Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Southern Tier Imperial Cherry Saison

A / 4.4
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | drink: 4.5

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale
ABV: 8.0%
Purchased: $7.99 per 22 oz. bottle at Wine Gourmet in Roanoke, VA

Pours a majestic hazy blush-gold with a modest white head that hides on the edges of the glass. Not much lacing, but oh well.

The initial aroma is grass and hay from the yeast, with a touch of cherry. Very clean, and gains strength with time. More of a sweet, honey-cherry-smokey oak flavor with warmth, which puts the first few whiffs to shame. Served outside on a warm day, it should be spectacular.

I should mention that I've had but one Hoppe and two Unearthlys at out of state beer bars and loved them both, so I was ecstatic about seeing four of their selections at the local beer store this week. First sip is verrry complex on the palate, but I'll take a stab at it: the first thing I get is mustard seed of all things. I've never tasted anything like it in a beer. Mint, oregano, tomato/ketchup, grass, oak trees, a babbling brook, and a partly cloudy sky may also be found here. And some vanilla and cherry. Theres a dry bitterness attributable to the magnum hops but not an overwhelming hop flavor. They show up more on the nose.

Mouthfeel full for a saison yet it sits easily on the palate and has a pleasant spicy kick on the finish. Speaking of kick, there's a pleasant warmth building in my chest and buzzing in my legs as I tackle the final 5 or so sips. With this beer, Southern Tier has done nothing to remove itself from the top 3-4 of my favorite breweries.

1 comment:

Christopher said...

Kevin, check these links...about roanoke brewing.


http://www.roanoke.com/business/wb/137425

http://www.cask-ale.co.uk/us/va-cask-guide.html

http://shootingcreekbrewery.com/

http://www.bullandbones.com/

Chris