July 24, 2012

Lambic Solera Update #9: Taste the Raspberry

When I wrote the title for this post I thought of the line in the old Willy Wonka movie, "the snozzberries taste like snozzberries!" I sure wish I could get some snozzberries.

So not really any exciting updates going on but I did taste the raspberry lambic I bottled at the beginning of the month. If you recall from the post about bottling it here I decided to bottle with EC-1118 wine yeast instead of hoping the brett floating in the beer would do the trick. Sure enough, the bottle opened with a great corked *POP* and it had some good carbonation although it wasn't over the top. There's no head to speak of, which is entirely normal for sour beers. The color is a nice pink hue and there's a lot of raspberry aroma on the nose. The flavor is great. The lambic comes through as the dominant flavor but there's a nice raspberry finish. I had hoped for a little more raspberry flavor but I'm not disappointed with what I got. (Should have used more berries.) The acidity is just a touch more present than the straight lambic but it is softer here. The only real disappointment is I managed to pick up a lot of fruit material in the bottles. I really need to buy a  screen for my racking cane.

I also recently tasted another bottle of the straight lambic. The flavor is still the same: funk, cherry pie and acidity. The acidity seems a little softer -- not as much as the raspberry bottles -- but it seems like the additional age has smoothed out the beer a little. I'm not sure which I liked better: the younger lambic or older lambic. The beer after bottling had a good acidic punch to it but now it has more of a refined smoothness. I have done a good job of rationing my drinking so I can keep some bottles for the next few years to see how it progresses and do some vertical tastings but we'll see how thirsty I get in the future.

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