(Seanywonton's Blog Entry)
Sean, hopefully these comments will help! The carbonation was med-high as to be expected with a golden strong and the thin head quickly fell. This seemed to be what you experienced. As you can see above, the clarity has really cleared up. The aroma was clove and spice with hints of floral and malt sweetness. Your esters were gone in the aroma and only a hint in the flavor. The lactic acid addition was one of the first things I noticed in the flavor along with a gentle sweetness and the Trappist yeast characteristic clove and spice. The subtle hops complimented these flavors and showed up more in the after taste. Many other qualities mirror Sean's March tasting notes (mouthfeel).
Some thoughts after seeing Sean's notes from March. Clarity takes time to achieve, especially when bottle conditioning. Also, the esters can change with time along with the alcohol/sweetness balance. Lactic acid, on the other hand, seems to stick around leading me to believe that a drinking/competition time frame should be in mind when using it. Will it lend itself in a month or 10 months? The art is really in the yeast with Trappist ales. How much to pitch and your fermentation temperature schedule will express the highly desired bouquet variable. Thanks for sharing, Sean!
This was the first tasting in my self-education of Trappist beers. On Monday I picked up some Trappist ales to start tasting. I've had a number of Belgian beers in the past, I just haven't really paid attention until recently! I decided to first start tasting with the monastery group (coming soon):