After 30 days from bottling I decided to open the first bottle of my brand new Best Bitter Queen Victoria. It is the first batch of a brand new recipe, so it is actually a complete experiment. Without further ado, let’s open it and discover what I did.
The first look is good: the beer has an ambered color as planned and there is a good foam. I hoped for a better retention but it is not bad for the first batch of that recipe.
The aroma is a little bit disappointing: the malty part is not very clear due a soft but annoying yeast note. The good fact is that after a few minutes in the glass that notes goes away, giving way to malty, biscuit and soft toasted notes. So probably a longer cellar rest will reduce that yeasty note. The second problem is the absence of the spiced part: while the hop aroma is quite good (but improvable), but I added to the recipe sage and cardamom that are not perceptible in the beer. There are actually spicy notes in the aroma, but I’m pretty sure that are given by the hops.
At first sip a very good mouthfeel is revealed: medium body and medium-low carbonation as planned, typical of an English Bitter. The taste is improvable, very malty with a good bitterness that tries to balance it but the beer remains unbalanced towards an almost annoying sweetness. As matter of fact, I expected it more bitter and less sweet, so next time I’ll try to reduce special malts to make the bitterness more perceptible and the sweetness less invasive. Letting the glass to rest i feel a very soft astringency sensation: Since I didn’t have particular problems during the brew, next time I’ll try some water corrections (in this batch I fixed just the pH).
Let’s see what the time and the cellar rest can bring to the beer, but some fixes in the recipes will be required next time. Though there is still to be improved, as a first attempt of that recipe I’m quite satisifed.