With food, appearance is just as important as flavour but in beverages, flavour is the ‘king pin’. Aroma and texture underpin the amount, type and balance of flavours we encounter.
So a little about flavour then. Flavour is not just about the types we encounter. For example, a cider has Granny Smith or Pink Lady characteristics or secondary crafting influences like sediment contact and the like. It’s just as much about the shear volume or restraint of the flavours as it is about the type and complexity.
Overall though, it’s about the balance of the type of flavours, to the amount of them. Getting a balance between the primary fruit flavours to the secondary crafting influences and a balance between restraint and power. A balance we’ve worked very hard to achieve in our new packaged Reactor. In the Reactor, we needed to balance the primary fruit flavours of the pear and apple, then the crafting influences of the fruit pressed through the basket press as opposed to the belt press.
The light bulb moment was tweaking in one of my early experiments of a “high ratio solids ferment” to tilt the whole taste of the cider to an old school/old world traditional style. On the blending bench 1% made all the difference, another was way too much. Next time I’ll give an insight into texture and why it’s such an undervalued aspect of sensory evaluation.