maniac (3800) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - SEP 17, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle at the World Beer Festival - Richmond Brewers Party on 06/11/2010. Clear pale golden body with a small frothy white head. Sweet spicy and citrus aroma. Spicy citrus and orange flavor. Medium body with moderately high carbonation.
FlacoAlto (3800) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - SEP 17, 2010
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
A steady pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a voluminous, four-finger thick, pale tan colored head. The head has a ton of staying power, lots of lacing is left on the sides of my glass and the head forms a variegated, interesting surface as it slowly subsides. The beer is a hazy, straw / light gold hue that shows flashes of bright yellow when held up to the light. The aroma smells strongly of the hop influence; bright fruit notes of juicy-fruit gum, huge notes of freshly zested lemon peel, lemon pepper, a touch of basil and more of a herbaceous grassy note towards the finish serve as the initial focus. Dried hay and pale cracker like malt character serves as a very subtle backdrop to the hop character up front and becomes a touch more noticeable once you really start to spend a focused session of smelling the beer; the malt can never shake the hop character though and even in the finish is a bright citrus note that makes me think of lemon scented furniture cleaner. While the beer seems dry compared to an IPA, I canít really pinpoint any interesting yeast contributed aromatics in this beer; the nose is nice but I feel like I am missing out on some rustic yeast influence.
This is effervescent to say the least, the beer foams up quite well as it crosses the tongue, though it is not too highly carbonated. The beer feels very dry on the palate, though some of the fruity citrus notes contribute a perception of sweetness even if the malt character is quite dry. Cracker like grain notes and a touch of dried straw are joined by a malt roundness in the middle that is almost sweetness, but really just a malt fullness to the palate that keeps this from being overly thin. This has a very firm bitterness to it from the beginning of each sip (much of this is influenced by the peppery carbonation) and this remains through to the finish all the while being accentuated by the carbonic bite. The juicy hop character contributes notes of Meyer lemon, lightly sweetened lemon zest, a touch of floral tropical fruit character and some menthol notes that numb the tongue a bit. After shaking / swirling the beer to expel some of the carbonation the beer gets softer, with more of a fullness to the body (though still light and quaffable) and my first sip has me noticing some warming alcohol (though this seems to dissipate quickly). The hop character definitely has a certain furniture cleaner quality to it, while I wouldnít characterize it as bad; it might get to be a little much for me if I was drinking this over a long session. Perhaps some rustic phenolic character from the yeast helps to accentuate this character; in fact, after further reflection, I think that some clove and other phenolic notes from the yeast do in fact accentuate this character here. As the beer warms it picks up a touch of a medicinal character in the finish as well as getting spicy with peppery notes, a touch of spicy ginger and even a something a bit like a sage-like note 9this last being influenced by both the hops and the yeast character).
A nice hop focused Saison, which with time will likely become more noticeably fermentation driven; this is more due to the hop character fading, than the yeast character actually becoming greater over time though. I admit that I like this beer so much because I am a sucker for hoppy Saisons; in all honesty this could certainly use a touch more of a characterful yeast / fermentation influence, even though this is certainly in evidence here.
popery (1397) - San Francisco, California, USA - SEP 13, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
These Sorachi Ace hops are quite odd. The underlying saison seems well-made, but Iím on the fence about this hop strain and the hops are rather strong. The beer is a pale yellow with a foamy white head. Good looking, but thatís not really atypical of the style. The aroma is a bright splash of lemongrass/grass/herbal hops. Itís sweet-tart citric with some fruity peppercorns, as well. The yeast aroma is muted but nice. The grain seems good and fresh, but itís overpowered by the hops. The taste starts bright and sweet but ends quite dry and with a tartly bitter hop bite. Itís oddly soapy, like a lemongrass hand soap, and I sort of enjoy it. Mouthfeel is full but light - interesting use of champagne yeast for bottling.
Ratman197 (9686) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - SEP 10, 2010
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
750 ml corked and caged bottle courtesy of Doodler poured a clear yellow with a lasting white head. Aromas of straw, lemon zest and light spice. Palate was light bodied and crisp with a dry finish. Flavors of straw, crackers, lemon zest and light spice with a crisp dry lingering lemon finish.
TheBeerOrg (2145) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - SEP 9, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours hazy light golden with a thin wispy white head. Notes of lemon peel, fruity, white wine, coriander and spice. Medium bodied with lively carbonation.
emacgee (4009) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - SEP 8, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a cloudy lemon rind yellow with three fingers of softly collapsing sticky white head. Cleared up with some warmth so must be some chill haze happeniní. Nose is very citrusy and herbal. Reminiscent of overripe lemon rind and a little bit of thyme. Shows a nice Saison ester profile with some spice and candy sugar. Flavor is pretty spicy with citrus zest and white pepper followed by lemon juice and wood. Saison yeast plays a nice complimentary role here by providing a nice spicy estery background and drying out the palate. This reminds me of a homebrew I made by hop bursting a Belgian Pale Ale with Sorachi Ace. Me rikey.
TURDFERGUSON (3948) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - SEP 8, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a cloudy orange with a small white head. Notes of citrus, esters, sorachi throughout. Yeah I used the name of the hop as one of the descriptors. Sue me. Thats what it tasted like. Iíve had a couple sorachi ace beers including a homebrew my buddy emacgee made. This was similar. Bone dry finish. I never thought Iíd say this but this beer is too dry. Good, but not great.
Tejas (871) - Dallas, Texas, USA - SEP 8, 2010
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 15/20
HUGE white head. Kind of annoying actually since it took forever to go down. Good Saison but I donít get the uniquness of this hop? Seems to be lacking the farmouse ale saison spice. If Saison Dupont are on the shelf together, I wonít be taking this Brooklyn Ale home.
KimJohansen (10349) - Frederiksberg C, DENMARK - SEP 8, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Cloudy golden with a medium white head. Sweet aroma with fruity, yeasty notes. Hoppy flavour with fruit, hops and piney notes. Finished dry and bitter.
Snojerk321 (2960) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 7, 2010
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
750ml bottle. Pours a hazy straw yellow with a frothy white head. Great nose of lemon pepper, clove, banana and faint yeasty esters. A damn tasty saison.