Appearance: Very dark, almost black with a little tan coloured head. The bottle above had only two weeks to carbonate at 19C, and it wasn’t quite done yet. After one more week of waiting, there’s a bit less than a finger of head from a gentle pour.
Smell: Wow! I was expecting a lot of aroma from the late additions, but I didn’t know it was possible to get this kind of result without any dry hopping. Update: it’s now mellowed out somewhat after a month in the bottle. Still hop-forward and delicious though.
Taste: Some initial hop bitterness with slightly roasty flavours up front that stick around as the bitterness dissipates. No estery or phenolic flavours. Light-bodied and dry with a clean aftertaste.
Overall: Very clean and aromatic, too dark and dominated by hops to be a real american brown. A fantastic beer, but doesn’t quite fit into the style category I was going for.
Lessons to take away from this batch? I’ve never made anything with such a neutral yeast character before, but that’s what WLP001 is supposed to do with a big pitch and a cool, steady temperature. It’s good to know that kind of clean character is achievable. For both this recipe and the last, the finished beer has been on the dark side of the colour I’ve been expecting, so in the future I’ll have to keep that in mind.