Home brewing in Connecticut Discussions - CT Beer Trail

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Custom BrewCrafters: Wee Heavy (Review)

And now two quick reviews (and one real quick video review) of the Wee Heavy I purchased while touring the Custom BrewCrafters brewery in upstate New York with my family right before Thanksgiving. For this beer, I had a little help from Dave, who offered his own second opinion, and Kenn who made time for a brief video review.

Custom BrewCrafters - Wee Bitter (2007)

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Style Description from our friends at BeerAdvocate.com:
Scotch Ales are strong ales, also known as "Wee Heavy." In the 19th century Scotland, they'd also be known as 160/-, a nomenclature based on the now obsolete shilling currency.

Scotch Ales traditionally go through a long boil in the kettle for a caramelization of the wort. This produces a deep copper to brown in colored brew. Compared to Scottish Ales, they'll be sweeter and fuller-bodied, and of course higher in alcohol, with a much more pronounced malty caramel and roasted malt flavor. A low tea-like bitterness can be found in many examples. Best served in a "thistle" glass.

Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 6.0-10.00%

How was it served? From a growler Glass: Standard pint glass

Location of tasting: Dave's apartment

Reviewers: Bryon & guest reviewer - Dave (oh and Kenn too!)

Bryon's Review

1. Appearance -
Custom BrewCrafter's Wee Heavy had a clear burnt amber, almost red, color. topped off with a nice head.

2. Smell - The Wee Heavy had a crisp, sweet, malty scent, with a hint of a musty undertone. (A note on smell - I have a very limited sense of smell, that comes and goes, so my opinions on beer smells should be taken with a grain of salt...)

3. Taste - Custom BrewCrafters struck a good balance here with heavy malt, perhaps caramelized, roasted flavoring while maintaining a satisfying 'hoppiness'.

4. Mouthfeel - This medium to heavy beer goes down easy (maybe too easy) with fair amount of carbonation that never threatens to overpower the flavor of the beer.

5. Drinkability - Overall this is a good solid beer, very drinkable, but you must be careful, it's no session beer. Over indulgence here would require a ride home. Remember folks, drink quality beer and do so in moderation.

Drinkability Scale from 1- 10: A strong 8.

And for a second opinion...

Dave's Review

1. Appearance -
Crystal-clear amber color with a light but full head. Appears crisp and consistent with a good English Ale (or apparently a Scottish one). Lacks the common red/copper tinge of a Scottish Ale.

2. Smell - Smells like a brewery! The smell is crisp and also consistent with a classic English Ale (Read: Bass). There is a malty sweetness somewhat overshadowed by the smell of fermented yeast. While not the most beautiful smell, it does imply a good drinking beer.

3. Taste - The flavor is crisp with a good mix of bitterness and sweetness. The malt dimension is somewhat toasty but not over powering. Still, all I can think of is Bass. This is your all-around good beer as it does not particularly stand out but is very tasty and refreshing. Any 'Beer Drinker" would surely appreciate this and consider it a baseline or stand-by for any occasion.

4. Mouthfeel - This mouthfeel is light, crisp, and smooth. No lingering consistency an the carbonation levels are right-on.

5. Drinkability - This beer is very good. I could drink it all night and would recommend it wholly to anyone. While I don't want to admit it is as good (or better than) Bass, it may be..

Drinkability Scale from 1- 10: A 9.

And one last opinion from Kenn...

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