Friday, 18 September 2015

Dammit . . . err, tasting notes

Didn't take a picture of the beer, so here is a
photo of some of its ingredients instead.
Woe is me - a few weeks ago I brewed a pretty basic rye Saison. The good news is its one of the better beers of 2015; the bad news (and hence the woe) is the keg is now empty, meaning I'm effectively out of kegged beer (although, in my hour of need, I did keg the bretted portion of this years Berliner Weisse...2 months early).

So, how did the saison taste? This is from memory, so hopefully its correct.

Appearance: Pale yellow, almost white. Slightly cloudy, with a thick white head that leaves traces of Belgian lace down the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Classic saison fruitiness + earthyness. Coriander aroma is present, but in the background.

Flavour: Wow - crisp, earthy, fruity. Pretty much the character you'd expect from a classic European saison. Coriander doesn't come through as a clear taste, but rather complements the yeast spiciness. Rye adds a nice crisp flavour to the beer.

Mouthfeel: Because of the rye, this beer has a thicker body and slick mouthfeel which is somewhat off-style - even with a final gravity of 1.004. I gave this beer a higher carbonation level (nearly 3 volumes), which lightened this up somewhat and gave the beer an almost champaign-like acidity which faded as the beer warmed and lost carbonation.

Overall: Overall this was a pretty good beer for the end of the summer - crisp and refreshing, and light but with a lot of flavour. I cycle to work, and this beer was always a welcomed finish to the ride home - especially on the hot and humid days that rounded out August. Aside from the rye this is about as classical a saison as you can make, and had all the character you would expect of a lower-gravity saison. If I were to re-brew this I'd drop half the rye for wheat, but leave the recipe otherwise unchanged - that should retain th rye character, while removing the out-of-place slick mouthfeel.

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