Kubla Saison Number Two

Kubla: Saison: Number Two (England: Saison: 5% ABV)

Visual: Hazy amber. Thin off white head.

Nose: Crushed leaves, like those from a curry. Vanilla. Dried passion fruit. Slightly cloying twist. Musky grapes. Cider.

Body: Ginger. Hibiscus. Bitter wheat body. Slightly sour. Lemon. Vanilla. Juniper berries. Dried apricot. Peach juice.

Finish: Hibiscus. Sour grapes. Juniper berries. Wheat bitterness. Lemon shortbread. Apricot.

Conclusion: Heat. Not just an overlong movie with two of the great actors meeting and a spectacular shoot out. Number Two. Not just a euphemism for a shit.

These may seem, on first glance, to be two completely unrelated statements – but watch as I – the weaver – bring these two disparate topics into one coherent review.

I hope.

As you may have worked out from the above, chilled way down this was a bit of a number two. You get the dominant spice, a sour twist, but not much more. It reminded me of Brewdog’s underwhelming (To say the least) Vote Sepp beer mixed with their (also underwhelming) Juniper Wheat. A bad start.

So, I let it warm, it seemed only fair. Warm like my heart, but less bloody. Ok not that warm. But warmer. Where was I? Oh, yes “one coherent review”. Warming helped the beer – there is still a hibiscus and gin like Juniper back, but rising from that is fruiter notes, and the vanilla from the oak ageing comes in much smoother. What was initially a thin body fills out with a bitter wheat character and sour grapes.

The beer leads more towards the rustic and sour end of the saison style, a pretty varied style at the least of times – Since my preferred end tends to be the more crisp hopped style I have to look past that – but it is a genuinely interesting beer to examine.

As a just slightly sour and rustic beer, with a lot of gin calls to its style- well the juniper berries taste anyway – and smoothed bourbon aging it has a lot of character. As much as is it interesting, I am unsure if I would return to it. I feel once you have experienced it, that once is enough- but still worth a look once.

Background: A barrel aged saison made with rosemary. Number two in fact. Which makes me presume there is a number one out there somewhere. Their naming conventions are sheer innovation. Anyway, grabbed from Independent Spirit and drunk while listening to Sabaton: Coat Of Arms for some epic metal backing.

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