Last month, the two Billys brewed up winter warmers for the Group Brew. It's time to see how these cold weather concoctions turned out.
Check out that post for the original recipes, and here are our tasting notes.
Billy Ellison's Hot Apple Brown Ale
I knew that the Hot Apple Brown recipe was going to be a gamble going in to it. I was hoping the candi sugar would not only increase the alcohol but also keep the apples from fermenting out too cidery. I couldn't be happier with it.
After it aged out, it's a brilliant murky brown, much like a Moose Drool (with just a little bit of cloudy) or a Tall Grass Buffalo Sweat. It has a healthy finger and a half to 2 finger head with good retention.
The nose is all belgian! That AbbeyII yeast really dominated the aromas, with just a touch of spice in the background from the cinnamon and nutmeg.
Where do I begin with the taste? When it first hits your tongue, the apple is very prominent… and then it takes a back seat for the rest of the ride. The next onslaught is malty, brown-ale goodness, followed by the dessert of pure belgian awesomeness.
The Hot Apple Brown finishes clean, not sticky at all, and leaves only lingering tastes behind. I am now a firm believer in oxygenation!
Billy Broas's Boozy Pancakes
I just came up with that name. Do you like it?
I said in my original recipe that if I could refrain from overdoing it with the cinnamon and maple additions, the beer would be a winner. Well, I sort of over did it lol. The cinnamon is perfect but I added a tad too much maple extract flavoring. Note to brewers – a little bit of that stuff goes a long ways. Luckily the maple is fading and the beer is now tasting better every day.
The grain bill gave it the rich, bready character I was looking for. It's nice and juicy. The maple and cinnamon give a sight warming sensation and there is just enough EKG late hop additions to bring in a refreshing herbal note.
Cinnamon and maple syrup go great on pancakes and great in beer. This is one that I'll continue to tweak until it's breakfast worthy.
Did you brew a winter warmer?
Let us know how it turned out in the comments. If you missed out on this month, come back in January for our next Group Brew.
Happy New Years!