Well we finally got to tap the one and only keg of Blonde Wino we will have this year, and in a single weekend we almost kicked it as well. This brew has been a total experiment from the beginning and I’ve got to say I’ve loved it the whole way through. What started as a crazy dinner conversation has ended up as something I will for sure brew again next year.
So when you pour the Wino off the tap it comes out a great light amber color. The blonde was a pale straw when we brewed it but the Chardonnay juice gives the brew a deeper richer color. The head on the beer is a nice white that quickly recedes to just a thin veil where it meets the glass.
When you smell the beer the Chardonnay juice clearly comes through with hints of honey, melon and citrus. We kept the hops intentionally low to focus on the Chardonnay but next time we will probably add just a bit more especially to get a little more bouquet.
When you take a sip of the Wino the small bubbles from the carbonation hit your tongue first leading the way for a nice Chardonnay flavor with a medium level of acidity. As the brew rolls back it leads to a great nutty toasty flavor from the blonde ale. The combination of the acidity followed by the great toasty flavor balance two very different tastes amazingly well.
So, like I said before, I love this beer and this weekend I found out I was not alone. Most everyone who tried it was a little taken back on their first sip, I think mostly due to the higher acidity, but by the time they finished a glass they were back at the tap for another. I sent a couple bottles off to the winemaker who gave me the Chardonnay juice and I’m really looking forward to his reaction. The keg is just about tapped out but this is already on the list to make again next year, how long until harvest?
8.5 lbs 2 row pale
.5 lbs Carmel 20
1 oz Willamette (at 45)
Made a basic blonde ale and fermented through primary (10 days). Racked the beer and added the Chardonnay juice to secondary. Let it sit for 2 weeks and racked again.
Blonde OG 1.040
Chardonnay OG 1.098
Esitmated ABV ~ 7.3