Monday 19 August 2013

Tasting : Isles of Fortune (Modern Times Fortunate Islands clone)

Ah... it's so nice when you brew a beer and have high expectations for it, and it actually doesn't end up disappointing you in any way! Sorry if that sounds a bit cynical, but often it's the beers I look forward to the most that end up letting me down, at least slightly. But this one hasn't. At all.I knew when I tasted this beer when I took a gravity sample that it was going to be pretty great... the hop aroma was huge before I even dry-hopped it (making me wonder if 4 oz Citra and 1 oz Amarillo in the dry-hop may be unnecessary?).

The real Modern Times Fortunate Islands (described as a "hoppy wheat") hasn't even been available to the public for very long now, but this clone that I brewed last month has everything I would hope to find in the commercial beer... which makes me sure that the real thing is all the better! Detailed tasting notes below, but in summary it's a really "tropical" beer - all that Citra and Amarillo really paid off. At 4.8% it's pretty sessionable, extremely hoppy (especially in the aroma) without being very bitter... a delicious beer. Looking at the tasting notes from Mike Tonsmeire's blog, it seems like the two beers are fairly close, at least in the main points. I'm sure Mike's beer (and Modern Times') came out even better, since they'd be able to keep the hops fresher by flushing with CO2 during fermentation/transfer. Oh, and due to the fact that they're better brewers!

If you can source a good amount of Citra and Amarillo, I highly recommend giving this recipe a try. Thanks again to Mike Tonsmeire and Modern Times for being so open with their recipes!

Appearance: Poured with a stark white, moderate-sized sticky head, that shows good retention, eventually fading to 1/4-finger for the duration of drinking. The body is a dark golden/very light copper color (the glass I poured it in in the picture makes it look darker than it really is), and is extremely hazy - probably due to the lack of Irish Moss, all the wheat malt, and the intense dry-hopping.

Aroma: Huge citrus, tropical fruit presence. Lots of orange and mango. Maybe a touch of malt character in the background, but honestly the hops are so prevalent, it's hard to detect anything else!

Taste: Again, a strong amount of orange and mango at first, but a bit subdued compared to the aroma. The wheat malt and Caravienne come through more after that initial hop hit, and the beer then finishes with more fruit and just a touch of a resiny character, which I wasn't expecting. Moderate to moderate-low bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Slightly under medium carbonation... I think it would benefit from a bit more, actually. The body is medium-full at least... the wheat malt and high mash temp really came through. This isn't a bad thing with this beer; it actually works very well.

Overall: Great beer; definitely something to have on tap in the summer - it wouldn't take long to go through this beer. Other than a bit more carbonation, there's nothing about it I'd change. I'll definitely be brewing this again!

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