Tuesday, February 8, 2011

452. Jeffrey McElfresh Table Saison

And the wonderfulness that is Jeffrey McElfresh Homebrew Drinking Week Part II continues. As the napkin informs me, this is Jeffrey’s Table Saison, a light, bright, and eminently drinkable version of the style. It’s even circled so I know I’ll like it. Listen to the napkin: the napkin knows all. Pouring a slightly hazy straw with a rich white head—and plenty of those tiny tiny white bubbles billowing up through the beer in the glass—McElfresh Table Saison has a dry crackery and spicy nose mixed with perfume-y and juicy yeast esters along with a slight hop tang. As it warms, the juiciness turns into a more discernable fruitiness. The beer starts dry and lightly sweet with a crackery follow through before the spiciness and bitterness of the middle asserts itself, finishing sharp and lightly tart. There is a spicy bitterness that also lingers on the palate, along with a touch of alcohol warmth at the back of the throat. The soft malt character mixed with higher carbonation gives this beer a refreshing mouthfeel. My complaints here are few: the finish is not as clean as I would like—there is a slight cider flavor that is off-putting in relation to the acidic tartness, and the slight alcohol warmth stands out a bit. Both are most likely products of the well attenuated body; the lack of residual malt character is not there to round the overall profile. Nonetheless, both of these concerns are pretty minimal to the overall beer, which is classic in both its simplicity and complexity—the traditional saison characteristics are superb. Damn straight. This one got nailed.

P.S. Jeffrey, is this White Labs WLP565 or Wyeast 3724?


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