that. The body feel full.
The one thing that keeps this away from the English beer it mostly resembles is related to the yeast, though. The fermentation character is minimal. It is very clean and, as I already mentioned, the alcohol content (7% ABV), doesn’t show.
This stuff was pretty bitter to begin with, but the hops weren’t too exaggerated. The character hops here were all delicate German varieties and they made their presence known initially, but after some time in the bottle, they have faded almost completely.
For a thrown together mess of an unplanned beer experiment, this is a decent mess of a beer. It is definitely not something I would repeat on purpose, but it cleaned out the freezer and got rid of some unwanted DME and produced a… drinkable beer. I am starting to build up quite a backlog of hops in the freezer again. I may have to do a Remnants II, but next time I won’t be working with extract so I will either have to buy grains and plan more, or use the second runnings of a bigger beer. We’ll see if any of that is in the cards.