Category Archives: Saisons/Farmhouse Ale

Highwater ‘Felice’ BA Saison

Rating:

“This is the second in our series of Barrel Aged Specialty Ales. Felice was fermented and aged four months with Brettanomyces and Saison yeast in freshly emptied wine barrels. As a twist, Indian Long Peppers were added after barrel aging. A mix of tropical fruit flavors up front are complimented by an earthy and spicy finish on the palate. This complex beer reveals nuances and exotic whispers of clove, nutmeg, cardamom and black pepper that the ancient Long Pepper introduces.”

Glassware: Trappist tulip.

Appearance: Hazy burnished orange with a short and creamy off white cap. Fairly decent head retention with a wet and wavy lace being strewn down the glass.

Aroma: There’s certainly a lot going on here. Quite musty and earthy, ripe fleshy stonefruit, peppery spice, farmyard and horse blanket, candied lemon, banana runts, bubblegum, fennel and clove. Woah! Not to mention the more subtle notes of sherbet, floral perfumes, vinous oak and Angostura bitters. Well that is one incredibly complex and busy aroma. We’re loving it.

Flavour: Follows on from the nose with its sheer depth and hive of activity. Only the slightest sourness on the tongue as a wave of citrus, biscuit malt, fruity yeast esters and herbal spice washes over. Picking up the oaky and delicate vinous notes along with funky/bretty farmyard which leads to a somewhat tangy, earthy and spicy finish which lingers.

Mouthfeel: Nicely rounded, smooth and somewhat creamy texture. Medium body, mild-moderate Co2. The 4.5% ABV is interesting…they’ve managed an excellent weight and texture whilst keeping it so low.

Overall: A very edgy and clever take on a Saison. Lots of adjuncts i.e brettanomyces, Indian long peppers (which we couldn’t really uncover) and then aged in wine barrels. Despite all of that it still keeps a strong sense of classicism which we like. Solid offering.

Brasserie Du Bocq ‘1858’ Saison

Rating:

“Unfiltered blonde beer with a touch of wheat and a strong bitterness. Brewed the good old way, it is very refreshing. The only Saison beer produced in the region of Namur! The foam and bubbles are delicate and fine. Balance is the key word for this beer. It shifts between floral aromas, lime, a little broom and a lace mouth, but is robust at the same time. Refreshing as hell, this beer takes us back in time.”

Glassware: Trappist tulip.

Appearance: Slightly hazy straw yellow complexion with a gigantic four finger head which slowly deconstructs. It leaves an absolute smattering of lace as it subsides.

Aroma: Really light and refreshing notes of zesty citrus i.e lime, lemon sorbet and subtle grapefruit/rind straight off the bat. Fruity herbals like lemongrass, freesia and lemon verbena, wheat grains, hay and straw, hints of black pepper and musty farmyard in support. As it settles the different variants of lemon (candy, juice, sorbet and rind) really begin to take shape. Very conventional Saison and we love it.

Flavour: While there’s an overall dryness to it the intensity of the citrus, herbals and orchard fruits almost trick the brain into thinking it’s heavier than it really is. The savoury wheat grains, slightly bready malts and spice swirl around while the kinda floral and earthy/musty notes develop late and shift into the light and zesty finish.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light on and mineraly. There’s a nice spritzy Co2 and the 6.4% ABV is nicely poised.

Overall: This is end to end classic Saison. Maybe with a touch of Witbier but in texture only. We couldn’t think of a better beer to match this unseasonably warm spring-like weather. World class stuff.

Les Trois Mousquetaires ‘Saison Brett – Griotte & Canneberge’ BA Saison

Rating:

“Brett saison with sour cherries and cranberries added during aging in oak barrels.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Mild-medium amber with a deep orange tint. It hardly produces any head with a thin ring struggling to leave any lace behind.

Aroma: Holy moly it’s actually quite sour! There’s a distinct lacto sharpness to it which provides the heady lemon, sour apple, yoghurt-like funk and white wine vinegar. Also picking up unripened peach, apricot, fruity white wine, subtle Angostura bitters, dank herbals and a dry, musty barnyard quality. Wow, that’s a really complex aroma…diggin it big time.

