Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Heavy Seas - Red Sky At Night (Saison Ale)

Red Sky At Night

Brewed by:
Clipper City Brewing Co.
Baltimore, Maryland

Saison / Farmhouse Ale

7.50% ABV

Commercial Description:Pils, Carapils, and wheat malts, Belgian candi sugar
Magnum and Styrian Goldings Hops
This beer is brewed in the Belgian Saison style (country farm house ale). A potent yet delicate ale, brewed with a unique Belgian yeast which develops a spicy, fruity flavor. Enormously complex. Available from May to around August.
General Pricing:12oz bottle, ~ $9.00 6pack, ~$33.00

Background:This was another gift from my friend Gene.

Review:The beer pours a hazy yellow straw color with an extremely modest white head.

We are starting this one out at around 44 degrees.

This is a very nice nose; pleasant light malt sweetness, light hops and a nice yeasty aroma.

Wow, I am pleasantly surprised by that first sip. It’s not exactly Belgian Farmhouse but it is pretty good.

It starts out with a light malt sweetness up front on the tip of the tongue then a nice cleansing in mid-sip. There is a building almost funkiness toward the back end. Don’t worry about my verbiage that funkiness is a good thing for a real farmhouse saison. The back-end is very smooth and easy drinking. The finish is full of good Belgian spice and fruity notes and esters. The final aftertaste has some spice and citrus notes along with a lingering yeastiness. This sounds like a lot but this all and all this beer has a clean dry finish.

This beer doesn’t have the funkiness of an authentic Belgian Farmhouse but it sure does have a lot of the Belgian characteristics.

The beer has warmed to 62 degrees now. It is smoother and more flavorful at these temperatures.

Like I stated in the beginning of this review I am pleasantly surprised with this beer. It is a much better beer than I thought it was going to be.

Even though this is lacking some of the Belgian Authenticity it is still a very good beer. I’m giving this a B. It has been a very nice saison with spice and citrus notes all on a nice Belgian yeasty background.

I do recommend this beer to anyone that likes the Belgian Saison style ale. It does not have the funkiness of a Saison Dupont but it is still and all around good American rendition of the Belgian Classic, Saison Farmhouse style ale.

Thanks Gene, you have redeemed yourself with this one. Not a bad find at all.

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