Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tasting Blended Old Ales

At the beginning of April this year I blended and bottled two old ales. Two thirds of the content in these bottles is just about 20 months old (Ancient Ale). The other third was a freshly brewed and fermented old ale (Fresh Old Ale).

I thought it was a good time to share the experience of drinking this beer at this time. While it is still quite young in the bottle, the "old" portion already gives it a strong sense of old age. Since it's changed considerably over 20 months, I have no doubt this beer will age very nicely for many years in the bottle.

Tasting Notes & Photos

Appearance: Deep amber/brown, clear w/ a touch of chill haze at cold temps, full off-white/tan head remains as a solid thin layer from moderate-full carbonation
Aroma: Very full aromas of Brett funk, fruitiness, without any hops
Taste: Full mix of flavors from beginning to end, Brett, tart cherry and other red fruits, its not sweet but some sourness and a touch of hop bitterness balances it's full flavor
Mouthfeel: Medium body, especially with higher carbonation
Aftertaste: Tart/sourness towards back of tongue, slight oxidation which doesn't conflict at all with taste but comes through with belches
Drinkability: A bold overall presence in color, aroma & taste, fairly complex, a wonderful & assertive Brett character w/ good tartness. With it's fuller carbonation and wine-like dryness, it's quite refreshing, and it's deceivingly alcoholic point reassures me of it's position in my stash of reserve beers!

Overall, I'm very excited about this funky old ale, and look forward to aged bottles and blends with stronger tasting beers.

Related Posts

Blending Old Ales
Fresh Old Ale
Ancient Ale


greg said...

How much Brett would you add, per bottle, to an already-bottled Old Ale (2 weeks). The beer finished at 1.020 from 1.060, although I didn't get enough carbonation (I primed with only 2 oz). Would you also add sugar?

Ted Danyluk said...


If you are thinking of opening all the bottles, then a whole package of yeast could be distributed among the whole batch. I'd probably pour the liquid yeast into a small glass (with mL markers on it), and then use an eye-dropper to put in as equal an amount as possible in each bottle. I'd probably open a third or half the bottles at a time, making sure the volume in the glass drops the same amount. You probably wont have to pour any beer out of the bottle.

There is no need to add more priming sugar, cause over time the brett will probably develop enough from residual complex malt sugars. You probably added some priming sugar, but didn't have enough yeast after secondary (& especially if the gravity was very high with a highly flocculating yeast strain) to consume it, so you shouldn't need any sugar.

If kept in the bottle long enough, you may develop some interesting flavors. Good Luck.