Whitbread Mackeson Clone – Tasting

Initially the plan was to leave my recent home brew attempt for around a month to settle down – if you read any of my previous posts regarding this batch you’ll know I had a couple of things go array during the brewing process (perhaps the worst being the temperature being too high for around 24 hours when it was first fermenting).

So it is fair to say I was prepared for some off flavours in this one.

However, my plan to hold out for a month lasted just seventeen days. What can I say… curiosity got the better of me.

I also blame Lord Sugar, as my fiancée is an Apprentice fan and this week they were set a task of selling beer – how could I not try my own when beer was on the TV.

The Tasting

First off, I forgot to take a photo of the beer. I may add one at some point, but for reasons you are about to find out, that won’t be for a while.

Anyway, I opened my first bottle and was happy to hear the resounding hiss and sizzle as the CO2 escaped to freedom. The beer poured well (straight into the glass in fact) and I was pleased with the colour and head.

It had a nice roasted aroma. The first sip blew away my worries over the potential off flavours – however, this didn’t last long.

First impressions were that the beer had a slight nutty, roasted flavour and finished well with an earthy almost black pepper taste. I was impressed.

But then I got about half way through the pint and started to notice a quite undesirable (but bearable) bitter tang that seemed to be gripping the sides of my tongue.

As the glass emptied this taste became more prominent and started to border on the unpleasant.  So, obviously, I tried another – just to make sure. Again it started well but as the glass was consumed that bitter tang remained.

Time Will Tell

I always had an inkling that the 24 hours spent fermenting at around 26C was going to take its toll on the flavour, so I wasn’t too disappointed – I’d prepared myself for such an outcome.

However, ever the optimist, I’m going to leave the remaining bottles for a month or possibly two to find out if the bitterness will eventually drop and mellow out.

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