Finest Round Celtic Amber Ale
The Finest Round range of beer kits are made and distributed by ESB Brewing, and have achieved quite a following in the homebrew community. This Celtic Amber Ale was the next in the range for me to review and I’m sure it will soon develop a cult following.
As with the Finest Round Irish Dry Stout; making it is dead easy. Pour in the kit, add water to make up 22L, add the yeast (Windsor Ale) and the finishing hops (Challenger), then sit back and watch it ferment.
In making it up to 22L we achieved a starting gravity of 1.040, and after fermentation was complete a finishing gravity of 1.012 giving us a 4.2% alc beer after priming.
Now for the tasting: we tried this Finest Round Celtic Amber Ale both straight out of the fridge and a second one which had been out for the fridge for 10mins, and found that the second one (the slightly warmer one) gave us better malt flavours and hop aromas.
Packed with flavour this Finest Round Celtic Amber Ale contains much more than just the usual caramel and pale malt. Although they are there, they play a background role to a balanced savoury taste with the odd hint of roasted grain and the Challenger finishing hops.
I would match this beer with a thick vegetable soup or hearty stew – something to have in the winter time as I don’t think it’s really a session-able beer. It’s just got too big a taste and your palate will fatigue after 2 glasses. Don’t get me wrong this is a great beer, it’s just not one to drink all night.
Colour – a great ruby red and crystal clear, well done ESB.
Ok now down to the nitty gritty:
Time – 10 min to sterilise the fermenter and tools, 10 min to make up the batch and 5 min to clean up. Priming and bottling took 30min and clean up took 15min.
Total Time – 70min plus 15 days fermenting and conditioning.
Cost – kit $34 (includes the Windsor ale yeast and 2 x 12gm packets of Challenger finishing hops) Bottles $32 (you need 32 650ml bottles)
Total Cost $34 (or $70.75 with bottles)
By Steve Kirby [mailto:[email protected]]