I’m drinking this beer out of a ridiculous, giant wine glass that I found at a church rummage sale. The Belgian character somehow makes it feel like it should be in a stemmed glass, but the low alcohol content means I want a giant glass of it. This is where I landed.
Anyway, this beer is surprisingly clear considering how young it is. It was bottled after less than a week and I’m drinking it two weeks after that. I won’t lie, I’ve already drank quite a few of these and they were pretty clear and nicely conditioned after only a week in the bottle. The head is an extremely fluffy, white pillow. It doesn’t last overly long, but it’s lovely while it’s there. A thin layer of bubbles does stick around, though. The color is bright yellow.
The nose is mostly saison yeast. There are definitely some Nelson Sauvin hops in the aroma as well, but this yeast, White Labs’ Saison II, is very fruity and I’m honestly not sure which element is contributing which part of the aroma. It’s all fruit, though. I can’t wait to use this yeast again.
In the first sip, it is dry with some slightly astringent grainy flavor. The astringency is the only problem I have with this beer. At first, it almost seems like hop bitterness, but either way, it is cleaned up by waves of spicy and fruity yeast flavor. The beer is surprisingly dry after all the fruitiness in the aroma. It is very refreshing and begs another sip immediately. Based on my own, rule, I need to finish these notes by the time I finish the beer, that is tough with this one.
Much more than last year’s Biere De Table Cat, this mostly just tastes like a light, refreshing saison. I would guess that it was low alcohol, but not sub 3%. This isn’t good for a low gravity beer, it is just good. One of my favorite recent homebrews. This may require a re-brew before the Summer is over.
I mentioned some spice in the flavor. I think that is all coming from the yeast. Despite half of the grain bill being rye, I don’t think that ingredient has a whole lot impact on the flavor. I guess with the gravity being so low, it doesn’t give the full kick. I’d be curious what this would taste like without it, though.
This beer scored 80/100 at the Brewery at Hershey’s Brewin Up a Cure event, putting it in the “Good Recommendation” category. I have to disagree with the judges on this one. This beer is, in my opinion, much better than the Cocoa Cream Stout. Not that they’re easy to compare.