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Drinkmuse: Elysian The Men’s Room

October 6, 2011


Initial Thoughts: I’m not generally a big fan of red ales, but this looked fun, I had never heard of the brewery, and some of the moneygoes to military vet families.  Figured why not give it a try. On viewing, looks… about like a red ale. Has some head, pours pretty easy, and the nose is mainly hoppy. Color is reminiscent of other Red ales – golden hue with a inner core of brown. 5.6% alcohol.

First taste: Great hop flavor – wish I knew what hops are here. They are ones I recognize, but I don’t know the name. (I went and looked it up – Cascade and Chinook. Cascade I recognize – I need to work to figure out what characteristics the Chinook has.) Whatever they have done here, the hops are very pleasant. I get very light malt flavor if any – I’d guess it’s crystal and or munich or some other combination (looking up, confirmed those two, plus a few others).

Further thoughts: To be honest, I’m not used to this kind of beer being in a bottle this big.

Doing some research, I decided to look up the Beer Judge Certification Program  guidelines for Irish Red Ales:

Aroma: Low to moderate malt aroma, generally caramel-like but occasionally toasty or toffee-like in nature. May have a light buttery character (although this is not required). Hop aroma is low to none (usually not present). Quite clean.

Appearance: Amber to deep reddish copper color (most examples have a deep reddish hue). Clear. Low off-white to tan colored head.

Flavor: Moderate caramel malt flavor and sweetness, occasionally with a buttered toast or toffee-like quality. Finishes with a light taste of roasted grain, which lends a characteristic dryness to the finish. Generally no flavor hops, although some examples may have a light English hop flavor. Medium-low hop bitterness, although light use of roasted grains may increase the perception of bitterness to the medium range. Medium-dry to dry finish. Clean and smooth (lager versions can be very smooth). No esters.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body, although examples containing low levels of diacetyl may have a slightly slick mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation. Smooth. Moderately attenuated (more so than Scottish ales). May have a slight alcohol warmth in stronger versions.

Overall Impression: An easy-drinking pint. Malt-focused with an initial sweetness and a roasted dryness in the finish.

So consider that your education for today. I’d say the overall impression description as an easy-drinking pint is dead on. I’ve getting much more hops – I saw lots of mentions online of an American Red style – I am thinking that there might be a move towards hops in these american styles. I will say that as the beer has warmed a bit, the malt has come through a bit. It’s showing up quite nicely, and now matches what the bottle says “Amber in color with a light hop aroma and toasty malt finish”. I’d take out the “Toasty”, but otherwise, pretty good match.

Final thoughts: This is a very tasty, relatively easy to drink beer. If it was on tap, it would be on my list to regularly get. Seeing as this is a Seattle brewery, I’ll have to keep a lookout for it if I ever go out there.

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