Decadence ’08 – A Note from Peter at Alesmith
From TheFullPint.com – Questions have been raised regarding Alesmith’s anniversary ale, Decadence ’08. Some have noticed a bit of a sour cherry note present, as some have found it pleasant, some are questioning why this flavor is found in an English-style Barleywine, and some are claiming they find this property unpleasant. We reached out to Peter Zien, Alesmith’s Brewmaster to see what he says about the cherry-like notes some folks are finding.
AleSmith Decadence ’08 was bottled on two different dates- Feb 19 & Feb 24, 2009. We chilled down both bottling dates of Decadence ’08 and three of my crew just completed our sampling of both. The only visual difference is that the batch from the 19th looks about 20% more carbonated than the 24th, although both levels are quite acceptable for the style.
The aroma profile highlighted the floor-malted grain and a “cherry-like” note imparted as a fermentation characteristic. A little of the nobel hop aroma began coming through as the samples warmed. The flavor profile was malt-forward, with significant nobel hop bitterness to balance. The increased carbonation level of the batch from the 19th imparted a tingle on the tongue, which was less in the batch from the 24th. The dry-English yeast strain contributed the cherry-like notes, which we also noted in the Anvil ESB that we propped this yeast on earlier in the year. We discussed how the combination of the carbonation level and the characteristics of this specific yeast profile creates the perception of a tingle on the tongue. A good amount of residual sweetness was still present in both examples, so we were not detecting any detracting sourness or tartness. We checked the pH’s to make sure and found that they both tested at 4.4, which was unchanged from the time it hit final gravity and well within the range for the style (4.1-4.8).
Although I stand behind every drop we brew, there’s just no way that I can check every single bottle as it leaves the brewery and you never know what Mother Nature might do to the odd case or two. As always, if you’re not happy with any AleSmith beer then please contact me and I will do what it takes to fix things for you.
AleSmith Brewing Co.
August 1, 2009 @ 1:40 am
I get a light cherry-like note from this beer too. Interesting thing to note, if anyone’s every tried some British beers and let them warm up a bit, they all have this tart characteristic. I recently tried a Moorhouse Black Cat (Mild) and despite its malt-dominance, I tried it a little bit later and noticed some tartness which definitely is like cherry. Also, that same night I tried a Lion Stout (brewed in Sri Lanka, yet uses an English yeast strain). Lots of coffee and hints of chocolate and molasses, but again I perceived this tart cherry flavor. I could be wrong, but is this characteristic of English yeast strains?