Posts Tagged ‘temptation’

secondary brettanomyces addition analysis, tasting

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

after sampling an older bottle of temptation last week, I was inspired to delve more into secondary brettanomyces fermentations.

  • initially, I read up on temptation’s powerful effervescence and dry, earthy funk.  it turns out that although most all clone recipes for temptation call for healthy additions of lacto and pedio, the real star in temptation is the brett.  in fact, vinnie himself notes that he “like[s] the Temptation for its straightforward Brett character” and that “[o]ver time, some Lacto and Pedio have infused in the beer, but it is minimal.”
  • tasting temptation made me realize that having a brett-specific beer in the lineup could be a refreshing accompaniment to sour-focused beers.  in fact, although I only detected a mild acidity in the beer, the complexity of the oak, carbonation, and earth made for a great experience.  therefore, I compiled a group of beers that included brett-based secondary fermentations for comparison:
    • orval (~1 yr old based on label)
      • appearance: amazing fluffy head that keeps expanding after the pour, vigorous fine carbonation, darker golden color (likely from an extended boil)
      • aroma: subtle, rich earth with spicy european hop notes
      • taste: spicy hop back with subtle, balanced earthy brett notes, delicate esters when glass warms
      • overall: I can see why this brew’s reputation precedes it – there is a very well balanced interplay between the hop bitterness and brett
    • rayon vert (relatively fresh)
      • appearance: slightly lighter than orval, still a solid gold with great head and carbonation
      • aroma: fresh, vibrant earthy hops
      • taste: less bitter hop back than orval, more assertive funk, still well balanced
      • overall: a great west-coast twist on a classic, fresh, balanced, and drinkable
    • matilda (2010)
      • appearance: golden color, almost identical to rayon vert (orval is darker)
      • aroma: sweet, oxidized malt
      • taste: sweet (almost cloying), slightly estery, oxidixed like an old barleywine
      • overall: not in the same ballpark as the other two, no brett character at all (maybe earlier versions are more bretty?)
  • In the end, I walked away with some observations and a few ideas for the future:
    • I was amazed by how well the fresh earthy dry-hop character of rayon vert complemented the earthy funk provided by the brett.  it was my favorite of the bunch, and gave me a little insight as to what orval may taste like before its journey westward.  I definitely need to set aside a four-pack to see what some age does to the bottles.
    • as much as I enjoyed the “slight brett in the pale ale” profile, I preferred the overwhelming brett character provided by the long-term oaked secondary fermentation of temptation to the at-bottling brett dosage from orval and rayon vert.  as a compromise, I’m thinking of mashing high (~155F), fermenting out with a belgian sacc strain for a week (or maybe just 2-3 days), adding brett B and orval dregs, letting the brett work itself out for six months, then dry hopping for a week and bottling/kegging.  that, and darkening the grist to add a little more body.  stay tuned…

 

              

              

may PG meeting, cider, belgian small beer, temptation notes

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

the third thursday of may was last week, which meant that I was headed to culver city for PG’s monthly meeting.

  • the monthly style was IPAs, which drew a ton of kegs (12+) and commercial bottles as well as a great crowd (the raffle was especially entertaining).  after resting my blown-out palate, I pulled the cork from a bottle of my cider, which had just turned the corner after being sick with pedio for several months (a good thing!).  I was pleased with the results and held a more detailed (and lupulin-free) tasting last night.
    • basque cider
    • appearance – pale gold, great clarity, very slight carbonation
    • aroma – earthy funk, sweet cooked apple, spice
    • taste – clean, light funk up front with a lingering apple finish, mellow acidity
    • notes – although not as funky as I would have hoped (aroma was stronger than actual taste), this is a great alternative to a standard cider and a good intro to the wild side for the uninitiated
  • I also had a chance to try out a small beer I had made in the parti-gyle method while sparging vizcaino II.  I collected around six gallons of wort at around 6 brix and pitched a starter of WLP500 that I decided to leave out of my main batch.  after adding about 1/3 gal of leftover sour cherry juice from cabrillo II, the beer finished at 2.8 brix for an abv of around 2.6%.
    • pinky (belgian small beer)
    • appearance – golden apricot color, fine effervescence, fluffy white head
    • aroma – light floral belgian yeast, clove spice, slight belgian phenols
    • taste – light and crisp with a dry, slightly bitter finish, palate scrubbing carbonation
    • notes – good budweiser sessionable alternative, lawnmower beer, could use during a tasting as a palate refresher
  • I also managed to choke down a three-year-old, delightfully bretty bottle of temptation (004X1) and pitch the dregs into vizcaino II.  it had been a while since I had tried that beer and I was somewhat surprised to find very little lacto or pedio sourness in the flavor profile – just a very assertive brett character reminiscent of orval that provided a fluffy, long lasting head and great carbonation.  hopefully some of that brett character comes through in vizcaino!

              

              

beer [pop] culture

Friday, March 5th, 2010

you know beer culture is nearing its peak of trendiness when:

  • there is a line snaking out of city beer store longer than one at a nightclub.
  • at 6:30pm.
  • on a thursday.
  • I mean, sure, it was a special dogfish head night (pouring sah’tea, theobroma, and burton baton), but shit, when I saw that line I started thinking that maybe sam himself was in there on the bar spraying people down with 120-minute or something.
  • I was stoked for craig and beth (they always have great beers and prices), but toronado seemed a little more my speed that night.
  • after the usual half hour test of my patience over at rosamunde, I screamed out “never again!” and ran over to memphis minnie’s, where they had me fixed up in a heartbeat.
  • CB, TB, and DW met up, and we conspired regarding rosamunde’s demise over moonlight’s misspent youth, a pale with great aroma, and some ’09 temptation.

weekend in review 02/27-02/28

Monday, March 1st, 2010

this last weekend was full of destinations, both old and new.

