Tasting Notes: Merlins Mild

So the Merlins Mild has been in the keg for a while, and has cleared and carbonated.  Its not quite what I was hoping for – too ‘mild’ for my taste, and weakly flavoured compared to milds I’ve tried in the past.

Merlins Mild

The beer is darker than expected, an estimated SRM of 20 instead of the planned 15SRM. The beer is carbonated to a higher level than is normal for this style – by choice.  As off-style as it is, I simply do not like the low carbonation typical of some English styles.  The carbonation pushes up a nice head, but the head itself is short lived.  Even so, Belgian lace hugs the glass throughout the pint.

The beer itself has a malt aroma with a slight hint of hoppyness.  The low level of hop character surprised me – Fuggles at flame-out usually leave a nice hop aroma.  The hops added at flame-out could easily be doubled.

As the name would suggest, this beer is mild.  Problem is, it is too mild.  Minimally bitter, minimal hop flavour, subtle maltiness and few esters from the yeast round out this beer. I suspect the hops must have lost of of their alpha acids, as there should have been 20IBUs worth of bitterness; I’d estimate this beer has about half of that.  Initially I was worried about oxidation, as there was a slight cardboard flavour, but it appears to have faded.  On the plus side, the flavour lingers shortly after the sip, and is features a nice modest maltiness.

This beer has a thin body, which is normal for the style. The higher level of carbonation gives it a nice effervescence and a slight carbonic acidity which is pleasant on the tongue. No astringency mars the beer, making it a great thirst-quencher.

Its not a bad beer, but it lacks the hop flavour I’d normally prefer.  A good brew to convert a bud drinker to homebrew; not a beer to impress the guys and gals at the brewclub…

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