As a follow-up to my last two posts about autumn beers I offer these tasting notes for one of the beers mentioned in part one, Founders Harvest Ale. Let me preface this by saying that I have absolutely loved everything I have tried from Founders Brewing. I frequently pour their Centennial IPA and Porter for clients at Perfect Pint tasting events. (Sigh…) I knew they couldn’t be perfect. Here’s my notes:
Aroma: Bright citrus hop character. Luscious, succulent fruit, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, and apricot. Massively fruity. Some grainy sweetness lurking around underneath. Bold aromas, but delicate at the same time. Clear, crisp, and bright.
Appearance: Dark golden and crystal clear. Fluffy white persistent head that Leaves some lace on the glass.
Flavor: If only it tasted like it smells. A hard hitting slap of bitterness up front, gives way to a mouth-puckering, astringent middle and a dry, throat-burning finish. Hop flavors are grassy and resemble grapefruit rind more than fruit. This grapefruit rind flavor lingers long after the swallow. Fresh hay mixed with grapefruit pith. The malt is thin and watery, not nearly enough to support this level of hopping. Some…any…residual sugar would be welcome. What malt is there is lightly sweet with just the faintest hint of toast.
Mouthfeel: Light body and thin. Astringent. Medium to medium-high carbonation.
Overall Impression: I could have smelled and looked at this beer all night. Unfortunately it got in my mouth. If you are a real hophead this could be the beer for you, as there is little else there. Hop tea would be an apt description. I talk a lot about balance in beer. This brutal brew will have none of it. The grassy, astringent hops have beaten the feeble malt into submission.
Tags: founders harvest ale