SAISON MARATHON REVIEWS BOTTLES THAT ARE HARD AS SHIT TO OPEN.
SAISON WEEK FORGES ONWARD. I got this beer in an amazing box donated by Taylor Cox, big thanks for this elusive gem. The first thing that was confusing as a David Lynch movie was the label on the beer, a sticker really, that instructed me how to open the beer. It is caged and corked. I can usually figure these things out, but no, not this time. To open this you seriously have to uncage it, take a blade, cut the cork in half, then use a wine opener to pull the half cork out. I am not shitting you these are the directions right on the bottle. So I got this open finally and shared it with some hippies at the Topange Earth Day festival. Let’s get earthy.
Swamp Head Brewery & Tasting Room
Florida, United States
Saison / Farmhouse Ale | 7.60% ABV
A: This beer is a light yellow, straw meets light gold with a faint amber hue in the center, lightens around the edges, moderate carbonation, 1/2 finger head with some lacing lacing. Let me clarify, this beer was an IED at first and detonated with foam, like all these other saisons, this style has fucking self esteem issues and always overcompensates at first.
S: There a sweet honey notes with apricot and pear and peach overtones, very crisp, the added hops are faint and overpowered by the lemon zest. This seems like a standard affair, if not a bit wheatier, ya feel me? Daddy gotta get that grist, hustling is a habit, saisons gotta have it.
T: the hops are lightly drying at the outset and followed almost immediately by sweet biscuit honey notes. the tastes have a very seamless interplay, which adds complexity to the usually simple dry refeshing saison. The hops aren’t too aggressive, but present – it’s more of a Belgian pale ale like Petrus meets saison rather than an standard belgian offering. The faintness and/or masking from the dryness of the saison makes it difficult to classify the hops, certainly nothing with ultra-high alpha acids such as tomahawk or warrior, but a welcome addition to old tradition. I must comment on the lovely funk and musk bouquet that takes a bit of a backseat to the chewy wheat profile, but is a welcome addition.
M: the mouthfeel is a tiny bit creamy, nothing too overwhelming with the coating but still refreshing and crisp. it welcomes warmer weather and/or working on a TransAm. It is not filling and the initial creaminess subsides pretty quickly into a thinner nature, making the next sip welcomed sooner rather than later. The crispness ultimately reminds me of biting into a Fuji apple, it should be noted that Japanese people will likely never try this saison, though. Sorry Japan, no swamps for you.
D: this is where this beer shines above all. The drinkability gives mundane pilsners and lagers a run for their money, while retaining complexity and great flavor. It is a shame that this is a seasonal and relatively expensive (I am assuming somewhere around $20?) it would easily join the ranks of great warm weather beers. Like the cadre of other saisons, this is a versatile beast that can run in a variety of circles and can serve as a gateway drug to harder belgian drugs or stand on its own for its mild complexity.
Narrative: “Carrot. Zucchini. God is that all there is? Vegetable medley every Wednesday, lasagna on Thursdays.” She lamented idly while cutting away the vegetables and her Wednesday afternoon. The granite counters were not pedestrian, but nothing to write home about. The routine provided stability yet- “Why hello…” her eyes strayed as a festive Guatemalan man began skimming her pool. “I don’t recall seeing him before” She watched him, pep within his step remove dead frogs from the skimmer basket, an artful spin while he skimmed the weeping willow leaves from the surface of the pool. “Such grace, finding majesty in the menial” her eyes glazed over as she startled herself upon cutting to the end of an overly ripe zucchini. “How could he add such panache to seemingly uninteresting tasks?” The spring heat seemed to lean oppressively upon the task of the ceiling fan, clicking under the stress of its laborious gyrations. “HE FINDS SUCH PLEASURE IN THE MENIAL” Menial to some, a festive retreat to others, he removes the dead leaves of fall with aplomb, casting their black vestiges into the soil. “Senora, la piscina esta limpia” she exhales and pushed the vegetables into a united medley, “work on joyful Pan, the season of the swamp is upon us.”