Suregork Loves Beer

Beer Reviews, Homebrew, Rambling

Homebrew: Tasting the Christmas Amber Ale (Bold Bobcat)



  • Brewery: –
  • Country: –
  • Style: American Amber Ale
  • ABV: 5.0%
  • Size: 330 ml
  • Bought from: –
  • Not on Beer Advocate
  • Not on RateBeer

    I bottled my Christmas Ale today after about 10 days in the keg. It had carbonated nicely, and it was bottled just in time to make some gifts out of the beer as well. The beer is not a typical Christmas beer (i.e. it is neither spiced nor dark), and more in the style of e.g. Sierra Nevada’s Christmas beer: Celebration Ale. The beer ended up with a FG of 1.014 and an ABV of 5.0%, making it an easy drinker, hopefully full-packed with some nice malt and hop tones. The beer was brewed with this recipe, and features only hopping in the last 20 minutes of the boil with Amarillo, Centennial and Simcoe. The IBU should be around 52, so quite bitter for the style, but hopefully the maltiness balances it out. The label was designed for giving away as Christmas gifts, and inspired by Mikkeller’s Fra Via Til. Let’s see how it tastes!

    Homebrew Christmas Ale
    The beer pours with a hazy dark-amber color, and forms a off-white colored head, that collapses leaving slight lacing along the glass. The haziness of the beer will hopefully decrease as the beer ages, since it has only been a day in the bottle.
    The aroma is floral, citrusy and resiny, with tones of grapefruit and tropical fruits. There is a slight caramelly maltiness hiding in the background.
    The flavor begins with a caramelly and slighty sweet maltiness, that is joined by huge hop flavor, featuring tones of grapefruit, mango, orange and resin. The flavor finishes with a smooth bitterness, that balances fantastically with the malt and hop flavor.
    The beer has a smooth and medium-full body, and a moderate-low carbonation level. This was really easy to drink, and surprisingly full for such a low ABV beer. It could have used a slight bit more carbonation, but it's perfectly drinkable like this as well.
    Overall, this is my best homebrew beer yet, and the first I think doesn't suffer from any 'homebrew syndrome' symptoms (other than the hazy appearance) even though it is still young. I liked the hoppy aroma and flavor, coupled with a pleasant maltiness, and overall the flavors went very well together. Hopefully this improves being a couple of weeks in the bottle!

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