Welcome to the Grand Teton Brewing Co. blog, “Notes from Underground”. This blog will provide a place for our Cellar Master to provide tasting notes on our Cellar Reserve beers as they change over the months and years. He will update the blog regularly as new Cellar Reserves are released and old ones are sampled during our regular tasting panels. We envision this site being utilized by folks who buy a bottle or two of a Cellar Reserve beer to age and want to see how it’s progressing with time.
But first, some information on our Cellar Reserve program:
The Grand Teton Cellar Reserves are literally “Big Beers in a Big Bottle”. These high alcohol beers, available in 1 liter bottles, are brewed with the intention that consumers can “lay down” their beer for several months, or even years. With age, these beers will develop and change, becoming more complex and mature. Each batch is bottle-conditioned, creating natural carbonation, a creamy head, and a fine layer of yeast on the bottom of each bottle.
Our Cellar Master recommends storing the Cellar Reserve bottles vertically in an area free of light. Keep the beers in a spot that doesn’t fluctuate temperature too much, ideally between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
We highly suggest you sign-up to receive email notifications when we add new tasting notes. You wouldn’t want to miss out when we declare your bottle of beer in peak condition! You will only receive emails about this blog, and of course your email address will not be shared with anyone.
And now for the beer! The first tasting comes from the back of the cellar. This was a real treasure we found while digging through a stack of old beer that has aged beautifully. Check back soon for tasting notes on our Double Vision Doppelbock, bottled 1 year ago.
Oud Bruin, Belgian-Style Ale
6% Alcohol by Volume
Bottled April 2007
Our Oud Bruin is firmly in the East Flanders tradition. We used American 2-row barley and German melanoidin malt (for red color) as well as maize (to lighten the body). The wort was simmered in the kettle for 24 hours and then hopped lightly with English Kent Goldings for balance.
We fermented with a Flemish blend of yeast and bacteria cultures, including lactobacillus, pediococcus, and brettanomyces. It took six months at cellar temperature for the culture to achieve the style’s characteristic quenching sourness. Finally, we bottle-conditioned the beer according to the “methode champenoise,” so it, too, can be laid down, to be brought out when it can be truly enjoyed.
Tasting Notes from February 2010:
Oud Bruin erupts from the bottle a hazy amber, which is surprising for how long the beer has had to settle. Perhaps the column of foam shooting from the open bottle has stirred things up a bit. A thick, cream-colored head sits atop the glass like a dollop of whipped cream. Don’t be shy about sipping through the foam, even if it sticks to your moustache. A few large flakes of sediment swirl around the glass, but settle to the bottom in due time.
A firm sour cherry aroma greets the nose, along with a bit of rummy sweetness. The combination is almost like Cherries Jubilee in a bottle, which sounds like a great idea for future a Cellar Reserve. The body is thin, but very well carbonated. A faint flavor of toasted whole-grain bread is complemented by a very light acidity, and finished off by just a hint of nuttines–perhaps hazelnuts or almonds. At the finish a hint of demerara sugar lingers on the tongue; a contemplative finish to a rather lively beer.
Cellar Master Says: I’m really fascinated by how well this beer has developed. At only 6% alcohol I’m surprised it has held up this well, but it is well-balanced and offers a fascinating buffet of experiences. While I’d like to hold on to this even longer, I think that Oud Bruin is probably due to start heading downhill soon, so I suggest you open up that bottle you’ve stashed away now. Serve at 45 degrees in a wide tulip.