Highwater ‘Felice’ BA Saison


“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.