Saison. I think I said somewhere that 2006 or so was going to be the year of saison. Maybe 2010 will end up that way given the new takes that are popping up here and there. I picked up this one when I was in Maine a few weeks ago. It pours a slightly oranged straw with a white froth and rim. On the nose, it is a bit like a piece of jammy bread you dropped on the way to school. Earthy but, yet, still marmalade and a touch grainy. On the sip there is the Barrs Irn Bru thing happening - a nuance that folks not from Scotland won't appreciate - but it is a orange laced graininess makes for something like a cross between one-third Youngs Special London ale and two-thirds Ommegang Hennepin. Which makes it the beer of the 21st century. Right?
Which leads me to a few questions. Is it the perfect beer? Or is it just easy to drink? Well, despite the silly backpedaling, it's clear there is no perfect beer even as a hyperbolic "device to get people talking." And the wonderful thing about beer is, short of the most severe Cantillon or the plasticity of PBR, beer is, you know, generally easy to drink - and even fans of those two beers will take offense at those allegations.
So, how to place this beer? I was at a desk all day, came home to pile maple logs, bounce a baby, mow the lawn and now watch the Red Sox lead the Yankees in the 4th. Would leaving it as a terrible contextually appropriate ale be too vague? Whatever it is, it receives big BAer respect.