Today I'm doing a tasting on some of the last bottles of my 18/18B Saison batch. Originally intended to be a sophie inspired oak aged brett saison with large amounts of wheat, the brett really never came through in this one and I added half the batch to both oak and asian pears. I brought a bottle of this to a brew club meeting where it seemed to be fairly well received.
A- Both versions are a pretty amber color but the pear version is both darker and cloudier. The pear version also pours with a bigger head, hold the head longer and still has a ring around the outside after a few minutes while the other has just a few bubbles throughout.
S- Straight: White grape juice, hay, orange peel, juicy fruit gum. Pear: Much lower levels of fruitiness with some slightly tart pear character and a nice oak level that gives a faint touch of smoke and vanilla.
T- Straight: fairly light flavors compared to the nose, the Juicy Fruit and hay/wheat character come through a bit while the beer finishes lightly sweet. Pear: Light pear character definitely shines through, I can sense the oak but it helps to bolster the light flavors from the malt/yeast/fruit more than it sticks out on its own.
M- Both beers feel both a bit underattenuated and undercarbonated. I feel this may be due to the brett never kicking in and bringing the gravity lower as I had expected.
D- Not bad. The asian pear/oak version is certainly better and seems to have enough fruit to be perceivable without dominating while the oak seems to enhance that fruit character. I don't think I will use this yeast again (WLP670 White Labs American Farmhouse blend) and the overall character was a bit like Urthel Saisonierre, though more complex. I will probably never have a chance to do an asian pear beer again but I was happy with the results here and certainly would recommend for anyone else with easy access to them.