Sunday, January 22, 2012

Country House Red Ale

Jen and I picked this up prior to going to the pottery building to throw some pots and attempt my long lost skills on the wheel...with little success. I've been interested in Argus brewery, because they are Chicago based, and began as a contract brewery. Their products recently appeared on the shelves of the Rock Island Hy-vee in a mass variety of options. Finally reviewed Saturday evening before our weekly beer dinner.
4.14% ABV

Appearance: Rusted copper with a very hazy texture. The head is well sustained and soapy white along the glass but gets more dense the towards the center. Lacing is linear and dry. Particulates and other flocculates are present, more than likely hops/yeast/trub proteins.
Aroma: Bready with a prominent spicing to it. Floral and sharply hopped. Some fruitiness is present along side a vininess and other tannic smells. There is a bit of oxidation and off flavor revolving around byproducts of the yeast, mostly strange esters.
Taste: Some cane sugar sweetness up front with a minute amount of breadiness for a malt foundation. There is a lot of astringency in this beer that follows the wake of the hops. Woodsy and floral. Fruity esters and a sharp spicing hit the back of the throat at the finish. A bit of solvent alcohol is tasted too. Kind of maintains a "homebrew" flavor to me of poor temperature control. A bit stale and peppery. Dan came up with a good reminiscent description for it..."tastes a bit like the smell of that model airplane glue we used to build airplanes with when we were younger."
Mouthfeel: Lightened body with a high carbonation that bites in the second half of the beer. Soft going down, but very resinous, woody and dry.
Overall Impression: Not at all clean tasting. Oxidized and papery. I was disappointed with this beer, especially after having the Pegasus IPA, which was fantastic in comparison. This beer had a lot of off flavors to do with the yeast. Hop profile could be improved too. Instead, my template for a good red ale would be:
North Coast Red Seal;
Summit Horizon Red

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