Tasting: West Coast Pale Ale

Posted: February 19, 2012 in Tasting Notes

So, ideally my notes will be more spread out than they are now. But, because I just started this blog, they are a bit crammed up today.

At any rate, I popped open a West Coast last weekend to give it a try after 2 weeks of carbing, but only 1 week of conditioning. This is the recommended time according to Mr. B, but most everyone suggests giving it 2 weeks. They also suggest taste testing early, though, to learn what “young” beer tastes like, so this is what I did.

Upon opening up the bottle, we heard a refreshing fizz. The carbing worked…good news! Then we poured it. Good color, but half the glass was head! There was also lots of bubble action. Once it settled, I noticed a nice amount of head formed in the bottle as well. The head seemed to subside after about 30 minutes (in the bottle) and my 3rd pour hardly had a head at all. So, lots of carb, but it didn’t last long.

The taste is best described as “yeasty.” It tasted okay (my wife really liked it), but it definitely was like bread, and had a weird bitter aftertaste. Now the experienced guys describe a Mr. B “twang”, so maybe that’s what that was. The yeasty taste is due to being young, so I definitely learned something!

I enjoyed my second glass last evening, 13 days into conditioning. The head was still big on the pour, but worked it’s way to a normal size and remained for the remainder of the bottle. The twang was mostly gone, as was the overpowering yeast flavor. Now it had a more mellow flavor, although still a bit young. The beer seemed to be rounding out to a smooth, drinkable beer probably in another week. But, at least it’s drinkable now.

Remember, I’m not an expert, so my tasting notes do NOT conform to the “standard tasting” concepts of whatever international association. I also don’t intend to describe every bottle I have, but I do want to note how the beer changes with time. I’ll probably update this tasting one more time before this batch is gone.

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