A brief post for a special beer.
In March I brewed around 50 litres of fresh-hopped Pils, using solely hops grown at our home. A month later I kegged 30 litres, then racked the remaining 19 litres or so onto 5.5 kg of Central Otago apricots.
For extra excitement, to the apricot portion I added a slurry of Brasserie de la Senne’s house Brettanomyces bruxellensis, a vanilla pod, and an Amalgamation II-laden, gin-infused oak spiral.
After three months of resting on the apricots, it was all hands on deck when bottling the apricot sour. For bottle-conditioning, I was very fortunate to be given three seasons of urban Christchurch honey from a hobby apiarist.
At that stage, time, fruit, Brettanomyces from Brasserie de la Senne, and bottle dregs from 3 Fonteinen and Moa’s Sour Blanc had achieved an overwhelmingly Craftwork-esque aroma and a gentle tartness
On bottling day, I sat down and tasted my way through the three honey varieties I’d been gifted. I was stunned by how different each smelled and tasted – I couldn’t believe they were from the same hive!
- Bright, intensely floral, fruity aroma
- Lightly urinaceous, though not offensively so – more in the realms of gooseberries and blackcurrants
- Very sweet palate
- Heavy stone-fruit aroma, with a bees-wax note
- Thicker consistency than Spring, and a less-sweet palate
- Strong aromas of mead, prominent citrus
- A very runny honey, less sweet than Spring, with a nuanced, tangy palate
Tasting Notes 25.8.20
Golden to vibrant orange, and now very clear.
The initial Brett-forward, lambic-esque notes have retreated somewhat, overwhelmed by the surprisingly bullish honey ! I was astounded by how accurately the varietal of the summer honey comes through on the nose.
Tart apricot, light bees-wax, and a gentle Brett note.
Light, crisp, and very effervescent.
Drinkability and notes
As much as I support fruited beers being consumed soon after bottling, I can’t help but feel that this will become something very special with a little more time in the bottle. I’m not sure why the Brett aromatics fell back between bottling day and now, though I’m hopeful more will develop over time. That said, this really is a lovely beer that I wish I had more of.