hellbilly (3249) - scottsdale über alles, Arizona, USA - JUN 21, 2012
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
5/13/12 dark rhubarb saison @paps.
Red tinted walnut brown,no head.
A+f are nutty,yeasty,brown bread..not much rhubarb but it is fruity.not much spicy saison character.
Yeasty,sludgey...needs to be crisper and lighter....its kinda heavy. 6/4/6/3/
FlacoAlto (3800) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAY 29, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Arrives with a concentrated amber, full brown color. The head is a tan color that starts out fairly creamy textured and about a finger thick. The nose has a definite fruitiness to it that reminds me of berries, and floral apples. There is a definite maltiness to this brew; it has a sort of brown bread character and toasted maltiness. The fruit character is definitely the dominant note here, secondarily the malt combines with the yeast character; this last provides a touch of musty spiciness, an general low level phenolic character (that isn’t really medicinal or clove like). The Rhubarb is not specifically noticeable in the nose, but it does seem to accentuate the fruit character just a touch and perhaps provides some tartness.
The flavor is quite fruity and picks up a tartness towards the finish. The fruit reminds me of apples, perhaps a touch of pear, a sort of berry like note and even a distinct melon like character. The malt again plays a fairly big role with lots of brown grain toasted character and even a touch of nuttiness; the malt seems to coat the fruit character and makes me think of a toasted brown grain bread crust over an apple for some reason. The body is fairly light, though it has just a touch of body to it, but this is definitely a easy drinking beer; a touch of prickly carbonation provides some spice and texture. There is a definite pepper note here, and the finish has some light phenolic character that subtly infuses the beer with a dry, slightly musty, not quite phenolic, and not quite medicinal character. This has a touch of hop bitterness to it, but it is really quite soft; much of the balance is provided by the spiciness from the yeast character.
As with most Saisons, I would love to see this bottle conditioned and highly carbonated. The dark malt addition seems to have consumed the Rhubarb character here; it perhaps accentuates the fruit character and provides a hint of tartness, but it really isn’t noticeable in and of itself. I would love to have a pale version of this beer with maybe more rhubarb. I could wish for a touch more Saison yeast character, but that would likely subtract from the brown malt / fruit balance that this beer currently has. Due to the color, the dark malt influence and the fruit character, I tend to think of this beer as appropriate for a fall, or perhaps even winter, release.