This beer is a bit of a mongrel. I was attempting to use up a bunch of older ingredients. On the whole it has worked well, in that I brewed a reasonable beer, but it doesn’t fit in any recognisable style categories other than a generic “Belgian” designation. This is one of the last beers I brewed in my large brewspace down in Melbourne before relocating in January.
Belgian Smoker Ale
1050 OG, 1008 FG. 5.5% bottle ABV. M27. Melbourne water, dechlorinated.
Fermented at 18°C from:
50% :: Australian Ale Malt
34% :: Vienna Malt
08% :: Smoked Malt
08% :: CaraAroma Malt
60m single infusion mash at 68°C.
60m boil with 25 IBU of Victoria’s Secret hops added at 60m.
This is a highly effervescent, sparkling beer with a lot of head. It pours a nourishing auburn colour, with hundreds of bubbles visible rushing to the headspace. The off-white to beige head itself features a range of bubble size, from 1-6mm. It is an attractive beer; champagne-like but with a peculiar colour. It reminds me of the date wines I’ve brewed or the grape wines I’ve had from Karen State in Myanmar.
The aroma is sweet and raisin-like, with over-ripe plums and crushed sultanas dominating, not at all what I am used to from CaraAroma – I think the yeast gave it a run for its money. A faint hint of wood is in the background, the closest thing to smoke, but in actuality there is nothing in this beer betraying that smoked malt was used in the grist either. Given I brewed the beer three months prior to this tasting, it is possible that all the smoke elements have moved on into the ether by now.
A reasonably thin body delivers medium bitterness with a dry finish over flavours of cherry and neutral, conservative malt. It’s not a particularly complex or interesting flavour profile, masked as it is by the thin body and high carbonation, but it is eminently drinkable. There is something vaguely roasted at the back – though no roast malts were used – this may be due to the conjunction of smoked malt and a dry body?