Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tasting Notes: The Patriot & The Great Unknown

The Patriot (Nelson Saison)

Appearance -- Fluffy white head that lasts for around a minute and dissipates into a small froth.  Color is distinctly golden/straw, with an opaque haze.  Tough to tell if the haze is chill haze or from the dry hopping.

Aroma -- Fairly distinct Belgian character in the nose.  Lots of fruity esters.  Tough to distinguish what is from the yeast and what is from the Nelson Sauvin hops.  I have to admit that despite the generous Neslon hopping on this one, the characteristics of the hop don't seem to be shining through in the aroma.

Taste --  Lots of Nelson on the tongue with a ton of almost "spicy" flavor.  Surprised by the amount of spice to be honest given there wasn't any rye in the recipe.  It must be the saison strain throwing all of that off.  I wasn't blown away by this beer, but others really enjoyed it.  I was hoping to get some of that fruity flavor Nelson can impart, but this just doesn't have any of that.

Mouthfeel --  Medium body, probably aided a touch from the higher carbonation.  I'd say it came out a bit on the thicker side despite ending with a fairly low FG.

Overall --  I liked this beer, but it really wasn't my favorite.  I think I may try this again in the future, maybe with some Galaxy thrown in.  This would probably work out much better with WY3711.  This beer did score a 36 and took 3rd in Belgian Specialty at Monk Melee IV out of 20 beers in the category, though.  Maybe I'm just picky.

The Great Unknown (Modern Times Beer Neverwhere) -- 100% Brett IPA

Appearance -- Golden, slightly darker than what could be considered "straw colored", but definitely on the paler end of the spectrum.  Pours with a thick, fluffy, white head that subsides after a few minutes into a light froth.  Some chill haze from the dry hopping and the Brettanomyces.

Aroma -- All tropical fruits.  It literally smells like some sort of fruit punch.  It's hard to tell what's from the hops and what's from the yeast.  Usually this hop combination wouldn't be this damn tropical.

Taste --  The taste follows the nose with wonderful notes of tropical fruit, melon, and pears.  Tastes almost like a Fruit Roll Up...really brings me back to my elementary school days.  A hint of grassiness, potentially from the huge amount of hops, but its tolerable given the flavor and barely noticeable.

Mouthfeel --  Medium body, almost creamy -- probably should be a bit thinner although I tend to enjoy a beer like this in the winter.  Subsequent to brewing I read that 100% Brett beers should be brewed with a VERY fermentable wort as it likes to kick out at around 1.012 or so.

Overall --  I'm really happy with how this one turned out, given it was my first 100% Brett beer.  Next time around, I'm going to create a more fermentable wort and cold crash this one for a longer time.  Chad Yakobsen mentioned on TBN that he cold crashes his beers sometimes for up to 2 weeks to clear the Brett haze.  I don't know if I would go to that length, but maybe some gelatin fining would help.


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