I’m sitting here enjoying one of my Dorchester Ales. I’m pleased with the way it turned out.
In competitions beer is judged based on aroma, appearance, flavor, mouthfeel and overall impression. I’m going to try to use those categories to give you my impressions. Aroma: Malty and there is another flavor that fades a bit as the beer warms up. Appearance: Coppery color, clear but with very little head. Flavor: Malty, not sweet, again a flavor that fades as the ale warms up. I can’t think of a description for the flavor; it’s not bad. Mouthfeel: Carbonation level feels fine, very little aftertaste. Overall Impression: I like this beer. It’s not a knock your socks off beer, but I really enjoyed the balance. This beer grew on my and I enjoyed the taste better with each tasting.
I’ll also tell you some of the feedback I’ve received from friends who’ve tasted the ale. My first tasters were a group of friends from church that I had over to show how to homebrew. They all told me it was good.
Then one of my brewing partners tasted it. His reaction was, “yeah, it’s a good summer beer.” He was a bit distracted with his poker hand, so I didn’t get his usual analysis of what flavors he tasted.
My next taster was a friend of the family who had moved to England back in the 1980’s. Jeannie was in town and we had a dinner with her and her mother. I brought some bottles over with me to share. I had not had the chance to label the bottles yet, so they were blank bottles. Jeannie took a drink of one and said, “Oh, it’s a proper British ale.” That made me feel good.
I’m glad I brewed this Maybe I'll try it again in the future.
I’m going to tell you about the lady in my life. Lucy is our pet dog and she’s a nine-and-a-half-year-old miniature schnauzer. She’s the one who gets me to go out for walks and keeps me company around the house.
Lucy was a rescue dog. I think she may have been hit by her first owners. There have been times when I’ve reached up for an itch or to adjust my hearing aids and I’ve moved my hand quickly. Lucy will cringe and move away from me.
My in-laws originally got her from the Humane Society. Apparently, her former family had a baby and found it too much to deal with both a baby and a dog. My father-in-law was beginning to suffer from dementia. He had always liked dogs. So, the idea was that having a dog to take care of would keep him active and involved. Unfortunately, he was too far gone to do that. My mother-in-law ended up taking care of Lucy in addition to all the caregiving she was doing for her husband. So, we took Lucy in.
Lucy is usually a mellow dog. She is much more relaxed than the toy poodle we used to have. She does have her quirks though. She is a very sudden barker. When she barks there is no warning. She goes from zero noise to full volume with no transition. As a result, I usually end up jumping when she sounds off. I’m not even sure what she’s barking at sometimes. When she barks at people walking by in the street it’s interesting to watch her. She’ll bark at them, but the whole time her tail is wagging back and forth. I think if you could translate dog barks into English, that one would probably say, “Come and pet me or play with me, please, please.”
The other day Facebook showed me some pictures I had taken a couple years ago while walking Lucy. It reminded me that I carry a camera in my phone while I’m walking. Then as if to reinforce that point when I walked Lucy that day she went sniffing at some weeds. When I looked more closely at the weeds, I noticed there were some wild roses blooming. Click went my camera. I’ve always tried to notice something beautiful in the world each day. It helped me out during some tough times to know that there was still beauty in the world.
When Debbie was at home in hospice, we had her bed set up in the family room. Lucy just wanted to be on the bed with Debbie. Unless, someone came to the door. Then she would run to the door barking. We had to turn off our door bell, not because the door bell was bothering Debbie, but because Lucy would be on her bed and would start barking as soon as she heard the doorbell. She stayed with Debbie, cuddling close to her feet. Then after Debbie died, she never went back up on that bed.
Lucy’s been through a lot of leaving in her life. Her first family gave her up. My in-laws had to give her up also. Debbie died. Alicia left for Mexico, came back and then moved out. Andrew went away to college. She’s an example of resilience for me. She still experiences simple joys; cuddling on the bed, playing, chasing bunnies in the yard, sleeping.
Tim Kane's memories, musings and updates.