Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tasting: Vanilla Wine

I've yet to really figure out a better name for this beer, so I'm just going to call it "vanilla wine" for now since they seem to be the dominant flavors. Out of the three 100% Brett beers I've made, this is definitely my favorite. It really has developed such a depth of flavor including a bit of tartness. I'll probably hold onto a couple bottles to enter in some competitions in the future as I think it could do really well.
Aroma: Funky cherry pie, some light barnyard sweatiness, rubbery phenols, vanilla, oak, tropical fruitiness. This one really runs the gamut. The brett is much more pronounced than with the Mango Chipotle, perhaps Brett C is just a pretty quiet yeast.
Appearance: Chill hazed burnt orange, honey colored. A fingers worth of bright white head with average tracing. I also noticed these bottles are producing pellicles at the top, the only Brett beer to have done that so far (aside from the Gose).
Flavor: A mouth full of flavors! It starts out with the funk and vanilla working side by side, then a really lactic pucker, finishing with the oak and mild wine notes. I'm pretty surprised just how sour it is (nowhere near a lambic or mixed bacteria beer though) being it's just brett. I'm wondering if it was the oak or wine that played a part, or being a second pitch. The phenols aren't too overwhelming either and they add a kind of saison like clovey/rubbery note.
Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, somewhere around 2-2.5 vols. I would say it's medium bodied with the acid taming its presence. A good bit of warming in the finish (it's over 7% abv).
Overall: Again, I really can't say I would change anything with this beer. The wine doesn't seem to have contributed a ton of flavor, but I didn't split the batch, so there's a possibility it does. The oak is pretty tame and could be increased, but as it is, it helps the drinkability and not make it seem as such a heavy beer. I find the vanilla to be pretty spot on providing plenty of interest and blending well with the cherry notes of Lambicus. I definitely have to do another 100% Brett beer in the near future and hope it turns out as well as this one.

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