Saturday, April 12, 2014

#34b - Sage Honey Golden Strong Ale Tasting

I've been really enjoying this modified version of my #34 - Tripel which used a sage tincture and an extra 12 oz. of honey on 2.5 gallons of beer.  A beautiful day in Arlington in the middle of a brew session seems like a nice time to do an official tasting.

A- Medium copper, hazy, with a very nice bright white 1 finger head of small bubbles that's sustained by constant, but not overly strong, carbonation bubbles.

S- Floral, herbal, grainy, honey sweet, fruity, yeasty.  Golden grahams cereal, fresh bread, pizza (from both the herbal sage and the yeastyness), bubble gum.  The sage and honey come on stronger as it warms, giving off more of the sweet, savory, herbal and floral characteristics.

T- Again, a melange of primarily sweet flavors with some savory notes sprinkled in.  Up front it is crisp and fruity with honey and sage showing in the middle and a finish that is medium dry, off-sweet, slightly bitter and moderately warming from the high alcohol.  The sage seems a bit more noticeable with every sip, though always in a refreshing and not overpowering way.

M- Carbonation is right where I would like, medium/medium-high, with a fairly dry body despite the high gravity and moderately sweet taste.

O- Of all the Belgians I recently brewed this may turn out to be the best.  The alcohol is warming but only just so.  While far off from a true Duvel style Belgian Golden Strong Ale it certainly has a similar ability to sneak in the alcohol.  The honey and sage play together very nicely with the underlying beer and I would have to say that the sage tincture was very well done.  This seems like a great beer for a beautiful, warm, spring day like today.

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