Friday, March 6, 2015

#24 Westvleteren XII Clone - Tasting

Recipe     -     Brewday     -     Tasting

ABV: 10.1%
IBU: 36
Serving Temp: 40F
Carbonation: 2.8 vol
Grade: B+

The best thing about writing about beer is that I get to drink beer while I do it.  It's even better when it's good beer.  It's even better when it's a beer as good as this one.

First things I taste is that it's super sweet.  Now I know I just finished saying how good this beer is, but it's a major flaw.  The prune flavor from the candi syrup is definitely at the forefront, but once you get past that there is a lot more going on: rich maltiness (more than I find in most American-made quads), a bit of burnt sugar from the syrup, all woven together by the yeast esters.  It's really a nice, smooth package.  The alcohol is surprisingly hidden; it's there if you look for it, but I would expect more for 10.1%.

Now a word about that under-attenuation:  As I wrote in the fermentation notes, the heater went out during fermentation and I don't think it ever got warm enough for this Westmalle yeast to really do its thing.  I've read that this yeast likes to be hot--up around 80F-- or it will drop out early, which I think happened here.  Thankfully when I added the priming sugar, the yeast just stuck to that and didn't overcarbonate the bottles like happened with the export stout.  That being said, a little more carbonation--maybe up around 3 vol--may have helped cut the sweetness.

I feel like this beer was really close to being the best beer ever, but because of the under-attenuation it definitely missed, so I really want to brew it again.  I think that the reduced sweetness will also cut the fruit flavors a bit, hopefully letting the other flavors come out a bit more.  I'm curious though if the maltiness would also be reduced.  Speaking of maltiness, the decoction mash was a huge pain in the butt.  If I were to do this again, I would definitely try it without the decoction to see if it really made a difference.  I don't think it's a big deal, but I'm worried it might be linked to that malty flavor I liked so much.  I guess I'll just have to brew it again and see!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...