Sunday, June 13, 2010

Chili Ale - final thoughts

Sorry, this chili ale update will be one that you'll have to read.

I got a chance to have several of my beers now, and I have to say that I'm pretty pleased with the result. As for the ones with the Serrano in each bottle, where I feared that they were ruined, it turns out that they're just a tad bit over-carbonated. If I open the bottle slowly and let the air escape a bit at a time, then it's just fine. This is much different from having a "gusher" which takes a moment to even start foaming up, and then it just keeps on getting foamy and pouring out the top.

Overall, I have to say that I like the version without the pepper in each bottle better. It has a smoother taste and is a little less spicy. Personally, I'm thinking that Habaneros just might be a bit better of a compliment to the sweetness of a Blonde Ale than other peppers are. Next time, I think that I will use them exclusively for the entire five gallon batch, and I'll skip putting individual peppers in each bottle.

I've been to a couple of parties and got to see some other people's reactions. You always have to be careful with this, as people will often tell you that they like something just so they don't hurt your feelings. Basically, my overall impression is that it's not for everybody. I saw a few people drink them rather enthusiastically (and in both cases, it was the one without the Serrano in the bottle). Other people seemed to like them fine. One friend, who I know likes spicy stuff, didn't quite finish his entire bottle (it was one with a Serrano). However, I'm willing to chalk this up to the fact that he was having it with some hot wings - including the absolutely ridiculous atomic wings from Wing Stop. You don't really want a spicy beer to wash down insanely spicy wings. I figure he might want to try one again when he has a more appropriate food pairing to go along with it.

Will I make this again? Probably. I don't know if I'll make it often, but I'm sure that I'll get a hankerin' for them again - probably around this time of year.

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