A few months back when we were in the home stretch of year one of the blog, Teresa's Next Door had a Russian River Brewing Company tap takeover. Seeing how Russian River is one of our most favorite brewery's, it was a can't miss event. In addition to many draft offerings, there was also the opportunity to buy bottles from various batches produced in 2011. (I think I have that explanation correct.)
A horizontal tasting, you ask? Let me drop some knowledge:
Horizontal Tasting: Tasting different beers of the same style made in the same year. For example, one could pick a variety of tripels produced in a particular year for the sample.
Vertical Tasting: A slightly different approach. Tasting one beer with samples of different years. Or better yet, one beer produced in one year but tasted after x years, then x+1 years, x+2 years and so on. I don't have the patience to wait. Cellaring is not my forte!
Fast forward from beer purchase to end of blog's year one and Russian River was in play again. (Year one rules stated that we would drink a beer from a different brewer every day. No repeats.) But when was an appropriate time to do the tasting? Obviously Christmas Day. How else would one celebrate Christmas? Beer!
I didn't notice much difference in the color. They were pretty consistently a deep red amber with an off white head. The differences were very noticeable when it came to taste and smell. Here's what I found by batch:
Smell: Strong balsamic vinegar
Taste: Sharp, sour bite. Brett effect is strong. Not so much oak. A little more grassiness than the others.
Smell: Balsamic vinegar is light with much more cherry and Pinot noir
Taste: Much rounder, full flavor compared to Batch 5. Finishes with a metallic pinch at the back of my tongue. Strong oak and wine.
Smell: Light balsamic and more brett funkiness
Taste: Funk comes through in the taste as does the cherry. Noticeable oak. Very dry.
Did I like one of the batches more than the other? That's like picking a favorite child. I would never, ever turn down a Supplication. Or anything else from Russian River for that matter.They were all interesting and delicious. And now I'm sad I don't have any more.
Style: Sour ale
Previously reviewed from Russian River
Gary's review of Supplication when he drank it in year one
My review of the Russian River sampler during a day that should have resulted in an AA enrollment