Epic Saison

Wild Beer Co: Epic Saison (England: Saison: 5% ABV)

Visual: Yellowed grain. Massive loose white bubbled mound for a head. Very excitable pour.

Nose: Dusty books. Sea weed sushi wrap. Black pepper. Touch of mild cheese. Bubble gum. Ploughman’s sandwich.

Body: Dry. Touch of dried apricot. Cheddar. Lemongrass. Chalk. Excitable feel. Peach sweetness. Belgium style yeast feel.

Finish: Black pepper on crackers. Dry. Lemongrass. Brown bread. Quite bitter.

Conclusion: That is not a trick bottle in the photo, the beer really did froth up that much in the pour!

A very rustic saison, very reactive which gives a mix of spritzy sparkle and Belgium yeast feel.   On one hand it is very down to earth in texture, with ploughman’s lunch aroma, and black pepper throughout. Solid and robust. Then, on the other hand there is subtle dried fruit that comes at the back and a well done subtle sweetness. Then, on the gripping hand, the whole things just bounces with lemongrass and bubblegum and seaweed wraps that just screams the sorachi ace hop influence.

It is a wonderfully competitive mix. Early on the hops dominate, but as I poured more of the bottle in and the beer got progressively cloudier the apricot fruit came much more to the fore.

Not an easy going beer, pretty dry and bitter on the finish, odd as heck in its hop use and pretty hard to pour without getting massive amounts of froth.  It is worth it though, and it grounds itself with that solid rustic feel, all brown bread and down to earth fillings below all those mad flourishes.

It doesn’t have quite the craftsmanship to unseat the insanely good Saison Dupont, but it carves out a niche as its own thing. Pushes together three distinct competing styles in one beer. The flavours don’t always integrate and don’t always work, but are always interesting. I am very glad they had this a shot though as it is the kind of madness I appreciate in a beer.

An acquired taste, but one I feel is worth acquiring. It is worth noting that it is much better integrated on keg, and a fantastic beer like that.

Background: Originally drank on keg at the York Tap, where I very much enjoyed it.  I picked it up on bottle a few months later, and had been saving it.   Anyway, after the depressing news that the ”xenophobic bigoted idiots in a smart suit party” also known as UKIP have been making headway in the local elections I needed a nice beer to cheer me up. So I broke this out. Yay. Made with the very odd Sorachi Ace hop which is a quirky favourite of mine, this lives up to the Wild Beers Co’s. promise of drinking wildly different. Incidentally this is a very lively beer, didn’t explode out when first opened but any attempt at pouring resulted in mounds of froth coming up in the bottle.

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