Big Ditch Brewing Test Batch Tasting Notes

Sorry guys, I’ve had a passing in the family that unfortunately takes precedence over being a beer geek this week. I’d love to add some pics and write up a little more in depth review of these beers but until then, here are some notes I jotted down about the tasting because I’d like to get to you what’s important as quickly as possible.

While I had Jay, Dave, and Jon over last night for a little BBQ we dove right into these beers while we were waiting for the pig to cook. Here’s our thoughts:

Pils

  • Smell: corn, grain
  • Appearance: straw color, white head, head dissipated quickly 
  • Flavor: small amount of hops, corn, crisp
  • Mouthfeel: dry, medium carbonation, just under medium body mouthfeel
  • Overall Impression / Comments: extremely drinkable, accurate to style, typical American “Lawnmower” Pils. Tough to stand out from the crowd with a beer like this, though. Pair this with doing manual labor. Or just getting done doing manual labor.

IPA

  • Smell: sweet, slight citrus, malts
  • Appearance: small head size, no head retention, dark brown, almost no lacing
  • Flavor: under hopped, tons of smokey malts, bitterness, roasty, toasty, almost smoked Gouda flavor
  • Mouthfeel: under carbonated, medium bodied
  • Overall Impression / Comments: more like a smoked porter with some hops thrown in there. Not great for the style. Definitely needs more hops or even to be dry hopped to get more in line with a Black IPA. Pair this BBQ or cheese.

Brown

  • Smell: malt, spice
  • Appearance: brown, no head, no retention, cream colored head.
  • Flavor: tootsie roll, chocolate, caramel, not a lot of rye, toasty
  • Mouthfeel: creamy, flat, sweet
  • Overall Impression / Comments: good start, but needs improvement. Almost Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale-ish. Needs more rye if you’re considering this a Brown Rye Ale, too mild. Pair with some chocolate caramels.

Stout

  • Smell: tons of malt. None of the creaminess in the flavor is apparent in the nose.
  • Appearance: dark brown, good head retention, slight lacing
  • Flavor: stout creamsicle or “stout-sicle” as we were calling it all night. Reminds me of Creamy McStout from John Harvard’s Brew House. Little bit of spice/heat in finish. Proper bitterness for stout.
  • Mouthfeel: watery, bit thin
  • Overall Impression / Comments: maybe add some oats to thicken this one up. This beer was closest to the style of all four beers. Pair with again, chocolates or chocolate desserts.

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