Flavour: The sourness is slightly more restrained and the citrus/fruit side of it is emphasized. There’s a really dominant lime flavour upfront which blends with the more classic Saison features i.e musty barnyard, Angostura bitters, peppery spice and earthy herbals. There’s something rather dank to it but we can’t quite put our finger on it though. Nice dry finish with a lick of tangy citrus and musty funk.

Mouthfeel: Pretty light on, effervescent and approachable which is impressive considering the 7% ABV and slightly acidic sourness.

Overall: It has been a seriously long time between drinks for us and LTM. Everything we’ve ever had from them has been top notch so it’s great to see them and their old world styles back on our shores. Keep em coming!

Brouwerij Henricus ‘Paljas’ Saison

Rating:

“Paljas Saison is an unfiltered and high fermented Ale with refermentation in the bottle. The use of a certain percentage of wheat and the little use of dry-hopping gives the beer a very nice flavor and fresh aroma. Specific yeast makes sure almost all sugars are fermented which makes it a dry and fluent drinkable beer for nice summer days.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Slightly hazy straw golden pour with a short fizzy head which fades quickly. It still manages an excellent wavy lace down the glass.

Aroma: It’s not really lifting out of the glass a whole lot. A vigorous swirl opens up the estery yeast characters; apple/pear, rosewater and subtle spicy notes alongside delicate candied lemon, Angostura bitters and herbal honey. Again very mild but evident wheat grains and straw/hay mixed in with some fruit sweetness…mostly stonefruits like peach, melon and apricot. Lovely nose, just wish it had more oomph!

Flavour: Pretty conventional which comes as no surprise as they hail from the holy land – Flanders. It’s a fair bit drier than your DuPont’s and Fantôme’s and seems to be lacking the acetic citrus and bretty funk that’s so synonymous with the style. All we really get is a musty dryness, some fruity hops and a slightly dry and grainy finish. Not a lot of depth to it at all.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat dry, mineraly, a tad soapy. Sparkling Co2. Mild-moderate body. 6% ABV is on point.

Overall: Not sold. It comes up short in a lot of departments and just seems really tired too. The bottle already has 8 months on it so age could be a factor. Although Saison’s are known to have a better shelf life than most so…….yeah, a big fat meh.

Brasserie DuPont ‘Cuvee Dry Hopping – Styrian Wolf’ Saison

Rating:

“A special dry-hopped version of the brewery’s world famous Saison Dupont. This version features Styrian Wolf hops – a Slovakian variety known for its exceptional tropical fruit notes – to complement the Saison’s iconic peppery flavour.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Hazy pastel orange with two fingers of fizzy white head. Looks a lot like a NEIPA! Not a great deal of lace as we indulge.

Aroma: 100% classic Saison! We guess when you’re talking about the best in the business it makes sense! It’s just a beautiful fusion of Belgian yeasty notes (peppery spice, banana runts and a touch of bubblegum), farmhouse grains which provide hay, straw and freshly cut grass and this interesting hop variety called “Styrian Wolf”. Apparently it’s a Slovenian hop which provides tropical fruits and strong florals…of which we get both!

Flavour: We certainly pick up more of the hop profile here. The conventional Saison qualities (spicy yeast, wheat grains, Angostura bitters etc) are slightly superceded by a heady floral accent, milder tropical fruits like melon and tart passionfruit, lemon and light herbals. It has a nice bitter finish with lingering hay and peppery spice on the back.

Mouthfeel: Kinda light and fluffy, mild-medium body. Dry-ish texture. Quite an effervescent Co2. The 6.5% ABV is well behaved too.

Overall: Nice drop. Old world base with a bit of a new world twist…the Styrian Wolf hops do a good job of bringing those new world flavours in to it. Decent.

Phantom Carriage ‘Disembodied Entity’ BA Saison w Apricots

Rating:

“Saison barrel-aged with brettanomyces and apricots.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Cloudy pastel orange with a short fizzy head which peels off quickly. Not a great deal of lace is being left behind.

Aroma: Amazing. Almost smells like a world class Lambic with its gorgeous apricot, peach and candied lemon notes. Subtle hints of brett here and there…funky, spicy and horsey. Woody oak, white grapes, earthy hops and tart citrus for added depth. Superb. As we said it’s more Lambic than Saison!

