Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tasting: 100% Brett L Stout

Well this is my first attempt at a perfectly wild ale. Seeing all of Mike's attempts at 100% Brett beers, I saw that they were all pale, moderately hopped, and with either Brett C or A. Having started a big funky stout in December, I wondered how a 100% Brett'd stout would turn out. Brettanomyces Lambicus is said to throw out cherry, and cherry pie like flavors and aromas so I figured a moderate sized stout bringing chocolate and coffee flavors of its own with be a nice pair.

Aroma: Overall a very deep red wine presence in complexity with notes of rubber, cherry, raspberry, oak, and a vague backnote of cocoa powder. Considerably difference than a typical dry stout where the Brett has really dominated the amount of roasted barley.

Appearance: Firmly jet black with just a touch of dark mahogany showing through at the stem. Gorgeous half inch of tan head, strong lacing and excellent retention.

Flavor: A symphony of flavors ranging from bright cherries and strawberries to touch of lemon and back down to chocolate, coffee, dark toasted bread and finishing with some spicy alcohol. I can't believe how good this beer is becoming and each successive bottle is just more complex. A very solid dryness with a hint of roast in the finish.

Mouthfeel: I've heard it said that Brett produces smaller bubbles when conditioning and carbonating and I'm starting to believe it as this brew has a very soft and supple feel to it like a nitro pour. Body is medium thick providing a long lasting and varied finish.

Overall: Being my first soured or wild beer to be bottled, I'm extremely pleased and can't wait to see how this beer progresses in the future. It's interesting to see how Brett has thinned out this beer and somewhat robbed the roasted character. The contrast between a solid dry stout recipe and the complexity that Brett brings to a beer is just phenominal and one I recommend any brewer to try.

Recipe in brief
5 gallon batch
9# American 2 Row
2# Flaked Barley
1# Roasted Barley
.5# Coffee Malt
1oz Palisade 6.9% AA 60min
Wyeast 5526 .5-.5-3L starter
OG: 1.061 FG: 1.009
Brewed: 03/10/09 Bottled: 05/06/09


  1. Awesome! You just made me change my "to-brew list" to include something along those lines.

  2. The only thing I could possibly change in my method is dial back the OG a bit to more of a 1.045-1.050. That way it fits more in the Dry Stout category.

  3. I would love to see this entered as a fruit beer (American Stout with Cherries), just to see what sort of comments you get back. It is just so bright and fruity, really interesting stuff.

  4. what kind of temps did you ferment at?

    Im keeping ferm temps pretty cool (low 60's) for now, in the brett L starter (which was the weirdest starter Ive ever seen) was very very sour and cherry, tasted like someone dumped in lactic acid, do you get much sourness in yours?