We met the deadline for Chip’s block party and have also imbibed it in a boat. At the time of this writing it is coming up on 8 weeks old and my half of the batch is down to its last couple pints. Although it drank pretty well at under two weeks, I’ll allow as how it looked prettier about a week later, once the finings really took hold and the chill haze resolved. Let’s taste the Boat Bitter before it’s gone:
The nose is really well-integrated, if I do say so myself (and I did): the Maris Otter, First Gold, and yeast esters all overlay nicely, the elements blurred at the edges but individualized in the middle. It’s warm fresh bread with butter and honey, white peaches, a bit haylike, yeast-doughy, a very typically English ale-like toffee background note. If you grew up in the Driftless Area, the presence of such a high level of brewing salts in the water would remind you of the smell of wet limestone. The malt is up front with that bread and honey mixed with a pungent but not overpowering herbal/dried apricot First Gold flavor, then an outsized smack of hop bitterness chases it out. Lots of sweet-suggesting aromas, but ultimately bitter and dry. Minerally and limestoney finish with a hoppy curtain call at the very end.
I saved the yeast and still have lots of First Gold; as soon as I re-up on the Maris Otter I plan to brew an English IPA using a scaled-up version of this recipe, with the same grist percentages and similar BU:GU, but with more late- and dry-hopping. One of the next two batches. Stay tuned.
Finally, the promised video documentation of the brew day, courtesy of Chop & Brew: blam.