Wildflower Gold is something of a unique beer in our local landscape. This page provides a running journal of tasting notes on various blends.
Wildflower Gold is defining the Australian interpretation of a long and historic line of traditional beer-making techniques, using primarily local ingredients and the Wildflower house blend of yeast.
Head brewer and blender, Topher Boehm, has spoken previously about his philosophy when it comes to making beer. That philosophy can be identified in this beer.
The purpose of this page is to keep a running journal of the various blends. It’s intended as process of documentation.
Notes are taken when the beer is consumed relatively fresh after release. However, these beers will change in the bottle over time. The best place to find these beers is at the Wildflower cellar door in Marrickville, although older blends are likely to sell out.
Blend #1 – 4 March 2017
The first blend of Wildflower Gold was something of a landmark release. You can read more about it here.
This blend was never released.
Blend #3 – 4 May 2017
Blend #3 presents with the slightest whiff of sulphur. In the glass it shows off a pale yellow-gold complexion with impressive clarity.
It pours with fervour, fizzing and hissing its way up the glass. A foamy head dissipates but it remains spritzy and lively on the tongue, holding carbonation. The sparkling characteristics of this beer are perfect for elevating flavours of accompanying food and lifting fat from the palate.
The prevailing aromas are grassy with some damp cellar floor lurking temptingly underneath. Lemon zest, on the back of the palate, lingers into the finish.
Blend #4 – 31 May 2017
Blend #4 showcases a light, muted gold colour, almost a dusty matte in its appearance. This sits below a white sea foam head which froths nicely if you pour vigourously or swirl the glass with some abandon.
It promises light acidity on the nose, with aromas of freshly cut grass and morning dew flowing into a rounded, thirst-quenching juiciness on the first few sips.
There’s a discernible grist base but some sweet white bread and the characteristic Wildflower yeast comes through. These components come together in unison to make a quaffable beer.
The yeast character is toned down compared to previous blends. There’s less overt pepperiness and more of its own unique character. It feels like it’s leaving some of the Dupont strain behind in terms of the presiding flavour profile.
Ironically, this blend looks more like Saison Dupont in the glass than previous iterations.
Blend #4 feels like it’s evolved, like the beer is finding its identity and Topher Boehm is getting it to be what he wants it to be. A magnificent iteration of the beer.
Blend #5 – 17 June 2017
The fifth blend of Wildflower Gold looks enticing in the glass with a bright lemon-yellow colour under a sudsy white foam.
It shows off a delicate impression of tartness on the nose which is backed up by the flavour. Starting with a tongue-tingle spritzy acidity, it continues into the mid-palate and lingers on the finish with a lemon juice sourness which is just enough to cut through food, quench and lure you in for more.
As it opens the lemon characteristics in #5 become more rounded and present slightly sweeter. Think of slathers of lemon curd on sourdough bread or desserts like lemon cheesecake or meringue. This is followed by subtle spice and a grassy funk.
With this blend, Topher Boehm has found a barrel that works particularly well for him. Both barrels that contributed to this beer have been used in previous blends. As Topher writes on the Wildflower blog, barrel 1719 had already been filled and emptied five times by the time this beer was released. It’s presenting the house culture, which become more prominent in the previous blend, very nicely.
Blend #6 -4 July 2017
The sixth blend of Gold shows a touch of cloudiness from the yeast and a light acidity up front. There are flavours of orange marmalade and lime preserves, followed by a medley of lemon zest, rind and pith.
There’s perhaps a bit more of the classic Dupont strain showing itself in this blend but it retains what is quickly becoming a distinctive Wildflower character. A sprinkling of white pepper rounds out the finish of this beer.
The intention is for it to be enjoyable and accessible and it certainly is. In #6 this could be down to less overt tartness than previous blends. Or maybe it’s the balance of yeast-driven flavours and restrained wood character. The fruity, jammy qualities and a modestly sweet biscuit base combine to make a familiar and comforting combination of flavours.
Blend #7 – 2 August 2017
Number 7 in the series of Gold blends showcases more Chardonnay wine grape flavours than previous versions. This sits on top of a subtle bass line of vanilla oak. Up front there are softened and mellowed spices of nutmeg and clove. The primary characteristic of this blend is dried lemon pith, a slight variation on the citrus flavours of previous Golds.
There’s a touch of cloudiness to the liquid in the glass. It presents hazy, in the traditional use of that descriptor for beer.
The finish on blend #7 is drying with an almost dusty quality to it, leading you in to drink more. Each blend has been easy to drink and it’s certainly the case in this one. Notably, the acidity in this blend seems toned down compared to previous releases.
All together, it’s a very integrated blend. It has a medium weight in the mouthfeel and there’s a tongue-coating smoothness which makes it a pleasure to drink.
Blend #8 – 29 August 2017
There’s the tiniest hint of sulphur on the nose of blend #8 but this is soon masked by a zesty, fruity aroma evoking tart pink grapefruit and lemon juice. On the palate there’s lemon shortbread as the characteristic citrus elements combine with the grainy base. This flows into the familiar dry, grassy funk of the Wildflower house culture.
This earthy character lends it a savouriness which, combined with a drying finish, tempts you back for more and more.
There’s a delightful clarity to this blend which contrasts beautifully with the excitable head and pillowy mouthfeel.
#8 is an exciting blend that shows a slight sidestep from previous versions, particular on the nose.
Blend #9 – 12 October 2017
Blend number nine has a bit more spice than previous versions. It has some white pepper and cardamom on the nose which lingers through to the palate. It sits over lush green grass.
The citrus character that we’ve come to expect from Wildflower Gold soon comes to the fore. Firstly there’s subtle lemongrass and this is followed by lemon zest and lemon curd. It’s a sweeter flavour than the tangy lemon that previous blends have presented.
There’s a modicum of cloudiness to the liquid and the appearance of weight in the glass belies the spritzy sensation on the tongue. There are light, tingling, small fizzy bubbles that roll into a drying sensation that lingers on the palate.
As this blend opens up it showcases more of a delicious grassy funk. It’s a bold iteration with a lot going on, perhaps one of the most forceful blends in the series so far.
Blend #10 – November 2017
The tenth blend of Wildflower Gold has a soft, mousse-like texture which builds on a similar character that was present in the ninth blend. With the citrus-forward character, it comes across as light, whipped lemon meringue pie.
There’s a furry peach skin and stone fruit flesh character, along with some cardamom spice as in other recent blends. There’s lemon zest near the finish and it culminates with one of the driest impressions yet. There’s a soft woodiness that lingers on the palate.
This iteration contains less overt funk or tartness. The focus is seemingly on the textural elements and the expression of oak in the beer. It’s an interesting one, light and refreshing.
Blend number 10 was the first released in 2018 and one that sets a high bar for the rest of the year.
Leave a comment below with your own tasting notes for blends of Wildflower Gold.