Night Work Belgian Brown Ale Tasting Notes

Original Post: Night Work Brew Day
Style: American Belgian Brown Ale with Raspberries and Cherry Juice
Brew Date: October 28, 2014
Tasting Date: December 4, 2014
ABV: 4.8%
IBUs: 20
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This beer definitely fits the “brown ale” tag, but there are hints of red both in the highlights and also in the foam. There is definitely some fruit influence immediately obvious.

Getting past vision and on to smell, the fruit becomes more clear. There is definitely some raspberry. The cherry isn’t identifiable at first, but there is something more going on than just the raspberry. It smells sweet. It smells great, really. Some of the fruit on the nose seems like it could be fermentation character. I haven’t used this yeast before so I’m not sure what the aroma might have been without the fruit. I would definitely like to try this White Labs’ Belgian Ale, aka Chouffe yeast again, though.

Taking a sip, the cherry comes out a lot more. The raspberry is still there, and they are somewhat neck and neck at this point, but I think the cherry asserts itself a bit more early in the sip. The fruits almost compete, but it is definitely in a good way. They don’t get muddled, but they do keep things from being one dimensional.

The slightly roasty, somewhat chocolatey and very fruity Caramel malt keeps things from being two dimensional. The low gravity is fairly obvious and the mouth feel is a bit thin, but there is a lot going on here. The malts definitely play second fiddle to the fruit, but they do make it obvious that this is, in fact, a beer.
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The cherry really takes over at the end and lingers in the aftertaste when everything else is gone. The finish is my only problem here. It is very thin and ends with cherry and carbonation. The flavor is great but the mouthfeel is a bit lacking.

That keeps this from being upper echelon, but I’m still very happy with this beer. It is interesting and complex, but also light and easy to drink. I think it could actually work better over the Summer, but on this cold post-night-shift December morning, I still finished the bottle already.

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