Sunday, 3 March 2013

Surprisingly Not Bad (Q3 Tasting Notes)

A half-pint of Q3
So my grocery store challenge beer - named Q3 (q-cubed; Quinoxic Quaffable Quinoa), has been kegged for two weeks and is ready for a first sampling.  The official 'unveiling' to my brew club is still three weeks away, but I had a half-bottle left and wanted to be sure I wasn't poisoning my fellow homebrewers.

Aroma:
This does not smell at all like a beer - not that I expected it too.  Because this was brewed without hops, there is no hop aroma; nor is there much of the maltiness you would expect.  Much to my delight, there also was not the strong lactic acid odour I was expecting, due to the lactic acid fermentation that occurred during malting.

So what does this smell like - much as you'd expect from the recipe.  The aroma is not strong, but anise and sage are the predominant notes.  The combination is citrusy, reminding me a little of a orange liquor.  Honey is detectable in the back-notes, providing a bit of sweetnesss to the aroma.

Appearance:
This beer has a nice golden-coppery colour, and is cloudy like a hefeweizen.  The beer pours with a thin, short-lived head (this will hopefully improve with age).  In the glass, this looks more like a sparkling wine or cider than a beer, as the bottom of the glass gets layered with a thin films of bubbles while little accumulates on top.  The little bit of head that forms is comprised of larger, coarser bubbles than would be normal for beer.

Flavour:
The flavour of this brew is surprising - not at all the barely palatable beverage I was expecting. The flavour is mild and easy-on-the-tongue.  Honey and anise are the major flavours, although small amounts of sage come through.  These are layered over a unique flavour that I can only assume comes from the quinoa - almost a weak nuttiness or bread-like flavour.  The yeast don't seem to have imparted much of a fingerprint on the beer - none of the flavours I would associate with yeast (esters, diacetyl, etc) are apparent - unless they are part of the spicy/fruity flavours imparted by the sage & anise.

Mouthfeel:
The mouthfeel of this 'beer' is most un-beerlike.  It is very thin - similar to a cider or mead - but was expected given the low finishing gravity of the beer (1.006).  The carbonation is much finer & more effervescent than a beer, producing a sensation more akin to a champaign, cider or sparkling mead.

Overall:
Overall, I'm not entirely sure I made a beer - this is not an overtly beer-like concoction.  But it is not unpleasant - in fact, if it wasn't so much work & so damned expensive, this would make a nice summer drink to enjoy on the dock while watching the sunset - with ice.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! - I'll have to see what grains I can germinate..

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