Style: Wild American Saison aged in Oak Casks
From: Boston, MA
Brewer’s Note: “Wild Trillium is a wild fermented version of our flagship beer, Trillium Farmhouse Ale. The beer spent over 9 months aging in a single oak barrel with our house blend of wild microbes.”
The beers label is a beautiful work of simplicity. I love the hand-drawn look of the barrel graphic, I love the open white spaces and lack of clutter, the simple fonts are eye catching beside the white background, and the texture of the paper is fascinating and rustic. This labels does wonders in characterizing the rustic nature of the beer in the glass. I like this label and find it quite worthy of the shelf.
The beer pours a rich, light golden color, bordering on the color of aged hay. The beer forms a small head of large and rocky bubbles, which quickly fall way to a scrim around my glass. In body, the beer is quite clear and clean, with a subtle but definite haze making the other side of the glass slightly murky on the eyes. On the nose, the beer blasts delightful funk, touting big fruity pineapple alongside aging hay notes, definite subtle horse blanket, lemon, and even a ghost of cherry leather. The oak is subtle in the nose, but does seem to lurk in the background, tickling the nostrils with its oaky structure and soft vanilla scents. On the tongue, the beer is fruity, yet dry. Soft acidity carries the fruit through the start of the sip, but mellows into soft oak tannin, soft grass bitters, and mellow bitter funk. Salinity is very subtle in this beer, but definitely there in the finish and aftertaste. This beer is superbly balanced, especially for a wild ale, and definitely speaks to the skill and precision of the barrel keeper and brewer. In flavor, the beer begins as tart lemons, soft leather, softer horse blanket, pineapple, and orange pith. This moves to grassy and hay-like bitters with a nice earthy funk and a touch of subtle salt, and then moves more in the barnyard vicinity with a tannic structure of subtle oaken flavors that develop further in the finish and aftertaste. The finish is a bit quick and short lived, giving me bright lemon citrus, oak, pineapple, grass, and horse blanket that I wish lasted a tad longer. The aftertaste is of hay and oak. In the mouth, the beer feels light in body, a touch below medium, with a prickly carbonation that never quite becomes fierce in the mouth, and an overall mouthfeel of crispness. After the beer leaves, the mouth is left dry except for the tongue and cheek pouches, which are wetted due to the beer’s acidity. Overall, this beer is surprisingly subtle (I think I used that word fifty or more times in this review…) which I love. The beer is crisp and clean, yet funky and salty, with wonderful soft flavors. The scent and taste don’t quite add up, but both are superb on their own, so it’s alright with me. This beer is the epitome of balance in wild ales. I almost wish it was a little more aggressive in its flavoring, but I think it will become just that if you let it age. I grabbed two bottles and have already drank them both, though, I should have saved one! This is yet another phenomenal and crisp beer from Trillium, who are really doing something special in Boston. I can’t wait to try more of what they have to offer.