Flue Season is ready to drink!
We did a taste test on Monday and another on Thanksgiving, to get a feel for the progress of bottle conditioning, but Saturday’s bottle was the first to be properly carbonated. The head went away pretty quickly, which I understand is usual for higher alcohol beers, but it was nice to see it on the pour, at least.
Going by style guidelines, it’s a wee heavy/strong Scottish ale, and the tasting notes bear that out. It’s a long way down the malty side of the flavor scale, with essentially no hop flavor or notable bitterness. There’s a bit of piney hop aroma, though, which fits the Christmas beer style. The spices come through in the finish. Delightfully warming.
On a more homebrewy note, I’m very happy with how clear it turned out (although it’s hard to see until there’s very little left in the glass). There’s a sixteenth of an inch or so of trub at the bottom of the bottle, and that’s it. The long primary fermentation (four weeks) certainly seems to have done its job. Most everything appears to have precipitated out prior to bottling. Next time we make this one, we’ll probably aim for 1.8-2.0 volumes of carbonation, against the 1.6 or so we got this time—it’d be nice to have a bit more bubble.