First of all, I want to once again thank Jason Howard from Howard Brewing for letting us brew in his new facility. If you get a chance to visit the Howard Brewing facility in Lenoir, I would highly recommend it.
He literally built it by himself. Today, he was doing his own plumbing for the keg washer. Everytime I visit, he is making another improvement or more construction -- by himself. It's kind of amazing! I am constantly in awe with him, and what he has been able to do by himself.
Okay, for the tasting notes on Tortuga Bay. I don't want to paraphrase Samuel L. Jackson, but I'm sure he would drop a few F-Bombs on how hoppy Tortuga Bay is. While the original thought was making a sessionable IPA, Tortuga Bay is shaping up to be a "Hop Tongue Tingler." It is also turning out to be a bit more than 6%. Due to the brewhouse efficiency (which was previously unknown), it might come in at closer to 6.3 to 6.5% ABV.
While Jason from Howard Brewing was a little concerned that he had missed his mark, I told him to, "Let it ride!" I have never known a craft beer customer that wanted a lower ABV.
Since Tortuga Bay will be unfiltered, it pours (right now) a hazy light green and faint orange. With close to 3 lbs. of hops per barrel, you can actually see the hops floating around in it. It has a huge nose! Monster. Seriously, big juicy hops. It's full-bodied, flavorful, but not sweet. It stays dry. The number of malts included keep it complex and tasty from start to finish. Crisp hops up front, and mellow drinkable malts in the middle, finishing dry and tongue tinglingly. We put the money into the hops, and you'll get your money's worth!
We have a few more days in the fermentation process, but we're hoping that it finishes as expected. Hang in there. We're close!