this is my first live blog. So as not to disappoint those veterans of innovative media, I must confirm that its only really live in the sense that it is being written as I drink. Instead of afterwards, like it usually is....
So, this is my only bottle of the Stille Nacht from the dark days when the brew date wasn't on the label anymore. I still have a bottle of the 2006 in my stash. I imagine that will be fecking absurd to be brutally honest. This is silly enough.
Brewery : De Dolle (says Oer bier on side, probably from Esen, but label is more interpretive than factual.
Name : Stille Nacht, brewed October 2010
Strength : 12.0%
BCA/none BCA? : Erm...unfiltered maybe?.
Purchased : Archer Road Beer Stop Sheffield.
Colour : Gold, light chestnut, a little like Retsina, but without the cloudiness since yeast in bottle for now for initial taste.
Carbonation/Pouring : Silent insurgence from the bottle but with retained head and bubbles carrying on their ascent long after opening..
Aroma : Alcohol! Sweet malt and fruit, lots of peach, orange, lemon, brandy, perhaps cherry, currants, raisins and somehow, peat..
Taste : this is a very silly beer. Its crammed full of intense sweet alcohol notes, with a jammy fruit preserve in the back of the mouth before alcoholic flavours wash over to reveal spiky sweet malt, that distinctive Belgian yeast, and and some sort of sour marmalade, the fruit of which might be quince (I realise there's only really a few marmalade fruits....). I'm going to add the yeast now.
After adding the extra but vital matter there is a loud fizz and a flurry of detritus in the bottom of the glass riding the new wave of carbonation, quite large chunks of yeast swirl up and fall like the contents of a stood Alka Seltzer. Intriguingly they don't all drop, they are still there in the glass reminding me that this is an evolving brew.
The first apres yeast taste is a little more mellow but with a slight ascorbic edge, but there's more of that dry alcoholic fruit and some surprising bitterness fighting its way through to the forefront of this distinctly and thankfully uncompromising and unsubtle adventure into alcohol. Like a Barley wine but with more finesse it fizzes on the tongue with that ever present alcoholic citrus and dry fruit taste lingering. Its been chilled for 45 minutes and tastes like it it could live with another hour. Like I said, its daft.
Continuing down the glass the flavour splits a little - the dryish fruit and alochol linger but the more subtle malts and hints of bitterness disperse. Also, I notice that this is perhaps the cloudiest and most claggy ale I have ever drank - the yeast sediment neither dissipates nor sinks, it just hangs in sharp vinous stasis waiting to assault the tastebuds. I don't really know what to make of this. If I had poured this first off I might have been seriously worried that this was from Shropshire, but it doesn't necessarily impact on the flavour, except a half thought idea that older vintages had more proportionate yeast deposits and melded the physical matter and taste a little better.
Head retention - not bad, there's still an identifiable white/grey crown on the top as I near the end. .
WBrating : 7.2.
This low score may be a reflection of my unease at the pond water cloudiness f the beer, and also that the sheer intensity f the beer makes any kind of expeditious tasting impossible. And the drink warms it becomes cloying, and the yeast flavours niggle. Its a stupendous beer in terms of overall taste, incredibly fruity to begin with, but the slip in marks reflects the loss of those vibrant fruits as the beer goes on..
More birthday sups to come this week!