Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mr. T's 30lb. Necklace Tasting

Seanywonton's Mr. T's 30lb. Necklace
Belgian Golden Strong Ale
Brewed in November of 2008 by Seanywonton, I've had this bottle sitting at cellar temps in my wine fridge for about 3 months then in my fridge for about 1 month. Sean brought us the bottle during his visit here but we never got around to opening it. I've shown the bottle to a number of friends who all thought it was a commercial brew. I suppose the golden waxed top and great label gives it the product feel. Check out the awesome label (sourced from Seanywonton):
After pouring it for Michelle, myself, and two other beer fans not really experienced with Belgian Golden Ales, we shared a number of nice compliments. It was very refreshing on a warm summer afternoon. Although, it did warm up on the inside kickstarting some chillindamos :-)
I knew Sean entered this brew for competition (something I've yet to do with my beers) earlier this year and also that he had some tasting notes: Seanywonton's tasting notes. The day after this tasting, I went back to his notes to compare them with my impressions.
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):
  1. Rochefort #6
  2. Rochefort #8
  3. Orval Tripel
  4. Chimay White
  5. Westmalle Dubbel
  6. Westmalle Tripel

1 comment:

  1. Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for the feedback.
    By the way, I just had a Stone/Mickeller/Alesmith trippel last night that was really a great beer! It left me wondering what yeast they were using and it actually reminded me a lot of the Whitelabs 545 saison yeast. Whatever, it was really a great beer with not much banana or clove esters, more bubblegum/fruit/spice. My only complaint was they should have put it in a Belgian style bottle and achieved a higher carbonation level.


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