|Mike "Tasty" McDole|
I'd like to add Mike "Tasty" McDole's Janet's Brown Ale to the list of classic recipes. It's a hoppy version of an American Brown Ale, and it features some classic American hops in Northern Brewer, Centennial and Cascade. With an ABV above 7%, it falls into the fictional style category: Imperial Brown Ale. I first tried this beer in homebrew form as made by Lewy in 2011. It's smooth and nutty, with a slight creaminess to it that belies its ABV. The color is a complex 28 - 30 SRM and the hops make themselves known in both the aroma and taste. At NHC 2011 in San Diego I had a chance to talk with Tasty and he explained some of his thoughts about the recipe, most notably his attempt to keep the different flavors in balance. I think he did an excellent job formulating his hop additions, and that it's the way that the hops combine that sets Janet's apart from imitators. In 2012 I had a chance to try Janet's on tap as interpreted by Vinnie Cilurzo. On a trip to the Bay Area, I stopped by Russian River and had a glass of Janet's that was one of the better beers I've tasted in a long while.
I brewed Lewy's version (#5) of Janet's Brown Ale earlier this month and have since started to condition it. All signs point to it being a great (maybe even classic) beer.