Tuesday, March 5, 2013

La Rouge Revisited

Tasting 3/3/13

I was quite disappointed with this beer when it was young, but after half a year in the bottle it has really shaped up. The French Saison yeast’s great spicy phenolics are shining through nicely now that the hops have faded a bit, and the Brett C has developed into a citric, earthy base note that ties the whole thing together.

Appearance: Hazy orange with a massive and fluffy khaki colored head. It is much clearer than when it was young, but the sediment rouses easily and turns it a muddy red if you’re not careful. It is much prettier with some age on it.

Smell: Grassy, bready, lemony sweet. There is a fairly firm papaya and lime note above the malty and spicy base from the munich malt and French yeast. It is far from the fruit-bomb that it started out as, and instead it displays equally the sweet malt, spicy yeast, tropical hops, and earthy funk from the Brett. Moderately aromatic.

Taste: Malty sweet, earthy spice, and surprisingly clean and bright given the Brett presence which lends a layer lemony brightness and raw mushroomy goodness. Fairly bitter on the back end with a flash of that papaya sweetness from the nose before a spiced and dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Super slick and spritzy. Very vigorously carbonated , slightly acidic (not sour at all though—think sparkling wine) and awesome. Not watery or thin despite the super low FG.

Overall: Tasty beer, although it took a while to get here. The munich lends a nice fullness and pretty color, but I think that next time I’ll use some light Crystal and Wheat malt instead as the malty notes don’t really need to be there. Otherwise this is just dandy.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Swamp Thing Update

2/19/13 Tasting 2

(original tasting here)

My 100% Brett L "Swamp Thing" has been in the bottle for over 7 months now, so Kel and I decided to crack one and see where it is at:

Still totally killer even with some age. The passionfruit hoppyness has faded a bit and yielded to some clean strawberry and more prominent cherry pie notes from the yeast. The Brett cleared and left a much prettier ruby red color, and a slightly less muddy pallate. The general fruityness has faded a bit, but the nice flinty funk is more up front and makes for a really interesting finish.

I was kind of expecting it to fall off more as the Citra and Amarillo faded and the brett matured-- it changed, but is still up there on the list!