After recent batches of Release The Panic saw changes in hopping like Simcoe and Amarillo I decided to go back to the original hop schedule but beefed up a bit like recent versions. There is something about the Columbus, Nugget, Chinook, and Meridian oils once biotransformed by my house yeast that creates something wonderful. Super fruity and a balanced dankness and pine. For this batch I didn't want to have a full 10 gallons of the same beer on tap allowing for the hops to fade out on keg 2 while drinking keg 1. On this one I decided to toss some Habanero into the secondary to get some heat and the fruitiness of a Habanero flesh. I also swapped out the base malt from Pale Ale malt to Vienna to get a richer malt balance and to drop the sugar addition and add some Cara-Pils to add a touch more body. The super dry finish on previous batches was nice, but the lack of body wasn't. I really wanted a good body and malt complexity to back up all the hops and the yeast. Don't get me wrong, I like a good hop monster with no malt backbone showcasing all the hops and a yeast that gets out of the way as well, but they aren't balanced and certainly not drinkable enough to knock back a couple and still fell your tongue.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Friday, May 13, 2016
As I stated in the recipe post Super Saison isn't my usual go-to beer. Let's be honest, it's nobodys go-to beer. It is a special ocassion beer by nature. So why have it as a staple in a brewery? Because drinking a beer at End Of Silence is always a special ocassion. Having a breadth of styles and ABVs is always a good idea. Everybody has massive IPAs and Imperial Stouts (as will I), but who has a readily available Super Saison.
Appearance: A foggy orange pour under a frothy egg white head that clings to the sides through the whole drink. Needs a little more carbonation to keep the head up through the whole glass and bubbles for sparkle.
Aroma: Pear and citrus pop from the glass with a light herbal note from the hops and a toasty malt base following behind. A light rosey alcohol comes through in the end with a hint of fresh cracked pepper and cardamom.
Flavor: The tongue follows the nose with pears and citrus, herbal hops, light spiciness, and a hint of cracked pepper. Lots of toasted biscuits. Just a mild funkiness and acidity. Alcohol is light and floral. Bitterness is balancing. Very malty for the style. More like a malty Tripel than a Imperial Saison.
Mouthfeel: Big and bold with a medium body and a fairly dry finish. The maltiness and alcohol with a lower carbonation leave a little more heaviness on the tongue than a Saison should have, no matter the ABV. Needs more carbonation for sure.
Overall: Near miss, not an epic fail. The maltiness, low carobonation, and high alcohol create for a bigger feeling beer than a super drinkable Saison. The hops and esters come across nicely, just too malty and "heavy". A little more bitterness, less Vienna, and higher carbonation would line this up where it needs to be.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Although there is something wonderful about the depth of complexity and drinkability in a low alcohol Saison like Duponts Avril, or even the sheer perfection of their classic Saison, their is something of majesty and whimsy about the Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux. At 9.5% ABV it is still way too drinkable, spicy, crackery, zesty, malty, and fruity, and super refreshing until the ABV hits you. A style I tend to shy away from except on special ocassions, I really want to have a beer that draws its inspiration from Avec Les Bons Vouex in the brewery. For the first iteration of this recipe I went with a base of Vienna cut with Pilsner, German Dark Wheat, and Flaked Oats, with a hefty dose of sugar to get it nice and dry and still have what the Belgians call digestibility (never heavy, easy drinking no matter how high the alcohol). I hopped it with Saaz, Tettnang, and Hallertau for a more authentic Saison character. The beer is not designed to be a clone which would have had only Pilsner malt and Saaz with Styrian Goldings.