So, a week from pitching, and I thought I might take a peek at the Overseas Dictator....
First thing to note was just how ACTIVE the yeast was. I had my first ever overspill in two years of brewing....it just went nuts. Now this maybe because I fermented in the kitchen, rather than understairs, and the weather has been a bit warmer...but we returned home on the Monday to froth everywhere! Even after a week, there is still krausen sitting on the surface, which I had to skim off to take a gravity reading.
Secondly, this yeast attenuates very well, regardless of what I have heard some say about its general finickiness Perhaps warm is best for this yeast! However, seven days on, gravity comes in at 1013, from 1055. That's over 75% attenuation, and 5.6% ABV. This was a little higher than I expected, so it looks as if the yeast has done most of its work. I shall let it sit for another week, just to allow it to condition a little before bottling.
Finally, the taste. I have to say that I think this is one for the enthusiast. Easy drinking this is not. The roast that was dominant before pitching has lessened, but there is clear dark, smoky hint. Bitterness wise, there is a decent balance, but it is not overpowering. I have to say I do not get the citrus notes from the hops, but this may improve with bottling. However, the beer is rather dry on the palate, with black pepper (for me), and then there is just a hint of sourness. This is not acetic sourness from contaminated beer, but something all the more subtle, similar to the sourness you expect from this and similar styles.
My suspicion, on first taste, is that this one will be better served a little cooler. This may also help me carbonate it a little more without explosion!