Cool As A Cucumber

Fyne and Wild: Cool as a Cucumber (England: Vegetable Saison: 2.9% ABV)

Visual: Hazy yellow brown with large tight bubbled head

Nose: Mint leaves. Rustic yeast. Light hop bitterness. Cucumber. Straw. Peppery.

Body: Cucumber. Whole grain crackers. Mint. Menthol. Nice moderate bitterness. Pepper.

Finish: Light hop bitterness and dry feel. Cooling. Cucumber. Crackers. Mint. Radishes.

Conclusion: Ok, odd, then again I could have guessed that going in. Very cucumber filled, which reminds me of those god awful summer pimms drinks that people make. Except this is good, and without pimms. Ok the link might be slightly tenuous.

It is a very different beer to most, though you can taste the base saison throughout with its light hop bitterness and funky yeast character and light pepperyness. However the main play of the beer is the cucumber and mint that dominate, so no, not like any beer I have had up to this point. Very savoury, the mint and rustic character makes me feel like it was brewed with the run off of a lamb dinner.

Very refreshing, very summer and all mild smoothing flavours. Seriously I just couldn’t see myself drinking this in winter, it just wouldn’t fit. It is very tasty, which surprised me as I am not generally a big fan of cucumber. This is just bitter and rustic enough behind the refreshing character. I wil say that, by itself, it is not quite the session beer it wants to be. The abv may be perfect and it does have a decent range of flavour, but the elements can get a bit old by ¾ of they way through the 75cl bottle.

What I am thinking though, is that if you add a bit of food in this may be sorted, just something to break it up a bit and let it earn its place again. (I personally kept the summer theme and tries some ice cream which worked ok, but I’m guessing something more savoury like mini sausages, crackers or the like would be better)

So pleasant and interesting, innovative as hell. As a beer on its own it can get samey fast, but as an accompaniment to food it should be spot on. A beer of distinct purpose and time, and does not sit well outside of that purpose. Inside it however it explores a niche that many others have overlooked.

Background: I have to admit my initial enthusiasm for this was lacking. Saison, ok that is good, low abv, that is good, made with mint and cucumber. Okaaaay. However it is a) From Wild Beer co (and Fyne Ale) an B) has been getting quite a good buzz around the blogosphere so I thought I would give it a go. It’s been timed well as my friends and I have been discussing exactly what makes a perfect session beer, and which beers would be that. So far we have decided less than 4% ABV, apart from that we are disagreeing wildly, with me calling to Artbrew I Beer, Moors Revival and Brewdogs Dead Pony Club, and others calling to Bellringer (Which I don’t rate) Still disagreement leads to better conversations. Anyway, this was picked up at Independent Spirit who have a beer selection that is getting better by the day.