Monday, February 17, 2014

Flanders Red & Other Sour Tasting.

Group photo, smile!
I wanted to sample my Flander's as I had done over the fourth of July with my lambics. I thought I should try the other sours to see if the results were as disastrous. A quick recap of my early lambics: Nothing great, a couple of acceptable, a few bads. Lets see how this goes.

So this second sampling of sour beers could not have started out with lower expectations. I mean How do you go down from, utter disappointment and near total failure? There is hope though, time does funny things to sour beers, so that could be a blessing as well as the potential to blend and have two things become more than the sum of their parts. I need to blend two beers from this to enter into the NHC to meet my entries. Lets see what I have to work with.

(Please read more after the break.)

First a primer: a Flanders's Red Ale should have a complex flavor of tart fruitiness with a underlying malt. More tart than sour. For a readily available example of this style look no further than Rodenbach or Rodenbach Grand Cru.

I pulled samples and put each into a plastic cup with a foil lid and label. I pulled a sample of each beer which did not get sampled in the original group of samplers.

Lambics, and old ales
pLambic #4: 
Aroma: Sour vinegar, nice pungent sourness
Flavor: Sour corn, sour vinegar, Labatt Blue, some residual sweetness

pLambic #3:
Aroma: Sour
Flavor: Corn, Sour, not appealing.

pLambic #2: 
Aroma: No aroma, sour, thin, watery.
Flavor: Sour, watery, thin

Sanctification on tart cherries:
Aroma: Cherries, Medicinal, Band-aide
Flavor: Cherries, Cough Syrup

Flanders, red and brown
Flanders #3:
Aroma: Mild sourness, a touch of malt.
Flavor: Bitterness still apparent, as well as the grains in the base beer.

Flanders #2:
Aroma: Caramel malt, vinegar,  flanders sourness
Flavor: The sourness leads into a caramel finish.

Flanders #1:
Aroma: Extreme Paint Thinner, Vinager
Flavor: Same as nose, this one is powerful.

Double Flanders:
Aroma: Meally cooked corn, spoiled stone fruit
Flavor: Bitterness, spoiled stone fruit

Old Ale:
Aroma: Ripe bananas, tropical fruit, sourness, passion fruit, 
Flavor: Same as the nose but with prickly pear also

Table Blend #1: Olde Duece
Based on our table blending a melange of the Old Ale and the Flanders Duece was a winner, it maintained the sourness and carmel finish of the flanders #2 and the ripe fruit thrown off by the brett in the old ale.
That can not happen however because the time constraints, allthough it might be worthy of an attempt on bottling day to bottle some of that.

Table Blend #2: Acid Ale
We blended the flanders #2 and #1. this came out sour but with a touch of carmel in the finish, then I added the cherry sanctification to it and it tasted like cough syrup. I think I might be able to blend a flanders red from this though,

All is not lost on my souring at home program, with each batch costing 15 to 20 dollars turning out 5 sours a year is still a modest investment monitarily to kill 5 saturdays doing something I enjoy.

The Flanders #2 + a touch of #1 might be a winner. I may also bottle some old ale and submit it in the American Ale - Other category.

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