Style: Wild Saison
From: Saignelégier, Switzerland
Brewery’s Note: “Brewed for the 15th anniversary of the brewery – hence the square root of 225 – a bit like a sort of gag for our domestic market not ready at all to accept sour beers, I decided to try. Couroussé by those nasty attitudes of American brewers make 22 different saisons in the same brewery, a bit like an excuse for beer nonsensical to 23% alcohol and very far from the Belgian saisons, I embarked on the adventure. Pale malt, aromatic hops, not always the same. And hop beer once brewed to 5% volume in old barrels St Bon-Chien, full of microorganisms on balance, I’m not 276 before the overflowing barrels./ I taste just me and the idea of cutting the old with the same beer but very fresh and bitter. The saison √225 Was Born. I add “historical” to saison for the US market and I put it in my suitcase whenever I meet friends who run bars. Amazing and rapid success, it becomes a sort of gateway into the wonderful world of beer acids, balanced, tart and bitter at the same time, complex and easily refreshing, moving beautifully bottled on wild yeasts./ Height of destiny, I talk to Yvan the Brasserie de la Senne, a geek and beer historian who told me that in Belgium at the time is very often the old with the new beers, mixed history to get this weird taste acid./ As finally redefined the historical saison (pronounced by pinching the nose) style, I cook up some variations. This time, allow me to use the first person singular, because when I came to work with my idea of St festival Bon-Chien, I promise you that my team took me for a fool. One more time.” –As translated by Google
This one is a gusher. The swing-top pops off with a gassy hiss, and frothy white suds immediately begin to rear up over the bottles lip. The beer pours with a massive, rocky set of soapy bubbles that settle into a mountainous landscape about a finger’s width above the glass with decent retention. The head leaves a set of fluffy, soapy lacing in small islands on the glass’ wall as it leaves. The beer sits in the glass as a murky, yellow-brown with nearly green accents. It’s full of particles and chunks, and decidedly opaque in body, with a solid cloud that blocks out any hint of the other side of the glass. It looks properly rustic. On the nose, the beer smells of a rich, jammy funk. Strawberry jam blends with tart cherries, pineapple, light horse blanket, and subtle pool water. The nose is a fruity brett bomb with a bristling backbone of scratchy horse blanket and grass. As it warms, an acetic character develops, lending a malt vinegar tinge to the scent, which adds yet another layer of complexity that has me salivating, even before I touch the glass. On the tongue, the beer tastes surprisingly restrained for its funky nose, with the tart acidity right at the front and finish of the sip. There is a touch of hoppy bitters in the middle, and a nice, grainy sweetness throughout the sip. A touch of salinity enters with the close, and some earthiness rounds out the finish. In flavor, the beer begins with big, bright fruit, much as the nose promised. I sense strawberry jam, pineapple juice, lemonade, etc… This quickly falls off into a chalky graininess with notes of citrus, oak tannin, and herbs. Light pool water enters towards the finish, adding with it a touch of brininess. The finish is brief, and nearly nonexistent, which is my chief complaint with the beer. The beer just slides off of the palate without any of its beautiful funk really gripping into the tongue. The aftertaste is of surprising hoppy medicinal and herbal bitters, though they are faint. Some brett funk also lingers. In the mouth, the beer feels medium bodied, with a slight wateriness to the edges. Carbonation is above average, and adds a nice effervescent fluff to the mouth, while mouthfeel is slightly turbid, and confused, passing from slight weight to thinness in just a moment. When the beer leaves, the mouth is left neutral, with a subtle pucker/bitter shiver. There is a chalkiness in the mid-cheek area, while the lower pouches of the mouth fill up with spittle. Overall, this is a strange little wild saison. Its smell is superbly funky-fruity, but its flavor doesn’t quite live up to the nose, and the finish is actually disappointing. I like this beer though, odd as it is for me to say after the last sentence. It’s a nice funky saison, but I do wish it had a little more substance. I definitely sense the ghost of Abbaye de Sainte Bon-Chien from the barrel, and I like its influence on this saison. A nice beer that I’m curious to see what age will do to.