Sunday, August 3, 2008

Summer Saison

We have Saison on tap!! This is the first Saison that Matt has brewed (and in effect, the first that I have). After July's Red IPA and Kolsch, we have a wonderful late summer beer to enjoy as we watch the Red Sox come back to life with the assistance of Jason Bay.

A Saison is a Belgian Farmhouse ale. Traditional characteristics are an orange hue ranging from pale to dark, dry, but with a lot of fruit and a nice acidic pucker. A distinct yeast strain is used, one that lends a spiciness to the beer, along with the Noble hops. A commercially available Saison that I like is produced by Ommegang.

Matt was a little worried about it fermenting down all the way (a problem we had with our most recent Kolsch which made it a little cloying), but the addition of a good amount of sugar to the boil to give the yeast something to eat in fermentation seems to have given us the beer we were aiming for.

Upon tasting, I initially smelled notes of melon and apple, Matt pointed out the banana and clove, and I concur. There is a warm spice overtone, but thanks to the dryness of the beer, I am not overpowered by sweetness or spice. The finish is dry with a slightly acidic profile.

We also achieved classic Belgian Lacing which is when the head of the beer shows strong retention throughout the consumption of the beer.

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