Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bourbon Wheat Triplebock Tasting

Sometimes a beer falls through the cracks.

My friend Stefin dropped by tonight to sample a few beers and pick up a culture of Brett Brux to brew something along the lines of my Session Brett Pale Ale.  He has a barrel of Lambic in his basement, but he's also a fan of bigger sweeter beers (brews a killer wee heavy), so I cracked open a bottle of the Wheat Triplebock I brewed in November 2008.  This particular bottle was from the gallon that was aged on .5 oz of bourbon soaked oak cubes.  When I looked up the recipe to see the specifics, I realized that I had never written a review of this chunk of the batch (and it's one of my favorite)s.  The oak tannins really help to cut through the big residual sweetness (FG 1.030), without getting in the way of the malt complexity.

Sorry for the delay.

Bourbon Wheat Triplebock

Bourbon Oak Triplebock Tasting - Sorry for the crazy picture, but for some reason I really like the look.Appearance – Dark brown, with burnt orange highlights when held to the light. Tan head holds up for a bit, before falling to a thin wispy covering.  It is probably darker than most doppelbocks, but not too far off.

Smell – Plums, molasses, hints of alcohol, clean, but with a faint pleasant sherry oxidation starting to develop.  The aroma is really potent, with lots of complexity.

Taste – Sweet, without being sticky. Nice roast, slight espresso in the tail. Minimal hop bitterness. The flavor is very different than the aroma with not nearly as much dark fruit.  Expressive bready malt, a showcase for grain.

Mouthfeel – Not much contribution from the wood except some tannic roughness on the tongue. Moderate-low carbonation helps to accentuate the thick/rich body.

Drinkability & Notes – Somewhere between an English barleywine and a doppelbock, lots of complexity but still drinkable. The oak may not be obvious, but it helps to hold the sweetness in check.  Thanks to the Steve Berthel the brewer/owner of The Livery for spilling the recipe details on this one.  I'll have to brew it again soon since I'm down to my last three bottles.


Anonymous said...

It looks like grape juice. ;)

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

There's only so many times I can post a picture of a dark brown beer in a snifter before I get bored. The actual shot looked almost exactly like the non-oaked version I posted with the recipe.

BMan1113VR said...

Glad I saw this again, totally forgot you did a Livery inspired beer. I was putting together a recipe for a version I was planning on doing as well, but I never emailed the brewer. My plan was:
1.107 SG
61.5% Munich
20.5% Wheat Malt
4% Melanoiden
2.5% Chocolate Wheat
1.5% Crystal 120
5% Molasses
5% Dark brown sugar (thinking of skipping these adjuncts).

Single Decoction (sacc rest at 152), 2 hr boil

Hallertauer at FWH (9 IBU), 90 (19 IBU) and 5 (1.5~IBU).

Bourbon soaked oak cubes

Thoughts? Am I going horribly wrong somewhere?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Looks solid to me although I don't think you need the melanoidin with all of that Munich since they both add that deep maltiness. I'd probably skip the adjuncts, or at least the molasses (I think you've got enough going on already).

Good luck, planning to make a giant starter, or a low gravity lager to buildup the yeast?

BMan1113VR said...

I was going to try to do a gallon starter (although I do have some smaller lagers I do want to brew...). Was trying to determine what yeast to use though. I was debating between 2124 Bohemian Lager or the 2487 Hella-Bock (which I think is similar to WLP833 that you used...if I can find it). Thoughts? I guess there is also WLP855 (the Samichlaus strain), if I can find it too. I have only brewed 2 other lagers (till recently didn't have the room in the chest freezer) before and have never used either of the above yeasts.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

There is a lot less variability in lager strains than there is in ale strains, so you'll probably be fine with whatever you can get. That said, a strain intended for bocks will leave the beer a bit maltier than other strains (which certainly wouldn't be a bad thing). Hope it turns out well (let me know).

I'm down to my last few bottles of this one, looking forward to a cool later summer night when I can open one.

Simon said...

Hey Mike! Simon Rusk here, current owner/head brewer at The Livery. I have been brewing and bourbon barrel aging Trippel Weizenbock for the past 6 years. Its a classic for us at this point obviously. The Livery is celebrating it’s 15th year this year, and I would love to share a bottle of this year’s vintage with you. Hope you are well! Cheers!

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Honored! Recently drank my last bottle of this one batch. Shoot me an email: [email protected]