Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Star Island Single

Tasted following a bottling session of my imperial chocolate stout that I brewed with Joey Waldorf. This beer boasts a 9% ABV and I'm planning to age it for a while to see how it mellows. Thanks to Jen for picking this beer up in an assorted 6 pack from Hy-vee in Rock Island.

Appearance: Turbid golden color with a brief white foam filmed head. Some carbonation visible amongst the cloudiness as it slowly rises to the top. Not too much going on with this one.
Aroma: Very sweet and earthy with fruit and phenols. I smell pears and maybe some green raisins as well as honey and touches of citrus. This beer is very mellow and follows with lemon spicing and a touch of wheat based yeastiness.
Taste: Starts light and sweet with a bit of a candied sugar and honey sugar base with additions of different types of wheat malt. There is a big difference here between foretaste and the finish with little remaining in the middle. The end is spicy and phenolic with citrus and a yeasty breadiness common to a lot of the higher alcohol wheat beers. Nevertheless it is drying and leaves a peppery phenol and tannin bitter aftertaste in the mouth that is felt in the back of the throat. Lemon is one of the few characteristics that is maintained from start to finish. As the beer warms, the malt and sugar wheat sweetness begin to make a push for more of a part in the beer. Honey and lemongrass along with cracked wheat emerge. Some sourness in the end as it finishes with the carbonation.
Mouthfeel: Light bubbly body with a crisp feel and a refreshing finish. High carbonation's leaves a zip to the tongue and a dry texture. Watery initially, but carbonation seems to delay but then foams up to a larger body and distributes the favorable texture.
Overall Impression: I liked the big difference between the beginning and end, and certainly worth a try to see how strangely complex it is between the two, but I did find it to taste a little soapy (as in naturally achieved, and nothing like actual soap). Somewhat Saison-esk. A lot higher ABV to be called a session ale! I wish Smuttynose would be more descriptive in their labels. I'm still unfamiliar with good Belgian beers, let alone Belgian pale ales. However, definitely an interesting Beer to Try.


1 comment:

  1. I had this at the brewery, wasn't bad but not my favorite from Smutty. Their BIG A IPA is awesome....there is a great story behind the lady on the logo.