Partizan: Saison Mango Black Pepper (England: Saison: 4.4% ABV)
Visual: Cloudy mango juice. Thin dash of bubbles clumped at the centre instead of a head.
Nose: Mango. Crushed bird seed. Stewed banana. Dried apricot.
Body: Bitter. Pineapple. Dry. mango. Lightly chalky. Wheat flakes. Bitty orange juice. White pepper. vanilla. Lightly spicy.
Finish: Mango. Light white pepper. Bitter. Light fresh apple. Light wheat.
Conclusion: The odd and the wonderful have become almost commonplace in brewing in the UK in the last few years. Nowadays a 3.8% bitter turning up would be more of a shock to the system for me. Not that I am in any way complaining. So, a saison made with pepper and mango? Sure, why not.
This is very mango heavy, from the appearance which looks like cloudy mango juice, to the flavour mid body – you get mango nestling firmly in the arms of a dry rustic saison framework. The saison seems to be working to define the boundaries – it sets a texture, a bitterness to work as a floor, a lightly spiced character to act as a top, all to allow the mango character the room to expand.
As a result the mango, while the main character, is balanced- neither too sweet or forthright, for all it is the predominant element. This beer could very easily have been just fruit juice like, but that framework reins it in, giving it a beer character without detracting from the special ingredients.
There does seem to be pepper there, but what am imagining as it could just be part of the natural element of a rustic saison, so it is definitely a less obvious element. That saison itself isn’t too obvious anyway, as mentioned, well not outside the most base characteristics of it that make up the framework.
I am enjoying it, it isn’t exactly a beer that makes me rave, but it does feel like a carefully crafted cuisine of a beer. What do I mean by that? Well it feels very selective in how it uses its flavours, and as a result feels like one of those small, but expressive, restaurant dishes. Each flavour is carefully picked – it can feel a bit over specific and not quite substantial enough, but still very well crafted. Almost a craft piece to show what they could do more than anything else, but still worth examining.
Background: Yes another beer I bought because it has pretty bottle art. I am shallow. This was found at Independent Spirit. I’ve not tried anything from Partizan before, so wasn’t quite sure what to expect. This was drunk while listening to a bit more of the Guilty Gear XX OST. For people wondering, yes there are more collabfest beers to come. I’m just mixing it up a bit, so it isn’t just two solid weeks of Brewdog collab beers.