Flavour: Holy moly she’s quite sour too! We detect the apricots instantly as they morph in to hints of unripened peach, melon and kumquat. Tart citrus comes through the other side as does a mix of wheat grains and straw. The stonefruits come full 360 and finish it all off.

Mouthfeel: Tart, crisp and slightly acidic. Kind of a lightly sparkling Co2. Pucker rating gets a deserved 3.5/5 and the 5.3% ABV is surprisingly lower than expected.

Overall: Probably our favourite of the PC beers we’ve had to date. Similar to Mortal Wood just with more pronounced bretty funk and wheat grains. Diggin it.

Jervis Bay Brewing ‘Surreal’ Saison

Rating:

“Saison is a style originating in French-speaking Belgium that was traditionally brewed to take advantage of the seasonal harvest. True to form, ours is composed from barley, wheat and oats, but what makes a saison unique isn’t grains or hops, it’s the yeast. Adapted for high-temperature fermentation, it expresses notes of banana, clove and white pepper. It also has an insatiable appetite for sugar and devours almost all of it, resulting in a super-dry finish to this unique beer. Get your party saison started, but be careful! Its delicate body conceals an inner strength”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: 100% clear straw golden body with a well kept head perched on top. Nice wavy lace sticks to the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: Displaying those classic yeasty notes of banana runts, clove and peppery spice, candied lemon, Angostura bitters, Sprite, ground coriander, orange/rind and wet grass or hay. The latter certainly works in to the grainy and wheaty malt that fills out nicely.

Flavour: It lands with a heady floral character and tonnes of yeasty Belgian spice and banana. Candied citrus, orange peel and herbs are thrown in amongst a rustic funk. Wheat grains and straw/hay and some honey sweetness then shift in to a slightly dry and musty finish with plenty of yeasty funk on the tail.

Mouthfeel: Light, spritzy, mild-medium body. 5.9% ABV is kinda inconclusive.

Overall: A pretty ballsy beer to take on in your first year of operation but big ups to them. And even better… they’ve done a reasonable job. Very tidy!

Mountain Culture X Wildflower ‘Family Fuelled’ Saison

Rating:

“Mountain Culture x Wildflower Family Fuelled is a beer made with our mates at Mountain Culture Beer Co. We brewed this old school can-conditioned saison together in late Feb at their place with pale Schooner grains from Voyager Craft Malt. Mashing in real cool and slowly ramping the temp over a couple of hours, it was boiled with fresh & aged spicy, noble hops, knocked out warm and open fermented w/o temp control in a flat bottom tank with our favourite pure culture saison strain. Amongst both of our favourite styles to make and drink designed to be enjoyed as it was made… with friends who feel like family (well maybe on zoom at the moment). We’re pretty proud of that and wanted to celebrate it in this beer.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Pale golden yellow with a soft haze. A thumb of fluffy white foam rests atop and works a fine lace down the glass.

Aroma: Wow this is about as traditional as you can get. The yeast esters dominate – banana runts, clove, pear and a touch of bubblegum. Nice and dry, floral, a little musty with plenty of barnyard funk/horse blanket, citrus rind, pepper, Angostura bitters and herbs. Kind of has traits of a top shelf Belgian Tripel. One of the better Saison aroma’s we’ve enjoyed lately.

Flavour: Dead set spot on for the style. There’s a rush of funky, yeasty and bretty flavours to the fore. Backed up by peppery spice, orange citrus and rind, stonefruit and Angostura bitters. Some floral honey, wheat grains/hay, herbals and a dry musty barnyard funk which leads to a spicy and yeasty finish with good duration.

Mouthfeel: Light on, crisp, mineraly. Mild-medium body. The 4.5% ABV is surprising considering the amount of flavour happening.

Overall: A really impressive Saison but we shouldn’t expect anything less from two breweries who are at the top of their game. Mountain Culture though…they can do no wrong!