  • AP and I met up with NB and PB over at anchor and hope down in SOMA.  I remember beer and nosh reviewing this place a while back.
  • the food was good, and the beers were even better.  the jug shop developed the beer list, which was pretty deep and had some good choices.  the staff was friendly and pretty knowledgeable about their brews, especially one dude who was sent over after we picked up a bottle of allagash‘s curieux for the table.
  • we hit up a wide variety of beers – I started with drake’s 1500 on the hand pump and finished with a (very generous) pour of valley brewing’s old inventory barleywine.
  • the next day AP and I trekked up to santa rosa, where we made an obligatory stop at russian river brewing for overflowing pours of temptation, consecration, and supplication.
  • another mandatory destination was the bottle barn, where we scored more than a few good brews at great prices.  why pay $25 for a russian river bomber at the brewpub when you can get em here for $18.99?  I love that place.
  • after checking out a lackluster chinese new year parade in chinatown with AF, we all rolled over to rogue for a nightcap – I chose a pint of john john, which was pretty great and will be reviewed in the future once I crack open a bomber of it for a second opinion.

the jug shop russian river night

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

the russian river lineup

last friday AP and I met up with CB and TB over at the jug shop for their russian river night.

  • I had never been to the jug shop before, despite positive reviews from CB.  I had no idea how large it was!
  • I also didn’t expect such an eclectic selection of brews on the shelves – there were many I had never seen before, and some that had disappeared from other spots in the city long ago (atlantic IPA anyone?).  I was impressed.
  • as for the tasting lineup, favorites such as consecration (batches 1-3), temptation (batch 4×3), and my personal favorite, beatification (batch 2), were poured, along with supplication (batch 4×3), damnation (batch 54)/batch 23, and salvation (batches 5 and 9).  oh yeah, and some blind pig and pliny as well.  it was killer.
  • the tasting area was thoroughly packed, so we just ended up tasting the offerings while hanging out in the aisles, where there was plenty of room.  the crowd was jovial and relaxed, and it never took more than a minute to get a pour (thanks AP!).  I liked how the staff announced each new brew as it was popped and made sure everyone had their fill before moving on.
  • although the selection wasn’t as thorough as, say, toronado’s russian river night, the small, fun crowd and great price ($25!) made this event a winner.  plus, any more brews in the lineup probably would have buried me for the night.

artsy fartsy

the crowd

one of the many rounds

russian river brewing company

Friday, October 30th, 2009

the bar at russian river

last weekend TM, JVG, JC, and I went disc golfing at novato.  however, before a disc was tossed we made a detour toward santa rosa for a couple brews at russian river brewing company.

  • one of my favorite things about the russian river pub (aside from all their on-premises conditioning and barrels) is the huge new albion sign hanging above the bar.  for a little brewing history, check out these articles on Jack McAuliffe and new albion.

new albion sign

  • JVG ordered up the O.V.L. stout, TM and I picked up an emprircal 7 saison (sessionable, but not remarkable), and JC couldnt decide, so he ordered the taster.
  • the waiter brought back the most impressive taster I have ever seen – 14 beers were lined up for sampling!  it gave all of us a chance to try some beers that we woudn’t have otherwise been able to order up.

massive taster at russian river

  • after sampling a mulitude of offerings, I couldn’t help but go back to one of my favorites – temptation.  JVG and JC each ordered up a consecration.
  • the best part of the trip?  on sundays, all beers are $3.25 all day!
  • after unsuccessfully trying to convince the waiter to fill me a growler of temptation, we rolled out of russian river towards petaluma… (to be continued!)

empirical 7 and O.V.L. stout

the lineup at russian river

JVG enjoying his stout

tap list at russian river

fermentation/conditioning tanks at russian river

barrels at russian river

naja’s redux

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

pint trio of dogfish head punkin, oskar blues old chub, and green flash west coast IPA

last weekend AP and I were lucky enough to roll by naja’s place for the second weekend in a row.

  • we met up with DP to enjoy a few brews on a beautiful day.
  • since I had a few cans of oskar blues’ dale’s pale ale earlier in the weekend (hoppy with a sessionable maltiness – check out this interesting story about the brew), I decided to roll with oskar blues and ordered up an old chub first (on draft!).  it had a balanced malty sweetness that was not cloying, and has a substantial, satisfying mouthfeel.
  • I also ordered up an east/west combo – a glass of shipyard’s XXXX IPA (maine) followed by green flash’s west coast IPA (carlsbad, CA).  what can I say, I’m partial to the home team.
  • the afternoon came to a celebratory close with a bottle of russian river’s temptation.  tart, funky, and complex with great carbonation and a crisp drinkability, this is one of my favorites.  I grabbed a couple more glasses and passed around some samples to help change some people’s perceptions about how far beer can go (especially in CA!).
  • in fact, I was sipping on this brew while I watched the dodgers on TV spraying each other with nothing other than budweiser tall cans after their sweep.  yikes.
  • AP and DP both thoroughly enjoyed dogfish head’s punkin ale, my favorite example of the style.  it has subtle spicing that meshes well with brown ale characteristics and doesn’t overwhelm the beer.
  • remember to check out naja’s for LA beer week, it should be epic!

guardian bat of the taps

punkin and old chub checking out the view

usual parkng scene at naja's

temptation in the glass

more halloween decoration at naja's