The sacred texts told us Brettanomyces had a ‘horse blanket’ or ‘barnyard’ aroma. It is, they said, ‘sweaty’, ‘leathery’, ‘mousy’.
But none of that worked for us and we couldn’t spot Brett unless we’d been cued to expect it.
We know what the experts are getting at with the animal comparisons – earthy, musky, funky, right? – but it’s like trying to describe the colour red by saying ‘Purplish, but also orangey.’ Brett is Brett, and nothing else.
We eventually cracked it by drinking a lot of Orval, and ‘Orval-like’ is the most useful descriptor for Brett character we’ve yet discovered.
Any other suggestions?