Monday, October 28, 2013

Estate Cider Tasting

Reviewed 5/15/13

It was slightly rough around the edges at first, but it’s getting better:

Appearance: Chill haze, sunny yellow, very bubbly, no head, skinny legs.

Smell: To put it simply… Golden delicious apple skins. Nice, firm, but not super strong.

Taste: Clean, crisp, unsweetened apple juice and slightly tart before the finish. Some minerality mid-palette, and no alcohol (unlike when it was young).

Mouthfeel: Very Lively carbonation, light body, with a slight oily slickness in the finish (I can’t taste any diacetyl, but maybe this is it?)… very slightly tannic, thanks to the skins I reckon.

Overall: Drinkable as hell, but also kinda boring. I think the balance is amazing, just generally “light” and lacking some complexity. I think the apples on my grand folks’ tree were a pretty perfect variety for an unblended cider… nice and tart, mineralic, and tannic enough to keep it crisp and refreshing… but the cider could benefit from some blending and a more interesting yeast. Fun stuff though!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Blanche Niege Tasting

Reviewed 8/2/13


This one got lost in the shuffle last winter. I brewed it during the holidays as the “Winter White” and it has had mixed reviews. In the beginning it was kind of a cluttered mess that lacked any depth or backbone, but over the months it has rounded out a bit and proved to be a great summer beer. Go figure, a light Wit in the summer ;)

Definitely at its best with a slice of lemon.
Appearance: Milky yellowish white. The head was never spectacular, which was a disappointment given the style and relatively thick body for such a small beer, but still showed strong enough. It definitely pours too clear if I forget to give the bottle a shake first to rouse that wheaty yeast.

Smell: Has always smelled weird, especially given the style—tart, sweet, and yeasty, not unlike a sourdough loaf with a lemony glaze. There is a faint hint of spicy oak, but it lacks a lot of the crazy bubblegum and spice associated with Wits. Smells inviting, but not a whole lot like beer.

Taste: As it has settled down over the winter is has changed from overwhelmingly tart and cerial-ish to a nice and smooth, thick, wheat beer with a tart and lemony finish and a hint of Vanilla. The oak, lemon, and yeast make for a nice, but unconventional combo. There is a slight bubblegum and cloves thing developing, but barely.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy. Smooth, and clean finishing thanks to the lemony tartness with a hint of vanillin in the finish.

Overall: Turns out fermenting this yeast strain at the low end of the spectrum makes for a strangely clean and slightly acidic beer. All and all it is just an OK beer—I’ll probably use the same grain bill again, but leave the oak out in lieu of some other spices or fruity hops and let it ferment slightly warmer. I do really like the acidity though.

Hello Again

Man, it has been a min or two since my last post… too much cycling and a great new job at my new company have left me too busy to brew, much less blog.


Some updates on what you’ve been missing:


Lots of riding. The best cycling community anywhere, a couple of new bikes, and an endless supply of fun road has kept me up in the saddle quite a bit. Get stoked.


New job at Interior Motions. Great folks. Complete 180 from my previous position in hell.


New place. Kelly and I moved a few blocks down the street into an incredible apt. Its huge and my brother lives with us now!


“New” Family. Laurel and Rowan got married in BC and it was beautiful.


Hopefully I’ll be brewing for the first time in some months this weekend, but in the meantime I’ve got a backlog of reviews to post up. Enjoy!