Yeah, you guys already know I geek about about beer. A couple years ago, I started a beer cellar. Some beers are meant to be stored and aged. It’s fun and special to drink a beer you’ve been saving.
I pulled out the a 2010 Dissident and compared it to the 2012 Dissident. The 2012 needed more time in the bottle, but we still wanted to try them side by side to see how aging changes the taste of the beer.
First of all, this beer is released once every two years. It’s a brown flanders style beer(sour brown). This beer is noted for being tart and sour.
You might have heard of “Brett beer.” Brettanomyces is a wild strain of yeast used for sour beer. A lot of sours I’ve tasted often are aged in wine barrels and/or take on a cherry flavor. I love anything cherry flavored, so that’s good news! The Belgians can take credit for Brett beer. Good lambics or sours often take 1-2 years to develop. The temperature at which it ferments also plays a very important factor. Brett does not contribute too much to the alcohol level of the beer. This was a surprise to me, but when you think about the low alcohol content of lambics, this makes sense. Brett contributes more to the flavor. Lactobacillus is thrown in the mix (a bacteria) for a lot of sours. Ok, enough of that, onto the tasting!
Nose: Lots of cherry, make the mouth water, mossy/earthy, caramel
Taste: Strong, full mouth feel, malty aged beer taste, brown style flavor sticks out over cherry, not as sour I expected, bitter finish on the back of the tongue, black cherry
Nose: sharp, pungent; faint cherry, smell “bretty”, farmy, acidic, stings the nostrils
Taste: Acidic, rotten cherry, less malt, French oak dominates, oak
My conclusion is that aging the beer takes the acidic edge off and the flavors become a lot more heterogeneous and complex as the beer sits. The unaged Dissident was not very good and it was fun to see how beer just sitting in a bottle can change so much!