Typically when I want to brew a new beer I'll spend some time looking around the intrawebs for recipe ideas. What I end up with is usually a mix of classic ingredients, advice from forums, and ideas from proven recipes. Brown ales are what really got me into craft beer, and hops have been the latest obsession, so a hoppy brown was next up in the bucket. I did the usual searching and stumbled on a beer called "Janet's Brown Ale", a beer brewed legendary home brewer Mike "Tasty" McDole. Named after his late wife, this was her favorite beer. Not only published in the book Brewing Classic Styles, this beer was also brewed by Russian River as part of thier pro-am series. Figuring I was safe brewing such a well known and highly regarded recipe, I scaled things down, brewed, and here is the result.......
Appearance: Deep dark brown, black when viewed in anything other than bright light. Topped with a couple inches of creamy tan head that drops back to an inch and lingers for a while. Tons of thick lacing.
Smell: Dry cocoa, tobacco, and hops, mostly earthy hops, but some citrus.
Flavor: Lots of hop flavor, with some chocolate, and quite a bit of caramel. Taste is much more malty than the smell would lead you to believe.
Mouthfeel and overal impression. This was the first beer that put into a keg and a fter a few days hooked up to the C02 it is very smooth and creamy with just the right amount of carbonation. The Wyeast American Ale strain ripped through this one and left the beer with a nice dry finish. A little sweeter finish would probably suit the style better but the dryness works great for me. While this ended up not tasting exactly how I imagined it was still very good and got great feedback from the usual tasting panel.