Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tasting Notes - Haskell's Flanders

A friend, Haskell, threw me a bottle of one of his Flanders beers. I'm thinking its an oaked red, judging from the bottlecap (that said "OAK"), and from what I recall. (I obtained it about a month ago on a trip to Burlington, so the memory is a bit fuzzy.) Working from my memory, I believe it was brewed with East Coast Yeast Bugfarm IV. I thought I'd post the notes up here, just because I was going to write them up anyway.

It looks far darker here than it actually was.
Great looking beer, overall.

Aroma: Strong acetic character, with some pleasant cherry pie in there. A touch of vanilla, although it is subdued (nowhere near Duchesse). Some perceptible alcohol, especially as the beer warms.

Appearance: Ruby reddish brown, with good clarity. Low, off-white head that dissipates leaving islands of small bubbles.

Flavor: Firmly tart, but without any acetic burn. Reminiscent of crab-apples or sour cherries, slightly sweet, but not approaching the sweetness of a kriek. I get a bit of saltiness in the middle of the flavor that I often taste in Flanders Reds (esp. in Rodenbach). The vanilla note doesn't come forward as much as it does in the aroma. There is a mulled-spice type flavor on the back end, lingering through the finish, which has a pleasant tannic astringency. Its hard to pick up any oak in there, but I don't think its missed.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with low carbonation. Medium tannic astringency, on the back end especially.

Overall: I'd be proud if I brewed this one -- both Jillian and I really enjoyed it. Searching for constructive criticism, the sour character could use a bit more complexity (perhaps from an increased variety of dextrines?). Overall a very nice beer, and thanks for sharing!

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