Not unlike their single hop series, Mikkeller has now come out with a yeast series that showcases five different yeasts. The hop and grain bill of the beers are identical, but they have been fermented with Belgian Ale, Brettanomyces, Hefe Weizen, Pilsner, and US Ale yeasts. I got a chance to try all of them last night at a local bar, and it was quite an experience. After last night I have a new found respect for the different characteristics that yeast imparts on beer.
The base was pretty similar to an APA, and was best suited for the US Ale and Pilsner yeasts. There was a good lacing on each of the glasses and the color was dark copper to deep amber. The Brettanomyces stood out above the rest, with hints of sweet tarts, must, and pineapple that left the mouth dry. The Belgian did not have a big fruit or ester smell, but it was certainly there, and the hops were overpowered by the malty mouthfeel. The American, as I said before, seemed most fitting of the grain bill. It might have been for this reason that it didn't seem like anything special, but it made for good full bodied APA. The Hefe had a nice clove and banana aroma that was supported by a malty backbone and a good amount of residual sweetness. The Pilsner was very clean and crisp like most lagers, which allowed the hops to be showcased. I wrote "bright" down next to Pilsner, which may or may not be a very good describing word, but it was after a threw a few down the old hatch.
I have to say that I learned more about yeast last night than I ever have before. It's one thing to be able to say "here's a Belgian beer this is the flavor that the yeast imparts on it", but when you're really able to bench test different yeasts against one another it brings what alcoholics refer to as 'a moment of clarity'. Anyway, that's all I have to say about that.