Sunday, May 13, 2012

Black Velvet - Wolaver's Oatmeal Stout & Sparkling Wine (Mixed Drink)

The last mixed concoction sampled last Friday at the Otter Creek/ Wolaver's tasting event at Red Square. Otter Creek brewmaster told me it was the best offer there and I couldn't agree more. The only one I did't sample that night due to slight inebriation was, On The Seventh Day, a mixed drink of Shed Mountain Ale, Campari, Barr Hill Gin, Grapefruit Juice, and Lemon (Seven Days was a sponsor of the event).

Price: $3.50/ Half; $7.00/ Full
Medium: The full is served in a tall, slender 'stange' glass (a slender water glass will suffice)

To recreate this mixed drink, fill a tall, slender drinking glass approximately half to 3/4 full of Oatmeal Stout and pour sparkling white wine very slowly over the back of a spoon to reduce agitation and excessive foaming. Stir lightly for a better blend of flavors or experience the sparkling wine first and watch it transform into stout throughout the session.

Aroma: Sparkling white wine aroma is reminiscent of white grapefruit juice. The wine/ vinous aromas hide the oatmeal stout character at first, but when blended together both enhance each other. About half way through the session the blending becomes much more apparent, yet adding much complexity.
Appearance: The sparkling white wine was slowly poured over the back of a small spoon to prevent foaming. Effervescent streams presented from the highly carbonated sparkling wine combines with a frothy off-white/ tan head. The head fades away quickly due to the white wine, but would most likely remain otherwise. Similar to a black and tan color scheme, the wine and beer do not particularly mix well unless lightly agitated. More ruby colors shine through at the bottom.
Flavor: Opens up more of a highly carbonated wine flavor of grapefruits. This was expected due to the appearance and nature of pour. When mixed better about half way through, a lightly roasted and smooth malty/ oat flavor - becomes more apparent towards the bottom/ end of the session. Minimal chocolate malt sweetness. The aroma profile also changes while the flavors start to blend together better. Balanced more towards the sweetness, which is in part due to the sweet wine.
Mouthfeel: The combined drinks create a lighter/ fluffy, more drinkable beer that maintains its creamy smooth base style. The wine actually simplifies the beer, thinning out the body and making for a less full beer. High carbonation aids in a crisp finish and cleanses the palate in the end. Simply refreshing.
Overall Impression: The sparkling wine thins out the style, adding more carbonation while not detracting from an otherwise creamy, smooth, oatmeal character - the oatmeal stout suddenly becomes more appropriate for a hot, sunny day! As a homebrewer, I suggest recreating this concoction with a batch of oatmeal stout that didn't attenuate fully. It will help turn an otherwise sweet, thick-bodied stout into a more enjoyable session beer.

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