Style: American Brett Saison/Farmhouse Ale
From: Placentia, California
Brewer’s Note: “Saison Rue is an unfiltered, bottle conditioned, Belgian/French-style farmhouse ale. This is a beer of subtlety and complexity, with malted rye, spicy, fruity yeast notes, biscuit-like malt backbone, and a slight citrus hop character. With age, this beer will dry out and will become more complex with rustic notes of leather and earth from the contribution of a wild yeast strain. Being a Saison, Saison Rue is ambiguous unto itself as it is a different beer when fresh and when aged. We hope you enjoy it in all of its incarnations.”
The beer’s label is similar to most Bruery labels in that it has psychedelic funky patterns, much akin to Alice in Wonderland artwork, as the labels background. The font is awesome, both the brewery’s title font and the beer’s title font, and though the other fonts are a little plain they seem to mesh well and are easy to read. The color scheme for this particular bottle is rather subdued, and actually a little “old” in feeling, which is odd beside some of the more brightly colored Bruery bottles. Clutter is kept to a minimum, despite the heavy amount of text on the front of the label, which is very good in my book. In all, this label is definitely worthy of scrapbooking, but a little too plain and restrained for my taste in shelf-worthy bottles.
The beer pours with a very aggressive head made of creamy white bubbles, and it sits well above a two fingers’ width. The beer is a beautiful rustic golden color with an uncontrollable torrent of bubbles racing up to refill the head. The body is cloudy, but relatively clear (I was gentle with the bottle, in order to not stir up the yeast on the bottom of the glass…). The beer’s lacing is thick, leaving a patchwork of webbing across the glass. On the nose, this beer is properly rustic with beautiful saison bread and citrus orange that almost touches upon orange peel and also hints at lemon. The esters are richly complex in the nose, giving off hints of apricot and pineapple, especially as the beer warms up. The brett funk is definitely there as well, but not overpowering in the nose, instead acting more as an underlying emanation beneath all the other smells. In character, the funk tends more towards a salty funk with touches of barnyard. The beer’s smell also features a nice presence of grassy hops in the back of the malts. On the tongue, the beer tastes quite sweet with a rounding acidity and a nice bitter finish. The beer begins with light citrus that opens into bruising bitters that are grassy and zested with lemon bread and a big dose of pineapple. Beneath all of this runs the salty funk that mingles into barnyard territory, but does not get out of hand (which makes me think I should have aged this beer a little longer for my personal tastes). The finish is bitter hops and sticky sweet funked malts that briefly touch upon a cloying note before mellowing into hay and light lingering funk, the rye malt also can be seen in the finish as the beer warms and the rye spice comes to the palate. The booze in the beer (8.5%!) also touches slightly in the back of the throat. On the tongue, the beer is creamy and the head is pure fluff. Carbonation kisses the tongue with a little bit of pressure, but just enough to prep the palate for taste while not abusing it. The mouth is left slightly dry but sticky. Overall, this is a solid saison with a fair amount of grassy bitters and yeasty esters. I sort of wish I aged it a little longer, but only because I personally love the dry and funky saisons. Un-aged, this thing is sweet and complex with some really great flavors. It is a little heavy on the stomach, which makes it more of an imperial saison in my book, but it certainly is tasty and worth a try.