Well. It seems I’ve managed to produce a largely clean (i.e. non-Sour) beer in the time it normally takes to produce a full-on aged and soured beer.
But look at it…doesn’t it look pretty?
This was supposed to be last year’s Christmas beer…but it’s sort of ended up being this year’s potential Christmas beer.
Here’s the original post and recipe: https://yeastismybitch.com/2015/10/01/deck-the-halls-with-festive-bollocks-a-christmas-belgian-dubbel-with-cherries/
As I said in the post, I was hoping it’d only sit for a couple of weeks on the fruit, but it seemed so happy and looked like it was having another ferment so I put it into two demijohns under airlock and forgot about it.
I bottled it a few weeks ago (a year later) and now it’s time to taste…
As I said previously, it’s a nice colour with a good running bead. I got the carbonation smack-on this time.
The nose is largely neutral, clean smelling but with some trace of fruit.
The body is thin, and we’re not exactly in complexity-central with the taste. The finish is fairly dry and there’s some fruit – but it’s not sweet fruit, it’s fermented out fruit.
It’s not particularly sour as such, but there is some tartness – and that’s coming directly from the sour cherries, so it’s a malic acid (think crab apple sharpness) sour contribution rather than any microbial action – and that malic acid might also be contributing to the overall dryness.
I can’t discern any Brett character, so what we’ve got here is probably an aged dry fruit beer…a style that I seem to have invented, only for it to fall immediately into obscurity.
I’m in two minds about whether I like it or not. I can’t quite work out whether the malic acid is too much, or if it’s a bit “something and nothing”. I’ll keep a few bottles back and see how it goes…another year can’t hurt, can it?
Next time I try this: I’ll ferment the base beer cleanly, then bung in fruit and a culture of lacto and some interesting bacteria to do the job properly.
Keep your eyes peeled for that one…
In the meantime, I’ll let my taste-testers deliver the final verdict…
PS: The un-fruited Belgian that this beer is based on is still going strong – which is code for still having bottles of it left; big corked bottles too. I tried one the other week and it’s not bad at all, despite my initial misgivings. So there’s a lesson for us all…age your Belgians for a year or so in the bottle and see how they change. Same for Saisons: I have one coming up on two years in the bottle – I’m looking forward to trying one of those at Christmas…