Reading about beer is good, talking about beer ditto, writing about beer is not far from them either, but it is drinking that we like the most. Us and probably you. This doesn’t mean that we have to do it in absurd quantities, but we must submit our work to trial. And first we must taste it.
These brew days are born out of conversations and ideas of exploring unusual ingredients, new techniques, challenging what not to do on a commercial scale. In addition to experimentation, we ended up creating an easy-to-consult tool, with all our notes of the production day.
As well as the production, the tasting and a final comment deserve to be documented, for future reference. In certain cases, we can later revisit and analyze the evolution of each individual beer. Others will live only for the moment, leave their memory and give way to the next.
4 beer to taste and talk about, let’s keep it simple:
Base: A competent Grisette, aromatic, interesting body that does not anounce the sour mash. No expression of the mixed culture, phenolic profile of the Saison yeast .
Lavender Flower: Different due the aromatic note of the plant, reminiscent of cinnamon, a slight vegetable bitterness.
Lavender Bitter: The company’s star, a more pungent and complex aroma than many hoppy beers. Depth of aromas and flavors in a perfect dance. Bitters, make bitters.
Chamomile Bitter: A second more esoteric proposal, with chamomile and cardamom fighting for the spotlight. Intense aroma, maybe even too much? It depends on who asks but, again, make bitters.
Bonus for splitting the batch into 4. Was it a lot of work? Quite. Did it pay off? No doubt.
The possibility of having a base, the control, and playing with various additions left room to compare our options. The mashing technique is not evident in the test, perhaps unnecessary. On the opposite side, the bitters were a success. We need to revisit the water profile to pull off a drier beer, as a Grisette deserves.
The base stood off on its own, without dazzling, but leaving certainty to be revisited. With other arguments in our belt, there are endless possibilities and combinations.
Aroma of raspberry jam, light funk. On the palate, an assertive lactic acidity, well pronounced and clean. Tilting the back of the jaw, quickly giving way to the raspberry, at the end in the image of a coulis. Vanilla balances acidity, medium carbonation.
A beer to brew again, next time with more care with the oxygen intake, to minimize notes of acetic acid and ethyl acetate. Prolonged cold maturation to promote precipitation of fruit particles and drag less deposit in the packaging. Increase the carbonation level. Possibly to increase the vanilla to deal with the growing acidity, since the lactobacillus is still alive to make its own party.
Floral and citrus aroma. On the palate, lemon and orange flavor are confused with white peel, due to the bitterness present. Tart, not quite acidic. Strong carbonation. Light and very refreshing body. You want another sip just after the last. Excellent gastronomic beer.
One for the memories. How the elements worked together we don’t know. Maturation in Brettanomyces dregs and lactic acid bacteria elevated a beer, which in the fermentation seemed average, to a beer that stands out. With no evident presence of honey or pansies. Did they contribute to the final product? We need to do it again to know.
There is no photo for thi one. It was so good that we drank the while keg even before we managed to take a photo …
A fight that puts smoked lemon, spices and an abundant dose of wheat face to face. In the aroma, the smoked notes win, with Guinea pepper and caraway wanting to join in on the palate. Wheat becomes evident in the first moments. Unctuous sweetness of spices reminiscent of vanilla. The lemon always on a secondary role to balance the aroma and the taste, standing out more in the end.
As long as there is a grill, there will be foods to be smoked, whether or not for beer. This must be a Buddhist beer, dying to be reincarnated in another brew, leaving the sweetness behind and embracing the acidity of the lemons. Bonus for the cereal mash that has provided an extremely rich body in a moderately low-alcohol beer.
A comforting presence of alcohol and Armagnac in the aroma, chocolate and caramel too. Blueberry muffin suggestion. In the taste, a very smooth palate, almost nonexistent roastiness. Lots of chocolate, esters that suggest ripe bananas and a timid blueberry. Woody finish, vinous and warm. Enduring harmony with chocolate. Stout in the entry, wine at the exit.
The tasting must be revisited. These styles change over time, they do not worry about being forgotten. For now it presents itself as a solid beer, losing body to the wood, which together, with the wine yeast, made it close to a wine. Interesting imperial stout base for other adventures, where the roast has no place. Blueberries are shy, always have been, and this was no exception. To repeat, perhaps with both yeasts in co-fermentation.