NobleSquirrel (3437) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 13, 2012
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draft at GI Clybourn. Pours a deep coppery brown with an offwhite head that persists. Nose presents with nutty notes, soft bready malts and some light hops in late. Definitely malt forward and tending towards bready. Light floral esters as well. On tasting, toasty and notably sweet. If this were drier, it would be outstanding. As it is, still pretty great brown ale and different from the usual GI browns. Toasty and fresh, balancing hops work, just a touch too sweet.
TheAlum (5100) - Lisle, Illinois, USA - FEB 6, 2012
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Flight on tap at the brewpub (Chicago, IL). Pours a rich copper hue, good glow, no haze, transparent with an offwhite head atop that dies to a small ring, laces small. Aromas are sweeter, caramel and gentle spice, biscuits, and graham. Mellow toast. Initial is mellow and dry yet sweet, biscuits and nuts, toast and gentle sweeter caramel dance in. Touches of spice, faint cinnamon, bread, toast more in. A mellow touch of dry earthy hops, but the earthy and toasty, mildly darker sweet malt profile is the focus here. Middle is a faint touch of dark fruit, toast, tea, and toffee. Biscuits are dominant, a touch of chestnut, and more earthy hops, gentle spice. Solid Brown, if a bit forgetable.