Molly Rose ‘When Life Gives You Lemons’ Farmhouse Ale

Rating:

“Dry hopped and dry lemoned (fresh lemons) farmhouse ale. Clean and crisp with some specialty malt giving it a biscuity character making the beer reminiscent of a hoppy lemon slice. Unique hop profile Loral, Amarillo, Centennial and Ahtanum, with Aussie Pale malt, raw wheat, oats and munich malt.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Cloudy pale golden yellow with a mammoth four finger head. It collapses and forms a ring of loose bubble. Patchy spots of lace stick as we go

Aroma: A couple of different shades of lemon excite the olfactory’s initially…fresh and almost piney scents first followed by more of a candied and sugary version. Floral notes come through with a kind of citrusy champagne yeast, lime, peppery spice, subtle bubblegum and other yeast esters. There’s a crusty malt profile underneath it all too. Not bad.

Flavour: It’s all a little timid but the lemon does come forward first. Fresh, candied and yeasty versions all rolled in to one with a somewhat grainy farmyard funk fused through. Subtle peppery spice, citrus peel and herbs cut in and shift in to a really dry, funky and citrusy finish which endures nicely.

Mouthfeel: Light and gassy with rather high carbonation. Not much behind it unfortunately as it peeters out on to a barren dryness. 5.2% ABV neither here nor there.

Overall: Quite a disappointing intro for Molly Rose. We’d heard good things about them so naturally we were keen to give them a run. It just seems a little disjointed really…not sure if the lemon really fits in that well either. Oh well we have their IPA next so we’ll see how that fares.

Far Yeast Brewing ‘Kagua’ Saison

Rating:

“Fruity and dry farmhouse ale with refreshing yuzu aroma”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Hazy burnished orange with a thumb of fizzy white head. It doesn’t take long to settle at the rim with an egg shaped mounting floating in the middle.

Aroma: Really unique. The first thing that comes to mind are numerous floral perfumes i.e lavender, verbena, sage and rosemary. Maybe a hint of musk as well. Plenty of peppery spice as a good Saison should plus a hint of tart yellow citrus – only one Japanese citrus can smell like that and that is the one and only yuzu! Decent ester/phenol profile, little bit of farmyard funk. Pretty good.

Flavour: Doesn’t seem to have the same amount of pizzazz as the aroma. Picking up much more restrained notes of floral perfumes, citrus, peppery spice and wheaty farmyard funk. Something kind of dry and musty happening as well. A bit of a less than impressive finish of wheaty malts, pepper and yeast esters.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy and well rounded. Slightly flat though. Medium body. 6% ABV well concealed.

Overall: Unsure about this one. It certainly has the bones of a good Saison plus the aroma was great but the tired flavour profile and lack of Co2 was the let down for us. Not sold.

One Drop Brewing ‘5 Brett’ Saison

Rating:
87273474_1310917115759097_8601730096908206080_o“5 Brett Saison, based on our popular house saison, is a mixed 7 grain base with a melange of additions including pink peppercorns, mandarin peel, cardamom and Tasmanian pepper berries, then bottle conditioned with 5 variants of Brettanomyces, wild strains that impart offbeat qualities like barnyard funk, tropical fruit, and earthy pepper.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Pale golden amber with two fingers of rocky white foam on top. It slowly reduces with thick blotchy lace in patches.

Aroma: Heady notes of Angostura bitters, citrus rind, candied lemon and lime, mature chardonnay and barnyard funk. Kind of smells a bit like an old fashioned. Definitely picking up some cracked pepper, sour cola lollies, herbal spice (aniseed, basil and curry leaf). Theres something quite tangy happening here but just can’t put our finger on it.

Flavour: Changes fairly dramatically. Very dry and musty, strong on the barnyard funk and herbal spice – aniseed and peppery basil. Pithy grapefruit and citrus rind bitterness midway moving in to a rather strident finish with lingering pepper and rind on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Dry and a little astringent. The 8.2% ABV certainly adds another layer of warmth. Mild-moderate body with a slightly lifted Co2.

Overall: Love the edgy-ness of the beer – 5 different strains of brettanomyces, spice adjuncts over an already complex style…then boosted up by a mammoth 8.2% ABV. The texture and aggression would be our only criticism. Other than that it’s an impressive drop.

Crooked Stave ‘Vieille’ BA Saison

Rating:
53701910_1054120004772144_1295575871226118144_n“Translated from French as “old-tradition”, Vieille is our barrel-aged classical saison. Using time-honored techniques, our saisons employ traditional methods to restore complexity and the rustic character lost in modern day saison. Saisons were the original wild ales, brewed for the farmhands to be a refreshing and sustaining beverage.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Hazy pale straw colour with two fingers of light puffy foam perched on top. Slow reduction settling to a fine overlay with spotty lace as we go.

