If this writer was going to sum up the first few weeks of Spring he would say this, feels like Winter. True the temperature has move a bit farther north of freezing but that hasn’t stopped many from still pondering something with a little more warmth with every sip. A few weeks ago we were invited by Jim Jamison of Foggy Noggin to stop during their Anniversary celebration to try their take on an English-style Old Ale.
Brewers Association Suggested Guidelines
Dark amber to brown in color, old ales are medium to full bodied with a malty sweetness. Hop aroma should be minimal and flavor can vary from none to medium in character intensity. Fruity-ester flavors and aromas can contribute to the character of this ale. Bitterness should be minimal but evident and balanced with malt and/or caramel-like sweetness. Alcohol types can be varied and complex. A distinctive quality of these ales is that they undergo an aging process (often for years) on their yeast either in bulk storage or through conditioning in the bottle, which contributes to a rich, wine-like and often sweet oxidation character. Complex estery characters may also emerge. Some very low diacetyl character may be evident and acceptable. Wood aged characters such as vanillin and other woody characters are acceptable. Horsey, goaty, leathery and phenolic character evolved from Brettanomyces organisms and acidity may be present but should be at low levels and balanced with other flavors Residual flavors that come from liquids previously aged in a barrel such as bourbon or sherry should not be present. Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Anniversaries should be celebrated with a rich, full-bodied ale with lots of flavor and a hoppy balance to make a memorable experience. This ale is ready drink now, but will develop a more complex flavor profile with 1 - 3 years of proper cellaring. OG: 1.064 IBU: 55 SRM: 18 ALC: 6.8% by Vol. Ingredients - Malted Barley: Maris Otter, Amber, Crystal 77. Hops: Goldings
In the sunlight Foggy Noggin’s English-style Old Ale pours burgundy with a dense defined haze. As this Old Ale settles in the glass a small measure of head (less then a 1/4 inch) forms before receding, leaving no lace behind.
Warming up this Old aromatics consisting of sweet malt and hint of burnt plastic (commonly called, phenolic). Additional inhales yield earth-tones of peat, fresh cut grass, and rich soil.
Taking the first sip the presence of burnt plastic and biscuit malt is detected. Initially the theme of this beer seems to be the sweet caramel which is sensed throughout the sip. Finishing we detect apricot and something familiar (apple?). Overall the weight as expected feels light to medium on the palate, with some minor alcohol.
You Should Try This. There are elements that seem to be lacking when one compares it to the characteristics suggested but we still feel given the lack of Old Ales out there in the market, this might be your only chance to enjoy one locally brewed.
Thoughts by your Colleagues
About the photo’s author
Paul “Fruit Trees” Orchard, is an amateur craft beer enthusiast and amateur photographer. Throughout the many years in craft beer he is always carrying a camera (smartphone, digital, traditional) and is invites you to see that beer can also be exciting even if you can’t drink the photo.
In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has provided me a free sample that was used for research prior to writing this review.