Side Project Brewing's Saison du Fermier
Our cast of characters for this tasting includes: Eric Wentling (me!)--BJCP judge, sour lover, Belgian beer fan, Cory King fan-boy. Andrew Gieseke--amazing homebrewer specializing in sour and brett beers, brewer of the best grape lambic I've had other than Cantillion. Janelle Gieseke--Andrew's tolerant wife, beer lover. Sarajo--my wife who refuses to write out her impressions on my whale tastings to spite me, oh, and sour beer lover... We had this beer as an appertif after Andrew and Janelle fixed us the best brunch I've ever had. A fine way to finish an epic coursed meal!
Eric: Mild funk and pineapple. Earthy, musty, but in a good way. Complex. Not sweet smelling but I get some malt. No hop aroma. Light tart orange peel. Elderflowers. Brighter aroma's as it warms, more mango tropical fruit.
Andrew: Hay, lemon, old wood/oak tannin. Some dandelion stem and flower petals. Touch of leather and little fresh cut grass. Some hops. Touch of pilsner malt, cracker/biscuit. Some cellar must.
Eric: Bright golden color some haze present. A huge and persistent head the brilliant white color of a unicorn's hide. Bubbles super fine and meringue-like.
Andrew: Rocky head. Hazy and cloudy straw color. Lots of fizzy carbonation.
Janelle: The color of persimmons (deep yellow.) Cloudy. Light frothy head.
Eric: Tart and incredibly refreshing right off the bat. Orange peel mixed with partially unripe pineapple. Malt present (pilsner?) but not a sweet beer at all. Body light to medium with high zippy champagne carbonation. There is some hop bitterness but not much flavor. No alcohol. Complex, bright, with a tart acidity.
Andrew: Honey, lemon-lime with floral cuts and dandelion. A little cracker/biscuit. Some hop bitterness and a sharp carbonation bite intensified by acidity. Tons of lemon (lemonhead candy) and pineapple/mango.
Janelle: Light, citrus. Medium carbonation. Fresh. Does not stick to mouth, good palate cleanser. Slight tartness (brett). Mainly front of tongue flavor points.
Eric: Wonderfully complex. More sour and tart than typical saisons, but near perfect in my estimation. Refreshing and crisp. Much funkier than when I had this fresh at the release. This has a lambic bent to it. This is by far the best saison I've ever had the pleasure to drink. 5
Andrew: Super dry, lemon bomb with hints of malt and touch of hop bitterness. Refreshing crisp thirst-quencher. Lovely balance of bitterness, floral aromas, and citrus acidity. Lovely beer. 5
Janelle: Reminds me of spring, refreshing and light. 5
Sarajo: It should be hotter and we should be outside. We want the funk! 4.75
Overall rating: 4.94
Seriously Cory King is a freaking wizard. That is all.
Photo info: For those who notice my photo stuff. This week I took a close up of the bottle label. Then I superimposed the shadow of a light bulb taken at Iron Tap in Waconia. I had to do a little tweaking in Photoshop Elements to get the transparency right so the bulb would pop a bit and mirror the bulb on the actual label.