Tag Archive: Burning Sky

Burning Sky: Saison Houblon (England: Saison: 4.5% ABV)

Visual: Yellow to lemon juice. Large mounded bubbled white head with brown clumps.

Nose: Banana custard. Wheaty. White pepper. Mild grapefruit. Moderate cake sponge hop character. Orange zest. Slight sour dough. Apple.

Body: Slight tart grapefruit. White pepper. Tart grapes. Slight sour dough. Fresh cut apple. Earthy middle. Coriander.

Finish: Wheaty bitterness. Tart grapefruit. Peppery. White pepper. Coriander. Muesli and dried raisins.

Conclusion: This is nice, but boy the aroma promised something with far more subtlety and range. It makes the decent body that you actually get feel slightly disappointing on comparison. Ah well, let’s look at what we actually get then.

The body is fairly rustic style saison – peppery, solid earthy saison style but made fresh with gentle tart grapefruit hops so the body refreshes you before pushing out into a solidly bitter and peppery once again finish.

Refreshing, but yet earthy and grounded. A solid beer and one at not too high abv. The thing is, the aroma has so much more range to it – much more in the tart fruits and hints of a sweeter malt touch that calls to the classic that is Saison Dupont. If those notes had carried through into the body then this could have been similarly a classic beer.

Ah well, let’s look at what it is, not what it could have been. It fits bright hop character well into the base earthy saison without compromising either. A fairly solid twist on the saison, not a classic – it needs a few more layers for that – but it is solidly drinkable with solid hop bitterness.

Could do a lot worse for a saison, give it a go if you are in the mood for something refreshing but with weight.

Background: So, houblon just means hop in French. So this is a hoppy saison. Simple. Burning Sky really haven’t got the attention they deserve from me, may have to make an effort to reverse that. This is step one in trying anyway. Not much else to add – I wanted something comparatively easy drinking, with a not too high abv, so I hoped a saison would do the job when I broke it open for the night. Another one grabbed from Independent Spirit. I returned to IDLES – Joy As An Act Of Resistance to listen to while drinking. Still amazing mix of anger and sensitivity. I still should pick up some of their other albums to see if they are all this good.


Burning Sky Liberty Brewing Descent Into The Maelstrom

Burning Sky: Liberty Brewing: Descent Into The Maelstrom (England: American Pale Ale: 6.66% ABV)

Visual: Cloudy lemon juice. Small white head.

Nose: Pineapple juice and coconut. Dried banana. Orange juice. Tropical fruit juice. Smooth.

Body: Tart white grapes. Pineapple juice. White wine. Coconut. Dried apricot. Light nettles and hop oils. Peach. Light cloying touch.

Finish: Light wood. Coconut. Moderate bitterness and hop character. Tart grapes sheen. White wine. Pink grapefruit. Dry.

Conclusion: Now this one really shows the New Zealand side of the rainbow collaboration – lots of tart fruit hop action with the base dry and mostly out of the way. You do get a recognisably dry pale ale character and accompanying bitterness in the finish, but the main body is fruity all the way.

The main, high concept pitch for this, if I had to give one, would be a beery pina colada. Lots of coconut notes laden through a pineapple fruit juice base beer. Then that carefully layered over the aforementioned pale ale bitter finish. It doesn’t just do that and rest on its laurels though, oh no. It brings slight tart grapes and pink grapefruit to really let the tart character shine – the tartness is fresh but far from overwhelming; It keeps gently refreshing rather than goes for sour and puckering.

Considering that the inspiration colour for this beer was orange it is odd that the orange is actually fairly gently used here. Just there at the back. The barrel ageing seems restrained as well – the beer is fairly smooth which often points to the barrel ageing, and there is a definite white wine air, but nothing pushed too hard as to hurt the base beer. Then again, maybe it is just the barrel ageing matches the dominant characteristics so well – it is hard to say.

Very good indeed. It doesn’t quite make the “My Favourite” list, despite the evident quality. The only, tiny thing against it is that it is a very specific beer for a very specific time. Even beyond being a very summer refresher styled beer, you really have to be in the right mind for it. It is not an anytime kind of beer. If you had it too often I feel the charm would fade. That very minor point aside though, this is great. Had occasionally this is dry, refreshing, complex yet easy to drink. A very specific kind of art, but definitely beer art.

Background: Confession time – was convinced that I had done notes on Burning Sky beers before and wasn’t too impressed by them. Turns out the only one I had tried was a collaboration and that was awesome. Awkward. I had been avoiding a brewery for no good reason. Liberty Brewing on the other hand, this is my first encounter. Another in this year’s rainbow project set of beers. Two brewers, from two countries, working together and given a colour for the theme of their beer. This one is “Orange”. Grabbed from Independent Spirit this is made with “Deep breath” orange zest, pink grapefruit, fermented with Belgian yeast, Nelson Sauvin and Motueka hops and aged in a white Burgundy wine cask. Seriously they pull out all the stops for this rainbow series. Drunk while listening to Metallica – Master of Puppets. No link to the beer, just haven’t listened to them for ages.


Wild Beer Co: Good George: Burning Sky: Shnoodlepip (England: Sour Ale: 6.5% ABV)

Visual: Bronzed hazy gold. Moderate off white head.

Nose: Pumpkin. Rhubarb crumble and sugar dusting. Thick and fruity. White wine notes underneath. Lightly spicy. Carrots and mild cheese.

Body: Tart rhubarb. Pumpkin. Gooseberry. Slightly funky yeast. Mild cheese. Pink grapefruit. Peppers. Passion fruit. Cider apples tartness. Strawberry touches.

Finish: Gooseberry and rhubarb. Slightly dry. White wine. Peppercorn.

Conclusion: Wow, another stand out beer from the Wild Beer co. This one is really breaking the style mould and with it busting my expectations wide open

With the huge amount of unusual ingredients it would be overly optimistic of me to hope that every one would be clearly defined in the beer. A quick sip of the beer makes it very obvious that they are not, however the beer leaves you with no illusions that the elements have had an influence, even if it is hard to discern the exact roots of some of the flavours. The elements mix together to create a complex marvel.

Is smells like a mix of pumpkin and rhubarb dessert, very thick and heavy. Nothing I expected, even knowing the ingredients, and nothing like any beer – even a pumpkin beer – that I have tried before.  Slightly peppery and with that mild cheese touch that I would guess is from the yeast, it calls to the saison style but is far from defined by it.

The body follows through, tart and still pushing that pumpkin and rhubarb element up front. Here however it is more like the raw fruit than a dessert backed version. The mix of yeast funkiness and slightly tart fruit add massively to what initially seems deceptively simple.

Finally the finish rounds it out with a simple dry and refreshing interpretation of the flavours. It sooths itself out, but after the amazing previous courses of tart fruit, cheese and pepper yeastiness and huge dessert aroma it does not try to push anything heavily. Instead it just underlines the experience you have had and encourages another sip.

Possibly even better than Ninkasi, and definitely bigger flavoured. This is an excellent beer of range, verve, drinkability and thirst quenching nature with the added bonus of being very original.
Get this beer. Now.

Background: Ok, this one is made with *deep breath*, pink peppercorn, wild yeast, red wine barrel ageing, passion fruit and hibiscus. Seriously as soon as I heard about this one I started hunting for it.  Wild beer co have been off to a quite good start, not all their beers have been great, but they have usually been interesting and they are starting to live up to their name with recent beers.

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