undsioux7 (794) - Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA - NOV 20, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a nice yellowish golden color with a big chunky white head. Fantastic amount of lacing from the top to the bottom of the glass, fantastic looking beer. Aroma is floral, spices, brett, and citrus. Nice sweetness with a little bite at the end. Finishes quite dry.
FlacoAlto (3800) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - NOV 19, 2008
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 4, 2012 Bottle No. 01148 of 11960, batch number 2008-1; Sampled November 2008
This is very well carbonated, as an exceedingly careful pour has me staring at four-fingers of foam that slowly grows to six fingers of foam and starts to pour over the sides of my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip glass. I only lose a touch of beer to the billowing, off-white / cream colored head. The beer is a clear, orange gold color that shows an almost brilliantly clear, bright, yellow-gold color when held up to the light. The aroma has an awesome grassy hop / malt note to it, ample touches of lemon zest, some tropical fruit and lychee notes, lots of cracker like grain notes and an underlying, musky Brettanomyces signature that cant quite hide despite the expressive malt and hop character. After 5 minutes or so I still have five-fingers of head on top of my beer, so I guess I’ll continue to enjoy the aroma. Other noticeable notes of tangerine, a phenolic, almost plastic like, musty, butyric acid funkiness, phenolic soaked cotton-balls as well as a wild, weed-like / grassy note that is quite nice.
Lightly sweet tasting and this has a certain fullness to the body that lets me know that the Brettanomyces has a lot of residual sugars to work with (this thing will likely go bottle bomb at some point). This is not sweet though, just not dry. What sweetness is here accentuates hop flavors of tangerine, lychee, bergamot as well as some light herbal notes and a definite floral influence. Interestingly the foam tastes heavily of a phenolic Brettanomyces character, but the Brett does not play nearly as significant a role in the flavor of the beer. The Brett does play a role here in the flavor though as it contributes a spicy, phenolic character that provides some balancing sharpness to the finish. This last, mixes with a bitterness from the hops that also sharpens the finish which provides a balance to the sweet malt and fruity hop notes found up front.
This is pretty tasty, I do wish that it finished a bit drier (especially since as this ages it will get more and more carbonated, it is already over carbonated, and could become a bottle bomb, though with a champagne bottle this is not too likely). Visually perfect for a Saison, the ample carbonation projects a magnificent head, with lots of lacing and lots of staying power. Despite being a bit thicker and a bit sweeter than I generally prefer in a Saison, both these components work quite well in this beer; the extra touch of hop character (especially the American bent) certainly helps with this. It will certainly be interesting to see how this develops as the hops fade and the Brett becomes more prominent, especially if it can keep from becoming explosive. Taken as a sum of its components (at least as far as aroma and flavor go), this beer is not nearly as good as it is in the complete whole; e.g. it is lacking in funky aromatic notes, isn’t nearly dry enough, nor is the texture perfect. On the whole though this beer just works quite well and is very enjoyable. I am glad I have a couple bottles of this to age.
heemer77 (5099) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - NOV 17, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Hazy, light bronze body with a large slightly off white head. The aroma is a little funky with some cellar and pears. There is also a little bit of fresh ground wheat. The taste has some funky brett, more than one would suspect from the nose. There is also a little bit of pear sweetness and some black pepper spice in the finish. Nicely done and I am glad I waited a while to try it.
WeeHeavySD (3360) - San Diego (Hillcrest), Oregon, USA - NOV 17, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle @ HotD Dock Sale via DA, thanks Derek. Pours gold with a bright white head. Nose is bretty, yeasty, and light. Taste is sweet, bretty and tasty.
Suttree (5118) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - NOV 3, 2008
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Trade with theisti - Thanks. Batch 2008-1, bottle 08856 of 11950. Cloudy orange, nice white head. Really nice aroma - Plenty of Brett already, with a lot of wine and subtle fruit notes around the edges. Flavor is dry and nicely bitter at first, again with plenty of brett and winey notes. Piney, woodsy bitterness in the finish. Much more wood and spice as it warms, plus a quinine flavor. Continues to get funkier as it warms up, much like me in that respect. really nice beer and I can’t wait to see what a little time will do to this.
durhambeer (2500) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - NOV 1, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle shared by JCB. Light golden orange cloudy pour. Foamy white head. Big lemony aroma, slightly soapy. Reminds me of lemon oil and lemon peel. Not as much brett as expected; sourness comes out in more-or-less one dimension (lemon). Some earthy notes and pepper. Maybe sit on this one for a bit?
Strykzone (4897) - Wood River, Illinois, USA - OCT 31, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a cloudy gold hue with a huge soapy white head that has staying power and leaves globs of soap on the glass. Aroma is fruit, yeast, must, and some clove. Flavor is similar to the aroma with some soap and spices. A mild bitterness that was just a bit funky. A delicious beer and one that I wish I had the patience to age. This will be delightful in a few years. An excellent beer from KC.
JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - OCT 31, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
750 from Wine and Cheese online, someplace in Kansas. Pale orange and cloudy pour, with a big sticky head that looks more like what you’d find atop an IPA than a saison. Strong lemon zest aroma, as Ethan noted, slightly sweet but soon mellowed out by the yeasts. It’s fairly mild at the outset, and not really too bretty at this stage, but it’s certainly pleasantly yeasty and dry as it gets to room temp. Nice lengthy finish with some pepper.
emacgee (4000) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - OCT 31, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks to JCB for sharing this one. Pours a pale hazy gold with a 2 or 3 finger frothy white head. Leaves a sticky lace as the head fades. The aroma is lemon rind, sweet, pungent spicy citrusy esters, mild earthiness to it, some yeasty influence in there as well. Not quite as funky as I would like. The flavor is spicy, peppery, lemongrass, earthy, definite citrus hop character. Dry spicy palate.
Pawola22 (3262) - Woodridge, Illinois, USA - OCT 30, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
750 ml bottle. Number 3,377 of 11,950. Pours a hazy, crisp, bright golden with a gigantic frothy white head that lingers forever and leaves a chunky lacing. Mass aroma of flowers and hay. Zesty, fruity, pepper, lemon hops. Definitely dry hopped. Lots of banana yeast. It really does have a perfume elemant to it. Taste is similar to the aroma. Upfront and loaded with a zesty lemon mixed with a wheat maltiness. Flowery and hay, spicy, alfafa sprout taste. Crisp, earthy, bubbly, strawlike, and sticky palate with a mild lingering spice/bitterness. Slightly tart, but very clean and dry. Overall, a zesty, hoppy, bubbly, and clean beer that makes me feel like jumping into a big pile of barnyard hay. Great beer, comparable and maybe better than the Smokestack Saison...might have to compare side by side. I just wish I knew exactly what ’bret’ was...