It’s finally time.
I know we’ve been asked countless times about the next shakedown series beer, and I’m here to tell you that it’s finally arriving tomorrow, Thursday May 29th.
We are firm believers here at Wanderlust to serve no beer before its time, and this is one that we’ve been sitting on for a good long time at this point, and we’re finally ready to unleash it on the world.
So what is it? Well, for starters, we’re calling it the “Farmhouse Rouge”. The name is pretty telling of the beer, as it’s a saison which has been aged in a red wine barrel for over a year at this point. My brewing log says that it was brewed in January of 2013, making it the longest beer we’ve ever incubated before serving.
I mentioned in our post about the Tramontane that we had gotten a hold of some saison yeast that I was particularly fond of, and that’s what jumpstarted the ideas around the 4 tradewinds themed saisons that we’re working our way though. The last time we got a hold of that yeast was almost 2 years ago, and the beer that is sitting in those lovely bottles was the last time we used it. It’s a beautiful thing, and only fitting that we have it coming out in bottles right now.
The beer pours a deep dark red, with an off-white head that dissipates quickly due to the acidity acquired from the wine barrel. There is a subtle spice on the nose, with an overwhelming aroma of red wine and green wood. The red wine aroma is sweetened from a healthy dose of caramel malt in the grain bill, which hints at the flavors within the beer.
The flavor is slightly acidic with some tannins from the wine barrel melding with a subtle spice from the saison yeast. There is barely any bitterness as that has faded over the last year and a half of aging, but the acidity and crisp grape flavors from the wine barrel cut through the sweetness imparted by the base maltiness of the beer to leave your mouth dry and yearning for another sip. There is a slight alcohol hotness, hinting at the 8.6% ABV contained within.
This beer is bottle conditioned, meaning that the carbonation is imparted by a refermentation in the bottle, so there will be a small layer of yeast at the bottom. I prefer to leave it on the bottom and pour slowly, although it’s certainly not bad for you if you want to taste that added complexity of the yeast. If you prefer to try it that way, give it a slow roll on the table before you pour to re-suspend the yeast in the beer. The yeast we use to referement is actually a wild yeast called “Brettanomyces” and over time this yeast will continue to develop and give some really nice earthy flavors to this beer.
Due to this bottle conditioning technique, the Farmhouse Rouge should age incredibly well, and get even more complex over time. Store it warm and upright if you’re going to save it for later, and then chill it down the day before you’re going to drink it.
We will have this beer starting tomorrow (May 29th) at the taproom, and it will be around at a few select locations in Flagstaff (and possibly Phoenix) over the next 1-2 weeks.
We hope you enjoy our latest shakedown creation, cheers!