Style: Mixed Fermentation Farmhouse Brett (*Interpretation)
From: Newmarket, NH
Brewery’s Note: “Sylph is our interpretation of a tart farmhouse style ale. It is our representation of minimalistic elegance./ Our 7.4%abv interpretation of a mixed culture, farmhouse style ale. Brewed entirely without adjunct ingredients. 100% Brettanomyces primary fermentation. ”
The beer pours an elegant straw yellow color with a light nuclear green hue that catches the eye. There is some gold in there too, and it definitely looks similar to its ultra-hopped brother, but oddly I see this beer as of a more delicate coloring. In body, it’s hazy yet free of particulate, and definitely translucent despite the heavier haze. The beer pours with a rich, well-packed head of eggshell white bubbles that sits up around two fingers-widths before dwindling down to a full and fat scrim. The head leaves thin, faultless mounds and mountain ranges of lacing along the glass as it recedes, though most of the head slides slickly back into the beer. On the nose, the beer smells creamy lactic tart. There’s a fine chalkiness that falls into a beautiful lemon juice citrus accent on the close. Smooth wheaty malt dances beside subtle pineapple and good (yet still subtle) barnyard funk that swirls hay and drying grass scents into the rich lactic lemon juice scents. It’s properly in that farmhouse zone, with that healthy punch of tartness to really punch the nose to lovely triumph. It is more subtle and delicate than the Mosaic Sylph, fully fleshing out the lovely farmhouse scents that I caught whispers of in the dry-hopped version. While the last batch of this beer sat quite restrained on the nose, this one is a big punch of lemon and chalk with a great blend of lighter farmhouse scents. It’s in that Arthur and Farmhands zone of tart, citrus farmhouse funk. On the tongue, the beer tastes briefly of cereal sweetness before the tongue is puckered with a punch of great acidity that starts lactic and slowly falls to a more citric flourish as it closes, much like the beer’s scent. The finish finds the acidic punch fading enough for subtle sweet wheat, hay, and grain flavors to work their way in alongside bitter herbal flavors that touch towards pith. The very finish is lush with sweet lemonade flavors, blending the big tartness with subtler fruity flesh and dry grain. It’s not a sweet finish, but it’s sweeter than the big middle of the sip which really revels in the acidity. Flavor starts with softly bitter straw and sweet wheat that are punched into milky lactic acid that slowly turns to rich, uncut lemon juice with bitter hay and grass to accent the sides of the fruit juice finish. There is a little bit of milky sourness towards the finish, too which adds a further layer, while subtle bitter plastic bites in occasionally to add further complexity and interest. That plasticity has been larger in other Deciduous beers, but here it is perfectly subtle and accented way that I really like. As it warms, subtle cheesy funk develops on the close in nice funky accents. In the mouth, the beer feels creamy and on the lighter side of medium bodied with a fuller carb that crackles and fluffs and snaps a little effervescence that snaps into fiercer acidity that really brings the beer to a pop. When the beer leaves, the mouth is left slightly damp with a little bit of gush from the cheeks and gleaning out over the tongue. There is a slight stickiness that lingers into a chalky feeling. Overall, this is beautiful and right in my farmhouse zone. Its citrus/lactic-acidity forward with a perfect accent of funk. I had the first batch of this beer and it left me a little let down (especially after I heard rumor it was the spiritual continuance of Little Lobster On the Prairie, but that may be the internet’s fault). This batch more than makes up for the first, though. The acidity is on point and fresh, and all the components work perfectly. I honestly like this a little more than the Mosaic Sylph, but that is just for my tastes. This is delicious. Deciduous continues to roll out the delicious beer. They are in a wonderful groove and I just want it to continue. Yum.