Friday, September 26, 2014

Nelson Brett Saison Tasting

I really enjoyed the fresh, kiwi/white wine/melon character of the straight version of my Prairie Artisan Ales' 'Merica inspired beer.  The Brett version took a little more time to grow on me however, which is why I am only now getting around to a formal sit down and review.

A-Burnished gold with some definite haze to the point of being fairly opaque.  Some of the clarity is likely due to the dry hopping, while some also seems to be condensation on the glass.  The small white ring of a head lasts for a long time around the edges of the glass.

S- Immediately upon popping the top there is a huge pineapple character that comes out.  In the glass the scent continues to be heavy on the Brettanomyces derived fruit and funk, with the hops playing a strong supporting role.  There is strong pineapple, barnyard, mango, decaying grass, and subtle orange rind in the beautiful bouquet.

T- This one is certainly dank, earthy, and citrusy.  The kiwi/melon I found to be more dominant in the straight version are subverted by the funky Brett here.  Bitterness is moderate, just enough to part the slight grainy sweetness in the middle and help transition to a long funky finish.

M- Dry with moderately low carbonation.  I had purposely primed without much sugar in case the Brett had continued doing its work but this definitely could have used more bubbles.

O- A solid beer.  The hop character is much lower than the straight version (likely due to the 2 weeks in secondary after dry hopping).  This seems like a decent introductory Brett beer with the funk being noticeable but not overwhelming and the hops giving off a nice tropical fruit character without being overly bitter.  A good beer that I would like to build off of in the future.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

#39- Spiced Dubbel Tasting

A- fairly cloudy, medium dark brown, small tan head that lasts. Cloudier and darker than desired, but some of this might come from the spices.

S- sweet belgian esters of bubblegum and banana give way to heavy phenols with cinnamon, clove, black pepper and light herbal notes.

T- much like the nose the fruit an sweetness lead with moderate spice following. The spice seems more subdued than the aroma would suggest. The beer finishes with a confusing blend of earth, clove and a touch of alcohol heat.

M- fairly dry with moderate carbonation.

O- not a very good beer. Not too surprising considering it is a blend of a Dubbel that suffers from oxidation and a quad that ended up causing bottle bombs.  These darker Belgians are some of my favorite commercial styles and yet I seem to struggle more to brew them than any other style... Back to the drawing board.