Monday, November 3, 2008

Flanders Pale Ale - 1st Tasting

I thought it was time to give this one an official try since it was bottled almost 3 months ago. This is my first true bottled sour beer blend, 4 parts year old Flanders Pale Ale to 1 part two year old Lambic. It might be interesting to compare this tasting to the tasting of my blended Lambic, which was a blend of the same two beers in the reverse ratio.

This beer is still pretty young for a sour beer, but I like to have a baseline so I can judge how they change over time. Several of my friends have already told me that they think this is one of my better batches, I'm not sure I agree at this point, but it certainly is headed in the right direction.
Appearance – Slightly hazy golden orange. Small white head, with good retention, but not much in the way of lacing.

Smell – Aggressively funky nose with some overripe fruit (cherries and apples), and minerals. Has a similar funky character to my first first Mo' Betta Bretta clone when it was young (that is to say mildly fecal). It has certainly gotten more aggressive since the last time I had a bottle.

Taste – The flavor is much milder than the aroma. Big lemon rind character. Sour is certainly the primary flavor, but it is balanced with a touch of sweetness. Has a bit of that grainy/yeasty aftertaste that my sours seem to have when young, but it is much more mild than in most (possibly due to the wine yeast added for carbonation). Just a hint of spicy oak, but it is just a background complexity.

Mouthfeel – Zippy carbonation. The body is thicker than I expect in a beer with this low of a FG (1.004), but it is still pretty thin compared to most beers.

Drinkability & Notes – There is certainly more funk than when it was first put into the bottle. I would guess that the Lambic blend bugs are starting to work on the Flanders Pale portion of the blend. This one will probably keep getting better for a few more years, but I think it is pretty good where it is.


Rick (Twin #2) said...

Just wanted to drop by and say great post and wonderful blog. Really inspire me to push the limits of my brewing.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Glad to hear!

Brad said...

I'm jealous!