It was eight weeks ago that I mashed my grains, added my dry malt extract to bump up the gravity and chucked in a shitload of hops into a kettle to make a mild, a Scottish mild no less, for the International Homebrew Project. Based on a 19th century recipe from the William Younger's brewery for a 120/- ale, my wort was 1.110 (about 26° Plato). By the end of the boil, having added judicious amounts of Kent Goldings and Fuggles, the estimated IBU rating of the beer was 93, so much for Scottish beers being "traditionally" low on hops. Once primary fermentation had slowed to barely a flicker, I dumped my dry hops into the carboy and then bottled a week later. For 6 weeks now the beer has say conditioning...
Finally the time had come to open a bottle and see what had become of the beer, and with that reassuring pffft that is every homebrewers favourite sound I popped off the cap and poured.
I was kind of surprised at the colour of the beer, a deep, entrancing amber which failed to form a head, though swirling the glass after the initial mouthful produced a decent layer of firm, whipped cream type foam. The aroma was a heady mix of grass, spice, perhaps a touch of tobacco and a little background alcohol. Drinking it though was quite a shock, thoroughly, thoroughly bitter, but at the same time a juicy malt biscuity thing make sure the hops didn't rip my tongue out and stomp all over it. The finish was long, as in progressive rock guitar solo long, and bitter, puckering while not being like sucking a lemon. Goodness me, what a lovely beer! The body was positively voluptuous, the mouthfeel a sensual satiny smoothness, like melted chocolate, goodness me this is a beer that could get me into trouble, so dangerously, and temptingly, delicious it is.
All in all I very happy with how this one turned out, and I am planning to enter it in the Dominion Cup later this year, probably in Category 23, and also in the Strong Ale category of the Palmetto State Brewers Open, in the meantime, I might just have another over the weekend.