Mystic Saison - Sauvignon Blanc Barrel Aged
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RATINGS: 15   MEAN: 3.69/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.54/5   IBU: 28   EST. CALORIES: 225   ABV: 7.5%
Barrel fermentation, one of the great arts of the vintner, has been nearly lost in the world of brewing. In this method the French oak breathes as fermentation fluxes, creating a symbiosis of beer and barrel. The flavor characteristics developed are irreproducible in any other way. It is a method of making beer that evokes the days when fermentation was mystic and the results patiently anticipated. For this special release, fermentation in Sauvignon Blanc barrels from Napa creates an intriguing and delightful pairing of traditions and flavors.
FKA Sauvignon Blanc Barrel Fermented Saison

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
damzz (464) - Massachusetts, USA - FEB 20, 2012
UPDATED: MAY 26, 2012 In one word: WOW! Pours a a hazy yellow with a pure white head that lingers with light lacing. The nose is citrus. The body is medium-thin with a thin texture and average carbonation with a long crisp white grape aftertaste. This is what Sam Adams Infinium should have been. (Who said brewers could not use wine barrels?) Mystic has married Sauvigon Blanc with beer and done it extrremely well by choosing the right ale.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
ClarkVV (5857) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 7, 2016
750mL bottle, 2016 date (getting a little lazy with the bottling dates....), drunk 6/25/16.
Huge, snow white head showing fantastic retention tops a classic, golden-blonde-honey colored body with plentiful tiny bubbles and a high clarity.
Continuing the strong impression, the nose is shockingly aromatic yet still reserved and classy/charming. Thereís no big oakiness and only a touch of white wine character, adding minerality and stone fruit. By far the best part of the nose is the very traditional saison yeast, creating yellow fruit esters, white pepper phenols and very light cellar impressions. Not exactly mimicking any of the classic houses, but still reserved and elegant in its own right (I guess itís still closest to Dupont though without any rubber band and much less black pepper). Malts throw vast amounts of succulent honey and vanilla-cream to balance and thereís a faint woodiness lingering on the end as well. Wow.
The flavor continues with strong honey and vanilla-like maltiness and a pillowy-soft malt texture with tight carbonation. Neutral wood tannins add dryness and light wine notes add stonefruit and mineral as they do in the nose. Fruity esters are stronger in flavor, adding strong nectarine and moderate peach character, though it never comes across messy/hot/harsh. Just a shade too sweet overall, though itís incredibly young. I expect this one to be absolutely divine in about 6 months, though I think it was a very small batch with bottles going fast. As is, itís extremely impressive and makes me wonder why their basic saison renaud is such a letdown in comparison (or maybe I just need to try a recent batch).

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
johnnnniee (3816) - Bedford, New Hampshire, USA - DEC 3, 2011
I got the pleasure of trying this today at the brewery. Pours a slightly cloudy deep straw color with a thinnish white head that shows remarkable retention and moderate lace. Smells of apples, pears, grape tannin, hints of oak and vanilla with a slight bit of Belgian yeast esters. Taste is sweet and fruity with that yeasty funk in the background. Lots of the same fruit flavors from the aroma. Hints of oak and a bit of wine tannin add lots of complexity to this version. Medium body with a spirited level of carbonation and a sweet bubbly mouthfeel. I thought this version was fantastic.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Leighton (18668) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - FEB 26, 2012
Bottle shared at The Kernel during Nateís Farewell Concert. So solid overall. Good grass and dough character. Pleasant sugar sweetness. Medium bodied with average carbonation. Light dryness. Just very, very nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
thornecb (5533) - Marblehead, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 14, 2011
Pours deep amber into a tulip. White head with excellent retention recedes leaving spot lacing to coat surface. Yeast and sour oak aromas. Crisp with sweet yeast and sour oak and a tart, lasting woody grape finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Damico (3144) - Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 20, 2011
Pours orange blonde with a decent white head. The aroma is sweet saison and grapes blended well, which comes in with the flavor as well. It a bit spicy, not much funk at all, both muted from the barrels, which brought about pleasant white wine grape flavors. Those flavors of grapes and sweet saison as described in the description blend well together on the palate.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
auerbrau (3203) - Ithaca, New York, USA - JUL 16, 2012
750mL Bottle. Monday is as good as any night for popping special bottles. Aroma breathes fire of spice, mulled chamomile and clove, with subtle drops of Hefeweizen and beet sugar. Fluffy body foams quickly and evaporates, leaving a dry finish, with an origin of oak and Saison yeast. Cooked lemon peels, a hint of preserve lemon, and cocktail onions flow through the middle. Chewing on this, I get herbs, dry and soft. Tarragon, old mint, and young coriander. I expected this to be pretty funky. The white wine character is there, but sneaky and a bit elusive, melding into the beer like a camoflauged moth, patterning hints of the background across itself. It finally shows itself in the aftervapor as a slight white raisin and petrol note. This is really refined, smoothed out and gentle beer. It is nuanced and charactered, but almost a bit subtle. Very nice base yeast work, but Iím looking for the barrel to lend a little more and maybe pop a bit.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Thorpe429 (5016) - , Illinois, USA - FEB 4, 2012
Big thanks to ms11781 for sending this my way. Served in a Mystic saison willi becher, also courtesy of ms11781. Thanks! Batch 2 Pours a somewhat-cloudy golden-peach color with a towering white head thatís very, very foamy. Great retention and loads of sticky rings of lacing on the way down. Thin collar throughout. The nose first brings notes of Sauvignon Blanc and grapes plus some stone fruits. Behind that comes a bit of oak and light malt. The flavor is fairly oaky with a bit of light tannin. Good white grape character throughout. A bit of lemon zest and notes of apricot. Faint earthiness and white pepper in the background. Body is light-medium. A bit too full as far as Iím concerned, but the quite-dry finish makes up for that. Good carbonation. Highly drinkable. Recommended.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
madvike (3204) - Middleton, Wisconsin, USA - APR 20, 2012
Bottle hauled from Massachusetts by TPatuto...Slightly hazy deep yellow with a foamy off-white head. Spicy dry oak with a hint of dry white grape, nice light dusty yeast, and a bit of heat. Taste has more fruit, with some dry oak/alcohol sharpness. Light, dusty yeast. The fruitiness lasts through the finish,with a bit of sweetness and some more oak sharpness. Lots of soft carbonation that fluffs the whole thing up nicely. Big and foamy in the mouth--real smooth. This is good stuff, even if a bit sharp at times.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
yobdoog (1888) - Kingston, New York, USA - JUN 1, 2012
Aroma is lightly tart, some wood, citrus, and light spice and yeast. Flavor is very well balanced. Some sourness but not too much where it kills all the saison flavor. Still has a little spice and malt. The wood is present and the wine character is great. A little effervescent and quite refreshing. Nice stuff.

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