I know what you are thinking, “Gewurztraminer? Why are you doing this DDB. We aren’t post-menopausal homies with subscriptions to Sunset magazine.” Just stay with me here. You don’t have to be an empty nester who watches Mike and Molly to appreciate this phenomenal beer, just dig in for this farmhouse ride. It’s a bumpy, musky lil pumpkin patch, don’t fall out of the truck.
Council Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
6% abv Saison
CAPPED AND CORKED OH SHIT FANCIER THAN IGGY AZALEA
The commercial rub-down:
“650, 750ml bottles of Nicene were released on September 13, 2014. Nicene was brewed with traditional Saison ingredients to provide a rustic, bready malt backbone and paired with the tropical fruit forward wine and French oak notes achieved from the Gewurztraminer wine barrels. Over time, Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus will continue to develop the gentle sourness and earthy flavors. This Sour Saison was manually packaged with tremendous care and bottle conditioned with high carbonation for optimal enjoyment in a tulip glass.”
DONT TELL ME WHAT FUKN GLASS TO USE.
A: Whenever I pop a cap and then see a cork it’s like SORRY YOUR PRINCESS IS IN ANOTHER CASTLE. Once I got past the defenses, things got overridingly real. This cascades out with a silky fine carb that crackles forth like a broken washing machine and lingers with wispy frothiness not unlike those filipino foam parties you would attend in your youth. The malt profile looks like straight wheat + belgian pils, nothing too apeshit here. You have a mildly turbid creaminess to the appearance that looks like Sunny D, and everyone knows you want the D. Everyone already knows it.
S: This has a phenomenal nose to it and presents a sort of riesling spilled on Berber carpet. There is a musk of leather and saddle but nectarine and a sweet Chardonnay oakiness. I had never tried a GERWERTEZMENDER barrel aged ANYTHING before and I was suspect from the outset. I didn’t know if a saison would be the based candidate just because the overridingly sweet profile from the grapes COULD TAKE SHIT OVER LIKE WHEN DRAKE DROPS A LACKLUSTER 16 BUT THAT’S THE ONLY VERSE ANYONE REMEMBERS. This just soars on the olfactory profile and presents a welcoming peach pie cooling in the barn, straw and faint acidity while you do whip its and lay in the hay bales. Things are ultra cutty.
T: Again, the G-spot barrels are phenomenal and present just the right balance of sweetness for the incredibly balanced acidity to make this drink like aged Temptation. If you have opened a batch 4 large format Temptation you will have an excellent idea of what I am talking about. This doesn’t go ultra lactic, it doesn’t put its pedio foot forward, it opts for a massive drinkability and leaves your gumline unmolested. The creaminess and anjou pear leaves a sort of fondue muskiness on the gumline that is difficult to approximate. It just works so well.
M: Again the cheesy creaminess and silky carb just makes this whole thing gentle as a basket of laundry fresh out the hamper; because that musk, homie. It doesn’t wipe out your jaw or recede your bitter zones, or give you rumble guts after a 750ml. If you have had some of the more nuanced american Farmhouse beers: Florence, Bernice, Jester King Biere de Miel; you will know exactly what I mean. It doesn’t need to hit you with a throbbing blue veined shaft of acidity or his that sub 3.0 ph to make its point. The whole experience is intensely pleasant and refreshing with a faintly alkaline hardness to the water profile that is awesome, gypsum on deck throwing up B’s and C’s.
D: This is highly crushable and a 750ml is easy to take down. If you have ever opened anything from Blaugies and then been like “where dafuq did all the ounces go?” you will know the saison sitch. Their base saison was tasty, a touch sweet and presented a pretty standard high ferm temp Dupont strain sort of profile but this takes things to a whole new realm. If this is characteristic of GERWAMSTRAINER barrels, then god damn, breweries need to start sourcing them hard, like Galoob ripping off NES code with Gamie Genie: THIS IS NO DERIVATIVE WORK.
FOR OLD TIMES SAKE, LET’S DO A NARRATIVE:
Narrative: It had been so long since the four arbiters of the canonical saison world had met. The yeast harbinger so adaptive, ever changing and immutably difficult to locate would seemingly never find time in his schedule to discuss the earthy matters and gristy concerns of the wheat delegate. Even less likely would be the union of the diplomate of Water, hard and pure, with the porous affiliate from the Barrel kingdom. Dire circomstances required a clarification of the saison creed. So many faiths and splinter sects had denatured the Wallonian teachings from the initial farmhouse apostles and the populace was crying for clarity and canonical guidance. The musky gavel rapped the wood lightly and Water brought the counsel to Order, “ggeetttnnnllleeemennn, weee neeedd too dessshcccieeddeee-” he began and was immediately interrupted by Yeast, “oh for fucks sake, can anyone but Water preside over these proceedings? Listen to him. COME ON.” The gathering had begun with a glacier paced discussion of monoculture additions to secondary fermentations, enough to put even Barrel to rest. The faith in Farmhouse Culture was dying, and people were increasingly converting to a acetic faith. Something needed to be done to restore the Wallonian truths set forth some 325 years prior. Finally, after days of grueling work, and the interjection of sweet servant grapes, the Council of Saison had developed an immutable creed for the masses to adhere to without question:
“We believe in one Saison, the Farmhouse almighty, fermenter of all things visible and insoluble
and in one strain, the Son of yeast, the essence of the Father, wheat of wheat, water of water,
housed in earthly sanctity of oak, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the first Saison.
By whom all saisons were made, in primary and secondary fermentation, Heaven and Earth,
who for us, Saisons were made incarnate and sent to earth for man
Through high fermentation temps, which would kill or denature ordinary Sacchromyeces, yeast suffered and after the 21st day, rose again
From thence all saisons shall come to judge the quick and the dead ales, the impure libations, those weak of spirit and character
and in the holy fermentation Ghost.”
Less than 60 years later brewers would again engage in sectarian violence over the meaning of “fermentation Ghost,” but that is a tale for another tome.