It's often stated (without too much in the way of qualification) that some perries simply don't blend well. I've never fully understood the reasoning behind this to be honest. Is it a flavour clash, or maybe just a bit of reverse logic since a fair few perry pears can make a good single variety perry. I think I may now know at least part of the answer...
The thinking behind my experimental blend was to take a low acid, high tannin perry (Malvern Hills), and blend 50/50 with a low tannin, high acid perry (Green Horse), thereby achieving a balance of sorts, toning down the tannin, and perhaps even giving a more complex and interesting flavour. Simple. What could possibly go wrong? Well the blending went well enough, and the flavour was indeed better than the sum of its parts. The tannin is still there, but more restrained, and the acidity of the Green Horse makes for a more drinkable perry. Everything was looking good so I barreled up a couple ready for delivery to a local festival. The problem with this blend became apparent a few days later on the eve of delivery. Apparently, and unbeknownst to me, if you mix a crystal clear Malvern Hills perry with an opaque Green Horse perry, what you get is a typically odd bit of perry chemistry, and an unacceptably cloudy perry. The fact that this doesn't become apparent immediately is no help at all. Oh dear!
|Polymeric Perry Tannins|
This simple blending experiment may not be a complete loss though. Another 70 litres of the blend is now sitting in the ciderhouse clearing nicely. Unsightly clumps of rubbery tannin like this are bad news if they're floating around in the perry, but thankfully they have a tendency to sink to the bottom of the fermenter out of harms way. Given a little more time, this blend looks like it will come good after all. The moral of this tale is, be careful when blending perries with very different characteristics, and always blend well ahead of the time you'll need it, rather than the week before!!!
|Mystery Perry 2010|