Well as 2014 creaked to a close, the final bottle from the SARA Cellar program was the caress of death. This was the swan song and a single bottle was issued to 2014 members before all these 2015 SARA cellar gentrifiers come in pushing up property values, ruining the rich cultural heritage of the invite only society, driving out the original residents. Let’s see how this tart DARK farmhouse performs, whether you can slam this at a Bauhaus concert or if you should save it for the next Joy Division show.
Capitulation, Santa Cruz, CA
Black Barrel aged Saison, 5.6% abv
That commercial rubdown:
Everything ends. This simple fact reminds us to make the most of the things, to breath deeply, to chase inspiration, to live and love with abandon. With this in mind, we offer you the final installment of SARA’s Cellar 2014. Always in Death. A tart, barrel-aged, dark farmhouse ale, this single barrel selection stood out from the rest, and is now yours to memorialize in solitude or with friends. Everything ends, always, in death.
Put on The Spill Canvas, pour a glass of Grenache and sink into deep contemplation with your Sartre tome, WE ARE DISCUSSING DEATH.
A: Well true to form, this is a dark dark farmhouse that leaves you looking circumspectly at the jet black inky depths, that foam challenging you to a slap boxing fight in the old barn. I usually don’t enjoy this style or really any sours predicated entiretly on a porter base, but this is admittedly a pretty beer due to the bone dry lack of sheeting or residual sugars. This is like Natalie Portman in Black Swan, you come for the white swan, you stay to see her get stabbed.
S: The nose on this is phenomenal and reminds me of a baller version of Tart of Darkness, with a turbo charger and cat back exhaust. You get merlot and currant, tart cherry, craisins, oak and light cocoa. The closer is a sort of red wine Dr. Pepper aspect that again, feels agile and doesn’t leave its dark husks and tannins laying all around the living room its like HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU ABOUT THIS.
T: The taste sheds the Tart of Darkness robe and the ebony form glistens beautifully across the palate. You get the malbec and blackberry, tartness, a faint cheesiness, and a lingering intensely dry closer. I can confidently add this to a list of two other dark farmhouses REALLY worthy of your attention, next to Civil Disobedience 4 and Guillermo Prunus. Yes CD8, Shadows of their Eyes, and Edith are intentionally left off of that list. Dark saisons usually dont do it for me, but this exhibits the red grape and hay profile in such an elegant way, its worth your attention even though you might not give a shit about the style.
M: This is dry and presents a bouquet of tart floral goodness, its this odd melange of dry bakers chocolate a flanders red and a straight up saison. At warmer temps it feels a bit acetic but never enters a realm that someone would really complain about, I am just that prick who watches Whiplash and complains that the syncopation isnt timed with the frames of the drums. Nitpicking garbage because shit, otherwise why even read this.
D: This is this and you can easily crush the entire 750 without getting dry rot. It never becomes cloying or warrants splitting a million ways. Thankfully this doesn’t have any stonefruit in it, so dipshits on the trade boards will continue punching one another in the dick over the same tired lacto blonde ales and leave this well alone.