I promised I'd give my gal-view of kits we've brewed so I figured I'd work a little bit backwards. The current brew in the keg is Pam Smith's Taddy Porter. It also happens to be my favorite so far. By my recollection, this is the third time we've brewed this kit from Midwest Brewing Supplies.
Butch brewed it this time in anticipation of our vacation (over Independence Day week) because my youngest sister, Anna was supposed to be there and she had tried it one of the other times we brewed it and she raved about it. She's got a refined palate so we respect her opinion about such things. Any time Butch gets such a positive response, he's bound to try to repeat the experience or try to improve upon it but this was the first time we kegged it (the other two times, we bottled).
Speaking of which, Butch is very very anti-bottling now that he has a keg. I'm afraid that when I bought him that thing, I may have created a keg snob. He's mostly afraid that we'll get some kind of major fail (happened before) but part of me thinks he's being a little bit lazy. I actually liked the bottling process and the ability to easily share the fruits of our labor but that's another story for another day.
Back to Pam:
My usual favorite beer is one that has at least some of the following qualities:
1. I should be able to taste the main ingredient (besides the grain/s/yeast/hops) somewhere in there...i.e. if it has "citrus" on the label, I should be able to taste it, even if it's subtle
2. It should have some sort of "boldness" or strength. It should taste...well..."beery". That's the best way I can think to describe it. It shouldn't taste like Zima (stop laughing, you know you gave it a shot once when you were 21 or so) or some kind of horrible wine cooler.
3. It should have at least three flavors to it so that it tastes different on my lips, tongue and back of mouth and have some sort of aftertaste too.
4. I should smile after sipping it.
The first time I tasted the porter, I didn't really notice the hops but the flavor was sort of dark and smokey without being too un-sweet. How's that for a girl's description of things? Okay, so I'm not so sophisticated in my expressions. I think most people can relate to that! I liked it a lot. I smiled. I wanted more. It tasted super beery and wonderful. It was warm and it made me happy.
More specifically, The foamy top had a nice, yeasty flavor, the firstness of the sip brings a little bit of the hops to the fore, the middlish of the sip brings that sort of smokey flavor to the tongue and the aftertaste reminds me of how good the next sip is going to feel. After all of that, the bottom of the glass makes me hope that it's not yet time to clean out the keg for the next batch of whatever Butch decides to brew next!
I think that this is a great beer for a rich meal of some kind of savory kind of meat. It might be nice to have with some sort of hearty appetizers too (picture a big plate of wings, steak tips, or stuffed potatoes and not so much some kind of light vinaigrette frou frou salad or spinach and artichoke dip).
Anna did not end up coming to our family week so the keg stayed home. Good thing it did because I now have a glass of that scrumptious stuff sitting next to me as I type. I'm sure it would be all gone, had it traveled with us this week!
Next review: (my second favorite of all of the beers we done brewed) "The Chewy Belgian" hahaha, just kidding, it's actually called "Grand Cru" (but "The Chewy Belgian" would be a GREAT name for a beer, don't you think?).