Last year when we went to package Waratah 2017, we decided to keep a barrel aside. I wanted to see what would happen with our 100% native yeast culture in barrel over a year. I was and still am intrigued at the differences a small change in our normal house culture (ie remove a single Belgian-origin strain from the mix) would have in the overall population diversity and interactions. The wild yeast character of this beer is markedly different than our aged Gold or Amber.
At release in November 2018, Year Old 'Tah has a savoury nose with distinct toasty oak aromatics that meld overtime with soft brown spices and preserved citrus. The palate is long with an intensely creamy fine bead that gives a strong champagne character to the beer. Soft rich flavours of brown sugar, toasted spice and oak create a beer with great cellaring potential.
Waratah 2017 was a collaboration between Ryefield Hops (Bemboka, NSW), Voyager Craft Malt (Whitton, NSW), Batch Brewing Co (Sydney, NSW) and Wildflower Brewing & Blending. To our knowledge, Waratah 2017 was the first commercially available beer made entirely of New South Wales ingredients.
The base beer was brewed entirely with New South Wales cereals, hops and yeast on 17 July 2017: Single Origin (S.O.) Riverina grown Schooner barley and Janz S.O. raw wheat from Voyager Craft Malt. S.O. Cascade and Fuggle hops grown in Bemboka, NSW. Finally, it was fermented with our native culture of foraged wild yeast and naturally occurring souring bacteria native to New South Wales. It was bottled on June 13 2018 and naturally conditioned through refermentation for 20 weeks. At bottling it was 5.5% ABV, 23 IBU and 0.5°P (FG= 1.002 SG).
As single barrel bottling and with a keg going to be poured at the bar, we will only have 80 bottles available at cellar door and online each. We do not anticipate any Year Old 'Tah to be available outside our cellar door and online store.
Like all our beers, Year Old 'Tah is best enjoyed when decanted off a settled natural yeast sediment at cellar temperatures (10-12°C).