Jerk Beer: Update

So after three weeks fermenting and a week carbonating in the keg, I return with a review of the Jerk Beer I brewed in September. This is a recipe I have been developing and have brewed before – in fact it is basically my fall seasonal; I am not a pumpkin beer fan – but this time I used dried, toasted pepper, added some smoke malt, and added all of the spices after fermentation in an attempt to get a richer, more complex flavor. I think it is a big improvement over previous versions.

Rich Amber color with a frothy white head.

Aroma is dominated by the spices – allspice and cloves, unmistakable

Body is light and a bit on the dry side – I will shoot for a bit more malty sweetness next time.

Flavor is complex – the spices do not dominate the flavor – in fact, if you drink it out of a bottle or with your nose plugged the spices are very subtle. Over time they will fade and I predict the result will be even better – but I was never a big fan of the aroma of cloves, I believe when used they need to be used very, uh, responsibly. The flavor is tough to describe, it is a typical light bodied amber ale; the smoke malt is detectable but only slightly and contributes to an overall savory effect. The amarillo aroma hops add a mellow citrus flavor reminiscent of limes. The scotch bonnets are front and center. The toasting has given them a savory, full-flavored richness and the heat is all over your tongue and the back of your throat. In a good way. Not run for a glass of milk hot, just oooooohhh that burns so good hot. And it doesn’t linger or persist, it just sort of waltzes around and eases into the background leaving you thirsty for another sip. Overall the jerk theme is probably as close as one can get with a beer – I wouldn’t change the proportions or ingredients other than aiming for a bit more sweetness for the sake of balance.

Overall – I look forward to brewing this again next September. Big hit in my book.


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