March 7, 2015

Czech It Uut Tasting Notes

It took a while to circle back to this beer which isn't too big of a problem for a malty lager like this. Czech It Uut was designed off the recipe for a Czech dark lager in For the Love of Hops.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a nice ruby color around the edges. It has nice clarity with more of a dark ruby when held up to a light. A tan head quickly appears upon pouring but descends into the beer with a lingering patchwork of bubbles on the top that looks like a strange map of Antarctica on a brown ocean.

Aroma: The aroma is mild with a very clear munich profile. It is malty, slightly bready, slightly caramel-y with a hint of grassiness. The aroma is similar to a Munich dunkel or similar malty German lager but not quite as sweet.

Flavor: Initially the beer was very bland with an unpleasant metallic funky note. As the beer started to warm the malt flavor started to show again a very munich-forward character. The malt profile isn't particularly exciting. There is a touch of hop flavor but mostly the hops are offsetting the malt to create a beer that tastes like something between a Munich dunkel and a schwarzbier but not as sweet as the dunkel and not as roasty as some schwarzbiers. The balance is actually quite good and makes the beer dangerously easy to drink. I find some of the German lager styles easy to drink until they get cloying at quantity but this beer is so balanced that one could easily consume this by the liter without thinking twice. As the beer continues to warm the flavor opens and some of the pilsner grainy flavor comes out along with a more complex malty flavor. The lime flavor from the hops also starts to peek out which doesn't entirely fit with the beer. Approaching room temperature the beer starts to develop a chocolate flavor that is actually really delicious.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied but not thin. Without the balanced bitterness the beer would probably feel maltier but ruin the balance that makes the beer such an easy drinker. I always feel like malty lagers leave behind a heaviness on the tongue and while this beer leaves some of that heaviness it is not as tiresome as its German counterparts.

Overall: I don't love the beer but I like it well enough that I won't feel bad about drinking the rest of the batch. I think my dissatisfaction with the beer comes from the use of those stupid celeia hops that I really don't like and thought would leave no flavor impression with only 60 and 30 minute additions. Clearly I was wrong. I dislike the early flavor of the beer served cold. I think the rest of the bottles will get a thirty minute rest in the fridge to drop out any sediment and get it into the high 50s before drinking. I probably won't rebrew this beer because it's just not that interesting and I don't feel like I know enough about the style to do a significantly better job. I'll stick to making hoppier lagers and wait until I visit the Czech Republic to gain a better understanding of the style.