Style: American Farmhouse Ale brewed with White Sage
From: Gypsy Brewer
Brewer’s Note: “Over the ages the term ’cellar door’ has numerously been referred to as the most beautiful term in the English language. Upon setting out to create the first summer addition to the Stateside line up of ales; the feeling that almost instantly came to me was that of beauty & cleansing. Many summer offerings tend to lack the complexity of their bigger, colder season counterparts; so my goal was to craft an ale of extreme balance with a delicate complexity that allows for contemplation while also providing quaffable refreshment. Starting with a base of German wheat & pale malts this crisp slightly hazy foundation was then accented with a blend of Sterling & Citra hops providing an intricate blend of herbal grass & tangerine citrus flavors and aroma. To pull this all together and to complete the ’cleansing’ aspect of my vision I gently finished the ale off with a touch of white sage, lending a mild earthy spice character to the blend. Of course let’s not forget our house saison yeast that brought all the elements together leaving a dry yet intricate finish”
The beer’s label is gorgeous, with wood grains like an old cellar door, and a nice crack in-between the two o’s in door with graphic smoke swirling out of it. The label as a whole is rustic, haunted, and fancy, which is a wonderful thing for a label to say. The dark blue of the label is a beautiful touch, and the box the beer comes in is equally beautiful. The fonts on the bottom of the label explaining the style, etc… are a little boring and mundane compared with the rest of the label, but they are small and on the bottom, so they cause only a little bit of clutter. This label is worthy of labeling or for the shelf.
The beer pours a golden orange color, like a deep, dark piss. The beer forms a light head of pale white bubbles that quickly fizzle away to a thin, almost-non-existent scrim on the sides of the glass. In body, the beer is clean but murky, with just faint suggestions light and shapes coming through from the other side of the glass. Upon further examination, tiny specs can be seen floating in the beer, though none are of a considerable size.
On the nose, the beer smells smoothly funky with saison yeast and a good touch of pepper that spices the nose. Pineapple and a touch of orange juice can also be sensed on the nose, along with a nice, light wheat flake scent that suggests the beer’s malt. The pineapple smell blends in and out of the funk smell, suggesting a presence of juicier hops and some nice, hay-like funk. On the tongue, the beer tastes fruity sweet and acidic with a light, tart pucker to the mouth and a very light touch of bitterness, which comes through more in the aftertaste. In flavor, the beer begins as light wheat malt, immediately exploding into huge pineapple bursts of flavor with herbal, funky side flavors and a light bitter grapefruit. The funk is deep enough that I think I detect some brett in the flavor, though I didn’t think this beer had any in it… The finish is dry, yet full of pineapple funk flavors and just a touch of wheat malt, which the aftertaste accentuates. In the mouth, the beer feels sharp in carbonation, coming in somewhere on the heavy side of medium, while the body sits on the tongue comfortably at a medium weight. The mouth is left dry except for acid cancelling saliva on the sides of the cheeks and a light stickiness on the tongue.
Overall, this is a nice little saison with some rich complexity. It is delicate and very fruity with its funk, most likely due to the addition of white sage. It’s not my favorite American Farmhouse Ale though. It’s good and tasty and I would never turn it down, but it doesn’t seem like the type of beer I would drink more than one of at a sitting, as it sits in the stomach a little heavy. It’s rich and complex, but it doesn’t light up my palate like it has for others.