Wednesday, November 21, 2012

543. Epic Utah Sage Saison

Another beer from Epic, mainly because this is a saison, and, well, I’m a sucker for saisons. Our last Epic beer was Brainless on Cherries, which was enjoyable (and better in the bottle), but some of the others we’ve had along the way have not been as enjoyable. Still, this is a saison, so it is time to roll the dice.

Utah Sage pours a lightly hazy hay with a thin white head; the nose is redolent with herbal sage aromas accompanied by yeast esters and phenols and a touch of mint. The beer starts dry with a touch of candy sweetness and yeast fruitiness, giving way to hints of sage and a mineral bite in the middle, followed by honey and mint in the finish with a combination of a dry mineral tang and a bright, almost citrus-y herbal zing lingering on the back of the mouth. The beer is well attenuated, often a problem with other American saisons (so that is a plus mark for Epic), and there is a touch of alcohol warmth in the finish, although nothing overbearing. The yeast character is certainly Belgian, although it might not be the best fit for a saison, and it could use a bit more hop bitterness, although I am guessing this is a product of not wanting to step too heavily on the delicate sage and herb flavors. The sage in the nose is the strength of this beer; the flavor is good in the body, but could use just a touch more, although collectively the flavors are in balance across the beer profile. This beer is better than I thought it was going to be; the herbal sage character in the nose is delicious, and continues to delight over the course of the beer (I know the description below says rosemary, but there is not really any apparent here). And this beer cost $6.99 for the 22 oz. bottle, which makes it a delicious bargain as well. I might have to change my mind about Epic if they keep producing beers like this.

From the Epic website: “This seasonal Saison is brewed with fresh herbs. The first whiff is that of a festive array of rosemary, thyme with a dominating profile leaning towards sage. This beautifully crafted farmhouse style Belgian beer is warm with herbal notes and backed with earthy hops.”

ABV: 7.6%
Release #3
Malt: Weyermann Pilsner, Muntons Maris Otter, Briess 2-Row Brewers Malt and Rye malt, Muntons Wheat Malt, and Briess Pregelatinized Barley Flakes
Hops: Centeenial, Amarillo, Calypso
Herbs: fresh sage, thyme, and rosemary
Brewed: January 30, 2012
Bottled: March 30, 2012


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