Secret Santa Review Thread 2021!

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Libigage

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Pre boxing day lunch tipple with my second bottle from Santa.
This espresso stout has a real coffee kick, both in flavour and aroma.
With molasses like sweetness, light bitterness, it's well carbonated though lost a little head as I drank it.
Might have to try something like this myself, many thanks to whoever brewed it athumb..
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Second and last SS review - a tasty Espresso Stout. Apologies to the brewer for keeping you hanging!

Slight hiss upon opening, which sounded good for the style. The pour was clear with only a little wisp of sediment at the end which I caught in the bottle, leaving only a small mouthful of the beer. The colour was jet black, with a hint of red/brown in the light of a torch being shone through it. A good head remained for a few minutes then dissipated to a thin foam, which didn't bother me because the carbonation was perfect for me.

Aroma was of slight coffee hints and, of course, the typical stout/roast smell. My wife, who has a better sense of smell than me, detected a stronger coffee aroma. The taste had definite coffee flavours which lingered in the aftertaste. I finished the glas quite quickly as I kept going back for more and it went down very easily.

Well done on a thoroughly enjoyable beer!

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Thanks for the nice reviews, I was very pleased with this one myself. As it was my first stout I got it from Dark rock brewing, I wasn't quite brave enough to make my own but I might try next year. One thing I will do though is make it earlier in the year as this beer is still improving. Happy New year
 

Cowman

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Hi @Cowman, thanks for the reply. It's a shame about this bottle especially as I seem to remember you were one of my secret santas last year and it was superb. All the best for the new year and happy brewing athumb..
When I've got more bottles In stock I'll send you a replacement beerathumb..
 
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Second up was this lovely Prima Donna golden ale. Yes it was golden, and crystal clear, and a lovely drop. Slightly citrusy but I couldn't make out that marmalade flavour I get with my own homegrown prima donna. Nonetheless it was excellent. I wish pale ales down the pub were as good...

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First of Mr Santa beers, a lovely golden ale. Opened with a nice hiss and poured with a great 1/2 inch head. Which settled to a white foam covering the beer. Beer was very clear, though doesn't look it in the picture as the glass was condensed

Nice citrus smell on the nose, and a new hop to me which was nice. One am thinking of growing this year and has nudged me along. Almost creamy taste to it.

Tasted lovely and to be honest didn't last long😁.
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Thanks for sending.

Thanks both, those were from me.
I was a bit wary about how it would turn out, I've never brewed with fresh hops before. The hops were grown by an acquaintance of a friend. They usually go to a local brewery for a community brew but she was too late to get them there. When they got to me they were pretty dry and more brown than green.

I'll put the recipe in the recipe thread.
 

brewhaha

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Secret Santa beer #2 & it's an oatmeal stout in great nick.
Oatmeal cookies on the nose & the oats give a lovely creamy body as well. Beautifully brewed & wouldn't be surprised if this is a beer that's been brewed a fair few times. Very well balanced as there is a nice bitterness at the end.
Only feedback would be personal taste which is a bit more roast from the malt bill. Would love to see the recipe!
Thanks Santa!
 
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Just testing my Belgian tripel. I have sent a few out for swaps. It's been reported as gushing. I got this one cold and poured which seemed to work. Just a pity because it's a very good beer. This beer poured perfect up until last week, maybe the yeast hadn't finished but it was in the fermentor 4 week's.
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andyb13

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Export stout 7%
A little hiss on opening, but carbonation better than expected
Small head on pouring which unfortunately disappeared very quickly
A bit of a sour taste, and a slight yeast after taste
I tend to like my stouts with a bit more coffee taste, but that is just my preference.

This was a nice stout, thanks Santa.
 

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Moe

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First up, the bonus stout the arrived this week.
Just the right amount of hiss when I opened the bottle. I know carbonation is going to to spot on for an oatmeal stout. Off white head, medium lasting. I’m going to guess this is a young(ish) brew. Dark malt aromas on the nose, but the star is taste. Rich creamy mouthfeel from the oats, deep caramel malts with a decent helping of dark fruit in the background. Nice dry finish and great length of flavour.
It’s a great brew, bang on style and the perfect evening companion while I start the perp for tomorrow. Top marks Santa, and thank you very much for sending it on.
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Almost forgot to add, the QR code on the back was a stroke of genius. 👏
Next was an Oatmeal Stout, now I'm not really a stout fan but I do drink them from time to time and I did make one for the first time this Christmas. Again the head did not last very long but it had very moreish flavours and I enjoyed it very much, I would be interested to know how long it has been bottled as from my only stout brew experience mine improved so much the longer I left it. That's not say I didn't enjoy it, as I did thank you Santa

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Secret Santa beer #2 & it's an oatmeal stout in great nick.
Oatmeal cookies on the nose & the oats give a lovely creamy body as well. Beautifully brewed & wouldn't be surprised if this is a beer that's been brewed a fair few times. Very well balanced as there is a nice bitterness at the end.
Only feedback would be personal taste which is a bit more roast from the malt bill. Would love to see the recipe!
Thanks Santa!

