Thursday, July 1, 2010

Middle Ages

Middle Ages Brewing Company, that is, in Syracuse, New York. So I was looking for something to do in the Salt City, and the prospect of a brewery tour beckoned. A wee bit crestfallen, I was, when I saw the sign on the door saying "tours by appointment only," and even moreso when, upon enquiring inside, I was informed that they hadn't done a tour in two years. Well, that's helpful, innit?

Well, at least there was a free cask tasting, so onwards. With a name like Middle Ages, some of the names are almost predictably twee. Curiously, the ones I liked most were the ones that were not twee.

Apricot Ale (4.5%) - dry, clear flavour of apricots but not at all in a sickly overpowering way. A pleasant, subtle fruit beer, but only available on tap or in growlers. Not the way forward.

Swallow Wit (4.8%) - I found this very light, with the spicing very light indeed, to the point of undetectability. However, I don't much care for the style to begin with, so I can't complain too much.

Middle Ages Pale Ale (5.2%) - if I'm remembering correctly, most if not all of their hops are sourced from Washington, and this definitely tasted of it. Hops, hops, hops.

Grail Ale (5.5%) - certainly an amber ale, hops and malt. Dunno, the pieces are there but I wasn't much taken with this.

Im Paled Ale (6.5%) - heavy on the Cascade hops, very citrussy and grassy. Just not a profile that suits me.

Old Marcus (6.6%) - this is more familiar and welcoming, more earthy than grassy. Could use a bit more creaminess to be properly satisfying, probably too strong to session, but a reasonable draught.

The Duke of Winship (6.5%) - a porter slash Scotch ale, clearly the chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt was there, in a dry but perhaps a touch too light a package. This could have used a touch of sweetness for balance.

All in all, it was an ok flight. Have been drinking a lot of interesting, complex beers lately, but I'm still waiting to try one that I find really satisfying... thirst-quenching, but also tasty. Well, there is Creemore Springs, but that remains, sadly, out of reach for now.

My mum, however, admired the spent malt, thinking what a wonderful compost this might make.

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