This was the first beer Kel and I opened from the beertrade. It was a mellow Sunday afternoon and the beer was great daytime drinker—although it would have been more fitting on a rainy day.
Appearance: Clear brown-to red with a thin off white head that looks pretty and creamy but falls quickly to a thin film… but can’t blame a low carbonation beer for being a little shy.
Smell: Rich coffee and bread crusty notes with some roasted nut tones and a hint of cola sweetness in the background. Pretty aromatic for a small beer, with a complex depth that fades from fruit to roast and a lot of layers in between.
Taste: Smooth and rich with more toffee than the nose. Nicely full without being too sweet (the beauty of the style when done right IMO). Rich and nutty… almost a hint of poppy seeds. Finish is long and cozy, clean and light, pleasant.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied with light to moderate carbonation. I’d say it could use a bit more body—preferably more “cheweyness” from oats or flaked wheat/barley, but some extra “stickyness” from more c-malts would be fine too.
Overall: I love the layers of yeast and malt. It is quite captivating for such a low gravity beer. I’d love to know what is lending the subtle herbal and cola notes, and I think the super low bitterness (low even for the style) is a nice touch.
If it were my beer what would I tweak? It’s hard to say exactly because I don’t know what the recipe looks like, but I’d probably add some [more?] oats or up the mash temp quite a bit to try to get more body out of it. And, although I generally stay away from it I may make the [switch?] to Marris Otter as a base in an effort to bring even more malty flavors to the party. Really though, I think the yeast choice, malt bill, hopping, and water treatments are right on.
Any of y’all that haven’t had the pleasure of drinking an English Dark Mild, go find one!