Saison Rue from California’s The Bruery is actually the first beer I’m trying from this highly-respected crafter of beer! While their beers are available in a few places here in Jersey, from what I’ve found the selection is usually limited to one or two. Saison Rue is the one I grabbed to try.
While I’m not a Saison devotee’, I’ve had a few and found that its a beer style that I like. I think they’re especially tasty during the warmer months of the year!
To be honest, I’ve had this bottle of Saison Rue sitting in a dark corner of my basement for about a year. Such abuse!
The label assuages my guilt by stating that this beer is OK to age for up to two years. The character will change from crisp and hoppy to ‘lighter with rustic notes’ when aged up to two years. So, I guess my bottle should be somewhere in-between crisp and rustic?
An interesting note on the label reads that the Saison Rue is “Brewed with Rye and Brettanomyces”. OK, I know what Rye is, but what the heck is/are brettanomyces? Well, not doing too much digging, (but just enough!), I found on Wikipedia that in a nutshell, its a yeast-like thingy that is used intentionally to create a certain flavor characteristic in beer. Furthermore…”In most beer styles Brettanomyces is viewed as a contaminant and the characteristics it imparts are considered unwelcome “off-flavours.” However, in some styles, particularly certain traditional Belgian ales, it is appreciated and encouraged.”
OK, that makes some sense. Saison is a Belgian style beer, so there you go!
The Beer itself is interesting, but I’m not sure its my favorite Saison so far.
Definitely let the beer warm. It tastes much, much better I think. The spices, and what I’m assuming is the prickle from the rye is much more apparent and pleasant when its been warmed up a bit.
The 8.5% ABV brew pours a golden color, with big (real big) white fluffy head. Aroma is spicy, citrucy, yeasty, and interesting enough to keep me whiffing for awhile.
Taste is also interesting, but as I mentioned it gets much better when warmed. There’s a good deal of spice in the flavor, again, I’m assuming the rye imparts this but it was really nice and appropriate for Summer. Along with this refreshing prickle, there’s a citrus component, along with a peppery burn and its just very ‘earthy’. Maybe this is that ‘rustic’ thing that is mentioned on the label?
Sour? A bit, but it wasn’t anything that made my lip curl.
I’m aware that this is not a beer style that I’m well-versed in, so it could very well be that the complexities and subtitles of the beer are just over my head. I know a lot of people love this beer, but my seat-of-the-pants impression of it was just take-it-or-leave-it.
Have you tried Saison Rue? What did you think? Am I completely missing something here, or is it really just an OK beer in a fancy bottle?