Aroma: Classic Saison notes of wheat grains, straw, florals, leafy herbs, dry musty farmyard, oak, delicate citrus and peppery spice. There’s a subtle brett character but it’s more about the estery Belgian yeast than the funky wilds. Very pleasant nose…and very traditional.

Flavour: Tasting a bit more funk now. Super mild brett sourness on entry alongside tangy lemon, straw and herbal hops. Subtle orange peel, spice and peach through the mid and leading in to a dry and musty finish. Maybe a flutter of lime on the rear but it’s pretty restrained.

Mouthfeel: Light on, effervescent texture. We were surprised to see the low AbV (4.2%) but then again that plays right in to the beers traditional nature.

Overall: We must give credit where it’s due – they’ve crammed a tonne of flavour and aromatics in while keeping the AbV low. It’s a tidy, well balanced and well structured offering.

Perennial Artisan Ales ‘Saison De Lis’ Chamomile-infused Saison

Rating:
48423410_1010008232516655_2458623259449491456_n“A straw colored Belgian-style Saison brewed with chamomile flowers. It is fermented with a traditional saison yeast strain that imparts fruity and spicy notes that dovetail perfectly with the tea-like quality of the chamomile. Finishes dry, tart, and refreshing.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Straw gold with a frothy three finger head which persists. It leaves a mess on the glass as we indulge.

Aroma: Funky and floral perfumes initially. Tonnes of yeast esters and spice, candied citrus, banana runts, coriander, farmyard and wheat grains making up the bulk of it. The chamomile comes through in a herbal and sweet fruity kind of way, it’s a nice touch we’d admit this is the first time we’ve ever seen a chamomile-infused beer.

Flavour: The level of Co2 took us back a bit. Once that tapers off it delivers strong witbier-esque yeast esters, wheat grains and herbaceous chamomile. Getting just a flutter of black peppercorn and other earthy adjuncts rolling in to a semi-dry, spicy and yeasty finish which has legs.

Mouthfeel: Super fizzy…the Co2 could do with some scaling back actually. Fairly light on, mineraly and somewhat gassy texture. Only 5% AbV which was surprising.

Overall: This is our 2nd crack at Perennial’s range. It’s fair to say we had high expectations coming off our review of Abraxas. Although it didn’t wow us it was a decent little number…a solid summer quaffer.

Sailors Grave ‘Grapefruit & Yuzu’ Farmhouse Ale

Rating:
imageGlass: Poured into a shaker glass.

Appearance: Pours a big oversized white chaotic bubbly head that slowly fades down to nothing. Faint rim. Colour of golden yellow. Looks like a wheat beer.

Aroma: Smells like a barn. Sweet and earthy. Funky yeast noticed, wine like Chardonnay, banana, mild clove, with some interesting mandarin- lime like whiff. Interesting. Don’t get grapefruit.

Flavour: Very different on the palate. First sensation is mild carbonation  which leads into funk and sourness, with a combination of booze, wine, and citrus. Bitterness certainly there but more tart and wine like. We note yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit and this must be the strange flavour that we admit we haven’t had before. The booze heat is possibly more than we expected. Tends to surround the palate. Again reminds us of a funky wheat beer. Grapefruit subdued but present.

Mouthfeel: dry, tart, funky. We are surprised there is no alc vol % stated? It says 1.5 std drinks..hmm. Mild body and mild to moderate length. Booze heat lingers at the end.

Overall: Its a nice drop. We have educated ousrselves on Yuzu. Would we buy again..no. Not memorable. It’s a tad wine like. Maybe the booze needs to be less?

Dollar Bill Brewing 2018 ‘Spring Parlay’ Farmhouse Ale

Rating:
45805353_980392615478217_8420374870906372096_n“Sour blueberry and apple farmhouse ale. Lightly sour. A little bit funky with hints of blueberries and apple cider. Welcome to spring!!!”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Candy apple red with soft pink hues when held to the light. A 1cm head forms on top and works a fine lace down the sides of the glass.

