Sunday, 10 August 2014

Tasting Notes: Biere de Coupage (Pale Saison)

Here's some tasting notes for one of the beers I'm most excited about at the moment: a young and hoppy saison blended with a small portion of aged sour beer.  You can read some longer posts about the historical background to this process here and here, with more post about other beers I've made this way here.  I gave a bottle of this to Michael Thorpe of Spontaneous Funk, and I've included his tasting notes at the end of the post.  (For other posts on this technique, see the links here.)

Appearance: Pale golden colour.  The head dissipates quickly and almost completely, leaving minimal lacing.

Smell: Predominantly the juicy stone fruit / canned pineapple juice I usually get from my house culture.  Light blackcurrant and floral notes, and a gentle earthy funk in the background.

Taste: Stone fruits, citrus rind, soft but definite acidity (the beer is more sour than tart), slight metallic bitterness, but not at all unpleasant.  Really quite lovely actually.

Mouthfeel: Prickly carbonation.  Could be a touch higher perhaps, though for me its fine where it is.  Beer finishes dry but is not at all thin, probably thanks to the glycerol from the WY3711

Drinkability & Notes: I'm pretty delighted with this beer.  It doesn't have the complexity of an aged sour, but its very drinkable, and I think the light but still mouth-watering acidity takes it a cut above my other saisons.  I'm suprised by just how much of a difference such a small proportion (~15%) of aged sour made to the final beer.  Needless to say, I'll be using this technique again.

I'll be interested to see how the beer ages.  I bought another bottle of BFM √225 Saison to compare it with, and where I'd loved that beer before I now found it a bit disappointing.  I think the hops had become slightly oxidized, detracting from the bright and juicy character I'd enjoyed in younger bottles.  Perhaps with a bit more time the brettanomyces profile would come to dominate and take the beer in a different direction (this would fit with what Garrett Crowell told me about Jester King beers in his email).

Michael's Notes: Starts with a nice and fairly subtle petit saison base, transitioning into a bit of acidity and light fruitiness. A bit of the leafy/earthy character that I always associate with 3711, though in a good way, and not overpowering like it often becomes with 6+% saisons done with it. Nice spritzy carbonation; very light. Quite easy drinking, and definitely a nice warm weather beer. Would certainly order another pint!

1 comment:

  1. Very nice write-up, and an even more enjoyable beer. Cheers!