Sunday, October 27, 2013

Norwich Inn Whistling Pig

The fourth beer in a flight of five from the Norwich Inn is an Irish Red. The order is usually ascending in strength, whether that be body and alcohol content or bitterness. I was reluctant to find all the beers in this flight to be malt focused and the residual sweetness or maltiness was starting to blend together with the initial sip of new beer. It is good to have water or crackers to help wash down the previous beer before sampling another.

They have a variety of sized glasses and prices ranging from $3/ half up to $6 for any premium beverage. Small samples are available for individual purchase or a flight of 5.

Aroma: Potentially oxidized or stale of which I derived from its distinct wet cardboard aroma. Can also be described as a bit musty. Otherwise some dried fruit character from yeast. Malts are potentially aiding to the mustiness and are not as pleasant as I'd like for an Irish Red - they don't quite jump out. Hops are in the background as well.
Appearance: Displays an off-white head with hardly any retention. I only noticed it when pouring but it was gone by the time the beer arrived in front of me. Generally quite clear but harder to distinguish due to its dark amber red color. No visible carbonation; Instead, it looks very still and watery. No lacing  and hardly any sign of foaming with agitation.
Flavor: Starts out malty with a distinctively earthy or woody hop bitterness. Similar hop profile as some of the other beers in both flavor and mouthfeel (bitterness). I've heard some describe it as a dry vegetal matter. A roasted barley finish provides depth to the bitterness and helps clean up the malty front. Esters from yeast fermentation follows the nose.
Mouthfeel: Lighter carbonation (for the style) alters my perception of the beers fullness. In other words potentially too much body. Alcohol is very restrained.
Overall Impression: Its just missing something to leave a great impression on me. Perhaps my palate is continuing to be worn down. The aftertaste and drying is becoming more unpleasant. My expectations of the style is also very high. I've also heard this is their usual beer on tap which means it must be a good seller. I'll have to keep it in mind for my next visit as the tasting experience can be quite different.

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