Side by Side Cantillon Brett Tasting

It’s been a very long time since my last post. Lately I’ve been even busier than before, which is not unexpected for someone in my position, and homebrewing as well as yeast ranching has, for all intents and purposes, ceased to exist for me. I have been reduced to reading blogs and fantasizing about homebrew over the last few months because I can’t take part in it in real life on account of working seven days a week. Though I have full intentions to brew and make new plates to isolate more goodies, my last brew day was in the spring. Even on weekends I’m stuck in the lab glued to a microscope, dissecting newborn mouse eyes. The situation may be changing as enough eyes have been collected to keep my experiments rolling for at least a few more months. Hopefully, soon enough I’ll start brewing and isolating bugs again.

One of my readers asked for a side by side tasting of the BK C strains and it sounded like a good idea. Besides, I wanted to do this for a long time so thanks for the encouragement.

Left to right: C1-C2-C3

Left to right: C1-C2-C3

The recipe for these beers is simple:

Malt:

US 2-Row Malt 80.0 %
US White Wheat Malt 20.0 %

Mashed at 147˚F.  OG – 1.056. FG – 1.001.

Hops:

German Tradition
1.00 oz
60 Min From End

US Calypso
2.00 oz
5 Min From End

US Calypso
1.00 oz
At turn off

Left in primary for 3-5 months and bottled with table sugar to ~3 vol.

 

I have tasted these beers before and gave some descriptions here and there, but never all together and never with a few months of age on the bottles. So let’s see how they are doing.

 

C1

Appearance: Orange/yellow. Clear with just a little bit of haze. Medium head in beginning, but then recedes to a ring around the glass. Lively carbonation.

Smell: Woody funk in the foreground, followed by sweet, fruity notes. Ripe pineapple and citrus. Allowed to stand and breathe a little, the woody funk goes down and sweet fruitiness becomes more prominent.

Taste: Whoa, it changed a lot since last time I tasted. Initially there is no woody funk at all, and the flavor is malt forward. Barnyard, earthy, wet funk makes an appearance and is almost instantly washed away by carbonation to be replaced by lemon, hay, and woodiness. Lemon and woody funk fight for dominance with lemon being the victor in the end and lasting through the finish. If I didn’t know this this has never even touched wood, I would argue that this beer was barrel aged for too long due to really woody-barrelcharacter. Very dry and just a little tart. Enough to make my mouth water. A bit vinous, like dry white wine. Citrus, citrus, citrus.

Mouthfeel: Medium. Surprising for such a dry beer, but it’s by no means thin. Mouth filling, even somewhat coating.

Overall: This beer has improved a lot. Rather than weird woody funky fruity beer with individual characteristics not really playing harmoniously, as was the case just a few months ago, I feel like now it’s a much better brew. Things just work, and work well. There is too much woodiness for me, but otherwise it’s a very pleasant and refreshing beer. Perfect for the summer. I’m really interested to see how it continues to develop.

C2

Appearance: Yellow/orange, much like C1, but brighter. Clear with a little haze. Champagne-like carbonation with a lot of head at first, but then goes down with nothing remaining, just bubbles coming to the surface.

Smell: Woody funk, but much less pronounced than C1. Grassy, sweet, fruity, apricot. More appealing to me than C1.

Taste: Also quite different than it was the last time. Malt forward, very subdued woody funk that lets fruitiness and even what seems like sweetness to come through. I’m sure I can taste just a hint of strawberry on the overall fruity background here and there. Dry and vinous, tart, but less so than C1. Woody funk comes back in the end and gets replaced by hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Fuller than C1. I noticed before that C2 seems to produce almost an oily mouthfeel and this is the case. It’s almost oily, almost velvety, just strange for such a dry beer.

Overall: Not as refreshing as C1, but interesting nonetheless. It’s pleasant, and the absence of dominating woodiness is a big plus.

C3

Appearance: Straw yellow and crystal clear. Initial head recedes to nothing, same as C2.

Smell: Similar to C2 in terms of less woody funk, but more herbal, grassy, Cantillon-like. Does not smell sweet, though one can still detect pineapple notes.

Taste: Fruit forward. Sweet, pineapple, white apple, general fruitiness. Woody funk makes a sudden and strong appearance and disappears leaving light bitterness and gentle woodiness behind. Probably the least woody of the three beers. Tart, dry. For some reason really makes me think of big, juicy, sweet white apples. Funk comes back in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light. Lighter than C1 or C2.

Overall: Interesting. Not bad, but I feel like it needs more age. Fruity.

 

It’s intriguing that they changed as much as they did and I’ll be sure to give them another official tasting maybe in a year or so. Overall I’m pleased with the way they turned out. Stay tuned for more posts coming in future!

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