Monday, December 9, 2013
Drop In Brewing Shooting Star
Alcohol Content: 3.9%
Malts: 2-Row, Crystal
Hops: Liberty, Tettnang
Price: $5/ "squeeler" refill (32 oz); $7/ growler refill (64 oz)
Medium: English pint glass
Aroma: Delicate floral hop nose and toasty malt sweetness with background notes of caramel. No signs of alcohol. Slightly fruity esters, of which are appropriate. A great example of the "Burton snatch" - this beer is high in sulfur and leaves a minerally character in the water profile. I wouldn't be surprised if large amounts of calcium sulfate were added to Middlebury's relatively soft water. No diacetyl.
Appearance: Great clarity - filtered as part of the students practice using filtration equipment. Light amber to copper in color or slightly red. White-ish head and decent retention. Low caronation.
Flavor: Lends a delicate malty start with caramel sweetness and lightly toasted bread. Hops balanced nicely with the delicate maltyness, lending a floral and spicy character. Hops also linger on the side of freshly cut grass. Hop bitterness is moderately strong but remains in check by the malts. Finish is semi-dry, whereby the mineral content becomes more noticeable and suggests high sulfates. Aftertaste is where the "Burton snatch" is perceived again by pushing the aromatics back out through the nose. Some earthy characteristics parallel the sulfur notes in the aftertaste
Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-light in body conjured by a faint carbonation. Sulfury. Bitter but also fairly balanced. No alcohols or warming effect. Low carbonation offers a wateriness to the body, providing little viscosity and allowing for an easy-drinking experience. Hoppy mouthfeel, but not like the dank resinous hops you may find in an IPA.
Overall Impression: Drinkability is critical for this style and I think Shooting Star is a good fit for this component. I thought it was reminiscent of the beers I may find in London, but then again I've never been to London. That said, it fits well with the few canned examples I've tasted that are true to the style. It's very straightforward and a great beer to learn how to brew. Can easily be enjoyed in various settings from a nice sunny day to pairing with a hearty meal on a cold winter's night.