Sunday, 27 July 2014

Tasting Notes: Wallonian Farmhouse Saison

I’ve been putting off writing tasting notes for this beer, as its a bit of a strange one.  The yeast performed pretty well, accentuating the malt and yielding some intriguing phenols and esters.  But the base recipe gives a saison with a different character to the pilsner/adjunct based beers I’m used to, and its taken a while to adjust to it.

IMG_1900Appearance:  Hazy orange colour, verging on a light russet brown.  Head dissipates to 1/4 inch, which lingers for a good while, but with no lacing.

Smell: Bread-crust, dried fruit, light spice, and gentle smoke.  The vienna and amber malt really pop out on this one, especially as it warms up.  Dried fruit and warming spice are there, but subtle.   J says it “smells like some kind of cake that old people like”.  I don’t know that I would have come up with the “smoke” descriptor myself, nor would I have expected this if you warned me that a beer smelled like smoke.  And yet, somehow, it really fits.

Taste: More bread-crust, slight spiciness along the tongue, and then the dried fruit and smoke.  Slightly tart.

Mouthfeel: Low to medium carbonation.  There’s a slight slickness to the mouth-feel, which lingers in a way I’m not particularly keen on.  Higher carbonation (or more bitterness) might help scrub this out.  I thought it was glycerol from the yeast, but I gave a bottle to Michael Thorpe of Spontaneous Funk, and he thought he picked up some diacetyl (which I’m pretty bad at detecting).

Drinkability & Notes: I don’t reach for one of these every time I go to the fridge, but its been growing on me a fair bit.  The beer has a slightly autumnal feel to it: distant bonfires, harvest bread, that sort of thing.  I’m certainly looking forward to subsequent beers I brewed with this yeast, and I might even return to this recipe in the Autumn. 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting notes. I brewed a saison with this yeast a couple of months ago, but only tasted it out of the fermenter after about a month of fermenting/conditioning. It had a lot of light fruit notes, and no diacetyl that I could pick up. The esters were pretty heavy though. I fermented it at 68 for 3-4 days, then let it rise up to 72 for the rest of the time.

    I used the beer to blend with a sour, and the rest I pitched two vials of their Belgian Brett blend. I now wish that I would have bottled a couple of bottles of the Wallonian straight so that I could compare notes as a finished beer. Oh well. Cheers!