TheAlum (4989) - Lisle, Illinois, USA - AUG 29, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
22 oz bottle from Binnys Castle Vav (Chicago, IL). Pours a richer deeper golden hue, firm haziness, touches of yellow gold glow on the edges with some amber darker flashes in the middle. A cakey whitish head sits atop, lively carbonation with some ok staying power, a nice layer remains and laces ok overall. Aromas are flashes of apple and pear, gentle citrus, some floral and grassy hops. Estery fruit, doughy malts, straw, bread, and cereal grains. Firm yeastiness, kiss of black pepper spice into the backend of the nose. Initial is more dry, lighter end of the fold in body and less sweet by a good deal when compared to that vibrant fruity nose. I like the taste more than the nose, starting off dry and mellow, some gentle floral and earthy hops mix with some dry farmhouse yeast, touches of dough and fruit, dry bread and cereal elements. The Sichuan peppercorns come in into the middle. Gentle heat mixes in and out, cracked pepper type. Some pear, doughy malts at times. A bit dry. The flavors come and go, the pepper starts to grow in the middle and backend, lingering finish as we get further into the beer. A bit of toast, bread, and cereal grains in the backend. Spice, yeastiness, and earthy hops. Kisses of smoothed out fruit, lingering Sichuan which gives it a nice feel. At times the beer loses me, but the Sichuan element is quite enjoyable for me, growing slowly as a wave motion on the palate and in finish. Nose wasnít for me, but the beer itself works. Some nice flavors, pepper provides the most interesting facet for me. Not bad.
crossovert (5701) - Illinois, USA - AUG 25, 2012
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Much spicier than its counter part. It isnít hot spicy or mouthnumbing. It uses the Sichuan sparingly. I would have liked it to be a bit bolder.
envane (563) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 22, 2012
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Translucent light orange with a white head. Spice melange aroma, with ginger predominating. Taste is sweet with yeast and finishes with a lemon-ginger-pepper spice burn. Interesting experiment but too heavy on the spices. I think its it ginger that did it in. Got to be careful with that spice.
NobleSquirrel (3429) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 9, 2012
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle From Binnyís. Pours a pretty deep gold with a thin dissipating head(oil from the peppercorns?). Nose is very spicy/aromatic. Cardamom, coriander, grains of paradise. Tropical fruit and spice dominate. Some soft malts as well. Really cool and the spices are nice. On tasting, it seems a bit watery and some sweetness. Spicy with light heat. Big bitterness and some mildly numbing clove notes. I wish this had more body to it and more malt flavor overall. Some warming in the chest. Perhaps over attenuated? Decent.
drewbeerme (3809) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 5, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
bottle. Pipeworks Rose vs Pipeworks Sichuan, because Iím a nerd and hadnít had Rose yet, also I didnít read the descriptions of either and Iím not sure why Iím telling you that.. Both pours slightly hazy bright golden but rose had a stiff foamy head while sichuanís head fall fast just leaving a white head around the
rim. Perhaps carbonation hasnít completely built up in Sichuan. Rose aroma has pleasant chamomile tea character, vanilla, flowers ,cest of lemon while Sichuanís aroma has a huge musty lemony tea thing happening very fragrant and perfumey with asparagus. Roseís flavors of semi tart lemons flowers earth, sweet bread, soft bitterness that leaves a crisp finish, and Sichuanís flavors are again a strong fragrant lemoney floral bomb some spicy bitterness slight vanilla sweetness, flabby feel. Rose has more tart lemons while Sichuan as more funky dusty floral and lemons but the main thing is itís much tighter and focused albeit more perfumey. Rose finishes sweeter and with a tart twang. Rose is still a good saison and isnt overly sweet or spiced,
Iím actually surprised I like the most spiced and fragrant Sichuan (because I prefer a Saison that relies on great yeast fermentation bringing almost all of the character but it is drier than Rose. Pretty solid saisons though. Rose - 7/4/7/4/14, Sichuan 7/4/7/4/15
BBB63 (5609) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - AUG 3, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle released yesterday at Binnys and served in my Pipeworks snifter: Pours a hazy golden hue with a fizzy head and minimal lace. The aroma is very unique with heavy peppercorn vapours, coriander, ginger and orange peel along with caramelized and pale malts. Yeasty and earthy with a touch of lemongrass esters. A touch of noble and garlic hops found as well. Yep unique and takes some getting use to.
The taste is luckily not as spicy as I first feared, more Saison yeast and malt character. It is not that the spice character is absent, just more subdued which is a good thing IMO. The pepper tone washes away some sweetness and makes the finish dryer. There is a dash of blood orange and dragonfruit notes along with a touch of Thai ginger on the aftertaste. A bit cardboardy as well but not interfering with the flavor combinations. Much like the nose, the flavor profile is unique and takes some getting use to. The mouth feel is soft and smooth yet there is a slight prickliness that is found after you drink a sip, moderately dry finish. The alcohol seems more noticeable as the beer warms.
Overall, I like the attempt at something different but think that the addition of coriander sort of went one step beyond what was needed. The peppercorns, ginger and orange peel would have been enough IMO with the yeast. Look forward to seeing what this is like in 3-6 months since I am laying down the other bottle.