Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Swamp Thing Tasting

Reviewed 8/27/12

I’m going to say that this is my favorite beer I’ve made to date—not all that surprising considering my favorite beers are some combination of hop-forward, yeast driven funky and fruity, pale, oaked, dry, and full flavored. This one hits all of those marks (I guess it isn’t all that pale… who cares though), so it had an unfair advantage in the “Riley’s Favorites” contest.

I wish I made more of this, although we’ll see if it ages into something less graceful. I’m hoping that as the amazing hop nose fades and the Brett gets meaner it doesn’t lose it’s charm.
Appearance: Swampy dark orange with no head but nice legs.

Aroma: Sugary passion fruit and pineapple with a sharp floral quality and hints of strawberries. The nose is predominantly fruit and earth from the 100% Brett fermentation, but the dry hoping gave it some big and sweet floral smells. I am looking for the oak, but it only really shows itself as more layers of tropical scents- coconut and pineapple- in the background. It is impossible to say where the Brett ends and Citra/Amarillo combo begins—they are super complimentary with their pineapple, passion, pear, honeydew, and orange notes.

Taste: First thing is a big passion fruit zing with a hint of tartness on the tip of the tongue, followed by some more tangy tropical sweetness and a tiny hint of oaky richness. Then the earthy , wet, flint-like, raw mushroom, subdued funk form the Brett comes in and mellows it out nicely. It finishes with a citric peel flash of sour and bitter and NO herbal hoppyness.

Mouthfeel: Super low carbonation works well to help lend a perception of body and helps the lingering tang shine.

Overall: This is so huge on aroma and flavor, despite it’s moderate gravity and IBUs, that it made the Meridian Chardonnay that I had afterward taste quite watery. After we were done with the review, Kel and I finished the bottle with a perfect pairing of strawberries and creamy goat cheese. The strawberries brought out the great acidity and fruity flair while the goat cheese emphasized the earthy Brett notes.


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