Original Post: Honey Gold Saison
Brew Date: April 6, 2013
Tasting Date: October 4, 2014
The age is starting to show on this beer. That is not the worst thing, but this tastes a lot different from how I remember it. The beer looks great. It is a little bit lighter than honey, but gold sounds about right. It is crystal clear with a thing, but fairly persistent perfectly white head.
The aroma is mild, but once in the mouth, it opens up and is very complex. The character of the honey, which I remember being disappointed not to find initially, comes through nicely now. I’m not sure if I’ve gained more sensitivity to it as I’ve brewed with more honey or if it is actually coming out more, but it is there. It works great, too because this is bone dry and the flavor of the honey keeps it lively and gives an impression of sweetness.
There is also a ton of fermentation character. Overripe fruit is the biggest thing I get. Banana, a bit of cherry, some apple and even blueberry, all on the edge of spoiling. Not over that edge, though. Traditional Saisons are more earthy than fruity, but the overripeness of the fruit in this brings it in that general direction.
It doesn’t have any Brett character and this yeast definitely leans heavier on the fruit, but with age, this has come closer to more traditional saisons. It has gotten more carbonated, drier and more… well, ripe.
The hops, which I remember having some presence, though not a large one, are unfortunately all gone. That is the compromise, though. The yeast derived character has gotten better and much more complex, but the beer has lost its bitter hop edge. Even when fresh, I thought it could have used more hop aroma. I used Hallertauer hops, which are great for balancing malty lagers, but they were a bit lost in all the saison character. I’d switch to some Tettnang or even some newer American or Southern Hemisphere hops for more complexity.
Wow, I feel like there could be more to explore in this beer, but despite its complexity, it is going down quick and smooth. Looks like I’m going to have to wrap this up. There isn’t much beer left, but there is still a nice thin layer of foam.
Oh wait, it’s gone now. Along with the rest of the beer.