Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cherry Buckwheat Sour Ale Tasting

A wine glass of sour beer brewed with buckwheat and flavored with pie cherries.
Here is a tasting of just one of those fun small-batch projects I have sitting around my basement waiting for me to post notes. This batch started life as an experimental buckwheat amber, soured with Jolly Pumpkin dregs and aged on rum-soaked American oak. On a big blending/bottling day I racked a gallon of the batch onto frozen/defrosted sour cherries where it sat for a couple months. Nothing too crazy, I say with a straight face.

Buckwheat Sour Cherry Amber

Appearance – Pigeon blood ruby. It is darker than many cherry beers, but brilliantly clear. Stunning really. The head retention is mediocre at best, sinking to a white wispy covering after a few minutes.

Smell – Prominent fresh cherries with a hint of basement mustiness. Some bread, and as it warms, sweet-vanilla from the oak. The nose is sweeter than I expected.

Taste – It possesses a nice mix of fruit and funk and a pleasant acidity. Not as sharp as many of my sours, both in terms of less acid and slightly more residual sweetness. Lingering fresh pie cherries into the finish. Not a super-complex sour beer, but the flavor is very pleasant.

Mouthfeel – Lightly tannic, not overly thin. Medium-low carbonation. Not sure if the buckwheat helped with the body or not, but it certainly didn’t hurt.

Drinkability & Notes – This is a solid sour-cherry amber. I really like the vanillin-rich American oak with the cherries. No off flavors, but the Brett/fermentation doesn’t shine either. This should age well, sadly with the small batch size I’m down to my last bottle.

6 comments:

HolzBrew said...

Your creativity knows no bound. Looks awesome

Fred Brown said...

Do we want to really know how u can describe what "pigeon blood" looks like? Or is time to get you out of the city? :-)

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I've just been watching too much Antiques Roadshow... pigeon blood red is the top color grade for rubies. From Wikipedia: "Prices of rubies are primarily determined by color. The brightest and most valuable "red" called pigeon blood-red, commands a large premium over other rubies of similar quality."

Anonymous said...

Why is this beer named after the kid from the Little Rascals?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Actually (I'd assume) the kid was named after the pseudo-cereal that I added to this beer.

brewolero said...

I was going to ask the same about knowing the color of pigeon blood. I must admit that the explanation's better than expected...ha!

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