Matt’s Burning Rosids (Stone Brewing Company)

Style: Imperial Cherrywood-Smoked Saison

10.5% ABV

Bottled On: 12/20/13

From: San Diego, CA

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Brewer’s Note: “Rather than regarding Burning Rosids as a somber memento, please think of it as a celebration of Matt, just as we do. When you drink this very special beer, please join us in raising your glass, both in Matt’s memory and in tribute to everything he so passionately stood for: caring for others, passion and skill for his art, and laughter… lots of laughter. Among the long list of things he held dear were GoDesignInc.org, a charity committed to fulfilling the architectural needs of developing communities around the world; and TKF, a nonprofit working to stop youth violence by educating, mentoring and making positive impacts on high-risk communities. We are proudly contributing funds earned through the sale of this beer to these worthy organizations in Matt’s honor./Enjoy, and please remember that life and those we hold dear are precious gifts to be cherished every day. Consider sharing this beer, conversation on life’s passions and, again, lots of laughter, with good friends as we remember ours./Everyone at Stone recognized Matt’s prowess and passion for brewing. He loved to explore what-ifs and why-nots. He crafted the beer you hold in your hands, which he conceived with Stone friend and colleague, Brian Bishop. Burning Rosids is a Belgian-style saison incorporating a unique ingredient-cherrywood smoked malt (the name references the rosid plant family from which cherry trees hail).”

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I had tried this beer once before during a tasting, and I remember loving the blend between cherrywood-smoke and funky saison yeast. Unfortunately, it didn’t mesh so well with this bottle. The beer poured a surprisingly clean and clear orange-yellow with a small head of white bubbles that had mediocre retention. The aroma was slightly smoky, but with a fierce spicy yeast-funk. In taste, the beer was harshly spicy, just a touch of acidity, and a bitterness that came from both the yeast and the hops and dried out the finish. The booze of this beer also came through rather oddly, and helped to add to the harsh spicy character of the yeast. The balance was a bit off. Flavors danced from very light smoke (I wanted more!) to Band-Aid and bubblegum flavors, all wrapped up in the harsh, spicy pepper from the yeast and a touch of booze. The phenols are a bit too strong…

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In the mouth, the beer felt medium bodied with a medium carbonation that did provide a nice scrub. The beer felt a bit oily, yet rough in mouthfeel, and the mouth was left dry and slightly scraped. Overall, I was a little disappointed with this beer. I remember liking it so much with my first bottle, and you always want a tribute beer to taste great. Unfortunately, this beer didn’t quite deliver. It needs more smoke and balance.

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3.76/5

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