Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Tasting : Rising Tide Daymark clone vs. Daymark

It's been a long time since I've done a tasting of an attempted clone beer of mine and been able to actually compare it to the commercial beer. To make things even better, the "Born on" date of the Daymark bottle was March 6, 2013... and my clone was bottled March 13th, so they're pretty close in age. Obviously, doing a taste test of two American Pale Ales that are 2 months old isn't ideal, and I'm totally to blame for that. I've had the Daymark on hand for at least a month now; I just completely dragged my feet about opening both beers at the same time, taking notes, etc. Anyway, on to the comparison!

Appearance: Pretty darn close. Both beers are quite pale, maybe a light gold color, with moderate-large, white sticky heads with great retention. I'd say my clone is a touch lighter in color, with slightly better clarity.

Aroma: Both beers have a pleasant fruity, citrus aroma. My clone is stronger in the hop department, while the Daymark has more of a malty sweet background, and more rye presence as well. Don't get me wrong, the Daymark is still hoppy... I'd say it's better balanced. The clone beer's aroma also has a bit more "dank" character that I expect from Columbus hops now.

Taste: In general, like the aroma, the clone is hoppier... the citrus slaps you in the face a bit more, even at two months old. The Daymark is maltier, and the rye definitely sticks out more. I'd say the Daymark also has a SLIGHTLY higher bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Very similar... my beer has just a touch more carbonation.

Overall: I'm going to go with 85-90% cloned here. If I brewed it again, I would back off on the dry hop some... maybe cut it down to 1 oz each of Centennial and CTZ. I'd also increase the rye malt to 15%; since Nathan said they use various local sources of rye malt, it could also simply be a manner of taste differences between their rye malt and mine. Not sure. A tasty beer, but not quite up to the caliber of the real thing!

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