Aug 28, 2009

"22" Strong Lager Tasting

"22" Strong Lager
Brewed November 2007
Bottled 3.18.08
Tasted 9.28.09

Appearance -- Dark bronze and a little cloudy. Head settles down to about .25 and inch.

Smell -- At first may be too cold to smell much, but the notes are toasty and bready (like crusts -- the hallmark scent of Munich malt) I am surprised I am not noticing any alcohol aroma yet (9.4 ABV)

Taste -- Very bready. The hop presence is there, but not pronounced, much like a super-Munich Dunkel might be. Again, alcohol presence is lower than I would have expected. Perhaps the year and five months in the bottle has toned it down some. Caramel flavors emerge after beer warms up a few degrees. The alcohol note also emerges a little in the finish. As I drink this and look at the hop bill, I reminded that no real deciphering was done as to projected IBUs. If I were making this beer today, I would certainly add more hops, because it is obvious to me that my utilization was blunted by the thick wort. I have come quite a way in the area of mathematics as it contributes to brewing since the day I brewed this one.

Mouthfeel -- Thick and chewy without much carbonated effervescence. Though this beer was dosed with fresh yeast at bottling, it is not terribly carbonated. I probably could have primed it better than the usual however many cups to gallon rule. I have since begun using carbonation calculators when bottling. Once beer warms a little, the finish thins out like a lager normally does. My one real issue with this one at this point is the carbonation level. It just kind of slides down your throat at this point instead of sparking in your mouth for a minute. I think many of the flavors could be better perceived if there was more gas present.

Overall -- Still a wonderful beer, especially with some age on it. Certainly has its shortcomings, but serves as a wonderful illustration of the specifics I have added to my craft in the past couple of years. The IBU level of this beer is a bit of conundrum for me at this point. I would like it to be a little higher, as I have mentioned above, but if it were, it would not really be what it was intended -- a strong Munich style lager.