Saturday, May 14, 2011

Gettin' Deconstructed

From the Sam Adams website, "Samuel Adams® Latitude 48 IPA is a unique IPA brewed with a select blend of hops from top German, English, and American growing regions all located close to the 48th latitude within the “hop belt” of the Northern Hemisphere.  The combination of hops in this beer creates a distinctive but not overpowering hop character.  The beer is dry hopped with Ahtanum, Simcoe®*, and East Kent Goldings hops for a powerful citrus and earthy aroma.  The hop character is balanced by a slight sweetness and full body from the malt blend"

Recently SA did a limited release 12 pack called Latitude 48 Deconstructed. The 12 pack comes with 6 different beers. All 6 beers have the same malt profile, but different hops. 5 of the beers have the individual hops that are used in Latitude 48 and the sixth is the original IPA.

Sounds boring? Well to a total beer nerd, homebrewer this might be the coolest thing released by a commercial brewery since... idk... the Miller Vortex Bottle (total joke) But srs, how often do we get the opportunity to do a 6-way side by side tasting of individual ingredients? This is the same idea as the SMaSH beers i talked about in my SMaSHed Pils post. I would have to brew 5 separate batches to be able to do this myself... so that's why I am totally excited about this.

So I am a terrible taster... I like what I like but describing it is really hard. I had to bring in backup, my buddy came over to drink beer while the girls went out for the night. Total quality bro time... Original plan (greatest plan) was to each drink all six beers, but since we both had to get up early for work, we wussed out and split them.

We tried to act all fancy, cleansing our palettes with saltines, taking extensive notes, but in the end we got sick of sad crackers and the notes got to be full garbage. So it devolved into just drinking beer.

So... down to (srs) business. The five hops of Latitude 48 are: Zues, Simcoe, Ahtanum, Kent Goldings, and Hallertau Mittelfreuh. My garbage notes are a garbage compilation of my and my buddy Dan's garbage conversations while tasting not garbage beer... We tasted in order (length of hop name, shortest to longest (totally logical)) Posting the notes here mostly for my own future reference.

Zeus:  Smelled citrus aroma. had mild bitterness. flavor was very different from aroma, earthy, woodsy, maybe even a little smokey(?) flavor

Simcoe: Very light bittering, def citrus, very distinctive flavor, all I can think of is DFH 60 minute (which I total <3 btw...) Very smooth finish with no lingering bitterness

Ahtanum: Very little aroma, like none, like I put my nose so close and sniffed so hard I fully snorted beer up both nostrils, lulz... mild flavor, earthy, had a decent bittering bite to it.

Kent Goldings: Earthy, piney, we thought maybe minerally... like iron (irony?, ironic?) had a lasting bitterness the others didn't

Hallertau Mittelefreuh: could only smell the malt in the aroma, very mild hop in flavor and bitterness (which makes sense as this is a traditional hop used in german lagers) maybe a little piney?

Anyway... sorry to put you through all that... it was fun tasting though, felt so fancy!

Also, today is brewday! As soon as I get out of work (nm that I am blogging at work, shh!), maybs grab a quick, twenty minute nap, then it's on like donkey kong (no idea what that even means...) later