Visual: Dark hazy lemon to apricot. Middling white head. Some black sediment visible at the base.
Nose: Big orange. Carrot and coriander. Wheaty and tart lemon juice.
Body: Brown bread. Tart lemon. Slight sulphur. Peppery. Light chalk. Sour dough. Apples. Light key lime.
Finish: Sour lemon. Peppery. Sulphur. Chalk. Light hop bitterness and charring. Key lime. Coriander. Light orange skin. Earthy hops.
Conclusion: This feels kind of sulphur touched – to a similar degree to what I would expect in a cask pulled real ale – less so expected in a bottled saison. Very different – now that doesn’t mean bad automatically, but it is different to what I would expect from the style.
It also seems to leans towards a more earthy and grounded interpretation of the saison style, rather than the crisp hopped take of Saison Dupnt and the like. Which is pretty unexpected from the aroma – the aroma actually seemed to be taking some Belgian Wit influence with lots of orange and coriander notes popping out. By comparison the more earthy base seems quite, well, prosaic.
There are subtle orange, and even key lime notes in the body – but under the earthier hop character. It is ok, but it feels slightly dominated by the earthy and sulphur elements, which lead into a peppery finish. The higher notes don’t seem to get much room to play and so, while robust, it seems hard to get excited about.
Possibly if it had not opened with such a high note of that lovely fresh orange I would be viewing it with a kinder eye – but it promised a really fresh touched saison then took it away. IT TOOK IT AWAY. So, as is it seems worse in comparison to the expectations it sets. It really works the more grounded notes, chalky touches, lots of grounding, but all the elements to build off that are done too weakly.
So, to give constructive feedback – it has a solid base that could have a shit-ton done to it without hurting it – but it needs to really build from that. This feels like a beer half done. Not a favourite I am afraid.
Background: This is, technically, not the beer I intended to buy. A while back a bunch of fellow enthusiasts and I did what we called #Brisdram – a whisky fuelled tour of Bristol. It was awesome. Such a pity you missed it. Anyway, Lost and Grounded, a new Brewery in Bristol let us set up in their Brewery based taphouse for some of this time. Many thanks! Anyway, during that time I tried an awesome lager from them – really hopped and fruity but did not lose the natural lager style. Awesome beer. So, now sober, I tried to remember what it was. No bloody clue. So I grabbed this one from Independent Spirit, which sounded about right. Turns out it is a saison. So probably not the one I drank before. Ah well. Drunk while listening to bit more of the excellent Canadian punk band Mobina Galore.