For Christmas this year I received a beer tasting kit from my sister, inside was a tasting note card with a flavor profile wheel. As I post the majority of my tasting notes on the blog, I thought it would be a nice addition to add my own take on the flavor wheel to all future tasting notes on the site. My wheel consists of 16 unique flavors subdivided into three levels of intensity; slight, moderate, and intense. I hope that you will find this addition to the blog helpful as it will add a visual component to the traditional tasting notes categories found on many other blogs.
During my peak brewing season (April-November) I brew roughly 30 gallons a month, which as you can imagine is far to much beer for me to drink no matter how much I love beer. I do 10 gallon batches and will often put a fresh corny on tap as soon as possible and leave one for later. I decided that I would like to do an oaked beer and thought a saision would be a good candidate as they can become more defined with age. I decided to add .75 oz of medium toast Hungarian Oak, hoping for a moderate to strong oak presence in the final beer. The tasting notes below were taken after the beer (recipe) had been aged on the oak cubes for 6 months.
Oak Aged EKG Single Hop Saison Tasting Notes:
Appearance: Pours a crystal clear deep yellow, with a frothy white head. Head dissipates slowly with moderate lacing around the glass.
Smell: Strong Belgian yeast aromatics and fruit dominate. Finishes with slight notes of vanilla, flowers, and pepper.
Taste: Starts with a crisp carb bite and moderate bitterness. The taste transitions to notes of bubble gum, fresh flowers, and sweet malt flavors. Finishes with a warming alcohol presence,subtle vanilla and oak flavors to round out the beer.
Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated, extremely dry.
Drinkability & Notes: The contrast between the fruity belgian yeast notes and the oak in combination with the delicate floral notes of the Eastern Kent Golding Hops make this one of the more complex beers I have ever brewed. The yeast is the real star of this beer in my mind, as the Belgian Saision II (WLP566) gave off flavors that I would deem comparable to many commercial saisions (I have not found this to be the case with some of the other saision yeast strains). This beer has gotten rave reviews from all my family and friends who have tried it so far and is on my short of potential beers for my wedding later this year.
The non-oaked version of this beer was exceptional as well with the only notable difference being a much more pronounced hop aroma and floral flavors. It lacked the added dimension of the Hungarian Oak which in my mind put this beer over the top making it on of my favorites to date