Things are getting pretty tough at work, as I’ve still got a few weeks before I find out the fate of my job (once again). It makes it hard to stay motivated, and when I get home, I’m usually ready for a beer or a bourbon. I reached into the beer fridge tonight and figured I’d drink whatever I grabbed. I got this beer sent to me as part of the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across the World special 12 pack this past summer. It says it’s an English style ale brewed with plums, and is perfect for aging. It says it was bottled on 4/13/2017, so I think it’s time to set it free.
Location: Poured into a TEKU pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 8.5% ABV, 40 IBUs, 19.4 degrees Plato OG, 4.2 degrees Plato FG, ~280 Calories
Ingredients: Malts: two-row pale, caramel; Bittering Hops: Magnum; Finishing Hops: Centennial, Loral; Other: plums; Yeast: Ale
Appearance & Aroma: It’s deep amber with an almost reddish hue. When I poured it, I was shocked that it started coming out chuncky! Yes, there were a lot of bits of plums floating around in this beer. It had a small, soapy textured head in it that fell after a few minutes to a ring around the edge of the glass. It has a sweet malty aroma mixed with a nice amount of plum.
Taste & Feel: The body is full and the mouthfeel is smooth and a bit oily. The flavor up front is malty sweet with some almost dark apricot-like fruitiness. In the middle, the sweetness continues, but there’s a good dose of fruity bitterness that kicks in – it’s not like a hoppy bitterness, so much as a fruit-like bitterness. The fruitiness opens up in the finish with a good amount of fruity sweetness with some malty sweetness behind it. The plum fruitiness lasts for a brief time in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: This beer has quite a bit of sweetness, so I think I’d pair it with something that might cut the sweetness a bit, but also let the flavors shine through – like a pork tenderloin or seasoned pork chop.
Overall Impression: It had a good amount of fruitiness from the plum, and I was definitely surprised to see chunks of plum in the beer. The fruitiness was a bit of a lighter sweetness than I was expecting, sort of like a dark apricot rather than dark fruit or caramel-like maltiness. Overall, it was a good beer, but I think I was expecting, and wanted a bit of a darker fruit flavor.