Friday, October 16, 2015

Tasting Notes: From End Table to Aging Vessel "An Ocean Between the Staves"

I'll take my barrel fermented farmhouse in the can thank you very much.
It's been six months since a friend of mine handed me his end table (a dry Dad's Hat Barrel) on the steps of his South Philly home. It took quite a bit longer than I had expected to swell the barrel enough to hold beer, then brew that beer, then package it and finally let it condition. But I can now tell you the wait and the amount of work put into it made it all worth it once I poured out that first can. CANNED BEER!

A nice little surprise at the end of this project (its on going, was the packaging of this beer coincided with the day that Philly Homebrew Club brought out a mobile canning company once again to can our beer. I chose to does my kegs, I canned 2 beers, with priming sugar and naturally condition in the can as you would if bottling. A can conditioned, barrel aged, funky, Suburb-house ale is what I'm calling it, also known as...

An Ocean Between the Staves: *Listen to these smooth jams while you peruse the site*

Appearance: Hazy, light bronze-ish in color. Medium carbonation, pouring with a bit of head and significant lacing. Without a doubt picked up some color from the char in the barrel.

Aroma: Light oak, fruity Brett bouquet, a nice faint phenolic note as I swirl the glass. The aroma is very soft, very inviting, and really well balanced.

Flavor: Dry right up front with a tingling pepper note hitting the tip of the tongue. Lingering spice throughout the sip with a slight acidic note on the finish. The oak is light on this beer with some vanilla coming along with it which is balanced with a fruity Brett character and some pepper and spice in the finish. There is a v
ery faint fruity/ethyl acetate note in the beer, some might only find it fruity but I am very sensitive to that. It isn't off putting or distracting at all, it actually adds a depth and complexity to the beer. 
My kids playground makes for a good lighting spot.
Overall: This is a super enjoyable beer, I'm actually surprised at how good this has turned out considering the shape the barrel was in at one point. There isn't really anything I feel like I should be concerned about with subsequent batches, I will monitor that ethyl acetate note I picked up in this can to see if it gets worse with each batch. Other than that I would call this a resounding success. 

Don't be too quick to trash those malnourished barrels out there, there may be life in it yet. Batch #3 is in the barrel now, we will see how long I can keep this series going. I will update on each batch as they are drunk.