A Big Crazy Mix-Up

Since I feel like I’m running out of beers to try, I have decided to do something revolutionary. I had a six pack of Saranac and a twelve pack of Dundee and decided to mix it up a little. Literally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

I took three beers and did a little “round robin” pouring half of each into a pint glass with half from the other two. The three beverages I used were Saranac Pale Ale, Dundee Porter and Dundee Wheat. Please note, I had intended to use Dundee Pale Bock but I screwed it up and poured the wrong one. Ah well, let’s check the results…

SARANAC PALE/DUNDEE PORTER

The beer pours a mahogany reddish brown. It’s slightly darker at the top. A finger of thick ocean foam head. It’s thick, but also shiny and glassy.

In the aroma, the crystal malts of the Pale overshadow the roasted malts of the Porter, but only barley … barely. The slightly piney hops in the pale do make a difference in breaking through the thick malt. It’s a bit too sharp in the spiky malts.

The tastes are strange bedfellows. The pale flavors (hops, crystal malt) are the first flavors, and then a mild roasted, nutty malt kicks in. It evolves throughout the sip, but the flavors clash rather than getting along nicely.

The feel is thick and creamy, and chewy and chunky. Has some nice body, with a small bite on the way down. It’s not the runaway success I had hoped for, but it’s an interesting change of pace beer.


DUNDEE WHEAT/SARANAC PALE

The look is a hazy light orange. The thick head dissipates quickly. Leaves a nice icy lace. Overall the appearance is a nice cloudy thickness.

The smell is some bittering pilsnery hops floating atop a thick banana-ish wheat aroma. Some mild citrusy sweetness, which actually blends nicely with the clove in the wheat.

The sweet citrus and banana/clove taste give this makeshift brew a decent bubblegum flavor. And though the flavors are strong, they are disparate, thought it is a surprisingly decent mix.

The feel is thick and sticky. It’s creamy, and the wheat beer definitely has the influence on this one. All told, it’s actually a solid mix. The hops and wheat play nicely in the sandbox.


DUNDEE PORTER/DUNDEE WHEAT

This one was the real shocker.

The appearance is a thick, cloudy brown. The head disappears quickly. It looks very thick.

The aroma is, at first, an uneasy mix of the roasted malt and some wheat. It has the aromatic effect of a dark Belgian ale. The wheat and the roasted malt. It takes on a smoky quality.

The taste has a real, dark Belgian ale flavor, oddly enough. It’s a really surprising mix of two good flavors. Not too shabby at all. The rich caramel flavors meet the wheat flavors, as well as a subtle tobacco kick.

The feel is milky but smooth. Really decent. Overall it’s like a dark Belgian ale. A surprisingly good little concoction. Smoky, rich and deep.

None of these were the unmitigated triumph that I had secretly hoped for, but they were all drinkable, and were a decent change of pace idea when all you have is the same stuff you’ve been drinking for weeks on end.

Hopefully, we will become bolder and wiser in our choices, selecting brews that are unbalanced with other brews that are unbalanced. It is this attempt to bring together the yin and yang (the Yuen and Yueng?) of beers in those that are lacking that zen balance. I’m making a list as we speak.

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~ by William H on August 22, 2008.

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