Graham L. Barron's picture

Red Sky at Morning

September, 2015
Judges Rating: 
85
Aroma: 
20 / 24
Appearance: 
6 / 6
Flavor: 
35 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
16 / 20

Saison is a style that is open to a wide range of brewer interpretation, but this wine barrel-aged beer pushes those broad limits even further. Upon pouring, I am greeted by a glowing, orange-colored beer with a fluffy white head. Classic Belgian yeast character jumps out in the aroma with heavy bubble gum notes and a restrained clove spiciness. The alcohol content is evident in the nose, and the first sip tells you this is a big beer. A sweet, sugary maltiness is up front followed by some spiciness and more bubblegum, accompanied by a significant warming from the alcohol. There is a lingering, residual sweetness of burnt sugar in the finish. The vinous barrel character emerges as the beer warms (with hints of vanilla), but is overall very restrained. While a very flavorful and enjoyable beer, the high alcohol content and lingering sweetness make it one you would have to split with a friend.

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