Home > Tasting someone else's brew > Partizan Brewing Beer Tasting Session – Lazy Afternoon with Beer

Partizan Brewing Beer Tasting Session – Lazy Afternoon with Beer

October 25, 2013

Immensely pissed off that a mouse has made a nest in my car’s engine space and has been able to go inside the car and use the padding from the seat as bedding. I fucking hate rodents. To calm my nerves I’ll sample some Partizan Brewing’s beers.  The labels on the bottles are snazzy sort of 60’s design (think Jacques Tati) and the brewing system is an old Kernel set up.

First one off the gates is the Mild at 6.4 per cent abv. Darkest ruby almost black with creamy thin head. Huge roasted and sour aroma. Taste is soft, balanced, creamy, roasted coffee. Very smooth and sophisticated. Good drinkability and feels sessionable. Digestible as the Belgians say. One of the most balanced commercial beers I’ve had in donkey’s years. Very clever and shows the brewer’s skill. The last time I had this good a balanced beer was in August, a Colonel Williams IPA clone home brew, and before that in February this saison.

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Next one is Pacific Jade Pale Ale at 4.9 per cent abv.

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Aroma is a huge hit of peach and mango and Del Monte’s fruit cocktail in sugar syrup. Taste is bitter grapefruit and it’s all up front and while drinking the nose gets a whiff of that fruit cocktail at the same time. I’ve used Pacific Jade hops more heavy handedly as a bittering hop and it’s interesting to note that it is quite good for aroma and late addition too. Although I’d wish this tasted more like beer instead of tropical juice cocktail. The way I would brew Pacific Jade single hop is to up the bittering and tone down the late additions or what ever they do to bring that huge tropical flavour in the end. Say, bring the 60 minutes to 45 ibu’s, then 30 per cent of the total hops at boil off to soak for 20 minutes. Yes, this beer would benefit from more bitterness.

This is getting interesting now.  Three more to go. Galaxy, Citra, Amarillo at 5.2 per cent abv. Looks a lot like the previous one:

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On the nose this has some of that Pacific fruitiness but a lot more grape fruit. No pine or resin at all. I’d say the aroma is “better”, not as sickly but refreshing. Oh yes, this tastes more bitter and is then followed by freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. During the GBBF 2013 I hated many of the grapefruity beers on offer but this has a lot of balance – early bitterness to balance off the fruitiness. So in essence this is a lot more drinkable and thirst quenching. Obviously there’s not much to write about malts here either, these two pale ales are about hops and this one gets my vote.

Looking good, now an IPA at 7.1 per cent abv. Citra, Amarillo, Simcoe.

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Seems like it’s back to the Pacific, some ripe mango here. In the the taste there is grapefruit bitterness first upfront, some lemon I think in the after taste, mandarin (can’t believe I have become one of those people who find mandarin in their beer – but I do! What a ponce!) for sure.  Compared to the previous two pale ales, perhaps a touch more bitterness but definitely less late hop aroma. No idea about the bitterness levels but if it’s more than 50 then a) this beer is bloody balanced on the sly, or  b) my own 45-50 ibu bitters are actually 70+…because this beer seems so smooth. 7.1 per cent abv? Hard to believe. I use soft water myself, and still my 35 ibu beers seem more bitter than this. I suspect there are some clever things going on by the brewer, so soft. Now after 15 minutes drinking this I start to feel some tingling in my mouth. Uncanny.

Let’s wrap this up. FES at 8.6 per cent abv. A big boy of the bunch. Pitch black, viscous:

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Roast and coffee. Has that ashy aroma associated with black malt.  Doesn’t have that sourness on the nose as the Mild had. Ooh! Suit you Sir! Not that heavy again, soft and balanced, can’t really say when malt ends and hops begin. Slightly bitter on the tongue, no sourness, slightly sweet, roasted, salted liquorice. Salty otherwise too. Unfortunately, not a night cap front of a fire place sort of beer – too refreshing and drinkable. Scrumptious.

I think the two dark beers stand out and both relied heavily on balance. Somehow to me tropical fruits in a beer spell gimmick and trickery. But even those paler ales were quite understated and restrained. What can I say, the recipes and brewers behind these beers seem quite clever.

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