At almost three months in the bottle it was time to get a tasting of the Temptation Clone Seth and I brewed last November.
Appearance – Beautiful clear golden with a thin white head. Retention is moderate with a thin covering remaining for most of the glass.
Smell – Huge funky Brett nose, back to where it was on bottling day. Very fruity (cherries, apricot) with some floral notes, no aggressive/objectionable funk. There might be some grape in there as well, but it is hard to tease out what is from the bugs and what is from the wine. Those Russian River bugs really are some of the best I have worked with, so complex and without any harshness.
Taste – The flavor is good, but doesn't live up to the nose. It is lightly tart with a mild bready malt/wheat character, but it doesn't have the sourness that the nose suggests. It has enough tartness to balance out the minor residual sweetness giving the beer excellent balance. The flavor does not have the complexity of the nose, but it certainly isn't objectionable in any way.
Mouthfeel – Very quick finish, but with a bit of lingering slickness on the tongue. Carbonation is moderate, but it will likely increase slightly as the bugs slowly continue to work.
Drinkability & Notes – The lack of a gripping sourness gives this beer great drinkability (especially at 7.5% ABV). At this point the beer is somewhere between an aged Orval and a fresh Temptation, I can't wait to see where it goes from here. If I brew this again I will mash this a bit warmer to leave more fermentables for the bugs, and add more wine/oak for a more noticeable contribution.