I put the single hop bitters on tap recently. Here are some of my initial observations (first in general then more specifically). First off, based on my reaction to this beer I like the idea of using a single hop within the beer itself. I have felt for some time that flavor characteristics from the initial hop carries through. It shows through quite well in this beer. For the most part the only thing that has really changed is the hops I used in the formulation (same malts although at a different quantity). You can almost see it as the difference between a simply spiced plate of food and one that is complexly spiced beyond recognition. The pure flavors come through much more profoundly. This is a time when you really need to be on your game.
Now on to the beer itself.
The color came out as a palish gold with a solid white head. The head did subside to a thin head that persists to the end of the glass, with nice lacing all the way through.
Initially I was hit with bitterness, though not in a bad way. The spicy bitterness of the fuggles was something I didn’t expect. I was thinking I would hit more floral and perfumy. What I really like is how the spice fits so well with the bready malts. It took a couple swallows for the malt to come through, my taste buds had to adjust to the initial bitterness.
I really like this beer. The single hop turned out great for the style and I believe I will experiment a bit more with this style of hopping. The bitterness of IPAs make it hard for me to drink more than 1 or 2 in a sitting, they have just way too much going on. But the style of bitterness and the alcohol of this bitters (4.5%) really makes this a great session beer. I can drink a few without overloading my taste buds and without getting overly tipsy. Although I ended up at a higher percentage than I initially wanted I feel it came out close enough to make me happy.
6lb Pale ale malt (2 row)
2lb Marris Otter
1oz Fuggles (60m)
.5oz Fuggles (30m)
.5oz Fuggles (20m)
1oz Fuggles (5m)
1 teaspoon Irish Moss (15m)
white labs WLP 013 London ale yeast
Infusion mash 148 degrees for 90 min using 3.5 gallons of water
I think I need another one of these…