Thanks the the kind words, these were sent by me. I am glad that you all enjoyed them. 👍🏻😀

The recipe is here: My Brewdays

@Libigage This was bottled on 7th November, so it’s still a bit young for a stout. I still have half a keg amd a couple of bottles left so I am looking forward to seeing how it improves over the next couple of months.

@brewhaha I agree with you that it could do with a bit more roastyness.

@Alastair70 I am glad you enjoyed the QR code 🤪

Massive thanks to @Alastair70 for organising this. It’s been great to taste others’ beers and to send some of mine out. 👍🏻
 
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My second secret Santa was a pale ale.
Good appearance, very clear and good carbonation. Light bready malt aroma with sweet orange from the hops
Flavour pretty much followed the aroma. Light malt character with citrus orange type hop flavours. Clean fermentation character, no off flavours. Mouthfeel was light to medium with nice carbonation which made it really drinkable and refreshing. Came across like a well hopped English pale as it wasn't bold enough in the hop character to be American but may have had low character from American hops.
Very nice beer and I'm very happy with my two Santa beers👍🏼
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My second secret Santa was a pale ale.
Good appearance, very clear and good carbonation. Light bready malt aroma with sweet orange from the hops
Flavour pretty much followed the aroma. Light malt character with citrus orange type hop flavours. Clean fermentation character, no off flavours. Mouthfeel was light to medium with nice carbonation which made it really drinkable and refreshing. Came across like a well hopped English pale as it wasn't bold enough in the hop character to be American but may have had low character from American hops.
Very nice beer and I'm very happy with my two Santa beers👍🏼
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I hope the brewer comes forward and posts in the recipe thread. That sounds like the kind of beer I enjoy.
 

Broken Toe

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Lightning Pale Ale
Very lightly carbonated
Beautifully clear when poured
Citrus notes on the nose, with a very easy drinking ,citrus/melon flavour
A cracking pint

My second secret Santa was a pale ale.
Good appearance, very clear and good carbonation. Light bready malt aroma with sweet orange from the hops
Flavour pretty much followed the aroma. Light malt character with citrus orange type hop flavours. Clean fermentation character, no off flavours. Mouthfeel was light to medium with nice carbonation which made it really drinkable and refreshing. Came across like a well hopped English pale as it wasn't bold enough in the hop character to be American but may have had low character from American hops.
Very nice beer and I'm very happy with my two Santa beers👍🏼
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Thank you very much for the feedback. It's a rehash of a pale ale I made last year as a user-uper which came out surprisingly drinkable. This is MKII of the recipe that is essentially a very complementary combo of comet and Chinook.

I hope the brewer comes forward and posts in the recipe thread. That sounds like the kind of beer I enjoy.

@RichardM it's very straight forward I'll get it posted up later today.
 

moto748

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Interested to hear the comments about Moe's oatmeal stout, as this is style I am keen to perfect! I checked the last recipe I used, and it is pretty similar to Moe's, except mine has a bit more roasted barley. 🙂

But the big difference is probably the yeast. I've never used Voss, and having no temperature control, I suspect it would not really be feasible, unless perhaps I was brewing in midsummer. It seems it requires a temp of upwards of 25 deg, which is a bit above room temperature, even for me! What alternative would people suggest? M42?
 

Moe

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Interested to hear the comments about Moe's oatmeal stout, as this is style I am keen to perfect! I checked the last recipe I used, and it is pretty similar to Moe's, except mine has a bit more roasted barley. 🙂

But the big difference is probably the yeast. I've never used Voss, and having no temperature control, I suspect it would not really be feasible, unless perhaps I was brewing in midsummer. It seems it requires a temp of upwards of 25 deg, which is a bit above room temperature, even for me! What alternative would people suggest? M42?

Hi,

I brewed this with Voss because I didn’t have temp control, my ferm fridge had a golden ale in it. It works really well. I brewed this in November too. I just pitched the yeast at 40C, wrapped it in a sleeping bag and left it to do it’s think.
it ferments so fast, and the fermentation kicks out some heat. This one reached FG in 36hours!
I think the Voss gives it a bit of a fruity aftertaste.
ETA: you can’t drink it after 36 hours, it’s rank. It needs some conditioning. Ask me how I know 😂
 
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