riversideAK (5413) - Shoreline, Washington, USA - APR 6, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Nose of soft fruity sweet notes toasted and light roasted malts yeast bubblegum. Brown pour tan head and lace. Flavors of toasted roasted grain herbal notes soft bubble gum more herbal notes. Dry light sweet finish. Nice carbonation good body clean w nice drinksbility.
FlacoAlto (3450) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JAN 31, 2013
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 16, 2013 A soft pour into my Bruery tulip produces a fat, single figure thick, rich tan colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated brown color that shows a hazy, red-amber plum color when held up to the light. The aroma is a mix of ripe fruit, musty yeast / spice notes, and, in the finish, earthy, toasted malt character. Specific notes of berries, ripe plums, hibiscus, and perhaps some floral apple notes are balanced by earthy, musty pepper notes, a grassy character, a definite aroma of fresh cut saw dust, toasted brown grain notes, and toasted grain husks.
Despite the lower carbonation, the beer still has a prickly effervescence to it. The beer is quite dry, but has a solid fruitiness to it that adds a suggested sweetness. This also has a floral character to it that seems to be a mix of peppery rose notes and some hibiscus like floral notes. The finish has a light note of toasted, almost roasted, brown grain character to it that almost provides some roast bitterness. This does have something of a hop bitterness to it; from beginning to end there is a firm bitterness. Floral notes, a suggestion of citrus (grapefruit and perhaps some floral, bitter lemon), quite a bit of herbal notes, and a pine like character. The citrus hop character gets more pronounced as the beer warms up; more grapefruit, some tangerine, and Curacao orange notes become much more focused and brighter. The beer is quite light bodied and quaffable, but has some texture to it too, such that it is not overly light. The yeast character is on the light side for something like a Dupont strain, but still contributes notes of pepper, musty notes, some spicy phenolics, and an earthiness.
Perhaps this has a clean fermentation character to it for a Saison, at least the types I usually prefer, but the hop character and touch of dark malt add the extra character that this beer needs to stay balanced and tasty & there is the right mix of Saison Yeast notes here. This really is quite tasty in the end, there is just enough dark malt character to contribute here, but without being overly intrusive, acrid or unbalanced, which can easily happen in dark Saisons. The more times that I get to try this the more I am finding that I enjoy it.