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Beer Review #105 Mudslinger Spring Ale

Another spring beer for review on this Judgement Day; Mudsligner Spring Ale from Redhook Ale Brewery. Redhook has three different breweries located across the country, but my bottle of Mudslinger said that this particular beer was brewed in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I February I reviewed their winter seasonal beer, Winterhook, and thought that it was decent.

Mudslinger is classified as a nut brown ale by the brewery and comes in at 5.8% ABV. It pours a deep copper to brown color and is perfectly clear. A slightly off-white head accompanies the brown drink. The nose is pretty much what you would expect out of a nut brown ale. It has some caramel and roasted malt, followed by some slight hops. When I say slight hops, I mean very slight. On the first taste the roasty notes from the odor returned along with a nutty flavor. These flavors are not nearly as strong as the nose promises. It is then followed by herbal tasting hops. There was almost a minty quality to them.

This beer was had a different name up until last year, but the name is escaping me currently. Whatever the name, it was a decent beer which fits into spring nicely. The beer was not light but not heavy either. The flavors were not complex, but they blended well. Try it out if you get the chance, even if it is to add a new notch to your taste buds. (more…)

Winter Warmer

12-14-01About three weeks ago I brewed my version of a Winter Warmer. You can find the recipe here. I had a new mash tun setup going into this brew day because my last beer, Pumpkin Ale, had a stuck sparge and resulted in a bunch of other issues. While the Pumpkin Ale still turned out decent, it was not as good as it should of beer do to the loss of sugar/wort from the stuck sparge. With everything revamped in the mash tun, the Winter Warm was the first recipe to make sure everything was working properly.

I heated up my mash water and dumped the grain into the mash tun. I also had another piece of new equipment, a 3 foot metal slotted spoon, that I got for 2 bucks at a local restaurant supply store. It might not sound like a lot, but it really helps break up those dough balls and insure that I get all of the sugar I can out of the grain. Once the water hit the proper temp, I poured it in and started mixing everything together. My target mash temp was around 158, I was reading slightly above that. I waited a bit for it to cool down and added a touch of cold water, but it was still a little high. Not being an exact kind of person, I put the lid on and started the timer.

12-14-03An hour later I opened the mash tun to find a wonderful sight. Lots of light and dark colored grain laying all over the place. Equally mixed and everything. MLK would of been proud. After positioning my boil kettle, I opened the ball value leading from my mash tun to watch a thick black liquid run out. I think this is by far the darkest beer I have ever made. I couldn’t tell if it was running clear at all becasue it was so dark.

After collecting my first runnings I added the strike water for the second, let it sit in there for about 10 minutes and let it run out into the kettle as well. This round was much lighter. It was still dark by beer standards, but you could see through it and had a nice nut brown ale color to it. I also added the pound of molasses during this time, using the hot second runnings to clean out the jar for me as 12-14-04molasses is very sticky.

The wort then boiled for an hour with all of the hop additions happening when they were supposed to. I did not add any Irish Moss to this batch because the beer was so dark, and there is no chance of seeing through it as is. Once it was all cooled down and the yeast pitched, I took a gravity reading. Holy smokes! I hit it right on the head. I wanted to get a gravity of 1.075 and that is exactly what I got. Never before have I hit a target gravity. I always fall a few points below. It fermented for a week and then was racked to the secondary. I will be bottling it later this week and let it condition for a bit. It should be ready for New Years if all goes well and those carbonation problems don’t keep happening. (more…)


Tommyknocker Imperial Nut Brown Ale Beer Review

10-05-04I don’t know if I have ever reviewed a nut brown ale on here before. I’ve had plenty of them, just not while I’ve had this website. As our first nut brown ale, Tommyknocker Brewery’s Imperial Nut Brown Ale comes in at 9% ABV and is surely not your typical nut brown ale. I’ve had a few other brews from Tommyknocker before and I’ve enjoyed some more than others. Their Imperial Nut Brown Ale is a bigger version of their Maple Nut Brown. The label says that it is brewed with pure maple syrup. Ok, sounds interesting.

The beer pours a deep brown with a light brown head. It is crystal clear and has a plethora of smells coming from it. The nose is hops, malt sweetness, and, of course, maple syrup. There are some slightly toasty smells in there as well. When the beer warms a bit their is some heat noticeable on the nose as well.

10-05-05I was ready for a big beer on the first tasting and it delivered that feeling. It was sweet and hoppy, with some nutty undertones and alcohol. The alcohol is not a huge part of the flavor and becomes less noticeable as the beer warms and the sweetness takes over. I think that is do the the fact that it has a super sweet aftertaste. There is a bit of a hop bite, but the sweetness dominates the tail end of the flavor. It has a super big body as expected with a high alcohol beer.

The question always comes up; would I buy this beer again? I think I might. It was a decent beer that had a lot of alcohol that was well hidden and balanced. My only complaint is that it is on the sweet side and I wish the finish would be a bit more neutral. Overall a decent beer with some interesting smells. (more…)