I brewed this beer specifically for my family's annual July 4th "Luau". I wanted a nice "summer beer" - something crisp, golden, not overly aggressive (in in alcohol or in hoppiness). Overall, I am very happy with the way this turned out - it worked perfectly for the event - though there are certainly some changes I would make if I made it again.
Tasted on 7/4/11. Perfect Cape Cod summer evening - clear, breezy, and comfortable. Poured into my Buzzards Bay Brewing Company (now defunct) tumbler.
Appearance - Clear, deep gold - a very pretty color. Thin white head that leaves some lacing that slowly dissipates.
Aroma - Some hop fruitiness and sweet malt.
Taste - Malty and sweet. I think there actually might be too much Carahell - it could use a little less residual sweetness. Slight sulfur that gives this a lager-like quality that is very nice. I would presume that this is from the California Lager strain in the American Ale Yeast Blend. Diffuse bitterness, not as crisp as I would like. Some unwelcome astringency that lingers - this might be from too high a mash pH extracting some tannins.
Mouthfeel - Good carbonation, good body (not too thick), very drinkable.
Overall - Maybe not as crisp as I would have liked, but definitely an easy drinker. Good beer for a hot summer day. Next time I think I would add some acidualted malt to lower the mash pH and cut back the Carahell to under 5%, maybe as low as 3-4%.