Thursday, February 17, 2011

Early Dark Saison tasting.

"quality control" time! 

Age-9 days in bottle.

Appearance-Dark darkly brown, looks black. Totally opaque. It becomes barely brown around the edges as you drink it. Awesome pillowy head that is slightly off white. Great formation and great lacing. Looks like a porter for sure.

Aroma- Slight pepper mixed with a touch of citrus. Just a trace of alcohol smell. As it warms, it release a sweet-nutty-banana smell. But still, totally yeast dominated.

Mouthfeel- Crisp carbonation. Spreads nicely in mouth. Body is medium and is noticeably nice as the glass empties. It is holding together much better than my previous all grain batches at its current age.

Taste-First taste is a slightly bitter toastyness-bordering on medicinal, then a little wheaty. Hops and fruitiness follows that. End taste is hugely fusely. Still very young. Needs more time to mellow out. As it warms the initial taste becomes smoother. Flavors become more assertive, but still rounded. The middle taste is barely nutty and the hops fight through right at the end-a sort of soft citrus flavor. Finish is very warming, still too warming. After taste is of lingering the Saaz hops. The difference between 36F and 45F is unreal. It needs to be better balanced. Probably will be balanced in a month or two.

Drinkability- As it warms up, it becomes much, much smoother. The finish is still crisp, but still full, its kind of hard to describe. The flavor is a touch too bitter. I need to reduce the bittering hops by a couple of IBUs.

Overall, this is a completely unique beer to me. I've never tasted all these flavors together, and some of the ingredients are new to me. Its actually, dare I say, beguiling?? I'm liking it more and more as it warms. Its very earthy and very wintery. A nice beer to have after a windy-cold ass day. So how'd it come to be? Look above...

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