Monday, February 25, 2008

Warpharin Ale

Tonight I tapped the long awaited Warpharin Ale (named after our band, NOT brewed with blood thinners). The idea was to determine what each band member prefers in a beer, then customize a brew to please everybody. After careful consideration, I decided to rule out stouts and porters, and opted for an American Amber Ale. I thought a session beer would be very appropriate. I also thought I would avoid an intense hop bitterness, and go for hop flavor and aroma; partially because of the current hop shortage. I chose Cascade hops that impart a slight citrus flavor. Next, I added a full pound of honey malt to provide a nutty and caramel flavor. A half pound of Belgian Caramunich malt provided excellent head retention as observed in the photo. I also added a bit of dark brown sugar to lighten the body and add a bit of sweetness. Lastly, I pitched Safeale S-04 dry yeast for a very clean fermentation without obvious esters or yeasty aromas. Also, it was fermented at a chilly 60ºF, which facilitates a nice clean flavor.

Without further ado, my official review:

Warpharin Ale
American Amber Ale
4.84% ABV

Appearance: A deep amber color with an light brown rocky head that eventually fades to a thin layer. A significant amount of lacing is apparent on the glass after the beer is gone.

Aroma: Strong caramel and honey aromas. Light hop presence, but noticeable. No yeast character is apparent. Slight alcohol vapor, but not overwhelming.

Flavor: Deep caramel and a bit sweet. Moderately malty with a slight nutty character.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth with a fair amount of carbonation. The residual sugars slightly coat the tongue without completely shutting out the hop bitterness.

Drinkability: Very drinkable as a good session beer should be. All in all, the beer might be slightly unbalanced toward the malt side. Currently, the IBU's are approximately 29, and I might up them to 34 for the next batch. It's still a very delicious brew that I would deem a success!



John F. said...


Keith Shank said...

Thanks, John! I tried another pint of it tonight and the rocky head had settled down somewhat into a nice layer of thick foam. It's perfect; you get a little foam with each drink... Perfectly transcendental.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to try this one!!! Mmmmmmm.
-Dan P.