This full-bodied winter warmer is brewed in the spirit of British winter ales. Crafted with a flurry of roasted chocolate and caramel malts, and generously hopped, it delivers a smooth finish that makes this beer the perfect cold weather companion. This clone recipe first ran in the July 1998 issue and has been tweaked several times through the years.
The beer that made Masham, England, famous, Old Peculier is rich, dark and smooth tasting, with a character all of its own. Glorious, rich, full of flavor, but hard to come by.
This recipe for a YPA came to me one summer afternoon after mowing the lawn. Yarrow, thyme, and savory have spilled out of my wife’s herb garden to become part of the lawn in one place, and they inevitably get mowed along with the dandelions and weeds. The aroma was amazing, and so is the beer.
Beer is made from four ingredients: barley, hops, water, and yeast. Oh, yes, and some goopy stuff that looks like molasses and comes in a can. Or powdery stuff that looks like Ovaltine and, frankly, tastes a lot better.
“Malty.” Now just what could that mean? Beer tasters use the term all the time, but isn’t it a redundant term, like saying beer tastes beery? Barley malt provides the fuel for the yeast, but it also provides the heart of beer flavor. Weren’t you amazed at how great malt extract tasted when you first dipped your finger into it?
Before arriving in Moscow, my husband and I had been warned that while imbibing alcohol was certainly a daily tradition in Russia, we should not expect to enjoy kicking back with a nice bottle of beer unless we were willing to shell out big bucks for an import at a Western-style restaurant. Always eager to test such truths, we purchased various local brands at kiosks, with varying degrees of success. Although production quality has come a long way since the Soviet era, beer remains remarkably inconsistent from batch to batch. In fact we were actually reduced to pouring several truly undrinkable beers down the drain, an action I would have previously considered unthinkable.