Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Tasting notes: Red Flanders & Local lambic

Over the weekend, I got around to pulling samples from my two sours that have been in secondary. It has been nearly five months since I last sampled my cherrywood-aged flanders red, appropriately named Red Flanders, and this was the first time I'd tasted the local lambic.

Red Flanders

Aroma: Cherries, citrus (prominent tangerine aromas), pomegranate, leather, vanilla.

Taste: Assertive sourness (but not mouth-puckeringly so), vinous, tart cherry, blackberry, barnyard funk, some tannic astringency from the cherry wood.

Mouthfeel: N/A, as it's an un-carbonated sample.

Overall: Much better than the last tasting. The extra sugar and acidity from the cherries has really brightened this one up. It's sour, but not too sour. It's ready for bottling.

Local lambic with pinot gris

Aroma: Lemon zest, fresh oranges, hay, leather, musty (like an old basement), hints of earthiness and ammonia.

Taste: Lemons, funk, barnyard, subtle white-wine fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: N/A

Overall: It's hard to believe this beer is only 9 months old. I'm really excited by how this beer turned out. I had initially started it with some Wyeast lambic blend and some cultured dregs from Cantillon, Bruery, Russian River, Jolly Pumpkin, and Drie Fontainen I grew up into a small starter, before adding some local yeast I captured on my front porch. It seems to have been worth the expense and effort, as this is already more complex than some commercial American sours I've tried. I will definitely be washing and reusing the bugs and yeast from this batch.
I'm not sure how much impact the 10oz of pinot gris grapes made, but you can definitely detect their presence. This had started life with the intention of becoming a boysenberry fruit lambic, then became a Pinotlambicus clone, then something in-between when I harvested a less-than-ideal amount of grapes, but I feel that it's good enough to stand on it's own without any additional fruit additions. I may reserve a gallon or two for aging and/or blending.

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