Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 20, Innis & Gunn Winter Beer 2012 and Millet Roasting for Gluten Free Belgian Wit


So like it's a bit of labor of love tonight to do the blog.  It's been a funny old day, kind of busier than I really wanted.  But alas, I feel like I accomplished a lot more than I had hoped.  Tomorrow work on my gluten free recipe Beer happens while I work on the shop.  I went and bought gear for my next beer from my friend (well, he's friendly to me, I'd like to think of him as a friend) George Hummel.  He helped me out 5 years ago when I was starting.  I only knew very little about homebrewing and he made it really super easy for me to learn.  He had it all layed out.  Great guy.  Anyway, he agreed to talk at one of our next meetings so that is really cool.

OK, I'm buzzed!  This is tough with the screen spinning.  Make it stop oh Flying Spaghetti Monster make it stop!

After the visit to George with my dad, I went for a hike with him and then to whole foods to get 4 lb. millet for my steep in my wit tommorrow.  I"m roasting it now.  It's in my convection oven (perfect for this because of the fans that blow the hot air around evenly).  So the millet is rinsed first to get some of the cloudiness out.  Then I layerd the lower level with millet and the upper level.  Perfect.

As that roasts, I'll spout on about my beers that I had out for dinner with the elusive Joe Gass in Jenkintown at the Drake Tavern.  I first had a carbonated mead from Rogue called 19 Original Colonies Mead.  Gluten Free!  Hell yeah!  It was a spicy mead, I thought, that is carbonated.  There are two kinds of mead, one is a honey based drink with spices and herbs added, and the other is a honey based drink with fruits added.  This to me tasted spicy and was carbonated.  It was super duper clear and exceptionally light.  I liked it very much!  Although, it was more like wine than beer, it was still really good.  After that I had me an O'haras Stout.  It was a great stout.  Nice and creamy.  Excellent head as a Guinness has.  Great hop profile.  Fantastic in every aspect.  After that in celebration of the 49'ers win I had an Anchor Steam.  A lovely California Common.  LOL.  And to finish up I had an Elysian Bifrost Winter Ale.  It's a winter warmer and quite a good one!  

So now I am enjoying an Innis & Gunn Winter Beer as the roasted millet smell drives me crazy.  So bready like wheat!  Perfect!  Just what I want for my wit.

The Innis and Gunn is described as a porter aged for 39 days on oak barrels.  They don't say what the barrels were used for before.  OK reading up on it, it's Scottish, this makes sense.  Whiskey!  Nice...  Perfectly alligned with the malt to help balance the hops.  It's described as an English Porter.  It's different.  Sweeter, maltier, Whiskey-er! 

Color is a ruby-brown.  Head is thin to start with and fades to a thin ring but carbonation is fine.  

I instantly get a malty whiskey aroma with a few oaky notes.  The whiskey is very apparent.  Lovely.

The beer tastes similar in profile.  First is the malty sweet, then the whiskey oak takes over the helm and steers you towards a nice mild hoppy finish.

It really is like most oak whiskey barrel aged beers and it's really nice.  I can see having an aversion to this flavor, but fortunately I like it and it's mild and unoffensive in this beer.

I give this beer a 10.  I'm wowed by it.  To me, it's in a class all it's own and this is really different from most porters that I have.  Lighter in one respect.  It is like it is not like a porter but more like a bock in terms of sweetness.  All in the same, it's not.  Definitely it is worthy of a try and next year I will have one cellared!

Have a great night and give a thought to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and what he has done for everyone.


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