Saturday 4 September 2010

West Country White Tasting

The West Country White (WCW) is 80% of the way through fermentation so it’s prime for the enjoyment of sampling. Unfortunately for my flavour panel, this has coincided with their arrival at the brewery for the Friday tasting. They are going join me in my WCW filth party! The WCW is more of milky beige than white. Very similar to tea that old ladies drink, where full fat milk constitutes 80% of the volume. It is still fairly actively fermenting so the contents of the glass are in a state of flux with an ever-increasing yellowish head. Lumps of coagulated egg white and gram flour move up and down in the column of liquid like plastic snow in a precious thing.

Here we see philippa engrossed in the intriguing aroma emanating from the WCW

The smell is not at all inviting, there is a sour note as well as an uncooked flour aroma (Harry Monk). It’s not very ale-like at all. One of the panellists is already refusing to drink any. “euorfff it smells like off homebrew!” Some of the panel are entertaining the idea that this could be a worthwhile drink but this idea is quickly rejected on first taste. The beer is thick, paste-like and saccharine bitter. The whole palate is wrong. WCW is a soup with no soupiness and a horrible unclean taste, a horribly-flawed beer. “Why would this have ever been made?” one panellist asks. Good question, so much for the good old days! That said, the lead time of only 3 days from mash to mouth is 2 days quicker than that of Stella and her cohorts so maybe AB-Inbred, SHAT-Miller and Hoerenken will have a West Country White in their portfolios before too long? By way of an apology I allowed the panel to sample some DW from the trial cask. They seemed to approve, so much so that this morning the cask is empty.

It is now 12 hours since the flavour panel departed and I am yet to receive any reports of unusual gastrointestinal performance. There’s still time! I have a table booked at the curry house tonight on the basis that if I’m going down, I’m going down in style!


Ed said...

And it would have been even worse if you'd let wild yeast and bacteria do the fermentation.

The Puffin said...

Looks like the stuff that intrepid tourists visiting an African mud hut show village might be offered, loosely described as "local beer". Perhaps you've discovered a fascinating link in the evolutionary chain, whereby our ancestors from the cradle of civilization found a short cut to Cornwall!

Stuart Howe said...

I wouldn't rule some opportunist bacteria and wild yeast Ed. The wort was unboiled and the FV was left uncovered.

Mr Toss, I'm not touching that one with a bargepole but if you need evidence you need look no further than the man with an arsecrack from his knackers to his shoulder blades!

ZakAvery said...

You must be faintly proud that it's such an awful beer, and that the flavour panel had a go on it.

Adrian Tierney-Jones said...

you missed out the pigeon droppings, which supposedly was also added, that might have made all the difference. It was supposed to be popular around Newton Abbot, so you should try a tasting with the locals about there (mind you, they’re a rough lot out that way so maybe not)

Stuart Howe said...

I'm proud that my panel couldn't find anything in its favour Zak! I had hoped that this beer would surprise me, a great deal more hope than expectation.

The Newton Abbot area is a bit rufty tufty for us Rock types Adrian. They don't take kindly chaps in blazers and red cords in those parts.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Boorde said almost 460 years ago of Cornish white ale that it was "lokinge whyte and thycke, as pygges had wrasteled in it,” and that “it wyll make one to kacke, also to spew," so you can't say you weren't warned.

The Puffin said...

What does Boorde know? In 1943, Douglas Guthrie commented that "Andrew Boorde is seldom mentioned by historians of medicine. When noted at all, he is sometimes passed off as a mere buffoon or mountebank, the original "Merry Andrew"."
Still, who gives a kacke?

Beard Beer Blogger said...

It looks a little like the peruvian drink Chicha made from a grain, or root which is chewed up and spit out then allowed to ferment using the local flora found in the makers spit. I guess it is sort of popular, but I have never tasted it.

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