The tasting notes are below and the brew day post can be found here for those that would like to read more in depth.
Drinking on 11-3-16
SG: 1.057 or 14.04°P
FG: 1.010 or 2.05°P
Apparent Attenuation: 83%
Actual Attenuation: 67%
Appearance: Deep red, almost mahogany in color. Slightly cloudy but that should go away with more conditioning time. As of right now it hasn't been in the bottle for quite a month yet. Off white almost tan head with great tight bubbles and pretty decent retention. Also a bit of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is running up the sides of the glass as it sits and even more when I swirl it. I really like the look of this one. Reminds me of a Belgian Dubbel in appearance.
|Closer pic shows more red tones. Mahogany wood was the first|
thing that came to mind.
Aroma: Firs thing I notice is the maltiness. It doesn't seem sweet but the malt aromas are coming through. Just a touch of fruity character in the way of dark cherries or something like that. Some dried wood aroma, hint of pepper like spice and the faintest of clove may be there. Hints of the Belgian yeast but definitely not dominant. Clean maltiness is the star and that's what I want.
|Lighting sucks on this pic but the head was full of tight tiny bubbles.|
Naturally carbonation beers always produces that for me.
Flavor: Malt is again the star with the grains shinning through. Even close to chewing raw grain but not overly sweet. Just a minor touch of sweetness to compliment it. A bit of pepper spice on the back end but again not overly so as to say Belgian or Saison even. Pretty clean and dry on the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium to almost medium full. The carbonation cuts through some of it. This one is right around 2.8-3 vol of CO2 and I'm pretty happy with that level. I may push the keg up to 3.2 just to see how I like that.
Overall: This may be my new favorite clean Bière de Garde that I've brewed. I like it better than the first one I did and the flavor of the Avant Garde style one I did before I added brett to it. I think the amount of specialty grains did well without leaving the beer seeming to sweet or cloying at all. The base grain bill is pretty nice for those that want to try something like that. Of course this being my "spur of the moment" Bière de Garde, my next brew of it may be pretty different. I've got some rye and buckwheat I need to use soon. I'm thinking of trying that out with another Belgian strain that is pretty clean.
For changes, I don't really know what I'd change on this one. If I were to brew it again, I may put it in cold storage just a bit longer. It wouldn't hurt to pitch some more yeast at packaging either. Brewing with different strains makes that a bit tougher but I'll figure something out for the next one.
Andrew "Gus" Addkison
@aaddkison on Twitter