Saison de Carlita

Volumes of Funk – Saison de Carlita

Brewery: Hops & Grain
Style: Mixed Culture Saison w/ Fruit (28C – Wild Specialty)
Package: 12oz Can
Purchased: Sunrise Minimart, October, 2018
Bottled: ??
Consumed Date: 10/25/2018

Details from the Brewer

ABV: 6.5%
Brewed in collaboration with Sour Duck Market Odd Duck using their sourdough yeast, Carlita. Then blended with their mixed culture saisons from their 15-barrel Foeder & barrels with apricots & raspberries

Review

Aroma – 10/12

A sharp berry note hits the nose first. This is intermingled with a sour aroma, almost cherry-like. Some lighter spicy phenols are present, with a touch of barnyard brett character. As it warms, a low bread crust element comes out. Some vanilla notes as well. At room temp, I get an almost farty aroma, that you find in some lambic.

Appearance – 2/3

Pours a deep gold almost approaching amber, with a subtle red hue. Clarity is good, but some haze. Very small, white bubbles almost jump out of the glass, and form a thin white layer. Head retention is below average, but carbonation forces it to persist.

Flavor – 13/20

Strawberry, cherry flavors hit with a quick sharpness. These are at a medium level, and intermingle with lower grainy and bread crust flavor. This is quickly joined by an intense earthy funk in the mid palate. A moderate acidity is present. While the berries notes provide a perception of sweetness, the beer really dries out as the finish approaches. A low bitterness appears, and an intense oak character overwhelms. The oak character hangs around for a few seconds along with a touch of berry on the finish.

Mouthfeel – 3/5

Very highly carbonated. This beer sharply prickles all around the mouth with energetic bubbles. Medium bodied. The oak character brings with it a moderate astringency that dries the cheeks.

Overall Impression – 7/10

This mixed culture Saison brings with it a lot of complex flavors.  As a wild specialty beer, it does a great job intermingling the fruit character with yeast/bacteria profile, but leaves some room for improvement.  The oak note is a bit overpowering, even though it pops in at the end of the taste.  If that were to be toned down a bit, it would just blend so much better with the other elements, and be a lot more drinkable.

Rating – 35/50

This is one of the most wood forward beers I’ve had this year.  I’m guessing the fouder beer blended into this were from some fresh vessels.  While I really use to like beers with a punch you in the face intensity, I’ve grown to prefer those with a more delicate touch and blending of flavors.  I’m really interested to try more of the Volumes series coming out of H&G now that their barrel aging property has matured.  I was a big fan of the Coffee one found at this year’s Partners in Craft event.

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