I set out to do a partigyle Wee Heavy and 80 Schilling. The hope was to brew a big Scotch Ale to name after my son Callen as an owed to our heritage, as the label reads:
"For such a wee lad, he is a heavy one. Assertive and bold, but effervescent, one would do well to watch in amazement as this one ages. Or enjoy him while he is young and smooth, w/ hints of flowers and earth; ne’er a harshness to him at all. Take your time with him, and ponder the many intricacies of what he is; if you go too fast you’ll miss the wonders of truly knowing him, and he may just sneak up and bite ya’ in the ars!"
To start with, C120 and Special B may not have been the best choice. But knowing exactly what went wrong on this batch recipe wise will not be easy since the yeast that I pitched was a slurry of 1056 from a previous batch that I had no idea was infected with a wild yeast. Gushing bottles, fruity esters, what might be Brett L. Makes for a decent Belgian Dark Strong, too bad that's not what I was trying to brew.
Appearance: Pours a deep copper (muddy from the yeast being stirred up by the gusher infection) with a super thick beige head that persists for days and leaves a thick cap for the entire drink. Great lacing, and lots of carbonation.
Smell: Smells of fake cherries, dark fruits, burnt sugar, faint bread crust, pears, strawberries, flowers.
Taste: Tastes like it smells, cherries, burnt sugar, toffee, fruity, pie crust, spicy heat in the finish - smooth yet warm. Honestly I get hints of Trader Joe's 2012 Reserve Belgian beer less the chocolate and over the top spice.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full consistincy, sweet but warm finish, carbonation makes it lighter on the tongue and leaves a smooth finish. (If I add a touch of Lactic acid to the glass it makes the whole thing pop).
Overall: For a Belgian Dark Strong it would be very nice (maybe back off on the fake cherries some though). As a Wee Heavy if fails miserably. The gusher infection is very fruity, lots of cherry, and tears through residual sugars thus the gushing. Hoping that the pie cherry flavor eventually begins to morph to some horse blanket and some acid as well, thinking Old Ale after some time in the cellar maybe. We'll see where this one goes in time.