Time was I used to post review posts that I added a bit here and there over time. I stopped when one reader noted that there was no way of knowing when these posts got updated. He was right. The internet sucks when you get right down to it, doesn't it. Why isn't there an autobot dedicated to the moment when I pop the cap on a bottle in the stash? Is it too much to ask that the recycling bins come with image understanding software that notes the bottles as I chuck them in? While we are at it - where the hell is my jet pack? Well, if the computer won't do it, then I am forced into the analog world of doing it by hand, typing out my thoughts until all I have are fistfuls of bloody stumps. And what a handful it is as I have amassed a whack of saison(s) that I intend to work my way though as time allows. Starting with:
- Saison Dupont: I reviewed this back on New Year's Eve 2005. That was a wee 11 or so oz bottle bought at the LCBO so who knows under what conditions I was kept. Today, I would describe this contents of this 750 ml bottle bought at Cicero, NY's Wegmans a week ago for $9.19 a bit differently. On the slug, the hoppiness is intenser, astringent minwax furniture polish meets lavender and thyme. Below that is creamy grain and maybe white pepper but hard to say. Bright, like a bastard child of new undiscovered citrus and old fine tea. With a core of moreishness. On the swirl, the beer is chunky light pine cloudy under a thick mousse of white. The smell is like Orval but only after poured over plain shredded wheat cereal. A sensible 6.5%. BAers love it.
- Three Floyd's Rabbid Rabbit: Rather than opening all these side by side, I am chain opening, only letting one speak to the next. I picked this one up for $8.99 for 650 ml at South Bend's City-Wide Liquors last August. It also pours bright, again the colour of aged pine laminate flooring. Where the Dupont's aroma is herbal and an echo of Orval, Rabbid Rabbit smells like the white chocolate insides of Kinder Surprise when doused with rose water. It's quite disconcerting. In the mouth, it is less sweet - which gives immediate assurance - but the bitterness is more twiggy and mineral than herbal. A bit more fruity, as in good canned fruit salad, than I would have thought was necessary. Makes me wonder if there was too much Gumballhead on the brain when it was formulated. The label says there is chamomile in it. A bit heavy on the chamomile perhaps. Perhaps covering the too strong 9%. Perhaps they know nothing of Mr. Tisane. BAers have great respect.
More in a bit or maybe tomorrow. I need some time. I have no idea what to do with the rest of the remaining 550 ml of that chamomile beer.
- Fantome Saison: the last bottle of a six box I bought in Maine at Tully's from this shelf back in the summer of 2008 for $16 bucks each 750 ml bottle. I can smell the happy happy funk from here. I first had this back in November of 2006 and it still has that tell tale cat pee on lemon lollipop smell. In the mouth, glory. Lemon with an echo of cream of wheat, it's half way to gueuze by now. And is that such a bad place? Up there at 8%, thinner than you expect and acidic yet smooth. Bright and cheery with that pear and grape juice I met when I was just a lad of 43. The beer I always want even now at 46. Such commitment I have. BAers have a deep and abiding love. A beer that pairs well with Tennessee Ernie Ford as well as shoveling the driveway out as long as the snow's not too heavy.
Damn. That Hennepin four is really all Ommegang. What to do? Hey! Nope, I was wrong. Someone swapped two at the store. There's something to keep this going. Whew. More later.
Later: Now it's Saturday night. I feel bad about pouring that Three Floyds saison down the drain but it really was poorly thought out. Unless you are a person who like beer except for the absence of chamomile. Tonight's saison-a-rama focuses on:
- North Coast's Le Merle: Part of North Coast's American Artisan Series and, at 7.9% of 750 ml saison for 10.00 sometime in 2009, it's easily worth investigating. It pours that proper pine lumbery deep straw under a fine white head. The aroma is in line with the Dupoint and the Fantome - bright citrus, pale fruit maltiness. In the mouth, it's gorgeous: creamy mouthfeel, round pale malt, herbal bitter, a touch of lemon juice acidity, astringent drying finish. The brewer says I am to expect exotic fruit which certainly could be explained as a bit of banana or passionfruit... but if Del Monte can make kids' juice packs with such flavours are they still really exotic? Plus, it as easily described in terms of apple of the slightly perfumed sort, Royal Gala maybe. Pairs well with the third episode the 1970s "Doctor Who and the Silurians." BAers rate it the equal of Rabbid Rabbit - a mad conclusion.
I am going to think on this one for a while.