UPDATE: 10 June 2014. Whoops, I originally thought this was the ESB 2014. I’ve recently found out this was actually the 2014 APA. Review updated to reflect that.
My good mate Ian made few brews earlier this year that he wasn’t so happy with. Then in March he started made some more beers that he was happy with. The first one that I’ve tried is the 2014 APA. That stands for American Pale Ale.
First thing I notice is the aroma. There’s a bit of egg smell in there, but also the soft malt with a hint of earth smell and hint of stone fruit.
First flavour hit is an earthy malt bite with a touch of sweetness. The bite is clearly from the hops and comes in on the side of the mouth rather than the front. The eggy smell comes out a bit in the flavour. This isn’t something you would expect in an APA. The hop flavour here is both a mix of earth and spice. No real big bitterness feel, but sort of still there. Some very soft sweetness from this as well. The flavours are a complex mix.
Early on, this beer wasn’t doing much for me, but the impressive thing about this beer is what happens when it warms up. It gets a fair bit better. For an APA that’s not necessarily a great thing. The complex mix settles down a fair bit and becomes a lot easier to drink. There’s even an soft apricot flavour finish on this. This is hard for me to match to food. I would have to say Sheppard’s pie or similar big pub food.
Sounds like a lovely brew. I like the bottle 🙂 But where does the sulphur come from? Incomplete fermentation? Does it need longer conditioning?
Not sure where the sulphur came from. My best bet is the yeast strain. Longer conditioning at a ‘lager’ temperature is meant to help remove this.
Other option is an infection.
That said, I remember from my limited drinking in England that they do aim for (or chose not to remove) that sulphur/egg taste from some ales.