Mikkeller: Football Solstice Saison (Denmark: Fruit Saison: 6% ABV)

Visual: Cherry aid red and clear. Large rouge blushed loose bubbled head.

Nose: Slightly spicy. Cinnamon. Nut meg. Wheat. Strawberry tarts. Tart raspberry.

Body: Bitterness and barley. Raspberry. Tart gooseberries. Slight malt drinks. Quite thick and slick texture behind the flavour.

Finish: Dry hop bitterness. Granite feel. Lightly tart, sour apples. Gooseberry and raspberry. Dry malt drink and light fudge. Slightly earthy. Strawberry.

Conclusion: Well, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this beer, and I sure as heck didn’t get it. I didn’t realise this was a fruit beer for one.  Maybe I should have paid more attention on ordering.

Well it certainly is a saison. The finish is dry and bitter, even for the style. Very harvesty. A good bitterness throughout without a prevalent hop characteristic to match. A beer that makes you very thirsty to drink it oddly enough.

Where it plays well is that slight sourness you get with Saisons. Because this beer is more tart than usual, with raspberry and gooseberry flavours which mix with the beer and the natural fruit tartness to make it very refreshing. Expectedly the aroma has a sweet strawberry touch that then hides until the finish. Also more punishing than usual for a saison, its kind of a mix between a saison and prototype 1727 with extra nicely sweet touches mid body.

For all the oddness it is, in fact, very enjoyable. The tartness offsets the dryness, which makes it only the second beer I have had recently that both brings and quenches a thirsty. Probably the beer would even session well, well maybe not due to the abv, but close enough.

A very different take on a fruit beer and a saison, not mouth puckering in tartness like a lambic fruit beer, not rounded sweetness with wood and cheesecake elements like New Glarus fruit beers. A bitter harvest tart mix.  It earns a place to be enjoyed.

Background: Not as I thought a beer for escaping the omnipresent presence of football. In fact linked with a football charity drive that is raising money to combat hunger. Which is good thing. Even if it involves football.  This is a fruit infused saison and thus something a bit different, so I decided to give it a shot. Mikkeller do not in fact own a brewery and brew their beers at other breweries they rent time and space from, which is kind of cool. It is worth noting assistant taster Will didn’t like this one, feeling that the aroma promised a too different beer to the main body.