My third addition to Gluten Free Week isTriskaidekaphobe Ale and has been sitting in my cupboard since last year. It was beer that I made out of mashing Chestnuts for 24 hours. I made it one Friday the 13th last year, but unfortunately I don't have the particulars about the brew with me as they are out in the shop and that entails me donning winter gear and making a journey out in super cold biting wind and rain to go get it. So lets just say that is approximately a year old or perhaps older and that it did, in fact, store well for me at mostly room temperature.
This beer is not professionally brewed, yet, but it is done by me and I am giving it a non- biased review. I wouldn't know how to actually class this beer other than a pale ale. Pretty generic. It sits somewhere in between pale ale and a brown and is actually pretty damn refreshing
The beer poured an brownish/amber color which was very slightly cloudy, but mostly clear. My biggest disappointment was the in the head, or lack thereof a head. There is only the tiniest of rings around the glass that has stayed the length of the drink and leaves almost no lacing.
The aroma is of chocolate, nuts, and caramel. Have you ever smelled Nutella? Imagine a mild Nutella with maybe a little vanilla and very very faint piney hops. I forget what I used, but I can guarantee they were English, most likely fuggles and kent. There is a nose of alcohol as well.
Now that is a Gluten Free beer that I can drink and drink and drink! Personally, I think that I nailed this one first shot and really wish that I had more to send off to contests. I see this in my next batch of brewing. I have to.
Anyway, she tastes malty. Yes, malty. Caramel malt sweetness with a strong hint of milk chocolate and hazelnuts. It tastes very much like a light hazelnut brown ale. What can I say? I'm trying to be honest here. It's slightly lighter in body and mouthfeel but it is a hazelnut brown ale with very mild hop bitterness to balance the sweetness perfectly and a mild and dry hop finish with light pepper. It's delicious! It's high in alcohol, I'm guessing by the way I feel and the taste/smell that she is now above 7% abv. She has aged very well and is taking on brandy characteristics. I get only the tiniest of fruity champagne character that most gluten free's have.
The mouthfeel is light to moderately sweet and a little light in body and carbonation. It might be like a watery hazelnut brown ale to some. If the carbonation was much higher it would be too much. Just a tad more would be nice.
Overall, I think this is AWESOME! It really needs some tweaking, but I like it better than even the English Tripel that I had the other night. It's not actually better, but I like it better! Ha ha ha. To honestly judge this I would need a category to stack it up against and I am going to choose a hazelnut brown and I think it would get a 3.25 out of 5 in that category.
I only have 4 more bottles and they are spoken for so I can't tell you to go out and try this beer, yet! But get out there and try different beer! You only live once!