Aroma: We get sour apple, cider, mild vinegar and citric lemon juice along with more subtle notes of candied fruits, red grapes and barnyard funk. Just a hint of the tart blueberries showing up late. It’s a crisp and refreshing nose, really lovely stuff.

Flavour: We’re tasting a kind of dry and spicy cider note upfront. There’s a healthy little acetic sourness pairing up with pink lady apples, angostura bitters, red grapes, blueberry and a delicate vinous accent. More of a dry musty-ness around the mid leading to a bone dry finish with dried apple, white pepper and yeasty esters for days.

Mouthfeel: Dry and lightly sour – more textural though. Perfectly carbonated with the 6.9% AbV neatly tucked away.

Overall: That’s a cracking Aussie sour, just enough to edge out the autumn parlay in our opinion. For such a small and relatively unknown brewery these guys are producing some quality offerings. Keep em comin!

Wayward Brewing ‘Ripasso’ BA Farmhouse Ale

Rating:
44823564_971834399667372_8351652460707708928_n“Ripasso is a technique where red wine is re-fermented on grape skins to give it added depth and intensity. We’ve applied this concept to a classic Belgian ale, fermenting it on shiraz skins from our friends at Tyrrel’s wines. We then aged it in shiraz barrels with a wild yeast blend for 6 months, further adding to its texture and complexity.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Very interesting…it pours a bold crimson colour which reveal pink hues when held to the light. The short head collapsed to the rim but managed a wet lace drag down the glass.

Aroma: Beautiful candied berries, vinous grape juice, complex oak tannins and delicate barnyard funk making up the bulk of it. Kind of reminds us of opening up a fresh bag of Allen’s ripe raspberries. It’s fantastic we just can’t get enough of it!

Flavour: No where near as funky as we had anticipated, it’s almost a bit of an anticlimax. Upfront there’s a neat little fusion of grape juice, cherry and very mild barnyard funk which moves in to a more tannic mid palate. The finish is mild, fruit-forward and slightly vinous with reasonable length.

Mouthfeel: Light on, quite frothy with lifted co2. Mild-medium body. 5% AbV – neither here nor there.

Overall: We love the incentive and creativity of this beer and for the most part the execution was on point. Personally we’d have loved to see more vigour, maybe a bit more funk and more barrel flavour. But hey for 5% AbV they’ve done quite a good job. Not bad.

SARA & Side Project ‘Sante Matrices’ Barrel Aged Saison

Rating:
43661845_964817397035739_8351031301062524928_n“Side Project’s Cory King and the brewers here at SARA chose several strains from East Coast Yeast, in addition to both breweries respective house cultures, and elected to ferment individual barrels with each, with the ultimate goal of blending the entirety into a final, mature, bottle conditioned Saison. The result is wonderfully complex and the perfect illustration of the shared philosophy between both us and Side Project.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Straw gold with a faint haze. It doesn’t really produce much head with it retreating to the rim but weaving a fine lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: There’s definitely a sour aspect to it albeit subtle. Picking up soft Belgian yeast tones along with straw, barnyard, candied lemon, banana runts and a somewhat chalky vanilla (from the barrels perhaps?). Also displaying traits of a Belgian tripel with its hint of apple and a kind of dry malt base…becoming a bit wheaty and grainy over time. Quite a complex number.

Flavour: Follows on from the nose – a nicely balanced ratio of sourness to sweetness with undertones of yeasty spice and pear/apple at its core. Straw, farmyard grains, candied lemon and subtle oak character roll through the mid and finish with an interesting set of flavors including white grape juice, herbs and rosewater.

Mouthfeel: Fairly crisp, zippy and moderately bodied. There’s a nicely lifted co2 while the 6.3% AbV nestles in comfortably.

Overall: Very interesting. It’s certainly not short on character it’s like a saison, a sour, a tripel and a farmhouse ale all rolled in to one. We already knew SARA were masters and we expected as much from Side Project. They both delivered here!

Sante Adairius Rustic Ales ‘Saison Bernice’

Rating:
42233077_955249607992518_6345832175752970240_n“Exquisite in form, Saison Bernice is the centerpiece of our brewery and the purest expression of both our brewing philosophy and our house culture. Lovingly made from the finest ingredients available, Bernice is beautifully tart with a soft and inviting mouthfeel. Long, slow aging in stainless tanks coaxes out flavors and aromatics of ripe citrus and just-picked stonefruit. Simple but graceful, Bernice is the beer we’d pour you ourselves if given the chance.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Slightly hazy honey colour with a two finger head resting atop. It gradually reduced to a wispy overlay with a tonne of lace sticking to the glass.

