Last night at a little dinner party, William and I cracked open the last remaining bottles of our very first forays into homebrewing, from July and August of 2007. Batch #0001 was called “West Coast Pale Ale,” a HomeBrewMart starter recipe. At the time we noted the beer was very “safe,” that is to say very boring. Very little alcohol, with very mild flavor (at least it was a balanced mild!). #0002 was our first “recipe,” “Continual Surveillance,” a pretty good West Coast-style IPA complete with dry hopping. Decent alcohol (~6.5%), good IBUs, and all around good flavor.
Fast forward 27 months, and these beers were vastly different. Extremely different from when we tasted them at one year of aging. Both took on a darker color and gained an interested maple syrup-like flavor. #0002 was a little brighter from the original hops, but in terms of obviously recognizable hop flavor they were more or less the same. Alcohol flavor was there, but almost as a component of the maple syrup-ness. Really, really weird.
As for new beer, we also opened up a few bottles of the new xoconostle brew, a Belgian golden flavored with xoconostle fruit. Very light body, nice yeasty funk, nice sugary sweetness and nice fruity tartness. I think we did a pretty good job with this one.
I also made a couple of new salsas last night: a serrano/lime salsa that was delicious, and a tomato/pequin salsa that came out much milder than I had anticipated. I guess I overestimated the impact that the little suckers would have on a whole batch.