Last year I wrote about my attempt of brewing a clone of Allagash’s Midnight Brett. Read about it here if interested. It’s a dark ale fermented with their house strain of Brettanomyces. At the time I was looking to turn the batch around quickly so I packaged mine in about a month after brewing. However Allagash’s technical lead recommended a 7-8 month fermentation prior to bottling. So I brewed a 10 gallon batch and left the additional 5 gallons in primary to ferment for a year. I had planned on bottling at the 7-8 month mark as recommended but things got busy and I thought the extra time couldn’t really hurt so I let it go.
Soon after bottling this beer I did a side by side with one of the few remaining bottles I had of the original batch I had bottled after about a month. I couldn’t believe how different they were. Both versions were enjoyable but the first batch had a much more mild Brett character, still displaying some roast character and over ripe fruit. The second version was very funky, lots of barn yard and leather notes. I do enjoy this batch but I think I prefer the first, if I brew this again I would likely split the difference and bottle after approximately 6 months. Tasting notes for version 2 below.
Appearance: Pours with a light tan head, 1/4″ that recedes to a thin layer that persists. Very dark, essentially black in color.
Aroma: Lots of Brett barn yard funk with some leather notes. Mild roast and dark fruit.
Taste: Follows from the aroma, very funky with mostly barn yard and pronounced leather. Followed by slight roast and possibly some over ripe dark fruit. Not bitterness to speak of.
Mouthfeel: Hard to describe, silky, moderate to full. Moderate carbonation but seems to have micro bubbles.
Overall: Enjoyable and I’ll be interested to see how this ages and changes over the next couple of years. As I mentioned earlier, I would likely package at the 6 month point if I was to brew this again.