The experience of doing short and quick written evaluations on three American Wheat Ales using BJCP criteria of aroma, appearance, flavor, mouthfeel and overall impression was instructive. I decided to do something similar with this batch of Curly's Pumpkin Milk Stout. I didn't go out of my way to evaluate commercial examples, but I did jot down thoughts on my beer.
|Leaves just starting to turn. Feels like fall.|
Aroma: Fall spice at first, clove slightly strongest. Some roast and earthy hop as it warms.
Appearance: Opaque black. Moderate creamy tan head with good retention.
Flavor: Spice not as present as in the aroma, doesn’t dominate base beer. Slightly bitter dark cocoa and French roast coffee malt flavor with some underlying sweetness. Medium earthy hop flavor and moderate bitterness. Fermentation fairly clean.
Mouthfeel: Med full body, quite creamy. Medium low carbonation. Roast dries out finish.
Overall: Really enjoyable and drinkable; not a meal in a glass. Not as smooth as I remember prior batches being. Clove does dominate the spice blend. May want to readjust.
|Much better head retention than some |
The Muntons Chocolate Malt I used in this batch is much darker than the Briess Chocolate Malt I used in my last batch. Next time I will probably use Muntons Light Chocolate to try and get a smoother malt flavor and a sweeter finish.
I will also fine tune the spice blend. The clove is subtle. I've brewed beers with clove that were almost phenolic. You don't get that here, but you do taste the clove more than the other spices. There's no heat from the ginger or cinnamon. The cinnamon doesn't linger on the palate like a lot of fall beers which I like. This recipe uses twice the amount of cinnamon as it does clove and nutmeg. I might do something like 3/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg and 1/4 tsp clove.