Summer Saison (Blackberry Farm Brewery)

Summer Saison (Blackberry Farm Brewery)

Style: American Saison

6.1% ABV

45 IBU’s

Malts: Weyermann Floor Malted Pilsner, Floor Malted Dark, Cara-Foam and Abbey Malt

Hops: Australian Summer, Citra

Yeast: Classic Saison

From: Walland, TN

Brewery’s Note: “Welcoming the hot summer month, this Saison features notes of tropical fruit that complement its bready malt undertones. A soft bitterness, reminiscent of orange marmalade, balances the delicate spice notes that result from a warm fermentation.”

About the Brewery: “Tucked away on Blackberry Farm’s 9,200-acreestate in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Blackberry Farm Brewery produces classic Old World-style beers, all artisan crafted and bottle-conditioned right here in Tennessee.”

The beer pours with a huge creamy, custard froth that rocks and wriggles above the beverage, and takes its time in settling down. The froth smacks thick, sudsy tendrils of lacing lines across the sides of the glass. The color is a deep and muddy orange, hinting at shades of yellow and tan. The beer’s body is completely opaque with a gentle clouding, while a definite beehive of bubbles tussles in the murk. It looks thicker, fatty even, but with that gelling farmhouse look that makes it pleasing to the eye. It’s a looker. On the nose, the beer smells initially of dank Citra. Further sniffs bring a Dupont-esque yeast character to the forefront, tumbling spicy pepper flesh in a bed of drying grass and a bale of hay. Mangoes and pineapple sit beneath the lush and herbal grass character, providing a fruit salad-burst on the underneath of the smell while subtle pine flickers over the top. On the tongue, the beer starts with a slightly tart taste, not really “wild” or “sour” but snappy, this moves into a smooth bitterness that is full of nuance, taking earthy pine into herbal grass, and then crescendoing with earthy chives and citrusy grapefruit and perhaps just a touch of malt sweetness. The finish is wonderfully peppery, with a slight spice that tames the bitters, and pulls everything into an earthy close that tingles with bits of minerality swaddled in a thin shawl of isoamyl acetate. In truth, the beer is bone-dry, with most of its fruit-character coming from the slight acidity and the bitters. In flavor, it is hugely complex, starting with brief lemon juice that iss tumbled into hay, grass clippings, a whisper of grains, and then rich cracked pepper and the seeds of Capsicum. It leaves the mouth earthy and lip smackingly dry, but begins as crisp and effervescent yet prickly fierce with a clean sharpness to its lighter, well attenuated body. It leaves the mouth with a blanket of astringent tightness, and dry like a desert. Overall, this is a complex, ester and phenol-filled sipper that has a great balance of hops and yeast. This is a delicious beer that will pair beautifully with food. I’m fairly excited to see where this Black Berry Farm takes their brews, as this is a delicious summer sipper.

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