Flor Sauvage (Mystic Brewing Company)

Style: Mixed Fermentation Saison fermented w/11 strains of Brettanomyces

7.0% ABV

25 IBU’s

O.G.: 13.5° Plato

Brewery’s Note: “Ale barrel fermented and aged with a horde of Brettanomyces yeasts.”

The beer pours out a pale, and creamy golden color with a small head of very dense, mousse-like, and perfectly white bubbles. The head leaves strands of fluffy, yet thin lacing along the sides of the glass, which pack tightly together and form archipelagos of foam. In body, the beer is nearly opaque, but not quite, displaying a deep haze and pale coloring that sits in the pastel range, but does allow bits of translucency to peep through. On the nose, the beer smells of earthy mushroom-brett, a touch of pool water, leather, barnyard musk, some aging hay, pineapple, and a touch of lemon custard. There’s also a salinity to the scent that mingles with the earthiness, suggesting brine, and salted mushrooms. On the tongue, the beer tastes initially sweet, with fruit, vanilla, and a touch of bread. This dries swiftly into an absorbent, mellow bitterness that mingles mild tannins with herbal hops. Earthiness hits in the middle, bringing just a touch of the salty brine from the nose, while a rich fruity sweetness briefly blossoms on the finish, before the bitters mellow out the tongue. In flavor, the beer is rich, complex, and constantly changing. It begins with bitter grass, complex oak, and vanilla that intermingles and unfurls into sweet brett-pineapple and plums surrounded by rich mushroomy funk. This slowly, shrivels into mellow tannic herbs and softly toasted oak with just the faintest finish of pool water. In the mouth, the beer feels medium bodied and well attenuated (as should be the case with 11 strains of brett going to town on the sugars…). There is an almost custard-cream take to the mouthfeel, with a gentle, bright mousse of bubbles, and a great snap of crispness on the end of the beer keeping everything fresh in the mouth. When it leaves, the mouth is left dry, slightly tight, and sticky, yet coated with a layer of saliva. Overall, this beer is deliciously complex and fascinating to drink. If you let it open in the glass, you are rewarded with deepening ranks of bretty funk followed by richer lemon custard and fruit cream notes. While quite drinkable, this is a beer that demands to be sipped slowly and observed as it evolves in the mouth. I taste something different every time it touches my tongue. Admittedly, I’m a bit of a Mystic fan-boy, and love the complexity they tickle out of their beer, and the care that they take in crafting it, but this beer is definitely worthy of praise. I had a bottle of this shared among family right after the release, and admit being underwhelmed, but I think that is because I didn’t spend the time I should have with it. This is a beer that needs loving attention and contemplation, and when given that it blossoms into something beautifully unique and delicious. This is a great rainy day beer, a great beer for contemplation, and just a great beer from the Wizards of Yeast over at Mystic Brewery. I’m so excited to see what comes next from their barrel program.

 

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