Aroma: Nice and punchy. Plenty of fresh zesty citrus, florals, peppery spice, coriander and tart lemon funk leading out. There’s a lovely yeast profile with a good helping of phenols and unripened banana which melds in to the somewhat doughy/bready malt backdrop. Just the mildest hint of sourness to it which is really well tempered and allows the rest of the aromas to shine. Brilliant.

Flavour: We’re getting a light acetic citrus upfront, more of a textural sourness with a delicious line of candied lemon cutting through. The middle is also nice and fruity with more of a peachy accent which moves in to mild farmhouse spices, bretty funk and eventually to a slightly musty finish with overarching citrus notes.

Mouthfeel: Aerated and mineraly with sparkling carbonation. Mild acidity and a well concealed 6.5% AbV.

Overall: One of the things we really enjoyed about this was the balance. The brewers certainly flirted with the sourness but at its core it’s just an incredibly well brewed saison. This is our first crack at SARA and we’re very impressed. Superb.

Boatrocker Brewing ‘Sultana Of Saison’ BA Saison

Rating:
29177931_826728300844650_6396312141858603008_n“Sultana of Saison is our Saison du Bateau fermented in fortified riesling barrels. The classic ester profile is complemented by delicious fruity aromas and flavours.
Unfiltered and bottle conditioned. Serve cool not cold.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Murky orange with a healthy two finger head atop. Good retention and lots of lace clinging to the glass.

Aroma: We’re getting slightly funky esters, floral perfumes, banana runts, tangy citrus, pear and cereal grains initially. Not detecting a great deal of the Riesling characters although there is a delicate hint of white grapes and sour apples. Fairly traditional nose here.

Flavour: Picking up more of the Riesling notes on the palate. Lots of pear/apple, peach, some banana developing later on in the piece. Quite musty as well, getting some woody spice, cereal grains and oak with herbs and tangy citrus in the finish.

Mouthfeel: The texture is mineraly and somewhat spritzy. The body sits around that medium mark with the 6.4% ABV reasonably well hidden.

Overall: Nothing overly exciting but it is a tidy little offering. Would have liked to see more of an impact from the time spent in Riesling barrels but other than that it’s a fairly decent saison.

La Sirene ‘Fleur Folie’ Saison

Rating:
27332490_806295916221222_7979017734857601296_n“Fleur Folie (literally meaning blossom madness) is styled along a classic Saison Miel and on opening a bottle overwhelms you with fresh aromas of Wild Honey Flowers, pepper and spice. This beer is deep gold in colour with an orange hue and has a soft malt backbone, layered complexity and sweet malt tones which are rounded off with a dry prickly finish. The classic Belgian yeast imparts a kiss of tartness and orange blossom tones including a textured mid-palate with a lingering hop earthiness and lively effervescence to finish. We hope you enjoy our Folie as much as we do.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Cloudy off yellow colour with an enormous three and a half finger head on top. Slow and steady reduction with thick, patchy lace strewn down the glass.

Aroma: Really interesting, lots of depth and layering. We’re picking up tart lemons, sulphur, angostura bitters, florals, peppery spice and lemon sherbet. Some earthy tones but it’s nicely countered by a mild honey sweetness. Just a hint of yeast which imparts those banana, clove and funky barnyard notes. Lovely.

Flavour: Not as convincing as the nose, all the beautiful aromas don’t seem to follow through to the palate. It’s mostly dry and musty with light acidic and tart citrus out in front. Champagne yeast, some citric hop bitterness and peppery spice on the close. Nice endurance on the rear though.

Mouth feel: Dry, musty but also quite vibrant and effervescent. Highly carbonated. Fairly light body with a well tempered 6% ABV.

Overall: Some good points and some not so good. We still don’t understand why some brewers persist with the green bottles? With the risk of being light-struck and all. Lovely aromas but unfortunately that didn’t translate to flavour. We’ve had better from La Sirene.