Friday, September 6, 2013
Ralph (Pronounced "Raif")
Wow, now here is a beer that I kegged right as my CO2 was running out a year ago, and I never ever got to taste it! If you remember from this entry, Ralph was an "American Bitter" that I made from the second runnings of the Sea Symphony Barleywine and hopped with Chinook and Falconer's Flight hops, fermented with a second generation pitching of the Rebel Brewer American Pub Ale yeast. Now I will admit that a year later, I did not have high hopes for this one. Hoppy beers are best enjoyed young, so that the fresh hop aromas are at their most potent. This process, however, can be prolonged if the beer is put on CO2, which this one fortunately was. I tapped the keg this evening, and out poured a beautiful golden/light amber hazy delight with a brilliant white head. The aroma still held a citrusy, floral quality to it, with sweet malts in the background. The flavor is bitter grapefruit and tangerine, pine, with an unprecedented malt sweetness and light esters. Mouthfeel was medium body, spritzy, and surprisingly creamy. Overall impression of the beer is "How the hell is this only 4% ABV??" Tastes like a very smooth IPA with a solid malt backbone to it. I think collecting the runnings of a bigger beer added some depth to this beer's maltiness. I will definitely be doing partigyle brewing again. You get so much bang for your buck and you end up with TWO amazing beers. This makes me VERY excited to try the Sea Symphony Barleywine, which I will be bottling this weekend. The bottles are currently in their sanitize cycle in the dishwasher, and I am really excited about not having to wash them by hand.
In the other kegs are the Limerick Session Stout (which I tasted and is also still delicious), Scarlett, the Galway Girl and the JuniorSenior RyePA, so we'll be rotating those into the kegerator as well. Come by for a taste!