Friday, October 26, 2012

Review: Leaf Turner - Fresh Hop Brown Ale

Fall is quickly setting in here in Eugene.  The temps are dropping, sunlight fades, massive cloud cover the sky, rain pours down, the leaves change to brilliant hues of reds and yellows.  As it is clear that the warmth and vibrancy of Summer is gone, much of the desire for a crisp, dry, light, pale beer, and this beer does a great job of quenching the thirst of a shifted palate.  Smokey, fruity, mild chocolate, full, sweetish, balanced, malty, just enough alcohol to help warm you on a cool night.  The name is truly fitting.

Look: Thick creamy super sticky beige head sits atop a clear brown beer with ruby highlights.  Sticky lace.

Aroma: Smoky wood and campfire present themselves first with milk chocolate following close behind. They lead into pecans, biscuits, and fruits, figs & plums as well as peaches.  Citrus rind and light pine finish off the nose, very subtle and fruity.

Flavor: Much like the nose the flavor begins with smokey chocolate leading quickly to sweet caramel and toffee, toasted biscuity malt, nuts.  Fruitiness hits as well with more peaches, followed by Christmas tree and sweet breads.  As it warms there is a distinct roasty bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Big creamy mouthfeel like Nitro, balanced.  Lightly astringent finish when cold, not sure if it is from the roasted grains or the Pickling Lime.  Carbonation cleanses the palate.  Bitterness is perfect.

Overall: For a Wet Hop beer the hops are subdued, but it actually works perfect for this balanced Brown.  The smoke malt is more pronounced in my beer than in Sierra Nevada's Tumbler who I stole the malt bill from, bringing a pronounced smokiness up front.  The yeast plays very nice in this beer keeping it malty, nutty, fully attenuated and yet full and creamy.  Lots of layers in this beer.  The finish is off though, the astringency takes away from an otherwise great beer.  Definitely want to re-brew this one next year.

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