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.

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