This beer has been on tap for about 2 months now, and over that time it's gone through multiple identities. When it was young it was bright, yeasty, but a little bit hot, then that gave way to a muddled astringent mess. But after about a month in the keg things started to come together, the astringency has faded and the Nelson Sauvin aromas and flavor are starting to shine more. When I was creating the recipe for this beer I wanted Nelson Sauvin to be at the forefront, and ultimately I achieved that goal, albeit being a little rough around the edges..
As I documented in the brewday post, I had to make some last minute decisions as my local shop was out of my first 3 choices of yeast, which led me to using WLP550 and some 3711 to ensure dryness (not sure that was necessary). When I brew this again I may drop the Saaz, I dont think its really bringing anything to the table here, and will certainly use either WLP565 or Wyeast 3711 as originally planned. I will also opt for a simpler grist, dial back the Munich a little bit, which I would let Nelson shine a bit more. Don't get me wrong I enjoy this beer fine but in its current state its not exactly as I intended. After having Prairie 'Merica recently, I have different ideas on how I would like to use Nelson in the future, and it may involve cloning that beer. But thats for a different, more Brett filled, post.
Appearance: Clear deep golden with hints of orange. Dense 2 finger white head that dissipates to 1 finger and lingers throughout the glass leaving nice lacing. Fine bubbles shooting up the sides of the glass rapidly.
Aroma: White pepper aromas, grapefruit, phenols, very reminiscent of white wine as the Nelson description goes. Some slight alcohol aromas as it warms.
Taste: Dry upfront, a slight bitterness that may be accentuated by the dryness giving way to a slight bready malt to balance it out a little bit. Grapefruit, with a bit or tartness in the finish, maybe best described as "tangy". Some alcohol bite is felt in the back of the mouth in the after taste, with a slight astringency on the back end that seems to be fading in this beer as time goes on.
Overall Impression: there is an interesting ride in the flavor from the first sip to the finish. It really evolves as it goes across your tongue. I think it could use a little more malt presence and maybe a dry hop of Nelson but this beer is enjoyable. Nelson is extremely unique, I've not come across a hop character that carries a beer so well with such complexity as this hop does, the recipe itself needs work but I think I am on the right track.